Another Day, Another Port

Today was a lovely day on the water. We left Newcastle at 8:30 am to clear blue skies and…no wind. And so we motored, enjoying the scenery that you can only see from the lake – the towering clay cliffs at Bond Head, three egrets flying just above the surface of the water, Monarch butterflies fluttering past, and billowing cloud formations.

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We did get to sail for a while today. You can check out a short video on Instagram at j_is4joy

We’re in Cobourg tonight, about halfway in our journey already. There is a strange timelessness to this adventure. We no longer remember what day of the week it is (is this part of being retired?) All of the past marinas blend together in my memory, and what lies ahead is unknown.

Perhaps this is what living in the present feels like.

In keeping with that thought, here’s a sample of today’s pleasure…

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Rain Day

Into every adventure, a little rain must fall. We deliberately chose to stay put today because of the forecast. We did get some thunder and lightning this morning and it rained on and off, but that didn’t stop us from enjoying our rest day.

It was a good opportunity to do some needed repairs and cleaning. The speaker in the cockpit has been getting quieter so we took it apart today. It turns out that it’s falling apart inside. Time for a new one. Our marine radio still works but we can only hear it from inside the cabin at the moment. When sailing, you need to be able to hear the calls from the coast guard and other boats, warnings about freighters coming in to a harbour, and weather updates, so getting a new speaker is top in the list at our next stop.

The ice chest had developed a rank odour so it had to be thoroughly emptied and cleaned.

But it wasn’t all work and no play! There was time for an afternoon nap and…a swim in the pool at the clubhouse. Priorities 😊

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Plans Change

What’s that saying about the best laid plans? We had every intention of having a rest day in Whitby today. We checked the weather last night and and today looked good. This morning it was a different story.

So we decided to cut our play day short and head on east while the weather window was favourable. The wind seemed to be strong as we left the channel so we hosted the sails…and the wind died.

We started the motor and carried on. I checked the weather again at noon and suddenly there was a thunderstorm in the forecast. How quickly things can change!

We arrived at Newcastle after three hours of motoring and we plan to stay here for a couple of days to wait out the predicted storms tomorrow. However, the rain that was supposed to hit around 4:30 today never happened and now it’s clearing so who knows what tomorrow will bring?

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That’s part of the challenge of sailing, just like in life – you can make plans but you need to be flexible enough to change them at a moment’s notice.

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And of course, at the end of the day, there’s always Bailey’s…if needed.

Connections

One thing I enjoy about travelling is all the interesting people you meet along the way. Whenever we tie up at a new marina, we chat with the “neighbours”. People are usually friendly and welcoming and curious to know where you’ve come from.

However, it’s not just about the people. As you can see in the two photos, we made friends with a few other creatures.

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The duck sat for a long time on the wall beside our boat yesterday and waddled back through the grass today to keep us company.

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And today, this butterfly landed repeatedly on our legs aad feet while we were sitting in the cockpit having lunch.

You never know who…or what…you will meet when you’re on an adventure!

 

Shade, Breeze and…A View!

When we left the dock this morning, the lake was flat and there was no wind. Not even a hint of a breeze. And so we motored, and motored.

About an hour later the wind arrived, first as a whisper and soon it was steady and strong out of the north, perfect for our sail to Toronto.

If you’re on Instagram you can see a short video of our passage @j_is4joy

Tonight we’re tied to the “wall” at Hanlan’s Point on Toronto Island. It’s another of our favourite spots.

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There’s a great breeze, the view of the city is amazing, we can walk or bike across to Centre Island.

At night, the CN Tower is lit up and all the lights of the skyscrapers twinkle and sparkle.

Off for a bike ride now. Cheers!

 

Can You Spell HOT?

We’re in the midst of a heat wave and while it’s cool when we’re sailing, it’s stifling at the dock.

We sailed for about 3 hours today in steady winds and gentle waves…at first. Then the wind became gustier and gustier and the waves rougher. For all you sailors out there, we were hitting 5.8-6.2 knots and that was before the gusts hit! A fun ride.

We decided it was time to head into the marina, so we tacked and brought in the genoa. That’s when one of life’s magical moments occurred.

Also heading toward shore was an enormous two-masted sailing ship. It was a beautiful sight. As we got closer, we read the name – HMCS Oriole. Check it out: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMCS_Oriole

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It’s over 100 feet long and was launched in 1921…almost 100 years ago! And we happened to be sailing in this part of Lake Ontario on the day that it arrived (it’s on a tour of cities on Lake Ontario and Lake Erie and is currently based in Halifax).

So cool. Even in this heat 😊

Life is Good

Another perfect day on the water as we continue our way up the north shore of Lake Ontario.

After waiting for the lift bridge at the mouth of the bay, we set sail in gentle but steady winds and after a couple of hours arrived at one of our favourite marinas.IMG_20180708_162850_012

We tied up at the slip and walked into town to pick up a few groceries. That’s one of the challenges on a smaller boat – we have an ice box that we have to regularly stock with ice to.keep things “refrigerated”. That does mean stocking up on fresh food every few days.

It’s Sunday night now, and quiet at the dock. All the weekend boaters have left.

Tomorrow we’ll set sail for a place we’ve never been before. Exciting!

Play Day

All adventures need some quiet time built in. Today was a play day for us. We spent some time ashore (ice cream was a big hit!) And sailed for a few hours in the bay just for fun.

There were several sailboat races going on at the time (small one-person boats) so it was an interesting challenge to get a good sail in while staying out of the way of the racers. At one point we sailed alongside a docked lake freighter and waved at the crew way, way, way, way above us.

We’re anchored in the cove again tonight. About six snowy egret did grace us with their presence just after sunset last night. So we are settled in a bit closer to their nightly perch, waiting for them to soar over the horizon in the orange glow of dusk to roost for the night.

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It Has Begun!

IMG_20180706_125535_010For months we’ve talked about taking a sailing trip when we retire. The moment has arrived and the journey began today. We said a fond farewell to Fifty Point marina and our dear friends there and … hello to adventure!

Waves over 2 metres and strong gusty winds were not how I pictured our first day on the water. But we persevered and made it to our destination — a secluded anchorage in a small cove which is a birdwatcher’s paradise.

There’s no one else here, just us, a gentle breeze, water lapping gently against the boat and heron, osprey, swans and myriad other birds all around. At sunset, if we’re lucky, we’ll see the snowy egret land in their favourite tree.

The journey into retirement has begun.

A Birth Day – September 24, 2017

A child is born.

My child’s child…my granddaughter.

She is precious and beautiful, as are all children. And a joy to behold.

Each child is a miracle – a miracle that takes your breath away, brings you to tears, and fills you with unspeakable awe.

For her, and all the children in the world, I offer this blessing:

May you know peace,

May you have joy in your heart,

May you be surrounded by love and laughter,

and may you always feel at home in this world

no matter where your journey takes you.

Welcome to the world, little one!

sunrise on the day of my granddaughter's birth

Sunrise on September 24, 2017