A Travellerspoint blog

Wow Summer's over

Time flies when when it's good times

sunny 25 °C

The last day of summer has come and gone. I don't remember a lot of sunny days. I do remember it being cool. Long johns for Jenna in July! The sailing season is drawing to a close another month and the Lady Chimo is carried onto the cold hard ground, out of her element, balanced on her keel between the hard fingers of her steel stand. I'll cover her beautiful lines with ugly tarps to keep some of the winter off her decks.
We made an interesting discovery on a point of land west of Killarney. We anchored in Powder House bay. Blasting powder was kept here in a stout wooden shack when the mainland was first mined. The operation has moved to an island in recent times. The island is disappearing, a bit of the La Cloche Mountains shipped to Midland for drywall sheets. A whole island!
I was fishing, without much success off the bulbous cliffs that mark the point. With no fish for breakfast I grounded the dinghy in search of blueberries. I climbed up the steep slope. I picked berries in the bushy cracks, watching out for snakes and bear poop. After skittering up the final bald slope I came upon a large rough concrete pad with an old stump of a pole. I stood on the rough surface, the only flat area any where. To the east Killarney farther south was the open water of Georgian Bay. This was the entrance to the North Channel, to Little Current, to lake Michigan and Superior. I could see 'Coeur de Bois in the clouds and hear the hammering of men mining the mountains, boats drifted by in the light breeze. A strange mass of black and silver rectangles lay scattered in a crack. Further, two black boxes about a foot square, two holes at opposite corners, cracked bitumen sealing the tops. I went back to gaze at the expanse of water, down the slope facing the bay's entrance lay a large wooden diamond. The weathered boards nailed to a massive wooden post. The saw cut matched that of the stump in the concrete. The installation was an old marker of some sort. I looked away from the afternoon sun and caught a glint of glass in another pile of the strange rectangles, black sandwiches in silver bread, three or four double loaves. It was a tiny bottle, "EDISON, BATTERY OIL, MADE IN U.S.A. further down the label THOMAS A. EDISON INCORPORATED BLOOMFIELD, N.J. U.S.A. Battery oil! The silver and black layers had to come from very old batteries. Another bottle partly filled with a black tar read 'transformer oil' The square boxes must be the transformers for the batteries. The navigation marker was lit! Someone long ago must have tended the light, carried the massive batteries up, added the acid they called 'oil', used the noxious tar for the transformers. How did they recharge them? I munched blueberries, out in the bay the new buoys, solar powered, kept the boats on the not so straight and narrow. I wish they had left the marker standing. A tribute to someone long ago, forgotten now.
So another year will come. Snow's will settle, winds will blow. Freeze up then thaw. The Lady Chimo will push her way north to Manitoulin and west. I can't wait to see something new, perhaps slip back into the past. God willing that will be another summer

Posted by patgoodeve 12:51 Archived in Canada Tagged boating Comments (0)

sailing out of the Wye river

Finally going o the North Channel

20 °C

Well that special time of year is finally here. It has been a cloudy July and cool, damp miserable October cool not 'Wow Cool"
Today I have to repair the foresail again. Last week entailed four hours of pushing a needle with a pair of pliers to sew back on the sunscreen where the stitching had frayed away. Oh well old boat no money but lots of time. The clock has just struck eight bells, I'd better drink my coffee and go up on deck. Sooner or later I have to do the sixty mile trip across Georgian Bay to the Bruce Penninsula.

Posted by patgoodeve 04:59 Comments (0)

Ontario Georgian Bay Wye River

On the Lady Chimo

sunny 21 °C

WOW It's been almost a month since I returned from BC and two months since Vietnam. It's a rainy day in southern Georgian Bay so I'm taking it easy on the "Lady Chimo" The Lady is a twelve meter fiber glass Ketch I have docked at Doral Marine which also happens to be the world's largest fresh water marina! Behind me, to the south that is stands the twin towers of Martyr Shrine and a little further up the Wye river is Saint Marie amoungst the Hurons whose major claim to fame was the massacare of several Jesuit priests and a whack of Huron Indians by the Iriquois. Basically read English against the French using the natives as their pawns. You can always get neighbouring tribes to fight. Not around here any more because the Europeans ran out of natives and had to settle it amoungst themselves on the plains of Abraham. I'm writing in English and not my mother's French so you can guess who won. To the North and everywhere else is pretty much the Great Lakes. I'm here because it's summer and this is the finest fresh water sailing anywhere.
I'm planning another trip about five weeks a tour of Manitoulin Island Lake Huron and the North Channel.
A uick exmple.
Last Friday i slipped out f the marina wwith my son Colin and his friend Kieth we tacked against a fresh North East breeze to Beausoleil Park anchored on the sheltered south cape and fished for Pickerel. Not much luck as the boys were way more interested in drinking beer. I got them up early, amidst much protest and we pushed on to Longuissa Bay where we fished. The hangovers focused the skills of the young pair and a first for our friend Kieth a 'Gar Pike' five feet long, one foot of that mouth and sideways sticking teeth. A really ugly mean tempered specimen. Other Northern Pike perch small and large mouth bass abound as there is little fishing pressure. We released all, had steaks for dinner then returned home Sunday with a light north wind pushing us back to the marina

