Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Brockville to the Navy Islands

I am normally a pretty positive guy but the cool and rainy weather was really bumming me out. In years past we have been spoiled with good weather on our annual sailing trips where the sweltering hot days are pleasantly broken up by dips in the cool lake, shirts and shoes are rarely worn, the AC is the most critical piece of equipment in the boat, and the crew is always on the lookout for fresh ice. Well, this trip was all about sweaters, hot coffee, rain gear, cabin salon dinners, and heroic but painful leaps into the freezing cold water. Wha’ append? It turned out that in 2021, summer would not arrive until mid-August.

Fortunately, the company was as good as ever so we made the best of it, and did quite enjoy the amazing sleeps we enjoyed at anchor with the cool nighttime temperatures. And Stella did get to rotate through all the different outfits she had brought for the trip instead of just wearing shorts and a tank top all the time.

We had some nice bran muffins for breakfast – at least Angela and I did, and I learned that not everybody in the world loves them as I do. I had my suspicions the week before the trip when I was thinking of making a batch of bran muffins so I texted Tony the following:

“Do you guys like bran muffins?”

He replied, “Bran muffins?? Those are laced with cocktails of bad stuff…bran muffins! God help us.”

I knew none of my family liked them either so was starting to think I was weird or something, so the relief was welcome when Angela bought a box of them. Butter, raisins, grainy stuff, fibre - what’s not to like?

We pulled anchor and sailed back westward against the current along a similar route that brought us here. The weather remained crummy right up until we arrived at the Navy Islands and found an anchorage amongst the dozens of boats that were already there. As we dropped anchor the clouds vanished, the sun appeared, and the holy rays shone down on SeaLight and her weary crew. Shirts and jeans were unceremoniously stripped and tossed in favour of swimmers, and we exploded from the cockpit to the open deck with fruity drinks and some sweet summer reggae tunes blasting from the speakers. After some time on deck, and some leaps into the water, and some tricky moves from Stella on the paddleboard, and more drinks, and lots of laughs we found ourselves all sprawled out on the deck when I exclaimed, “This is the best moment of 2021!” And it was. After months and months of lockdowns, masks, deaths, sickness, anti-vaxxers, idiotic conspiracy theories, hours upon hours of Netflix,  isolation, sneaking around, and all the other unhappy results of this pandemic, here we were enjoying a beautiful day on our boat with friends and not giving a damn nor thought to Covid. It was the best moment of 2021.

To make things better, Andrew cruised out in his new ultra fancy power boat to meet us for a drink and we had a lovely long visit covering all sorts of topics regular people generally don’t discuss, including how close a relationship a man can have with his dog.

“I really loved Belle, she was the best dog ever,” Andrew reminisced.

“Yes she was, we all loved her. Labs are the nicest dogs.” I replied.

“When I was single I thought maybe it could be just me and her forever.”

“Uh. Like a relationship?”

“Yeah. She was beautiful, caring, loving, a great listener - really everything you need in a partner.”

“I suppose. She did have quite small breasts though.”

“Sure, but there were lots of them.”

We tried talking Andrew into staying for dinner but Victoria already had something on the go so he had to leave, taking our remarkable and forbidden conversation with him. I do miss our little chats.

Before dinner I went for one more swim and a little snorkeling adventure. I swam close to the shoreline and saw more fish than I’ve ever seen in Lake Ontario – bass, pike, perch and even a catfish that scared the crap out of me after I dove down 20 feet to take a closer look at a giant hole in the side of an underwater bank and as I stuck my head in to have a peek, this giant freakish fish came out and nearly brushed my face with his feelers. This nice thing about being underwater is when you pee your pants from fear it really doesn’t matter.

Dinner was magnificent – grilled chicken and fresh veggies, followed up with cockpit cocktail then a couple games of Sequence, a board game that takes little skill, is fast, and folds up nicely – perfect for boating!

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