Bluffers Park to Cobourg

Today is the day we get to take our new baby home. We convinced our friends who own a CS40 to join us for this trip since we had no idea what we were doing. This is our first real sailboat with new systems that we have no idea how to use.

Start of the day

We wanted to get on the water early, we knew we had a few things to prepare and we had to drop off two vehicles in Cobourg so we would have transportation after we sailed there. This meant being on the road at 5:30am, which meant waking up even earlier to get ready. And Lori just got back from Ottawa at 11am the night before. The excitement of a new boat kept us awake!

The drive, even though lengthy, went smoothly. After dropping off two cars in Cobourg we arrived at Bluffers Park in one vehicle packed with our gear, food and drinks for the day.

Morning Drive.png

The weather forecast was looking promising, not much wind, but we were not sure if we would have enough time to setup the sails before we left.

Weather Cobourg 16-Jun

Getting the boat ready

So far, I had only been able to figure out how to get some of the things ready. The dodger was installed, with the rest of the bimini puzzle somewhat figured out but still sat unassembled in the v-birth. We had the following on our list:

  • Load supplies
  • Adjust and fix lines in davits then load the dinghy
  • Raise the foresail and mainsail

Dave and Lori worked on the foresail and raised it without any issues. Regina and I worked on the davits. There’s two pivot points on the davit they are held together with a large bolt and the pivot has teeth to ensure it doesn’t slip. It took me a bit to get the two davits aligned and during the process I made my usual mistake, one bolt made that wonderful “plop” sound as it dropped into the water. Fortunately I had a spare.

Still waiting for the Raymarine C60 chart plotter to come back from Raymarine. So we are relying on two separate phones with Navionics loaded. And still having issues with the depth, speed and wind displays not turning on.

Unused displays

We started to get worried about time and decided to go without the mainsail. With the light winds switching to a tail wind we thought we wouldn’t use it much anyways motor sailing. Felt a little blind and hindered but we had perfect weather forecasted.

Heading out to open water

The motor started up flawlessly and I took the helm and navigated us slowly out of the harbour towards the open water of Lake Ontario. Conditions were a few clouds, little wind, warm sunshine and flat water. It turned out to be the perfect conditions for our journey home.

Heading out Lake Ontario

We played around with engine RPMs for a bit and found the sweet spot to be around 2,200 RPMs which turned into a speed (SOG) of just over 6 knots. We then engaged the autopilot and sat back and prepared ourselves for a beautiful day on the water. We knew we had 50 nautical miles to cover and anticipated it to take 8-10 hours.

Motorsailing and a dangerous tool box

Most of the trip we had very little wind, and then finally we felt a bit of a shift in the breeze and it started hitting us at about 45 degrees off starboard. Dave and Regina excitedly pulled out and trimmed the foresail.

Foresail on Lake Ontario.png

It was beautiful to see and it added a bit of speed. But then we learned an important lesson about autopilots. Regina was out on deck adjusting the car. The autopilot was engaged and we were moving things about in the cockpit when all of a sudden the autopilot cranked hard to port. Almost instantly we were jibing and Regina had to duck out of the way of the lines shifting. Lori was at the helm and thought she may have done something to cause this, or maybe the autopilot didn’t like Regina for some reason. We couldn’t figure out what happened. Until a little later we were moving things around the cockpit again and it happened again, the autopilot all of a sudden changed course. We discovered that the compass for the autopilot was reacting to us moving the toolbox to the cockpit floor. It was throwing off the compass and the autopilot was just trying to adjust, it really wasn’t trying to get rid of Regina.

The rest of the journey

There’s not a lot to say, other than the time we spent out on the open water with some great friends was fantastic. We saw very few boats and the weather was beautiful the entire time.

As we approached Cobourg we turned off the autopilot and Lori took the helm to bring us to the opening to the Cobourg marina and I took it from there. Our docking went OK, except after Regina jumped off with the side line I started reversing to slow us down. And then the back end of the boat started pivoting to port towards the boat in the slip next to us. We were going slow enough that a gentle push corrected the issue. And we were home.

Here’s our new view from our slip in Cobourg.

View in Cobourg

Here’s the results from Navionics. Not really happy with these results and trying to figure out a better way to pull the information from my recorded track. It’s showing some comparisons to our previous boat (Macgregor 26x) so the current vs best comparisons are a bit unfair. I don’t think we’ll get 16 knots in this boat. And I forgot to shut it down after we arrived so I believe total time was only eight hours.

Track recorded with Navionics App.

Interesting encounter

We met an interesting sailor, Agathe, who was out on her steel sailboat, Julo, getting ready to start some maintenance. Regina spotted her immediately and walked right over and started talking. She’s been sailing around the world and had some amazing stories. Regina invited her over to their boat and we talked for a while and shared ideas on good places to stay between Cobourg and Montreal.

This is her, on the left, with her crew that will be joining her on her way to Montreal. You can learn more about her adventures on her blog here: http://baladeoceanique.blogspot.com/

Agathe aboard Julo

Night in Cobourg

It’s great to be back in the marina, it’s great to see all the other boats and a chance to talk to all the different people. And we now have a sailboat that is a better fit for our family and all the little things like being able to easily step onto the boat and turning on a tap with hot or cold water seems like magic and is amazing to us.

That night we took a walk along the beach and were drawn to the sound of music. We hung outside the gates and danced for the last couple of songs and then walked back to our new home away from home (our favourite home).

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