Last Sail of the Season

It was time to move our boat to Loyalist Cove Marina in Bath, Ontario, for her new haul out location. We made it into a mini-vacation spread over three days. And the weather cooperated with us!

This wasn’t a simple trip. Read Sailboat Haul Out Plan for 2020 to see all the logistics we had to figure out.

The shorter route is the southern outside route, approx. 80 nautical miles. We took the slightly longer, more protected route, to the north. It’s approximately 85 nautical miles.

We arrived in Cobourg the night before and enjoyed a nice night on the boat.

I love the night mode photos my phone takes, but it really emphasizes the cheap LEDs we have in our main cabin. They are a terrible blue hue, but not as bad as this picture makes them look.

Cobourg to Presquile

We weren’t in a rush, so we had a lazy start. Wandered over to the Cobourg public market to check things out before we headed out. Everyone wearing masks with good social distancing.

When we set off, the water was like glass with no wind. We decided to take the Northern route. The weather report was calling for high winds starting this evening.

We started to get a little bit of wind. So we hoisted the sails and happily shut off the motor. We were bobbing along, mostly drifting with the sails flapping at 1-2 knots. But we didn’t care. We just enjoyed the scenery.

There wasn’t much traffic on the lake, we did see one other boat that I mentioned in my post, We have a fan!

After a while, the wind shifted and then picked up a bit. This brought up our speed to 3-4 knots but now the wind was on our nose and had to tack a few times.

The wind kept shifting and the sun was starting to get low so we decided to fire up the motor again for the last hour.

I didn’t mind, it meant we would have a warm engine and hot water after the sun went down.

The sun was just starting to set as we entered Presquile Bay. We headed to our anchoring spot, read Our New Place to Anchor. And settled in for the night.

It was a bit chilly but enjoyed another beautiful sunset on the lake.

We were glad we didn’t take the Southern route to Waupoos. The wind was starting to pick up on Lake Ontario. It was looking rough. We were protected in the bay but we could hear the wind gusting and felt the occasional sharp tug on the anchor line. Our anchor alarm was set and we were holding strong.

Presquile to Hay Bay

We had a long day ahead of us, so we were up early with the birds. A few swans were just outside our boat.

Anchor a bit difficult to pull in the wind. Would have to pull, hold and wait for boat to get some forward momentum and then pull again. Anchor came up muddy but little weedy.

Batteries at 85% and we weren’t shy of using all the lights, pumps, phone charging, etc. Solar had it all back to 100% before 1pm.

Weather reporting 20-25 knots and 1-1.5m waves on Lake Ontario. We kept with our decision of the safer route. We didn’t want to take a chance on breaking something on our last trip. The VHF was noisy at first. Two maydays. One catamaran capsized in Hamilton. And then report of a boater in the water near Ram island. Exactly where we were heading. But later reported as a false alarm.

A quick shower in the morning, the water was still warm from running the engine yesterday!

Headed East toward the Murray Canal.

The canal was uneventful and there wasn’t much traffic. Lots of birds. Saw a few kingfishers in the trees. Of course we had to admire all of the other boats we saw along the way.

The sailing was good, we were quietly cruising along and even confidently sailed under both bridges. We used to be so nervous about this before.

Bagels with lox for lunch. Cheese n’ crackers. Tasty olives with jalapenos.

It was one of the most beautiful and relaxing sails. Here’s seven minutes of this trip I recorded. It’s not exciting, but I could watch this over and over again just listening to the boat and water sounds as we slowly made our way to our destination under sail.

Video 6 minutes, 29 seconds

The wind kept dying down and eventually had to start up the motor. Despite the humming of the motor it was still a beautiful, scenic and relaxing trip.

We arrive in the near pitch dark and drop anchor. Briefly comment on the “farm” smells here in Hay Bay and quickly fall asleep.

Hay Bay to Loyalist Cove

I woke up early in the morning. This was a beautiful location, we will definitely be back! I decided to stretch my legs by going for a quick run on shore. I boarded the dingy and left the boat just as the sun was coming up.

There’s a nice public dock on the North side of Hay Bay.

The run was mostly on the country roads but there was one interesting gravel road section.

