Archive for July, 2013

Just Passing Through

Author: Stephen
Shotgun Wedding

Shotgun Wedding

Mylar balloons are among the flotsam along the shore of Lake Ontario.

 

Sunset Paddle

Sunset Paddle

 

Embryonic Mylar

Embryonic Mylar

In my travels around the Great Lakes, I had yet to encounter this: an embryonic Mylar balloon. I can only imagine the profound statements that it will make.

 

Bee Here Now

Bee Here Now

This guy was floundering upside down in the lake. I lifted him aboard with my paddle, and after a few minutes of preening, he buzzed off.

 

No Smoking

No Smoking

At Rochester, my favorite kind of coal plant: Decommissioned.

 

sodusbaylight

Sodus Bay Light

Tuesday, July 23, I had a beautiful paddle into Sodus Bay. I was wind bound Wednesday and camped in the Krenzer Marine boatyard on Sodus Point. In the background are the Chimney Bluff dunes.

 

Below Deck

Below Deck

My campsite at Krenzer Marine.

 

Rockin'

Rockin’

Beautiful, smooth stones have lined much of the shore so far.

 

 

 

 

 

Lake Ontario-oh

Author: Stephen
Lake Ontari-oh

Lake Ontario-oh

Nestled here in the boat yard at Mayer’s Marina, in West Webster, NY, on Irondequoit Bay. Pulled in early Friday afternoon, just before the wind started really picking up. They have many docks, with lots of boats. As usual, I looked for one that wasn’t going to work for anything larger than a canoe. After tying up, I went into the office and asked if there was a restaurant nearby, and if I could leave Seaweed for a bit. The guy with the warm smile at the counter, Rowan, answered yes to both questions. Said there was “a really excellent” restaurant a short walk down the road. With it’s cluttered counter (which included a box of cookies with “free” written on it), old boat motors, and gentle clutter, the place made me think of Ryde Marina back home. I had a great lunch at “Castaways.” It has a deck overlooking the big lake, but I’d had enough sun the past six days, so sat at a small table inside.

There’s a narrow spit of land between the marina and the restaurant, with just enough room for a row of cottages facing the lake, the road, and a row of cottages facing the bay. There are some huge homes on the bluff across the bay, and all manner of boats on the bay. There’s a bobtail swing truss bridge (you don’t see one of those every day) that crosses the channel into the lake, but it’s always open from April to November, as this is a harbor of refuge, and sometimes (as I was to discover shortly) boats need to get in here in a hurry. So I can’t get a good look at the amusement park on the other side, but I can hear the screams.

Back at the marina, Rowan was busy with a customer, so I mentioned to the the other smiling guy at the counter, Al, that I’m attempting to paddle around the lake, and the weather was looking dicey, and might they have a spot where I could pitch my tent? “Sure,” he said, “I’m sure we can find a spot for your tent.” Ahh.

I pitched camp between boats that don’t float on trailers with flat tires. There’s a flotilla of spare dock sections tied up at water’s edge, on which the resident great blue heron, cormorant, geese and gulls peaceably sun and socialize. My tarp is tied off to cleats and pulleys and wheel rims. Nice and tight. Which it needed to be…

The weather wasn’t “supposed” to get rough until later Friday night. But on my way back from dinner at the other restaurant, the Bayside Pub, huge dark clouds suddenly started to build. Within 20 minutes, the wind was howling. I made it into the tent just as the clouds exploded. It was rain and thunder and lightning into the early morning hours. Al, under his umbrella, checked on me shortly after the storm burst, but I was fine, and he said if I had any problems to come to his place. Al and Rowan told me in the morning that the winds reached 60 mph. My tarp was whistling , but everything held, with no leaks.

There was a bit of wind this morning, and some more rain, so I took a rest day. It’s cleared up now, and I plan to head out in the morning. I’m expecting headwinds, and there’s nuke plant 10 miles away that I’ll need to get around.

Thanks so much to everyone for the warm wishes.

Breakfast on the veranda

Breakfast on the veranda

Bathymetry map of Lake Ontario

Bathymetry map of Lake Ontario

July 14th, 2013, at 11:20 AM, Stephen launched his canoe onto Lake Ontario. During previous summers he has circumnavigated Lakes Huron, Michigan and Erie, in that order. Lake Ontario is the smallest of the Great Lakes in circumference, but much deeper than Lake Erie. Water from the four other lakes flows through the Niagara River and over the Niagaran Escarpment before entering Lake Ontario, so the lake is more than 300 feet lower than Superior, Michigan, Huron and Erie. From Lake Ontario, the water flows through the St. Lawrence Seaway to the Atlantic Ocean.

Stephen has done a lot of paddling along the islands and ridges of the Niagaran Escarpment on Lakes Huron and Michigan.

Stephen has done a lot of paddling along the islands and ridges of the Niagaran Escarpment on Lakes Huron and Michigan.

On the beach at Four Mile Creek State Park preparing Seaweed, the canoe, for departure.

On the beach at Four Mile Creek State Park preparing Seaweed, the canoe, for departure.

Four Mile Creek State Park is only a few miles from the mouth of the Niagara River, where historic Fort Niagara is open to visitors. We spent a day as tourists before he began his summer of paddling. This building, built by the French in the early 1700′s, is the oldest building still standing in the Great Lakes area.

The French castle at Fort Niagara

The French castle at Fort Niagara

Much too soon, it was time to say goodbye. Here is a parting shot of Stephen before he paddled away to the east. Bon voyage!

Day one on Great Lake number four

Day one on Great Lake number four