EndeavourCat 36, "Shell y T"
Before I begin telling you about our journey since our arrival back at the
boat June 11th, I must tell you all that you should visit Ottawa, the
capitol of Canada, and boat, ride, walk, bike, drive or crawl the Rideau
(Re' doe) Canal system. Simply awesome, and we have over 100 miles yet to
go. But I digress...
We arrived at the boat in Meaford on June 11th, where it had been stored on
the hard since October of 2004. After a few headaches, we got the boat back
in the water the morning of June 17th. Tim arrived back at the boat in the
company of friend Dave and Dave's brother Ross that evening, Tim from
dropping the car off in Whitehall, MI, and flying into Toronto, and Dave
and Ross from picking him up at the Toronto airport. Ross, who lives in
Toronto, kindly offered to drive them both back to the boat.
Ross visited for the weekend, and on June 20th, Tim, Dave and I went back
across the Georgian Bay and down the Trent-Severn waterway. At
Peterborough, Dave rented a car and picked friend Koral up at the Buffalo,
NY airport and they both continued to cruise with us for the next 2 weeks.
We spent Canada Day (July 1st), in Cobourg, Ont., Canada hanging on the
marina wall and were part of the Canada Day entertainment. The marina wall
is also part of the waterfront promenade and was just steps away from the
carnival that ran the entire weekend. We spent 3 days there and headed west
to the town of Whitby's municipal marina. Dave's brother Ross and wife
Wendy picked us up at the marina and we had a delightful dinner at a great
French restaurant that Ross had scouted out prior to our arrival. The
husband and wife owners cooked and waitressed and we had a wonderful
The next day we crossed Lake Ontario and spent the night at St. Catharine's,
planning on transiting the Welland Canal from Lake Ontario to Lake Erie and
back into the States on the 4th of July. The Welland canal system requires
3 crew members aboard any upbound boat and we soon understood why. The
locks are huge, normally putting gigantic cargo ships and tankers through
their 800 ft. locks. The turbulence from the water being pumped into the
locks to raise us up was massive and all hands were needed on deck to hold
the lines and keep the boat from bashing against the walls. On the up side,
the normal transit time runs between 8 and 12 hours. We made it in 5.
There were no other boats in the system and every huge lock was raised and
lowered just for us. Quite an experience.
We turned left as we came out of the canal onto Lake Erie and headed for a
marina in Buffalo, N.Y. That evening we took a cab to the Anchor Bar about
5 miles from the marina and had, you got it, buffalo wings and beer for our
4th of July celebration dinner. This was the spot where they had
originated. Something rather patriotic about that and we enjoyed our
As Dave and Koral were flying out of Buffalo on the 6th, they rented a car
on the 5th and we all drove back into Canada to Niagara Falls for the day.
Truly an awesome sight, and from there, did some wine tasting in the
Niagara-on-the-Falls countryside. Didn't find any wines to compare with
Napa, or even Temecula for that matter, but it was fun trying.
Dave and Koral left for the airport the next morning at 5:30 and Tim and I
headed up the Niagara River for Tonowanda, where we entered the western
portion of the Erie Canal. Our travels took us into Seneca Falls, the
birthplace of the women's rights movement. It is just off the Erie Canal on
the Seneca/Cayuga Canal. We spent two days tied up on their town wall and
got a lot of bike riding in. They have a wonderful downtown area,
interesting museums and a really nice historical society facility.
At Brewerton, we left the Shell y T at Ess-Kay marina for a few days while
we had some work done on the props. We rented a car to pick friend Sue up
at the Syracuse airport to cruise with us for 2 weeks, and then drove into
the Adirondacks for 2 days to spend time at Sue's sister and
brother-in-law's place on Lake Ozonia. The summer cottages there are called
"camps" and this one has been in Warren's family for many years. These good
ol' southern Californians had never experienced this kind of life before and
we had an awesome time. Warren, and Sue's sister, B.J. introduced us to "toodling".
This involves touring their lake in a small power boat set at a low speed
just before sunset, copious amounts of munchies, a couple bottles of wine,
and at least 6 or 8 people, whatever the boat can hold. That seemed to be
right up our alley.
Sunday afternoon, after arriving back at the marina, we hooked up with our
friends Mark, Nicole, Rebecca, Jessica and Xavier Wallis. Some of you old
timers will remember Tim' s old partner, Rick Wallis. This is his son and
family. We had a wonderful visit and went into Syracuse to the Dinosaur Bar
for some tasty BBQ. The Dinosaur Bar is a cross between a biker bar and a
yuppie hangout. Two thumbs up from the crew of the Shell y T. (Roger,
Ralph and Cois, you'd love it).
The next morning we left Ess-Kay Marina on the Erie Canal, turned right at
Three Rivers, which put us onto the Oswego Canal heading back towards Lake
Ontario. We stayed on a city dock in Minetto one night, and then hung on
the wall in Oswego for a few days waiting for the winds to die down on the
lake. We enjoyed exploring that wonderful old city again and met some other
delightful boaters who were also at the mercy of the weather. Sue's father
had lived here many years ago and we met the director of tourism who may
have known him those many years ago. It really is a small world.
