Heading home

The weather finally improved enough for us to leave Kingston and continue our journey home. It took most of the day to get to Trenton marina. Next morning we took the Murray Canal and arrived home in Cobourg late that afternoon.

We finally had to leave Kingston, most of the bad weather had passed us but it still wasn’t looking all that great. But we were running out of time to get home. We also had a non-functional toilet and leaky windows that needed to be fixed.

Kingston to Trenton

We planned to travel as far as we could and with an early start we could get to Trenton before dark. That would give us the next day to go through the Murray Canal and head all the way home to Cobourg. We knew it would be two longs days and weren’t really looking forward to it. Today we needed to travel 61 nautical miles through the North Channel, Adolphus Reach, Bay of Quinte and then to Trenton.

Navionics Kingston to Trenton

As we leave Kingston it’s a West Coast kind of grey wet morning.

Leaving Kingston

Winds weren’t too bad but we knew that there were going to be some big waves coming through the two openings where we weren’t protected from the direct swells from Lake Ontario. What we weren’t expecting was the torrential downpours and the limited visibility.

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Fortunately it was warm! I was just wearing my swim shorts and a rain jacket. We even decided to put up the sails at one point through this rain storm, I figured the sails were already wet anyways. But this was a complete failure. At first I didn’t realize that the folded sail acted as a rain gutter sending a spout of water into my face. Then I forgot to properly engage the clutch on the autohelm so while we were concentrating on raising the sails the boat had done a 180 turn. And then we struggled with the main getting snagged in the lazy jacks. And then we argued. And argued some more. Then we sorted out the Genoa and headed in the right direction. And then… there was no wind. We just bobbed, steam rising from both of us as we sat in angry silence. After impatiently waiting for only a few minutes we took the sails back down and motored again. I think Lori went back below deck it was best we stay separated at this point.

It was a dismal motor until we passed Picton and as we were going past Hay Bay the sun came out!

Hay Bay Sun

The heat was intense and steam was rising from the doger and bimini and everything became almost instantly dry! Things were looking up. We were no longer heading straight into the wind, I pulled out the Genoa and motor sailed at 7 knots until we made the next turn westward near Napanee and then hoisted the main and had a good sail towards Trenton. We were all happy again!

As we approached Trenton, the sun was starting to set which made it difficult to see the buoys, which are important in this area. It’s weedy and shallow. Our depth alarm set at 10 feet kept going off and we found another sailing race we had to navigate through. We made it through safely and found our slip for the night.

Trenton.PNG

Murray Canal

Next morning we were up early for the final trip of our vacation. From Trenton to Cobourg. This was 35 nautical miles and had to deal with the swing bridge through the Murray Canal. We’ve done this before, see Presqu’ile to Trenton – Murray Canal. This time I was feeling a bit more confident mostly because I would have easy access to the VHF from the cockpit and it would be unlikely I would call our boat “Criss Crotch” again.

Navionics Trenton to Cobourg.PNG

There’s two routes you can take from Trenton to the Murray Canal. Depending on your draft, level of the water in the lake and the amount of weeds you could take your chances taking the more direct route. But I heard from our friends with the C&C that the direct route was not the right choice, they hit weeds and spent some time trying to get it out of their prop.

It was a beautiful day and we cruised through without much incident. Other than I did make another mistake on the radio. Swing bridge operator asked for the East bound boat to respond and I thought it was me since I was coming from the East but he quickly corrected me to let me know I really was West bound.

Murray Canal Westbound.PNG

We motored right past Presqu’ile and as we go past Presqui’le point into the open waters of Lake Ontario we hoisted the sails! It was a beautiful day for sailing. Waters had calmed down and wind was coming in steady from the South West. I had figured out how to use our instruments to set the autopilot to sail based on wind direction so we trimmed the sails and there was very little to do other than check our course every now and then. And this is when we first met our “Sailing Lori” personality.

Sailing Lori

Lori typically is thinking of anywhere between 10 – 300 things at the same time. Out here on the water there wasn’t much that needed to be done. After two hours of this Sailing Lori showed up. While we were all quietly reading, Lori had finished her book and was bored. Starting with things like “what are you doing?”. Moving on to stories and then eventually inventing a sailboat exercise routine. This is truly Lori’s happy place out here!

It was a beautiful sail, one of our best times on the boat. But the weather didn’t last. We were watching the weather reports of lightning near Toronto moving East and things started to get dark.

Heading to Cobourg Storm.PNG

Eventually our friends in Cobourg text us to say we should probably get there soon a storm is rolling in. Winds were dying down and at four knots we decided to pull down the sails and motor the last hour into Cobourg. It was good to be safe but we found the storm had gone around Cobourg and the sun was coming back out as we arrived.

This was our last day on the boat for this trip. We learned a lot and feel more comfortable with the boat. But we still have lots to learn and have a few things we need to fix. Windows and toilet. I hope it won’t cost a lot!

Next time I think we would feel more comfortable pushing the Southern route and spending longer days travelling to the Thousand Islands and then slow down there. We are starting to get the hang of living on the boat while it’s in motion. With the autohelm it makes it easier for more people watching while we cook, eat, nap, read, write, draw, etc., making longer trips more pleasant.  I’m also interested in trying out a night sail with a clear night and a full moon.

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