Thank you to everyone who came along on this the trip of a lifetime. Whether you followed the entire 3 months and 1200+ miles, or jumped aboard toward the end, I truly appreciated your company, questions, concerns, and encouragement. And for those who aren’t using Facebook (good for you!), thank you for reaching out with phone calls, texts, and emails. It was comforting to know you were thinking of us and wishing us well.
Fred, the dogs and I arrived home on October 1st. We have intentionally taken our time transitioning back to land-life and resisting the urge to dive back into the “have-to’s” . There’s a lot to unpack, physically and metaphorically. This was a life-changing journey. Our mantra that carried us along was “aparigraha” non-attachment: to being comfortable, to having things be easy and convenient, having everything “work”, controlling anything!
To say that our trip has been an adventure would be an understatement. I decided to look up “adventure”: an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity.
Sounds about right!
A brief recap – We picked up True North, our new to us 1987 Bristol 43. After stopping at various harbors on the Michigan’s west coast we passed through the Straits of Mackinac and up into Canada’s North Channel. This area was beautiful and remote with few other boats and many small harbors into which we could find quiet protection. Unfortunately, new boat problems occupied much of Fred’s time.
Next, we passed down into Georgian Bay, the land of 30,000 islands. Again the beauty was eye-popping and the Canadians very welcoming. We removed our mast and started down the Trent- Severn waterway with its 44 locks between connecting lakes. That passage was highlighted by a large lock (The Big Chute) into which we drove True North and others on rails, carried us up and over a hill where we were deposited into the lake beyond. As amazing as this was, another lock was a large basin of water approximately the size of two tennis courts with it’s hydraulic ram lifting us 66 feet (water and all) into the next lake. At 8 pounds/gallon of water it was a testament to the engineering ingenuity dating back to the 1930s.
The end of the Trent Severn dumped us out onto Lake Ontario where, without mast, we powered and wobbled across the 75 miles and the port of Oswego (USA) which was our start of the Erie Canal (20+ locks).
We entered the Hudson, had the mast put back in and continued to witness more beauty and remarkable sights (West Point, the GW bridge as seen from the river and of course Manhattan with its frenetic marine activity, incredible skyline and gleaming new World Trade Center). We reached the mouth of the Connecticut River Sunday, October 1st, passing the old Castle Inn and catching that comforting familiar site of Old Saybrook’s two lighthouses. Ah…home.