Monday, August 30, 2010

Underwater fun

Aren't they absolutely, positively gorgeous?

I have so much fun with my Olympus Stylus Tough camera! Waterproof to 12 feet,it also survives drops on land of about 10 feet. When I first got it, for fun I passed it to my brother and let it slip to the floor. We laughed so much we did it in front of his wife and kids. I literally fell on the floor laughing. I repeated it a few times after that but it started to lose its lustre. Not everybody found it quite as funny as I did.

Pictured above are Alex and his cousins Patricia and James (my niece and nephew).  Rob snapped the photo yesterday when we were all cooling off in the pool.  Visiting Brenda, Bill and James for  dinner celebrating Patricia's short return to Ontario.

With this post I am breaking an unwritten rule of mine not to publish faces of friends and family, but I can't resist!  Those three above look so graceful and full of ease.  The effervescence of youth.  Oh, summer days....

This week will mark the first of September!!!!

I am joining the chorus, "I can't believe next week it's already 'back to school'".

Friday, August 27, 2010


I just accidentally erased a message from my son I've been saving in my work voice mail for seven years!

The message was nothing noteworthy - he was calling on a summer afternoon, his boyish voice giving me the events of his day and then telling me how much he loved me.   Everytime I listened to it, I felt my heart lighten. I've forwarded it to myself five times as I've changed offices and positions and must have listened to it well over a hundred times.  And in a moment's carelessness I just erased it. 

Alex' voice has long since matured and I would often listen to the recording and marvel at how the change could have occurred so quickly. 

I knew there would come a day when I wouldn't hear that little-boy voice on the recording, but I know I'll have it forever in my heart.

soundwaves photo credit

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My Funny Valentine

Jazz legend has it that Lorenz Hart wrote these disparaging remarks as a love song to himself, feeling somewhat inadequate in the looks department but embracing it at the same time:
Your looks are laughable, un-photographable.
Yet you're my favourite work of art.

I heard this story about the song at an Intro to Jazz seminar hosted by Jazz FM 91 for its regular donors. Rob and I went together and learned a bit more about jazz... Something I keep learning regardless of the subject is the more you know, the more you don't know...

One of the topics reinforced was just how central improvisation is to jazz.  Heather Bambrick, one of the presenters, said she tells her students to never play or sing it the same way twice.  Take the harmony and re-harmonize, stretch the melody, add notes, subtract notes.  Spontaneity is key.  A true great like Ella Fitzgerald truly never performs the same song twice.

Right now I'm listening to some of the different artists and interpretations of 'My Funny Valentine' on You Tube and reading the lyrics. First performed in 1937 it has since become a jazz standard recorded by well over 600 artists.  Etta James, Frank Sinatra, Rod Stewart, Miles Davis, Chaka Khan, and even Matt Damon all have memorable recordings, but  here are two of my favourites: 

Sting and Chris Botti's version is a great jazz interpretation and they play off Trudi in the audience to add a whole new flavour:

Chet Baker, so achingly sad and tender:

Monday, August 23, 2010

Full Red Moon - August

The moon sometimes takes on a reddish hue this time of year, thus the name. Depending on the geography of the tribes, the August moon is also known as a Corn moon or Sturgeon moon.

I have a delicious tea to celebrate, called Moonswirl White Tip.  Tightly packed buds are coiled into full moon shapes.  The flavour is very light & delicate.

Wondering what red, luscious thing I could pair the tea with.... maybe a fig, drizzled with honey... or caviar, that's sometimes red, and there is sturgeon caviar... So maybe I'll start with caviar on round rice crackers, boil some corn in saffron, follow it with the fig and honey and then finish with the tea.  Sounds like a balanced meal to me!

red moon photo credit

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Great White Egret

I saw what I thought was a white heron flying overhead.

The gangly legs trailing out the back;  the almost-prehistoric flap of huge wings.  Then the bird landing, standing gawkily on the shore.  Moving into the water, becoming so graceful then as it stalked its prey. Solitary.

