After the welcome by the Coast Guard, we settled into the Erie Basin Marina in Buffalo. We had already heard from our friends Dwight and Kay that this marina was extremely bouncy and wavy. So much so, that they pulled a cleat from the dock with their boat in the bounce and waves. However, we made the decision to stay here anyway as there were not a lot of options in the area and we needed to be here to get our mast removed from the boat in preparation for the Erie Canal.
The day we arrived was fairly calm but hot! Once we got into the slip we went about the task of removing the sails from the boat. We have 3 sails to remove, the main sail, the jib and the stay sail. We pulled them all up on the grass and folded them neatly and put them in their sail bags and stowed them in the aft cabin of the boat.
We were hot and tired after this task and we needed some food. There was a restaurant at the far end of the marina, however we learned they are only open Wednesday through Sunday and today is Monday. So we hopped in an Uber and went to the Pearl Street Brewery and Grill. It was great food! The entertainment was watching a homeless guy shaking down people for money as they came and went from the restaurant. I didn’t want to give him any money but I was happy to share my left over pizza with him on the way out.
The next day we sent with more preparations of the boat for the Erie Canal. Mark changed the engine oil.
And we put the main sail back on the boat. Yes, you read that right, we put it back on. The noise of the furler slapping around inside of the mast was driving us crazy and we knew we would have a few more days here so we put the main sail back on to stop the noise. We also removed the boom and the remaining lines such as the boom vang, the main sheet, etc in preparation for the mast to be removed.
Wednesday morning we woke up to a pretty intense storm. We planned to get up at 6 am and finish up a few last minute details and then get the boat over to RCR Yachts a mile and a half away by 8:30 am which is our appointment time to remove the mast. The storm brought 50 knot winds and a 2.5 foot storm surge going through the marina. We had about 8 lines on the dock holding the boat and we were certain the lines were going to snap. We had to actively watch the boat for at least an hour to ensure we weren’t hitting the dock, watching the lines, etc. The boat was moving so violently that it was impossible to stand up and you had to either sit or lie down to avoid being tossed about. And we have to leave the dock!!!??!!
We called RCR Yachts to make sure that they would still be removing our mast at 8:30 am. They said to head on over and unless it is lightening, they would do it.
Thankfully, the storm passed through and things started to settle down. Everything was very wet and it was still raining, but very lightly. We left the dock at about 8 am and things were settled enough that we felt better about leaving. As we turned the corner to head up the Buffalo river to get to RCR, it was like a mine field of debris from trees, logs and assorted wood floating in the water. It was a bit crazy dodging all the debris in the water as we made our way up the river to RCR. I had to stand on the bow of the boat and direct Mark which way to turn to avoid hitting any big logs.
We made it up river to RCR Yachts and now the mast is coming down. I will do a separate post on all the details of the mast coming down.
After the mast was removed, we headed back to Erie Basin marina and we knew we would have another couple of days here to wait out the weather that seems very unsettled right now with frequent rain fronts and wind before we move on to the Niagara River to the Erie Canal.
Buffalo is a very industrial city and not necessarily a beautiful touristy area and the marina is not our favorite stop with the waves here. We are looking forward to the Erie Canal.