Day 3: The final push!

Background: on April 18, just before heading to Oakville to get the boat ready, I came down with a cold. That cold got progressively worse for the next 3 weeks. Day 3 it was really bad. Among the newer symptoms , I lost hearing in my good ear. I couldn’t hear much at all. First born got good at yelling at me. Yes, I finally went to a Dr.

Day 3: Let’s get up early and do the final 75 Nm to Kingston. 14 to 16 hours of travel.

Check the weather. Predict Wind looks great, light winds picking up to 10 knots from the SW as we round Prince Edward Point. A bit of rain for 3-4 hours in the morning with a chance of rain later in the day. Transport Canada site says no advisories. Wx forecast is good as well. Seems good. Let’s go!

Up at 03:40, we pushed off the dock on time at 04:00. Circled the Harbour in the dark while we got the boat ready for the open water.

By 05:20 there was enough light to see safely.

At around 08:00 the rain hit. Today was a motoring day as we had a schedule and you can’t sail to a schedule. We were running the auto helm and keeping on the course we had set on Navionics.

At some point in the later morning, I went down below for nap #1. Calm water with light wind, it was good nap!

Rain stopped just after noon. About 4 hours in total.

Around noon I checked Predict Wind again. Hmmm, 15 Knot trailing winds as we hit Prince Edward Point and turn NE. Well, that’s not ideal.

The wind increase and we had to do some hand steering as the auto helm struggled with the trailing wind/ waves.

Now came decision time. Navionics had suggested to cut through the shallows east of Prince Edward Point and then cut NE to the east side of Amherst Island. Being pretty tired I made the wrong decision to avoid the shallows and went east of False Duck Island. That put us on a true run with the wind and waves at our back. Apparent wind hovered at 12 knots with us going 6 knots. Waves were about 1 meter with a variable period which resulted is some higher peaks as the waves combined. Hand steering it was. All the way home.

What should I have done? Gone through the narrows and cut across Prince Edward Bay heading North until close to land. Then follow the land into the north channel on the north side of Amherst island. That would have kept us in calmer waters (less fetch) and given us the easy option of stopping at Waupoos.

Never really felt in danger, there were a few large waves that hit and really wanted to broach the boat, but we steered through it. Thankful for that rough weather training in Grenada!

We got to Collins Bay Marina and it was time to pull into the slip. That went OK but we had 10 knot headwinds the the bay and the bow of the boat got away. Fortunately we did not have a neighbor boat. A nice guy come to help and we got it back in order pretty quickly. Lock it up and head home.

We got home around 20:40. Quick chat (put the hearing aids in so I can hear). Slept for 10 hours straight. Another 6 hours during the day Wednesday. Off to Dr Thursday. Lungs, sinuses, ears, all infected. Yay.

Great trip, wish I were healthier. First born did really well and had had to take on extra stuff given my state.

Boat was awesome!

There are a lot of balloons on lake Ontario

Children, don’t let your balloons float away, they end up on / in Lake Ontario.

Short post today.  We made it to Cobourg. We had decent winds for a few hours so we sailed on a broad / beam reach. But alas, the winds died down so we motored for 8 of the 10 hours.

Plan is to get up and be underway by 04:00 tomorrow and go all the way to Kingston. Low winds forecast, and some rain. But the longer range forecast isn’t great.

We can abandon that plan and divert to either Waupoos or Main Duck island. But hey, 16 hours should be easy, right?

Oh, I bought some Solarcane tonight. Not going to say why.

Mans this damn cold persists. Child number one has to yell everything at me as my good ear has gone bad.

Child number one was at the helm for most of the sailing time.

That 12 volt USB adapter I got on Amazon  seemed fine until the sparks and smoke  No fire extinguisher required fortunately


Who’s your captain now?

Boom!  That just happened. The boat made it to Scarborough with us on it.

Wait, the most critical news. I FORGOT PEANUT BUTTER!!!!!!!!


  • Light swirly winds so no sailing so just motoring
  • Motoring past the CN tower pretty much an entire day
  • a lot of loons, ducks, swans
  • a bloated dead raccoon floating by (about 1 Nm offshore)
  • we docked twice (fuel dock and visitor dock) like champs!

Other stuff

  • had a shower at the yacht club. Just like in Grenada when we got off the boat, close your eyes in the shower and the world starts wobbling
  • Boat is performing well. 5.8 Kn at 2500 RPM
  • lots of practice with dock lines
  • we ate supper on board soup and freeze dried food

Nice Yacht Club here. But no easy access to town.

Tomorrow: Cobourg. Twice the distance twice the fun. Maybe get some sailing in.

Everyone says to go straight from Cobourg to Kingston. Looks like we will probably have to do that to stay ahead of the weather.

Day 1 Big Success

May 4, 2019

We made it!  Drive, Uber, train, train, Uber and then we were at the boat.

Good news, the docks now have power and water so we are juicing up and we added some water to the tanks.

Today was about getting the boat ready. We did a bunch of  stuff. Most importantly we added the reffing lines to the mainsail. This turned out to be a critical step for a number of reasons.

  1. We got to coordinate raising the main
  2. one of the cars was backwards and was binding
  3. there was only one of the reefing lines in place and it was wrong

Fortunately we had almost no wind at the marina so we were able to do this docked rather than out on the lake.

