Good day to all of you followers of Sailing RED, and more recently RED by the Sea. It seems our days are far too full and time is passing too quickly. We’ve now passed the summer solstice and here we are at the beginning of camping season.
Our very first of the year camp outing was to the eastern shore of Nova Scotia for a few days at Murphy’s Camping by the Ocean.
Zula, our road warrior, supervised while we coupled the car to the camper and seemed eager to be included in the upcoming adventure.
The Good Life
We find camping very relaxing and she has adapted quite well to the life style in REDII.
While at Murphy’s we took a ride on Murphy’s Legacy to explore the Hundred Wild Islands, an archipelago of over 100 islands stretching 30 km along the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia and are protected through the Nature Trust of Nova Scotia.
One of the larger of the Wild Islands has a hunting camp that’s been used by the Murphys for several generations.
The trip included a chance to anchor and fish for supper. None of us caught anything large enough so it was ‘catch and release’ this time.
Clam Harbour Beach is one of Nova Scotia’s best with a seemingly endless expanse of white sand.
Clam Harbour Beach
Zula made friends with some of the visitors…those that smelled right that is.
Other encounters didn’t go so well. She took issue with a very friendly Australian Koolie, at least four times her size. I guess he didn’t smell right.
Walking with Papa
She is learning to walk well with her vest and leash but she is after all a cat so it doesn’t always go smoothly. Every scent, blade of grass or bug has to be investigated making the hike a little slower than we’d like.
We gave her a chance to explore our camp site.
After several days of perfect weather it was time again to supervise hook up. Time to return home to prepare for visitors from away and plan for our next adventure.
Thanks for stopping by to catch up.
….peace and love…
“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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
…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.
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.
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)
“What if all I want is a small, slow, simple life?…
What if I am most happy in the space of in between?…
Where calm lives…
What if I am mediocre and choose to be at peace with that?” …
Excerpt from “What if All I Want is a Mediocre
Life?” an essay by Krista O’Reilly Davi-Digui
When I look back to how our lives have changed over the past five years and even how the tone of our blog posts have changed, I have to shake my head and wonder when we actually altered course. Our blog used to be all about what we did with the boat, where we went, the problems we had and how we solved them, the modifications we made. It was to have been a journal of sorts of our journey and in part for those who had similar boats or intentions.
We’ve had some pretty cool adventures on our little boat and made changes on her to transform her into our little water chalet . Our first year, Trois Rivieres to Quebec City . The Rideau Loop and Thousand Islands our second. New York and Long Island Sound our third. And last year our biggest adventure to date, the magestic St Lawrence River and Gaspe region.
These were all a part of a five year plus plan we created that centred around R.E.D. This year, summer 2017, was to be have been our three-month Lake Huron and Georgian Bay cruise. Weather with so much rain bringing high water levels seriously cut into our planned time away so we headed east instead where we fell in love all over again. Next year, 2018, was to have been our Great American Loop Adventure, taking a year off to cruise to the Great Lakes down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico, around Florida (maybe taking a side trip across to the Bahamas) then back up the Intracoastal Waterway making our way home. The Canadian versus US dollar and the current political climate has discouraged us from continuing down that road…for now at least.
We threw around the idea as a lot of cruisers do, living aboard or spending six months somewhere in the south on the boat during the winter months. A very appealing dream it is. But as we see with cruising bloggers whose adventures we’ve followed, so many seem to have branched off after several years into land-based pursuits leaving water life behind. And as we age, concerns about health care and increased costs of insurance became a very real focus.
We even looked into the costing of buying a land-based live-aboard vehicle, specifically the Canadian made Safari Condo with about the same amount of living space as R.E.D. Sharing our ideas and dreams with each other of travelling through our great country, through the US and further became a fun pastime for us. Loading it on a boat to cross over to Europe was also considered. But then R.E.D. happened. She was an expansion of the RV idea of travellling and exploring allowing us to change not only land plan but water as well. The best of both worlds.
There is so much more we want to do with our lives too. If we invest totally in a water life will we be able to feed our other passions? Travel for instance. Francois lived for two years in the south of France and promised that someday he would take me there. I was lucky enough to have bare boat sailed in the British Virgins so have promised to take Francois someday to re-live with him those adventures.
RED by the SEA
All of this brought us to thinking about a life at the edge of the sea instead of a life on the sea which led us to where we are now…our RED by the SEA. We can still return to cruise Lake Huron someday. We can still revisit the Great American Loop plan. But this shift has freed us up to do other things while continuing to explore this beautiful part of Canada. The Saint John River for example has been called the Rhine of North America and is now added to our water plan. And sailing the exquisite Bras d’Or Lakes nestled in the centre of the Cape Breton highlands, is something I’ve dreamed of doing for many years now.
Bras d’Or Lakes photo CaperPics
As you read this post we are no longer Montrealers. We are nomads, literally homeless for the next few weeks until RED by the SEA is legally ours. Of course we’ll return for family and friend visits but it’s with so much emotion that we leave behind our nest that was to have been our ‘forever’ place with its magnificent four season views, replacing a city life for one in the country.
Our belongings are now packed into the POD. All our wordly possessions reduced to a little over 1000 cubic feet (and yes, to those who placed your bets, everything fit thanks to my master planner. Was there really ever any doubt?)
Our Life in a Box
Are we ‘settling’? Are we compromising? A lot of thought and soul searching went into this latest decision and it feels so right. It’s like slipping into a warm bath, or putting on a favourite pair of jeans or hanging with your best friend. We haven’t settled or compromised. Not at all! We’re right where we should be, that space of in between where calm lives.
Where Calm Lives
Post Script: french translation is automated and not always perfect. Sorry