Directions

Our latest entry always comes up first...

Click this link if you want to start at the beginning of our trip from
South Carolina (where we bought the boat) to Lake Ontario Click this link:

If you want to see the story of our 2 1/2 year project getting
Blowin' Bubbles ready for our life on board click here:
FIRST "REFIT" BLOG ENTRY - March 2011

If you want to start at the beginning of our trip:
START OF TRIP - July 2014
2015, 2016, 2017

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Right to Write.....

After 20 plus years as a minister, I realize that when we leave next year this will be a radical change in lifestyle in so many ways. Over the last number of years as we travelled each winter we discovered that there was a consistent shortage in almost every country we visited. That is, SCHOOL SUPPLIES , ie pencils, paper, crayons, color pencils etc.

Thus, we have decided that we will carry out a small ministry as we travel. We have decided to call this ministry, THE RIGHT TO WRITE....



We will be delivering school supplies to as many places as we can on our travels. So far we have collected a few hundred packs of colour pencils, regular pencils and loose leaf writing books. We hope before we leave to gather a few hundred more. And as we go along our hope is that a few people here in Canada will continue to collect for us and ship the supplies in bulk once or twice a year. Or that when people come to visit us, they will bring an extra suitcase full of supplies....

We are pretty excited about all of this and hope that people will contribute to what we think is a very worthwhile cause... If you feel moved to contribute, you can send us some school supplies directly, or use the donate button on this blog and we will purchase stuff in your name...

Cheers,
Kyle and Shelley...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad



Sunday, August 18, 2013

Just A Few More Jobs....

We seem to have just a few more jobs to finish. Today I installed a small writing desk for Shelley and our good friend Mike came by and measured for our aluminum dodger. I also got most of the deck scrubbed down.

Here is one of the windows for the new dodger:


The time is getting much closer. In some ways it is still a long way away, in others, it is just around the corner... Now we have a ton of stuff to get done around the house. In a few weeks we are planning to have our first garage sale and we have invited our kids to claim whatever they want before we sell everything in the house...

The last bit of news is that we bought a new laptop to replace my old one. With any luck it is new enough to be useful for at least the first few years...


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

3 Weeks of Fun!




After almost 3 years of work to get Blowin' Bubbles ready to take us on our journey, at 10:30am on July 15th Shelley and I cast off our lines and began our 3 week shakedown cruise...



We sailed out of the Hamilton harbour and across the length of Lake Ontario (89 miles) and arrived at Main Duck Island almost 24 hours later...  After setting anchor and diving it (there is nothing but slate rock in this cove, so the anchor has to be shoved under a crevice or similar),  we rested, then assembled our sail kit for our dinghy. Although the trip was uneventful, we did not get a chance to sail as there was no wind.  The combiner (that helps all three battery banks charge) seemed to be acting up as well...






July 17th: We finally got a good day of sailing in!  We travelled from Main Duck Island to Wapoos Marina. Part of the reason for this destination was to talk to the owner about the possibility of storing our boat there this winter.  The rates were fair but it is an awful long way away.  We will keep looking...







On July 18th we travelled 7 hours from Wapoos to a great little cove called Breaky Bay. On this leg we motored, sailed and motor-sailed... With light and variable winds we averaged 6 knots and covered just over 40 nautical miles in 7 hours...  Everything on the boat seems to be working well...










July 19th (Breaky Bay): The wind has REALLY picked up today. By early afternoon the wind was 15-30 knots with higher gusts...  With everything so rough we took an opportunity to be really lazy in the afternoon and watch a movie!   Between our wind generator and solar panels, we seem to be really keeping the batteries well charged. In the evening we got hit with quite a storm with wind gusts to 40 knots and torrential rain.  You can see what hit us on the radar...  (and no it did not go around us, because the raydome is mounted on the mizzen mast, there is sometimes a periodic dead spot directly in front of us.





After the rains we discovered that we still have a few leaks to look after...  (More on that later....)

