Today is the day!
We’re going to Canada.
Although, it wasn’t our first choice.
We decided to stay two nights in Oswego because of the weather.
The wind was a little tricky getting here but the following day was supposed to be thunderstorms.
So we stayed put.
We were having a lazy, rainy day morning when it happened.
The power went out.
Oh, Lord! Why have You forsaken me???
We started looking around.
No signs of life.
It seemed like it was dark everywhere.
And it was.
The power wasn’t just out for us but all of Oswego on our side of the river.
For about 4 hours.
During the downtime, we took a walk around town and found a sports bar called the Press Box.
Even though we couldn’t eat, we had a couple of drinks to wait it out.
Kind of like a hurricane party but on a sports bar patio.
Where To Go Next?
So with the weather consideration, we ran multiple destination scenarios.
We talked about going to Clayton, NY next.
Then, we talked about going to Sackets Harbor.
Next, we talked about going to Kingston, ON.
More thunderstorms were coming directly to all of those areas.
We didn’t decide where to go until the morning we left.
Canada, here we come!
But even as we pulled out, we weren’t 100% sure where in Canada we would go.
Out Into Lake Ontario
Just as we headed out from the Port of Oswego and into Lake Ontario, Sam decided that this would be a good time to recalibrate the autopilot.
We had had it worked on in Clay, NY at Pirates Cove Marina but it hadn’t been through a sea trial yet so this was the perfect opportunity.
Sam started the sea trial wizard on the Garmin.
The boat started doing circles and zig zags and everything it needed to do to reset.
The autopilot had engaged!
Now, our boat was completely backward when it came to the compass.
Instead of being on a 360 degree heading, the Garman showed 180.
Our little boat icon on the screen was upside down.
I guess we are going to be backing into Canada.
Crossing Lake Ontario
Sam called Garmin en route and they recommended another sea trial but we couldn’t do it because the water was a little bumpy.
Sometimes, a lot bumpy.
That sea trial would have to wait.
We got a return phone call from Loyalist Cove Marina in Bath, ON.
We finally had a firm destination.
This marina was way out of the predicted hazardous weather coming into New York and Canada.
To reach the marina, it was a good six-hour journey across Lake Ontario.
That’s a long time not to see any land.
It feels a lot like crossing the ocean.
At times there were 600-700 feet of water under us.
We didn’t see another boat or land for about two hours.
We finally did get into calmer waters and recalibrated the autopilot and turned our boat around on the Garmin screen.
All seemed right with the world.
Getting Ready for Canada
We were a little nervous about entering Canada by boat.
But we had visited with other loopers in New York to understand what would be required.
When we were about 15 miles out from the marina, we put out our Quarantine flag.
This is a solid yellow flag that we purchased on Amazon.
It lets officials know that the boat is free of disease and could be boarded for inspection.
Loyalist Cove Marina
We squeezed into the marina slot, in fact, if the water weren’t as high as it is we wouldn’t have gotten a space here at Loyalist Cove Marina.
The dock hands told us that the water was up about a foot and a half and we were the largest boat they had ever had.
They only had 30 amp power and we take 50 amp.
So we had the opportunity to use our brand new Y-cord which takes our 50 amp power cord and splits it into two 30 amp cords so we could plug in and have beautiful, fantastic electricity.
It worked like a charm.
I did receive a heat advisory warning on my phone alerting me that it could get up to 80 degrees.
I really enjoyed that one!
Canadians should NEVER visit Texas during the summer.
Getting Legal in Canada
Once we got in the slip and got power hooked up to the boat, Sam, as the captain of our boat, had to call Canadian Customs.
I had to stay on the boat.
I could not put my foot on their soil/dock until we were cleared.
The dockhands suggested that we use their office phone because sometimes customs doesn’t accept cell phone calls.
But how would they know it was a cell?
We had friends that used their cells but we didn’t want any trouble.
The telephone number for the Canadian Border Services Agency is 888-226-7277 (toll-free).
Sam gave the required information to the officer on the phone.
Have your passports and boat registration information ready and answer the questions honestly.
They asked how long we were planning to stay in Canada.
The agent wanted to know if we had cannabis or cannabis food onboard.
They also asked what alcohol we had on board.
Miraculously, it was all within the guidelines. (click on the Alcohol and tobacco limits tab for rules)
I guess if it hadn’t been, we would be having our own version of a tea party.
Finally, the agent gave us a registration number that Sam had to write down.
We printed this number from our printer in large letters on white paper and taped it up near the entrance of our boat.
After you are cleared at customs, then it is time to take down the yellow Quarantine flag and put up a courtesy Canadian flag.
Which we did.
A Short Stay
We arrived at the marina during the late afternoon and had decided to leave around 6:30 a.m. the next morning.
Even though it was a very short stay, the staff at the Loyalist Cove Marina was very kind and welcoming.
They even gave us each a coffee mug!
There were two bikes on site that we were able to use for free.
We rode them into town using a map that they gave us.
After a fantastic dinner at J & P’s Family Restaurant, we headed back.
What a great way to burn off the dinner we just had!
Going into Canada seemed a bit intimidating when searching online for how to do it.
But they have made it really easy for Americans to visit them by boat.
And even though we just got here, we highly recommend it.