Thursday, July 28, 2011


John and Dave have perfected the art of the Port-a-Party...a blast from the past and traveling in style!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Bridging the Gap

Construction of the new Lake Champlain Bridge between Crown Point, New York and Chimney Point, Vermont has been amazing to watch. One of the most interesting aspects of the project has been to see the center span being made. We discovered the construction of the span when we went to launch our Bauer 12 daysailer from the public launch ramp in Port Henry.
The marina next to the ramp has been leased for the project and turned into a construction site. This is where the 402 ft. span is being made and will be brought to the bridge itself on the lake (we presume by huge barges). At anytime during the day there are people sitting in their cars at the launch ramp, watching the work force with binoculars. We have gone back several times and are astonished with how quickly it has progressed.

There is still plenty to assemble and rig, so even though the arches now meet, rumor has it that it will be sometime towards the middle to late August before it is moved and attached to the other spans. I sure hope that it is announced when they do this, so we can be there to watch. Completion of the project is slated for October of this year. Meanwhile the free ferries are still running 24 hours a day next to the bridge.

Click HERE for more detailed info on the bridge construction and to view the webcams.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Playing Hooky

It was way too hot to work on motorcycles during our latest heat wave, so Dave joined me up in the Adirondacks. The lakes were too crowded to go boating though, since everyone wanted to get wet and cool off. In a quandary to find a place to chill out, we headed to the LaChute falls. The LaChute River flows between Lake George and Lake Champlain, and there are several sets of waterfalls, since Lake Champlain is over 200 feet lower than Lake George.
We certainly wouldn't consider doing this in the spring, but now the water is tamer, although still powerful, so we had to be careful not to be swept further down the falls.

Dave, as usual, was brave enough to explore and take in the whole falls experience.
He even found a small turtle hiding in a rock crevice. What a trip it must have had getting there!
I, on the other hand, preferred the more sedate natural jacuzzi at the base.
Still up close and personal, right underneath.
The constantly flowing water sure was mesmerizing and a cool way to spend the afternoon away from the crowds.

Saturday, July 23, 2011





It goes! The Bayliner's first sea trial went well, but we made sure we motored upwind so that we could blow back to the dock if running difficulties developed. Of course the dock on lower Lake Champlain is right next to the cable ferry to Vermont, so that was a bit unnerving. We had minimal problems and made it 'full circle' back to the launch ramp!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Full Circle

The Bayliner is almost ready for sea trials. We even floated her at the launch ramp, still on the trailer, to see if everything worked okay, since we were having problems with the shifting. We had it hooked up to the hose while running it in the driveway, with Dave going back and forth from the helm to the engine compartment trying to shift it and make adjustments, all while I am watching the propeller, yelling Forward! Neutral! Neutral! Neutral!....and no reverse, or it would stall when in reverse. We finally took a break for the night, to give the neighbors a rest from the screaming (it was hard for Dave to hear me with the engine running), and the next morning it dawned on Dave exactly what needed to be done and now it shifts fine. Sometimes you have to just walk away for awhile.

The pictures below show the inside accommodations and it has a small ice box/cooler, and sink with running water behind the helm. There is even room for a portable Coleman type stove.

Sleeping arrangements in the enclosed V-berth area are small with the port-a-potty under one of the berths.

Dave will be sleeping on the top 'shelf' and hopefully he won't roll down on me while I sleep on top of the toilet! Since we are at the age when we both have to get up during the middle of the night, we are bringing a spare port-a-potty, that will live out in the main helm/living area (in our big boat I would call it the main salon) to relieve those 3AM urges. We'll be the only 21 foot boat with two heads!

We plan on an overnight excursion to Valcour Island in Lake Champlain to see how the whole system works, before our week long Rideau Canal trip August 6th. The Rideau is a series of canals with hand operated locks that also opens up into small lakes, which will be ideal for the kayaks that we will be carrying on the hard top roof. This trip has been in the planning for a year now, and we have several other friends from here and the Hope Town Sailing Club that are joining us and renting boats in Canada. For more information on cruising the Rideau Canal click HERE.

So, why did we name the Bayliner Full Circle? Mostly because we owned another Bayliner many years ago, but also because our humble beginnings of boating together started with a small trailerable boat with minimal accommodations and very little headroom. Our first boat was a 22 foot sailboat that we actually spent a month cruising the Florida Keys on back in 1982, and another month around the Sanibel area the following year, even crossing the Okeechobee Waterway in it. We called our adventures being "young and having no sense." I guess now that we have come full circle 30 years later, we're just "old and senile and don't remember what it was like!"

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Shame On Me

While Dave was busy reinstalling the Bayliner's engine and getting frustrated trying to work in the tiny engine compartment while not breaking any rusting bolts or parts, I decided to go kayaking down the LaChute River. I felt a bit guilty, but sometimes it is best to stay out of the way. I have such an understanding husband (or he wanted me to leave) that he brought me down to the base of the falls in Ticonderoga, even launched my kayak for me, and then picked me up later at the launch ramp on Lake Champlain, so I only had to go downstream.

Since I had about two hours to meander my way with the current and wind, I decided to go exploring in the marshes. There were lots of birds, fish and turtles, but I soon got lost in a sea of lily pads.

I knew I could always make my way back the same way I paddled in, but pressed on further, following what I thought was another kayaker's small water trail. Wrong! It was a beaver 'channel'! A beaver could make it under this branch, but certainly not a kayaker.

I did finally make it back out into the LaChute by aiming towards the flag over Fort Ticonderoga in the distance.

I love paddling through the tall grasses at the mouth of the river where it joins up with Lake Champlain.

As I approached the fort, I heard the fife and drum corps marching around the grounds. It sounded so eerie and I certainly felt like I had stepped back in time.

For more pictures and info on the LaChute from my previous post, click HERE.

Friday, July 8, 2011


In this case though, it should be called ENGINUITY!

We are fast approaching the date that we leave for our Rideau Canal trip in Canada. It is imperative that we start working on the Bayliner 21 Hard Top that we acquired for overnight stays on the water. It was a minimal investment fixer-upper boat, so we knew it needed lots of TLC. The previous owner claimed it had some kind of an engine leak, but we did hear it run. We hooked it up to fresh water, started it, and discovered more water running out of the bilge than was coming out of the outdrive. The water was warm which meant that it was cooling the engine (a good sign) and the leak was most likely in the exhaust pipe (a bad sign). In order to access the exhaust, the outdrive had to come off and the engine had to come out. That’s when ENGINUITY comes in handy!

After much contemplating, Dave came up with this ‘enginous’ plan. Build a gantry with a block and tackle to lift the engine, see what the problem was, get parts and make repairs, then lower it back into place. We even had a custom lift for the outdrive shoved back in the corner of the motorcycle shop, that we put into service.

Voila! Problem found and it could have sunk the boat!

Parts were ordered and arrived quickly…all but one. The oil pan, which naturally has to go on the bottom of the engine, was shipped by ‘snail mail’, so the project could not be completed. Dave did install the new exhaust pipe last weekend, and the part arrived today so he will ‘button up’ everything this weekend. Meanwhile Dave has feverishly been working on cleaning the boat inside and out, and even made new cushions to sleep on.

Sea trials are next and hopefully we won’t run into any other major problems. It’s best to find them before we head out on our week long Canada trip though!

Check back soon for more details about our latest endeavor.