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.

Trip Charts

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!

Season Passes

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.



A day of more put-putting along.

This next stage was a series of nine locks

that stretch from Chambly to Saint-Jean

10 nm along the Chambly Canal.


Yet another locking experience.

This time the staff threw the line at lock one

and on departure we took their line with us.

The staff then hopped in their little golf cart,

met us at the next lock

where we then threw them the line…

and so on through the nine locks.

Apparently, I throw like a girl

so learned to hand the line using the boat hook.

It was just us with a couple of guys in their sailboat,
wrapped and strapped on their journey south
to Lake Champlain.
One of them spoke to Francois
and told him how lucky he was that I was as passionate about sailing as he was.
His wife would rather be at home on land riding her bicycle and tending her garden.
Francois’ response was that yes, he was lucky
but it was Kathy who gently pushed him in the sailing direction.
Yes, sirree!

We still haven’t experienced warm weather yet.
Even when it’s sunny, the air on the water is still chilly.
We treat ourselves to a small tot of rum which warms our bellies
but our supply was quickly dwindling.
There was internet at one of the locks
so I did a little research
for reprovisioning…
True sailors should never be without their ‘essentials’
(SAQ = local liquor store)


R.E.D. at Chambly Canal Lock 9


SUMMER 2015 – the Process

SUMMER 2015 – the Process

As with any personal blog it’s good to document the PROCESS

for future reference and for those of you following

who might find the information useful….

So for this summer’s little adventure,

this is what we have done so far:

We already have the basic required boating qualifications and permits:

1. VHF (ROC-M): Radio Operator’s Certificate

(through Industry Canada, required by law to operate a marine radio,

course provided by Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons)

2. PCOC (Pleasure Craft Operator’s Card)

(through Transport Canada, provided by Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons)

…required by law to operate any motorized water vessel.

3. Nexus/Global Card

Not entirely necessary for our trip

but it really makes border crossing and checking-in easier..

I repeat REALLY!!!

$50 CND for 5 years

…now, what we needed to add to the repertoire…

4. Marine Radio Operator’s License (application through Industry Canada)

$36 CND annual

…as it was explained to me, imagine the automobile analogy…

you need the permit to drive the car (i.e. operate the VHF radio)


you also need to have the vehicle licensed (i.e. VHF radio)

when you are a Canadian vessel travelling in US waters.

5. Parks Canada Lock Permits

(the 6 day permit should suffice for us this season $120 CND)

6. New York State Recreational Vessel Pass

…for the New York Canal System $75 USD for the season

and covers the cost of ALL the locks in the system!!!

7. Non-Resident New York Fishing License

$50 for the season

(he/she who has the pole must have the license)

We have already contacted and recieved New York Canal Corporation’s

Cruising Guide complete with the main guide and a multitude of information for the NY Canal system.

(all of this for a mere $20)

8. Membership to AGLCA

(America’s Great Loop Cruiser’s Association)

$59 USD for 1 year

(discounts for multiple year payment)

…with the flag to prove it!

So many benefits to belong to the organization,

least of which is the great information gained from the membership forum.

9. Our Map

seen at the end of each blog post

documenting where we have been (2013 and 2014 almost complete)

and where we will be going

with information and additions contributed by blog followers.

We have also made some boat modifications

that we would have done anyway regardless of the upcoming trip

but as we gently add little changes aboard we get to judge just how beneficial they are

and how much they add to our quality of life.

(you can check the ‘older post‘ at the end of each blog post to see what we have done)

So aside from finding a great ‘away-from-Canada’ data and phone package (still TBD)

…and Galley Kat putting her provisioning act together.

(although I have be amassing some great summer recipes to share)

…and of course getting the boat in the water.

…oh, and probably the most important part…

being ‘on deck’ for my daughter’s 90.5% baked grandson’s appearance next month.

…we’re almost ready!