[Public-List] Mini-Misery Trip... wasn't.

Gordon Laco mainstay at csolve.net
Mon Sep 30 06:51:12 PDT 2019

So it’s the end of September… 

My wife and I saddled up SURPRISE for a weekend sail up the coast.   We got underway from the club by 1000 and motored out of the harbour at a smooth sliding 6kts under power.  What had been a dead calm suddenly felt like a nice breeze from the east…  but only for a second did I have hopes of sailing when we rounded Midland Point and headed NNE… what we were feeling was the breeze of our passage through the still air.

So around Midland Point we hummed… past ‘Weather Helm Rod’s’ place where his C&C Frigate was snoozing on her mooring, and up toward the Minnicognashene passage.  After Labour Day there are few motor boats around so no wakes…. wonderful.

Once through Minnicog, a light breeze came up so we uncorked the genoa and motorsailed… we were passed by a horrendously ugly Catalina of about 45’ LOA with full oxygen tent cockpit coverage.  She was steaming along at high speed and if one squinted so the rig didn’t show, one could believe it was a Dreadnaught with her plumb bow and big wave train along her waterline.   But they waved cheerily so we waved back.

So up past Ship Island, Sugar Island and finally opening the channel to the cove at Bone Island… Three hours after departing Midland our hook was down and deep in the good clay… lovely afternoon with plenty of time for sipping wine and book reading. 

After supper (cooked on the BBQ) we watched the sun go down and admired a fearless loon who fished around us for about 45 minutes during which he/she caught two fish.  These were apparently sufficient for supper because it then settled down about a boat length to our starboard preening and arranging feathers.  This process took so long we eventually stopped watching so ardently and during a distraction, he disappeared.

As the sun went down the temperature dropped… the season is quite late… so we went below and I lit the wood stove.  Unfortunately the paper kindling in it had lain there all season and all last winter since the end of the ’18 season, so being damp it only smouldered.  I finally got flames going and those warmed the flue enough that smoke went out… Caroline returned to the cabin and I read aloud to her while she knitted.  Lights out and sleep eventually.

Sunday morning we had coffee admiring the perfect reflection of the trees on the water… we took a picture which one could reverse and not immediately see which was the real view and which was reflected.   

We hoisted the main (new sail this year, wonderful thing, a new sail) and recovered the anchor.  It came up with only a bit of weed on it so only a couple of douses of water from the bucket were required to clean it and the chain.  

Belatedly I glanced up to see we were gliding in the very light air toward the shore… trying not to look agitated I strolled back to the cockpit and spun the wheel to port… up we turned, tacked under the main and began gliding toward the exit channel of the cove.  I hope that the several eyes watching us from the monstrous Catalina thought I’d planned it that way…

Once out and passing Sugar Island, the wind started and our speed jumped from 0.9 to 4.5 knots, then 5 then 6.2.  We foamed along in flat water going like the proverbial bat out of hell… not for the first time I felt how liberating it was NOT to be towing our beloved dinghy… man I wish that thing were lighter…

Out the Minnicog channel and away south up Severn Sound close reaching.  We made the whole length close hauled on port tack just, just laying the course… speed never below 6 knots.  

At Midland Point we eased sheets and broad reached back to the club, furled up without drama then puttered back to our jetty at the club.   Fifteen minutes later hot soup was in our bowls, warming our hands as we spooned it in… Great two day trip; no misery this time despite the lateness of the season.

Gordon Laco
#426 Surprise

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