Two New First Mates

This cheeky slogan used by Buffalo Bills fans and other Buffalonians (yes, that is a word) shouts out the rabid fan support enjoyed by the Bills in this upstate New York city. After a couple of days in Buffalo with new First Mates, our nephews Trey and Drew, we discovered that this city has more to offer than just lake-effect snow!

R&R was delivered to Erie Basin Marina in Buffalo after a trans-Canada voyage through the Welland Canal. Trey, Drew and I drove from Michigan to Buffalo to meet R&R, left Trey’s car at the Buffalo-Niagara airport for Rhonda to pick up in a couple of days, and Ubered to R&R to head west on Lake Erie.

But…strong west winds and waves in the Big Lake and kept us in port the next day. In fact, Erie Basin was so close to the lake that lake-effect waves bounced and rolled R&R (and its occupants) around so much the night we arrived that early the next morning we decided to (1) not leave that day and (2) move R&R to Canalside, a more sheltered nearby marina on the Buffalo River.

Moving to more protected Canalside

After the move, we had part of a day to see Buffalo. We Ubered to Buffalo’s Allentown neighborhood and had dinner at “ABV” a/k/a Allen Burger Venture. We all enjoyed very good food (Drew rated the ABV burger as the best of his MANY burgers during our time together!) and I enjoyed the local brew.


That evening after joining a group of Loopers for pizza aboard Happiness Is, Trey, Drew and I walked to the nearby Naval and Military Park, featuring US Navy cruiser “The Sullivans”, a destroyer, and “Croaker”, a submarine – all moored next to a well-designed park with memorials to local solidrers and sailors.

Euchre was played (I don’t recall winning!)

Canalside had almost no waves and we all slept better the next night! Lake Erie had calmed down by the next morning, so we departed for Erie, Pennsylvania. The sun shone, the wind and waves cooperated, and we made good time to Erie, located on the very small part of Pennsylvania that touches Lake Erie.

Trey and Drew were very helpful as Mates on the boat. From the very challenging departure from the Erie Basin wall while the boat was rocking and rolling, to docking and unlocking at Canalside, to docking and undocking at Erie, and then again at the Erie Yacht Club where we went to refuel, they honed their skills and became very smooth and confident. I was happy to have them aboard!

Drew piloted R&R into the Erie PA channel.
Lunch as guests of the Erie Yacht Club

One thought on “Two New First Mates

  1. Those very lucky boys! What a great experience!
    Mine was on the USS RANGER (CVA-61) – a heavy attack carrier – for 14 months, with a tour to Japan, VietNam, Hong Kong, etc., and on the way back to the states we encountered Typhoon Polly (between Japan and Alaska), and at the height of the storm the 4 destroyers that were traveling with us, were rolling a full 45 degrees; and at one point, the bow of the RANGER caught a wave (the bow is 85 feet above the normal water line). Needless to say, 3,000 sailors didn’t spend much time in the mess hall that day.

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