The Adventures of Ninkasi

Journal for 2007

Winter May 24 Weekend Canada Day
Parry Sound Trip The Rest of the Summer

Ninkasi in the winter


The boating season started off a bit earlier this year and it was about mid February when we got a call that the snow on the boat needed to be looked at. Early on a Saturday morning I packed a few shovels in the back of the car and headed up to Penetang. As you can see there was a fair bit of snow. The picture shows the stern with about three feet of snow and it took me about an hour to clear it all off, plus the two hour drive up and the two hour drive back.

May 24 Weekend

Alex, Stevie and Emma at the Visitor's arch The May 24th weekend was again the un-official start of the summer. This year Kathy was working the entire weekend so Gord and Stephanie (Mr. Potato and Tater tot) joined us. The weekend ended up being one of our driest May 24th weekends in years and as you can see, we have the girls with their yearly picture at the welcome gate. We’ve decided to make sure we do this at the beginning of each year so we can compare them from year to year.

The weekend was full of hikes. We did the usual trip out to Kitchi’s chair and then continued on to Thumb Point. On the way up to the point the trail goes right through a swampy area and a boardwalk was built to make the trip easier and reduce the impact to the natural environment.

Alex, Stevie and Emma on Kitchi's chair

On the way out the girls found a very large (now empty) egg shell. We had a good look at it an figured it must be from a Canada Goose. However, Alex figured it was probably a Swan egg. Gord and I doubted this but we kept it to ourselves because neither of us had ever seen or heard of a wild swan. When we got to Thumb Point Gord spotted a rather large white bird out in the water. We pulled out the binoculars, had a good look and sure enough it was a swan. Still not quite sure of what we were seeing, we looked up in our Ontario bird book and compared both what we were seeing and the shell the girls found. The shell ended up being too large to be a Canada Goose egg and what we were actually looking at was a Tundra Swan.

Lesson Five: When Alex suggests something to do with the wildlife, flora, fauna or natural environment that we are observing, then more often than not we are wrong and she is right.

Alex, Stevie and Emma at the beach The girls love playing on the beach and so Gord and I decided to sacrifice everything that we wanted to do and instead we sat on the beach and had a drink or three (what caring fathers). Although we had a very dry weekend, it was also very windy and as you can see by the picture, the wind kept the boat off the dock for the entire weekend. On Sunday while the girls were playing at the beach I asked Alex to bring back the net bag which they use to put all their sand toys into. When she brought this I filled it with beer and cokes, tied it to a rope and threw it over the side.
Ninkasi at the Cruiser dock

Alex, being inquisitive about everything didn’t understand what was going on and asked what we were doing. Not being the type of person that just gives the answer I asked her why they weren’t in swimming this weekend and about halfway through her answer of “it’s too cold” she said ohhhhh I understand. This is one of the downsides of being out on the first weekend of the year; access to ice is somewhat limited, but the resourceful will not have a problem.

Canada Day

This year for Canada day Kathy was working again so Gord and Stevie came up to the boat with us. It was just a regular weekend for us; we went for hikes, the girls played on the beach, fished off the dock, Gord had a three hour nap and we sat around the fire at night.

Stevie, Emma and Alex fishing Emma and Stevie eating pita pizzas

Parry Sound Trip

Steve, Emma and Alex in Swiming This year we decided to go back to Parry Sound for our two week summer vacation. When we asked the girls they just kept going on about how much fun they had last year. This time we decided to leave early on the Saturday morning and try going up the east side of the Giant's Tomb and tuck in at O’Donnell Point at the entrance to Twelve Mile Bay. This time the weather and wind agreed with us and we motor sailed all the way up to Henry’s Fish restaurant and pulled in about 2:30. Emma seadooing The great guys at Henry’s managed to squeeze us in to an overnight spot right next to where the float planes pull up to drop off dinner guests. We tied up behind some nice people from Lake Simcoe in a Catalina 380 called Inukshuk whose kids were swimming in the clearest water I’ve ever seen in Georgian Bay. It was over 20 feet deep and crystal clear.

