What Time Is It?

Being retired, and sailing, leaves us wondering what day it is and what time it is. Time seems to have a different meaning.

And then, at the Cobourg Marina, I saw this quote. It puts it all into perspective.

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Time is broken down into moments these days. Yesterday ended with this exquisite sunset.

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And today began with an early morning walk along the vast expanse of Cobourg’s beach.

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When we left the marina, there was a strong wind warning in effect…and no wind. After an hour of motoring, the wind changed direction, picked up and so did the waves. It was a rock and roll day with our boat hitting 7.7 knots (in the past, the fastest we’d ever gone was 6.3.) There were some edgy moments too, but we made it, as a team, and are now anchored in the shelter of a small cove for tonight.

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It’s never boring. Always an adventure. Even meals take on a whole new level of exploration…watermelon bruschetta!

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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 😊

It Takes Two

It may take two to tango, but apparently in the world of the red-necked grebe, it also takes two to sit on a nest.

This pair of grebes has been building and rebuilding their nest for several months. Although they do leave the nest periodically, they both seem to take their parenting responsibilities very seriously. To the point where they sit on the nest together.

I guess it’s true that it takes a community to raise a child, even in the bird kingdom.

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Somewhere under there lies an egg. ~ Photo by Julie Wise

Still Learnin’

Last week, as we were out enjoying a lovely sail, the wind began to shift and pick up. We took one sail down and the wind got stronger, so we decided it was time to head back to the marina.

As my partner reached down and over to pull the cord to start the motor, a rogue wind caught the main sail and sent the boat onto its edge. I was at the helm and the tiller flew out of my hand. I had the sudden image of my partner going headfirst into the water with me not far behind.

In my panic, I said some unprintable things very loudly, while he calmly reached over and let out the main sail. The boat righted itself with ease.

Under normal circumstances, I know to do that. But in the midst of momentary chaos, apparently my mind takes a leave of absence.

Guess I’m still learning! Aren’t we all?

And isn’t that the joy of living? So much still to learn 🙂

Sailing, sailing...

Sailing, sailing…

 

Let There Be Light

Sometimes, as William Wordsworth said, “the world is too much with us.” Events in our own lives, and around the world, can weigh heavily on our hearts and minds.

At such times, I close my eyes and surrender…to the feelings of loss, of sadness and disbelief. And as I breathe in, I notice…the feel of the wind on my face, the touch of the sun on my shoulder, and the melodies of birds in the trees.

I recognize that in the midst of sorrow, there is also joy. It may seem more fleeting, hard to capture, and yet, like a butterfly, it hovers around me, at the periphery of my vision, just waiting to be noticed.

And so, I choose…to notice joy; to feel my own aliveness and wellbeing; to celebrate all that is good in the world. In so doing, I honour those in my world who are no longer able to do the same.

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Let there be Light… (photo by Julie Wise)