Jul 292012
 
Jayne and I departed Picton and the Prince Edward Cruising Club under an unusually  drizzly  sky, it had been so far this summer baking hot and dry all over South Eastern Ontario. We motor sailed 30 miles East to Kingston, anchoring in Navy Bay which lies between the Royal Military College and Fort Henry.

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Along with the sailing school the sun was out the following day and we upped anchor and sailed past Cedar Island to enter the  St Lawrence River, aided by a slight down stream current. Our destination: The 1000 Islands and the private island and cottage of our friends Susan & Robert, we had last visited almost 10 years ago to the day, the first summer we owned Phantasia.

As the temperature soared to 30 then 35+ we spent idyllic days on the island or on Phanty anchored just off shore, swimming, lounging and enjoying the excellent company. Robert took us in the their aluminum skiff the few miles into Gananoque to do some provisioning and look around town. Evenings were spent over dinner, we brought corn from Prince Edward County and fresh salmon from St. Lawrence Market in Toronto, so we took turns making dinners. When the evening meals were over Robert brought out his guitar and entertained, now 6 of us, Larry and Peggy from Toronto having arrived.

After 4 wonderful, relaxing days at the island we sailed to Wolfe Island, anchoring at Irvine Bay. Initially there were a couple of other boats there, but they soon departed leaving the bay ours to explore and enjoy alone. Walking to the south side of the island we discovered an abandoned farm over run with milk weed and monarch butterflies and a lovely stone church set among groves of bitternut and shagbark hickory trees.

Overnight a praying mantis took refuge on Phanty’s stern and we carefully carried him ashore at Barrett Bay, Marysville on Wolfe Islands south side, Jayne gently released him on a green bush matching his colour, I think he smiled at us. Marysville was a fun stop, a bit like the West Coast of B.C. used to be before it became so “jet-set”. From the boat we enjoyed the music, drifting across the harbour, from a local acoustic duo performing at the Island Grill, oddly almost no one was anchored here, they’re missing out.

A windy, bouncy night spent at anchor off of Simcoe Islands south side and a blustery sail to Kerr Bay where we spent a final night before returning to Picton.

Jul 262012
 

Jayne and I departed Picton and the Prince Edward Cruising Club under an unusually drizzly sky, it had been so far this summer baking hot and dry all over South Eastern Ontario. We motor sailed 30 miles East to Kingston, anchoring in Navy Bay which lies between the Royal Military College and Fort Henry.

Along with the sailing school the sun was out the following day and we upped anchor and sailed past Cedar Island to enter the St Lawrence River, aided by a slight down stream current. Our destination: The 1000 Islands and the private island and cottage of our friends Susan & Robert, we had last visited almost 10 years ago to the day, the first summer we owned Phantasia.

As the temperature soared to 30 then 35+ we spent idyllic days on the island or on Phanty anchored just off shore, swimming, lounging and enjoying the excellent company. Robert took us in the their aluminum skiff the few miles into Gananoque to do some provisioning and look around town. Evenings were spent over dinner, we brought corn from Prince Edward County and fresh salmon from St. Lawrence Market in Toronto, so we took turns making dinners. When the evening meals were over Robert brought out his guitar and entertained, now 6 of us, Larry and Peggy from Toronto having arrived.

After 4 wonderful, relaxing days at the island we sailed to Wolfe Island, anchoring at Irvine Bay. Initially there were a couple of other boats there, but they soon departed leaving the bay ours to explore and enjoy alone. Walking to the south side of the island we discovered an abandoned farm over run with milk weed and monarch butterflies and a lovely stone church set among groves of bitternut and shagbark hickory trees.

Overnight a praying mantis took refuge on Phanty’s stern and we carefully carried him ashore at Barrett Bay, Marysville on Wolfe Islands south side, Jayne gently released him on a green bush matching his colour, I think he smiled at us. Marysville was a fun stop, a bit like the West Coast of B.C. used to be before it became so “jet-set”. From the boat we enjoyed the music, drifting across the harbour, from a local acoustic duo performing at the Island Grill, oddly almost no one was anchored here, they’re missing out.

A windy, bouncy night spent at anchor off of Simcoe Islands south side and a blustery sail to Kerr Bay where we spent a final night before returning to Picton.

Jul 182012
 

With Ontario’s weather heating up for summer – yesterday it was 37 Celsius, our house renovations, painting etc. have been put on hold, that can wait until fall when things cool down, now is the time to escape the heat and go sailing.

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We spent 5 days lazily cruising from Picton, we are based at Prince Edward Cruising Club this year, up Long Reach to anchor at Grassy Point near Deseronto for Canada Day. Deseronto is an interesting, and somewhat overlooked destination. The town and surrounding area was granted to New York State Mohawk supporters of the United Empire Loyalists who moved there after the American Revolution. They put on an amazing fire works display, one of the best we’ve ever seen anywhere. Sadly their marina is now closed, the slips sit empty and the travel lift hovers at the waters edge where is must have stopped after placing the last boat in the water. With the huge up swing in the number of boats in PEC and area we can’t help but wonder if it will be open again soon.

We explored the broad bay where we were anchored by dinghy, it occupies the area from Forrester’s Island to Grassy Point and a long way back into the reeds. We stopped, Jayne painted and I photographed the beautiful blue dragon flys that seem to be abundant this summer. At dusk we battled a wall of mosquitos as we sat in the boats cockpit, finally giving up to retire below where each port is well screened. I think the moon rise from Ram Island anchorage was equal to Canada Day’s fireworks and so much quieter.

