OUR PLAN

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!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

July 24-26 Snug Harbour to Haywood

We were awoken the next morning to a Weather Forecast that promised strong Westerly’s. That would not be a problem in Snug but we were both ready to move on any way. Haywood offered good protection from the West and was only an hour or so away. So after breakfast, we up anchor and steer a course for Haywood. When we arrive there we are a little surprised to see that it is not really busy. This is a very popular anchorage and with the strong Westerly’s that were forecasted we expected to join a crowded anchorage. We did manage to get a good spot that offered the protection we had sought. The rest o he afternoon is spent participating in a spectator sport that only a boater could appreciate and understand. First you need a very cold beer. Check. 2nd you need a very comfortable chair to sit in with cold beer. Check. 3rd you need to place comfortable chair in a spot that look out over the whole anchorage. Check. 4th You need a very good pair of binoculars so you can identify boats before they arrive. Check. 5th you need a very good sense of humor and understanding for there was a time it was you that played the starring role in the show called. “How not to anchor” In fact I have written a few chapters and shake my head at the boaters repeating your sins. You got it. This show consists of watching the many different techniques and styles of anchoring. In fact it is hard to believe they all have the same goal. That is to get a good solid hook that will not drag at the most in opportune time. Which will probably be in the middle of a very dark cold and rainy, stormy night? The efforts range from very professional to very un-professional to very clueless. All in all, we enjoyed a very entertaining production this afternoon. This version had 21 staring vessels. Their Skippers and crews all played their roles to perfection. Kudos and thanks to all of you.
The next day broke bright and promising. After breakfast and after checking the GPS anchor watch setting. Lol Terri and I set off to go exploring. By dinghy mainly for we know that this island has its fair share of Poison Ivy. There is one place on shore that we must visit. The island where the Totem Pole of Browning Cove has been standing guard for many years. Liz Earle showed it to us many years ago on our first visit and I always look forward to seeing it again. This Totem Pole is a work of art and no one seems to know the story behind it or how it came to be there.
TOTEM POLE AT HAYWOOD

On our way back to the boat we met another couple recently retired from Michigan. They have been traversing the full length of Lake Huron to visit this area for the last 25 years. The fishing used to be great he tells me. Not so much in recent years. I concur with him as I haven’t caught a single fish in the three weeks we have been out. Lol.  Their trip this year is a little bit different than past ones. Mainly because this gentleman has a kidney stone and he has been ordered to be located no more than an hour away from a hospital. “You do what you got to do” he comments as Terri and I agree and wish them the best as we shove off to go back to our boat for lunch. Our afternoon is spent reading and relaxing. It still seems like we did a lot today even though we accomplished little of substance. Today had been a dull day and the weather seemed perfect for some of Terris world famous Spagetti. The auroma of meatballs and fresh garlic makes the boat smell like a Tuscan restaurant. Mother Nature seems to approve for she puts on a show of her own as a beautiful rainbow appears to the East. Dinner was accented with Red wine and I am bushed. This fresh Northern air is definitely a tonic that knocks you out at night. Another early night for me. Another marathon book reading session for Terri.
RAINBOW LOOKING TO THE EAST AT HAYWOOD

July 22-24 Killarney to Snug Harbour

Snug Harbour would be our next stop. After a few last shopping duties and a pump out we were on our way. As we departed Killarney there seemed to be a parade of boats lined up to follow us. All sizes big and small power and sail. All was good though as we were in the lead. The trip to Snug was very enjoyable and a perfect day for piloting from the fly-bridge. Warm enough to be without a jacket. We took it slow and backed off on the speed as it was going to be such a short distance of about 6 NM and were in no particular hurry. We got into Snug Harbour around noon and dropped the hook. It turned very not very fast. It wasn’t long before I was in the water to cool off. Cool off I did as the water was a little on the cool side, refreshing though. The balance of the day seemed to go very fast even though we did nothing constructive. Another early night and for the first time I can see a noticeable difference in the amount of day light hours. The sun has truly started its southern dip back to the equator. We are losing minutes of daylight every day now. We wake in the morning and roll over as there is no reason to get up. We are staying here today, yea! Yesterday we briefly met Wade and Maria on their beautiful sloop “Stella B”. We promised to talk further today. So when Terri and I went for a dinghy ride we went to their boat to invite them for cocktails that afternoon. They agreed and we chatted for a while longer before we continued our exploration of Snug Harbour. The exploration consisted of a dinghy ride around the perimeter of the bay and a shore landing at the mouth of the bay. The water seemed warmer today as we stepped into it to land the dinghy. After a short exploration we headed back to the boat for some lunch and a swim. After swimming we noticed a snake swimming in the water and we are glad it chose a time to swim after we did.

