The Adventures of Ninkasi

Journal for 2012

March 17th-18th March 24th-25th Easter Weekend (April 6th-8th)
April 13th-15th April 20th-22nd April 28th-29th
May 11th-13th May 24th Weekend June 1st-3rd
June 15th-17th June 22th-24th Canada Day Weekend
July 6th-8th July 13th-15th July 20th-22nd
Summer Vacation August 24th-26th September 2nd – Labour Day Weekend
September 14th-16th September 21st-23rd September 28th-30th
October 5th – Thanksgiving Weekend October 12th-14th October 19th-21st
October 26th-28th The Rest of the Summer

March 17th-18th

We started the boating season off with a party. Mike and Ruth hosted a St Patrick’s day party at their place and we joined Dave and Maureen (Points North), Eric and Debbie (Seaclusion). The drinks and food were plentiful and Maureen managed to perfect the Pain Killer recipe. Mike, Eric and I spent some time reviewing charts and making some initial plans for the upcoming season.

The next day I went up to the boat to take the tarp off and take the frame down. I decided to take a chance that we were done with winter since it had been so mild. Keep in mind this is by far the earliest we have worked on the boat.

March 24th-25th

Earlier in March I took a seminar on how to restore your fibreglass hull to a “like-new” showroom condition. It turns out that all these years I’ve been doing things wrong, from using the wrong technique, products and equipment. Jan Mundy, that used to own the boating magazine DIY put on the seminar and her level of product knowledge is just amazing. I used her techniques to wash and then compound the boat and the outcome was nothing short of amazing. The hull looks as close to brand new as I could ever have hoped for a 25 year old boat.

The temperature for the weekend was 10-15 during the day and less than zero for the night so I thought it would be best to stay at the Shamrock. It had been almost six months since I had been to the Cellarman’s, so my dinner plans were somewhat predetermined. I brought home the wood trim from the port side saloon so I could start the varnish regime.

Easter Weekend (April 6th-8th)

The girls at the Park sign

I dropped the kids off with my mom for the weekend and came up to the boat myself. The marina had contacted us in mid March and had requested that we should be ready to go in the water the first week of April. I had a quick chat with them and we confirmed for the second week which meant I had to get things ready to go this weekend.

The main goal was to give the hull a protective coating of wax and touch up the bottom paint. I was under some tight restrictions however, from my seminar I learned that wax should be applied in temps of 10-25 Celsius, should not be applied in sunlight and should be left on overnight before being buffed off. I managed to accomplish this, however I worked on the low side of the temperature range and could notice the difference. I also managed to put the first coat of interior varnish on the port side of the saloon. Saturday was a very long day, I looked forward to a shower, a couple of beer and dinner. I set up the official launch date for Friday the 13th.

April 13th-15th

The boat was launched first thing in the morning and we arrived about nine that evening with a car and trailer load of stuff. It was a cool and overcast weekend but we managed to get the engine running, moved the boat, put up both the sails and Kathy cleaned the inside of the boat with some help from Emma. Alex was also with us, but really just took up space. We ordered pizza for dinner and then Kathy and I went to Ron’s 50th birthday party. Ron’s party was great, I talked to people that I haven’t seen in over ten years. On Sunday we put on another coat of varnish before heading home.

April 20th-22nd

I came up by myself this weekend with another car and trailer load of stuff. This trip included the dinghy, motor, kayaks and a bunch of other stuff. I spent the weekend organizing and cleaning before applying the first coat of “rubbed effect” varnish to the port saloon.

April 28th-29th

Cool ass Finnegan

The weather this weekend was not looking favourable for our first outing, the nights were supposed to be pushing below the freezing mark at night. With this in mind we decided to come up Saturday morning instead of the usual Friday night. With the early launch we are really pushing the edge of boating season. Only about 20% of the boats are in yet and there are still quite a few that still have their winter covers on.

We brought up more stuff and Kathy and Emma went into town to do the initial stock up. I spent a good part of the day using my Nigel Calder book on boat maintenance to track down a problem with the oil pressure for the engine. During the initial boat delivery when Gord and I brought the boat over from Thornberry I noticed it had not been working. Since the engine had not ceased I assumed it was not an immediate concern. I had always assumed it was an sensor that had stopped working, however after tracking it down it ended up being a wire corrosion issue. I learned a lot this weekend with respect to and engine and it’s electrical system.

By the time the afternoon rolled around the cockpit was quite comfortable, outside however was a different story. With this in mind we spent the rest of the afternoon just relaxing in the cockpit.

