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2018 Summer Cruises

Jan 11, 2014
4,152
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
At least here in the northeast, winter doesn't want to lose its grip. As we dream of 2019 Summer Cruises, perhaps sharing our fond remembrances of 2018 will guide us as we plan this years outing.
 
Jan 11, 2014
4,152
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
So, I'll lead off.

Last year we took our annual cruise across Lake Ontario with a stop in Stony Island to visit with friends. From there we had planned to head towards Belleville, Ontario then to Presquille and back to our home port in Little Sodus Bay, NY. While the weather was mostly warm, the winds were not that cooperative, leading to a change in plans. We spent a lot of time motor sailing dead upwind in 20+ knots of wind. Yes, we could have sailed it, but that would have meant tacking every 15 minutes up narrow channels for way too many miles. Besides, our batteries needed charging.

Perhaps the highlight of our trip was crossing paths with 2 tall ships used for sailing training. The ships take adolescents out and teach them traditional sailing skills. The programs are lot like those run by NOLS and Outward Bound. The first vessel we met was SV Blackjack sailing out of Ottawa, Ontario. The boat was originally built and put in service as a tug boat about 100 years ago, it was then refitted as private sailing yacht, and is now a sail training vessel. The kids on this crew were about 14 or 15 years old.


A couple of days later we anchored in Stella Bay on Amherst Island near Kingston, Ontario. Stella Bay is a small well protected deep anchorage. We anchored in about 40 feet of water. I'm glad the windlass was working! Due to our still developing anchoring skills we ended up in the middle of the entrance to the bay. Normally this isn't an issue as there is plenty of room, unless you are sailing a 65' Brigantine intent on dropping anchor by sail. We had spent the morning on some basic maintenance tasks, when the SV St. Lawrence II sailed into view and tried to sail into the bay. After a couple of tacks, it was clear we were thwarting the skipper's plans so weighed anchor and got out of their way.


Yes, our videographer and editing skills are still developing. :)

Later we sailed on to another island and spent a delightful evening in a peaceful and scenic bay before sailing and motoring south across the Lake.
 
Jan 5, 2017
1,298
Beneteau First 38 Lyall Harbour Saturna Island
Last years trip was our second year of taking 5 months to explore the B.C. coast .2018 trip map.jpg We managed to find some tall ships as well. These ships are with the S.A.L.T.s program out of Victoria B.C.
IMGP0419.jpg One of the big thrills for us was exploring Seymour and Belize Inlets behind Nakwakto Rapids ( tidal rapids that flow at 14+ knots). If you like to have the world to yourself it's the place to go. In 2 weeks there we saw 3 other boats. On the West Coast of Vancouver Island we spent most of the time buddy-boating with a West Sail 32 from Port Townsend Wash. It's great to be retired and have the time, good health and a willing 1st mate to follow your dreams.
 

TomY

Alden Forum Moderator
Jun 22, 2004
1,841
Alden 38' Challenger yawl Rockport Harbor
I remember several cruises less than 10 miles from home in 2018. The better we get to know our sailing grounds, the more this watery area seems to expand.

I scroll through photos of sailing to and from a variety of close by anchorages in 2018.

7-40 am anchored.jpg

Many familiar, some for the first time, I realize there's much still to see and sail, close to home.

Camden Hills ahead.jpg
 
Jun 14, 2010
912
Quorning Dragonfly 1200 home
In 2018 we spent most of our time close to "home" which is Stonington CT in summer. We spent about 40 nights aboard, doing long weekends and vacation trips for up to 10 days at a time in Long Island Sound, Block Island Sound, offshore from Block Island, Buzzards Bay, and Gardiners Bay.
A standout experience was helping a friend bring a sister boat (Dragonfly 1200) from Miami up the coast in early May. The intent was to bring it up to CT staying outside as much as possible, but we encountered some weather from Tropical Storm Alberto when we left Miami. It kicked our butts with 35-40 knot winds, 25-foot seas and heavy downpours (the fun part was sailing 15+ knots with triple-reefed sail). We were all fighting seasickness and the crew agreed we couldn't sustain in the challenging conditions, so we ducked into Lake Worth Palm Beach and went inside for a few days until north of Canaveral then exited Ponce DeLeone inlet going offshore to Charleston.
Near Charleston (about 30NM out from shore) we encountered a pod of dolphins, which was very exciting to me and another highlight of the trip. Video below (skip to 1:30 for the action).
We had to end the trip due to a steering cable failure at 1:00 AM about 40NM from Cape Fear River. Fortunately we had the emergency tiller aboard and were able to come in without assistance, but it was no fun hand steering with the emergency tiller in 7-9 foot seas for the ~6 hours it took to get inside. Parts had to be ordered, so we all flew home and the owner returned to finish the trip with other crew (I had other commitments).

