|How odd she looks having visibly moved to a different dock|
|Cabin Boy contemplating the metropolis from the north shore of the embracing Toronto Islands.|
We didn't go far; the diesel is, after all, still aged if evidently properly filtered, and the motor is still well within the break-in period, but the nav lights leads were cobbled together and the boat, while basic, allowed the usual range of civilized functions. We even had heat. We needed it, as it turned out.
|Moon over the foredeck at a marina.|
|I am growing to like the Yankee.|
|Warm day, too, but it got very fall-like in the hours that followed.|
|Not very imposing cliffs are to the right, but the wind drops off 'em readily enough|
The next day, we didn't force the issue of leaving, but a strong front had passed in the cool night and the same wind that had plastered up obligingly on an end-finger slip had clocked to just about due North and was pushing merrily on our stern. Having been warned to turn tightly to avoid a sand bank, we left under more power than usual. Alas, the wind was pushing the water out of the relatively confined bay, and it had been many month since the last dredging. We ran aground.
It was yet another paint removing learning experience. I was concerned about it as we had turned into the wind, because I suspected that a season's worth of channel churn combined with the water leaving the bay would make things tricky. I made the first set of buoys but had to do a chock-to-chock turn at speed (necessary due to the friggin' wind on my nose) to make the turn and we went wide. The boat hit sand at about three knots (good) and plowed about, I estimate, a foot or 30 cm. down. We draw five foot ten inches or around 175 cm. The boat heeled about 15 degrees to port, right in front of Pickering's rescue boat.
Having contacted them to assure them that we appeared to be well and undamaged (not an item fell in the galley, such was the leisure with which we took the ground), we attempted to power off. We succeeded in rotating the boat 120 degrees to face our putative rescuers....and also the channel. Further attempts to aid the motor, which performed very gratifyingly well given the circumstance, involved tows, a Zodiac on the hip, and the use of the staysail to provide thrust. Eventually, running a spare halyard to a man sitting in the Zodiac as it backed up did the trick: we heeled over another five degrees, I gave her full throttle and we slid into the channel with a slight bump.
All that time (and it took nearly one hour) we were just 3/4 of a boat length from the channel. The journey back was blissedly uneventful, save for the spray over the deck as that wind persisted until we got into the lee of the spit. Please convey to Rob our thanks, and to our nameless helpers in the Zodiac. The halyard trick was the one that worked. Our keel is "bevelled" somewhat either side of the chunky weld line, and once that went parallel to the bottom, we slid easily off. I'm glad for the skeg. And the four blades. I think I dug Fairport YC a new mooring.
|Yeah, it was breezy coming back, too.|
We had a great weekend getaway, and save the practicum on freeing the boat from surprise dirt, everything worked well and we were comfortable. It bodes well. Next Monday, out comes the mast and next Friday, Alchemy follows and a new phase of carpentry and plumbing commences.