Kathy and Emma in the Cockpit Alex and Finn in the Cockpit

May 11th-13th

Alex at Christian Beach

It was just the girls and I this weekend. As of this weekend we have been in the water for a month without leaving the marina, so the plan was to head out to the island. We brought the bikes up with us and managed a quick unload of the car. Ever since I first started camping with my friends (way back in my teens) I would always make a list of what I needed. The one thing that never made it onto the list was beer, we just never needed a reminder, it was always a given. Well I guess I’ve reached a new age milestone, I only remembered enough beer for Friday night.

Emma had a coughing fit a few times through the night and since I was already going to town for beer I also picked her up some cough syrup. It seemed to do the trick as the next night she was out cold and no coughing.

Emma at Christian Beach

We arrived just before lunch on Saturday and Ruth from Aliona helped guide us into “our” spot. The water seemed to be down about another four to six inches from last year, so the step up onto the dock seemed a bit more difficult. After lunch Finnegan and I took a walk through the park to check things out.

Even though the weather was great the park would not be officially open until the next weekend, so there were only a handful of people from the boats at the cruiser dock. Apparently the winter was not kind to the brand new Tobey docks, they were completely gone with only a couple very damaged cribs left. We found out later that they were damaged by the ice and were taken into Honey Harbour, they are hoping the repairs will be completed before Canada Day.

Christian Beach looking at the Gin Islands

We spent Saturday night on the boat watching movies and just relaxing. I had a quick chat with Evan and Ruth the next morning and they were surprised that we had not shown up at the fire, which was probably a first for us.

On Sunday the plan was to have our breakfast and then hike across the island to Christian Beach. This is usually only an early spring or fall destination since the mosquitoes will eat you alive at any other time of the boating season. Finnegan and I walked while the girls rode ahead on their bikes. It was a great hike without any bugs and we only saw one other person the entire time.

May 24th Weekend

Toni and Gord in the cockpit

Kathy’s original plan was to put Alex on the bus for school and then her, Emma and Finn would get an early start on the weekend. Emma had no qualms about missing a day of school. However, as it turned out Emma was going to be getting an award at a morning assembly. In the end their plans did not quite work out which meant they did not get up to the boat until well after lunch.

Shortly after I got home from work Alex and I caught a ride with Gord, Toni and Stevie for their usual May 24th weekend. Kathy had everything organized by the time we arrived and was enjoying a few sundowners aboard “Margaret Dawn” with Dennis and Janet. We quickly stowed Stevie’s bike and our gear so we could start relaxing.

Gord and the girls fishing

For some reason while the adults were all in the cockpit talking Alex came up from the saloon and chose to take a permanent marker and embellish my face with a mustache. Unfortunately by the time I realized what was happening I was sporting a very difficult to remove mo of the German dictator persuasion. It was at this point that Alex realised her mistake, ah the threat of retribution can be a beautiful tool to heighten the anxiety of the young.

We left early Saturday morning, had breakfast on the run and managed to grab a spot on the wall. We unloaded the girl’s bikes and they were off touring the island. Shortly after their return they talked Gord into fishing off the boat. Gord baits the hooks and the girls spend the next 15 minutes complaining that the fish are not biting.

Alex with her Mo

Saturday was the day I would get my revenge on Alex. She decided to lie down in the cockpit for an afternoon “Gord” nap (3 hours). It took me three different times to complete my masterpiece but it was well worth it.

The rest of the day was spent with a few drinks on the dock or at the beach. In the evening we had a fire and noticed that there was a well celebrated shortage of mosquitoes. This was quite a difference from last year when they drove us back into the boat.

The plan for Sunday morning was to hike across the island to Christian beach. Usually we would only attempt this either very early in May or wait until September after the mosquitoes are gone. We seem to make a number of our decisions around these little buggers, but even a bath in musk oil does not seem to reduce their numbers.

At Beausoleil Point

The temperature was perfect and the hike was very enjoyable albeit uneventful. Not even Emma got hurt. We took a short break at the beach and then took the trail to the bottom of the island which ends up at Beausoleil point. After another short break and a few snacks we set out to complete the trip back to the boat. The last half hour however ended up being in the noonday sun which had everyone sweating and poor Finnegan would move from one side of the trail to the other just to get a bit of shade.

After three hours (six kilometres) we finally arrived back at the boat and then Gord, myself and Alex all went in for a swim. The 13 degree water was a tad cold, but very refreshing.

The girls on the stump

Despite the temperature I went below and started the Pita Pizzas. Usually what we have for lunch would not be worthy enough to mention, however we had what we now refer to as “The Pizza Incident”. As I passed up a second helping to Emma and Alex the pizza slide off the plate and managed to cause second degree burns on Alex’s leg. Emma was also affected, although not as seriously. We heard about this for the rest of the weekend.

