This is more of a ‘pictures-tell-the-story’ post. Our launch for season 2016 was well in advance of the normal…at least two weeks from previous years. Our location on Lake of Two Mountains is dependent on waters from the Ottawa River and some years levels are too high to safely install quays and docks.
This year has given us a fourteen day bonus and the benefit of being last out for the season last year meant we were one of the first to launch this year.
Our Chauffeur with escort arrived early…
Many hands were on deck…
R.E.D. was strapped…
Lifted over the water…
…safely splashed. Love these guys who take such good care of us and all the 200+ boats
We headed out immediately to fill the ballast with fresh lake water.
Captain at the helm to begin
…and me the second half.
The genny tracked really well through the wind over the radar dome which was reassuring. Final connections can now be made so we can test her out on the water under a variety of conditions before heading out for our summer adventure. Post about the radar very soon.
As always our little mascot, Piglet, was present with his perpetual smile….
This will actually be our last four days onboard R.E.D.
for this 2015 sailing season.
For the past several days we have been enjoying
our cozy warm cabin
…a little candle light…
…a little wine…
…amidst near freezing night time temperatures.
We sit here, looking at each other,
wrapped in layers of fleece and blankets
in our tiny cabin on the water
when we could be at our land home
surrounded by all the conveniences
that land-based living offers
and we ask ourselves ‘why are we here?’
…and the answer is always the same…
‘because this is where we would rather to be’.
During our Canadian Thanksgiving dinner prep at our land home base
I managed to add a slice of my own finger to my
Trip to hospital…
Mandolin in the garbage where it belongs.
In spite of what we have heard about long wait times at hospital emergency rooms,
(18-24 hours in some cases)
we found that when you arrive with an amputated part of your body,
packed in ice in a plastic food baggy,
the triage nurse tends to fast track you.
In and out within two hours
but sadly my finger bit wasn’t worthy of re-attaching.
Second visit two days later for dressing change,
and sent home with a goody bag…
…and what do we do as soon as we can?
…return to R.E.D.
This latest accident pretty much guarantees
that any further winterizing boat chores
will be limited to a supervisory level for me…
…including washing of dishes (yay!)
…and Captain is also in charge of dressing changes (I’m a lefty)
…as if he didn’t have enough things to take care of.
My Captain has been a Prince though.
…his biggest challenge keeping me from doing things for myself,
independent Kat that I am.
Snow forecast for the weekend
and wouldn’t I just love to snap a picture of us on the boat
with white stuff falling all around?
…this is the best I could do…a little snow dandruff on the helm cover.
On our second to last day onboard,
the winds went from a frisky west direction…
…to black skies and squall conditions, winds from the north…
…to easterly and back to westerly, within minutes…
Only a handful of boats left to be tucked away for the season
and we chose to be amongst the last of the last.
Temperatures dipping below freezing at night made us realize that it’s time.
…and yet we will stay onboard until the bitter cold end.
I’d say from our CPS Fundamentals of Weather Course,
that this sky is a definite indication of a cold front approaching.
Today we woke to sub zero temperatures
raw winds and yes, snow…
At 07:30 Francois stood in line at the club office
(sort of like the Seinfeld Soup Nazi).
You stand there expectedly holding out your hand,
receive your ticket for haul out order,
nod thankfully and walk away.
We scored #3…
..because my injury makes docking difficult
and because the surface was super slick with morning frost,
I met Francois at the service dock.
…the guys prepared the straps…
…R.E.D. was hoisted high into the air…
…Francois remained ever-present throughout…
…and she was carried away to her special place.
Finishing the winterizing and enveloping R.E.D. in her winter coat
will have to wait a few more days
but for now she is secure on dry land.
This will be her sweet place for the next six months…
Francois went back to the dock to remove our lines
and returned saying: ‘it’s ballistic cold down there!’
So what exactly does ‘ballistic cold’ mean?
I went down to the empty docks
and found out just what ‘ballistic cold’ means.
…a cold that blows straight to the heart of your bones
and sends you shivering uncontrollably back to shelter.
We left the essentials on board,
a little ambiance,
a sip of scotch for the next chilly evening onboard
and of course first aid for the clumsy one…
Back at our land home base,
we unpacked another huge load of boat gear…
an oh so cold, long and very tiring day complete.
I looked in the cupboard and saw not a lot of anything interesting for supper.
Then I remembered ‘Touski’
Not too bad for having ‘nothing’ for supper…
I poured the wine
because for the foreseeable future
I’m not allowed to use anything sharp
in the galley.
Almost time to begin our dreaming and planning,
maybe a few modifications thrown into the mix.
Four amazingly frisky windy bone chilling days
heralded in the end of our 2015 sailing season.
With layer upon layer of warm clothing, gloves and hats,
(still in my flip flops though)
for sure our life vests,
and reefed sails
we headed out to grasp those last few hours before
lady R.E.D. is stripped for the winter months.
We weren’t disappointed.
Probably one of the most windy gusty outings of the year
but it was exhilarating.
…even the geese in the nearby field were leaving for a warmer climate…
…mackerel skies suggested a cold front was on its way…
…our bay was full of kite boarders,
catching the last of the frisky windy days of autumn…
Back safely at the dock we removed the sails,
unstepped the mast
to begin the inevitable winter preparations.
We still have another 2 weeks before R.E.D. is hauled out
but there are so many obligations and committments to address
There will be plenty of days and nights aboard
on the water then on land before the snow flies
but storing the sails well-aired and dry
and checking all the bits and pieces takes time and care.
(each season we remove all the lines and most of the hardware)
Another almost-sheared bolt on the boom will need replacing
but the rest looked good.
Then we treated ourselves to a belly-warming batch of Bulls Shots
(this recipe is definitely our fall fave)
…a pot of my boat chili…
…dug out my ‘monkey socks’…
…while Francois worked on his next electrical project…
(more to come on our ‘House 2’ installation)
…for those who had chosen to haul out early,
the service dock became the place to be,
boats lining up for the ‘crane ballet’.
At day’s end there were 50 fewer boats in the water…
…winds calmed by late afternoon…
We spent a very enjoyable evening in the club’s “Capitainerie’
with boat friends
sharing tales of summer’s adventures
and a glass or three of wine.
…then back to our nest for another beautiful sunset…
…all warmed and well fed.