A stork?

No, a Great White Egret.  A bit north of its range. 

I watched for twenty minutes as it skimmed along the shore looking for frogs, fish and crayfish.  It also carefully inspected the underside of old branches and the stalks of bullrushes... for snakes?  So elegant as its long neck darted and slashed the surface of the water.

The last time I marked the bird book with a sighting was Florida '89; although I'm certain I saw one on the South Shore last year.

Such a present!  A great way to enjoy morning coffee, sitting on the boat. I felt like pointing it out to people as they went by in their dinghies, seemingly oblivious to this rare visitor on the shore.  The egret being a big white bird, blending in among the swans and gulls.

Great White Egret photo credit

Magic Beans

Tried something different this cruise and sprouted beans enroute.

You have to change the water twice a day, and you also need to be careful they don't spill when you're heeled over.  We kept the little pot on the gimballed stove when things got bumpy.

These were tasty, crunch treats and I used them in stir fries and sandwiches.

I preferred them when they were sprouting vs. the leafy bits when the growth hit four days.

It was like have a little garden on board!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Laid back

Some observations from practising yoga in different ports along the way:

  • From a hidden corner, doing dog pose and watching people walking when I was inverted..  Viewed upside-down the walkers looked sproingy and bouncy at the knees, like they were meandering on rubbery legs.
  • Doing yoga outside sometimes made it hard to focus... more than once, so many different beautiful things to distract my gaze.  I didn’t want to be detached from the landscape so let my discipline wander.
  • Balancing poses were tricky when facing water - shimmering reflections, calm surfaces or wavy surfaces made it tricky to find a focal point.
  • Had some amazing experiences in savasana (corpse pose).  One day I  actually felt my consciousness expanding and rising with the wind into the trees above me.  On another day I was lying on the dock and got the heebie-jeebies: first imagining spiders crawling and then maggots creeping into my flesh (ended that session early!).   I preferred the feeling of expanding consciousness!

savasana illustration credit
windy tree

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Catching up on my reading....

All that motoring provided lots of time to catch up on my reading.

Human frailty, unreliable narrators, and unrequited love were common threads.   And of course, those perpetually nagging questions about the meaning of life, and the nature of truth.

Memories of My Melancholy Whores, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez 
An old man decides to give himself a special present for his 90th birthday: deflowering a virgin.  Things don't turn out as neatly planned.  Within a year he is a changed man, and by the time the novella ends on the morning of his 91st birthday, “It was, at last, real life, with my heart safe and condemned to die of happy love in the joyful agony of any day after my hundredth birthday.”  The character is a bit misoginistic, but I still enjoy the insights into aging and what it means to be young at heart.

Bishop’s Man, by Linden MacIntyre
Amazing and complex story about a Roman Catholic priest who finds himself 'the Bishop's Man' - someone who helps avoid scandals fueled by indiscretions.   He actually lies to get into the priesthood and by the end of the novel has broken most of the commandments and committed each of the seven deadly sins.  And he's one of the good guys!

Galore, by Michael Crummey
Tall tales from Newfoundland and the story of four generations.  The cast of characters includes:  a mute albino who is cut from the belly of a whale; a jealous husband who returns as a ghost to witness his widow having sex with the village priest for decades; an aged opera singer who seduces a young teen-aged boy; the miserly millionaire who doesn't realize he loves his wife until she's dead and gone.  Unrequited love is a common curse in these very carnal stories.  This would make a great mini-series. 

Still Alice, by Lisa Genova
In an ironic twist, a Harvard professor and internationally renowned neuroscientist is diagnosed with Alzheimers at the young age of 52.  The story is told from her point of view and addresses issues like memory and intelligence as identity.  What makes us who we are?  The author is a neuroscientist herself and drew from case histories to create a story that rings true. 