Biker Toni

On Sunday we made plans to hike out to Thumb Point. There were a few campers there and Toni had her biker chick look on. We had another fire that night with the usual marshmallows, smores and spider dogs.

After lunch on Monday we tried to sail on the way back but the bikes got in the way of the head sail so we gave up early. Gord bought everyone dinner at Boston Pizza on the way.

June 1st-3rd

The weekend forecast was going to be cold and rainy. It reminded me of what May 24 long weekends used to be like. We decided it would be more comfortable to stay in the marina. Kathy and I spent Saturday un-tarping, taking down the winter frame and giving a good cleaning to the Edel.

We also got a quote on replacing our dodger and having some other canvas work done on the boat. The dodger was probably at least 15 years old and the windows were cracked and yellowing.

June 15th-17th

Finn and Emma

Mike had been checking out the weather during the week and it looked like it would be a good weekend to visit Methodist Bay. We knew this would not go over very well with the girls, as the last time we were there it we had a very uncomfortable night. That was over four years ago but has not been forgotten.

We promised the girls we would move if it got rough but the wind stayed from the south and we had a very pleasant father’s day weekend. It was the first time Mike and Ruth were taking Maggie with them away from the marina and she did very well. Alex was taking Finn in for a run and a pee and stopped by to see if Maggie wanted to go as well. The two of them were a bit overwhelming for her and Emma along with an unfamiliar anchorage and she was a bit stressed when they got back.

We stayed on the boat Saturday night and Mike, Ruth and Maggie came over for a few drinks. The first hour and half of the trip back was a rather nice sail, but then the wind changed as we got closer to the entrance to the outer harbour.

June 22th-24th

It was just Alex, Emma, Finnegan and myself this weekend, Kathy was working. We stayed in marina as I wanted to do some boat jobs, but I also had some people coming up to have a look at Ninkasi I (the Edel).

We had arranged to get the dodger canvas replaced during the week, but there was a bit of rainy weather which meant they had about two hours of work left to finish which delayed my boat cleaning. I showed the boat to Bill, Trina and their son in the afternoon and they seemed to be very interested so we made an arrangement for a down payment.

It was raining in the afternoon which meant I was unable to do any varnishing or compounding but I did manage to finish washing the outside. In the evening we joined Mike, Ruth and Jessica and went over to Eric and Debbie’s boat. It was here that were learned that Jessica (Mike’s niece) had two boyfriends, Justin Beiber and the allusive, very mysterious Gus Augustine.

Canada Day Weekend

Emma with her clay

It was the last day of school and we left the house as soon as the kids got off the bus. Our plan was to leave for the island on Friday night and maybe secure a spot on the wall for the Canada Day weekend. The Park usually has a number of events happening and we were hoping to have a fire. We arrived around 8:30 but all the spots were taken so we anchored out for the night.

After breakfast on Saturday morning I looked over at the cruiser dock and I could not believe that our spot was open. It was all hands on deck and we had the engine started, anchor up, the lines ready to go and were moved within five minutes.

In our spot

On Sunday the Park had a number of activities going on. Kathy and the girls did a shoreline hike and then I met them later for a cultural hike. I took Finnegan back with me to the boat to try and get him to have a drink of water, while Kathy and the girls went back to the kiosk for some cake. While we were out on the hike Mike, Ruth and Matthew (Ruth’s nephew) pulled into a spot on the squeaky docks.

Mike came by the boat and we had a few beers while Emma and Mathew participated in more of the Canada Day activities. That evening we took over the fire pit and had a few smores.

Monday was another beautiful day, Kathy, Emma, Finn and I went on a hike out on the rocks by the cruiser dock and then over to the beach at papoose bay.

July 6th-8th

Just Emma and I came up this weekend. We did a few boat jobs and stayed in the marina. I showed the boat on Saturday morning and we went back early on Sunday morning.

July 13th-15th

I took the Friday off to launch and set up the Edel. In the afternoon I went over all the systems with Bill and Trina, the new owners.

We decided to take the boat out for a run without the sails and about 45 minutes out the temperature alarm went off. We quickly shut the engine down and dropped the anchor. An overheating problem is almost always the impeller, show I let Bill replace it, for the experience. After it was replaced the water still did not seem to be flowing so Alex came out to meet us in the dinghy. We pushed the boat back into the marina and tied up. This was not a good start to trying to sell the boat. After a bit of troubleshooting we started the engine back up and everything was fine. In the end I just did not let it run long enough for the water to start flowing.

