My name is Scarlet and I’m a Scarlet Macaw. I was given to Diane & Captain Ted Greene as a gift in November 2013 from their friends Murdoch and Melody from North Carolina and now I live on Boatel I. This year I am very excited to be cruising to the Bahamas with the Greene and Diane has asked me to keep a travel blog for her. So stay tuned for my excellent adventures this fall and winter as we cruise from Toronto to the Bahamas.
The question that Diane gets asked most often is – how long does it take to get to the Bahamas? If I were to fly (but of course why would I fly when I can ride on Boatel?) to Nassau, Bahamas it would be 1127 nautical miles. We will arrive in the Bahamas around December 4th but only because we have lots of people to see and places to stop along the way. Let me remind you that it is not about the destination but the journey.
The other common question is how the heck to do get there from Toronto? Diane and Ted have done this a few times before so luckily I don’t have to figure it out. They have a couple of GPS, a Radar, a fancy chart plotter, an auto pilot that lets captain Ted sit back and drive hands free, kind of like cruise control on a car. Of course they have stacks of paper charts too and cruising guides. Seems like a lot to learn to me but they seem to know what they are doing so I am going to just watch and learn.
The plan is to cross Lake Ontario to Oswego, NY and cruise through 28 locks in the New York Canals to arrive at Troy, NY. At Troy we’ll enter the mighty Hudson River to New York City. We’ll spend a day or two in the big smoke and then head down the Jersey shore to Cape May, NY. From there we will go up Delaware Bay across a canal called the C & D Canal which join Cheapespeake Bay. It’ll take a couple of days to get to Norfolk, Virginia and then we will enter the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) to Beaufort (pronounced BEAU-ford) North Carolina (as opposed to Beaufort, South Carolina (BEW-ford). From Beaufort we’ll head out on the ocean to Little River, South Carolina if the weathers is good. That’s where Murdoch and Melody will leave us. We’ll stay there for a few weeks before heading further down the coast through South Carolina and Georgia to Florida where we will cross to the Bahamas from Lake Worth which is near West Palm Beach.
I had a great summer in Toronto with guests from all around the world. Germany, Denmark, China, Argentina, lots of people from the UK (boy whose people really like to travel) and far away places like New Caledonia which I had never even heard of before. It’s a small French speaking island off the coast of Australia. I made lots of friends with our American and Canadian neighbours too. Everyone likes to take pictures with me so we even had a little contest this summer on Facebook. The winning picture was one with me on a Harley Davidson. I really wanted to go with Ray but I would have to wear a helmet on the Harley and my feathers would get wet if it rained so I decided that it would be much nicer to travel south by boat.
On September 30th the last of the guests said their goodbyes and then Diane and Ted started buying all the spares parts and provisions needed for the trip. Diane stocked the pantry and even inventoried everything and Captain Ted counted all the spare belts and filters for the engine. With a long list of task done the Boatel was ready to go. My friends Murdoch and Melody had done the trip on the Boatel from Toronto to New York in 2012 and this year they decided that they wanted to go from Toronto all the way to South Carolina. We departed today October 11th, as planned after a big Thanksgiving dinner with their son Alex and his partner Nico on last night. Lake Ontario was flat this morning and the wind was very light which is exactly what they wanted because Captain Ted says power boats don’t like much wind. I picked my new perch for the trip right at the helm so that I could get the best view. Tonight we are going to a little spot called Popham Bay, near Brighton, Ontario that they usually go to anchor for the night. Tomorrow we will cross to Oswego, NY in daylight. We could have gone overnight for 15 hours but you don’t really see much at night. What a great first day of our trip!
Day 2 across Lake Ontario was even better than day 1. The lake was calm and everyone enjoyed an afternoon nap including the captain – but of course the first mate Diane was at the helm with me of course. I have the best view and I even saw a big rainbow today. We arrived in Oswego, NY and everyone left me on board while they went to clear in with customs – guess birds don’t have to clear because I don’t even have a passport! Then they took off again to Paula’s Liquor Store and came back with a whole lot of bottles cause they said it’s cheaper in the US.
Tomorrow we start our trip through the US Canals – twenty eight of them to get to NY City – I’m excited!!!
If you like my first post then stick around for more of my traveling adventures aboard the Boatel. You can even leave me some comments below because I love getting letters.
Till next time.