I am here to publicly admit, I was wrong, Lori was right. As you can see from the picture above, I was overly optimistic that the storm we were heading towards would blow on by before we got there.
Date: July 30, 2020 Distance: 11.3 NM Duration: 2 hours 23 minutes Weather: Calm, then windy, then crazy, then ...
The day started off nice, we were anchored on the North side of Simcoe Island, near Kingston. We started our day with a refreshing and cleansing swim around the boat, yes we were getting a bit stinky.
The windmills on Wolfe Island were slowly twisting away in the light breeze.
It was a perfect day for a sail. We removed the sail cover, moved the halyards and readied the boat.
We pulled anchor and raised the main. We were soon doing 5 knots close hauled. It was a beautiful day. It looks like a beautiful day, doesn’t it? OK, maybe there’s a few more clouds now.
We were sailing with just our main, and I was focusing on adjusting the sail. Playing around to see what would work the best. And then noticed the winds had picked up, we were now in 20+ knot winds. We saw a few other sailboats having fun in the wind, they were coming up from Kingston under full sails and leaning heavily. We were doing 5.5 to 6.2 knots with reefed sails and just slightly heeled over. The other sailboats slowly passed us staying closer to the northern shore. Again, I was again distracted making minor adjustments to our main, playing with the outhaul, hydraulic backstay, traveller and boom vang. Then we finally noticed the change in weather ahead.
We are heading West and I could see this system pushing North. At least the large clouds above were. It suddenly became dark as the sun was obscured behind the clouds. But I still thought we were good, we pulled out into the sun again. That means the storm is passing, right? Lori starts saying that the weather forecast was calling for thunderstorms in the area. I responded, “we are fine, the clouds ahead are passing us to the North”. Then, we were in the shade again, the storm was no longer going North, it started widening, and widening fast! It was now stretching south into our path.
Time to stop beating into the wind and start making some headway! We started the motor and dropped the sails. Our poor little engine was pushed hard to speed toward an anchorage at 7.2 knots. Another boat in the same predicament as us dropped their sails and started their engine at the exact same time and was now matching our speed. The rain started instantly. We started to hear thunder in the distance. We are now on the Northern side of Amherst Island and there are a few bays we could run to. We decide on Kerr Bay, it’s a little bit farther but we are familiar with the area. The other boat cut out earlier into one of the other bays.
Kerr Bay was busier than before, with about eight boats anchored. Two were also about to anchor as we came in. Thunder was getting louder and rain still pelting down, visibility wasn’t great. We saw one open spot between two boats near the western edge of the bay and we just went straight for it. Reversed the engine to bring us to a stop and Lori immediately dropped anchor and we let the wind carry us back. It felt good enough, we let out a little bit extra rode and trusted our Mantis anchor to dig in, which it did. With the storm getting worse I wanted Lori off the fore deck and back into the cockpit. She runs back in and sits down. Moments later, the wind subsided, the rain stopped, the sun came out and the water turned to glass.
The storm wasn’t that bad, just lots of rain and a bit of wind. It’s the thunder that makes me nervous. I don’t like being the only boat out in the middle of the lake with a huge metal pole sticking up. Was glad to be close to the windmills for safety!
You can see the rainbows in the clouds as the storm continued East.
Of course, I had to scope out the nice lookin CS40 anchored here with us.
That night we cooked up some delicious burgers on the BBQ. They turned out to be flame broiled and we smoked out the bay. I swear I heard someone coughing in the distance. Sorry! Later that night the mosquitoes came out so we went below to watch a movie.
A little wind came up overnight and switched to the North causing us to swing parallel to shore. I poked my head out to check our position but we were good. With our anchor monitor running and a full day of excitement we quickly fell back asleep.
Batteries: 80% Water: 75% Head: 10% Alcohol: Running low Food: Enough fresh meals for the remaining of the trip with some canned food for backup