Tonawanda - New York State

We departed Dunkirk at about 0645 after delaying our start to wait out a threatening thunderstorm. At least today we would have favourable winds. Not enough to just sail but at least not headwinds. We headed directly for the buoy off Buffalo.

Carol watched the approaching city skyline in the haze. We worked our way in through the buoys and breakwalls to the entrance and then headed for the Black Rock Channel. There are sights to see,

old lighthouses to appreciate

and the well known Peace Bridge to identify.

We entered our first lock of this trip and passed through without incident. This was a gentle one for sure. It's called "Black Rock Lock" - say that 3 times quickly on the VHF!

Will we fit!!!? As you pass under a bridge you have to reassure yourself that you have the clearance you need for your mast.

We motored up the river to the entrance to the Erie Barge Canal. Here we found the infamous "Wardell's"; the main man for the lowering of the mast. The outfit certainly lived up to or should I say "down to" our expectations. Don't be fooled. Dennis knows his stuff and can advise you on what to expect for the lowering of the mast - a ritual necessary for passage through the Erie Barge Canal locks and bridges.

Carol's brother Donald and cousin Brian dropped by to give us a hand. The extra hands were much appreaciated although they took some abuse for arriving after all the preparation work was done. Finding Wardell's ain't as straightforward by car as by boat; apparently!

Carol's doing a fine job supervising the task.

Andy gave me some good suggestions for mast supports and built the centre support. They are excellent - one sailboat even took a picture, probably for future reference.