Here’s my story about Dunkirk, NY.:
We tied up to the municipal pier. A pier that is well-known as a free place to tie up. There were two other boats there as well.
While I was out getting pizza, a guy came up to my wife and said:
“You can’t dock here.”
“Really?!” the XO answered.
“Yup. You gotta check in at the office”, the guy said.
“Oh. Where?” the XO asked.
“Over there,” the guy pointed to a small building next to the marina. The one that charges money to dock.
“According to my information we can stay here for free,” she countered.
“Nope. The cops will kick you out,” he said, sounding a bit threatening.
“The cops have been by here twice. They didn’t say a thing. They waved to us,” the XO said. “And besides, I checked it out on-line, this is supposed to be a free dock. There are no signs that say we can’t stay here, and there are two other boats tied to the same pier. Right over there,” she pointed to the sailboats behind us.
“Well, I’m going to check that out. I’ll be back,” the man said gruffly and left.
The XO talked to the nice people on other two boats and they assured us that this pier was indeed free and they have been here a few days without any problems.
That dude was trying to hustle us into paying for dockage at his marina!
On a beautiful morning, we left Dunkirk for Presque Isle, PA. and anchored in Misery Bay. This amazing state park is beautiful and historic.
Here’s my story about Presque Isle:
We rode an awesome bike path for nearly ten miles.
We took our dinghy to the maritime museum in the nearby city of Erie, PA., docked it in back, and walked into the back door–which was open–and unknowingly got into the museum for free.
We walked through a scary neighborhood to get to the liquor store. But wisely opted for the longer, less scary route back.
In Misery Bay, we met another looper. He was flying a gold colored AGLCA burgee which means he is doing his second Great Loop. (There is also a platinum burgee for those who have done more than two Great Loops.)
We got “pulled over” by the Erie water cops for having only one registration sticker on our dingy.
“You’re from Mississippi?”
“We’re from Massachusetts, where only one sticker on the port side is required,” the XO explained.
“MS is Massachusetts?” the officer asked, referring to our registration number. All boat registration numbers start with the state designation. I don’t know why Massachusetts is MS instead of MA. We showed him our registration papers and that was that.