Boy in the Moon, by Ian Brown
One of my favourite columnists, this book is the memoir of a father caring for his profoundly disabled son.  He doesn't shy away from the difficult facts, like the monumental costs of caring for his son (millions of dollars over the course of his lifetime); or the questions about the 'value' of someone's life or how to best care for the severely disabled.   Extremely well written, difficult to finish, but well worth the effort.
“Sometimes watching him,” Brown writes, “is like looking at the man in the moon – but you know there is actually no man there. But if Walker is so insubstantial, why does he feel so important? What is he trying to show me?”

Stories:  All New Tales, edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio
Weird little short stories that the editors chose because they keep the readers asking, ".... and then what happened?"  Quirky and unexpected, with contributors ranging from Joyce Carole Oats, Jodi Picoult and others.  Short stories are great - quick bites with lasting food for thought.  I can 'hear' these when I read them.  Well-chosen and provocative.

The Girl Who Played with Fire, by Stieg Larsson
This is the second installment in the trilogy... Memorable characters, forgettable plot, but lots of fun and easy to read. 

I picked this up for Rob because the illustrations were so incredible.  It is all about the creation of the world's first 'official' atlas, published in Antwerp in 1570.  Colour plates of what the world was thought to look like, and lots of historical context.  A bit dry and academic but beautiful to look at!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Home sweet home (Day 16)

Great sail home from the island, and just as we were debating whether to anchor for a swim we heard the squall warning.  Within 20 minutes we were at the BPYC  visitors’ dock and there was an incredible deluge - accompanied by lightning strikes and rolling thunder.  The docks turned into a waterfall; the wind changed direction by 180 degrees within ten minutes.  Quite the show.

I love a good storm in the shelter of a port. 

Lake Ontario is one of the most unpredictable places to sail... sunny skies and fair winds and then half an hour later you are in the middle of a squall. 

The power is out on the dock so I am pretending we are at anchor and cooking with butane.  Madras chili and chapatis. 

I can’t believe how humid it is again... must mean the storm isn’t quite finished yet.

After dinner, we’re packing up and going home.  Our tiny bungalow will seem palatial after living in less than 250 square feet for the last two weeks!  Luxury awaits - a washer & dryer and three episodes of Mad Men on a big TV.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Toronto Island (Day 15)

Took our sweet time sailing over to the Toronto Islands... no motor involved!  I was at the helm for about two hours and took Yondering up to 7+ knots.  Lots of fun. 

Didn't expect to get a spot on the wall, but here we are... listening to Arcade Fire blasting from Olympic Island.  Well, actually right now it is the Sadies.  Arcade Fire comes on later.  Alex would love this!

Watching the boats promenade on past... there are the paddle wheel tourist boats, the big honking power boats with bodacious babes hanging out (literally!) over the sides, the hopeful cruisers looking for a spot.   Kayaks, canoes and dinghies. Not very secluded on this side of the island, but again, lots of fun.

Looking toward the big downtown buildings and thinking, yes, I will be toiling away there in less than 48 hours.  For now, though, the G& T is 'spot on'.

Speaking of which, sitting out the back of the boat a swallow flew overhead and put a 'spot on'... a deep purple colour that caused  me to run cold water overtop right away.  I hear it's good luck!

Plan on looking up at the night sky for more shooting stars tonight.

Life is grand.

CN Tower photo credit

Bluffers Park (Day 14)

morning light
Left the Cobourg lighthouse behind,  hoping for a nice day's sail. 

When the main and jib started luffing at us we turned on the motor for awhile.  Happily the winds picked up again and Rob was able to set the sails for a nice long tack home.  As we got closer to Bluffers the lake was giving us a fun ride on waving rollers that were about 4-5 feet high.  The temperature was perfect, the lake was a deep aqua and the baby blue sky was clear.