We let the engine run for another two hours (without any problems) while I showed Bill and Trina how to put on the sails and run all the rigging. Bill and Trina took the boat out that night and anchored behind magazine island. In the morning I joined them for about four hours out sailing in the outer harbour. We went over the all the points of sail, how to come about and adjust both sails. It was a very enjoyable outing.

July 20th-22nd

This weekend we finalized the sale of the Edel. It is said the best two days of boat ownership is the day you buy the boat and the day you sell the boat. I’m glad it will be going to a family that will make good use of it.

All the boats at Aquapalozza

We left for Beausoleil after breakfast and had an unfortunate surprise. As we passed the lower end of the island we suddenly saw about 200 boats in Papoose Bay. We had unwittingly stumbled into aquapalooza. The boats were everywhere, even the cruiser dock and the bay were packed.

Emma on the kayak

There was no way we were going to stay, so we took a chance that further up the bay would not be as busy. We anchored off of Wana Keta and had a great weekend.

This was another weekend in which I never left the boat and Alex provided the taxi service for Finnegan.

Emma and Alex spent a lot of time in the water, Finnegan slept and I did some varnish work. Since there was a fire ban on we really did not miss being at the cruiser dock. We rather enjoyed not being surrounded by a few hundred boats. We played a lot of cards and watched the movie “Bridesmaids”.

Summer Vacation

Check out the map of our Trip

August 4th

Passing the Old Ninkasi It was going to be a very warm day so we planned to get an early start to our vacation, however we spent 45 minutes trying to get out of our slip. All I could do was move back and forth about three feet at a time. The weeds were so bad that I did not think we were going to get out without a tow. Kathy and Alex had to fend us off Water Music and the other docks as we were moving sideways. The marina is supposed to dredge while we are away, if not we will have to find a new spot.

The wind seemed to be in a favourable direction so we raised the sails after we entered the outer harbour. On the way out of the harbour we passed the old Ninkasi, they were heading back in. The winds were about 15 knots but were gusting to over 20. We were doing six to six and a half knots most of the time.

Emma and I with Towels

The plan was to head directly up to Massassauga Park and I wanted to take advantage of the wind while we could. We decided the best way to do this was to take the route around the bottom of Giants tomb and then straight up to O’Donnell point.

Kathy and the girls in swimming

The wind and the swells were directly behind us so we motor sailed (very low rpm) with the main only over 6 knots. This seemed to keep the boat motion to a minimum.

Mike had discovered an anchorage off the beaten path on the Great Lakes Cruising Club (GLCC) web site. Crooked Island is just barely in the Park boundary and it is a rather difficult and butt clenching entrance to a very secluded and well protected spot. We dropped the anchor in about twelve feet of clear 27 degree water at five in the afternoon.

I was the first one in the water, as it was 34 degrees outside. Even Kathy went in for the first time this year. We also noticed that we had a stowaway grasshopper that we nicknamed Cheech.

August 5th

Alex jumping off the boat

We were going to stay put today, the winds were supposed to pick up to over 30 knots in the open areas. Emma and Alex spent a few hours in swimming, Kathy and I read and Finnegan slept.

After lunch Emma, myself and Finn went for a kayak ride around the bay. This was the first time in a kayak for Finn, he was well behaved as usual and just sat there and watched.

Phinn and I kayaking

Part way through our kayak trip we rounded a rock corner and saw about fifteen young merganser ducks. This really got his attention and I thought he was going after them, but he settled down and kept an eye on them.

The winds were huge after dinner, we measured 21 a few times but it was higher at some points and they finally died around 2:30. I had another restless sleep until about four and then was gone.

August 6th

Today is Finnegan’s birthday.... as you can tell he was very excited.

Phinn's birthday

We left about 10:30 in the morning and the plan was to stop at Henry’s, grab a couple bags of ice before their lunch rush and then head to Killcoursie bay. I was full of confidence after our uneventful navigation into Crooked Bay and when Kathy asked if we should post a bow watch I just fluffed it off.

Less than two minutes later we hit and went up onto a rock ledge. None of the charts or the GLCC notes had mentioned it. It was directly in the middle of the channel at about four feet deep, we draw four and a half.

Alex enjoying the sail

We were stuck good, I tried to back off, go forward and even raised the sail to see if I could heel the boat, but we were still stuck.

As I was contemplating putting the dingy in the water a man in a small fishing boat came by. I handed him a line from the top of the mast and as he started pulling we heeled over about 30 degrees, I then put it in reverse and we came off.

Passing the Island Queen

We left even slower then we entered, this time with Kathy watching from the bow.Our delay put us in the middle of the lunch rush at Henry’s and I think they were kind of peeved that we only wanted ice.