 
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Jan 5, 2017
1,298
Beneteau First 38 Lyall Harbour Saturna Island
That's just the greatest thing when they come to play! Had that in Dean Channel a couple of years ago, they were in company with a pod of Humpbacks that came within a 100feet or so.
 
  • Like
Likes: Tom J
Oct 22, 2014
10,152
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
Michael, Sometimes I think they come to play because they are just happy you are not an Orca.
 
Jan 5, 2017
1,298
Beneteau First 38 Lyall Harbour Saturna Island
I can understand that! Have you seen the size of the TEETH that Orcas have?
 
Oct 22, 2014
10,152
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
Only in the movies...
Cruising not so lucky, yet... I think it is like grounding up here in the Salish Sea. Given enough time it can happen.
 
Jan 5, 2017
1,298
Beneteau First 38 Lyall Harbour Saturna Island
orcas at east point.jpg This photo taken at East Point with my iphone. I don't think the big screen does their teeth justice.
 
Oct 22, 2014
10,152
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
An interesting site, East Point. One that will draw me back to Saturna for future cruising.
 
Jan 5, 2017
1,298
Beneteau First 38 Lyall Harbour Saturna Island
An interesting site, East Point.
Very! It's considered one of the best places (land based) to see Orcas. You see them much closer than you legally can from a boat. It's too bad the weather wasn't a little (lot) better when you guys were here or we could have done the "cooks" tour.
 
Oct 22, 2014
10,152
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
If the "Cooks" tour means more island food, Beer, wine and people I can be counted on to be there... But I fear that we will be doomed to a weather limiting event as you like to depart for distant shores as soon as spring begins to provide sunny days.
 
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Likes: Michael Davis
Jan 5, 2017
1,298
Beneteau First 38 Lyall Harbour Saturna Island
like to depart for distant shores as soon as spring begins to provide sunny days.
Actually in the process of loading the boat for a planned May 1 departure. Planned objective is Union Passage Marine Park at the south end of Grenville Channel (356 kt miles N.W.) with side trips to the 5 hot springs on the way. Should be a good summer!
 
Oct 22, 2014
10,152
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
It sure should be. After the winter you deserve a break.
 
Feb 11, 2017
403
C&C 27 MkII Ottawa
The first vessel we met was SV Blackjack sailing out of Ottawa, Ontario.
Blackjack was an icon here in Ottawa. In a harbour (and the entire lake) with boats of no more than 40 feet, a 78 foot brigantine really stands out. Tom Fuller, the man behind the conversion from tug to sailing yacht, was an interesting man. As a child, I remember being on board Blackjack listening to Tom tell war stories as a navy captain, capturing German boats in the Adriatic. We would jump from the yard arms into the water, listen to tall tales and learn knots from Tom and his crew.
Last summer I spent more time working on my boat than sailing it. Fortunately I have generous friends with boats :). My longest cruise last summer started out as a race but the wind did not cooperate. The LO300 starts from Port Credit ON, just West of Toronto, and follows a figure 8 down to Oswego, NY, up to Main Duck Island off Kingston, ON, down to Niagara and back up to Port Credit.
We made it down to Oswego, turned the corner and what little wind there was ended up on the nose. The forecast looked for much of the same for the next day and we didn't have a light air headsail to keep us moving up wind. After much deliberation we packed it in and headed back to Toronto. This turned in to a pleasure cruise the length of Lake Ontario. We had a beautiful sunset

Sundowners

And by the time we approached Toronto, some good wind. It's always hard to capture wind on camera, this was about 35 knots, maybe you can see it in the smile on Troy's face
 
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Jun 14, 2010
912
Quorning Dragonfly 1200 home
Blackjack was an icon here in Ottawa. In a harbour (and the entire lake) with boats of no more than 40 feet, a 78 foot brigantine really stands out. Tom Fuller, the man behind the conversion from tug to sailing yacht, was an interesting man. As a child, I remember being on board Blackjack listening to Tom tell war stories as a navy captain, capturing German boats in the Adriatic. We would jump from the yard arms into the water, listen to tall tales and learn knots from Tom and his crew.
Last summer I spent more time working on my boat than sailing it. Fortunately I have generous friends with boats :). My longest cruise last summer started out as a race but the wind did not cooperate. The LO300 starts from Port Credit ON, just East of Toronto, and follows a figure 8 down to Oswego, NY, up to Main Duck Island off Kingston, ON, down to Niagara and back up to Port Credit.
We made it down to Oswego, turned the corner and what little wind there was ended up on the nose. The forecast looked for much of the same for the next day and we didn't have a light air headsail to keep us moving up wind. After much deliberation we packed it in and headed back to Toronto. This turned in to a pleasure cruise the length of Lake Ontario. We had a beautiful sunset

Sundowners

And by the time we approached Toronto, some good wind. It's always hard to capture wind on camera, this was about 35 knots, maybe you can see it in the smile on Troy's face
Nice story and photography