After a delightfully long and uninterrupted sleep, we awoke to a gorgeous sunny day. I grabbed the pail and brushes and gave the boat a good washdown then went for a quick dip and morning bath on the swim platform while the girls did their morning routine down below.
Once we were all ready we pushed off the wall and motored back into the inner harbour and across to Marina 4 where we had a slip reserved for two nights. Marina 4 is located right beside the Amsterdam Brewhouse, a waterfront staple in Toronto which is literally steps from the CN Tower, Rogers Centre, and a thousand other cool things on the waterfront.
Our slip was located on the outer wall floating dock, which was unfortunate as it left us exposed to chop and wake from all the boats in the busy harbour, but that was all that had been available when we had booked it weeks ago. It was still a great spot, and SeaLight handled the waves well.
The plan for the day was simple – I would go to the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario) and the ladies would hit the shops, which is the standard play for when we visit any big cities as a family. Because Ana spends most of her time at an art gallery, this is the last thing she wants to do while traveling, which suits me perfectly as it allows me to browse at my own pace and take my time. On this day there was an Andy Warhol exhibit which I enjoyed much more than expected, then I went on to explore the rest of the regular collection currently on display. I was particularly happy to see the famous Elvis silkscreens in the Warhol exhibit, but hadn’t realized this piece was Warhol’s repudiation of the bad-boy greaser stereotype of masculinity, as he transformed the Wild West Elvis cowboy into a homoerotically charged femanized icon. Note the pink lipstick and purple trousers.
We all met back up at Dundas Square, went for a bite, then picked up a few groceries in preparation for dinner tonight and the visitors we were expecting to receive. We then returned to the boat and I was shocked to discover that the rubber eyelet on the dingy had broken loose and it was floating free and getting smashed up against the dock. I secured it down, then inspected it and found no damage beyond one missing oar which must have broken free and floated away. Shortly after this I made friends with a bunch of young dudes on the dock who were staying in a small power boat and had actually come from Whitby, and had a slip on the next pier over from us.
Shortly after 7pm our visitors alerted us of their imminent arrival so we walked out to a nearby parking lot to meet them. Dave, Kira, Tula, Esme and special guest Magnus appeared dragging bags and coolers and after a round of pleasant greetings and salutations, we hauled everything back to the boat and gave them a tour of their mini-hotel on the water. After a welcome happy hour drink, Ana got to work in the galley and these amazing quesadillas started being delivered to the cockpit.
It was dark by the time we finished dinner and clean-up and the night was fully alive as we went for a huge walk around the area. We had sailed to Toronto back in July when the heaviest Covid restrictions had just been lifted, and we spent an incredible evening here watching the city instantly spring back to life. There were people everywhere, enjoying being out in the open, drinking beer on the street, hanging out with their families, congregating in parks, being goofy, playing guitars, and the sense of pure joy and happiness was overwhelming. It was so beautiful to see. Now, just six weeks or so later, Toronto looked to be almost completely back to normal. The only real difference was that masks had to be worn indoors, but besides that it was just a regular, awesome evening in the city, and we were all very happy that we could once again be together and move around freely.
We finished up with a late evening cocktail in the cockpit, had some deep convos, then eventually found our way to our assigned bunks, and called it a night.
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