Belleville to CFB Trenton Marina

We had another late start (compared to the other sailboats). We used our morning to fuel everyone up with a delicious pancake and apple breakfast. You thinly slice the apple, put them into the pan and then pour the pancake batter over them. It’s one of our favourite breakfasts.

After breakfast we headed over to the gas pump, filled up with gas and emptied out the toilet.

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Was delighted to see the local sailboat school was out in full force!

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We forgot something

Feeling confident with maneuvering the boat in tight spaces now. The trick is to put the keel down just a little bit and drop one of the rudders in. It was this feeling of confidence that failed us. As we were leaving the harbour, it felt like something was missing… turn around and see our dinghy floating by gas dock. My bad. We go back and get it with the boat hook and tie it back on. And then leave the marina for a second time.

I now hate Sea-Doos

Out in open water, we slow down to pull in the fenders and dock lines. As we were concentrating on this, a jet ski roars up at us, turns at last minute and covers us in water. WTF! I look up and see the yellow Sea-Doo with an older guy with grey hair and moustache turn around and slowly head back towards us. Lori says take it easy, I normally do, but this is one of the few things that triggers my inner rage. I wanted to yell out “That was a dick move, and aren’t you a little old to behave like a child!”. But I took a deep breath as he approached, listening to the wise advice of my wife. As he gets closer,  he says we needed a wake up spray since we left dinghy behind, then turns around and races off. Lori looks at me in shock, “you should have said something, what an ass”.  OK, so maybe we don’t really hate Sea-Doos, but we do hate people like this that ride them.

Arrive at CFB Trenton

It was a short trip to CFB Trenton, we could tell we were getting close with the number of jets and helicopters flying around.

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I tried calling ahead a number of times on the VHF, there was no answer. I was more nervous on the radio than I was going through the Murray Canal. I knew whoever was on the other side would be way more proficient than I am and I was probably being monitored by a number of people on base as well. But there was never a response. As we approached it was a bit weedy so we had to pay close attention to the buoys and the charts. There were a few people on the dock, including the Hunter 260 we saw on our Thousand Islands trip. You can see the owners setting up the mast on the left.

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Went over and chatted for a while and gave them a hand. They had just come back from a trip and had trailered their boat to this harbour. I was curious to see how their setup compared to ours. The biggest difference is that it doesn’t have a backstay and it uses rigid struts on either side of the mast to keep the mast centered while raising and lowering.  And since there is no backstay, the spreaders are angled toward back of boat to allow the side shrouds to hold the mast up.

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The club house setup was nice with showers, a large dining hall, outdoor patio with decent BBQs setup.

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We found the staff there were out doing some maintenance in the yard which explained why nobody answered the radio. Check in was easy, and they issued a pass, since we were on the base it would be needed to get back in. There’s a mess hall, Yukon Galley,  on base that you can go to.

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Make sure you check the hours, it’s only open at certain times.

Breakfast: 0630hrs – 0830hrs
Lunch: 1100hrs – 1330hrs
Supper: 1600hrs-1830hrs

It was a quiet and dark night. Didn’t hear any jets or helicopters. Spent some time playing card games and reading inside the boat.

Next morning we walked to town to get some groceries and to visit the National Air Force Museum of Canada.

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It was a lengthy walk, about 40 minutes. But it was an interesting walk. We were able to watch a few jets taking off, and they are LOUD! You have to plug your ears to avoid the pain. And we stopped off at Tim Horton’s for breakfast and coffee before going to the museum.

Kids loved it, lots of great information and history. The tour guides are amazing. And there are a few trainers that you can sit in. We could easily go back another time to continue learning more.

Lessons Learned

  • Review the checklist before heading out, and check it twice. Double check that the dinghy is securely attached before leaving the marina!
  • See-Do riders can be jerks. Wish I had magical powers that could throw a large water balloon into his living room just as he was sitting down to watch TV.
  • VHF radio shouldn’t be scary. Keep practicing!
  • It’s impossible to video a jet taking off at full throttle without ear protection. I couldn’t put fingers in both ears and video at the same time.

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