We chose a new (to us) route out past a rather tight entrance to the Wabanuo channel. We passed the Island Queen on the way and arrived in Killcoursie around two in the afternoon.

August 7th

Emma Paddle Boarding

When I took Finnegan in for his morning ritual I checked out the activity board for the park and they were holding a free paddle board demonstration.

Emma was interested in giving it a try so she and Kathy went in around eleven while Alex and I read and did boat jobs (guess who did the boat jobs).

Of course when Emma got back she now wanted to get a paddle board, but at over ten feet in length there is no place for one on the boat (not to mention the $1000 price tag).

Emma and Finnegan in the kayak

Kathy, Emma and Finnegan went for a kayak trip over to Scott Island while I did some more varnishing. The girls did some more swimming in the afternoon and Emma went tubing. After dinner we watched “Tower Heist”.

August 8th

The original vacation plan for this year was to head back up to the North Channel or to the Bustard Islands and the Bad river. In Georgian Bay you always have to keep an eye on the weather for a few days out. It is quite common to have two to three days of heavy winds and you don’t want to get caught or trapped by weather. With this in mind and the weather forecast not looking so good we decided to stay another day in Killcoursie and then head into Parry Sound to hunker down for an upcoming storm.

Today however was going to be a great sunny day so we went over to Harold’s Point so the girls could jump off the cliffs.

Emma jumping at Harold's Point Alex jumping at Harold's Point

They were jumping from about fifteen feet high and at the end Alex tried some that looked about twenty. After an hour and a half of jumping we headed back to the boat and then Emma and I went to Killbear marina for ice.

Emma ready to jump The cliffs at Harold's Point

August 9th

Alex and Phinn in the cockpit

Just after breakfast we left for Parry Sound, the wind was light and on the nose so we had a two hour motor in. As we were arriving we were passed by a convoy of eight power boats, which turned out to be the “Lefroy Group”. Lefroy Harbour is a marina in the south end of Lake Simcoe so we assumed that is where they were from.

Kathy had noticed that none of them had dinghies which seemed odd, however if they mainly boat in Lake Simcoe then most of their nights would be spent in marinas. With this group in front of us we had a thirty minute wait to get into Big Sound marina.

With winds forecast for 30 knots we’ve never seen the marina so full, about 80%. We went to the Bay Street Cafe for lunch and then Kathy and the girls went to the used book store.

August 10th

Friday was a wet and rainy day so we stayed put and read or did inside boat jobs. I also met Ian from “Sagres H’ái” out of Beacon Bay. We met them once before in Port Rawson Bay two years ago.

August 11th

It was another dreary day and the plans were to go into town to catch a movie however it was pouring rain and we knew we would get soaked. We held off until about one when it stopped which gave us just enough time to get downtown.

The movies were five dollars each. Kathy and the girls went to see Ice Age 4 and I went to see the Bourne Legacy.

We walked up to Wellingtons for supper so Emma could have her ribs that she had been talking about for close to a year.

August 12th

Finnegan out fo a walk

It was another dreary day with high winds and people in the marina are getting restless and leaving despite the weather. Kathy and Finn went for a long walk along the lake shore while the girls and I went to see Ice age 4 (yes they wanted to go again).

It’s Olympics time again. Four years ago when we were on vacation we watched the Olympics on the computer and afterwards I found our current boat was for sale. So watching the Olympics on the boat has become a sort of tradition.

I wanted to be able to take advantage of our TV rather than having everyone sitting around a small laptop screen, however I needed a special cable to make this happen.

The stores in downtown Parry Sound are limited so I decided to take the long hike up to Wal-Mart and Radio Shack to find a connector and a cable. I had to “borrow” a connection since the Big Sound wi-fi was down.

Coast Guard in Parry Sound

Jason, Layla, Makalya and Daniella, came for a visit. They were also trapped in Parry Sound due to the weather. We met them two years ago in Port Rawson and since Makalya and Daniella are the same ages as Alex and Emma they have a lot in common.

The girls watched the One Direction video and the adults chatted in the cockpit for a few hours.

August 13th

Bob and Cathy's place

Well, we’ve spent more time in Parry Sound then we wanted. Although I like coming here four days is a bit too much. We needed fuel and a pump-out so we headed over to Sound Boat Works before dropping in to see my good friends Bob and Kathy.

Usually I have to plan our departure time around the schedule of the Island Queen. The pump-out facilities in Parry Sound are right behind the Island Queen and are very tight to get into, so I only attempt it when they are not in Port. This was an excellent substitute with a much smaller stress component. It looks like a nice quiet marina, however a bit far from town.