Next we took 9 days to make the 60 mile round trip from PECC to Waupoos on the county’s South East shore. Not exactly a hectic pace but we managed to find lots to do and the time passed too quickly. Picton is a great port to sail from, excellent for provisioning as is near by Wellington, also good access to services, this trip begins at picture #11 in the photo gallery, “Rose Bud”. We decided to stop the first day out at Adolphustown, just east of Glenora. It’s another historic loyalist landing site. Creeping in behind Lyons Island we anchored in 10-12 feet, not bothering to try and set the anchor, the best thing is to let it sink into the deep weeds.

The wind got up the following afternoon and pushed us down Adolphus Reach, around Cressy Point and “The Rock” right into the anchorage on the north side of Waupoos Island. We immediately jumped into the cool water, instantly refreshed after a long day under the hot sun. Spaghetti was on the menu accompanied by a fine PEC red!

Hotter days followed hot days as the mid July temperature soared, 28, 29, 30 – 33 that feels like 40. Swimming is superb here, the water is clear and cool, a school of pickerel took up residence under the boat, sheltering from the heat, I watched them watching me as I swam with my mask and snorkel Jayne happily paddled about in her “water wings.”

After 11 years of living and sailing on Phantasia we finally ran out of propane and had to take the tank into Picton to exchange, a nice couple, John and Anne on an Alberg 29 were kind enough to give us a ride into town and back. The orange tin sided Waupoos Marina building used to be a cannery and they display some of the old canning machines along the south wall. We walked up to the Waupoos Cider House for lunch, and a cider, colorful hollyhocks line the road and behind are blue berry fields leading down to the lake.

We spent a final day exploring the Black River, that’s me in picture #25, not Pa Kettle, tying up at the Black River Cheese Factory and then walking up Morrison Point Road to a farm gate market, what colorful mail boxes, there is an artist in that neighborhood.

Please look at the “before and after” pictures, numbers 38 & 39, to see the wonders Jayne and 6 coats of varnish can work on a 35 year old boats floor!

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Jul 182012
 

With at least some of the major spring refits on Phantasia out of the way we planned our first cruise of 2012 for the weekend of June 16th. Just a short trip up to Glen Island, opposite Glenora on Prince Edward County.

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Jayne’s Peonies had to be photographed before we left due to the impending forecast for rain It was the height of Northumberland’s strawberry season and so it was a “must do” to stop at Kelley’s for some fresh picked berries.

Glen Island is a great overnight trip, just a 5 mile sail from PECC. There is a small channel between the mainland and the island that offers good anchorage, protection from the wind and idyllic views, plus warm water for swimming.

Jazz FM kept advertising the Kingston Jazz Festival would start the following week on the evening of THursday the 21st so we got the bright idea to buy 3 day passes and sail the 30 miles down to Kingston to take in the festival. It proved to be an excellent idea and we got on early 6 am start from PECC /Picton in very light conditions with our friend Craig in his classic Rhodes yawl sailing with us as far as Glenora.

The wind built and by later in the afternoon we were blasting along, passing the rocky outer islands and then Kingston Penitentiary to tie up in downtown Kingston at Confederation Basin.
It was a bit of a panic to get changed and walk 20 minutes up town to the Grand Theatre to catch the first of three 7:30 head line shows, Anat Cohen and her band put on a great show, we wandered back to the boat with dusk falling into the cool night .

A few days to explore old Kingston was just enough time to get into the feeling of this grand old city, enjoying the food, farmers market and book stores, there are still actually used books for sale in Kingston, something we no longer have in Cobourg.

Each evening was highlighted with main stage shows, Sophie Milman on Friday and Joe Lovano Saturday. The festival put together a porch jazz crawl on Saturday afternoon with the energetic “What Cheer Brigade” from Providence Rhode Island leading the way beween 6 porch venues to a big party in the old burying grounds of Skeleton Park.

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Jul 182012
 

Before …
Spring refit season is upon us, all those tasks that were to get done over the winter now must! Phantasia our Niagara 35 is back in Lake Ontario after 6 seasons of sailing through Quebec, The Maritime Provinces, New England and New York. After so many seasons away the “to do” list of repair, replace and refinish tasks is substantial.

Starting with a complete rebuild of our 3 blade Max Prop, new cutlass bearing, new strut backing plate, new transmission damper plate and new PSS dripless seal, we then removed and cleaned the fuel tank and replaced the old Racor 2000 filter system with a new Model 500 unit.

Jayne stripped layers & layers of old varnish off the interior cabin floor and began re-applying 5 coats of Epifanes varnish, this may take all summer to complete. We removed and re-finished all 4 grab rails over the winter and re-installed them. Also did the port jib track, potting the balsa deck core with epoxy and removed and replaced the mast collar, hoping this will fix some annoying drips.

Jayne under took a complete tear down and rebuild of Phanty’s Wilcox Crittenden “Imperial 51” head and we removed the 17 year old holding tank replacing it with a new SeaLand Unit that has dual pump out pickups.

Miscellaneous tasks include moving the steaming light above the stay sail furler, we’re hopeful this will stop it from shining on the deck and wiring in a mast mounted fog horn/PA speaker.

Launching the boat at our new home in Picton at PECC on May 13th, (my mom came with us, what a way to celebrate Mother’s Day!) went well and after the launch we had time to bird watch at Prince Edward Point, note the Blue-Gray Gnat Catchers nest building!

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Oct 102011
 

After 6 seasons of sailing in Quebec, The Maritime Provinces and New England we’ve returned to Lake Ontario and decided to join PECC, the Prince Edward Cruising Club in Picton. We’ll  store Phantasia there for the winter and explore Prince Edward County and the eastern end of Lake Ontario in the summer of 2012. A few pictures from our late September sail. Departing from Cobourg in the moonlight, passing through the Murray Canal to The Bay of Quinte then on to Picton for a final sail to Glen Island and the haulout at PECC on October 9th.

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