Lionheart Cruise:  Georgia to Canada 2008



As I was preparing to publish the webpage below, I learned of the untimely death of my first sister-in-law and dearest friend.  This is such a great personal loss to me that I have written my version of a eulogy to Joanne Mayne, 1945-2008, and included it at the bottom of this page. 

Swing bridge allows Lionheart to pass through in the ICW.

Golfers move across the ICW to the back 9 in Barefoot Landing, South Carolina.

Nick checks out Charleston from the saloon windows.

Exploring the harbor and village on Ocracoke Island, N.C.

Lionheart comes out of the water for work at Anchor Bay East Marina in Dundalk, Maryland.

Nick finds himself and his boat "up in the air".  This is life on the hard for the Crew of Lionheart.

Lionheart approaches Atlantic City from the Atlantic Ocean.

A view of the Atlantic Ocean from the Atlantic City Boardwalk on May 29, 2008.

Susan & John Hauge visit Lionheart in Cape May, NJ.

Lionheart cruises into New York Harbor for the second time!  Lady Liberty to the left.  The famous Big Apple skyline dead ahead.  Photo thanks to KAOS who was right behind us.

Lunch with Naomi near Washington Square in NYC.

Dale, Elena and Brenden Grenoble.  A lovely evening with the Grenobles in their New Jersey home.

Interior of the Cadet Chapel at West Point Military Academy.  Steeped in tradition.

The view of the Hudson River looking north from West Point Campus.

The home where FDR grew up in Hyde Park, NY.

FDR's gravesite.  Eleanor and his canine companion are buried right next to him.

The Vanderbilt Estate in Hyde Park.  Just down the road from FDR's much more modest home.  The Roosevelts came from "old" money and were much more modest in their display of worldly wealth.

The main building of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY.  A fantastic dinning experience.

Lionheart and KAOS docked at Liberty Harbor Marina in Jersey City, NJ.  Notice Nick on the dock looking for some action with the geese who were raising a family in the marina.

Boldt Castle in The 1000 Islands.

Boldt Castle Boat House.  Needless to say, the Boldt's had several large yachts and other runabouts!

Our last night in the USA for a while, June 16, 2008.

Sunset in the 1000 Islands, June 14, 2008.  I figure Joanne had approximately 22,475 sunsets.  This one's for her. 

April 25, 2008, marked the beginning of our third trip north on the east coast of the US, and the beginning of our next adventure cruise:  The Down East Loop, which will take us north to Canada, east in the St. Lawrence to the Maritimes, and back down the East Coast of the continent to somewhere south of the Chesapeake.

In 2006 we traveled from Key West to Oswego, New York, as part of the Great Loop of America trip.  That trip was made by using the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) which runs up the East Coast from Miami to New York.  In 2007 the trip north started in Pompano Beach, FL and took us to the top of the Chesapeake Bay and back to Charleston, S.C., again using the ICW.  For the trip this year, the Captain opted to go "outside", which meant running offshore in the Atlantic for as many legs as possible on our way from Brunswick, GA, to NYC.  The reasons for this are several: (1) the ICW in Georgia has not been maintained and is very shallow in many places and Lionheart has kissed the bottom too many times for the Captain's comfort; (2) the ICW does not run in a straight line as it meanders through the waters which separate the barrier islands from the eastern shore.  While this provides lovely scenery, it takes more days and more diesel fuel, and; (3)  we have already done most of it 3 times.  The plan was also to spend time in places we had not seen on the 3 previous runs, run outside as weather allowed, and to be in NYC by June 1.