Tomorrow we are on the move.  Motor or sail to Bluffers Park

I don’t ever want to go to Whole Foods again. I hope we have enough food.

Me: “Do you have any normal whole wheat bread”

Kid that works there: “This is our bread section”

So, I hope I got edible bread  no Norwegians were harmed in making the bread. Not sure about the Glutens


It’s time to move the boat

Shit.  Bravado is not always enough to overcome a lack of skill.  But let’s give it a go.  Hoping for great weather.  Prefer no wind to too much wind.  Need some background?  Click here: [Kiss my ass I bought a boat, I’m heading out to sea

The plan:
Just me and child #1.  Did I mention we have both had bad colds for the last 15 days or so??
May 4:  Drive to the Marina in Kingston.  Uber to the via station. Catch train to Oakville.  Grab some groceries at Whole Foods (aren’t we special) and Uber to the Marina.   Go over boat safety, and make sure it is ready to set sail.  Sleep (please, pretty please).

May 5:  Panic.  Check PredictWind and other weather sources.  If favorable, head to Bluffers Park in Scarborough.  Hopefully not crash into docks.  Get some diesel.  Either cry myself to sleep or rejoice.

After that??? Depends on weather.  We are hoping the next stop is Cobourg. We do need to be home by May 12 to get back to work and to call Dendog on his B-day.  So let’s hope for decent weather!!!

You can track us on Spot or Spotwalla (delayed updates for first few days).  Note that the spot page will only show data for the last 7 days.

We will be tweeting on @milddogs.  Might update with some blog posts here.

Kiss my ass I bought a boat, I’m heading out to sea

Part of that is true.  We did buy a boat. Several boats, but not all are staying.  We are not heading out to sea (yet). And please, no kisses on the ass.

Serial hobbyist? Planning for the next stage of life? Pursuing a dream? A bit foolish?

It kind of started back in the RV days. We enjoyed getting out to different places and spending time with friends but really found that we always wanted to be right on the water. The RV phase ended with the ill-fated summer at Skycroft campground. By mid-summer we had purchased a cottage and had been kicked out of the campground (attempting to sell the RV on campground without permission).  Around that time, one of the RV YouTube channels we watched, Gone with The Wynn’s had decided to convert from RV life to live-aboard cruiser catamaran life. Watching the Wynn’s was pretty much my thing, but once they hit the water, Mrs. Milddogs joined in. That started us on other channels like Delos and SLV and more. To the point where all we really watched was people living on and sailing boats in warm parts of the earth.

In 2017 we (at least I) celebrated 25 years of marriage. My MIL provided a generous gift which we put towards taking ASA sailing courses in Grenada with Nautilus Sailing in February 2018. We got our ASA 101, 103, 104, 114 certifications. We met a really fantastic couple that were our fellow students. Here is a great short YouTube video they put together. 

Once we returned from the course, we picked up a small aluminum boat with a Yamaha 9.9 (currently for sale) so we could practice on our lake. Then we picked up a Hobie Bravo to practice sailing on the lake. The Bravo is a perfect boat for our needs. Easy to rig, forgiving, but still a ton of fun. As a motorcyclist, I’ve always enjoyed just puttering along and mild cornering more than flat out speed and being on the edge. On the Bravo, I work to get every bit of speed I can. How close can I get to the wind? How fast can I tack?  Can I jibe while losing minimal speed? The feeling I get going 10.5 knots on a beam reach is far better than just riding a motorcycle. Of course, the trip to Alaska was not not a normal motorcycle ride. 

By mid summer I had sold my Super Tenere (insert sobbing) and was full on obsessed with sailing the Hobie. I shot GoPro video and GPS tracked almost every sail. By the end of the summer I had sailed 254 Nm around our small lake.  That is a lot of tacking and jibing. I could count them all, but I am not that obsessed. Here is a short video of me setting my maximum speed (aforementioned 10.5 knots or ~19 km/h).

While this was going on we were looking at ways to get back onto the blue water to get some more experience and enjoy some sailing together. We were pretty close to booking a bareboat charter in Grenada but we out that on hold for a number of reasons.

Next option considered was buying a well used boat in Florida and using it as our winter vacation home.  Imagining trips over to the Bahamas and plenty of day sales. But that would mean we would have access to the boat for only a few weeks per winter.

The winning option was to purchase a well used boat on Lake Ontario and dock it in Kingston. That gives us access to the boat for about 5 months of the year. More boat time, more practice, a low entry price, but no escape in winter. And, competing summer activities with the house, cottage and boat.  At the back of our minds is the notion that if we can handle the motions of a monohull, we could get far more boat for way less money when we search for our blue water boat.

We purchased a 1990 Catalina 30 in Oakville, Ontario in December, 2018.  It is in amazing shape for its age. The previous owner, and those before him, clearly cared for this boat.  We haven’t sailed it yet as it was on the hard (dry docked) when we purchased. I will be spending a few days in Oakville prior to launch to get the boat ready for the summer. Our launch date is April 25, 2019.  On or about May 5, 2019 our first born and I will be sailing it back from Oakville to Kingston. It will be an adventure. 

The boat

About those classmates we mentioned, they have purchased a 40 ft catamaran in the Bahamas. We are really happy for them and just a little bit / lot envious. That gives our instructor a 100% success rate for our course. Well done, Kevin!

Stay tuned for more. Nothing ever goes perfectly with boats, not sure how that matches up with my personality 🙂