Wade and Maria have arrived offering gifts of sweet cherries and wine. Thank you! We had a pleasant visit with them and shared stories about family and boating. They as it turns out, boat out of the inlet marina in Goderich. They also have just picked there boat up brand new last summer. Their boat name is derived from the name of Canada’s one time air craft carrier HMCS Bonaventure. This is a ship my Mother’s brother has served on when he was in the navy. It seems Wade also served our country in the Canadian Forces. I thanked him for his service to his Canada.
It was getting late and we all had supper on our minds.  Our guests had departed and I started cooking. Rack of Lamb had been marinating in our fridge for the last 24 hours. This was going to be good. This is a favorite meal of ours and I am still learning the finer points of the BBQ. The hot spots are different from the one at home and constant attention must pay to the task at hand. It turned out perfect in the end and was a great way to finish the day. I did a little bit of fishing of off the swim platform while Terri read her book just before the mosquitos hit and sent us running inside for cover. We watch a little TV before I start falling asleep and retire to leave Terri the starlit night. A great day was had by all.
Cheers

Killarney July 20, to 22.

The one thing that Terri insists upon is to have the fish and Chips at the bus. Terri has long rated this as the best and the one that all others are compared to. Today I agree with her as the whitefish and Perch fillets are done to perfection.  After lunch we continue touring and again checkout the Sportsman’s Inn. There is a rendezvous there presently and the place is hopping. The new owners have spent a bundle e and the place looks fabulous. I am pleased to somebody has returned this facility to its former glory. North Channel cruisers are sure to have a choice for many years to come. Let’s hope high fuel prices and currency fluctuations don’t sink the efforts of these entrepreneurs. We pass St. Bonaventure Catholic Church which watches over mariners and as always when we are in Killarney pay a little visit. There is a guest registry at the main entrance and the signatures show that people far and wide have visited. There is only one mass advertised which is on Saturday at 1500 hrs. This is better than the last visit we had last year when there was no service offered. The next day we spend doing chores and stocking up on supplies and generally try to keep cool. All works out in the end but there is no end to the heat wave in sight. After two days and nights here we are ready to move on. But because there is a somewhat reliable internet signal we decided to stay one more day allowing Terri to connect to work and do her thing. This is fine and it must be done. But in the heat Terri ends up working about 6 hours and is pretty much spent come evening. We have made reservations at the lodge for diner and manage to make it there for about 1800 hrs. We are the first ones to arrive and we settle in for a nice dinner. Terri has a glass of wine and I opt for a Caesar. I ask the waitress if the bar tender can make a Canadian Caesar. The look on her face convinced me that she was clearly in the dark. But she did offer to order a Canadian Caesar. After visiting Florida the last few years I learned that American bar-tenders have no idea. They think Clamato Juice and a course salted rim is all there is to it. So this is why I asked for one up here. It did arrive and it wasn’t bad, but definitely not up to standard as there was no celery and no dill pickle. Was spicy though! An early night turned into the next day and it was time to move on.
Cheers,

July 19, 2011 Wingfield Basin to Killarney

We are up bright and early and the weather gods have presented us with a glorious day. Light and variable are the words we desire to hear. That is indeed what we hear on the VHF. We quickly break the anchor out of the mud and depart at 0640 hrs. The day is not bad and the ride is relatively comfortable with only left over swells coming from the NE. The boat makes 9 knots and we traverse the 46 miles and are in Killarney at 1200 hrs. We had made reservations at Killarney Mountain Lodge and the dock staff great us and we are secure in no time. There is only 30 amp power at this dock which is of course cheaper than the 50 amp that we really need to fire all systems on the boat. We will be fine with 30 amps and have become proficient at managing electrical needs in order of importance. This means you don’t turn on the stove when you have an air conditioner running. The boat is equipped with two AC units and does a very good job of cooling the boat done in the past. That is with 50 amps. Now just in case there is someone who is reading this blog that has been living under a rock.  There has been an incessant heat wave in North America for the last number of weeks. I expected Killarney would not take part in this heart wave. It is quite a bit further North than the mainland don’t you know. I was wrong. It is stifling and I don’t do well in stifling. Heat and humidity is not my thing and I am told that I get grumpy. I am not sure about the grumpy part it is just what I am told. So with just one AC unit to keep the grumpiness away we settle in for a couple of days of Killarney and all it has to offer.
TERRMAR DOCKED AT KILLARNEY
Cheers