The first day was a 12 hour run outside from Brunswick Landing, GA., north to Port Royal Sound where we entered the Sound and anchored in Cowan Creek.  The 26th was outside up to Charleston.  The next 4 days were in the ICW which is better maintained in the Carolinas.  Also the Atlantic was pretty snotty (that's a technical term) and not suitable for the comfort of the crew, particularly the Cat Unit.  May 1, found a more  settled Atlantic and Lionheart moved up the outside to Beaufort (pronounced Bow  Fort) N.C.  We did the laundry, had a nice night and left the next day for a new port of call.  Ocracoke Island is one of the barrier islands that form the outer banks of Pamlico Sound.  It is close to Cape Hatteras and is part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

Arriving at the village on Ocracoke Island on May 2, we spent 3 days exploring this lovely little hamlet by bike.  The dock was run by the National Park Service so the daily fee including electrical power (with Senior NPS membership) was only $33 per night.  Ocracoke Village has a long and colorful history, including having Blackbeard the Pirate (Edward Teach) as an inhabitant.  This is a distinction shared by many villages in this area of the Carolinas.  There are few houses on the island outside of the village but mostly it is the home of beautiful beaches with sea grass and about 60 species of birds, including lots of wading birds like herons, egrets and ibises.  There were also lots of goose families busy with many small goslings which had recently hatched.  Let me say that those goose parents are strict with their little ones, keeping them in line for swimming lessons and surrounded while eating grass on the shore.  It was fun to watch them from Ocracoke all the way to Canada.  As the weeks progressed, each group we passed got bigger until we saw flying lessons in upstate New York.  However, the parents never let up with the honking and snapping and herding of their young toward the ultimate goal of getting those little guys grown up and out of the nest.  They don't mess around with reluctant children.  They have no intention of having them come back home instead of getting on with life as a goose is expected to live!

May 5 found Lionheart moving north across Pamlico Sound toward Manteo on Roanoke Island.  The crossing was rather rough as there was a squall behind us causing a big chop on the Sound.  Once behind Roanoke Island the water smoothed out but proved to be rather shallow which had the Captain on his toes.  Once again, the scenery and the birds were a delight to the eye as we traveled.  Manteo proved to be a quaint little town with huge condo developments both on the island and on the barrier island to the east.  The development has been very well done and nature has been preserved but I am glad to know that places like Ocracoke still exist.  It's nice to have a few places from another time, before condos and resorts, to visit.  The next morning we rode our bikes to the Manteo Elizabethan Garden.  While the tulips and other blooms had been smashed flat by the previous day's rain, it was a lovely serene place to visit.  Leaving by 11:00 AM enabled us to get to Coinjock, VA., in time for one of the famous Coinjock prime rib dinners.  In October we were at the same dock with all the boats going south for the winter.  This time it was full with all the boats heading north for the summer.  Lots of big fishing boats that spend the winter in Florida and the Bahamas actually live in New Jersey, Rhode Island and New York.

One night was spent in Portsmouth.  We didn't attend our favorite dinner and movie theatre because they were showing Iron Man.  Turns out we missed a good time according to our grand kids and our friends on Long Haul who always go to the movies in Portsmouth.  As we headed out through Hampton Roads on May 8, we noticed that there were no big Navy ships at the docks.  Last year there were at least 2 dozen big war ships in port.  We wondered where they had been deployed. 

This year we decided to go up the eastern shore of the Chesapeake.  Therefore, we crossed the Bay, after passing through Hampton Roads, and made for Cape Charles which is the southern tip of the Delmarva Peninsula which comprises the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay.  As the name suggests, 3 states are represented on this side of the Bay:  Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.  The town of Cape Charles is in Virginia and is located north of the actual Cape.  Established in the 1880's, it was a major railroad terminus from the northern states, with people and goods transferring there to ferries to get to the western shore of the Bay.  In the 1950's, as bridges were built and railroads went the way of the Dodo, the town declined.  Now it is a quaint little town that is on it's way to renewal as B&B's and other cool businesses rehab buildings, and city dwellers move toward a rural life style.  There is no Starbucks there....yet.  I am sure they are on the way!  It was raining and we were the only pleasure craft in the town's newly expanded marina.

