Today is July 6, 2021. On this date in 2014 Susan and I woke up in Gasport, NY, our first stop on the Erie Canal as we brought Second Star to her new home in Oswego, NY.

Seven years later we expected to wake up on Erie Canal on our way home to Fair Haven, NY from our Plan A trip.

Two weeks ago, we expected to wake up somewhere on the Oswego or Erie Canal on this date, having set off on our Plan B trip.

Plan A, out the St. Lawrence and then turn right was a victim of Covid and border closings. A year later, with the border still closed, Plan B emerged, down the Erie and then turn right. So, why are we still tied to the dock? Gremlins, gremlins in cahoots with marine suppliers. That’s my story.

Try as we might to avoid them and thwart them, the Gremlins persist in frivolous folly placing obstacles in our course. Follies sometimes small but annoying such as hiding a needed tool or part. Sometimes more serious, causing us to chase elusive fuel leaks. We could do without their antics.

Our plan today, Plan B.1, has us departing next week, weather (and Gremlins) permitting.

A Dream Begins

There is a time and place where a dream is born. Sometimes it is a small and fleeting place, one that escapes into memory and curiosity. Such was the case with this dream. The dream in its generic form is one that is shared by many; sail away to distant lands, azure waters, white sands, and sun filled skies. Magazine photos of sailboats at anchor, beating across tropic seas have an allure unto themselves.

Geography influences our dreams. Had I been landlocked in the Midwest sailing dreams might have remained just that, dreams. By fortune I landed in Oswego, NY and the entrance to the Erie Canal. Twice each year Oswego played host to the annual migration of snowbirds; boaters who plied the Great Lakes by summer and the tropics by winter. In the fall we watched as boats with masts down and clean bows entered the canal system to return eight months later with masts down and tannin-stained bows returning from southern adventures.

Read more: A Dream Begins