I was invited by John McCaig Vice President of Probus Huntsville to talk about the work of the Muskoka Watershed Council and detail the 2010 Report Card. We had a good session with many, many questions.
According to the surveys, and as I asked prior to the presentation, there was very little prior knowledge about the Report Card or even the Muskoka Watershed Council itself. Afterward, I was very pleased to see many positive comments about the presentation with most people commenting that their knowledge of the watershed and good stewardship practices was increased substantially. It certainly makes it worthwhile.
Thank you to everyone in attendance, I enjoyed it immensely. -Steve
Last week while showing a cottage with Catharine on Lake Muskoka, I got a call that some 27 bikes abandoned at a number of Toronto condominiums, were going to to be crushed for scrap the following day unless someone intervened. So we attached our old trailer and headed from Muskoka to Toronto to load up the bikes. We then delivered them to a back alley behind a church; given the recent activities of Toronto’s Igor, the unofficial world champion of bicycle thieves (here’s a NY Times article), our trailer load drew some real attention from good samaritans.
We were able to support a Toronto charity: Community Bicycle Network (CBN). CBN is a non-profit that repairs bikes, refurbishes and sells donated bicycles, sells new and used parts, rents trailers and bikes at affordable rates, and offer space to practice and learn bike mechanics and cycling skills. CBN has been dedicated to promoting community-based sustainable transportation initiatives since 1993.
With just a little bit of time and effort, the donated bicycles will be sold at a very low cost to people that couldn’t otherwise afford them; instead of heading for a landfill.
Right on the main street of Port Carling, we have a listing that is worthy of your attention, but is also in need of attention: maintenance and some repairs. There does not appear to be anything major to be done, and some renovations have already been completed.
So here for a listed price of only $209,000.00 is an opportunity to create a large home on a big, beautiful lot in a great location in downtown Port Carling. It’s just steps to the Indian River, or the locks, shopping and dining. If you have construction/renovation/restoration skills, this is an opportunity to build equity quickly.
Sunday was forecast to be a beautiful day: 18 degrees, sunny and steady winds. And, we had the boat fully ready to go. So, after some preparation – we had to tie the mast hoops to the sail and tie one reef in the sail – Catharine and I, and our son Chris and his dog Kirby were going to take the catboat on its first sail in Muskoka. We headed out into Lake Muskoka and tacked through between Pine and Birch Islands.
You can see the mast hoops in the picture below.
For those who aren’t sailors reefing is a way to shorten the sail somewhat so as to not be overpowered by winds. You’ll see the reefing points tied onto the boom in the picture of Chris below.
Completed a fairly complex (for me) re-rigging of our catboat. Because the sail is gaff-rigged, there is an additional spar, much like the boom that is above the sail. The luff (front edge) of the sail is tied to wooden hoops that ride up the mast when the sail is raised.
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.
We sold a wonderful, almost 3 acre building lot on Sparrow Lake’s Deep Bay just a couple of days ago. This lot has almost 300 ft of waterfront, and Deep Bay is a beautiful part of Sparrow Lake.
When I was a kid, Deep Bay was a fish sanctuary. We would get a close as you could to the entrance and figure the bay was so thick with fish that they would be spilling out and onto our baits. Never really caught anything much that way though.
The new owners are planning to build in the next few years.
We have quite a few fractional listings on Sparrow Lake, both at the Cottages at Port Stanton and at Tory’s Landing. We just sold a beautiful, rugged, Muskoka building lot on Deep Bay, and a cottage on McLean Bay.
Today we toured a wonderful private cottage on Sparrow Lake that we hope to list soon. On the way it was apparent that it was a great day on Sparrow and at Tory’s Landing as we passed the resort by boat.
Cottage owners like to relax on the docks at Tory’s Landing.