The next morning we headed north to Crisfield, MD.  Crisfield is on the Little Annemessex River in Maryland and is known as the "Crab Capital of the World".  Crisfield is where the Bay crab fishermen bring their catches to be bought and shipped all over the world.  Last summer we had observed the fishermen on Tangier Island bringing their bushel baskets of crabs to the Crisfield crab boat that stopped in Tangier every afternoon.  On this day there was a storm that was supposed to be behind us but we saw nothing of it as we made our way up the eastern shore.  When we were about 1 hour out of Crisfield, and more than 1 hour from any other harbor, the wind clocked around to the north and increased in speed until we were seeing 50 knots.  Within 10 minutes, the wind against the incoming tide made for some really choppy, awful 8-10 foot waves.  This all happened without any warning from the Coast Guard on VHF 16.  The waves came over the top of the pilot house causing the starboard door to leak big time.  Pretty soon the pilot house floor was awash and water was beginning to flow down the stairs to the galley.  It was hard to get the problem under control without falling down the stairs myself.  No help to be had, we just had to forge on until we reached the lee of Crisfield.  Once in the harbor we were met by an inexperienced dock hand who took our lines and tried to "pull" us into the dock.  No dice...Lionheart, 70,000 lbs,  is just too big and too heavy to hold even without the wind factor.   After two 360's, with the Captain trying to get the dock hand to "just please tie us down!" we were finally secured in the howling, cold wind.  As luck would have it, there were 2 other "Looper" boats in the harbor and we hooked up with them for a much needed drink and dinner, and bad weather stories.  This experience reminded me of William F. Buckley's description of sailing:  99% boredom and 1% sheer, stark terror!  I had been thinking recently that it might be a good thing to rethink our plan to sell the boat on the East Coast or ship it to California.  Perhaps we should consider taking it back through the Panama Canal, etc.  I was righteously reminded on this day, May 9, 2008, that we have been very fortunate so far in that none of our 1% days have had a bad ending, and we should not continue to push the envelope!

On May 11, we pulled into Anchor Bay East Marina in Bear Creek in the suburbs of Baltimore.  As you are running up to Baltimore Harbor, you turn right before the Francis Scott Key Bridge into Bear Creek.  It's a wonderful spot that belies the fact that one is in a big city.  We spent 15 days doing boat maintenance and FINALLY getting the vibration out of the starboard engine.  Five of those days were spent "on the hard" which means that the boat is out of the water, resting on it's keel and supported by jack stands.  This means, of course, that one needs a ladder to get into one's home.  Nikolas was pretty restless when he realized he was living high off the ground as if he were a bird in a nest!  He even jumped up on the rail several times to see if the dock was back where he had left it.  While living on the hard is not easy, it seemed easier than finding a motel, etc., so we just toughed it out.  We were really lucky in the land transportation department because our friends on Long Haul gave us the keys to their car.  We were able to do many land errands like getting hair done, shopping at some wonderful specialty stores, like Cosco, Trader Joe's, The Amish Dutch Market in Hunt Valley and Wegmans.  Our last weekend, Memorial Day, was spent hanging out with our friends on Long Haul who had come in to stay at this marina for the summer.

May 27, found us in the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal.  May 28, was a stop in Cape May.  Susan and John Hauge, "Loopers" whom we met in 2006 and live in Manahawkin, N.J., came down to see us.  We had a lovely dinner at the Washington Inn.  They showed us their slides from their Down East Loop trip in 2007.  Their trip report really enhanced our anticipation of our coming adventure.  May 29, we left Cape May and went outside up to Atlantic City, tying up in the Trump Marina by 10:30 AM.  By noon we were off to the famous Atlantic City Boardwalk by way of the free city Jitney service.  The people-watching on the walk was terrific as was the view of the beach and the Atlantic Ocean.  Trumps Taj Mahal is getting seedy, I must say.  After a long walk and a stop at Ben & Jerry's, we took the Jitney back to the boat.  What a ride! I don't know if the driver was just in a frisky mood or if he was in a race, or if he was drunk!  He gave us and the other seniors on the bus a ride to rival most roller coasters and many ski hills, getting air off of every pothole in the road.  When we leaped out (before he peeled rubber leaving the stop) we felt that we had truly "cheated death again!"

