Ken Goodings and Lynn Kaak moved aboard their Niagara 35, moored in Toronto Harbour, in the fall of 2003, after “selling up” and committing to the liveaboard life. With reports from Ken and Lynn, we shall follow their adjustment to this lifestyle and their continuing adventures
The first Voyage of Spring
May 11, 2004
Lynn and I quietly slipped the mooring of Silverheels III from our winter slip at Marina Quay West; it was 7:30am on Sunday April 18, 2004.
The bright sunrise had looked quite promising for such a short trip, after all, the destination WAS in plain sight; but half way across the harbour a dense advection fog enveloped the boat. Both the island and city disappeared in the mist. (We must review the chapter about fog in our CPS weather notes.) Our depth sounder was turned on but the GPS and radar reflector were stowed away in a drawer somewhere. Lynn went forward as a lookout and blew a soggy foghorn hoot at one-minute intervals.
After fumbling blindly along the island shoreline for 3/4 hour we saw Rodney’s water taxi, which guided us to our summer mooring at Queen City Yacht Club on Algonquin Island (he took us right over a shallow sand bar) The depth under the keel was only 2 feet in some areas!
At QCYC we hauled out of the water right away on a borrowed Niagara 35 cradle and spent the week sitting high and dry on the marine railway car. Lynn had some issues about sleeping in the boat while up so high up in the air but she gradually accepted her temporary “tree house” home.
We washed a year’s accumulation of slime and algae from the boat’s bottom and made some repairs to the keel and propeller. We then applied 4 coats of copper coloured VC17 anti-fouling paint. I replaced a drain hose inside the hull and so everything is now properly sealed again. There was a steel cotter pin stuck into one scupper gate valve, but I got it out from under the hull below. It would have prevented us from closing the valve in an emergency! The two deck scuppers drain into the boat and then out again below the waterline through 1-1/2 inch hoses and valves. A poor design I thought. Small items dropped on deck can easily plug up these scuppers and shut off valves.
After five days hard work and 2 days of rain we splashed again and are now over on the “American” side of the QCYC lagoon at a borrowed finger dock. Our new finger dock should be built soon and be ready for us by June.
The Hydro system on shore here is quite different from other marine facilities we’ve seen. They use 15 amp twist lock outlets. Lynn bought new connectors today so that I can hook up the ship’s AC power again, but we can only draw a maximum of 15 amps in total. We have two heaters running on outdoor power cords now, and we change connections when we want to use the microwave, hot plate or the coffee maker.
The club Commodore this year owns a marine outfitting business, and he’s kindly brought us all of the parts that we will need to install a completely new propane system to get the gas stove and oven working. That will reduce the need for electricity for cooking.
Everyone has been very friendly and helpful here in our new summer home, and we are looking forward to some good sailing times this summer. We even have a club wireless Internet connection, albeit a weak signal on the boat, only 2 mb/s but very affordable.
We’ll be back across the harbour at Marina Quay West at Spadina Avenue by late October, at the same dock and slip we hope. We’ve developed close friendships with our winter neighbours and we’ll be glad to see everyone again in the fall.
One of our winter liveaboard friends has already invited us to motor over to his summer dock in the islands via the back canal. We’ll visit him for coffee when we get the dinghy launched.
Lynn will be teaching First Aid and CPR courses for Ryerson University, and Red Cross this summer. She plans to train for a 1/2 marathon to be held this fall. There are no hills on the islands, but plenty of trails and beaches on which to run, roller blade or bike. There’s a great swimming beach within 1/2 Km of our boat. I want to help myself into better condition this year by biking, rowing and swimming often.
A month long trip to Lake Ontario’s 1000 islands is planned for July. It’ll be nice to actually SAIL this boat, rather than merely puttering around in the fog. We’ll make sure to have the GPS switched on; correct charts at hand and the radar reflector will be permanently installed in the rigging.
Lynn Kaak Silverheels III – You can catch up with Lynn and Ken’s blog at – The Voyages of Silverheels III
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