I guess it has been a while since I wrote to let you all know where I am. While
it seems like there must be an awful lot to say about covering that distance,
it hasn't been really new, so I haven't felt like I had a lot to say. Or maybe
I'm just coming to the end of the adventure and winding down. It must be time
to quit -- the burgee blew out and I don't have a spare ;-) We should be getting into KYC about 3
I was the picture of keeness Tuesday morning, rising before dawn, swimming, and
setting off in a modest breeze from the SW. Made pancakes along the way. Got
into Port Colborne in the late
afternoon to see Peggy waving from the dock.
Did a little provisioning and settled in right above the first bridge for the
Wednesday morning we got up around 7 and heard from the other boat that we
would have the chance to enter until about 8, which made us really glad we
hadn't tried for 6 like they did. We entered the canal about 830, had pancakes
on the long drive south, then had an uneventful passage down the big locks. Our
progress was controlled by the Paul Martin just in front of us, a very large,
but slow moving vessel one must assume is connected with Canada Steamship
Lines. Peggy did a great job with the lines
and the only thing that touched the walls was the bumpers -- I had cleverly
stowed the BBQ in advance. She said it was still hard work and that up-bound
must have been a lot to handle. She was especially pleased that we did better
than the boat we locked through with, a home-built steel schooner from Ottawa
that looked like it ought to have a lot of experience.
True to form, Lake Ontario
greeted us with high winds and a zero visibility squall on the way from Port
Weller to Port Dalhousie.
We arrived at DYC totally soaked just as the winds were dropping and the sun
peaking through here and there.
Thursday was a lazy day. Peggy and I had
coffee at Tim's then she headed off by taxi to catch the bus back to Port
Colborne for the car. Laura arrived in the afternoon
with plans to make the lake crossing on Friday. Friday dawned as predicted,
pouring rain and wind from the exact direction we wanted to travel. Like good
cruisers we sat down below reading and watching a movie.
I used the opportunity to *finally* get the cell phone network connection activated.
This was a project started in Collingwood in late July, but this was the first
time I had the phone, the paperwork, the back-ordered cable, the computer, a
decent cell signal, and a little time on my hands all in the same place.
Saturday we set off into light northerly winds with the remains of waves from
the heavy stuff. The wind was shifty and the waves kept knocking down our
speed. Eventually we gave in and added motor power. Around mid day we went
through a huge flock of boats, apparently on their way from Toronto
to Niagara for the weekend. It sure is a switch from
what I've gotten used to. Most of this trip it was rare to have even one boat
in sight when more than 5 miles from land. We had a quiet night on the dock at
Bluffers Park YC. It is quite a development with 4 yacht clubs, a marina, and a
public park all on a huge, man-made lagoon at the base of the Scarborough
Bluffs. BPYC is celebrating its 25th Anniversary.
In recognition of being near Toronto,
we pulled the baby sail off the furler and pulled up the heavy #1. (Note
Sunday we headed out along the north shore and stopped into Oshawa
for provisions, as the Ports book made it sound like the easiest option with
the closest grocery store. Since the book published the marina/YC has closed
and the IGA has been replaced by a furniture clearance outlet. Wed did manage
to tie up at the commercial sea wall and get some basic supplies at the
convenience store. Then back out and onwards to Newcastle.
The Ports book is sort of luke-warm about Newcastle,
but it is a lovely spot to stop for the night. Very well protected, reciprocal
slip, park-like setting, restaurant/bar on the dock, very quiet, excellent
docks, etc. Definitely a repeat visit location!
Monday we were out the harbour entry before 8 and motoring along in nothing
much. It eventually filled in behind us and we had a nice sail all the way down
to Presquile, then motored into the entry of the Murray
Canal to find we had missed the
final 1550 bridge swing by about 15 minutes. (It operates longer hours in the
peak season.) We spent the night on the wall at the bridge, very well sheltered
as the wind blew in. By morning we had about 10 knots even in there among the
Tuesday we got the first bridge swing at 9, motored the rest of the way through
the canal, then unrolled the #1 in the following breeze. We were close to dead
downwind all the way to Deseronto, with the breeze building to gusts of 30 as
we crossed Big Bay,
which got us up well over 8 on Genoa
alone. Gybing that big sail in those winds was, um, interesting, but no big
problems. We went through Telegraph Narrows
in 25 knots and just managed to hold onto port gybe all the way through. By the
time we turned onto Long Reach the wind was a little lighter and very flukey
because of the shore. Long Reach was a long, close reach on which we zipped
past a CS 27, and finally passed a motor sailer that we had watched motoring ahead
of us all day. Big puffs now and then put us over on our ear, but it got a
whole lot gentler when we turned the corner opposite Picton, then gybed to
point for Prinyer's. We were in and secure by about 1700. Steering in that
stuff can be kind of tiring, and it looks like more of the same for today,
although this will be a short day.
So today we close the loop again after I'm not sure how many miles and almost
12 weeks. It has been a wonderful time. It will probably be a good thing to
move on... and to start planning and prepping the boat for next time.