It’s been awhile… four years in fact. We thought that nice long stretch of cruising in 2007/2008 would do us just fine. We were so happy to be back home in Navan, land-based, a garden, a house that didn’t sway in the wind and our family and good friends. But, within a year, we felt that tug and were once again planning our next sailing sojourn.
It’s taken us ‘til now to finally cut the ties that bind and move aboard Strathspey; one child, well schooled, has taken her place in the world, another is at university in the west and on the verge of making his own stride forward. So… here we are, not so fancy free but definitely a little bit footloose. Our friends, Lou and Jo-Ann drove us and our matched set of luggage down to Trident Yacht Club on Monday August 27th. Actually, it was ten Loblaws shopping bags because once they were emptied, we could ditch the bags and not waste precious storage space aboard Strathspey.
I spent the next day storing… and then re-storing all our belongings and groceries in Strathspey’s myriad cubby holes while Blair did a gazillion little fixits, one of which required more than one trip into a very tight space in our starboard locker.
We’ve decided to unstep the mast in Oswego so he made a trip, with a loan of Byrne and Sharon’s car, to the Gananoque Home Hardware to buy wood for a mast cradle to hold our mast as we travel from Oswego, NY on the southern shore of Lake Ontario, south through the Erie Canal to the Hudson River. At that point, we’ll hoist the mast back up and spread our wings and sail down to New York City. Right now, all that wood is lying in our dinghy which we tow behind Strathspey and here’s hoping there are no slivers that will make us sorry we stored it there!
When we finally got off the dock late Tuesday we headed to Endymion Island, one of the first little islands in the Thousand Islands where we had a Bon Voyage toast aboard Sentina with Michel, Odette, Christian and Mirielle. Blair played his pipes at sunset and we settled into a late dinner of blackened salmon. That night, the effort of moving aboard Strathspey and the last few weeks of visiting friends and settling our affairs were enough to make us sleep like farmers: out cold but rising with the sun the next morning.
So right now, we’re putzing our way around the Thousand Islands and Lake Ontario. We’re enjoying near empty anchorages, common in the week before school starts. These next few weeks will be our shake-down cruise to find any broken parts and missing essentials, to decompress after moving aboard and, most importantly, to enjoy the finest cruising grounds anywhere. An added bonus is that, after this stellar summer, the water temperature is still 26 degrees Celcius and great for swimming.
Right now we’re happy to be aboard Strathspey, feeling oh so lucky to be able to go cruising again and not a little bit proud and grateful to have received so many good wishes from the Trident members to their departing Commodore. And, best of all, we’ve mounted Brooklyn’s hand crafted calendar that signals each new month with season-appropriate photos. Here’s to September!