Monday, August 1, 2011

First time mooring on the Island

View from RCYC mooring ball
Late Friday afternoon we set sail for the Islands and hit a strong wind that whipped the halyard from its rigging on the main.  Rob and I had to motor the rest of the way knowing our sailing would be limited to flying a jib until we manage to hoist a chair and reattach the two.

Spent the first night of our Island Cruise anchored near Gibraltar Lighthouse.  Along the way we looked for a place along the Hanlan's Wall, but there was no space.  Lots of power boats, rafted three deep in some points, with their tents and bonfires and boomboxes and bonhomie.  Our quiet spot wasn't even all that quiet, four other sailboats swinging on a hook and a big yacht with revellers dancing and hanging off the sides.  Still, the commotion didn't deter our cronies, the night herons, from seeking their evening feast.

It is Caribana this weekend, and appropriately Hot! Hot! Hot! The island is packed, with party-ers galore celebrating North America's largest street festival, residents attending the Ward Island Gala, and boaters taking advantage of a long weekend.

Which brought us to a mooring spot right in front of RCYC, since there were no available slips. I dipped a hook into the water and pulled out a slimy green rope that was attached to a floating tire and tied it to the bow of the boat.  Rob reinforced the mooring with a line of our own, but I was still a bit speculative about how secure we were with a meagre two lines tied to a floating tire in the middle of this busy harbour:  the constant traffic of passing boats and tenders casting their wake and tugging on the lines.

I fixed lunch and we sat in the cockpit enjoying the incredible, unobstructed view of the city skyline.  After an hour or two we felt secure enough to venture off in the dinghy and explore.

We toured QCYC and Centre Island, running into some fellow Bluffers along the way, and then took a detour into lilypad-land where and switched off the motor so as not to scare away the birds (blue jays, kingfishers and hiding herons).  A monarch butterfly landed on the brim of my hat and stayed long enough for Rob to snap a photo.

Back to our mooring - I was happy to see Yondering still there, tugging playfully at her lines. We changed into our bathing suits and went for a refreshing plunge into the lake.  Now, some people might grimace at the thought of swimming here, but there are blue flag beaches on just the other side of the island.  And, after all, it was hot! hot! hot!

Then G&Ts on the deck, watching the sun set and the city put on its sparkling evening jewels.  The green island jutting out beside us, the city glowing in front, and the RCYC clubhouse lit just behind.  Above the stars and planes.  Party boats, ferries, pleasure yachts all sharing the same view.  Hard to know where to spend your gaze.

We've been to the Island so many times, and there is always something new to discover, another corner to explore.

1 comment:

Annika said...

Hey, I've explored many places on the Island but I have not moored outside RCYC. That's a new one.

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