Early on May 30, we left Atlantic City, turned left, and headed for the Big Apple.  Around 2:00 PM we rendezvoused  with Susann and Alan Syme on KAOS just before we went under the Verranzano Bridge.  Once again we had the great thrill of approaching the Manhatten skyline, while passing the Statue of Liberty, on our own boat.  Proceeding past Ellis Island, we turned left into Liberty Landing Marina in Jersey City, N.J.  This is a very interesting marina that one cannot get into as a transient unless you have friends in high places.  Rob Grenoble, who appears in the 2006 New York segment, keeps his boat in this venerable marina and arranged for Lionheart and KAOS to rest there for one week, and what a week it was.  We visited with Rob as well as his brother (our old buddy and boat partner, recently of Honduras) Dale Grenoble, his wife Elena, and son Brenden.  I got to catch up with my old pal from SCR, Naomi Grabel, who just returned from a stint at the Sydney Opera House in Australia.  She and her husband, Neil, are now back in NYC.  Hope to catch them when we come back in the fall.  We took in the show "Mama Mia" at the New York Wintergarden Theatre, and dinner in the West Village, then rented a car and toured the Hudson Valley, visiting West Point one day.  What a fabulous campus!  It turns out that the huge stone edifice that rises seemingly from the water was built originally as the horse barn.  When the Calvary gave up horses in the 1940's, it was converted to other uses.  The towering edifice above that is the Cadet Chapel which has dominated the landscape for almost 100 years.  It was a real thrill to see the place of worship for so many great American warriors.  In the early days of the Academy, all cadets were required to attend chapel every Sunday.  Now it is not required but most cadets do attend church.  There is now a Synagogue as well as a Catholic Church to choose from and, the public is invited to attend services on the campus every Sunday.  The trip to West Point also included an extensive tour of the NJ countryside due to a map misreading by the Admiral which did not go unrecognized by the Captain. 

The next day we crossed the Hudson on the Washington Bridge and headed north on the east side of the river.  Visited FDR's home, one of the Vanderbilt summer homes in Hyde Park and had dinner at the CIA (Culinary Institute of America).  The CIA has 3 restaurants where the students practice what they learn in the classroom.  The meal was extraordinary and we had a tour of the kitchen.  We are still talking about the pate.  As to cost; not cheap!  I was interested to learn that the Dean tacks on a 15% charge to help fund student activities....that old administrative overhead charged by institutions of higher learning.  I will say this, I plan to take some classes at the Napa Valley Campus when I get back to California.  In the meanwhile, the Captain purchased for me a CIA apron and cookbook.

Friday, June 6, Lionheart and KAOS headed north in the Hudson River, passing Manhatten on a misty morning.  We saw one of America's 100 largest yachts at the dock around 79th St.  The name is Blue Moon and she is 198 feet (larger than the Huntress).  We saw her later in the trip up in Montreal.  I am sure she had to go up the outside to the Bay of St. Lawrence while we went up the Hudson and down the St. Lawrence.  In any event, we reached Poughkeepsie by late afternoon and docked at a riverside restaurant to have dinner and spend the night.  Saturday morning we passed the CIA and Hyde Park, viewing from the Hudson River the places we had explored by land in the Hudson River Valley.  That afternoon we anchored behind an island in the Hudson, tied up to KAOS, and enjoyed dinner together.  Sunday, June 8, we pulled up the anchor at 6 AM and were in Albany at Federal Lock #1 by 9:30.  After that lock, you turn left to Lock #2 which is the beginning of the Erie Canal.  We docked in Waterford and walked into town for a wonderful breakfast at the local, "Looper" approved, cafe.  We did laundry, visited the Farmer's Market on the dock, and caught up with some cruisers we had not seen since the last time we docked in Waterford, NY, almost exactly 2 years ago to the day.  This is where we parted company with KAOS as they proceeded to travel north in the Champlain Canal and through Lake Champlain, meeting the St. Lawrence River at Sorel, Canada.  The next day we started west through the Erie Canal where we had to go through 23 locks in order to reach the Oswego Canal.  There we turned right (north) and thus reached Oswego.  The entire Canal System is covered in detail in the webpage titled "Georgia to New York" on the homepage of this website.  That was our first time through and I reported on the distances covered, the cities along the way, and the number of feet a boat is raised and then lowered to reach Lake Ontario.  This time through was very easy because we knew what to expect and how to manage the boat and the lines.  We stopped several times for bad weather.  At Sylvan Beach, on the east side of Lake Oneida, we stopped for the day around 4:00 PM, tying to the city wall just east of the lakeside breakwater.  I am not kidding when I say that the wind started blowing about 4:15, steadily increasing in speed, until 4:30 it was howling and the lake had a huge chop and waves were going way over the breakwater.  The storm blew by (literally) through the night.  The next morning we proceeded across Lake Oneida while it was like a mill pond.  We stopped in Brewerton, NY, and topped up our fuel because we thought the fuel in Canada would be significantly more expensive than in the US.  At Winter Harbor Marina we paid $4.75/gal.  And, therein lies a sub story of our great adventure:  The ever rising cost of diesel fuel for Lionheart, which has twin caterpillar V-8 engines and gets  approximately 1.5 nautical miles per gallon.

