Tuesday, August 18, 2009




I have no idea what order the pictures will appear so please bear with me. I will describe them as I put them in though I suspect the opposite loading will be the reality.
There is my wife Ellie, Clutching the boom as we motor in our destination marina, Toronto Island Marina. We had a beautiful 6 hour sail from Hamilton. The wind was from the South-West so as our destination was due East we sailed on a starboard tack for six hours. Six hours on one tack! As Ellie is the rope handler on board, the first hour was like a blissful vacation for her with no work to do. As the second hour approached she said she was bored and got out a book to read. Our speed was between 4 to 5 1/2 knots.
The second picture is of me sailing along with a cap from the last ship I served on, or was it the second last? Who knows, they were sisters ships and for all intents and purposes, identical.
The third picture is a view from our rental slip; The famed CN Tower and the Rogers Centre, aka the Molson Centre, aka The Sky Dome! Yes, it has been sold that many times.
The last, (or first), photo is of me in the R.O.M., or the Royal Ontario Museum. Not really my cup of tea, it certainly did not live up to its TV adverts. I have to admit, the dinosaur exhibit lifted me out of my funky mood a bit. I am standing in front of a T-Rex, man, I knew they were big, but it never dawned on me just how big they were. I would guess that it could take at least 50 lbs, or 20 odd kilograms of flesh from its prey in a single bite! Directly behind me is a triceratops skull. 6 Tons to a T-rex's 8 tons. I always wanted to be a triceratops even though I am a meatasaur by nature.
Now about Toronto city proper....I could go on about how we were given false directions because we were tourists, or how some water taxi drivers tried to charge us triple what the posted rate was but what struck me the worst was the general people. They are dirty and disgusting! I seen this over and over, they would be standing not 5 feet from a garbage can but they will still just toss their litter on the ground beside it! The town is filthy! Now I know they are just a couple of weeks from a bad garbage strike, but that is over and done with now and there are no heaping piles of garbage anywhere to be seen, but the litter, Oh the litter. I'll never set foot in that town again.
The trip back was a bit of an adventure. The wind westerly, right in our face. That means we will have to tack, or zig-zag, back to Hamilton. So we tacked and tacked and tacked. for three hours and only travelled about 6 miles. Then we had a small rigging failure, a sheave on our main sheet traveller broke free, We secured the traveller amiships and in doing so lost some fine tuning ability. The sheaves were held with stainless steel cotter pins and one let go. Today I put proper shackles on them. I am pissed off that I never noticed such a shoddy short cut like that before it failed.
We decided to motor. Then the swells started hitting us on our port forward quarter with high winds coming from straight ahead creating wind driven waves. It was hot and the spray was exhilarating. We took turns at the helm, (Steering), as it was a bit of a fight. We did make it to the lift bridge at about 7 pm.
Just outside of of the channel leading to the lift bridge, we ran out of gas. Not a problem as we still carried the old gas tank that came with the boat, plus a three gallon and a one gallon gas container with the appropriate two stroke oil.
Inside the channel to the lift bridge a huge gust of wind caught us and spun us around, and we were under motor with no canvas showing at all! Usually the channel is full of boats but fortunately we were more or less on our own, it truly could have been disastrous.
We had a good trip over all and am going to try for 50 point Conservation Area next.






3 comments:

kathryn said...

what an adventure Al and Ellie!!!!

Hampus said...

Sailing is seldom boring :)

Ellie said...

Very true ..but often relaxing..when things arn't falling apart on us or high winds pushing us into very large bridges.