Monday, July 22, 2019

Best Little Marina in Ithaca

Full moon rising over Ithaca. 

Mission: Accomplished!  We successfully navigated Dragonfly all the way down Cayuga Lake to Ithaca, New York. 

It was a trip down memory lane, not just down the lake. Cap and I used to work at Cornell. So we were back on familiar turf.

Ignore Your First Impression

We arrived on a Thursday and docked for a little more than a week at the Allan H. Treman Marine Park.  

At this point in our boating career, we’ve stayed in dozens if not hundreds of marinas, and I have to say, First impression of this marina: not great.

No one answered our radio- and phone-calls, asking guidance on finding our slip. Once we docked, we found out why: the marina office was locked and dark, though it was merely mid-afternoon. Darn! After a hot day on the water we really, really wanted to score the key code that unlocked the marina shower room.

But a friendly fellow boater hooked us up, and after that we started to notice this marina’s many charms.
Treman Marina as seen from the new bike path. Kind of a sweet setting, ain't it?
Are Those Solar Panels . . . ?

For one thing, this is a solar-powered marina! There's a whole big bank of panels in the parking lot. We felt right at home.

I swear I did NOT know this was a solar marina when
I booked our slip!
Speaking of technology, the WiFi was password unprotected, the signal reached all the way to the dock, and the service was reasonably sprightly. 

As someone who's trying to work remotely and also blog, I can tell you with authority, that almost NEVER happens in a marina.

Another unusual feature: the big trees all around the marina basin extended right over our slip, keeping the boat cool. So what if the shade kept the sun off our solar panels? We weren’t going anywhere for a few days.

Break Out the Bikes!

In the time since we've been gone, Ithaca has added a very fine bike path, the Cayuga Waterfront Trail, that made it a cinch to get from the marina into town.

On Thursday we went crazy visiting old favorites. We scored some organic local groceries at the famous GreenStar Co-op. Strolled the Ithaca Commons with its Sagan Planet Walk and cute little galleries.

Browsed the independent bookstores in the DeWitt Mall. (Overhead by the register: “Marge, look at all these bumper stickers. Do you think this is  . . . ummmm . . . a town with a lot of liberals in it?”) And hit the Farmer’s Market for their new (to us) Thursday night scene, with loads of international food booths and live music.

Farmer's Market also reach-able by rowboat. Awesome!
Friday night, freshly showered and swankified, we didn’t even need our bikes to have a fancy night out. 

We walked a mere hundred yards from our boat to the Hangar Theater (yes, located in a former airplane hangar) for a Broadway-quality production of Sondheim’s “Into the Woods.” 

We've docked in cities galore: New York City, Ottawa, Montreal, Atlantic City, Charleston . . . yet never quite so convenient to so many amernities.

Old Friends, Good Times

The best Ithaca treat of all—we got some really excellent hang-out time with dear friends from our Ithaca past. And darling daughter and her hubby showed up, with adorable grandson in tow. See our boat “Visitors” page for more details.
Friends from Freeville: the Merwin-Lee clan and Susan Barnard.
So Why Doesn't EVERYONE Dock Here?

The marina’s seasonal slips are crowded with local sailboats and powerboats, and one comical shantyboat. But Treman Marina doesn’t seem to be a destination for out-of-towners. The transient slips were mostly unoccupied.
Step away from the console, Captain. Your grandson would
like to re-wire it for you.

I wonder why there aren't more boats detouring off the Erie Canal and making the run down to Ithaca. Most boats can make the 80-mile round trip a heck of a lot faster than we can.

Come to think of it, the transient slips DID fill up on Saturday night, with six “cigarette boats” down from Oswego, NY. These snarling big go-fast boats can do 60 or 80 mph without breaking a sweat. So I figured they'd made it down the lake, oh, half an hour.

But . . . these babies burn about a gallon of gas a minute—and you know how much a gallon of gas costs. We later learned these boats had come to Ithaca on trailers. 

It had taken us four days to get down the lake. We had savored the superslow scenic cruise. But now it seemed even sweeter.

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