Our plan is to take the outside route on Lake Ontario to get to Waupoos and anchor near Half Moon Bay. Our plan failed at the first step of waking up early.

Date: Saturday, July 18, 2020
Distance: 66 NM
Total Time: 16 hours
Weather: Clear, lights winds from SW
Track from C-MAP – click image for details

Weather was calm and light and then died off in the afternoon, we took our time and sailed for the first half. And then motor sailed the second half to make sure we didn’t get in too late.

Last time we did it in 14 hours, you can find our previous trip to Waupoos in 2018 here: Cobourg to Waupoos.

Rough start and boat problems

We woke up around 7am, not the planned 5am. The alarm was accidentally set to 5pm. Lori even admitted she half woke up at 5:30am and realized the mistake in the alarm but went back to sleep. Lori is not a morning person. We prepped the night before so we were able to leave the harbour by 7:30am.

This is our first big trip in a while and we were all rusty. Here’s a few things that need fixing and some stupid things we did wrong this morning.

  • Bugs were ridiculous. Thousands and thousands of little bugs would accumulate and die in our cockpit. Sweeping would smear them. Vacuum worked but the bugs turned into a sludge inside the vacuum causing it to stink afterwards.
  • The portlight above the stove was left open overnight. A little bit of rain came in.
  • Struggled with boiling water, stove wouldn’t start. Then realized we were turning gas on for the oven, not the top element. Fortunately we are ultra paranoid with the gas so not much had accumulated in the oven.
  • The engine blower wouldn’t work. Quickly found it was the leads behind the panel must have been bumped. Added remove panel and check all connections to my to-do list.
  • The tach that was miraculously working earlier now stopped working again. The seal on the engine temperature guage looks like it’s allowing water in. Also added to my to-do list.
  • Loading up a winch, clockwise or anti-clockwise? Made a few mistakes.
  • Raising the main, caught the battens in the lazy jacks a few times.
  • The lower batten popped forward, the velcro pocket wasn’t secure.
moisture problem

We are also dealing with a leaky engine. Tried to have it fixed before our trip, but it’s difficult to get parts and time from a mechanic right now!

It’s not pretty, but she starts perfectly every time and runs smoothly. Our plan is to keep an eye on oil levels and keep replacing the oil pad (I like to call them engine diapers) whenever we stop.

I’ve tracked it down to a bolt at the top right of our gear case, see yellow highlighted area below. I have a list of parts to order from Marine Outfitters and have a mechanic standing by to come fix the engine once the parts are in.

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It started out with a decent breeze from the South West. We quickly raised the sails and turned off the engine. We could have definitely gotten there fast under motor, but I hate running the engine, drip… drip… even when it’s not leaking, I prefer the sound of the sails.

Not much traffic on Lake Ontario but had to adjust course a few times, there were three packs of fishing boats during our trip and seemed like we were always heading right toward the middle of them.

At one point, our Raymarine electronics errored out and displayed “Group No”. No idea why. We shut down the power and restarted and they were fine for the rest of the trip. Added to the list.

Raymarine Error

As we passed Sandbanks we decided to motor sail the rest of the way at 6.5 knots to make sure we didn’t get into anchor too late.

We had a few options in mind for anchoring that night, Main Duck Island, but the write up scares both of us, High Bluff Park, and Half Moon Bay. As we entered Prince Edward Bay we tried to anchor at the first cove we saw, and failed miserably.

The slope of the anchoring spot was steep and we had to get uncomfortably close to shore until we were at 15 feet. We tried once to anchor but it didn’t feel right. We quickly pulled up the anchor and went to the next cove. The slope was more gradual and we found a good spot for the night. Set the anchor alarm, monitored it for a bit and had a good night sleep. Kinda forced to go to bed right away, we tried playing cards in the cockpit for a while but the bug swarms made us retreat. The cockpit sounded like the inside of a beehive around the light.

I will do a separate post on anchor apps for Android. I tried a bunch and they all had their pros/cons. Above is from SailGrib AA, I finally settled on one that worked really well, AnchorWatch by Michael Konz.

As another side note, I’m flipping back and forth between using Navionics and C-MAP on my phone as a secondary navigation device. C-MAP is the app I want to love, but I kept going back to Navionics. I’ll post my thoughts on this later.

Summary

Despite all of the new things added to my boat fix to-do list, it was a beautiful and relaxing trip. Weather was good to us in keeping things gentle to start. Our sailing skills were rusty, there was a lot of things we forgot and some things we needed to practice. However, if we think back to where we were two years ago, we have definitely improved. We had both sails up instantly after we left Cobourg harbour and then we sat back and relaxed. As we rounded the corner into Prince Edward Bay near Waupoos we felt comfortable taking the shortcut between the islands, False Duck and Timber Island. Last time we went the long way around them. Also weren’t concerned that it was getting dark, felt comfortable anchoring in the dark if we needed to. Lori even said she was ready to do her first night sail but we thought it would be better to wait for a night with a full moon to try it out for the first time.

New things on my boat fix to-do list:

  • Engine oil leak – this is bugging me, really wanted it fixed and trying not to let the dripping sound ruin our trip. OK, I know I can’t really hear it, but I can hear it.
  • Engine panel in cockpit – I’m going to completely remove it this fall to clean it up and re-seal. In the spring I’ll be able to re-do all the connections to make sure they are solid and water tight. This will hopefully fix the tach, moisture in the temperature gauge and also give me a chance to check the key switch, glow and starter buttons.
  • Raymarine electronics – not really sure what to do with this one. It’s a random error that I’ve never seen before. Also having issues with the wind sensor but not willing to spend the +$500 for a new wind sensor at the top of the mast. Would like to replace everything, but this expense has moved way down our list. We have a few other expenses to deal with now.

I think it’s a good lesson, a boat is never going to be perfect. And if you think it is, that means there’s something wrong that you don’t know about yet. So always make the best of it, enjoy and fix it when you can.

As a side note, I’m starting to notice our house is not getting the same attention as our boat. I see a small scratch or something wrong on the boat I immediately put it in my list to fix. A doorknob falls off a door at home and I don’t add it to a list, I just think, “do I really need to use that door anymore? Nah”. Is this normal?