Crossing Lake Ontario

Oswego to Pine Tree Island, NY.

Had breakfast on board, showered, and then walked over to spend an hour or two at Fort Ontario (erected in 1755) overlooking Oswego harbor and Lake Ontario. Back at the marina we listened to the NOAA forecast one more time. Today’s forecast was for 2-4’ waves with a SW wind, tomorrow’s was for 1-3’ waves with a northerly wind, and Friday’s was for calm seas. Mary didn’t want to wait until Friday and I thought 2-4’ following waves would be much easier than 1-3’ waves on the bow, so we decided to take on the lake. We were able to average about 15 mph with little or no pounding most of the way across and Mary was calm most of the time, but every now and then a wave would catch the stern and slew us around 50 or 60 degrees, and these events were really scary for Mary. We were in no danger of broaching because the waves were not breaking and they had a fairly long period (more like swells), but it is an uncomfortable feeling to be momentarily out of control. The river level had dropped yet more during our trip, and we actually briefly touched bottom approaching our dock on Pine Tree Island. As it turned out, we woke the next morning to a flat calm river, and the NOAA forecast for Friday was now for rough seas, so we would have only had to wait another day. Such is 20/20 hindsight! Our trip turned out to be 11 days, 640 miles, mostly canal travel, and really enjoyable. The small towns and their murals were delightful.

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