Tuesday, August 4, 2015

North Channel 2015 - Home safe in Sarnia!

We made it!

After over 650 miles of sailing (which translates into well over 100 hours on the water) and 16 days we arrive back in our home marina in Sarnia.   We are tanned, tired and anxious to get home.  Ana did all the packing and most of the cleaning during the sail from Grand Bend this morning so in no time we have the boat unloaded, the van packed and we are on the highway driving at 125 kph back to Paris.  Life seems very different traveling at this speed, covering distances so rapidly, seeing the blur of cars whizzing by you, watching the clock.  It always takes a while to acclimatize ourselves back to the speed of life on land.

It feels as if we have been gone for months.  These sailing trips have a way of warping space and time, but in a good way.  And it feels like you have to earn every single mile you travel, unlike cars and planes where the miles whiz by quickly and effortlessly.

Our dear Bella Blue performed magnificently the whole way through and I feel like she is a member of our family.  Once again, she brought us home safely, and asked for nothing in return except perhaps the occasional clearing of spiderwebs in the rigging and sticky bugs on the transom.

Doing these sailing trips always leaves me with a real sense of accomplishment, especially as a father.  It is my opinion that any family who can survive in 150 square feet of space for 24 hours a day over two weeks without anybody suffering a black eye or being hurled overboard may be onto something.

We are now more than halfway through the boating season with August and September remaining.  We may do another one or two long weekend trips, but overall I am pretty happy with what we have managed to cover this season - especially considering the boat started the year in Port Dover and the weekend weather for most of May and June was terrible.  By the end of the season I expect we will have seen as much or more of Lake Huron than 90% of the local boaters.  But that was the reason we moved the boat here - to see and do as much as possible in one season.  At the moment we are not certain what we will do with the boat next year, but we are leaning towards taking her back to Lake Erie and doing a season in Port Colborne at the east end of the lake.  We would certainly like to explore more here, such as Georgian Bay, Lake Michigan and even Lake Superior, but it is such a large area that we simply need longer than a two week stretch to cover it properly.  So I think the next time we are here it will be a full summer trip when we can do the Trent-Severn waterway and fully explore all there is to see and do.

I created a Google map with the entire track of our trip, so if anybody is interested in seeing our exact route, please have a look at https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zCCq-j9b3euQ.klk-Y-BDgpNk&usp=sharing

So that's about it.  Now, back to a different reality...

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