Thankful for 2020 adventuring, praying for 2021

Our final cruising days were cloudy with showers and thunderstorms threatening, but we really only had hard rains one full night while the remnants of hurricane Laura blew through the area. We have been blessed with dry, hot summer weather the majority of this trip. Temperatures dropped into the low 80s and 70s which was refreshing.

Between the storms, we had relatively long days of travel since we were passing through areas which we had previously traveled, and were on a timeline to get back to the marina. We stopped again in Clyde, also known as Lauraville, and snuck in a walk along the canal trail while keeping a close eye on the clouds. From Clyde, we traveled just a short ways to the wall at lock 26, still in Clyde, between the showers of rain. This was a rural lock wall, with no services but isolated and quiet, the train sounds off in the distance such that we hardly noticed them at all. Except for a few fishermen and the lock master driving in/out of the lock road as he was covering two locks, it was quiet. We took a walk along the lock road and behind the buffer of trees, we discovered beautiful fields, farms, and a man-made pond. It was gusty but we were well protected.

Ad majorem Dei glorious = “For the greater glory of God”
NY Canal work boat on a cradle, waiting to be put back into usage; seems to be smiling at us!
The NY canal work boat – props hit a few things? After the heavy rains, these boats and barges were busy removing large trees that had come down into the canal, an endless task
I love these primitive fenders
These are the valve lights at the locks, indicating how many water valves were open when the locks were working to either bring water in to lift, or to drain to lower.

From Clyde, we were hopeful that we had a clear weather window to allow us to anchor on Cross Lake. The winds were shifting and dying, and no rain was anticipated. We once again anchored in ~ 10’ in the South Bay. Very few boats were out and about, much less than when we were there 2-3 weeks ago. Although in the 70s, we enjoyed an afternoon swim and “cleaning” in the warm waters. So peaceful and beautiful. The moon was ~ full that night, and we enjoyed a quiet calm night. The stars were amazing.

Good night moon; photo by Dean
Morning mist
Good morning! Mist over the water burned off quickly once the sun rose and warmed the air.

We kayaked in the morning, Dean for exercise while I got exercise plus watched several herons fishing, then Dean scrubbed the boat hull using flippers and a brush. He had already eradicated spiders, their webs and more on the decks. We hauled the anchor then had our longest cruise yet, 31+ miles, as we decided to make the final leg back to the marina. We had a long list of “to dos” to get “Clare” ready to be hauled out a day later. Always a long day of work.

Still loving all the herons
You just never know what you might see…this was in a suburban neighborhood along the canal

We arrived at Winter Harbor Marina in the late afternoon and found it quiet with many open docks – transitioning from summer to fall in the boat world. Began our closing up activities, starting to pack away clothes and pantry items before having dinner on the upper deck and watching the smaller day boats (remember all those pontoon boats?) pass back and forth. Up early the next morning, as Karen had a full morning of teletherapy appointments and Dean worked on changing the oil in the boat.

Dean has the cleanest, neatest engine hold I’ve ever seen. Vacuuming it….He would love to give you a tour!

Ongoing storing of boat gear, oiling the teak table and stairs, getting the dinghy stored, more cleaning and washing down, then once dry, taking down the bimini (upper deck canvas) so that we could take a portion home for a winter project: adding solar panels. Packing, storing, cleaning and trips to pack the car until we almost dropped from fatigue. Wish I could say we slept well, but between wind, a late (and loud) boat arrival, and who knows what else, we didn’t enjoy our final boat sleep.

Clare, stripped down and ready to head to the boat storage shed for a winter’s rest. Bimini top removed for a project, and the mast is down for storage.
And she’s out! Staff at Winter Harbor Marina are very professional and instill confidence. She’s in the power wash area.
Clare is a small boat at 36’ compared to the majority of boats here, but we think she’s the best!
Amazing the planning process for maximizing boat storage space in the boat shed. Can you find trawler Clare? The other boat shed has the largest boats, up to 80’!

So, our 2020 boating season comes to the end. While we grieve the loss of our innocently pre-COVID19 planned trip, we are grateful that we were able to get this modified shortened trip in. We were able to successfully isolate on our boat, minimize our exposure and risk, and spend time together in the beautiful outdoors exploring new areas. This year was different and different was okay. We missed being able to host family and friends on our boat for segments, missed the connection with other Loopers or transients, and missed the wilderness of Georgian Bay and North Channel that we hope to experience. But God is good, all the time, and we appreciate the opportunities we had. Now its time to head home, be with family, and help care for family members as well as return to our jobs.

And begin planning for 2021, while praying the world is a more stable place in all aspects.

By the grace of God we go,

~ Karen and Dean

Photo by Dave aboard Tinman who we met in Brockport NY
Categories: Erie Canal, New York, The Great Loop


  1. Yes please ! I do want to see the spotless engine room.


  2. I’m going to miss your posting until next year.


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