As everyone at home has been feeling the pain at the pump, so have the "great adventurers."  When we first started planning this trip in approximately 2000, diesel fuel was under $1/gal.  By the time we reached Ensenada, Mexico, on October 30, 2005, diesel fuel was $1.10/gal.  By June 16, 2008, we paid $5.49/gal. in Alexandria Bay, New York.  I would suspect that sailboats sales will be rising faster than power boat sales in the immediate future!

Our plan was to pass right through Oswego and move on immediately to The 1000 Islands area of NY and Canada at the east end of Lake Ontario.  However, those old weather Gods had a different plan so we wound up waiting until Saturday morning, June 14, to leave Oswego and begin our adventure into waters where Lionheart had not previously explored.  Our first stop was at 1:00 PM in Sackets Harbor, NY.  What is now a quaint lakeside village with many historic military buildings and battlefields was established in 1801 when Augustus Sacket, a New York lawyer, purchased a large tract on Lake Ontario far north of the Mohawk River in the remote northern area of the state.  Early settlers migrated there for the profitable industries centered around lumber, including ship building.  In the War of 1812, Sackets Harbor troops and the US ship Oneida repelled 5 British warships and thereby saved the northern theater of the War, securing the US boundary against British encroachment.  It also marked the beginning of a major US Army installation named the Madison Barracks.  Many of the original buildings are still standing.  The Barracks area and the village buildings offer a number of examples of architectural styles, including Federal, Georgian, Palladian, Greek Revival, Gothic Revival, Italianate, Romanesque Revival, Stick Style and Queen Anne.  All of this was pointed out to us in loving detail by a local historian driving a golf cart on a drizzling afternoon.  A wedding in the town gazebo, next to the water, was an extra added attraction for this day.

June 15, Father's Day, 2008, was spent at the Dock in Clayton, NY, home of The Antique Boat Museum.  I must say, this was a perfect way for the Captain to celebrate Father's Day.  Walking among the sleek, handsome wooden boats of the early 1900's, checking out the replicas and reconstructions of early canoes and sailing vessels, reveling in the early outboard motors, not to mention the amazing straight 12 cylinder engines of the area's wealthy and famous at the turn of the 19th Century, was a busman's holiday which both of us enjoyed.  The next day we moved on to Boldt Castle which occupies its own island in the St. Lawrence River.  This is one of the grandest examples of the Gilded Age Mansions in the area and it rivals the grand homes of Hyde Park and the Hamptons on Long Island (which I hope to visit later in the trip.)  Boldt Castle was built beginning in 1900 but was never completed.  George C. Boldt was the millionaire proprietor of the famous Waldorf Astoria Hotel in NYC.  He employed 300 workers to build the 6-story, 120-room mansion as a display of his love for his wife Louise.  Unfortunately, Louise died before it was completed and it sat unfinished and falling into disrepair for 73 years until the State of New York decided to renovate it as a tourist attraction.  They have done a great job and we enjoyed touring the manse before the true onslaught of the summer visitors began.  The Yacht House was amazing as well.  It was built to accommodate the family's 3 yachts and the 128-foot houseboat which the family used in the 1000 Island area.  This stop was a trip back into a bygone era on a beautiful sunny day in 2008.  After our castle tour, where we had docked Lionheart at the castle dock, we headed for Alexandria Bay, NY, which is listed as a fabulous resort destination for boaters and land lubbers alike with great bistros and a great night life.  Since we were about 2 weeks ahead of the summer season crowds, we had a hard time raising anyone on the VHF to find a dock space, and wound up on the town dock for the night, finding the town to be quiet, sleepy, and uneventful.

