Re: V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N

William Longyard (
Sun, 28 Feb 1999 11:44:11 +0000

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West Wight Potter Website at URL
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Dear John B. Shakespeare,

Wouldn't you and Lady Macbeth be better off starting married life with a
less ambitious tour? Are you really going to have time for towing as
newlyweds? Why don't you try a month long ramble from Montreal to New
York City via the St. Lawrence, Richelieu River, Lake Champlain, and the
Hudson. Great trip. No stress.

Bill LongBard
Stratford-on-Yadkin, NC

John Berling wrote:
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> West Wight Potter Website at URL
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> Hi All, This is a really long message, but I have questions, so many
> questions….
> I have this whirlwind, month-long, drag-the-Potter-all-over
> Hell's-halfacre
> Trip (actually, if she says “yes” – and if I can “Screw my courage to
> a sticking place” - it will be a honeymoon, but that’s a different
> story…) planned for this summer:
> Cincinnati;
> to Erie PA;
> to Niagara Falls;
> to Toronto (3 days);
> 1000 Islands;
> Lake Champlain;
> Lake Winnipesaukee, NH;
> A week in Southwest Harbor (Bar Harbor), ME;
> Portland, ME;
> E. Falmouth/Nantucket/Vineyard (3 days);
> Newport, RI;
> Mystic, CT;
> Pittsburgh (to go to the IKEA store, of course!);
> and finally home again, about a month later.
> Now, I've been trying to locate charts for these areas, and the recent
> listserv “chart” posts have been some help, but it seems like the NOAA
> charts, though they have all the info I need, are big unwieldy things.
> How do other small potter owners deal with these massive charts in a
> tiny cockpit?
> (non-sequitor, “Can this Cock-Pit hold the vasty fields of France?”)
> Do you just fold them up? Does that destroy them?
> Having formerly been a powerboater, and having done my boating (if you
> want to call something that is almost indistinguishable from driving a
> car, "boating") on Army Corps waterways, the only charts I have are the
> ones they publish in spiralbound book format. These are really handy,
> durable, and manageable.
> Do NOAA charts come in a similar format?
> I've looked at some navigation software, and even some chartplotters,
> but it all seems way overpriced. However, because Andrea and I are both
> looking for new teaching jobs somewhere south and coastal, I may be able
> to rationalize the expense – meaning both cartridges for this trip,
> which I’ll probably never use again, and new disks for the area where we
> eventually live. Jeez, I think I just talked myself out of it…
> Anyway, I’d be interested in some reviews and more info on this type of
> equipment.
> One option lets me have a laptop on-board (which appeals to the geek in
> me), but then I’m back to something difficult to manage in the cockpit,
> and there’s the added worry of it going overboard or getting wet…
> For safety’s sake, I really like the idea of having a GPS – even if I’m
> never out of sight of land.
> Is any of this truly better and worthwhile, or is it just another
> too-expensive toy?
> Our sailing experience consists, so far, of a few day-rentals at a very
> small local lake (that rented us the skiff the first time even after we
> told them we had NO experience – what an adventure!), and a week-long
> level I & II ASA course that we took in Florida last August. Without
> practice since, I feel everything we learned there slipping away… Now,
> we’re hoping to get in some substantial experience on our recently
> acquired WWP15 before we leave for this trip in Mid-June, and we’ll be
> getting more experience along the way in progressively bigger waters,
> before we head out into the ocean, but, still, the idea of open water
> is giving me the nagging doubts…
> For example, with such limited experience, would we be foolish to
> attempt the 10 mile (?) crossing to Nantucket Island, let alone the
> three mile crossing to Martha’s Vineyard – even if the weather is
> perfectly cooperative?
> What about sailing in Frenchman’s Bay, Maine; as far as I can tell there
> are no NOAA charts for the north side of MDI…what does that mean?
> Are there some of these areas -- Presque Isle in Erie, PA, for example –
> where we won’t even need a chart?
> I’ve heard that I’ll need special insurance for using and towing my boat
> in Canada, or that my standard coverages don’t extend there. Obviously,
> I’ll be calling Allstate, but I want to make sure I’m asking the right
> questions; anyone have experience with this?
> Any sort of fees for towing the boat across the border?
> We’re (I’m) planning on saving some money by sleeping on the boat in
> rented slips about 10 or 12 days (though never more than 2 nights in a
> row) of the approximately 24 we will be gone.
> Now, having spent five years in the Navy and twenty years climbing,
> camping, and going on extended unsupported road and mountain-bike tours,
> I can sleep in something as small as a bivvy almost indefinitely, but I
> wonder is ten days, total, on the boat realistic for “normal” people?
> I’m not worried about boredom, but I am worried about “claustrophobia.”
> Obviously, we need to find marinas with bathrooms and showers for their
> transient slips – any ECPA members have any ideas?
> I have found some marinas on the net, but an experienced recommendation
> is always better than a random name from a list and a brief phone call.
> I’ve heard that 1000 Islands is a touristy Zoo. If it’s anything like,
> say, Gatlinburg TN, or Orlando FL in late June, I’ll hate it a lot;
> should I just avoid it altogether?
> I’m curious about the terrain in the Northeast; I’ve been to CT and Cape
> Cod, and I seem to remember that area as pretty hilly. I imagine N.
> Vermont and Central NH are more so. My tow vehicle is a four cylinder,
> four door car with a transmission oil cooler, and it did a good job
> pulling the boat from Milwaukee home to Cincy, but mostly flat Indiana
> (the bulk of that trip) is maybe no test. I can borrow a
> much-less-economical six cylinder vehicle for the trip Northeast; should
> I?
> And last, but not least, some non-sailing-related questions: Our
> Mountain bikes will be on the roof rack, and our golf clubs in the trunk
> (I confess: I’m a funhog); anyone have recommendations for the areas
> where we’re headed?
> Ok, thanks for letting me take up so much server space with these
> detailed and idiosyncratic questions – it was the only way I could think
> of to reach a wide audience.
> If you feel like the answers to any or all of these questions are not of
> general Potter-list interest, please click the “reply to sender only”
> option when responding. Thanks again!
> John B.