July 18, 2011 Wiarton to Wingfield Basin

I woke up Monday morning around 0600 and listened to the plain language weather forecast. It wasn’t good as the winds were expected to shift to the North from NW. NW would have been fine but 20 knots on the nose would have left us exposed to the full fetch of Georgian Bay. I didn’t even bother to wake Terri to discuss it. Roll over and go back to sleep. After an hour or so I did awaken for the second time that morning and got up to put the coffee on. While the brew was brewing I listened to the Mafor and while it did agree with the plain language forecast regarding wind direction it did offer more detail regarding timing of the wind shift. I discuss this with Terri and we decide to go for it all the while kicking ourselves that we were not already on our way. We had to take on fuel and get a pump out so that would take the better part of an hour. While I was busy with the fueling etc. Terri took Smudgie for a walk. She ended up in the marine store and picked up a bottle of head treatment that was advertised as a marriage saver. It is supposed to keep the head and tank smelling like a rose. I don’t even comment as I need all the help I can get. We finally clear the fuel docks at 1015 hrs. And after travelling 39 miles arrive in Wingfield Basin at 1445 hrs. in time for a mid-afternoon dip and a cold beer. The rest of the day is spent relaxing and listening to music for a short while before dinner. We expect to head to Killarney tomorrow weather depending of course.
SUN SETTING ON WINGFIELD BASIN

Cheers

Wiarton Sunday 7/1711

Sunday was our last day in Wiarton and the day turned out to be a day of fun and frolic. Mom, Candice and Brad swam off of the stern of the boat. They all agreed that the water was truly fine and urged my participation. Not say I as I head for a more civilized shower. Brad, in a stint of bravado successfully launched himself from the swim platform, off of the dinghy and into the water. He is feeling confident and off course, as men are want to do he pushes his luck. He launches again and does a slip and slid sideways with a mid-air pirouette that would have pleased an Olympic figure skater. As discussed later the East German judge would have still given him a 3.9. His only rewards for putting on such a performance were the fact that he did manage it and he did get a complimentary drink of Wiarton Marina water.  I think Candice was impressed as well.
Al and Danielle are starting a week’s holiday now and plan on doing some boating. However, as Terri and I and even Danielle should know. Das boot has other plans. As often happens one cylinder on their boat engine seems to fancy a holiday as well. According to Uncle Dave the lower cylinder is acting up and not playing nicely with the other three. Of course to this will require an engine scope at a Yamaha dealer to correctly diagnose this ailment. Al will adequately deal with this. I understand it that Al is PO’d and he feels cheated that it is the family holiday time and why does the stupid boat have to act up now. Why can’t anything go right? Al, I have been there and know the feeling.  It’s just your turn.
As previously mentioned Janine and Jason have been helping care for Lauren this weekend. Things have gone well and I think that all in all they have understood lesson one. That being, that your time is no longer yours when caring for a little one. It can be exhausting and sleep deprivation is a fact of life.
                                                         Lauren, Danielle, Candice and Janine
Also this weekend. Al’s parents Paul and Koona have arrived for a visit and to see the boat, as well as Al’s brother Pat and his wife Kate and their two children Emmitt and Wyatt.  Koona came bearing gifts of course, which consisted of fresh lettuce from her garden and a jar of her world famous dill pickles. Thank you Koona, we will enjoy them both. The boys loved the boat and enjoyed climbing around the wheel house with me. It is always fun to see this family when we venture to Wiarton. They have always shown us wonderful hospitality and it is enjoyable to reciprocate. Paul and Koona have just returned from a trip to the far north of Canada. If you see them, enquire what they have learned regarding bird watching and back roading days at a time in a beat up old Chevy van. I am not sure which of these was the better experience but apparently they will both be remembered.
Earlier that day Al offered to taxi me around town and pick up a few things that we Boat People require. Things like a small 1 lb. propane tank to be have on board just in case. It seems the last place that I had the small 5 lb. tank re-filled had a challenge with course threads and crossed them. I can no longer connect said tank to the BBQ. We ended up at Al’s work and I found most of what I needed. Thanks Al and Pat!
              
                                    Lauren, Danielle, Brad, Candice, Jason, Janine

While Terri and I were shopping the other day, Terri noticed a front mounted Pet Carrier that might just fit her bike. We didn’t know for sure so we passed on it. But little by little it worked on her psyche. This was a great idea and truthfully we have been shopping for something similar for almost a year now. Terri managed to find it on line but could not find it anywhere around home. Well now that Candice and Brad were here with their fancy truck and offered us the use of it to take the bike to the pet store and check it out. Off we go. “I’ll stay out here” says I as Terri walk into the store. It was an extremely hot and humid day and I had found a patch of shade. I assumed that Terri would ask the merchant to bring it out to the side walk so we could size it up. But no the merchant has invited me in exclaiming “it’s hot out there”. She was right, and her heart was truly in the right place. But there was shade out there and it was also hot in the un-air conditioned store. So off I go into the store. Terri and the clerk had the basket unpacked and were reading instructions with various parts in their hands and that look of wonderment that only a woman can have. The clerk asked if I would like to see the instructions. What say I? I, a man read directions before I have had an honest chance to fail. My dock mates would never have forgiven me. For we have in a group effort constructed a BBQ with only a brief look at the instructions. This of course was just to confirm the nuts and bolts and to see how many we were short. Of course I digress, Mike and Glenn would be proud of me. For this Grasshopper has mounted the hardware on the handle bars even while handicapped with the lack of tools and cold beer. This is a Pet Store and of course not Wiarton Home Building Center or “A” dock back at MVM where the beer was close at hand. Anyway, and again long story short. The basket is mounted, Terri gives her blessing, out comes the well-worn plastic and transaction is complete.
Off to the beer store next to replenish supplies as my son in laws are drinking beer like there is a missing bung in the barrel and all will go waste without gallant efforts on their behalf to drink it dry. Hero’s these boys. Lol!
AL and DANIELLE

