I put a load of boaty stuff and tools in the van, and we agreed on a route with a check-stop 10 minutes down the road. The air was thick with expectations of adventure and thrills. iris bounced along behind the truck, and we headed east toward the York Region boundary.
It is significant to me that the boat is crossing a watershed into a new lake. It was originally a Lake Huron boat. The second owner sailed her on Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie. I sailed her on Lake Simcoe, and now she is going to Lake Ontario.
I watched closely in my rear view mirror as Uncle Charles and I rolled into Udora, and pulled into the UPI Gas station at the 4-corners of town. As he got out of his truck, Charles looked grim.
The truck was pulling fine, but the boat was bouncing a little, and the bow had broken away the rubber support that went under it. We would need some roadside engineering to get it stable. I produced a spare ratchet strap from my van and we tied the boat down a little harder. A scrap of plywood was found, and jammed in under the bow. We stood and scratched our chins.
A gent came up to us in the parking lot and started talking about sailing. Turns out he was a partner in the Marine Cradle Shop - a local business that builds sailboat trailers and cradles. He shared some stories and commiserated with us over the pains that occur in a boat haul. It was too bad he didn't have any tools with him that would have helped us.
With the boat as secure as it was going to be, we hit the road again. Southbound out of Udora, we climbed and descended the rolling hills of the Oak Ridges and passed quiet farms. Eventually we came down the long descent that leads to Davis drive and Uxbridge. Here we turned East again, and then turned back to the south on Lakeridge. Almost immediately we pulled off onto the shoulder to assess how Iris was doing.
I felt the trailer's hubs and tires, and noticed that one of the tires was warm. It was rubbing on a fender. With some words and kicking and pulling, I bent and twisted the fender so that it was no longer a problem (or functional) and it wouldn't rub on the tire.
We travelled south on Lakeridge road all the way to Whitby, passing more farms and ski hills. Lakeridge Road is a very busy arterial with a lot of high-speed travellers. They didn't like being held up by the boat and would pull out to pass Uncle Charles, only to realize that I was ahead of him. Because of this I tried to keep a big opening between the truck and I - making space for passing cars to duck in. Once they were trapped behind me, I could pull aside onto the shoulder to let them pass. The system worked well all the way to Lake Ontario.
Once we reached the lake, Uncle Charles left Iris at the boat launch while I completed a handful of chores aboard her. Next week, she will be launched with the marina travel lift. Ready or not, sailing season is about to begin.
Just in case you were expecting more Rawhide references, here are the Blues Bros...