We have a lot of miles to cover to make it back to our side of the lake so our plan was to leave at 3am for Cobourg. I wake up on time then climb the stairs to the cockpit and find total overcast blackness in the skinny harbour as well as cockpit windows that are heavy with dew and impossible to clear. I’m not comfortable leaving in these conditions so I go back to bed then wake up every 30 minutes and repeat the procedure until 5:30 when there is enough light to make it out safely. There is no wind and the lake is glass. Ana naps in the cockpit while the autopilot takes care of most of the steering and I keep watch.
The ride through the channels of the Bay of Quinte is enjoyable but there are a few shallow areas to navigate through as well as two fixed bridges that we easily fit under, but every time we do that it looks from the cockpit like we are about to be dismasted so my heart always pounds no matter how high he charts say the bridge clearance should be. Our trip is interrupted only by a balmy clothing optional lake swim and morning bath in one of the warm bays near Trenton with the water temperature topping out at over 28 degrees.
We reach the Murray Canal which is the final stretch before entering into Presqui’le Bay and Lake Ontario. The canal is quite narrow, but has plenty of depth and you need to pass by two swing bridges. On the second one there is a staffer who holds out this basket on a ridiculously long pole and you are supposed to deposit $5.25 in Canadian funds. We didn’t have any cash so instead Ana drops in a can of sardines in oil, a bag of microwave popcorn, two granola bars, a handful of Smarties, a peach, and some semi-fresh basil, which totals out to just over $5.25 so I think the girl collecting it is pretty happy.
Once we clear the canal we are into Presqui’le Bay and I immediately remember the last time we came through here and why I disliked it so much. The bay is shallow, weedy, windy, rough, and the channel to get out is very narrow. I like it even less this time with a keel that is two feet deeper than that on our last boat Bella Blue which we sailed through here years ago.
We get out on the open lake and straight-line it for Cobourg. Of course, the goddamn wind is at 30 degrees so difficult to sail without tacking, which means zigging back and forth and adding unneeded time to the already very long trip. So we power on through and make it to Colbourg by around 5pm. Along the way Daryl and Lydia pass us, but in typical power boater style they got nice and close to maximize the wake thrown at us so I pull down my pants and show them my arse and I know they had a good look because Lydia took a photo, which I hope they enlarge and frame for display on their living room wall. Daryl was enraged with the backside insult so he cut right in front of us and threw a lovely wake we had to chop through.
In Cobourg we get gassed up then while getting pumped out by the nice lady dock attendant, Lydia and Daryl come walking by and Lydia says, “Kris, you look different with your pants on!”
Now look, I’ve been known to have some pretty snappy comebacks for the frequent insults I receive, but today I have nothing. Totally draw a blank. I could have said, “That’s what all the girls say” or “I enjoyed last night too” but instead I just smile weakly at the gas girl and say, “I don’t even know them. My name’s not even Kris.” But then Ana goes over and starts talking to them so my cover is blown.
Since we want to leave very early again tomorrow we choose to anchor out in their perfectly protected harbour. After getting the hook down we actually jump in for a swim to cool off from the heat as it is far away from the docks and the water looks pretty good. The swim is refreshing beyond belief.
After our swim Ana and I sit on the swim platform with a drink to watch the world go by. But what we actually do see going by in the water are these brown globs of what I imagine to be a toxic coagulation of goose poo, gasoline, fish slime, and rotting algae. I imagine Ana getting one of those stuck in her hair and do a silent prayer to Neptune for his graceful timing.
Lydia and Daryl come by in their dinghy and we have a lovely cockpit dinner of burgers, salad, and this unbelievable blueberry cheesecake they found in a bakery here earlier this afternoon. At dusk the lighting is just magical and I once again feel so very fortunate to be on this amazing trip on this incredible lake.