We can drive to Cobourg in about 1.5 hours.  Sailing it takes us 11 -12.  So it helps when you enjoy the ride. True, sometimes it can get a bit boring, but I take it as more a reflection on the bored one (is that the boree?).

When we got back to BPYC, we arrived in time to join fellow members in a toast to Klaus and Barbara, who are heading off for a year's worth of adventures on their boat.  Bon Voyage! 

The sail, the play of the pulse so like our own lives; so thin and yet so full of life, so noiseless when it labours hardest, so noisy and impatient when least effective.
- Thoreau

there's my guy!
The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
- William Arthur Ward

Indeed, the cruising of a boat here and there is very much what happens to the soul of a man in a larger way.  We set out for places we do not reach, or reach too late; and on the way, there befall us all manner of things which we could never have awaited.
- Hilaire Belloc, On Sailing the Sea

quotes from The Sailing Fanatic, Timeless Refections on Water, Wind and Wave compiled by Christopher Caswell.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Cobourg (Day 13)

I was walking along the dock when I overheard someone commenting about how they'll buy a boat when they retire.

I'm so glad we didn't wait - who knows what will happen between now and then?

Eight years ago, when Rob and I would come here and wander along the docks, he would talk about buying a sailboat as if it were actually in the realm of possibility.  I remember protesting, something about paying off the mortgage first. Now I joke with him about how great it was that I came up with the idea to buy a boat. 

Cobourg is a pretty historic port, with lots of scenic views and plenty to do within walking distance.  There's a sandy beach, a boardwalk, an ecology garden, historic buildings, book stores and great restaurants just  a few minutes walk away.  Apparently Elton John's mom-in-law spends some time in one of the condos here, so we keep our eyes peeled, just in case.  I bet Sir Elton doesn't walk the docks in his concert garb, though, so he might not be so easy to spot.

The morning was overcast so we decided to hit the shops.  I picked up some tea, Rob picked up some vinyl (Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys).  We had a great lunch at the Corfu restaurant and then went to explore a reclamation building store... filled with three centuries worth of doors, stained glass windows, antique chandeliers and hardware.   Good thing we were on bikes otherwise I may have made a few impulse buys. There was one door knocker in particular - a lion that would have been quite at home on a door in Venice. 

Even the sea gulls are enjoying the view!

Perseid Meteor Showers (Day 13)

Tonight the Perseid Meteor Showers will be at their peak - 80 to 100 shooting stars an hour.

The spectacle actually started about 1.5 weeks ago and will continue for awhile after tonight. 
Some media sources make this sound like a fireworks show, and set expectations really high.  But catching a shooting star takes patience - and when you are close to city lights, only the really bright ones make it through the light pollution.

It's been a pretty cloudy trip but on clear nights we've been able to catch quite a few.  Sometimes just a little spark in the periphery, and once or twice a big yellow trail.  I even saw one with a red nose! 

The Perseid meteor showers are one of my favourite times of year... if you don't see shooting stars you have a great excuse to just spend time staring off into space.  And casting wishes.

Here are tips from the Weather Network to enjoy the show

Some time lapse shots from last year:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Grassy Point to Cobourg (Day 12)

Many hours on the water today. Some spent sailing but mostly motored. Somewhere along the way we woke up a nest of flies and it seemed like several hundred descended on the boat. Big ones, small ones, teensy ones. Where do they come from, out of the blue like that? I pulled out a fly-swatter and the cockpit is now littered with their carcasses.

Sailing past Pres’quille we saw a few Trumpeter swans with signets. I wonder if they are offspring of the ones from Bluffers Park?

Now we are tied up at the dock in Cobourg. I’m enjoying a Caesar cocktail and the sight of the lights reflecting on the water. Watching the spiders spin their webs. Are these Cobourg spiders or Bluffer’s stow-aways?

Grassy Point (Day 11)

cooling off in the lake
Arrived at Grassy Point (near Belleville) in the late afternoon.  There were about eight other boats when we dropped anchor and then twelve other boats by the time night fell.