I will end this web page on June 16, 2008, with our night in Alexandria Bay.  The next day we left the 1000 Islands behind and checked into Canada Customs at Brockville, Ontario, in a pouring rain.  We have been "out" for 32 months and have traveled 18,729 miles.  We are on our way east into the Canadian Maritime Provinces with our buddy boat KAOS.  We will probably be in Portland, Maine, by late September.  You can look for another web page in October.  We are really looking forward to what we think will be beautiful, pristine water and land vistas.  We are always excited by what might be around the next bend in whatever river we happen to be in at the time.

In Loving Memory


November 4, 1945 - July 2, 2008

Joanne and I met at USC in 1965, when she was dating my first brother-in-law, Bob Mayne.  They married in 1967.  Joanne and her parents, Herb and Marge Klein, embraced my little family.  When we both were divorced from the Mayne brothers, Jo and I remained fast friends, helping each other through good times and bad, sharing the raising of our children as cousins, working together at USC, traveling together, playing bridge, and all the other things people do that make up a friendship, a family and a lifetime.  Joanne was the closest I ever came to having a sister.  She was always there for me.  The last day we spent together was March 1, 2008, in Palm Springs.  This was the wedding day of her oldest son, Mike.  It was a wonderful day for Joanne.  Her boys were her life and she was so happy to see Chris happily married to Joyce and Mike finding his true love in Heidi.  Her grandson, Zack, was a delight in her life.  We spent the day getting ready and enjoying the set-up activities together.  Late in the evening when the party was over for the old folks, Jo took me to her room to "tell me something."  She started by saying, "I hate to tell you this because I know it will upset you, but...." and she told me she had cancer.  That was Jo; always concerned about me and my well being.  So many times she helped me at just the right moment, as no one else ever could or ever will again.  Of the many good things about Joanne, I would say her loyalty to family and friends and her support of those she loved was her defining characteristic.

Joanne was a great mom.  She devoted her life to the boy's well-being and happiness.  She was not interested in re-marrying because she believed her boys needed her constant and undivided attention after their father died in his 30's.  She worked at USC for 28 years and developed a strong network of friends who were dear to her and also a part of her support system for Mike and Chris.  She lived in South Pasadena so that they would have a community support system and good schools.  She took great pride in their student years at USC and their SC wives.  SC football and basketball were among her favorite pastimes.  She was a dedicated daughter who had just lost her mother early this year.  She was always proud to say she was Herb Klein's daughter and to celebrate his many accomplishments in life, the most recent being on the occasion of his 90th birthday last April 1.

So, farewell my Friend.  Your life was a gift to those of us whose life you touched.  You will be hugely missed.  You never saw this coming and neither did we.  However, you may truly Rest In Peace because you did a great job while you were here.    

Note to readers:  When Richard and I embarked upon this 3 to 5 year trip, Joanne hated the fact that I would be gone so long.  She was glad to know we finally had decided on 3 years.  We also knew that life would go on with our family and friends and that we would miss out on some important things.  Among the important things we have missed was the birth of our grand daughter, Jillian, and the death of Mother Van Gemert and Uncle Ed Burnham.  However, the untimely death of Joanne makes me realize how much I have missed by not being in my old life and spending time with those we love.  We will not get that time back.  That is the downside of stepping our of your "real" life and going off adventuring for years.

Joanne with her Boys, March 1, 2008.  RIP