Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Lake Ontario Crossing, Oh Canada and So What’s the Big Deal?

Days on cruise:  88

Distance today:  54.9 miles

Travel Time:  5 hrs, 3 mins (including 1 lock)

Locks:  1 today, 30 total

Total trip odometer:  2,079 statute miles

After waking to rain and thunder which subsided by breakfast time, we spent several hours this morning  checking multiple websites for weather forecasts and condition (wind speed and wave height) reports for Lake Ontario. We decided this afternoon was as good as it was going to get for the rest of the week, so slipped our lines from the canal wall, transited our last NY Oswego Canal lock and headed out. We were committed to going north on the Lake about 10 miles, then making a judgment: continue another 35 miles before finding more protected water, or turning back and waiting for better weather. Our Jersey shore experience made us a bit edgy and apprehensive, as today’s forecast included the omnipresent “scattered showers and possible thunderstorms” in the description.

This lighthouse is on the jetty protecting the Oswego harbor entrance.


Three miles out we passed a U.S. Coast Guard boat just drifting in the water.  We felt like it was a signal:  “You’re on your own from here!” But the wind was still about 15 knots, and the waves about 2 feet.  “Next To Me” and her crew are fine in those conditions.


Here is what we saw at 10 miles, our “go/no-go” point. It looked like a G0!  By the time we reached mile 25, with no land in sight, the waves were up to 3-4 feet, with some wallowing and whitecaps, but the ship and her crew were still fine, so we pressed on.

Three hours later we entered Prinyer Cove and saw our first land-based Canadian flag and marina ahead. If you do the math, 3 hours and 42 miles, you’ll discover we were not traveling at our normal 8-10 miles per hour.  We decided to take a deep breath and use the fuel to make the crossing quickly.  We don’t regret that decision.


We grabbed a mooring ball, had a celebratory beer, then dropped the dinghy to head ashore and make our mandatory phone call to Canadian Customs.  Customs turned out to be a non-event, contrary to the many warnings we’d received in advance. We suspect this was in part due to our having NEXUS cards, but also because of the relative remoteness of our check in location. Welcome To Canada!


We’re happy to have our second largest crossing of the Loop behind us.  Now if we can just easily procure a Canadian cell phone and internet, we’ll be happy.

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