Log #50a Off at last – Toronto to Kingston

July 29, 2010 in Log Series 50-59, Logs by Series, Series 50, The Logs

Sorel Islands, Quebec

July 29, 2010

Hi Folks,

Welcome to my first log of the next decade of our sailing. We are finally off, having left the Toronto Hydroplane and Sailing Club on July 19, and heading down Lake Ontario to Kingston and the St. Lawrence River. Both Judy and I are fine, and Veleda is doing well. We are now past the last locks of the St. Lawrence Seaway at Montreal, and anchored in the Sorel Islands off Sorel, Quebec. I wanted to get this on my E-mail so I can send it next time I can get on line, which will hopefully be in Quebec City in a couple of days. From Quebec City we will go over to the Saguenay River, then to Newfoundland`s south coast fiords before heading over to St. Pierre and Miquelon and Cape Breton Island.

We spent last night in Longueuil, a south shore suburb of Montreal. We had supper ashore and, I am in love again with the French-Quebec cuisine and the delicious French wines. Mmmmm! I hope we don`t blow our diet too much.

Let me know if you received this and any comments or questions you have. I`m not sure if I will be able to send many pictures for a while as I think I left my cable from my camera back in the trailer, and may not be able to down load any pictures for a while.

All the best,
Aubrey

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Log #50a Off at last – Toronto to Kingston

Ile St. Regis (Indian Reserve), Ontario

July 26, 2010

We finally got away! July 19, my birthday, we left early afternoon. More later about the complications of that departure!

DEPARTURE

After three and a half months of heavy work, 8 to 10 hours a day at least six days a week (since Veleda was launched May 1st), we finally had Veleda more or less ready for sea. The new Yanmar diesel engine was installed and tested by E&C Marine. Everything else we did by ourselves.

The new windlass, the new stanchion bases, new stern and bow pulpits, new Force Ten propane stove, new main cabin flooring, new hard bimini, new VHF antenna, new mast wiring, new stern light, new manual bilge pump, new hanging lamp in the main cabin, new fender holders on the stern rails, the old dinghy tow, the old stern anchor PVC tube, a new lower mast step, a new whisker boom chock, a new over board water foot pump, new barbecue burner, new wind speed and direction instrument and mast head unit, new stern flagstaff, new emergency life-sling cover, new Garmin 440s GPS, new Simrad wheel steering system, all installed by us. In addition Judy put three coats of Gelcoat on the upper deck, I painted the heads, binnacle, and several compartments, as well as painting (varnishing) with Cetol the upper handrails, the hatchway woodwork, the companionway hatches, the anchor rail plates, and miscellaneous wood strips on the upper deck. I removed, polished with Brasso, and remounted the heads hardware, the ship`s name plate, the ship`s clock, the gimballed lantern, the barometer, the wheel, and polished all the stanchions and the stainless steel tubing for the bimini. The song from Gilbert and Sullivan`s “HMS Pinafore“, “I polished up the handles so carefully, that now I am the ruler of the Queen`s Navy“, kept going through my head!

We initially hoped to set off about July 12, but we were still lurching from crisis to crisis as the overhaul of Veleda was nearing completion. All the basic renovations and repairs were completed by our farewell party on July 9, but several glitches became apparent. Our old reliable Garmin 128 GPS was not working as it had a corroded power lead in its six pin connector. So, off we went to a couple of chandleries to replace it. However no simple GPS units are being produced and we finally settled for another Garmin, a 440S which has chart plotting and many other bells and whistles such as tides, phases of the moon, and marina and restaurant guides. It had charts for the US and Great Lakes coasts, and separate chart discs could be purchased for other areas. Fine, we would worry about Central America when we got there later next year.

However, our Max Sea with all the world charts on it was not working on our new laptop (a Hewlett-Packard) or our older one (the Dell). So, off we went to a computer shop to get it installed on our new machine. It had Windows 7, but our old laptop had it on Windows XP. So a virtual Windows XP was programmed into our Windows 7 and it seemed to work. Hah! (More later!)

We changed our mind as to where we were going to store our trailer for the winter, as we got a good deal for indoor storage in Omemee, just outside of Peterborough, 150 km (100 miles) outside of Toronto. Another day delivering it, but we had to clear out of it whatever we were taking on Veleda. Our Yukon is crammed with gear! We then moved on to Veleda and had to do the final storing of miscellaneous gear on Veleda and whatever we were not taking leave packed (tossed) in the Yukon.

For three days I took stuff off Veleda and brought stuff back from the Yukon and our storage area at the Mission for Seafarers (where we stayed in our trailer for three months). It was a 100 yard trek across a gravelled parking lot and down to our floating pier, hauling a dock cart with a flat tire, and manoeuvring it treacherously down an 18 inch step without letting it topple into the lake. On Saturday July 17, I noticed a twinge in my left shoulder as I humped the cart down the step, carting stuff to and from Veleda to resupply her with provisions and gear. We had hoped to set off next day, but when I woke up, my left shoulder was in great pain and inoperable. I had an injured rotator cuff in my left shoulder!

