Now, 10 days or so into fall, we are still completely busy with real estate, almost. I was able to get out sailing today from 3 till dusk.
With the sun setting before seven now, and me still used to long summer evenings, dusk seemed to come quickly along with cold winds. Three in the afternoon was t-shirt weather, then a sweatshirt on top by five, and a foul weather jacket by six.
The winds were our prevailing northwesterlies, and in the afternoon at 15 knots with gusts required a reefed sail. By evening they were a nice steady 8 or so so the reef was blown out and I sailed back north.
The evening sail was wonderful; once set, the boat stayed on track without any input from me. I was able sit back and take in the beautiful evening colours as the setting sun accompanied the boat back to Pine Island.
Once I rounded Pine Island, the wind, blocked by the mainland, slackened and I dropped the sail and watched the following sun set to the west.
We had a couple of hours available after a pre-closing cottage walk-through on Lake Rosseau, and before a cottage showing on Lake Muskoka, so we got out sailing.
Wind was primarily from the north west, gusting to 15 knots + at times; to the extent we had to tie in 2 reefs in the sail.
Lake Muskoka’s south bay was loaded up with whitecaps. Despite the double reef, or thanks to it, we had great control and the 18′ catboat reached the theoretical maximum hullspeed often – exhilarating!
The Segwun was out for a while, then shot back toward the Narrows from Eleanor Island– either the cruise was overdue or the forecast was not good. We were pretty much headed back by then.
Muskoka does need the rain.
In between cottage showings and listings, on one of the busiest days of the summer -Saturday of the July 1st weekend – I had a small window of time to go sailing. The weather has been beautiful and quite windy for days, and Saturday was no exception. I had to reef the sail and would have tied in a 2nd reef, but by that time we were on our way back downwind.
Catharine was in the process of selling a great place on Moon River. Fortunately Neysa and Bentley were up for a quick adventure. We sailed upwind from between Pine & Birch Islands, north of Beaumaris, then back.
Now that Bentley is starting to enjoy the sailboat more – the boat treats from Lenore certainly helped – we have to be careful about exposure to the sun. We applied sunscreen to Bentley’s muzzle, but he kept licking it off!? Tips on using sunscreen on your dog. We did our best to keep him shaded but he had other ideas.
We raised the mast on the catboat today. It looks so much more like a sail boat now. Normally this would be something done in May, but hey, this is when we were able to bring it all together. I am hoping for two weeks or so with some really good sailing days.
Next, I have to figure out all this rigging, and what goes where?
We brought a sailboat in need of restoration, back with us from Maine some 5 years ago. Today she was officially launched in Lake Muskoka at the Muskoka Wharf. Previously, and still currently named Dartry, she will be re-named Swell for the 2012 sailing season.
We first discovered these wonderful boats while living in Massachusetts. Known as a catboat in New England, these were the working boats in the 1800’s. Typically using one large gaff-rigged sail, these wide beamed boats – ours is 18 ft. long and almost 9 ft. wide – had lots of room for the work at hand. They were used to unload cargo from much larger sailing vessels, to get good to and from shore. Catboats were also the fishing boats of the time, used for swordfishing, lobster traps, scallops, etc.
As you can see, the mast has not been raised yet so we planned to motor – there is a 4-stroke outboard built into a motor well – from Gravenhurst to Indianhead marina on Lake Muskoka.
Our timing was great and Cath caught a picture of the Segwun just as we both approached the Narrows from opposite directions. We exchanged greetings: two toots from the wonderful steam whistle on the Segwun and two dings from our bronze bell.
Although the weather was mostly overcast, our trip up Lake Muskoka was beautiful. Both the air and the lake were warm and the sun was beginning to dip below the cloud in places.
After five years of on-again, off-again restoration, this was truly a joyful trip. I did not know for sure if there would be leaks somewhere, so I was happy that I had given work on the bilge pump a high priority on the worklist; we made it with a dry bilge.