Friday we left the Dunkirk Yacht Club (7:15 am) heading for Buffalo and hoping to grab the dock for the night at Wardell's. We carefully motored out of the club trying not to snag any of the grass growing in their water and sure enough.....Chuck could feel the vibration of the load of grass hanging on our propeller. It actually was slowing us down! Our wing keel probably mowed a ton of DYC's grass and was dragging that along also! After backing up a few times, he was able to get rid of the grass.
We figured the trip would cover about 34 miles. The day was beautiful with 1' or less waves but once again the wind was on our nose...so no sailing!! We arrived at the outer most buoy in front of the Buffalo's northern entrance (12:30) and shortly after into the waters known as the Black Rock Canal. Today was the day of many first for us. In the canal, we motored through a bascule bridge, then under the 100' Peace Bridge, a swing bridge, our first lock, and finally another 99' South Grand Island Bridge. You can believe that we were pumped!! And only 3 miles away from Wardell's and Tonawonda, which is the start of the Erie Canal.
We arrived at Wardell's at 3:00 pm and Dennis was there at his diesel pumps waving us into his long dock with the bow of Happy Hours II almost touching the fixed bridge. We began dismantling as much of her as we could in preparation for the "one man crew" to lower our mast in the morning. Unlike all the disgruntled comments about Dennis, he was very nice and accommodating. We even witnessed him all evening pumping fuel for any boat that came to his dock and never turned one boat away!!!