Al and Danielle had told us about a great restaurant to breakfast at. Candice, Brad, Terri and I all took our ravenous appetites there about 0900 hrs. We were surprised to read the business hours. Open at 1000 hrs. for breakfast. Hmm, can’t be right as this is Wiarton and quite near the swamp. Swampers are earlier risers and require sustenance quite early in the day. For I am sure the previous evenings activities have left most swampers ravenous as well. No joke we discuss it amongst ourselves and call Al the greatest of all Swampers. LOL! He explains that we must wait as the breakfast will be worth it. Besides it is the only game in town. Al’s brother Pat pipes in that he would wait an hour and a half for this breakfast. We have no choice and we have an hour to kill. All of the other stores in the down town area are open for business. There are two dollar stores and I love the bargains that can be had at these types of stores. Off we go and I end up stocking the junk drawer with things that I might need some day. We did end up at the restaurant after a visit to the butcher and we were a little late at that. The breakfast was excellent as advertised and the grumpy waitress didn’t seem to ruin any ones morning except her own. The morning’s entertainment consisted of Terri sadistically touching my arm with her hot spoon from the coffee. She derived immense pressure watching as I jumped from the shock. I can say nothing as it was probably I that taught her that trick.
DANIELLE, LAUREN AND AL
JASON AND JANINE

Sunday night arrives and everybody has hung in there but alas the visit is over. Time to move on and we all say our goodbyes. We all look forward to our next family function which will probably be at Christmas when Terri and I return hopefully from Florida.
Cheers

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Wednesday 7/13/11 to Saturday 7/16/11

Wow, I am exhausted. It must be all of this fresh air as it is only 1700 hrs. and I am ready for a catnap. What did we do today? Well I of course I cooked the other ½ of the bacon that was left over from yesterday. I tried a blend of different coffee today because we did not enjoy yesterday’s blend. Terri did sleep in as she deserved. However, my age old habits die hard and I am awake and ready to take on life after a coffee of course.  I am now typing this edition of the blog on Saturday morning at 0700 hrs. After a few day’s rest. I have been tardy writing for a number of reasons. The main one is that I have been busy or the computer has been unavailable. Even when I have time in the evening this lap top has been in use, as it doubles as a PVR with which we have a number of videos recorded on. I will have to rectify this situation. It seems every time writing comes to mind the interruptions guide me elsewhere. Regardless, I am here now.
I must maintain silence and not wake up Terri and our first guests of the journey. Candice and Brad arrived last evening and picked us up at Danielle and Al’s place to return us to the boat, after we had all met for a BBQ. They will be sleeping on board in the guest room. While Janine and Jason who have also made the trek down from Pembroke for the weekend will stay with Al and Danielle. The plan is for Janine and Jason to baby sit Lauren while Danielle and Al work today. This should be an interesting and valuable experience for the young couple. Actually things should go smooth as Lauren is an easygoing first lesson. She is cooperative and is able to communicate quite effectively her needs and wants. Basically keep her fed and occupied and she is a happy trooper.

LAUREN CHECKING OUT THE DAVITS

On the first day that we arrived, which was last Tuesday? This is now Saturday. Terri and I were surprised by Danielle and Lauren who paid us an un-expected visit. Danielle, bearing a gift of her very own home made Potato Salad (she has her others skills). We hadn’t seen Lauren in person in a number of months and she wasn’t quite sure who we were at a distance. She did of course recognize us as the funny people on Skype. But there was a definite disconnect as she struggled to put two and two together. It wasn’t long after Terri and I started talking that she recognized our voices and all seemed to make sense to her. Man has she changed. She is becoming quite a going concern to Danielle and Al. Her speech has improved and conversations can now be a two way street. We shall enjoy the next few days with her and the rest of our family.

