VACATION with a PURPOSE

VACATION with a PURPOSE

Hi there sailing RED folks.  Glad you dropped by because we have some news.  You know by now our dear R.E.D. has been sold (story here, here and here if you missed it) and is living very happily with a lovely family in the Yukon. At present she has been put to bed for the winter months in the fashion she so deserves…in a hanger with a couple of planes. Really!

New Winter Digs

Having made sure RED was at her happy home, we set about taking a wee break.  The plan was to visit family in New Brunswick…we’re allowed without quarantine because it’s a part of our Atlantic COVID bubble….at present, unlike other parts of the country and certainly the rest of the world we have no active cases of this very troublesome virus.

Road to Digby

The road trip to Digby was a mere two hours and so beautiful this time of year.  To avoid additional driving we opted to take the ferry that spans the Bay of Fundy from Digby, Nova Scotia to Saint John, New Brunswick.  The Fundy Rose carried us across calm clear waters in comfort and with only half capacity allowed due to that above mentioned virus and current health regulations we had more than enough space to relax inside or out. The protocol was impressively strict…we wanted to retrieve our lunch from the car but had to be escorted to and from to make sure there were no shenanigans. Even the washrooms were segregated between we Atlantic passengers and those from away.

Fundy Rose

On the return I booked us a room at one of the Grand Dame CPR hotels from times gone by – the Digby Pines.  Typically small rooms but still an elegant lady with spectacular views.

Room with a View

With lots of time to tour around we visited Digby Neck – a peninsula with two connecting islands accessed only by ferry to the final – Brier Island – a popular whale watching tourist attraction.

The Neck

Art on the Neck

Brier Island Light House

Capturing the View

Two-hundred and Thirty Five!!!

Balancing Rock was our final tour destination in the area because who wouldn’t want to hike the two kilometres across bog and through forest, down two hundred and thirty five steps for a photo op in front of a twenty foot, twenty ton column of volcanic rock balanced precariously on a ledge overlooking St Mary’s Bay?

Balancing Rock

What  I haven’t mentioned is the ‘purpose’ part of the trip…other than visiting family.  We wanted to stop at an RV dealer – you know- just to check out possibilities, never expecting to find ‘the one’…but we did. One that checked off all our priority boxes. Like Goldy Locks – not too big, not too small. Not too heavy either with all the right pieces in the right places. Just right.

Negotiating

The dealer didn’t have what we wanted on site but gave us a firm price and promised to search for our baby, saying not to expect a call for a couple of days but he would do his best.  Well didn’t he call that very afternoon. The 2021 version, straight from the factory, same quoted price with a few extra options included. We still have an exclusion agreement that if when delivered, this isn’t what we want, we can still walk away.

Needless to say we are really excited and anticipate no change of heart. I’ve done some research (OK – a LOT!) since our first visit to the dealer, and our baby was chosen the best 2020 camper for retired couples.  We should be able to meet her in person within a month or two but until then we dream and plan our first adventure.  I found a brief sneak peek of what she will look like if you are interested (see here).

Thanks for dropping by.  Maybe the next time you hear from us we will be proud owners of a little land trawler on four wheels.  Her name is still to be determined. We’re open to ideas but for now until we get to know her , she will be referred to as R.E.D.II

THE END OF AN ERA – part 2

THE END OF AN ERA – part 2

“We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.” – William James

How he found us, we may never be entirely sure. A true mystery if there ever was one. Vibes in the universe? Some sort of transfer of energy? It’s just basic physics after all. I do ramble on don’t I?  All of this to say R.E.D. has a new home.

We splashed for the season. Decided to sell.  Posted sale notice. Received an email. I responded with our contact number. Within minutes the phone rang. ‘Hi this is Stanley’ …. Deal sealed in principle.  Our heads were spinning.

