We made the long drive back to Messenger last Sunday night and it felt surprisingly good to be back to get her home.
We woke up the next day andScott asked for breakfast and for the locks to be open whenhe got back from taking back the rental car. Well, I didn't have breakfast ready but the locks did open so Tuesday we left early with a convoy: Georgia E our friends Stu and Tony; Wind Sprite with Dave and Marilyn who met last year and reconnected in Annapolis; new friends Fred and Neil on Dollar Boat, a refurbished tug built in Port Dover; and some folks on a boat called Sundance from Chicago.
We were all so happy to finally be putting miles under the keel once again. It was Dave and Marilyn's 25th wedding anniversary (and our 19th the day before) so I started making a cake on the locks. I made the cake, put one tin in, did a lock, put the other cake in, did a lock, made the orange cream custard filling, did a lock, made the orange icing, did a lock and then as neared Amsterdam where we were all headed, I iced it.
They were thrilled. They had also had Reg helping them all day as they hadn't done the canal before and he signed on for one more day as well.
Stu told us Russo's Italian restaurant in Amsterdam was his favourite on the canal so of course we had to go try it out.
It was a fun night. It wasn't fun though getting off the wall the next morning. Fred and Neil gave us a great hand getting off though and we fought the current to get in. A number of the locks had a great deal of debris and we hit a log yesterday and today. Whirlpools and swirls of whitewater marked a number of the entrances to the locks, making navigating into the locks even more interesting than usual. I had forgotten how beautiful this part of the canal is, mind you it's not 40 C and it's early days yet.
Tonight we had a chicken barbecue on Dollar Boat, the four of our crews - yet another great time to relax after a long day on the water.
So far, our plan is to make it at least as far as the canal is open, currently at Lock 23, near Brewerton. Then we'll have a couple of friends meet us and I'll leave the boat with the kids and head back home to get some needed appointments and get ready to take Reg to his sailing course.
It's a bit odd to think we'll cease to crew together, making these days even more precious.