Category Archives: Canada

Last Sail in FatFish 2012

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November Sailing in FatFish.. Nice thing about leaving the boat in all winter, you can get out a few more times..
The only other boat on the lake of course made it a race.. He may have beat us with the sails up, but once we got the motor running, the drag race under the bridge was us all the way.. First back to the dock is certainly the winner.. I dont care what you sailors say!!!




Boat Sail (SALE!!)

Pulled ol’ FatFish out of the water yesterday…  She’s been floating since we bought her back bout 3 years ago…

Forgot what the bottom looked like..  it’s still there!..   Not too much growth for that long in the water..   either the bottom paint is good, or the water is not as ‘clean’ as we think it is???

Its funny looking at this boat in the slings today..    Its SOOO SMALL…  where 3 years ago standing in the cockpit my words were “How am I ever going to steer this HUGE boat”…. apparently she shrunk being in the water so long..  

Lake ONTARIO !!!!

WE made the great lakes!!! Ya!!!
Had a great couple days on the canal…although lots of sticks, logs, and stumps..
One time we managed to get a long skinny one (2″ diameter) wrapped around the rudder… not before the props skinned em…
Steering went hard.. hummmm…. ALLIE… put your bathing suit on!!!! Your going downstairs!!!
Well we didn’t have to resort to that!… heavy reverse and a piece of it popped up.. then using the long poker stick we were able to dislodge it..
Allie was giving high fives at that point! ha!!!

30 LOCKS LATER…. no kidding!

What a sight it was to see Lake Ontario!!! wow.. been a LONG TIME!!!
Tomorrow morning we are putting the sticks up.. hopefully the wind stays low..

were very exposed here..
not sure they have crane regulations in effect..
but last thing we want to do is bend that thing!
Then we set sail across the lake to a new country… CANADA EH!

Have a GREAT DAY!!!

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Island Dancer is a Sailboat Again!

Bernie walked up with a coffee this morning looking at the rig on Island Dancer..
He smiled and said… WOW
Bernie is the head of stepping masts (installing)
I somehow found a smile, wondering what I was getting myself into…
This boat is SMALL in the caribbean… whats the big deal.. lets go!

Bernie: “There’s no way my rig can lift that mast…”
Timbo: “Really.. so Bernie… what are we using then? ” –  There was NO way the mast going to be horizontal on the deck after today…. I love putting confidence back into the experts… he’ll figure out a way!

So we Rented a Crane!.. not a big one.. in fact.. Im so used to Georgie showing up in 100+ ton crane (at Suncor) I was a bit shocked at this weeeee one…
But again… this is only a hollow mast.. couple farm boys could put it in… trust me I have stories!

There was a bit of a Spectacle in Oswago… at one point Robin counted more than 15 watching just in the immediate area of the boat…

Everything went smooth smooth smooth.. and we now have two masts back in the vertical position…
We stopped working at 10pm (Kozyboat crew).. its a ton of work getting all the gear back together… but were ready to hit the sea.. hummm I mean LAKE… tomorrow!!!

Very great people here.. (I must have met some non-great people, somewhere, sometime on this trip??)
You will see from the pictures the number of people we had helping.. That with crane, gin pole, and paid talent… what the heck is this going to cost??
Turned out to be a little over $300… I was thinking more like $500-700… we had the crane and operator tied up all afternoon.. and a lot of marina people!!!
I really need to buy a “I Love NY” T-Shirt !!!!

The 30 locks have certainly improved Timbo’s docking skills…. This boat is turning into a skate board in a parking lot…
The marina people came up to me and said “Gee.. We hardly ever see anyone driving a SAILBOAT dock without hitting something” ha!!!

I can’t wait to come into Bridgeview in Sarnia and smash into 3 boats my first time!!!

Terry..  hang some extra fenders on your boat…Timbo’s comin in!
Film at 11!!!Well lets see how this boat handles the Great Lakes… 🙂

Have a Great Day!!!

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You won’t believe this but we Found Canada!

Talking to customs we had to think just how long we were gone… 300 days!