Never realizing what we had set in motion by advertising a 2013 MacGregor 26M for sale, we were overwhelmed with the interest. Yeah OK, R.E.D. is kind of famous….and pretty….pretty and famous. The blog has a very healthy following. We’re the Crazy Canucks after all. What about the time  anchored near Boldt Castle in New York during the fourth of July fireworks and someone yelled out “Hey there’s R.E.D.”? Or in Ramouski, Quebec when someone approached us saying they had read an article about us in The Port Hole? Or the most epic of all, that moment we were photographed in front of the statue of liberty, the only Canadian vessel, in a flotilla of 145 boats, with the great French ship Hermione?

Hermione flotilla

Aside from feeling out of breath, I no longer feel sadness. Belly butterflies, yes. Sadness, all gone. R.E.D. has found a new family. I think that really it was our hearts that chose them. And believe me, there were easier options. Two other serious buyers and local at that. 

The change over was going to be anything but simple.  The buyer lives in the Yukon. You read that right. Way the heck on the other side of the country. Almost 7000 km away.  But where there’s a will, there’s a way.

First of all we needed to hatch a reasonable plan. Transport. And I felt we really nailed one that suits both parties.  We haven’t trailered R.E.D. a lot in our seven years other than bringing her home from Hamilton, Ontario to Montreal, Quebec. The second time was when we brought her from Montreal to Trois Rivière for our first summer adventure. The last time of any distance was when we moved from Montreal to Nova Scotia three years ago. But we were confident a good tow beast could handle it and that the trailer didn’t have any significant  mileage. We did however have the trailer inspected to make sure it could safely haul longer distances and it passed that first hurdle.

Final Haulout

Secondly, we decided to offer to bring R.E.D. part way. We do love our road trips and it just felt like the right thing to do…at the very least. So, crossing four provinces, we agreed to meet in North Bay, Ontario for the final hand-over.

First Leg

Keep in mind this is all happening during the Covid19 pandemic.  As of the writing of this, we in Nova Scotia currently have no active cases. Yukon has no active cases.  But there’s a whole lot of stuff happening in between.  We all will have to be extra careful. Once back home we’ll be quarantined for fourteen days as per Public Health orders.  As Francois said: ‘Kathy, sometimes you need to choose to do the right things for the wrong reasons or the wrong thing for the right reasons’. I’m still not clear which of the two we have chosen but I know in my heart it feels right.

Final Leg

So, the plan was set and agreed upon by both parties. We set off for North Bay, Ontario, stopping once for the night, buyer grabbing a gruelling long flight from Whitehorse. We arrived all positive and excited. Francois immediately jumped out to inspect. Cursory first look.  All good. A more thorough check showed excessive cupping on one trailer tire. Not the positive proud presentation we had hoped for when we met the buyer the following day. Keep in mind this deal was sealed, sight unseen. The reputation based purely on the merit of this blog (and believe me, I blog the good, bad and sometimes ugly) and a strong sense of two honest trusting parties.

Tire Wear

As if the buyer didn’t have enough to worry about…jet lagged, humongous rental tow beast to get used to and trailering a 26’ sailboat 5000 km through six provinces safely over seven days by himself. Without going into too much detail, and the fact that it was a Friday in a cottage country/ RV/boating region in the middle of summer, we took our chances and trailered to a nearby tire expert.  It was obvious he didn’t have the time, but he took the time. We asked a multitude of questions, had him mount two new tires and hoped this would be enough for a safe journey home. A million thank you’s Alex for making it right for us all.

On to the closing details…

The Pen

This is the pen I purchased for Francois several years ago while in Paris. It has been used for significant milestones in our life. When we purchased R.E.D., our tow beast, our condo buying and selling, our little RED by the Sea purchase. It was first used during the handover of Francois’ military command in Shawinigan, Quebec so it seemed very fitting that it be used for this final handover….one captain to another.

My Motor

Francois’ Trailer

Stanley’s Boat

We feel honoured that the new owners are keeping R.E.D.’s name, her original home port of Montreal and the poppy logo referencing Francois’ military service. It’s part of what gives her soul, part of who she is. Because of this generous gesture  there is less finality and more of a continuation…a passing of the torch so to speak.

Registered Trade Mark

As a final act, I hid her heart somewhere inside the cabin for them to find. A little something to keep her safe on her long journey, a little treasure hunt for when R.E.D. reaches her final destination.