When we arrived at Big Sound it was about 85% full by the end of the day and now that we were leaving there were only 3 other boats left. It took us just under two hours to get to Bob and Cathy’s on Mowat Island, we went around the back and pulled right into the dock.

Ninkasi at Bob and Cathy's dock

They have a gorgeous place with amazing views and it is well hidden from the water. As we arrived Bob and Cathy we just getting back from a boat ride and Cathy took the girls for a tube ride behind a real powerboat.

We had a great dinner and enjoyed a wonderful night sitting in their cottage and having a chat. We called it an early night and had a sound nights sleep.

August 14th

We woke up early and were rewarded with a visit by a doe and her fawn on the shore across from the boat. Bob sounded the bell (signalling they were awake) and we went up for a nice breakfast and a chat.

Alex and I tying up to shore

Shortly after we pushed off for Port Rawson to spend a few days, we back tracked through the Wabanuo channel and through the tight opening around the “Turning Rock” just north of Henry’s. It took us five hours to get there and when we arrived there were only three other boats in the bay.

We anchored bow out and tied the stern to land. Now that Alex is getting good with the dingy she was able to help with this maneuver. It requires a bit more planning and since it took us a couple of tries a bit more experience.

The rest of the day was spent either swimming, reading or playing cards.

August 15th

Ninkasi anchored in Port Rawson

After breakfast we jumped into the dinghy and went to the marina for ice and ice cream. It takes about half an hour with the dinghy on plane and the route is very confusing.

I’ve been there at least ten times and I still find myself getting confused.

After we got back Emma, Finnegan and I hiked up the cliff so we could take some pictures of the boat from up high. From shore the route looks rather easy but there is a lot of ground cover and brush.

Alex coming to pick us up

Since this is Massassauga Park we do have to keep an eye and an ear out while we are hiking along the rocks off the normal trails.

Alex came back to pick us up and we went back for a swim. Alex read and Emma swung off the main sheet halyard.

August 16th

Morning fog in Port Rawson

We were facing another day of Georgian Bay weather. The forecast for late Thursday and early Friday was not very good. We were expecting rain, thunder storms and twenty to twenty-five knot winds, in the wrong direction.

We made the decision to leave early in the morning (6am wakeup) and head straight back to the marina. Good planning made the trip uneventful and we missed the rain and wind.

The entire way from O’Donnell Point, I was watching a couple of boats following us across the top of Giant Tomb. It turned out to be Blue Heron and the other Ninkasi (both from our marina).

Alex, Emma and myself coming home

As soon as we got into the outer harbour they poured on the speed and passed us. We had a very difficult time pulling into our spot since the dredging had not been done.

After we tied up, we chatted with Dennis and Janet about their vacation and then had a well deserved nap.

August 24th-26th

Marlene and Finnegan

This was a marina weekend and every year Hindson holds a themed party. This year was a Super Hero and Villian theme. Kathy made us all Incredible’s costumes, even Finnegan.

Unfortunately I could only find pictures of Emma and Finnegan in the Dog show portion. Finnegan won for Best Costume, Best Trick and Most Obedient.

We should have won the overall contest but I think many of the boaters that were voting had no idea who we were. Most of them have grown kids. We got a lot of great compliments and many people were surprised that we did not win.

Oh well, there is always next year.

September 2nd – Labour Day Long Weekend

Ninkasi and Beaujolais at the sqeaky's

Kevin joined the girls and I this weekend. The forecast was for a wet and rainy weekend so we decided to head over to Beausoleil since we figured the weather would deter the crowds. We were right there, it was not a busy weekend at all.

Mike and his son Andrew on Beaujolais were also heading out for the weekend so we chose to take a chance and see if we could get in at the squeaky docks. They are not really squeaky anymore but the name has stuck.

With our boat being 39 feet we really only had a choice of going on the outside dock, but when we got there it was available. Mike was able to pull in right beside us. We were keeping a close eye on the weather and there was supposed to be a lot of rain. We were were cutting it close and thought it was going to let lose before we were tied up.

Andrew and his fish

As it turned out we had about fifteen minutes to spare and then it poured for over three hours. It was coming down so hard that even the canvas started to develop a few leaks at the seams.

Since hiking was out of the question Mike and Andrew dropped over and we had a few beers. It was Mike and Andrews’ first time trying Spearhead’s Hawaiian style Pale Ale. I’ve had it a few times before and think it is an excellent beer, just a bit hard to find.

The girls and I relaxing

The weather was raining off and on all weekend so we took advantage when it stopped for short periods and went on a few hikes.