Posted by patgoodeve 09:30 Archived in Canada Tagged boating Comments (0)

Home again

Life goes on; or it doesn't

sunny 24 °C
View Off to see the Sense i on patgoodeve's travel map.

After a couple of days spent with my son Schaun fishing I hopped a plane for Newmarket Ontario, my home. Three months seems like long time when you are traveling. It's not so long when you are in the humdrum of the daily working life.
I loved coming home; loved seeing my beautiful lady Jenna, my friend Ron picking me up from the airport, the call from my daughter Erin wanting to see me, the neighbours asking me how it was, going to Karate, all the invites. Some things change; some for the worse. A good friend; his cancer back, out of options, almost out of time. I feel guilty feeling so good. So many wonderful things have happened to me; new friends, new sights to see and recount, old friends and relatives renewed. I've said goodbye to others; father, mother, uncles and aunts, even my own daughter. It doesn't really matter what deals you try to make or how much you miss the ones you love. It all works out the same. They're gone you're still here. It's like waving goodbye from the back of a train as it pulls out of the station and you know you'll never see that person again. The spark, the light they bring into your life is lost, sinking over the horizon of time. I sit with my friend John. In better times he would say, "Call me Johnny" because he's that kind of guy. He's my friend because; he's honest, cheerful and does not have a malicious bone in his body. He makes me happy; and now I'm pissed that he is going to leave me. A little selfish you might think, but I can't help being mad at him for leaving. I know that trying to do deals with the Almighty doesn't work. I tried that with my lovely daughter Brenda. I tried right up until the end. There are no deals. Miracles only happen in stories.
Perhaps the real miracle is that we get a chance at all. We all get a chance to hang out on this wonderfully beautiful ball of mud. We get the opportunity to meet interesting people, see fascinating places. We can get on the train of life. I don't know when or where my last station will be. I just hope I don't make too many people sad when they think of leaving me behind. Because, I think I'm going on another trip. Even if I'm only coming back as another raindrop splashing into a puddle. I'll do my best to enjoy the trip down. P

Posted by patgoodeve 08:34 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Gabriola Island B.C.

Two ferry rides and back in the Fifties

sunny 17 °C
View Off to see the Sense i on patgoodeve's travel map.

To Gabriola
Over the mountains and down the hills again with one big difference, Ferries. The BC car ferries are fast boats complete with clothing stores restaurants and video arcades. The terminals have much the same including a large choice of bars and pubs. On thing they don't mention is the waiting. The regulars seem immune. It drives me crazy. I of course miss the boat by minutes the next one is in two hours. Time for beer. It is a long ride from Horseshoe Bay near Vancouver to Departure bay in Nanimo. I go to the bow and pretend to listen to Celine Dion as I lean over watching for seals. We arrive; a quick drive to the ferry terminal for Gabriola Island. I cough up another thirty bucks for a shorter ride and arrive in the fifties. Life slows, old hippies amble along gravel side streets. My friend Jim guides me to his lovely sea side home complete with an orchestra of sea lions on a nearby island. Monster firs arch over streets and homes tucked into the woods. Postcard perfect. Later the moon light sparkles on the water and still the sea lions bark. I walk a labyrinth for the first time; a single path circling back on itself to the center.On the journey inwards you contemplate your troubles and on the way out you concentrate on resolution. For some strange reason the journey out seems only half as long as the walk in. Very strange The one thing that I am sure will remain with me forever is the scent of his home; the sea, the firs and a strange tree called an Arbuta which sheds it's bark instead of its broad leaves, all contribute to a distinct and pleasant memory. I highly recommend a soul repairing visit.

Posted by patgoodeve 09:39 Archived in Canada Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

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