LAUREN AND GRANDMA SINGING NURSARY RHYMES

On Wed. morning as scheduled the 3rd in a parade of Cummins mechanics has arrived as schedule. I have had a nagging issue with the engine computer signals. Don’t get me wrong the engine performance has been great as advertised but there is a perceived error code issue. Said issue has been dogging them, and I since the boat was new. What we have here is a failure to communicate. A failure in electronic signals between the engine computer and the receiving computer at the helm stations. There is an error message that simply states “Check Engine” However the troubleshooting indicates no such error. Three different mechanics, multiple parts swapped out and many phone cell minutes later we still have an error code. Now this is not all bad as I can be a very chatty person when it comes to schmoozing mechanics knowledge. I am gaining wisdom regarding many things about the engine that otherwise I might not ever have learned. Trevor, the builder of this yacht ensures me that there will be a solution at some point. This of course is warranty work and Cummins has already signed off on this engine. I have faith in Trevor. The mechanics vow to follow me where ever I go from Port to Port if necessary. They have had one year to solve this issue and they know that I vow not to let said issue tie me down now. I will endeavor to accent the “mobile” in Cummins Mobile Service. That’s all I have to say about that.
Now this blog is the Blog of Terrmar and of course that might mean either Terri or myself could be writing it. Terri has been invited to write this and she should be writing this excerpt because it happened to her and I am only relaying her story. But Lauren and her girls are much more interesting. We have been sleeping in sleeping bags until we reach Wiarton. Terri did not want to use the new duvet and bedding until we reached Wiarton. Don’t ask me why. I don’t know. But now she has Ok’d the upgrade to new bedding. But in order to complete the swap she wants to take the sleeping bags to the Laundromat in order to put them into storage all nice and fresh smelling. Now, as I was otherwise occupied with Mr. Cummins she sets out to complete her task. She has more than one load to wash and is very happy to see that they have a commercial machine available. She checks it out and the lady that was just finishing up with the machine primes her on the use of it. Great, Terri reasons and she loads it up with one sleeping bag and inserts her 16 quarters. So far so good! Minutes later! Bang, slosh, swish and holy flood batman. The door on the washing machine bursts open and out comes a torrid of water suds and quickly the sleeping bag follows. Terri is flummoxed! Where are the hidden cameras? Is this a joke? Not funny she thinks! Now picture this? Terri, lacking another line of attack, rushes the machine like a linebacker in a peewee football game. Terri and all of her 5’2” frame started stuffing the sleeping bag back into the machine while trying to close the door. All the while the machine is still puking water, suds and bag. She is successful. The door closes, but the latch will not latch. After 10 minutes of leaning against the door while the cleaning cycle finishes Terri can now relax and re-group. The floor of this place now resembles a cheap Hollywood re-enactment of a bad “three stooge’s movie”. The water that was in the machine is now not. The floor is getting a sudsy cleaning regardless of whether it needs it or not. Terri now spy’s two other people at the other end of the Laundromat. They have missed the show. The clueless now clue in and direct Terri to the CarQuest down the street. CarQuest owns this joint and to explain to the unaware. Car Quest is a dealership in Ontario that can be locally known as CarQuest or a private auto parts company that is a CarQuest dealer but known as “Something Else Auto”. Thus while the lady in the Laundromat was correct in telling Terri about CarQuest she should have said Pinkertons Auto Supply which is literally just a half block to the south. Terri, all suds up and wet herself traipsed all up and down the street looking for the elusive CarQuest. Soon her relaxed memory kicks in. She remembers viewing a sign in the Laundromat indicating change is available at Pinkertons. Ding, Ding, Ding the light lights and off she goes to Pinkertons. She walked in to the store and a lady behind the counter after hearing of Terri’s tale of the latest Pinkerton calamity at Pinkerton’s other part time and un-manned location seems un-alarmed. Terri did hear from other patrons later in the day that this was not an isolated case and in fact might have become a regular occurrence. The lady behind the counter at Pinkertons obviously had heard of this drama before when she quickly offered Terri her 16 quarters back and no other compensation, explanation, or anything else. Terri asked for a mop to clean up the mess but was told that they are all locked up and that was all she could do. Terri took her 16 quarters, sleeping bags and retreated to the safety of the good ship Terrmar and a very healthy wine spritzer supplied as only a captain can do. I deeply regret missing this.