As we left the Oswego Canal system, we turned right onto Lake Ontario and
headed for Sackets Harbor, N.Y. Beautiful little marina and picture
postcard town. Cleaned boat, did laundry, found the bakery...you know, the
important things. The next day included a stop in Cape Vincent for diesel,
checking into customs at Wolfe Island, Canada, and heading for the Thousand
Islands region on the St. Lawrence River.
In the Parks Canada system, there are quite a few small islands with dockage
facilities. As it was approaching the weekend, they were all full, so we
just anchored off of a small island and that's where we spent the next 3
days. We dinghied into Gananoque (gano knock' way) to do touristy stuff,
floated in the water off the back of the boat, and just vegged. While there,
we met up with John and Bobbi Hanna, who are also the proud owners of an
Endeavour 36 Power Catamaran. As they had come off of the Rideau system,
they were good brains to pick.
We stayed at our lovely little anchorage an extra day just so we could
attend Sunday services at Half Moon Bay. It is a beautiful little cove with
huge granite cliffs and you dinghy in, tie off to the rock wall or any of a
multitude of boats also there for the services. They've erected a small
pulpit on shore, and two ladies in a canoe greet you as you enter the cove
with hymnals and info about the history of Half Moon Bay. Each week they
have a pastor from some walk of life to deliver the sermon. Ours was a
pastor from the Pittsburgh Correctional system. Kind of apropos, don't you
From there, we continued up the St. Lawrence River and stopped at a Parks
Canada dock on Grenadier Island. Pierre and Joann aboard La Bernine, caught
our lines. They're a lovely French Canadian couple from Montreal and we
enjoyed visiting with them.
The next day we headed into Brockville marina. We knew we were not going to
make it into Montreal to get Sue off at the Dorval airport, so Brockville
and a rental car seemed like a good idea. Once again, Pierre and Joann
caught our lines. Brockville was a lovely community with everything within
easy walking distance of the marina.
Sue's last 2 days with us were chilly and wet. Luckily, her departure day
dawned bright and clear. And I mean dawned. We had to be up awfully early
to make it to the airport in Dorval. We all decided we really prefer
The morning after dropping Sue off at the airport we were heading into the
St. Lawrence Seaway lock system. Rumors had it as a very attitudinal lock
system as all but two are manned by French Canadians. At the first lock,
our wait was 2 hours as there were many large container ships and tankers in
the system. The Canadians that we had to raft to in the lock had been that
way many times and said the norm was to just open the gates and let everyone
go through as the waters were level from one end to the next. Didn't
happen. Made everyone raft off and there had to be almost 30 boats. Oh
well, new experience.
Didn't get as far as we had hoped so stayed at Crysler Park Marina for the
night. Kind of like Dirty Dancing resort on the water. Had planned on
leaving the next day, but Upper Canada Village was within biking distance.
Canada's answer to our Williamsburg. Spent the day there and had a
wonderful time. That evening at the marina, we met a delightful French
Canadian family from the Montreal area and their big, black Newfoundland
dog, Benjamin. We were to meet up with them again at our next 2 locks the
following day. We were the largest boat so we were on the wall of the lock
and 4 other boats were rafted to us. Son Eric came aboard at the first lock
to help keep us off the wall and rode with us to the next lock as he has
always wanted to see how the ride was on a catamaran. We all then spent the
night at Cornwall marina and had a lovely visit.
The next day saw us through the Upper and Lower Berharnois (Ber-ar-no')
locks and then into St. Anne DeBellvue. We had decided to stay on the town
wall and take the train into Montreal instead of going into a marina in
Montreal. Glad we did. St. Ann DeBellvue was a delightful little town and
after spending a day in Montreal, that was enough. Spent 2 nights at St.
Anne and then into the lock and onto the Ottawa River. Spent one night at a
marina in Montebello where we experienced a huge thunderstorm, and then
headed for Ottawa. Just before the flight of 8 locks that takes you from
the Ottawa River onto the Rideau Canal, we were hailed by Norm and Peggy
aboard C Haven. We had met them in Peterborough and were headed in the same
direction, just had different time frames. They were at a marina we were
passing and so we rafted up to them and visited for a while. They were
heading up the flight of 8 the next day so we planned on hooking up in
The flight of 8 is just that. Eight locks in a stair step formation that
must be transited all at one time. It took us about 2½ hours and then we
tied up on the lock wall on the Rideau Canal smack dab in the middle of
Ottawa. Norm and Peggy arrived the next day and tied up by us and we
enjoyed each other's company as we explored Ottawa. We spent 5 days in
Ottawa and enjoyed every minute. We left there the morning of August 10th
and are now tied up at the Black Rapids lock wall. A huge thunder and
lightening storm just blew through and cooled us off nicely. It has been in
the 80's to 90's and kind of muggy. Our next stop will be the Long Island
lock wall just a few miles farther down the canal. There is going to be an
antique boat show at the lock this weekend and we'll meet up with Norm and
Peggy there. We plan on spending a few weeks on the Rideau. It's a
fabulous place to be.
Tim and Michelle aboard the Shell y T