“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.”
~William Arthur Ward
Do you ever reach a point in a life event when you have to take a really hard look at the situation and say ‘this just ain’t gonna happen’?
That’s us, this 3rd day of June, 2017. R.E.D. is ready in advance as usual. All polished, rigged, provisioned and ready to go. First of all the club boats. Mast up (yes, we know we can’t launch with the mast up, to all those who stopped by to let us know). Mast down. Wrapped and strapped in preparation for traversing the first lock, the first of almost 200 locks in our Summer Adventure 2017. Locking passes acquired, mooring passes purchased. Even Ballon de Rouge, our trusty little dinghy, has his own locking pass. Charts for cruising areas have been purchased. We are SO ready!
And as well, our condo has sold. One week after listing we signed that coveted non-conditional offer. We are officially homeless…not boatless…homeless. Free and clear of showings and constant staging. Ready to sell what furniture we don’t want, pack up our belongings and go.
Ready to Set Sail
But Mother Nature hasn’t cooperated this year.
Flooding in our part of the country has been disastrous for so many and at the very least disappointing for eager sailors who watch daily for weather reports and water levels and wait eagerly for their respective clubs to announce launch dates. Lucky us. Our club is ready. Dock #64 is ready. Today is our launch day.
But we won’t be launching..
Our proposed trip is just not possible this year. Water levels are preventing many of the multitude of locks along the way from opening in a timely fashion. Water levels will prevent even little us from passing under some of the bridges. The window for our three-month journey has closed
With all that said we are adjusting our sails so to speak, heading east instead of west. You read that correctly. The crew of three, Captain Francois, Galley Kat and Major Pig with R.E.D. in tow are embarquing on a whole new type of adventure across three provinces, several hundred miles of highway toward the great Atlantic Ocean.
R.E.D. is heading to her new permanent home. Compass reading 90 degrees.
I bet you thought, that with all of this renovation talk lately, that we had forgotton all about boating life. Well, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. We are still sailing fanatics, still in love with our dear R.E.D. and can’t wait until splash-time this coming spring. I think what’s changed is that most of our winters have been spent taking courses and fulfilling obligations with our local boating squadron, but this year we’ve tried to keep our time more free. Now, in complete retirement, we’ve started to re-evaluate how we see our future unfolding, thus all the renovation, selling, maybe even changing location talk.
We realize a lot of you who have been following along with us may not enjoy this little divergence and for that I hope we haven’t disappointed you. It’s still our boating story. There are still many boating adventures planned for the future. There will still be boat modifications down the line. But intermingled with those stories will be bits and pieces of what we need to do to get to that next phase. All that being said we are pretty darned excited (and a little scared) about what’s coming next.
But today is all about boating and planning for R.E.D.’s Adventures 2017. We took a break from condo renos to visit the Montreal Boat Show. There are very few boats of the sailing persuasion to drool over on display although there was a dreamy 30′ trawler at a bargain basement show price of $450,000 that we visited. Moving along…
By law we have to have paper charts for each cruising area onboard so for this year’s trip to Lake Huron, Lake Ontario, Port Severn-Trenton and Georgian Bay have been added to our cache.
Also this year is Canada’s 150th birthday. Entry to Parks Canada Parks will be free. It also includes free passage through all the many Parks Canada locks. We still have to pay mooring fees but this will be a huge savings for all boaters. When visiting the Parks Canada booth at the show we were able to register our free lockage pass, free entry to all national parks and of course purchase our mooring package. The very cool thing though is that usually if we tow a dinghy through the locks it requires paying not only for our R.E.D. but for our dinghy as well (priced per foot) but because of Canada’s birthday gift to boaters, Ballon de Rouge will be able to accompany us for free. Little Ballon now has his own pass #Q50018. Yay!
So there you have it. More to come as summer plans unfold but be prepared for a little reno talk from time to time. Cheers and thanks for hanging in there with us.
Before getting on with what we did today,
I have to comment on the Valleyfield Marina.
I did mention yesterday that it felt like a five star hotel…
when we were ready to leave,
we handed in our swipe key
and were escorted back to our Quai
…by golf cart,
asked if we enjoyed our stay
and were bid a safe journey home.
From Valleyfield to the Beauharnois Locks
there are two bridges that all boats have to pass
regardless of air draft
and there is a schedule….
…and these BFB’s
(our name for them – cleaned up a bit for you…
Big Fluvial Boats)
But we, as small as we are,
have the pleasure of stopping traffic on two highways…
There are two locks at Beauharnois
and we spent 3 hours transiting the two,
us and three other boats
because priority goes to the commercial vessels.
We took advantage of the time,
cracked a bottle of wine
and enjoyed some paté, cheese and bread…
so very thankful to be back in the land of really good French bread.
But on the far side of the waiting,
a magnificent sail.
…our favourite friendly club,
Baie d’Urfé Yacht Club
on Lake Saint-Louis.
“Can we stop for the night?”
….and the answer is always the same…