The North Tonawanda Dock Across the Canal

Tonawanda to the Buffalo Yacht Club, NY.

We woke up to a windy day and a pretty dismal NOAA forecast for the lakes but decided to head for Buffalo and Lake Erie to see for ourselves, stopping at Island Marine for gas (ethanol-free, highly recommended in Active Captain) on the way. At the last minute, however, we realized that we could just make the 0930 hrs. upriver opening of the Black Rock Lock and so did not stop for gas until the Erie Basin Marina, only to find the gas dock closed until 1100 hrs.  Directed by passers-by to the Small Boat Harbor (really a marina) further down the Buffalo waterfront, we gassed up (also ethanol-free) and headed out around the breakwater into the lake. We soon encountered the NOAA-forecast 3-4 foot waves right on our bow and quickly returned to the sheltered water and headed for the Buffalo Yacht Club, where we were able to get a free slip based on our Chippewa Yacht Club reciprocal privileges. After checking in we took a cab into Buffalo where we had a very nice lunch at the modern and trendy Sea Bay restaurant and walked around the city, visiting the Lafayette Hotel, the Liberty Building, the Buffalo Savings Bank, and the observation deck atop the City Hall, before cabbing back to the BYC for a lazy afternoon on the boat reading and watching local teens practice in the BYC’s 18 Club 420 Class sailboats. One group of kids would practice for 45 mins and then exchange with another group. We had a fun front-row seat as they came roaring downwind towards the club’s basin and execute a quick 180 deg. turn in the fairly narrow confines of the entrance, ending up stationary at the dock for the crew change. There were some mishaps – one boat turned over just off our dock – but all had lots of fun. At 1915 hrs. we showered and dressed up for a drink at the bar before eating a superb dinner at the BYC dining room.    

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