"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

October 22, 2018

Clearing Customs with CBP ROAM App

“Go, fly, roam, travel, voyage, explore, journey, discover, adventure.”
I didn’t take the time to report on the process of our check in when we returned to the U.S. after our visit to the Thousand Islands and Canada. Years ago while we were in Florida we went through the process and interview to acquire our Small Vessel Reporting System numbers. For years this was the quickest process for return to the U.S. from a foreign port, but the U.S. Customs and Border Protection has made it even easier now with their new CBP ROAM (Reporting Offsite Arrival-Mobile) app. As soon as we anchored in U.S. waters and had data on our phones, I reported our return through the app...no need to go ashore and no inspection. If you're docking at a marina, you can either use the app on your phone or check in via one of the CBP computers located at the marina. I believe most phones have been removed and there are now signs telling boaters to use the ROAM app.

The app is free and can be downloaded on iOS or Android. Follow the prompts to set it up your account. You’ll need your login.gov credentials or you can make a new account (a free login.gov account is required). 
Once you’re in the app, input the information for your boat under “Modes of Travel” 
and the info for the people who are traveling with you under “Travelers”. The app can scan a passport or NEXUS card and populate the appropriate fields automatically. You’ll also be required to upload a picture of your travel document. 
The process of putting in our info took a little time, so I suggest you download the app and fill out the info before you leave.
When you’ve crossed the border into the U.S. click on “Report Arrival”...don’t try to report early, the app makes use of your smartphone’s GPS. Select the boat, select the passengers and answer a few questions. You’ll either be approved for entry and notified by email/text/push notification or a CBP officer will request to begin a video chat. Our data was a little spotty when we checked in and I didn't notice till later that they had tried to do a video chat...not a problem, they sent me an email approving our arrival. From reports that I've read, if they do a video chat they can see you, but you can not see them and they may ask to look around your vessel. There’s no guarantee that you’ll be granted entrance solely from the app, they may direct you to a designated Port of Entry for an inspection. The app worked great for us and made our check in process quick and painless.

October 18, 2018

Summer's Over

“Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.” –William Cullent Bryant
Our last three days on Cayuga Lake were beautiful...the last warm days of Indian Summer. On Tuesday (10/9) Stan had a perfect day to move The Pearl up the lake to her winter home and he enjoyed the time on the water. While he moved the boat, I moved our car, stopping at two of my favorite parks along the lake and doing a little shopping in Aurora. Our relaxing day turn to a busy evening as we started winterizing the boat and packing the car.
On Wednesday morning (10/10) we winterized the water system, the engine and toilets and we were the first boat of the day to be hauled. Once the yard had her blocked we finished closing up the boat and headed south to Pennsylvania to spend a little time with our family. After a wonderful visit with our PA grands we arrived back in Texas just in time for the first cold front of the season.

Up she goes
The Pearl in her winter home. Soon she will be shrink wrapped and her waiting will began...for the warmth of spring to return.
Signs of fall...beautiful sights, but a sign that the boating season in New York is over for the year.
Pumpkin fields close to Bloomsburg...pumpkins as far as the eye can see 
Looks like we got out of Ithaca just in time!
This picture was sent to me this morning from a friend of mine that lives in Ithaca...😬

October 8, 2018

Oct 5 - Boundary Breaks Vineyard

"Wine is sunlight held together by water." — Galileo Galilei

Friday was beautiful day so we took advantage of having one last picnic on the lawn of a winery. We chose Boundary Breaks Vineyard on Seneca Lake. They have a gorgeous place over looking the lake. The wine was wonderful, the scenery amazing, the food was enjoyable, but company was the best part of the day. 
Wine selections (click on picture to enlarge)
Just can't beat a view like this on a beautiful day.

October 5, 2018

Change of Seasons

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” ― Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky

Fall brings all kinds of changes...the weather is getting cooler, the leaves are changing color, the days are getting shorter and it's almost time for us to put The Pearl away for the winter. We feel like we have the best of two worlds, a beautiful place to escape the hot Texas summers and another to escape the long cold winters of upstate New York. The bonus is we have family in each place that we can play with and share our life with. I thought I'd share a few pictures of our marinas...we like them both.

