Saturday, 13 June 2009

Cruising like We're Racing

After the eventful crossing we had to reach Barrie, you may have thought I would sleep well, truth is I was fitful at best, never sleeping more than an hour before waking to check the time. I ended up getting out of bed before 7:00 AM, having a muffin and Gatorade for breakfast, and then set about hanging all the soaked clothing to dry.

Almost everything on board was wet. By the time I was done, there were clotheslines criss-crossing the entire cabin. So much for the idea of using the boat as a mobile office.

Eventually Chuck stirred, and made a trip to the bathroom. Meanwhile I got ready for work while admonishing her to stay clear of strangers and what to do if she got lost. Then it was off to my meetings.

I grabbed a coffee on the way, and met with Don who seemed surprised that I had followed through on sailing across, given the weather he was right to be.

Through the day we checked on Chuck after our meetings and at lunch, but she was happy to sit in the boat and play video games on the laptop. That was fine by me as it kept her out of trouble. She also made a couple trips to the dollar store to buy junk with her allowance. Apparently candy tastes better when you buy it yourself, but really... scotch mints!?!?

Surprisingly, she cleaned out the boat while I was working and washed the floors, tidied things up, and made herself a little nest in the quarterberth. Seems she was right at home in there, but she did admit to me that it was kind of lonely in there.

Once Don and I wrapped up our work, he was kind enough to drive me to a gas station where I filled the outboard's tank, then he went on his way while I settled back into the boat. While I rested I had Chuck pack all the wet clothes and anything else that was out away for our sail home.

I rested fitfully for maybe half an hour, then figured I might as well just get going since this wasn't having the desired effect. We pulled out of the slip and headed away from the marina.

Out on Kempenfelt Bay, the boats from KBYC were starting a race. We were around 5 minutes behind the start and I thought it would be nice to watch how their fleet performed as we moved up the bay. Then I realized we were gaining on them. We trimmed for speed, and with our old 110% working jib and a full load of cruising gear we ran through the back of the fleet.

It felt good to race (even though I kept telling myself we weren't racing) and by the time we reached the race's weather mark we had passed 3 or 4 boats - some of which had beat us in the Lagoon City races this past weekend. I was feeling much better about this passage than the last as we came out past Big Bay Point and into the main body of Lake Simcoe.

As we crossed Simcoe, the sunset was lacklustre, but Chuck pulled out our little transistor radio, and brought me up to speed on what all the good music is (Taylor Swift) and she did some singing. Then we had some father-daughter chat, and before long we were almost back to JP.

As we came across Simcoe the winds built but the waves were mostly OK with the odd big wave that surged up from behind us pushing Iris along. We were broad reaching or running all the way back home, which means the wind had shifted considerably from our rocky ride to Barrie.

Chuck took the helm again and did an amazing job of holding us on course as we sailed right through the JP Breakwall, and dropped the sails inside the marina. For a few seconds I was contemplating sailing right into our slip, but I don't think we're quite that good yet.

As we tied Iris off, Chuck cleaned out the boat on her own while I buttoned up the sails and made sure everything was secure, and then we jumped in the car and headed home. It was a great couple days and I got to see my kid acting both very grown up, and very cool-kid like.

She can really make me proud sometimes.

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