This is a Blog about helping Doug Thomas take his 46' Uniflite, "PAX", Through the Welland, Oswego, and Erie Canals to Kingston, New York, on the Hudson River.
Sept 15 - Erie to Port Colborne
Today we headed for Port Colborne, about 58 miles away. Port Colborne is the start of the Welland canal. Winds were 10-12 out of the west, and we had 2-4’ swells, so every time we hit a big wave the boat would heel over a little and start pointing about 20 degrees off course, confounding the autopilot. It was a little uncomfortable at times on the flybridge, sitting about 15 feet up in the air, so the rolling was magnified up there. However, PAX is a mighty vessel, and handled it “swell.”
We arrived in Port Colborne about 5 hours later and tied up at Sugarloaf Marina. Our original dock assignment was a little small so they had us dock farther down the fairway. Doug went in to clear Canadian Customs while the crew relaxed on the boat.
It took about an hour later before someone walking the dock said, “hey that looks like a clone of the vessel in front of it”. Neither the crew of “PAX”, nor the owner of “My Condo”, had recognized that two 46’ Uniflite’s were docked across the bow from each other! Only twenty-three Uniflite 46’s were ever made, so what are the odds of that?
Turns out that Brian Lymburner had just brought his Uniflite through the Welland (upbound) in June, so he was a wealth of knowledge about the trip. As it turns out, he had the next day off, and volunteered to accompany us on the trip. Like having a paid guide! Turns out that his girlfriend was working in St Catherine’s that day, so she could meet him and take him back home.
After dinner, Doug and I walked up to the restaurant above the marina - Don Cherry's. We had a nightcap - Doug's was dessert - and learned about Canadian hockey legend Don Cherry, who, in addition to playing for several teams, coached the Boston Bruins.
As we leave, we get a good view of the entrance to Wolverine Marina - under the pedestrian bridge from the Sheraton to the Convention Center
You can see the houseboats in Horse Shoe Pond from the entrance to Erie. A small number are "Grandfathered in", and form a unique community
Dick and Linda enjoying the ride from the flybridge
Port Colborne ahead
Another Uniflite at the dock ahead. This is a rare occurance!