Andrew spent a lot of time fishing and was much more of a die hard, he stayed out in the rain. He managed to catch a few good sized Bass.

We joined some fellow boaters for a fire on shore but we only managed to get about thirty minutes in before it started pouring. We quickly put the chairs in the covered picnic area and ran back to the boat for the night.

September 14th-16th

Gord, Toni and Kathy at the dock

The girls school had a professional development day (yes already) on Friday, so I decided to take the day off and make a long weekend of it. Our neighbours Gord, Toni and Stevie were also going to join us on the Saturday. Gord was going to bring his father’s fishing boat up and we would meet them.

Since we had an extra day and it was getting late in the year we decided to try and get into Ojibway. This is a very secluded spot which can be very difficult to get a spot. It’s known to be frequented by a number of selfish boaters that try to save spots for their friends.

Thankfully there was none of that this weekend. Since it is so well protected the mosquitoes are really bad most of the summer, so they can keep it those weekends.

Finnegan resting, Emmas fishing Gord and the girls going fishing

Ojibway is a very tight spot to get into, at this time of year the weeds are really bad which makes the depth sounder rather useless. I was getting depth readings of three feet, we draw four and a half so I knew the depth sounder was no help.

Alex on the tube

Kathy was up on the bow with the walkie-talkie and kept an eye as to where I should try and steer. We were inching forward very slowly so that way if we hit anything we could just back off. We made it without any issues... however it did take about an hour for my butt to fully unclench.

We were the only boat at the dock for a few hours so we managed to grab what we considered to be the best spot. Another couple joined us just before it got dark. They mentioned they were surprised to find a sailboat at the dock due to the low water and tight entrance. We had a quiet evening on the dock, played some cards and the girls watched a movie.

The girls were very excited that Gord was bringing up the fishing boat. It meant they could go fishing from out on the water, but more importantly, it has a much larger engine than the dinghy. They were looking forward to doing some tubing “behind a fast boat”.

Emma on the tube Stevie on the tube

The water temperature was only about 15 Celsius but they did have shorty wet-suits which helped a bit. I just know that I had no interest.

We had a very full day on Saturday with great weather and we still managed to squeeze in a fire in the evening. Many of the other boaters joined us and in the end there was about twenty people around the fire pit.

Everyone at the Ojibway sign

Our departure was somewhat delayed. When I started the engine, the water flow from the exhaust did not seem to be normal. Since a steady water flow is required to keep the engine cool I wanted to address the problem while we were still at the dock.

We were in a very weedy spot and I was sure that was causing a blocked thru-hull. In the end I did not manage to clear the blockage so I switched the engine inlet hose with the bathroom inlet hose (nice MacGyver move). Everything worked fine, it just meant we could not use the head until we got back to the marina.

It was another slow motor out of the inlet to Ojibway, but it was thankfully uneventful and we managed to get some good sailing time in.

September 21st-23rd

Forward bathroom - Before

I came up myself this weekend. It was going to be a miserable weather weekend so I decided it was time to tackle the head (bathroom for the non-boaters) in the forward berth. When the boat was originally built they designed it with two heads.

They may have been a bit ahead of their time, the charter industry will do this with most of the forty feet plus sized boats to give everyone a separate and private head. Well on this boat I’m not as concerned about privacy and I believe that two heads will lead to twice as many future problems. If I’m going to have something cause me twice as many problems I would rather it was not the head.

Forward bathroom - After

When we bought the boat the forward head was never used and in fact the toilet was removed so it seemed like a waste of space. A separate bathroom in the forward cabin also made it very awkward to get in and out of bed. This was the main reason that Kathy and I used the Aft cabin instead.

So the plan was to remove the bathroom and free up the space for the forward cabin. I was a good storage area for us and we will need to find a home for some of the stuff we used to keep in here. The removal of the bathroom walls, sink and cabinets are just the first step.

I will need to get some professional fibreglass work done so I can finish the interior. A work in progress.

September 28th-30th

Water way out, Evan's boat

We assumed this would be our last boating weekend of the season in which we would be able to get out of the marina. With this in mind we headed to our usual and still our favourite spot on Beausoleil.

On the approach to the cruiser dock we noticed the water was even lower than usual and our coveted end spot was open. I had some serious doubts if we could get in there but we took it slow and managed to squeeze in.

Evan and Ruth came over and gave us a hand tying up and mentioned this was the lowest they have ever seen the water level. They were on the other end spot but were sticking out about ten feet past the end of the dock.

I took a picture of their boat and how far out the water was in their spot. The foreground of the picture is usually one to two feet deep.