Wait until I can have it checked by a chiropractor! So on my birthday, Monday, July 19, I drove over to a local chiropractor in the Beaches to make sure it was nothing more serious. It wasn`t, and after a treatment and advice as to shoulder exercises I should do, I was cleared to set off.

I delivered the Yukon to the Mission for Seafarers, where it would stay until we return by air in late April, and David Mulholland, the padre of the mission and an old navy friend of mine, drove me back to THSC. As soon as I returned to the sailing club we set off, at 1330 (1:30 pm). Thus we departed, with no serious sea trial, no overnight experience or full sail with our main and genoa, and no navigation electronic gear check out. Let`s hope everything is OK!

The Passage to Kingston

Another minor but happy pressure was that my son A.J.(Aubrey junior) and his partner were with us, having come in his Cal 35, Serenity, from St. Catharines to spend the first week sailing with us down the lake as part of their holidays. We didn`t want to spend another day or two alongside the club, eating in to their holiday plans, and so shoved off as soon as possible, heading for Cobourg, and having to do a night entry for our first leg of the next decade..

The entrance to Cobourg harbour is well marked and we had no trouble, entering and anchoring (43 57.19N, 078 09.00W) for the night by 2310 after a 10 hour passage of 55 miles (most of it motor sailing). I suspect Cobourg charges for anchoring in the sheltered basin, but no one came out to check, and we didn’t volunteer to dinghy ashore to find out. Before we weighed anchor next morning, we were hailed by Groovin, as Chris and Elizabeth Hanson were just leaving port, headed back to our club at THSC.

We motor sailed around into Presqu`ìle Bay, into the Murray Canal (charge of $5.00 to transit the two opening bridges) and into the Bay of Quinte. We were approached by an OPP police boat and asked to stop mid channel for some air force exercises from CFB Trenton involving parachute drops onto the waters ahead. So we anchored for a half hour to watch several helicopters launch groups of parachutists who landed in the water and were picked up by military inflatable boats. We had our own air show.

We continued on up, to anchor off Cow Island across the bay from Belleville (44 08.94N, 077 21.92W), to enjoy a swim and a spaghetti meal on Veleda with A.J. and Leesa. The day`s run was 43 nautical miles.

Next day we went 32 miles up to Prinyer`s Cove, but as the cove is now very crowded with boats on moorings and at anchor, we anchored near the entrance in weed strewn waters near shore (44 05.85N, 076 52.45W). I delivered Judy to Serenity to show A.J. how to service his winches, but returned to Veleda as there was a squall alert broadcast on the weather channel, and besides, I like having the boat to myself periodically.

I watched an angry cloud formation approaching from the north, over the mainland, then saw a well defined wall of water ominously crossing the channel beneath the roiling clouds. Judy and A.J. did not see it until I shouted to them to look. I took the cockpit cushions below and put on my foul weather jacket. By the time I returned to the cockpit, the rain had struck with a vengeance, and the wind howled and heeled Veleda over on her beam ends. Initially, I thought could just motor into the wind to prevent dragging, but immediately saw we were dragging towards shore, heeled over to port. I wasn`t sure whether we were aground or just heeled over, but flashed up the engine and throttled up to steer Veleda into the open channel against the 35 to 40 knot winds. The anchor pulled loose, and I dragged it out into open water, keeping the bow into the fierce gusts.

Serenity had also dragged, and motored out into the channel. I saw Judy at the wheel while A.J. was manually ratcheting the anchor, covered with a couple of metres of seaweed, aboard (he does not have an electric windlass). Once I was in open water, I set the autopilot to steer into the howling wind and crawled up forward through the raging horizontal pelting rain to bring the anchor aboard with our electric windlass (we do not have a cockpit control for it.). Safety wise, I did not have time to don a lifejacket, or to slip into a harness to secure myself to the boat (mea culpa!). However I did have the presence of mind to gather in the painter of the dinghy and secure it on a short lead to the stern so the line would not get caught in the prop. Then, when I had things under control, motoring into open water , the anchor secured on board, Veleda still shrouded by blasting rain, I heard the blast of a ship`s foghorn! Sure enough, there was a ship moving up the main channel, but on the far side, well away from Veleda. After another ten minutes the squall subsided into a quiet rain, and then cleared away.

Serenity and Veleda motored back into Prinyer`s Cove to anchor in the middle of the cove entrance, well between the shorelines and hopefully out of the weeds. I put out 100 feet of chain (5 to 1) in 18 feet of water and it held. I was proud of my son as he handled his boat quite well through that emergency. It could have been a catastrophe. Well done A.J.!

We went over to Serenity for pizzas which Leesa made, and enjoyed a last evening with them, as they had to head back towards St. Catharines next day, via the U.S. shoreline, to get back to work next week. Next day we separated at Amhearst Island, and they went south to Sodus Bay, NY, while we proceeded 16 miles on to Kingston and then Wolfe Island.