Falling Over the Falls

Hello virtual crew members and fellow adventurers!

Horseshoe Falls 


Summary of week:

Geneva SP
After the family left on Tuesday, the crew made three moves down the south shore of Lake Erie:

1- Stopped in Dunkirk on Thursday to hear a great band

2- Anchored in Presque Isle Bay State Park across from Erie, PA on Friday

3- Docked in Geneva State Park Marina on Saturday

Click here to read the day-to-day travel log. This includes weather report, sea conditions, captain’s log, a summary of the day’s experience, and a few pics of the route.

The voyage of discovery did answer the following questions this week:

  1. Who was the first person to go over the falls in a barrel and live?
  2. What does the Perry Monument in Erie Harbor memorialize?
  3. What did Platt R. Spencer base his script on?
  4. What is the longest covered bridge in the US?

At the Box Office

This week’s video shows Still Waters II as she enjoys the family vacation to Niagara Falls.  Enjoy!

To see past videos, click on the link to the Still Waters II Vimeo site.  The library contains videos of Still Waters II cruising America’s Great Loop.

Saturday-Monday, July 28-30th

The family made the trek to upstate New York to visit Niagara Falls.  The group bought a Discovery Pass which allows access to the following attractions:

  • Maid of the Mist boat ride128 Maid of the Mist
  • Observation Tower
  • Cave of the Winds


  • Aquarium


  • Discovery Center
  • Trolley
  • Movie at the Visitor Center – the film was very interesting as it chronicled the falls from early Indian days to the present.  It showcased Annie Taylor, who became the first person to survive a trip over the falls in a barrel.  She made the trip on October 24, 1901, which also happened to be her birthday.  The film also discussed the youngest person to ever survive a fall over the falls.  He was 7 years old when he and his sister were knocked out of a boat in the Niagara River Rapids about a mile above the falls.  The sister was rescued just 20 feet from going over the falls.  The boy, with nothing but a life jacket and swim suit went over the falls and was rescued by the Maid of the Mist tour boat.

Annie Taylor


The park service also provides a free fireworks show Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night at 2200.  The fireworks over the luminated falls was very impressive.  This weeks video shows the details of the trip.


Niagara Fireworks

Tuesday-Wednesday, July 31st-Aug 1st

The family departed early Tuesday morning, so it was time to turn attention to a needed water repair.  Last Friday, just before the family arrived, the skipper discovered that the potable water expansion tank had sprung a leak.  A stream of water the size of a pencil lead was shooting out of the tank.  The skipper isolated the tank which inoped the fresh water supply on the boat.  Timing is everything.  The boat was basically without water while the family was visiting.

So with the family gone it was time to repair/replace the tank.  The repairs with epoxy and JB Weld proved to be ineffective.  While looking on line to order a new tank, the skipper discovered that Home Depot had a similar tank.  With a Home Depot only 6 miles away, the skipper rode his bike and fetched a new tank.

With a new tank in hand, the skipper was able to replace the leaking tank and get the potable water system up and running again.  Now time to plan the next leg of the journey.

Thursday, Aug 2nd

The crew set out from Tonawanda and headed to Dunkirk.  A Harbor Host had come by the boat and left a note for the crew.  The Harbor Host suggested taking the Black Rock Channel in Buffalo and bypass the current in the Niagara River.  This turned out to be a good suggestion.  It looked like the current was flowing 3-5 knots in the Niagara River while the crew was in the Black Rock Channel.

Black Rock Channel leading to Lake Erie

3 Black Rock Channel

Entering Lake Erie

5 Enter Lake Erie

The view for the rest of the day

6 View for most of Day

After about 6 hours on the water, the Dunkirk Lighthouse came into view and the crew turned into the harbor.  The crew docked at the Municipal Pier.  While docking, the crew noticed that a crew of folks was busy setting up a stage.  Turned out that Thursday night is Summer Concert Night.  The main band was named Nickel City Pimp Choir.  They did a show similar to the Blues Brothers, high energy and very good.

Dunkirk Lighthouse


Nickel City Pimp Choir

9 Nickel City Pimp Choir

The band played for about two hours and put on a great show.  The crowd was also having a wonderful time on the pier.  The band was supposed to stop at 2030, but they brought the sun down and played until 2100.

The crowd

9.1 Crowd (2)

The sunset

10 Sunset Dunkirk

Bonus sunset and music video



Friday, Aug 3rd

The crew took on fuel before leaving Dunkirk, and then headed out towards Erie.  The run was about three miles off shore so not much to view but hours of water going by.

South shore of Lake Erie

11 South Shore Lake Erie

As the crew approached the channel to the Erie Harbor, another lighthouse marked the entrance.  The crew entered the channel and made way to the Presque Isle Bay where the crew dropped the anchor for the evening.  While on the way to the bay, they passed a monument to Perry’s Victory.  The memorial was established to honor those who fought in the Battle of Lake Erie, during the War of 1812, and to celebrate the long-lasting peace among Great Britain, Canada, and the US.  Well, the peace after the War of 1812 that is.  The memorial is just 5 miles from the Canadian Border.  Did you know that the US -Canadian Border is the longest unprotected border in the world?

Entrance to Erie Harbor

13 Erie Channel

Perry Memorial

14 Perry Monument

Saturday, Aug 4th

When the skipper tried to make a reservation for the Geneva State Park, the park staff said the marina was full and that Still Waters II would have to find another place to stay for the weekend.  The skipper decided to go another ten miles west of the State Park and anchor for the night.

However, when the crew was about 16 miles from the State Park, the skipper received a call from the Park.  Suddenly, there is a place available at the State Park.  The skipper said they would take the spot and altered course to head towards the entrance to the park.

View of Lake Erie from shore

19 Lake Erie from Geneva

After arrival, the crew took a walk to Geneva-on-the-Lake.  This was a happening place on a Saturday afternoon.  There must have easily been over a hundred motorcycles in town.  The strip is mostly T-shirt shops and fast food eateries.  Eddies seemed to be doing the most business.  There parking lot only holds three hundred vehicles though, or they probably would be doing even more business.

Eddie’s Grill from the side

20 Eddies (2)

Geneva makes claim for two things:

  1. The work of Platt R. Spencer, whose Spencerian Script is the foundation for our cursive writing.  Mr. Spencer lived in Geneva and is said to have modeled his curves and loops after the pebbles found on the local beaches.
  2. Covered Bridges – The longest covered bridge in the US is the Smolen Gulf Bridge.  The bridge is 613 feet long which also makes it the 4th longest covered bridge in the world.

Smolen Gulf Bridge

21 Smolden- Gulf Bridge

Boat name of the week


Next Week –

The crew will travel to Cleveland and visit the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame.  The weather may keep them in Cleveland for a few days, but when they can leave, they will head towards the islands just north of Sandusky.  Then they hope to make it thru Detroit and to the south end of Lake Huron.

Loop On – Where the road ends, the water begins. The water goes on forever, and the adventure never ends.

Eric the Red


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