The girls at the wather height rock Alex holding up the GBNP sign

There were a number of boats on the cruiser dock that were also out for the last weekend of the season. Saturday evening was shaping up to be a good bonfire evening.

Everyone that went down to buy wood from the kiosk were getting a free extra bag. The park was trying to get rid of their wood supply for the end of the season. They were also giving out free bags of ice, although they were not going as quick.

Kathy and Finn looking at Papoose Bay

Just next to us on the dock were two boats with eight men having a guys weekend. It turns out that at least four of them were musicians and one of them taught large groups on percussion.

They brought a number of Jembay and some type of percussion instrument for everyone around the fire. We teased Alex about getting a set of shaking nuts. We also mentioned that Finnegan was jealous that she had a pair and he didn’t.

He lead the entire group of about fifteen and taught everyone how to participate in a number of sessions. The other musicians in the group joined in with their trumpet and a French tuba. They later did a few numbers on their own and sounded great.

Although we have been to dozens of fires with sing-along’s or people with guitars this was by far the most memorable bonfire. A great way to end the year. I believe we even got to sail part way back to the marina.

October 5th – Thanksgiving Weekend

Alex and Bob Bitchin

We had made plans early in the year to take a trip to Annapolis, Maryland for the largest sailboat show in North America. The show has been happening for over forty years and we thought it would be a great trip to see another side of boating.

Over the summer we had been measuring everything and making lists of all the things we might like to purchase as I’ve heard that this is the place to get some great deals.

Alex was also extremely excited that she was going to meet Bob Bitchin from what used to be Lattitudes and Attitudes magazine. Lats and Atts had just seen new ownership drive the business into the ground in less than three months.

Bob, his wife Jody and everyone that helped build the magazine were determined to start-up a replacement called Cruising Outpost.

Bob and Jody were making the boat show rounds to promote the new magazine being released in December of 2012. Alex wanted to get an autograph from Bob and maybe make a contact so she could perhaps write an article for the magazine.

Alex took Bob some Girl Guide cookies and ended up getting her picture in the first edition of the new magazine.

Alex and Kathy relaxing at the hotel

The trip to Annapolis was great and we did get to see a lot of new boats but the selection of boating equipment to purchase was actually quite poor. In fact the Toronto Boat Show actually has a much better selection for boating equipment and supplies.

If you are looking to buy a brand new boat then this is the place. There are more dealers and more boats all looking to make a deal. We did however get a great deal for our upcoming British Virgin Islands trip in January 2013 with Gord and Toni.

We will be renting a Hunter 42 from Conch Charters, which may not be a blue water boat but will be a great fit for the relaxing and calm BVI’s.

October 12th-14th

This weekend was intended for unloading the boat and taking the mast down. We are going into our fifth year of ownership with this boat and we have never taken the mast down. There was no real need to do it other than preventive maintenance which is always a good reason. The masthead light has not been working for the last five years and I will want to have a look at it.

Since this is a rather big job I asked my brother and my friend Mark to give us a hand. Although it only took about an hour to get it down it was a much bigger job than I anticipated. The mast is very large and heavy, it took six of us to move it to the mast storage, ten feet at a time.

It never fails to rain whenever I’ve taken a mast down and this day was no exception. Although we were able to wait for a slowdown, once we started there were no breaks and we did manage to work through a good downpour. It also stopped when we finished.

October 19th-21st

I came up this weekend by myself. My jobs for the weekend were to shutdown all the systems. The engine required a change of oil, oil filter, fuel filters, coolant and transmission fluid. The plumbing required the plumbers antifreeze throughout the system, including the holding tank and head. The main battery banks for the electrical were disconnected and brought home.

October 26th-28th

Well this is the final weekend, haul out time. The boat was scheduled for an 11 o’clock lift on Saturday and I had a few jobs to do before it could happen. I arrived earlier in the day Friday so I could take care of a few things at the marina office. I ran into Dennis who was up to take his mast down the next morning. We chatted for a bit and then went out to Captain Phils for a fish dinner and a couple of beer.

In the morning I topped up the diesel tank and then took the boat over to the haul out dock. While I was refueling, a sailboat grounded on a sandbar just in front of the fuel dock. The water level is still really low, we've never seen anyone grouded here.

Before the boat gets hauled out I have to run antifreeze through the engine and then pull the impeller for the winter. The remaining batteries were taken off the boat and put in its winter storage spot. By this time it had started raining again and I was in the middle of installing the frame for the winter cover. The tarp went on the next morning and I was finished by noon, albeit tired and still wet.

The Rest of the Summer

Summer of 2012 Pictures

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