Brrrrr!!!!

The temperature dropped overnight to about 14C so for the first time in this sailing trip, we had to add extra layers. It’s always cooler on the water plus the wind was still strong (although it had veered to the opposite direction during the night).

Today was a motoring day because we needed to navigate buoys from Presqu’ile Bay, through the Murray Canal, into the Bay of Quinte.

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You need to be able to read the charts (maps) to understand which side of the buoys to avoid shallow water, rocks and weeds. You also need to know how to get safely in and out of harbours, and as you get closer to the St. Lawrence River, you need to know the direction and speed of currents and the schedule of tides.

Sailing is not just about putting up sails and heading off on the wind. There’s lots to know, always more to learn, and each day brings new challenges.

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One advantage to motoring is you get to enjoy the scenery. The Murray Canal is a long narrow channel with two swing bridges.

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We’d been told by friends that a man comes down as you pass by and collects the $5 fee by extending a basket out to the boat on a long pole. We didn’t get to see it though because the bridge is being replaced and was wide open.

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We followed the buoys into the Bay of Quinte, past Trenton and the airforce base, and saw the search and rescue aircraft practicing manoeuvres over the water.

Tonight we’re in Belleville and it’s another chilly one. A pleasant treat after so many sweltering days in the sun.

 

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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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Life In A Tiny Home…On Water

Living on a boat, especially a small boat, is a lot like living in a tiny home. You learn to make do with less and everything has multiple purposes.

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The kitchen (called a galley) on our boat is a small L-shape. Barely enough room for one person so we take turns on cooking and dishes duty. Behind the tiny sink is the ice box (which we must continually replenish with ice and drain out the melted water). Beside that is the drying area for dishes. When not used for that purpose, the shelf comes off revealing a two-burner stove. Sailing is also a lot like camping.

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The dining room is a table that folds up or down as needed.

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The living room is our cockpit.

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And the bedroom is the v-berth at the bow (front) of the boat. We pull out those pillows, and the sleeping bags behind them, and there is plenty of room for two people to stretch out comfortably.

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The toilet is called the head, and it’s really a tiny closet with a tiny toilet and tiny sink. You don’t want to be claustrophobic…

It’s a simple life, eating light easy meals, picking up just enough groceries for a few days, doing laundry when you get to a sizeable marina.

Life is easy. Life is good.

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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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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!

 

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.