After a refreshing swim I made dinner - chick pea curry, madras potatoes and raita... and chapatis from scratch.  These flat breads have become a traditional sailing treat.

Managed to see a single shooting star before the clouds rolled in.  There were squall warnings for the eastern side of the lake and we felt the edge of the storm as well.  To the point that during the night Rob had to start the engine to keep us in place.  We saw a 26 footer coming in like a blurr, the sailors on board trying to keep her under control. 

When I got up early in the morning there were fewer boats - apparently some didn’t want to stay the night.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Picton (Day 10 & 11)

Motored for six straight hours and got into Picton just ahead of the rain.  Took a taxi into town for dinner and a movie, floating along the rainy streets in a big yellow poncho.

This is one night we should have stayed on the boat.... I ordered wings and they were the saltiest ever. The sauce may have actually turned parts of my tongue inside out. A-salt on the palate!  Rob’s dinner was okay... he had his third blue cheese & bacon burger of the trip and said this latest as not quite enough cheese, with a bun that was too small.  (The best burger was at the Duke, with angus beef, carmelized onion and creamy blue cheese). Turned out the movie theatre was closed on Monday nights, so we headed back down the hill to watch The Darjeeling Limited on a DVD.

This is definitely one of our favourite films - a road movie and spiritual quest.  Great music, dialog, a quirky plot, off beat pacing and deadpan hilarity.  The dynamics between the brothers, their mom and their deceased father are wonderfully choreographed by the director Wes Anderson. Not sure if this movie got nominated for Best Art Direction, but it deserved it, the colours and blending of patterns and textures adding a whole other channel in to the whimsy.

Woke up to a very misty morning on the dock.  Only fifteen feet to touch a cloud.  The spiderwebs were so heavy with dew they were sagging.  The dock had turned into a gallery of hundreds of crystal spiderwebs.  I wondered if the spiders saw this as a catastrophe through their eight-eyed universe.  No self-respecting bug would be caught dead in those webs - they were so very visible.

Made a tasty breakfast of oatmeal, yogurt, nuts, dried fruit & sprinkled cinnamon & ground vanilla with sugar.  Yum!

Sigh. We are now more than halfway through the holiday and trying to decide how agressively we need to return to our home port. Strong winds are forecast for the end of the week, and we don’t want to make the 12 hour trip from Cobourg in high wind/high waves.  Not such a fun combination.

Now is a perfect time paraphrase the words of Ursula La Guinn:  it is good to have a destination, better to enjoy the journey.

Misty morning in Picton

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Waupoos (Day 9)

One of our favourite stops on the lake.  We're not alone - Waupoos sees quite a bit of traffic from Toronto.  There is a whole flotilla here from RCYC.  Plus some visiting boats from Montreal.

Tried to pick out different club burgies while we had breakfast at the Blue Moose Galley.

Wind is keeping us land lubbers for today, that's fine with me.  Lots to check out.  Took a solitary walk this morning, wanting to see if the people up the road planted sunflowers again this year, but no. This year's crop seems to be soy beans, little edamame pods on green leafy stems. Also  checked out a cottage garden, the apple orchard and discovered an old stump covered in mushrooms.

Hopped into the hot tub this gloomy grey afternoon, and then went to the pay phone to make reservations for the Duke of Marysburgh. It's been quite awhile since I put a quarter in to make a call - now it is double the price.  The cell phone doesn't seem to work here.  It was a bit of a novelty dropping the quarters into the coin box.

The Dew Drop Inn at the marina feels like it would be home in Murano, Venice.
Waupoos is in Prince Edward County - "apple country".  Great cideries around here!

Back to the North Shore (Day 8)

The last night at Fair Haven was very bumpy at the dock.  Lots of pitching, rolling and yawling as the the waves knocked on the hull.  I woke several times, a bit disoriented by all the bobbing about in the boat.

