Hi All,

It took a lot of resting up to recover from the regatta. We are now
hanging In the Lee of Christian Island, to the extent that there can be
any lee in wind gusting to zero. Louise was singing the old song of the same name, and got a little teary just thinking how neat it was to be here. We motored over today from Collingwood, after motoring there from
Thornbury on Tuesday. Not much excitement, except for our great race
adventure Tuesday night and Louise is going to tell that one.

From Midland we beat back up the way we came in. The winds were
northerly and shifty, which meant a lot of tacking. They were also
strong enough to make it a lot of work. Norma, Sue, and Laura did a
great job of getting us throught the start and the early parts of the
race, then Laura drove and I did the grinding. We sure were glad to bear
off a little and head to Beckwith Island to anchor that night.

The next day was an around the islands race. We started more or less
from the anchorage at Beckwith, heading south down the east side of the
island, back north through between Beckwith and Hope, then round Hope in
the opposite direction. Early on the wind was lighter and shifty, and we
have the GPS track to prove it. Once we got round the end of Beckwith
things got better. but we had lost the race by then on either unlucky or
badly chosen tacks, depending on how charitable you want to be. We
anchored again at Christian, and once again seemed to be a party magnet.
Despite all that, we managed to deflate the dinghy and be on the start
line in plenty of time the next morning.

We started the next day in reaching conditions, heading out around the
tail of Christian, then across the Bay to Meaford. The wind was westerly
and building. The initial reach was pretty tight. We got a good start,
high and a little late, keeping our speed and staying out of traffic.
Everybody popped chutes on the start line, some more gracefully than
others. Sandpiper hoisted sideways. It was the first time we got ahead
of them all regatta. John Gyles got a great picture on his phone, which
he promised would appear on the web site. We pulled off our best
tactical move of the regatta, roaring up behind Natural High looking
like we had speed enough to just blow through his lee, while he was
having trouble staying high. About 6 feet off his transom we rounded up,
collapsed his chute and rolled right over him. Shortly after that we all
dropped our chutes to round the end of the island beating westward. The
wind got more and more north and we stayed high, allowing us to pop the
chute back up for the final reach into Meaford and our best finish yet,
tied for second with Natural High.

That night we enjoyed a delicious fish fry put on by the Meaford Rotary. There was a huge crowd, not just us regatta people, all gathered in the pavillion in the harbour.

The final day's race did not start well, at least not for us. With about 5 minutes to go we were a few lengths from the start line, ready to gibe around and approach when we found the zone of zero wind within the otherwise very light stuff. It took more than 15 minutes to turn the boat around, eventually getting help from an eddy developed by the river mouth. We did eventually get to Thornbury, tied up on the wall with Brinehog and generally had a good time.

Louise arrived late in the afternoon to join us for the awards banquet, and I screwed up the timing so that we were all more than a little late. We still got there for the food and the major awards, which are quite an impressive collection of trophies. There was a presentation to recognize the female sailors in the fleet, all of whom were invited to say something about their skipper. Fully a third of them were Dragon III crew, and I think they mostly said nice things.

Next morning the crew headed out bright and early, because Sue needed to make a connection in Toronto. I had the luxury of lounging around and recovering for a couple more days, thinking about how much fun we had, the great people we met, and wishing it could have gone on longer. The one consolation is I got to stay on the boat, even if I didn't get to keep the party crew.

I hope you're all having fun, because we sure are!

Rick / Dad

PS I have combined these trip reports into a web version,
for those who are really keen to read the installments again, or for
those I forgot to add to the list until more recently. The
address is:


It may not be completely up to date.