Allan Treman State Marina Park, the summer home of The Pearl...a wonderful place to spend the summer.
Looking up Cayuga Lake with our marina on the left.
A picture of our marina in Ithaca...during the long cold winter. Brrrr
The first two pictures of Rockport Harbor (Texas Pearl's home) were taken before hurricane Harvey by John Martell a local photographer. Some of the building are no longer there. The last two were taken a few weeks ago by the same photographer. I really love our little harbor in Rockport.
Sunsets and sunrises in Rockport are amazing...the sky is wide and there is little to block the view.
The full moon coming up over the bay is an extraordinary sight from the deck of our boat...one I could never get tired of. 

October 2, 2018

Finger Lake Wineries & Breweries (Part IV)

“Have you considered that if you don't make waves, nobody including yourself will know that you are alive?" —Theodore Isaac Rubin 

When I started this post I thought we hadn't made it to many new wineries/breweries this season. As soon as I started looking through our photos I could see we had actually made it to quite a few. Maybe not as many as last summer, but still quite a few. We don't do tasting anymore, we enjoy buying a bottle of their driest white wine, relaxing on the winery's deck and enjoying their view with a picnic or small snack. I think the heat this summer slowed our visits down, but we still have a couple of weeks left to squeeze in a few more.

Lucas Vineyards is Cayuga Lake’s oldest winery, they have been selling wine since 1980 and it's still a family run business including three generations. The vineyard sits on the western side of Cayuga Lake near Interlaken and offers a wonderful view of the lake from their deck and garden.
Bully Hill Vineyards overlooks the beautiful Keuka Lake, on the property that Taylor Wine Company began over 100 years ago. They have a large selection of wines and their restaurant offer an innovative cuisine with a breathtaking view of the lake.
Myer Farm Distillers is one of our favorite New York distilleries. They use certified organic grain from their own farm to distill a range of spirits. Myer Farm Distillers plant the seed and produce the spirit.
Finger Lakes Cider House was something a little different from other places we'd visited. It was our first time to enjoy hard cider...definitely different than we expected and very good. 
Fox Run Vineyards is beautiful...from the moment you enter their awe-inspiring iron gate...the grounds and views impress you. They have a café on site that feature fresh ingredients from neighborhood farmers, New York State producers, and from their very own garden. We enjoyed an afternoon at the winery during their Garlic Festival. 
Tabora Farm & Winery is located on the west side of Seneca Lake and offers wonderful gourmet bake goods and deli selections as well as a nice selection of wines. They offer Riesling, Cayuga White, Niagara, Diamond, DeChaunac, Lèon Millot, Baco Noir and Marèchal Foch. They are located in a converted building built in the early 1900's. It’s distinctive Cape Dutch architecture reflects Tabora’s unique South African heritage. 
Bright Leaf Vineyard sits on the east shore of Cayuga Lake on land that was was previously a livestock farm. Their location on the lake provides both optimal sun exposure and strong prevailing breezes that encourage ventilation of the vines. The vineyard is divided by a quarry of Tully limestone, which runs north-south through the farm. They've planted their white varietals in the cooler uphill block and their red varietals closer to the lake on the heavier, richer clay soil. They planted their first vines in 2013 and opened their winery to the public this past June, selling varieties Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet, Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Lemberger. 
Fairport Brewing Company is located in Fariport, just blocks from the Erie Canal. They offer an artisan, hand-crafted approach to brewing the highest quality beer using only the best ingredients. They have six rotating varieties with names like Three Heads Giant Panda, Ellicottville Just Peachy and Three Heads Loopy.  
Bandwagon Farm Brewery was started by five friends in Ithaca that needed something to do when the restaurant they were working at closed. It's a small operation located just up the lake from our marina.
Sackets Harbor Brewing Co. has been in operation since 1995 and is one of New York’s oldest microbreweries featuring a working brewery & restaurant directly on Lake Ontario. 
Wood Boat Brewery is a microbrewery located in Clayton, NY along the St. Lawrence River. They are located a few blocks from the downtown business district and next to the Antique Boat Museum. They serve beers with names like Pardon Me Pale Ale, Channel Marker IPA and White Cap Milk Stout.