July 20th - Today we motored just 2 hours to a WONDERFUL & SECLUDED bay just south of Bostwick Island.  At first we tried to anchor at a place called Beaurivage, but it was WAY to crowded... After looking at our Active Captain data, we discovered a seldom used bay not marked on the charts as an anchorage.  It looked like we would be OK with our 7' draft so gave it a try. Are we ever glad we did...  For the next 3 days we had the beautiful bay all to ourselves!

In that time we inflated Shelley's new kayak and explored with our dinghy with either the engine or the sail kit.  I also got a little diving in and found a very old glass bottle with 1925 inscribed near its base...



We also got a chance to try out the generator and our scuba compressor...  After some initial glitches, we were able to fill a couple of pony bottles and a couple of tanks....  Everything ended up working really well...

On a disappointing note, the combiner seems to have crapped out again....














Who knew I would find a pulpit in the middle of the Thousand Islands! In this natural inlet with this rock that looks like a pulpit, There is a Sunday service here every Sunday through the summer and you just show up in your dinghy or kayak or canoe and a local minister does a service...



July 22nd: Today we motored less than an hour to Gananoque. Our first time at a dock since we left Wapoos...  Thus far we have not used anything but the wind generator and solar panels to keep the house batteries charged up!  At no time have we fallen below 12.4 volts.  We are VERY happy... After arriving at the Gananoque Marina we put our bicycles together and went into town for some groceries...





 The next morning we found a killing field in our cockpit!  I have never seen so many dead flies in one place!




That evening we went to the Thousand Island Casino... A GREAT NIGHT!.... Lets just say after a few hours we had covered the cost of our trip so far....  And our best decision of our day was to leave while we were ahead....

July 23rd: Today we motored about 10 minutes from the marina to the 1000 Island Playhouse where a few months ago we booked two slips and two seats for a performance called "Boeing, Boeing", a VERY funny comedy...  Today we also met two lovely people (Beth & Dave, s/v Conundrum) from the Island Yacht Club on Toronto Island.  When we leave Gananoque we hope to meet up with them in our next anchorage...  Today we also met up with our long time friend, Tony and his sister who were kind enough to take us out for dinner....










July 24th: After a short 2 hour motor, we ended up in a wonderful mooring field on the south side of Endymion Island...  Although still in Canada, just across the river we will find ourselves in the USA.
We took a few hours today to clean the starboard side of the boat... It looks MUCH better.




In the afternoon we were invited to s/v Connundrum for cocktails...









July25th: This is such a beautiful place we have decided to stay another day.  The first order of business was to get the port side of the boat scrubbed and cleaned...   This is a BIG job!  It is no wonder we haven't got around to it before now...  Yet in the end we think the hull looks much better than it did....  Today we took the dinghy and circumnavigated the whole island... We really enjoyed ourselves, but keep noticing that the outboard doesn't like to operate at full throttle... This may mean we need to replace it...  I already replaced the spark plug and changed all the fluids...

July 26th: OK, we will spend just one more day in this lovely place enjoying the spectacular weather.... Today along with our dinghy sailing and kayaking, I went diving and saw very little, but enjoyed myself...

July 27th:  Today we motored a little less than an hour to Clayton, New York where we tied up at the Municipal Dock.  This morning we noticed a stinky smell emanating from the fridge and discovered that when I closed off the unit below the fridge during the re-fit, I neglected to properly insulate the space under the fridge and above the Styrofoam I installed above the cupboard...  We had to clean up the mess and we purchased some "large gap" spray foam insulation and got things fixed up. We went into town where I found an aluminum trivet which I cut into a circle to seal the hole where we injected the insulation.  With some adhesive silicone we have now sealed up the fridge and can contain any spills in the fridge itself....



After our work, we explored the town and went to the local boating museum...  An excellent place with many old and awesome boats..