Time to head out.  We just weren’t sure if we would cross over to the north shore or head west, it depended on which way the wind would blow.  When the forecast called for light variable winds, we opted to cross the water.

Once we made the decision and started across, the strong wind warnings came on the radio.  So we reefed the main sail in expectation.  Then the sails began to luff in light wind, so we set the lines free. Of course, that’s when the winds picked up again.  Out on the water nature is always reminding you who’s boss.  No argument from me!

Full day; some of the best sailing of the trip. Also no wind, and too much wind.  Changing directions, too.

Very comfortable temperatures. Bright sunny skies and great clouds.  Waves 3-5 feet.  Wind 15 - 20 knots at points.

Crossing the lake always amazes me.  When we sail away from the coast, it takes hours for the land to disappear.  It feels like  you aren’t making any headway at all, and then suddenly the land disappears.  Then you spend a few hours in the middle without land on either horizon before little land bumps appear in the distance.  After that point it still takes hours to finalize the approach. 

Today was just 13 hours (and one novel) later.   By 7 p.m. all I really wanted was to either drop anchor or tie up to a dock. Ocean crossings must be brutal.

The other thing that amazes me is navigation.  There are no helpful signs poking up out of the water to confirm your orientation; often there are no markings for depth.  Even now with GPS it is a bit intimidating.  What about uncharted territory, or having to steer by the stars?  On cloudy nights?

The wind really started to pick up as we came into Waupoos.  We docked at the marina with a view of several sailboats on mooring balls.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Fair Haven (Day 7)

I can’t believe it is Day 7 already - time is flying by. Strong winds are conspiring to keep us here another day.  Bonus:  the weather has cooled off considerably.

We discovered some very welcoming corners in town today. Main Street was full of friendly shopkeepers and townspeople were waving and saying hello.  We checked out antique shops, gift stores and came across a wonderful spot called The Fly by Night Cookie Factory.  The treats here were amazing!  Pecan bars, chocolate sticks, coconut shortbread.  Out back there was a shade garden and Book Nook.  The front verandah was full of whimsical folk carvings.  They have concerts here, too bad we'll miss the next one - Celtic harpists.

Next to this place there was someone with a wonderfully subversive sense of humour.  They'd posted signs, but these brought laughs:  red octogons that said 'Go', "three-hour barking" with a silhouette of a dog, and a notice that thanked you for noticing.

Lunch at the Pleasant Beach Hotel with a great view.  Fabulous food.

Plus, we got the top secret internet code from the yacht club, for a small fee.

Really enjoyed this little port.

We went for a nice, long bike ride tonight.  Up and down hills to look at the lake.  I collected some rocks for the garden out back.

Little Sodus Bay (Day 6)

Woke up to the sound of rain on the hull and enjoyed our coffee with some rolling thunder.  The storm went as quickly as it came, so we pulled up anchor and headed east.

The showers brought cooler temperatures for a few hours, but by the time we dropped anchor in Little Sodus Bay mid-afternoon, our boat felt like a toaster oven again. The metal barbecue, although unused, felt as though coals inside were red hot.

We jumped into the lake for a refreshing swim and then took the dinghy over to explore the scenic town. 

Fair Haven seems to lack a certain generosity of spirit.  It gives the impression it’s been taken advantage of in the past and it won’t stand for any more shenanigans.  Signs on dumpsters shouting  NO UNAUTHORIZED DUMPING - YOU WILL BE PROSECUTED, washrooms in stores not open to customers, padlocks on the toilet paper dispensers in the public park to keep you from stealing the rolls. 

We decided to stay at the yacht club overnight because the winds were coming on strong.  Although they offer reciprocals, FYC designate that visiting boats dock on the north wall, where it is bumpy, instead of in the many empty and sheltered slips. More posted signs: ‘MEMBERS ONLY LOUNGE’, ‘MEMBERS ONLY BARBECUES’, and an internet password that is top secret.