Thursday was supposed to be a work day before noon, and then play after that. Work today consisted of a thorough washing of the boat. I remember when I used to be able to wash our boat in less than an hour, while doing a very good job of it as well. But not anymore! Wonky knees and a bigger boat with more surface area to clean are taking longer. Nevertheless I did get it done and now it is time to go shopping down town. This is “the fun” Terri explains. No problem as I will assume the position of finding seats suitably positioned in between stores equipped with shade and within eye site of the store that Terri is in or the next store in the queue that I think she might go in. Always scoping the next seating location as Terri works her way from store to store. It was a hot humid day downtown and Terri needed a laugh. Queue Mark! It seems lately I have been able to make her laugh at least once a day through misfortune on my part. Case in point!  As I follow Terri from one store to the other the sun is bright. Blinding some would say. Well of course the peak of my hat was down as normal to shade the sun from my eyes. This has not been a problem for over 40 years. Until Wiarton that is. It seems one of the merchants is a little short in stature and expects the rest of the world to be challenged with the same affliction.  Well a long story short. The store front un-rolling umbrella was hung at an unrolled height of about 5’10”. Not totally devastating unless you are 6’2” blinded by the sun and hitting it from the end. Get the picture? A quick reaction on my part prevents a penetrating occurrence. Terri has had her belly laugh and I feel a sense of calm as it is over and I don’t have to worry for the rest of the day.
As in any small town anywhere there is a Volunteer Fire Service. I usually keep my eye out for any action on their part. Well I got some today. There was an alarm and we had a nice parade of 4 shiny new trucks. Not unusual, but what was unusual was that there was only 5 men manning the 4 trucks. This was taboo back in the days I was a volunteer. But talking to Al later he suggested that some members will respond to a call directly from their present location in their own vehicles thus saving and lowering response time.
On one of Terri’s daily dog walking exercises she returned looking for the camera. She saw a lady in the park armed with a chainsaw performing fine surgery on a tree trunk. Of course Wiarton Willie was taking shape from the old tree trunk. I did not see this particular exercise but I have witnessed the same thing before. I have always admired talented people, whom can envision a sculpting from a raw piece of material.

SCULPTING WIARTON WILLIE




LAUREN IN THE MASTER CABIN


LAUREN AND DANIELLE SUITING UP

Saturday afternoon and I find myself alone with my computer and my thoughts. For some reason my mind alters course as I write this blog. our Sarah is front and center. I often heard from my Mom and Dad that a parent worries most about the child that is not present or the one that needs them the most. My Mom and Dad were correct for Sarah was not able to make the trip this time and is in Toronto hopefully sheltered from the Sun. Terri and I both miss her dearly for she was our first crew as we travelled from Toronto to Trenton and up the Trent last summer. Her teamwork with her mother in locking though was a great experience for all. Sarah sometimes we wish we had you in some iffy docking circumstances. Our thoughts and prayers like always go out to you as you journey through life in the big smoke.
Terrmar back to 16 out.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Lions Head to Wiarton

Tuesday 7/12/11
Hi all! Believe it or not we are in the land of the Swampers. This is a term I affectionately refer to when talking about Wiarton residents. It is of course the home of Danielle and Al and of course our beautiful granddaughter Lauren. She is a sweetie for sure. How did we get here so soon you ask? By boat of course. Well actually there was more to it than that.
We woke up this morning and in no particular hurry we slowly started our emerging daily routine. I started coffee and then set to making bacon and eggs. My favorite breakfast on board. After Terri had emerged from her chambers to break fast  with me, the galley slave we listened to the Mafor. It was scattered with North winds for the next few days. This in of its self is not unusual but what was unusual was that we had considered spending tonight or tomorrow night anchored in McGregor Harbour. It looked like a nice haven from almost any wind direction. The problem was that we had to eventually get out of there. If we ended up being socked in there for a few days we might miss the appointment I had made in Wiarton with a Cummins Diesel mechanic. He is supposed to finish off some warranty work. Also we plan to see my girls and spend some time with them this weekend. Sort of a mini family reunion. Long story short. We set course for Wiarton and here we are. Not much out of the ordinary happened today other than we had steady 10 knot winds gusting to 20 knots from the south when 0 to 10 were forecast from the North. All is normal with Enviroment Canada!!!! They must be a branch of the CBC.
Belay that! One thing of note. I finally did get my wardrobe unpacked and sorted out into the allotted space. More than enough room. But the real catastrophe of the day is that Terri discovered an oily, gooey type of substance in the bottom of one of the totes that has held some of our food staples that had yet to be unpacked. We couldn’t identify the source but I was quickly set to work cleaning the tote. It was an odorless, tasteless thick type of gel and very hard to clean off of the plastic tote. Somehow, deep down inside I knew I had screwed up. I didnt know what I had done but I knew I had done wrong. For it was I who unpacked the refrigerated food and separated it from the dry staples. OOPS I did it again! Terri did eventually fine the source. Inside of a canvas bag that we use to transport groceries there was multiple bags of chips, crackers etc. But wait, there was a pound of butter as well. Well it was butter at one time. This plus about $15 worth of cheese and another bag of groceries had to be discarded. I knew it was my fault and of course I ask Terri what I can do to help her. “Get out of my way” she scolds. I have just made her 10 minute chore into a 60 minute chore.
May the insects of 1000 monkeys attack my arm pits.  Terri is back now from walking Smudge. She seems less like Thor and more like she understands how I could be so……. Of course I owe her and of course I agree. Her wine spritz which today is more wine than spritz is waiting cooled with 2 ice cubes just as James Bond would have his Martini shaken and not stirred. She picked me up big time and as I write this after supper and she is still working. Vacuuming and closing things up and readying us for the onslaught of the evening Mosquito's. I have promised Terri an episode of Hell’s Kitchen Season 1 that I have down loaded. So as Simon and Garfunkel and all of my girls will attest to.
God Bless until next time!
 Mark

