We left Confederation Basin Marina and headed to the Thousand Islands. We were unsuccessful at finding an available mooring ball at Thwartway/Leek Island so we returned to our favourite anchorage North of Sugar Island.
Confederation Basin to Portsmouth Olympic Harbour
There is no fuel or pump our service in Confederation Basin. We headed West to to Portsmouth Olympic Harbour. On our way, we pass the Kingston Yacht Club (KYC).
KYC looks like a great place to visit but limits docks to members and reciprocal club members. There’s always squadrons of dingys buzzing around the area.
Just before Portsmouth Olympic Harbour we passed the Kingston Penitentiary. An ominous looking prison that is no longer in use but provides tours to the public. It’s a shame to think how the prisoners were separated from all of this beauty by two feet of concrete and many armed guards.
This area is definitely ruled by sailboats. They are everywhere. And you can see why, there’s amazing wind through here and mostly protected to provide nice flat water. It’s a great place to ogle at sailboats. And yes, we do ogle, a lot.
Pump out went smooth but the diesel fill was problematic. We are still getting a syphon lock in our fuel line. See my thoughts on what is causing this in the post: Hiding from the storm in Belleville. This means they could fill a bit, wait for it to drain, fill a bit more and it’s painfully slow. We stopped them at 20 liters.
Engine Won’t Start
Another two boats arrived as we were getting ready to leave. They quickly untied us and threw out the lines. At the same time I yelled out, wait I haven’t started the engine yet! I quickly tried to start the engine. It turned over, but nothing. I tried a second time, nothing. I was panicking as we were slowly drifting away from dock. The crew on the dock realized the mistake and Lori started throwing the lines back at them. I tried the engine a third time, no luck. I stopped and went through the engine checklist in my head slowly. I looked down, the engine stop handle is pulled right out in the stop position. My face flushed, pushed it down and the engine fired up immediately! I was a bit embarrassed and joked, “you saw nothin“, as we collected our lines again. This was not the first time I’ve done this, I did this back in 2016 in our Macgregor. See my post: Burleigh Falls overnight trip.
This is a good lesson for whenever anything goes wrong. Don’t rush it. Take a moment to assess things. This has saved us a few times when tightening lines and they all of a sudden catch and stop. You are tempted to just crank harder but that usually just leads to things breaking. Stop. Assess. And you will usually discover what the true issue is. I’m still working on following this lesson. Lori is my trustworthy anchor that gets me to slow down. I usually am frustrated at this point but then realize she’s right (don’t tell her I said that).
Finally Figured Out the Main Sail
As we left Portsmouth Olympic Harbour we headed to wind and raised the main. This time Lori went forward to the mast and pulled the main halyard down along side of the mast at same time I pulled from the cockpit getting ready to use the winch. The main was up and tightened within minutes! Much faster and there was no yelling!
There’s a lot of friction in the blocks at the base of the mast. Pulling the halyard on the mast is soo much easier. I can see the convenience of the lines all being in cockpit to hide during foul weather or to sail single handed. But I think I would prefer a halyard winch on the mast.
We sailed East, past Kingston again. Winds pick up and start to gust. We decide to reef early. Main is pulled down to the first reef and our genoa is furled in 30%.
Wind immediately died down. After a few minutes we shook out the reefs. The wind picked up again. We reefed again. We sailed along with some good speed for another 20-30 minutes. As we get about 1/4 way through Forty Acres the wind completely dies down and the lake became smooth like glass. It creates a beautiful picture but not much fun in a sailboat.
We heard another sailboat with a gas motor behind us, gaining. The mooring balls we were going for are “first come first serve” and it appeared that they are heading to the same anchorage as us. With no wind, It became a motorboat race! We slowly pull away, not because of skill, but because we have a few more HP (25).
No Mooring Balls
The mooring balls at Thwartway are full. Two powerboats took two separate mooring balls and then pulled their sterns together. It was a sad moment for me, this is one of my favourite places to stay.
We moved on and checked out the anchorage East of Huckleberry. It was mostly empty, only one boat there. Everyone knew better, the forecast for the night was East winds and it’s too exposed there. We continue East toward Sugar Island. Cautiously take the shortcut between the Sugar and Squaw island. It was 30 feet deep all the way through.
That night we cooked up a stir fry with some premade sauce (sesame oil Soy sauce, ginger and a little peanut butter). We spent most of our time just relaxing.
We’ve been working like crazy, especially Lori with her ridiculous hours right now, planning this trip, organizing, packing and travelling. This was now our time to decompress and do absolutely nothing. It was fantastic! It really was, I can’t stress how much we needed this down time.
It gave us a chance to reflect and think about things we normally don’t have time for. For example, why do dragonflies make a heart shape when they mate? We had no idea so we looked it up. It’s interesting, learn more here: https://dragonflywebsite.com/dragonfly-mating.cfm.
That night we enjoyed a beautiful sunset from the cockpit.
Start: July 16, 2021 at 10:30am End: July 16, 2021 at 3:42pm Total time: 5 hours, 11 minutes * time includes stop at Portsmouth for fuel and pump out Distance travelled: 18.6 nautical miles Time under motor: approx 1.5 hours Average speed (over ground): 3.4 knots Maximum speed (over ground): 6.9 knots
We are definitely not racers with an average speed of 3.4 knots! Time under sail was gusty, we had some good speed for a while but then mostly floated once we got to Howe Island.