Friday, August 12, 2022

2022 Sailing Trip - Conclusion

This is the third major sailing trip we’ve taken on Lake Ontario and in the two week period we sailed a total of about 439 nautical miles which averages out to about 29 nautical miles per day, which is approximately 5 hours of sailing at an average speed of 6 knots. This is the first time we’ve explored the US side of Lake Ontario and we loved it. It was especially good being able to share this experience with not one, not two, not three, but four sets of friends, and having Baby Beau on Board was a real pleasure and brought back a lot of memories for Ana and I from when our kids were that age and we were doing yearly sailing trips on Lake Erie.

Being able to explore the Great Lakes by boat in this way is a privilege that I don’t take for granted. Of all the people who live in Canada, how many will ever get to do this? Even the majority of people that have boats on these lakes don’t often do longer range trips like this. Arriving to a new town or city by boat is an adventure completely unlike what you experience traveling by road. Cities look and feel different. You do different things. You meet different people. And I don’t use the term “adventure” lightly. Every moment you are on the water is exciting, as you never know what will happen. Weather dictates everything. You are putting your life in the hands of your vessel. You sometimes need to make critical decisions quickly, with potentially severe consequences. I would say it is not for the faint of heart, but provides for an experience unlike anything else. On this trip we suffered an overhead wire entanglement, a grounding, rough lake conditions that turned us back, then on land, of course, Ana’s scooter crash. But mixed in, and overwhelming those were moments of peace, tranquility, ecstatic excitement, love, joy, and comradery.

I love these lakes.

We’ve now covered a significant portion of Lake Ontario. Although we have many more places to explore on the US side, we now have a good base of knowledge of the area. There’s much more to explore in the western end of the lake where we are situated with its many cities and marinas,. We’ve been through the Thousand Islands three times now and have a good feel for it. What comes next? One potential trip we were discussing at Andrew’s would be to sail SeaLight up to his place in one shot over a weekend. Then launch  a two week trip from there all the way down the St Lawrence to Montreal which is only 150 nautical miles. From there Quebec City is only 125 nautical miles, passing Trois-Rivieres along the way. This would expose us to heavy river currents, tidal currents and some very challenging anchoring and docking. But what fun it would be to explore these cities by boat! We could finish up the two week trip at Andrew’s, then do the big run back home the following weekend. There’s a lot of moving pieces, but it’s possible. Alternatively, we’ve thought about exploring the Finger Lakes and the Erie Canal, but that trip is a little more complicated as it would require taking the mast down and either leaving it in Oswego or hauling it around with us on the boat. It is possible to do a full loop, westward through the Erie Canal which exits in Buffalo, then we’d have to take the Welland Canal to get back into Lake Ontario. Might need longer than two weeks for that one!

It's taken me several weeks to complete the journals for this trip, and in the meantime we’ve spent two amazing, spectacular, surprising, and adventurous weekends sailing to Hamilton, just two hours away from our home port. You don’t always need to go far to have fun!

With that, the 2022 sailing trip comes to a close.

(ps. if anybody is interested in seeing the exact route we took, here is a link to the online Google map. The black line is the way out and red is the return trip.)

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