Monday, July 11, 2011

LIONS HEAD

7/11/11
Lions Head
We managed to sleep in this morning as last night’s sleep was not the best. The wind picked up a bit and as there ended being about 9 other boats in the anchorage I was up a couple of times to check things. All was well. We listened to the Mafor as usual upon rising and decide to move on even though our initial plan was to stay here another day. The insect bites and the thought of more urge us to depart.
I fire up the GPS/Plotter and am not able to get a position fix. I had been rearranging boxes in a cupboard under the dash yesterday. Had I mistakenly disconnected a wire? After checking I try the Auto Helm. This fires up but immediately the GPS quits completely. Ahh I check the voltage on the gauge and remember that this instrument draws a lot of power and requires a relatively hi voltage in order to properly perform. So I started the engine to start charging the house batteries and presto we have all systems go.
We have a very pleasant trip down the lake and arrive at Lions Head around noon. They put us in a slip that seems a little tight at first glance but as there was little wind or current so docking was a non-event. This is a beautiful facility and appears well cared for. It is situated at the south end of a very long bay so open to the north. Any north winds could be comfortable but a rock rubble wall extending the entrance should mitigate a lot of surging. After we get settled and go to the office to register we head into town for lunch. The perch is the special of the day. Filling but not very health as the batter was very heavy. After we return from lunch Terri takes the dog for a walk. It is very hot and very humid so I turn on the AC. What a treat. We only have 30 amp services at the dock so I am only able to cool the salon and sleeping quarters. This we are grateful for. Terri has some business to attend to at work and fires up her laptop. The internet connection isn’t the best but it seems manageable. But then it becomes unworkable. I call our regular tech support guy and it appears as though this might be a Dell warranty issue. So Terri ends up using my computer to finish her work. I will be the one to call Dell. While she is working and I hold down the couch for 15 minutes I replace the lines on 3 of the fenders. We are used to docking on high rigid docks or walls. But here they are floating docks and they require the fenders to be lower so I must lengthen the lines attaching them to the boat. I then check the engine over and the fuel tanks which is a daily habit now that I try and do whenever we arrive at a new location. After she is finished her work she takes Smudge for another walk and warns me she wants to sit up on the fly bridge upon her return hoping to catch a breeze. Along with a wine spritzer I think. She has returned now and wants to call Dell herself. So I keep working on this blog. But no, I have had enough for now so take care.
Cheers
TERRMAR AT LIONS HEAD
BRUCE PENNINSULA AND THE START OF THE NIAGARA ESCARPMENT

TOBERMORY TO WINGFIELD BASIN

SUNDAY JULY 10 2011
Wingfield Basin
We leave Tobermory in in order to get to our next stop Wingfield basin before the weather changes. It is a brisk but pleasant trip. As we enter the anchorage the first Horse Fly bites a chunk out of my neck. That sucker bit me faster than……and drew blood as well. Terri and I both remember past visits here and the mosquitos, but these horse flies seem a new irritant. Press on, anchor and get below and maybe the flies and mosquitos will leave us alone. There is only one other boat in the harbor and we have the choice of the primo spot. Soon the other boat leaves and it is just us and the tormenters. Terri is busy so I launch the dinghy and take Smudge for a little ride. Even at a 20 mph we are not shed of the insect menace. But we decide to go ahead and Terri joins us for a tour of the anchorage. After, we take Smudge back to the boat and go for a tour of the light house. We have toured this place before and always enjoy the view and the conversation with the volunteer keepers. This time we catch them packing to leave after their week here and too busy to talk. But we still climb to the top of the light house for a spectacular view. Terri snapped some –pictures but as it was through the glass they did not turn out very well. She also took a couple of pics of the long path from the harbour up to the light house. I will attach one of those. Soon enough the afternoon wanes into evening and after dinner I try my hand at fishing. Just off the back of the boat but no luck as usual. It doesn’t bother me as I didn’t want to have to clean any fish tonight. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.
Cheers,
TERRI DRESSED DRESSED FOR DEFENSE TO FEND OFF LOCAL INSECTS AND POISON IVY!!!
LOOKING NW FROM THE LIGHT HOUSE
PATH TO THE LIGHT HOUSE