July 28th: Today we motored and sailed to White's Bay in Henderson Harbor.  This was about a 40 mile journey, where about 3 hours in we got slammed with 30 plus knot winds and 4-6 foot seas directly on our nose...  Again, we had some water get into the boat....  By the time we arrived at White's Bay, the wind was down and we anchored in another beautiful "uncharted" bay that we had all to ourselves...







July 29th: Today we covered another 40 miles to Fairhaven, New York.  Over time this has become one of our FAVORITE stops around the lake.... However, with forecasts promising light winds and 1-2 foot seas, we discovered that someone LIED...  We sailed and motored through 20-30 knot winds and 2-4 foot seas...  We are learning what was not properly secured and we are MUCH more confident in our boat than we ever were... Blowin' Bubbles is handling these conditions very well....





July 30th.  Today we took a day off to enjoy places like Little Sodus Inn (great chicken wings) and The Fly By Night Cookie Factory... yummmy!  In the afternoon we sailed the dinghy about 5 miles up the bay to the state park/beach then sailed back to the boat... What a wonderful day...











July 31st: We left very early this morning to motor/sail the 7 hours to Rochester NY.  We arrived at Shumway Marina to a very friendly and professional staff who got us settled on a great dock.  The first evening we enjoyed our favourite Rochester restaurant (Mr. Dominic's) for some great Italian food... We also learned that we might have a place to store the boat this winter.  Their prices are very competative and we are confident they will do a good job.








For our American friends, this picture might help you understand how dangerous Canadians are....  We saw this U.S. Boarder Security boat in Rochester, NY with 4 count em', 4 300 hp engines!  Just down the road was a parking lot with no less than 30 decked out Chevy Suburbans...  We Canadians must be posing some kind of difficult threat to you'all...


August 1st: Today we rented a car and did a bunch of shopping in Rochester.  We also made a stop at West Marine to pick up a couple of replacement fans... (It really doesn't pay to buy cheap ones)...







August 2nd:  This was our second longest leg.  We started out on this 84 nautical mile trip in sunny sky's with 3 different forecasts all predicting light wind and only a 30% chance of light showers.... As soon as we  left, I got to work sealing the gunnel rail with 3M 5200.  this will hopefully take carre of the last of the little leaks....

About an hour into our sail we began to see some really ugly squalls on our long range radar...  Luck was with us for the first 8 hours or so, except every time a squall passed on either side, we had to tack without changing direction.... About 18:00 (6pm) our luck ran out and we were hit with 25-30 knot winds, which gusted to 50 knots more than once!  The seas built to almost 8 feet and we had the main double reefed, and the mizzen single reefed and the genoa furled....  After all that we still made 6 knots, crashing at 30 degrees into the walls of water around us....





About 22:30 (10:30pm) we pulled into the Etobicoke basin and were lucky enough to find a few folks from the Etobicoke Yacht Club who helped us into their visitor dock to clean up the mess on the boat and to lick our wounds and get some sleep...  Today I broke one or two ribs when I fell on one of the winches....  It was a rough day!

August 3rd:  This morning we moved over to the Mimico Cruising Club and joined about 25 people from the Royal Hamilton club as they were on a club cruise...  We met some great new people and caught up with some old friends...  We rode our bikes on the waterfront trail and I took Shelley out for dinner to celebrate our survival... lol





August 4th: Today we remained at Mimico and took the Toronto transit into the city to enjoy a beautiful, sunny long weekend Sunday...  We did some shopping and site seeing and had an awesome day.  We ended this day out for dinner with the folks from the yacht club.



August 5th:  Sadly, our last day of this cruise.  At about 09:00 we left Mimico for our home port in Hamilton.  With light winds on the nose we motored about 5 hours to our slip where we cleaned up he boat and took ourselves and our memories home, anxiously waiting for the next 10 months to pass before we set out on our great journey.


I apologize if this entry didn't have too much to say about the re-fit, but in my mind this shake-down cruise was as important as any other part of our preparation to leave...   Especially when we were faced with challenges....

Cheers!