19 September 2011

Knot Yet to the rescue.

We got to pull a fellow boater off the rocks today.

Next Tuesday is Macara's birthday, so we suggested that she bring a girlfriend up to the boat for the weekend.  Barely 15 minutes out of town the poor girl gets car sick.  Uh oh, is she going to be okay on a boat.  Turns out she was fantastic!

Saturday we take the girls for a cruise.  We put Knot Yet up on step and ran her out to White Cloud Island, she needed a good run.  Then we put her in sightseeing mode.  We drifted back in along the north shoreline, doing crafts, watching movies, having snacks... down stairs.  Dad had a great ride up on the flybridge :-)

The girls had planned that we would spend the night on the hook.  A south-east wind and a girl that gets car sick.  I don't think so.  Back to the dock.

Sunday morning starts with "let's go for another boat ride."  So, we take them for a short trip to go swimming, do lunch, paint some nails.  All good stuff.  I changed the oil in the genny.

We were almost back to the marina, when we overhear a radio call to the marina requesting help.  A sail boat had been blown up on the rocks and was taking a beating in the surf.  The marina doesn't really have a rescue boat and there weren't a whole lot of power boats on the water.  Lots of sailboats, yes???

We interrupt their call and offer our assistance.  Come on girls, let's go!

We arrive at their location, and yes, they needed help.

A swing keel sailboat, so they had managed to get themselves blown right up on shore.  No place that I wanted to be.  So, I found myself a place in about 9' to 11' of water and proclaimed that I was not coming any closer.  Kerri grabbed one of our spare anchor ropes and a large ball fender and floats it out off the bow.  The rest was pretty much up to them.  I did my best to hold our position backing into a breaking surf while the one poor guy makes his way out over the slippery rocks and through the surf.  The life jacket was a good idea, because he took a beating.  After about 15 minutes he has the line back to their boat.

I start to back away and they aren't moving an inch.  With both guys naturally clinging to the high side, they were driving their keel down and into the rocks.  I couldn't get them on the radio and they couldn't hear us over the wind and the surf.  What we were trying to tell them was to get on the leeward side of the boat.  They thought we were motioning for them to get off the boat.  So, the one guy obliges!  Jeez, now we got one guy in the water, but the boat has broken free.

So, now we are sitting there asking ourselves, "what just happened?"  Were these guys together or was he a cottager that came out to help.  The guy makes his way to shore and starts walking to the nearest cottage.  Nope.  Our rescued boat tosses us our line back and circles back to pick up his buddy.  OH NO!  This doesn't look good at all!  You see this tiny little dock was only 200m or so from where we had rescued him.  Largely the same conditions.  It took 3 or 4 tries, but the guy finally gets on board.  It was pretty much a horror show to watch.  The boat was bouncing wildly!  Bouncing off the dock, probably off more rocks.  Luckily nobody got hurt.

Remember my little birthday girl and her car sick friend?  Well the girl friend is fantastic!  Actually helping out and being a sweetheart.  Macara isn't enjoying this at all!  Too rough, too much drama.  She is worried to death the other folks aren't going to be okay.  She is pretty certain we are in pretty big trouble ourselves.  I am grateful she had her friend along to talk to her, because that would have been just one more distraction for Kerri and I.

Knot Yet is a fine vessel!  I don't think that I could have done this in the Sea Ray.

11 September 2011

Where did summer go?

My last post ended and we were only half way through our North Channel vacation.  Ooops!  Sorry about that.

In previous posts, I have mentioned that we prefer to find anchorages that are a little more out of the way.  A little more private. 


And that was our mistake, I thought more about where we wanted to be than what others might do. 

Macara is 6 years old.  What 6 year old does not like a beach?  Beaches in the North Channel are at a premium, but we found a nice one and we backed right in on it.  Bow anchor in about 12 feet, stern anchor just off the beach... less than 3 feet of water.  Thursday, we have the place to ourselves!

Friday morning I get a text message from my mom.  "We spent last night in Little Current and are almost at the Benjamins, where are you?"  Happily, I give her our location and invite them to join us.  Along side beaches, grandparents rank pretty high on a little girl's list.

And then it happened.

We are wading away on our secluded beach in the Benjamin's...  life can't get any better.  It's just after noon and I have my first rum of the day in hand. 

Hold on.  That Sea Doo is coming right into our bay.  Is it the police?  No, it can't be.  He has board shorts on.  So, we chat.  Small talk.  All the time, the wind is blowing him further in to our beach.  I offer to hold on to him so he doesn't get blown ashore.  He say "no thanks, that is where I am heading".  What???  And then, I look out of the bay and two more boats are coming.  Oh no!!!  What is going on here?

To make a long story short, they were the advance team and they were going to camp on this beach no matter who was there before them.  By Saturday morning, the beach was littered with a full flotilla of boats.  The highlight being a large fabricated pontoon boat that hit the beach and landed right on top of our stern anchor.  Right or wrong, it was more than I could handle, so we picked up and found ourselves a new little piece of paradise.

Moral of the story:  When spending the long weekend in the Benjamin Islands treat your anchorage like a chess game.  Not only must you consider your move, but you must consider your apponents next move too.  Fortunately for us, this was not checkmate and we moved our fun to a new location.

Sadly, the end of week one meant the departure of our boat guests.  Extremely fine boat guests (our usual cruising friends that only had 1 week this year), they actually helped us with our break in period aboard our new boat.  You see, with three staterooms and two heads, we weren't in the habit of using all of the boats space to it's full potential.  They were able to report that our forward hatch has a leak and the day head just ain't right.  Add that to the list.

After another great night in Killarney (it was finally my turn to see Andy Lowe shut down the carousel) was followed by, "Daddy, Daddy can we stay another day?  I want to play in the pool.  There are kids here!!!"  Well that was hard to argue with.  Even with Grandma and Grandpa waiting for us in McGregor Bay, they would just have to wait.

Every year we see more and more boats in McGregor Bay, but once again we were able to tie up to our favourite tree.  A little fishing, lots of swimming, a few dinghy rides and even a campfire on the shore make McGregor Bay a lot of fun.  The highlight definitely being Macara catching her first fish.  A medium to smallish pike that had her screaming so the whole world could hear.  Without a net, her pike was on it's way to a stringer when he slipped from Grandpa's grasp.  Oh the disappointment, oh the tears!  And most of that was on Papa's face.

One final appearance at Killarney Mountain Lodge before an early departure across Georgian Bay.  Up bright and early and the forecast looks fantastic.  The plan:  Let's throw the hammers down and get most of the big water out of the equation and then we will back off a little and save some fuel.  After about an hour of easy cruising I decide to pull her off plane.  No sooner had I done that, and Kerri is kicking me out of the captain's seat.  "Go make me breakfast, I have got the wheel for a while", she says.  Well then, "come on Macara let's go make some breakfast."  The best part was, we opened all the blinds, threw on a movie and sat down stairs and watched the Bruce Penisula glide by.

Pictures soon to follow... I promise ;-)