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Tobermory

7/8/11
Up at 0540 this morning not so bright eyed. But the sun is up and the lake looks good. I put the coffee on and check the Mayfor and we are a go. Tobermory here we come and we depart Port Elgin at 0655. About an hour into the trip I decided to teach Terri about the Man Overboard feature on the chart plotter. I activate it and it is quite impressive as the spot is marked and I am queued to return to the position if I hit just one button. I don’t have to of course as this was just an exercise. But now the chart plotter won’t allow me to continue on my original course until I clear the WPT for the MOB, but how to do that? Read the book of course. Soon we are on our way again. The pup has finally settled down and it is Terri’s turn for a nap. She says it is to cool to sleep in the Salon and heads for the real bed. She is very serious about her naps. Lol I just received an email from Mike E giving an update on his trip. I am in the middle of Lake Huron blogging on the laptop, reading an email. Man technology is truly fascinating.
We have arrived at Tobermory and have been placed right in front of the Chart Shop down town. Nice dock but we feel like we are on display. The number of people who comment and what they say would surprise you. We meet up with Dave and Patty on Pelican who have arrived from Kincardine aboard Pelican. Of course a good reason for cocktails before dinner. They are heading North from here and maybe we will catch up with them.  We plan to stay and spend a day or so here before we head East to Cabot Head.
More later!
Mark

Friday, July 8, 2011

DEPARTING GODERICH

                                                   GODERICH OFF OUR STERN
7/7/11
Well! The day of days has arrived. We are fueled up and pumped out and depart Goderich at 0845. The trip up the lake was rather uneventful and all systems performed as designed. We have arrived at Port Elgin Ont. Glenn W calls it the Dock Gaulking ice cream eating capitol of Ontario. Hay G, Terri convinced me to try one. Not Bad and we are none the worse for wear.
Terri commented that the journey was a bit of a slog. Puppy did not like it for sure but she will adapt. I was pleased as we traveled roughly at roughly 9 knots. I did re-familiarize myself with this Marina ahead of time and docking was a breeze. Compliments were thrown our way regarding said maneuver.
Candice, Brad we remember your wedding now as your song comes up in queue.  Something about saving horses and provoking cowboys blaring on the fly-bridge stereo while I write this. Watts, Volts and Amps of vocal authority exploit P.E. Marina as much as Terri and gaulkers will allow. Don’t go there Mike. Hmm! reminds me of a Nightclub DJ gig! I used to have. I met Terri there in fact. Port Elgin is sharing in the remembrance of your wedding. God bless!
Danielle, you and Al are married 4 years today. Awesome and may your love grow and mature. Say hi to Little Missy.
We are tired now and must get ready to turn in as we have an early morning rise for the trip to Tobermory.
Mark

Monday, July 4, 2011

Short Strokes

We are now really down to the short strokes. Terri has had an extra-long day at work. The postal workers strike has caused her to work much later than expected. The office has received a much higher volume of mail than is normal. Who handles it, but Terri? She did some grocery shopping before arriving at work. Of course our plans to meet at the office disintegrated. So, we had to wait until she arrived home in order to start cooking. Lamb Chops mmm! Dinner has ended and the dishes are washed.
We had our Satellite TV suspended a couple days ago with an eye to our upcoming absence. All that the PVR will be used for today is to watch what ever has been pre-recorded. Terri insists upon an episode of the Walton’s. LOL! She has a soft spot for the underdog. This particular episode drives home to me the feeling that we are truly blessed, and said blessings should be counted.
I have one final appointment scheduled with a Cummins Mechanic to do some warranty work on the engine. The same issue that arose at our Captains Meeting last July at the boat delivery has not been resolved. The mechanic feel’s confident in the latest plan. Let’s hope. It’s not a big deal but as it is a new boat and it might as well be fixed under their dime. This will require trip up to the boat early morning on Wed. in order to attend to the engine issue. Then, a trip home to load up for the last time and then back to the boat.
We plan to sail in two days. We shall see!
Mark

Saturday, July 2, 2011

HAPPY CANADA DAY!



Yesterday was Canada Day and a time for celebration. In the past this has always been my favorite day of the year, with Christmas being the only rival. Memories of past Canada days and of our girls and friends being the highlights.  Those days are in the past as the girls are all grown and are getting on with their lives. However we did manage to share good cheer and fellowship with some friends. Thanks to Glenn for backing me up with an emergency supply of COLD beer.  It was a hot day and the boys were thirsty. Many jokes and we now know that the fly bridge will safely hold 15 people

Wax on wax off!

We are getting down to the short strokes now. Things are coming together and we are ticking off the to do list with a fever. We finished waxing the boat today. It’s a lot to wax but it was more fun when doing it with Terri. I must admit she is a lot more meticulous than myself. She must have better eye site as it looked good to me but not to her.