R.E.D.’s Heart

It’s a pure silver Canadian minted coin we bought in 2012 just after signing the contract to purchase R.E.D. In the centre is a Swarovski  garnet red crystal we chose because of it’s significance of safety, strength, prosperity, abundance, and gratitude.

Final Details

…so many details! Trying to fit in answering as many questions as possible before departure I can imagine we left R.E.D.’s new captain with an exploded head.

Friendship

After all the rushing and stress of it all to make it right and safe, we bid Stanley farewell with a promise to stay connected. Strange how this simple act of selling a boat has put into action a tidal wave of new possibilities for us all.  Even Piglet and new buddy Yukon Beaver are forever linked.

Pig and the Beave

Stanley and family, we felt such a wonderful and immediate kinship with you. We wish you nothing but good health and continuing adventures aboard R.E.D.

Post Script:

I delayed publishing this post until I had word from R.E.D.’s captain that all was safe. He seems to be enjoying the attention R.E.D. is garnering on this epic journey back to Whitehorse. May the road rise up to meet you.  May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face…and may your compass always be true….and may those tires hold out at the very least till you’re safely home.

New adventure. New direction (click on image for final departure)

ALL ABOUT R.E.D.

ALL ABOUT R.E.D.

Finally! a post about R.E.D.  Not about RED by the Sea.  Not about beaches, pretty scenery or gardens or guests.  Just R.E.D.  This is after all a blog called sailingred.com isn’t it?

Yes our lives have changed considerably since moving to the east coast.  Our past life basically revolved around boating during spring/summer and part of fall with the rest of the year holed up in our little condo planning our next adventure and dreaming about being back on the boat the following year.  Even our social life was primarily boat-centred.

Here, living in the country, our lives have become much more diversified. Yes, there is yard work needed but we have inherited lovely three-season perennial gardens which are pretty much self-sustaining from the previous owner.  We enjoy a thriving social life thanks to wonderful neighbours.

…but hey! I said this post is all about R.E.D. didn’t I?

Off-Season Parking

We’ve created the perfect place for her during the winter months with space for Francois’ Crow’s Nest and extra parking for guests (you can read all about that heavy machinery and stuff by clicking here)

Anti-fouling

After a very quick ‘putting to bed’ last fall she really needed a good cleaning inside and out but that’s all done now with her usual two coats of wax and belly painted with a new layer of anti-fouling.

Hubbards Cove. Photo cred. Marinas.com

Her new home during boating season is a well protected cove just six minutes from RED by the Sea and quick access to St Margaret’s Bay and beyond (more about how we almost didn’t launch this year here).

Boat Ramp

The ramp access at the marina makes it super easy to launch with more than enough water depth even at low tide.

Service Dock

Most of the rigging was done at home first so that once we arrived we just needed to fix the lines and step the mast.

Back ‘Yard’ View

Our finger is located on the inside with port docking (yay! my favourite orientation) with an awesome view off the bow of another little ten-boat marina across the cove.

The Boat Yard

The yard is small but well maintained by a volunteer base and at the top of the road is the best little cafe serving fresh pastries and breakfast paninnis.

As I mentioned above, our boating lives have changed and it feels really good.  No longer do we have to drive forever in nasty traffic to spend time with her.  Six minutes and we’re there.  It feels like our lives are in better balance.  Time at home.  Time with friends.  Time to enjoy visitors.  Time to explore.  Time on the water whenever we choose.  There are still at least two big adventures in the planning and this year we’ll be venturing out beyond St. Margaret’s Bay with new charts in hand and can’t wait to sail along the coast this fall (Nova Scotia’s very best season) to catch all the changing colours.

It feels so good to be back on the water.  To feel the movement of the sea under R.E.D.’s belly.  To move our bodies in ways that have been dormant for the past few months.  To watch as all the boat bruises appear after a day of frisky sailing.  To breath in the salt air and smell the sea.  There’s nothing quite like it in the whole wide world.

Good to be Back