63 Iroquois Lock

Waddington to Pine Tree Island, NY.

After breakfast on board, we left Waddington at 0810 hrs. in good visibility, only to find quite heavy fog when we reached the main channel.  Waddington is hidden from the main channel by quite a big island, and the difference in visibility was remarkable.  We thought about turning back, but decided to proceed slowly just off the main channel so that at least we wouldn’t be run down by a freighter.  As we approached the Iroquois lock we passed quite close to a sailboat that appeared to be anchored within the main channel in the fog without lights! At the Iroquois lock we again had to wait more than an hour for a freighter coming the other way.  The Iroquois lock has a lift of only 10 to 20” depending on the time of year, and a small boat like the C doesn’t even have to tie up in the lock.  By the time one traverses the lock – having paid the $20 fee by placing it into a container on the end of a pole held out by the attendant – the other gate is already open and one motors on through. By the time we reached Brockville, the weather had improved greatly.  We had a very nice lunch at The Bistro, picked up some groceries, chatted with the captain of the tour boat that comes by our island everyday (“Hey, you’re the people with the great boat and the hot tub!”) and then called the Canadian customs to officially leave Canada.  We had been told when we entered Canada that we had to hand in some paperwork when we left, but the young lady on the phone didn’t know what I was talking about.  Finally, after consulting her boss, she said we could mail the form in when we got home!  We then crossed to Morristown to officially re-enter the US, only to find the video phone was broken. So I called in on the cell phone and was told “Oh yes, that’s been out of order for some time.  Just give me your names and birthdates, and the name of your boat, and you’re free to go.”  So much for homeland security on either side of the river.  We arrived at Pine Tree Island   at about 1530 hrs. only to find it covered with goose droppings, most of the grass dead, and the rest eaten so short one can brush it with a broom.  What a depressing end to a great trip.

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