Oh well.  The view is great, the swimming is wonderful, and the other visiting boaters are friendly. 

Sodus Bay (Day 5)

Started sailing on the jib with a light wind when we departed Rochester at 7:30 a.m.  Another very hot day.  Even on the water it was sweltering.  By noon I was trying to fit into the small slices of shade in the cockpit.

We dropped anchor in Sodus Bay at 4 pm.  By then our sweat was puddling around us and we jumped in for a swim, staying in the water until our fingers and toes were as wrinkled as raisins.

Dinner was barbecued sirloin steak and I brought out the best bottle of wine I’d packed this trip - a Chateauneuf de Pape, Chateau Mont-Redon.  It was just losing the bright red of young grapes, deepening into what looked like a velvety texture.  Beautifully balanced flavours. 

Darkness fell and the clouds obligingly moved on so we could watch the stars come out in the night sky.  Lying flat on my back made it easy to star gaze.  It was amazing how many satellites were whizzing by - I counted seven in about 20 minutes.  No shooting stars though.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Towed into Rochester (Day 3 and 4)

Day Three
By 10:00 pm we were being towed into Rochester Harbour by a little tugboat where we tied up alongside the gas docks at Shumway Marine.
The harbour is a very pretty, glittery place to sit and wonder how much it will cost to repair your motor.  To ponder if this the end of our cruising vacation or just an expensive stay-over in Rochester.  Rob was muttering some heresy about giving up boating entirely.  
We left Olcott in the morning not sure where we’d end up, figuring we’d just keep on going until we felt like stopping.  I guess fate decided this one for us.
When we left at 7:30 a.m. there was not a lot of wind, so we motored on and off for the next twelve hours..  Early evening Rob noticed the engine was overheating and switched it off. That’s when we both started cursing the mechanic who ‘fixed’ our motor at the start of the cruise.
We could see Rochester in the distance, so we hoisted the sails and at 3 knots per hour, edged slowly toward the mouth of the harbour, mulling over the best tack to take us inside.  Head sail?  Jib?  Unfortunately, wind right on the nose made it impossible to sail in... and by that time it was dark.  Rob hit his toe on the top deck during the kerfuffle.
We tried our motor after it had a chance to cool down, but it wasn’t starting at all.  Our radio calls to several passing boats were going unanswered, “To the sailing vessel entering Rochester Harbour, this is Yondering”... So we called the Coast Guard, who gave us the phone number for the tug, and $200 American dollars later we were tying our lines on shore.

Day Four

Woke up this morning and left messages with mechanics, hoping to find a diesel specialist.  Found one!   He's promised to drop by today and check out the situation.  Meanwhile, Rob's toe is turning purple and blue.  He has decided against medical attention.

Rochester is a great port.  It's very easy to hop on a bike and get to the grocery store, so that's what we did.

Around 2:30 I started wondering if the mechanic would ever call.  We’d had lunch, ridden our bikes to the store and were hanging out on the boat.  I was watching some swallows on the boat lines. They were perched on them and bobbing up and down as the lines were being gently pulled taut and loose; it looked like they were enjoying a bit of a free ride.

So unbelievably hot!  I asked Rob if he wanted to join me at the Rochester Yacht Club, to sit by the pool, to cool down in the sweltering heat; but he preferred to stay put and nurse his foot. 

I wandered over to the pool to do some reading.  It was at least 10 degrees cooler there - very welcoming, with lots of ice water on hand.  I got lost in my reading (Galore), falling in and out of napping, and before I knew it almost three hours had gone by.

When I got back to the boat, the mechanic, Ray Peters, was just finishing up.  True to his word, he’d not only called but stopped by.  Problem fixed!  I felt like giving this stranger a hug.  He gave the motor a thorough inspection, put in a new hose, and deemed Yondering seaworthy again.  That means we’re off to continue our adventures  tomorrow.