Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Let's Hear Your Boating Stories

Well, here we are. Thanksgiving already! It is hard to believe that another boating season has passed by. However, we can all reflect back on the fun we had this past season and make plans for next year. In fact, we at Peters Marine Service would like to know how each of you spent this past year boating and what you are planning for next year. Please send us your stories and plans to ted@petersmarine.com and I will publish select ones to run in our Newsletter.

I will offer the first installment.

Our Summer Trip
by Ted Shelson

As many of you know by now, I keep our family boat in Ithaca, NY on Cayuga Lake. This past August we took a 230 mile round trip from our marina to Sylvan Beach, NY on the eastern shore of Oneida Lake. This trip took us north on Cayuga Lake, east on the Erie Canal, and eastward across Oneida Lake. Here is an abbreviated version of my daily log.

Captain: Ted; First Mate: Sherri; Crew: Sarah, age 9, and Owen, now age 5

Day 1, Sunday, August 10th
We arrived by car at Allen Treman Marine State Park in Ithaca, NY by 1:00pm. We loaded up ‘Daytripper’, our Sea Ray 240 Sundancer, addressed a few maintenance issues, and headed out on our trip by 3:50pm. The first leg of our trip took us north 30 miles up Cayuga Lake to the cove at Hibiscus Point. Here the water is only a few feet deep and the bottom is sandy. We threw out the anchor around 5:30pm, swam around a bit, had a wonderful shrimp and rice dinner, and settled in for the night after playing games with the kids and watching a movie on our portable 7” DVD player.

Day 2, Monday, August 11th
Woke up around 8:00am and headed north after a Blueberry muffin and cereal breakfast. The weather was a bit cool, overcast, and breezy as we made our way to the first of three locks in our journey, Lock CS1 “Mud Lock”. This lock is the first lock of the Cayuga-Seneca Canal. From here we continued north under I-90 to the intersection of the Erie Canal. From here you could travel west to Buffalo, NY or east to Albany. For our trip we headed east. By this time the sky was clearing and the sun felt warm. Sarah did a great job navigating and picking out the channel markers.

By lunchtime we approached Erie Canal Lock #E24 in Baldwinsville, NY. This is a great canal town. There is always something to do and much to see. For example: Tie up at the wall on the west side of the lock and walk into town to enjoy a little shopping or dining. Take a picnic lunch and venture to the park for some time off the boat. Or enjoy a concert at Paper Mill Island.

Once through the lock, we anchored in the river, had lunch, and did a little fishing. Owen caught a catfish. What fun!

Time was pressing us to move along as we wanted to get through Lock #E23 in Brewerton, NY by evening. The weather turned lousy. It rained all the way to Brewerton, which made dealing with the lock a bit miserable. Earlier we had called ahead to Winter Harbor Marina to reserve a slip for the evening. We arrived around 6:15pm. I can’t say enough about this place. It was exceptionally clean, inexpensive, and the personnel were very friendly.

Day 3, Tuesday, August 12th
We left Winter Harbor around 10:30am after an egg and fruit breakfast and a little fishing from the dock with the kids. I wanted to leave early enough before the winds had a chance to pick the lake up. We plotted our course on a chart and headed out across the 21 mile long lake. Fortunately the lake was calm but started to pick up as we approached Sylvan Beach on the eastern shore. Here we checked into Mariner’s Landing Marina where we plan on spending the next two nights. There is much to do in Sylvan Beach. There is of course the sandy beach, which is great to spend the afternoon. You can walk there from our marina or on calm days you can anchor just off shore and swim in to shore. There is also the nostalgic Sylvan Beach Amusement Park. After securing our slip we simply packed our beach bags and walked to the beach for the afternoon. That night we went out for dinner and watched a movie onboard the boat.

Day 4, Wednesday, August 13th
The skies today looked a little threatening so instead of walking we traveled by boat to the amusement park and tied up at the bulkhead. We had great fun. The rides and games are very family oriented and inexpensive. Sarah and I had a blast on the Galaxi Roller Coaster and the whole family enjoyed the Bumper Cars. We will never forget how Sherri and I got a little sick on the Tilt-A-Whirl. I guess we are getting too old for some of the rides we used to enjoy so much as kids. There was plenty to eat and there were no lines for any of the rides.

Later that evening back at the marina Owen and I fished a little while Sherri and Sarah went for a walk to do a little shopping. They enjoyed spending time together and watching a beautiful sunset from the beach.

Day 5, Thursday, August 14th
It was a foggy morning as we headed out for our return home. With the aid of our compass, charts, and GPS we easily navigated out onto and across the lake. We continued west back through the Erie Canal. This time we stopped for lunch around 2:00pm at Cross Lake in Jordan, NY. This lake is beautiful. We went skiing, tubing, and found a nice cove to anchor and fish. In fact, we liked it here so much that we decided to stay for the night. We cooked spiedies on the grill and bathed in the lake. Later that evening another Sea Ray boat found our cove a nice place to anchor for the night as well.

Day 6, Friday, August 15th
Today we got up early, had breakfast, and headed back for Ithaca. The ride went well. Sherri drove most of the way back to the mud lock. We stopped back at the cove at Hibiscus Point where we swam a bit and washed the canal grime from the boat. We got back to our marina in Ithaca late in the day. By this time we were glad to get off the boat for a bit so we went out to Pizza Hut for dinner.

Day 7, Saturday, August 16th
Today was simple. We hopped in the car and went out for breakfast at The Falls in Trumansburg, NY. We then packed up and drove home.

Final Thoughts
This trip was a great time spent together enjoying our boat. We made family memories that will certainly last a lifetime. Now as winter approaches we have been spending some time together planning next summer’s trip. Where we go is currently unclear. What is clear is that we will have fun planning it, enjoying it, and I am sure remembering it by this time next year.

What are your plans? Let us know. I am sure there are boaters like us who can never get enough thinking about how better to use our boats.

Please email me at
ted@petersmarine.com. I would also encourage everyone to comment on this and any other entry in our blogspot. We would really like to hear your thoughts.

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