We only had about a two hour trip up to Kilcoursie so we took our time leaving in the morning. As it turns out we weren’t paying enough attention to where we were going and as I heard Alex mentioning she could see the bottom I realized we were off course. I quickly backed off on the throttle and heard a loud thump as we came to a complete stop.

Emma at the beach

Re-learn Lesson Two and Three

Now we were actually aground and were listing to one side. Everybody was alright but a bit shaken up and by now a few other boats were coming by to see if we needed help. At this point I determined that the keel had ridden up on the sloping rock bottom and we had probably sustained no damage, but how were we going to get off? As it turned out the boat listed to the other side and we slowly slide of the ledge into deeper water and we were once again afloat. Needless to say it was a rather tense trip to Kilcoursie, where we anchored in about 30 feet.

Alex and Emma on the beach Alex and Emma on Scott Island

Alex jumping of the cliffs at Harold's point We stayed the next three days anchored in Kilcoursie Bay and spent the time going on hikes through the park, swimming and relaxing on the beach. We also met up with a friend of Kathy's (Pieter) from work who happened to be in the park camping with his wife and daughter. They dropped by for a visit and even drove out of the park to grab us a few bags of ice. The same trip would take me an hour by dingy, so we were rather grateful. We managed to take another dingy ride over to Scott Island for some exploring and swiming and then headed over to Harold's point where Alex got up the nerve to jump of the cliffs.

After three days we started the engine and got ready to pull up anchor and head into Parry Soun., However something didn’t sound right so I took a quick look over the stern and didn’t see any water coming out of the exhaust which meant the engine wasn't being cooled. Well, we had a problem, so I went about trying to find out what it was. After about 30 minutes of thinking and investigating I determined the impeller was shot, so lucky enough I had a spare and it only took me another 30 minutes upside down to replace it and then we were off to Parry Sound.

Emma, Alex and Steve on Scott Island Emma, Alex and Kathy on Scott Island

Emma learning to ride Well now that we were back in Parry Sound the girls had to visit the Bay Street café and since they serve Creemore I was more than happy to oblige. We had planned to be in Parry Sound for the August long weekend to be able to stock up and spend some time in the town. Well as it turned out we happened to be there for the hottest weekend of the year. Usually when you are on the water, even the hottest days aren’t that bad. This was the exception and the heat was bad enough that we all jumped into the water at the marina. As a general rule you would not usually go swimming in a Marina, but this being a transient marina it’s a lot cleaner than most.

Alex and Emma with a fairway bouy We brought the girl’s bikes up and Emma was just learning to ride so we went up to the trail and headed out to the public beach. Emma was having a few problems with her steering and every time we got close to a lamp post Emma would head off the path and head straight towards the post. The next day we headed off to visit the fire tower and after a few tries, double backs and a little help we eventually managed to find it. It was an open structure with a few hundred stairs that went up a couple hundred feet. I was quite surprised that neither of the girls had a problem with the height, however the view was spectacular and you could see for miles in any direction.

Parry Sound from the Tower

We were about to leave Parry Sound when we got a call from Mike and Ruth. They were on their way back from the North Channel and were anchored in Killcoursie. We let them know that we were just heading out and would meet them in a couple of hours.

We arrived just as the wind was picking up and we seemed to have a rather difficult time anchoring. It took a number of tries but we finally got a good hold about 100 feet from Beaujolais.

Kathy on Ninkasi

We stayed a couple more days before heading back and of course stopped at Henry’s for lunch. After lunch we continued back along the inside channel and as we passed O’Donnell Point the wind was on the nose so we decided to continue on and pulled in behind Starr Island for the night. The next day the weather was great, the wind was in the right direction and the water was calm but we were on the inside passage, so we spent a couple of hours motoring down to the Musquash channel and headed out of the inside passage. We had a great sail down past The Giant’s Tomb and back to the marina (if we had waited another day at Killcoursie we would have had a great sail the whole way down, Oh well).

Heading back to the marina Emma, Alex and Ruth on Beaujolias

The Rest of the Summer

Various Summer of 2007 Pictures

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