On my way back I recorded a fun 360 degree video of Foghorn Lullaby. Yes it’s speeded up, our 2.3 hp engine doesn’t go that fast!

Video: 22 seconds

Back on the boat I made myself a coffee and then relaxed in the spongy comfort of the dinghy. Lori commented that I should have my shoes on in the boat.

The wind was starting to pick up so we had a quick breakfast and headed out. The anchor was deep in the mud and we struggled to lift it. Eventually tied it off and drove the boat forward to pull it free. Now thinking a windlass would be nice.

Another boat sailing by as we were leaving. It was windy and gusty, going around the corner past the entrance to Picton. It was making us a bit nervous, it felt like dingy sailing. The boat would be picked up by the wind, heel over and the speed would quickly increase, we hit a max of 7.99 knots.

We were not having fun, we reefed in the head sail a bit more. And had to maneuver around the smaller fishing boats trolling in the area. And then we met up with the ferries again. Not a fan. And now there were two of them, crossing in opposite directions.

Here’s the second one going in the opposite direction as the first.

After that things calmed down, the wind slowly died as we approached Loyalist Cove. We motored into the marina. It’s a beautiful marina with friendly people.

Also noticed a CS33 sailboat, Lady Louisa, on the hard.

We quickly got to work and started to prepare the boat by first removing the sails.

There’s not much around the marina, it’s definitely not like Cobourg around here. But we did find an all in one convenience store up the street. It had a gas station, groceries, LCBO, Beer Store and Country Style donuts all in one. We picked up a few beers for the night and I treated myself to some gas station pepperoni sticks, my guilty pleasure.

The next day when it was time for de-masting and haul out the weather turned windy.

Video: 41 seconds

Not the type of weather I wanted when hauling out at a new location for the first time. I also had to move the boat twice within the crowded marina and was very nervous! Fortunately, everything went smoothly.

We picked up a Uhaul truck, drove back to Wiggers, picked up our boat cradle and returned to Loyalist Cove. The staff were helpful in unloading the cradle from the back of the truck.

Yes, you can fit a cradle for a 34 foot boat into the back of a Uhaul truck. Now that the cradle was removed, we had tons of room for all of our gear. We still bring home pretty much everything from the boat and store it in our basement over winter. We are starting to think that maybe this is overkill and maybe we can leave the cushions on the boat over winter. We’ll see how we feel next year.

Despite the windy conditions, Loyalist Cove Marina removed the mast and expertly moved our boat from the water and placed her on a trailer so she can be moved to the storage area for the winter.

We then had to go back and disassemble our mast for storage. This was new for us. At Wiggers marina, we would just wrap all of the cables up and store it like that. At Loyalist they prefer to strip the mast bare so that they can store it in their racks.

We spent time cautiously removing the spreaders and documenting how we did it. Hopefully we figure out how to put it back together properly in the spring!

Stopped off to view Foggy one last time before heading home. Her winter resting spot looked nice and secure.

We will be back in a few weeks to put her winter cover on.

4 thoughts on “Last Sail of the Season

  1. Nick says:

    Glad to hear you enjoyed Hay Bay. Always a lovely sunset and generally private.
    As far as bringing things (cushions) home, I will share that we got stains on ours this winter from teak engine bay doors with a small leak from a port light. Needless to say the captain is in the dog house for that.
    Just polished a boat down at Loyalist, forgot to take a look around for Foggy.
    See you on the water soon!
    Nick
    Bellos CS36T

    Reply
    1. Shane says:

      Hi Nick, good to know about the cushions, still not sure what we are going to do next fall.

      Will be posting pictures soon of Foggy, we were there last Saturday and there’s a few new stories to tell.

      Reply
  2. Barry Lovett says:

    I to use to strip my boat clean but not anymore. we leave everything on boat and purchase a couple of the marine moisture absorbers for the interior. never a problem with moisture or mold. We leave pillows etc. and put everything down below, cockpit cushions, fenders, lines. sure save a lot of hauling back and forth.

    Reply
    1. Shane says:

      Hi Barry, we keep on trying to convince ourselves to do the same. It’s a gradual process for us. We’ll get there! 🙂

      Reply

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