October, 2010

Oct 10

Sailing from Toronto to Port Credit in high winds and big waves

A couple of weeks ago I went on my last sail of the year with friends. The trip was on the Initram, a 35 foot electric powered C&C. It was a cold and windy Sunday and we left the Toronto Harbour around 10:30. Our destination was Port Credit and this would be my longest sail on Lake Ontario to date.

As we left the Toronto Harbour, the words uttered out of my mouth were, “There probably won’t be large waves today”, since I had been racing the day before with almost no wind. The days waves were reaching 2 metres, the largest I had ever sailed while on Lake Ontario. Apparently this was due to the direction of the wind and of course it had been windy all night.

Our crew minus me: Claudia, Pamela, Birgit, and John

After a lot of excitement we quickly got into our alternating rolls and jibbed our way downwind towards Port Credit. I am used to the smaller J24 boats which can get tossed around pretty easy in waves, but even the C&C was feeling these waves. At times the entire boat would surf a single large wave, and when hitting waves dead on the bow would shoot up into the air, it was exhilarating.

Cold, very cold

I also learned why Ontario sailors pack it in so early each year. Even with a lot of layers on, by the end of the day I was starting to feel the chill creeping in. I had several layers on, but that said I could have always thrown on better pants, or even snow pants. I would still love to try sailing further into the colder months.

Final destination

We finally reached Port Credit, which was further than we had anticipated. Getting into port credit was a bit tricky with the huge waves still unrelentingly trying to push us where we did not want to go, but after overcoming a few challenges we finally managed to dock. Time was short so we quickly went into town and grabbed some food. Most of us, myself included were feeling a bit green. Unfortunately my girl friend who was the most sea sick took the train home. Birgit, another one of our crew who was also feeling a bit green bought some Gravol and gave me one. About an hour later I was feeling like a new person. Gravol is definitely going onto my list of must have’s before going on a longer sail.

This was my second time on Initram, and my opinion of this boat remains the same, it sails like a dream. It handles incredibly well, even in large waves, and the electric engine held it’s own, especially on the way into Port Credit. The trip was an excellent end to the sailing year, many thanks to John for inviting us out again. My next time on a boat will be in the Grenadines this winter.

Oct 10

J24 racing in the cold rain on the Toronto Harbour

This past weekend was cold and wet in Toronto, it was also the most sailing I think I’ve squeezed into a weekend yet. Saturday tried our patience and two people managed to fall over board while several others including myself had a few close calls. Surfaces were very slippery and wet and this only re-enforced my need for proper deck shoes. Luckily Mike, our team skipper lent me a pair for the day.

The race started early in the morning at 10 am, okay early for me, and went until about 3:30 in the afternoon. The morning saw a bit of wind but later in the day it dropped off to what felt like zero knots and there was almost always a slight drizzle in the air. One of the racers, Luke Sutherland, managed to snap some really awesome photos of the day, and even though we hoped for a little more wind, it’s always fun to get on the water.

The Toronto Skyline always looks great even in gloomy weather.

J24 Toronto Harbourfront

This was probably top speed for the day.

J24 Toronto

The next day a few of us went out on a 35 foot C&C electric powered sailboat. Sunday was the polar opposite to Saturday, strong wind huge waves, what a difference one day can make, but that story is for another post.