Just wanted to share a really cool story with you as I leave the delta after 20 years. Sometimes, things fall right into your lap. You will remember that some time ago I dropped you an email about the Rideau Canal and how I always regretted not doing the “triangle” from Kingston to Ottawa and back to Alexandria Bay in the Thousand Islands. Well, it looks like I’m going to have another chance.
When I left Alexandria Bay in 1997, one of my buddies told me he wanted my dock and joked that he’d save it for me until I got back. It was always my plan to try and summer back there and winter here in California, but as the years went by it became more and more of a stretch. Another buddy, Mark Lalonde, owns Hutchinson’s Boat Works in Alexandria Bay where I’d spent decades boating all over those gorgeous islands. We’ve stayed in touch while I was gone and a couple weeks ago his wife posted on Facebook that “wouldn’t it be cool if Craig bought Bruce’s boat.” Bruce is the guy who took my dock all those years ago. He now had a Sea Ray 330 Sundancer and had decided to sell. He and his wife live in Syracuse and they weren’t using it enough to justify the expense.
My head started spinning. Mark is one of my best friends and I reached for my phone. Bruce was selling the boat through Mark and before I knew it, they had made us a deal we couldn’t pass up. I was going back to Alex Bay and my new boat was already in my old dock
Those dreams of doing the triangle came back into focus. Also, running to Toronto, back to my hometown Rochester and also doing the Trent-Severn Waterway which is another trip I’d like you to explore on Google. They have a lift lock up there where they pick a group of boats in a bathtub like contraption and lift the whole thing up. Pretty cool stuff. I’ve never done it, but have talked to skippers who have. They say it’s quite an experience. I also want to go up the St. Lawrence through the big locks to Montreal. There are literally endless trips from Alexandria Bay. Plenty of trips to last me the rest of my cruising days. I’ve always been a Great Lakes boater and it just felt right at this stage of my life to go back to the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario.
My dream had come true. All I had to do now was sell my 29-foot Baja at Pirates Lair. It sure didn’t take long. Two weeks and the deal finalized last Friday. I’ve never had two transactions with boats come together as easily as this package did. I guess this was truly meant to be.
So, Pat, I want to thank you for your work in the Bay &Delta Yachtsman. I enjoy your columns every month and will continue to do so. I’ll be having breakfast or lunch once a month to pick up my magazine and stay in touch with some people at the Lair. Hope to see you there sometime.
I thought I’d enclose the pictures of our new girl in my old dock. Take care, Pat and happy cruising.
Craig H. Schwartz
How exciting to have the opportunity to fulfill your dreams of doing the “the triangle.” Your letters and photos along with some research had me thinking about arranging some boating in Alexandria Bay. As luck would have it, one of the captains I work with grew up in that area and when I showed him your letter and photos he knew exactly what you are talking about. We are already talking about arranging a boating trip back east. Please keep sending photos of your travels and be safe.
Note From Publisher
I was going over the editorial and skimmed through this letter to Pat. It did not take me very long into it to realize “hey I think I know this story,” and of course was rewarded to the fact when I got down to the part regarding the 29 Baja. I happened to be at Korth’s when Tiki Tom Tate pulled me aside to converse. It did not surprise me as Tom and I have known each other quite a long time and of course he is one of my favorite Delta fixtures and I always have time to spend chatting it up with him.
As it went, Tom knowing that I own a Baja, pulled me aside and told me that he had a deal out of this world for me and then went on to tell me about your situation and the boat back east falling into your lap. Before I knew it we were on the docks and standing next to a 29 Baja of which I found to match a pretty accurate description by Tom, a beauty.
My Wife and I actually gave this some thought but came to the conclusion that having sold our 48-footer some years earlier, and although a fantastic deal, we wanted to wait until we could get into something larger. I immediately told my best friend about it and he was more than interested. I made a quick call to Tom and in that short of time he informed me that it had already sold. Whoever that is, they truly made out.
Like I said when I started reading the letter I already knew it was about you. I am writing now because I just wanted to tell you of my brush with your boat. Thank you for reading our publication and I appreciate your kind words to Pat. I think he is a keeper for sure and glad you agree.
I hope that I have the opportunity to meet you one day Craig. As highly as Tiki Tom speaks about you, I figure that you are not half bad. Good luck in your travels and enjoy the new to you boat in your new to you, again, old slip.