Why didn’t someone tell me it was still cold here???? 🙂

And found my old Sailboat FatFish!! It was locked… but Johnny forgot to take the key out…
Overnight sail was smooth to St. Catharines… We came in way too early and had to drop the hook for an hour or two before entering the harbour..
Time to find a TIM HORTONS!!! and a Canadian Tire!

Have a Great Day!!!

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Facebook is Pretty Cool Somedays

Quick Post on Facebook and next thing you know, buddies are showing up at the marina (With BEER!)
Whats the chances Gord and Sandy were ‘in town’ for the day when normally out west…??
Great fun with Chris, Michelle, Steph and of course John and Vanessa feeding us all day…
We don’t have any Canadian money yet… and haven’t seen any in a year.. is it still colourful??

Well time to drop the dock lines and head up niagara falls… going to need a good run at her eh!

Next stop… SARNIA (I hope!!!)

Have a Great Day!

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Welland Canal and Lake Erie

Island Dancer ntered the Welland canal at 10am Friday…. there are horror stories of it taking 17 hours… then others in just 4 or 5…
Calling Welland Canal control on channel 14, they advised me to stop at a marina and call them on a land line..
I radio’d back a few minutes later to clarify which marina… and then they started asking the key questions… have you paid.. do you have 3 adults on board.. etc etc..
So in the end we didn’t have to stop and were put right into the system,… awesome!
The locks were fairly simple.. Raise about 45 feet in each one (8).. the first 3 were no issue… Then came Number 4…
With only one other boat going through, the first few locks we had good separation… The lock is 1000′ long and were 54’… spacing them out is a good idea.. isn’t it?
Pull up.. pull up… says the operator to Timbo…OK.. now we are 10 feet from the cruise ship… nice…

Then the fun started….Wholly crap…
The lock operator must have thought we were a 1000′ laker… It would have rose no quicker if they just opened the gate…

I had to run the engines at high RPM just to keep the cleats from pulling out of the deck.. we were on a RIDE!!!
Getting to the top I had a word with one of the operators… Is there a way to fill a little slower next time ??
Of course the answer was certainly not… thats a slow as we can go…

Entering the next lock we had a Girl operator.. Now Island Dancer was placed 900′ behind the other boat… and it filled about a slow as nice bubble bath…
What a change! I was sure to give her our appriciation when we hit the top!

At 5pm we found ourselves cruising out into Lake Erie!! Time for AutoVanHelm to take the wheel… He loves to steer through big open lakes!

The wind went to ZERO.. the lake was Glass… motoring along over 8 knots all night and all day Saturday…
That was until a new noise arose…. Timbo was just jumping into the shower… what the hell is THAT??
Running up to the deck Robin already had the starboard engine slowed down.. its running fine.. but the noise is different.. kind of like we just got a new loud muffler installed..??
Nothing obvious in the engine room… fired it back up.. sounds great.. rev it up… no something is different.. it’s louder…
Looking in the water it became obvious… as we slowed down.. a long 200′ nylon rope floated to the surface… Ahhhh Ha…! That would do it!
Appears we ran over some debris.. its not a net.. just a very long line..
Tried the motor in reverse.. but it just started winding the rope up.. forward same story..

ALLIE!!! Time to go DOWNSTAIRS!!!!

Being in the open lake.. and likely a very chilli open lake.. Timbo suited up also….. Nice have scuba tanks on board.. its a long way down to the props.. For Timbo anyway…
I put one toe in first.. hummmmm… The water actually wasn’t that bad…
Allie suited me up in all the scuba gear.. pushed me off the deck with a splash.. then threw her gear in the water.. She put her’s on after jumping in just to show off…
Taking a peak under the waterline there was no surprise to see the line was wrapped many times around the prop.. And a secondary line wrapped around the rudder!

Our starboard engine was fine.. so we could continue on.. but at a much slower pace.. and going up the St. Clair river would be a crawl! Lets fix this now!

Thanks to Ray setting me up with a fine collection of very sharp knives.. we had the line off, back on the boat and underway less than 30 minutes from the first noise ..…

If we don’t run anything else over, or run aground too hard.. we should make Sarnia Sunday morning, or early afternoon… Its going to take more than a rope to stop us now.. ha!

Have a GREAT DAY!!!

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