We are writing this blog for one reason and one reason only. To provide a vehicle to make it easier to remain in touch with our family and friends back home.

Our plan is simple. Depart our home port of Goderich Ontario in the Summer of 2011. Cruise Georgian Bay and the North Channel of Lake Huron while visiting some of the ports and anchorages we have missed over the years. As well as revisiting some of our favourite haunts hopefully with some of our very good friends with whom we have cruised with many times before. All the while adding up the miles and gaining experience with our new trawler. Our first and only self imposed deadline is to be in the Chicago area around Labour Day. South of Chicago, weather and circumstances will guide us!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Still more Pics of the building of Terrmar IV

V Berth

Looking aft from Pilot House level.

Cummins 380 power plant.

Fuel polishing, twin Racor filters.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Boat delivery from New York to Toronto

 We picked up our brand new boat in Elizabeth town NJ. It had been on the high seas for the last month or so sitting on top of dozens of containers. It was loaded in China destined for Canada. As Toronto does not receive container ships the New York area was the next logical port. It was not my boat yet as it had to finish commissioning in Toronto before we could close on the deal. Trevor the owner of North Pacific Yachts hired two very experienced captains to complete the delivery. Not only were they life long boaters but they both owned sister ships to our yacht. I tagged along in order too get some Trawler experience. Terri and I are life long sailors with very limited trawler experience.
I flew into Newark New Jersey from Toronto planning to arrive at the ship yard around 5:00pm for a schedule offload around 6:00pm. I met the new crew Andy and his real first mate Marty who had volunteered to act as driver for the evening along with Rick on schedule. But as things are want to do in an environment such as a shipyard  they were behind schedule.  Of course schedules are scheduled to be broken. While professional in every other way the Stevedores operate under their own schedule which is always a moving target. Communication between them and supervisors was clearly not clear. The supervisors didn’t want to peeve these guys off. There were a whole lot of goods off loading other than my cargo. Time, schedules and the order of container off load was a moving target that changed as often as …….fill in your own metaphor.

We are allowed to board this Chinese vessel which I was informed afterwards that that was very unusual and should never have happened. After signing in and badging up, we are escorted through a long corridor. Facing forward were a couple of very interesting rooms with countless charts and diagrams lining the walls It appeared to be an endless array of diagrams and flow charts of  the inner workings of this huge vessel. Very interesting and it left me disappointed I had no time to learn. Curiously the diagrams are all written in English.  On the climb up to the boat I cross paths with 4 Chinese sailors, and I mean crewman, not officers. Now anyone knowing me knows that I won’t pass up an opportunity to take advantage of this opportunity to communicate with an ordinary man from another world. As I was the last in the line to climb the stairs aboard ship when I spotted the sailors, I was able to linger and fall behind. Soon it was just myself and these 4 sailors. We quickly settled on hand signals to verbalize all thoughts between my hosts and me. I tried to learn from them about their duties, amongst other things.  I was not too successful as they kept pointing at my visitor’s badge. The only thing they did understand was that I was from CANADA. We departed with a firm handshake and humble smiles. It truly is a shrinking world and I will remember their pleasant smiles and humble demeanor. 
Eventually our boat is free of its shrink wrap and exposed to the new world, visible to all.  Now for Terri and I, the last year or so has been a nautical blur of decision making and more decision making while waiting for the new boat to arrive. This is the moment. My only thought was to share sweet victory with Terri as much as possible.  I had two cameras clicking and one of them being a phone camera which would put Terri in almost real time contact with the reality and excitement of our dream coming true. In all the excitement I miss her dearly but all I can do is send more pictures. I call her on the phone and we share our excitement.

The boat is now dock side but still in the slings but not touching the actual pier. We quickly transfer supplies from Andy’s truck bid farewell to Marty and are lowered to the water.  Captain Andy starts the engine and Rick is climbing all about the boat checking this and that. I try to fit in but feel somewhat overwhelmed and silently thank Andy and Rick for their knowledge and professionalism. They know this boat inside and out. The engine fires up, there is no ingress of sea water, the sun has now almost set and we are cast adrift. One chapter ends as another begins.

Local knowledge! Now local knowledge is a great thing. Andy and Rick have it as our new fangled chart plotter appears as though it were still in China. We appear to have charts showing on the plotter but no position. Holy lost signal batman but we all hope for an easier solution. Loose wire, antenna, what ever. We are collectively wrong. We are stumped and navigate via landmarks and buoys. This would have been much easier if it weren’t for the very dark night. We arrive at our first planned stop an hour or so later. It’s around midnight and we need fuel. Not a problem as the fuel pump is equipped with a credit card activated pump. We fuel up and do some other miner chores and hit the sack. It has been a very long day and we have an early start tomorrow.

The next day we set course for the Erie Barge canal and across Lake Ontario to Port Credit where the boat will be commissioned. As Terri and I will be doing this leg of the trip again when we do the Great Loop I shall keep the detail of this area for that log.

One thing I must say is how much I enjoyed travelling with Rick and Andy. They were both so knowledgeable about this boat that it saved me weeks of time getting used to a lot of details. They made the trip fun as well and some times I laughed until it hurt. You can bet when we come around this part of the country we will be looking them up.

Next, commissioning the boat in Port Credit Ont.