Sailing the North Channel

Before we left for our sailing trip in the North Channel, I realized it could only end 1 of 4 ways:

1.  We both make it back alive, with the boat
2.  One of us makes it back, with the boat
3.  One of us makes it back, sans boat
4.  Neither of us make it back - and then who would care about the damn boat!

So...take a guess how it ended.  Here's a hint - Dan & I will be spending our next day off cleaning squashed mosquitoes off the cabin walls.  What?  Too easy?

I bet you're curious about our trip, but if I were to tell you about the breath-taking beauty of the area, about how we anchored each night in a sheltered cove surrounded by scented pines and soaring cliffs of white quartz, how the water was so clear and clean you can see to great depths below, and how we spent one night in an ancient volcano crater, being serenaded by loons as we sipped wine and watched the stars burst across the sky in unadulterated brilliance - you just might become a tad jealous.  And I wouldn't want you to be jealous.

So...instead, I'll tell you how it was an eight hour car ride (without air conditioning) to get there, towing the boat behind us, how the mosquitoes were plentiful, the water cold, the quarters cramped and the porta-potty too puny.   Here, let me show you:

This is the cabin.  We sleep in the V Berth at the top of the picture.  That chair back comes off to make more room.  The cushions are more than just decoration - we use them as pillows at night, and for comfort while sitting in the cockpit.  Inside the pole is the line to the retractable centerboard under the boat, and under a seat is an ice chest to store our food.  The lights, radio, GPS and stereo run off a battery.  The water from the faucets is hand-pumped up from collapsible water containers stored underneath the sinks.  Now you know.

Me cooking breakfast at the galley on a propane camp stove.

The dinette.  This must be near the end of our cruise because I notice the wine box under the table is empty.

The head.  Don't let this photo fool you, it's too short to stand upright in there.  Notice there is no shower.  We have a water bladder that warms the water using solar power, then we hang it in the cockpit & shower out there.  Or we just take a dip in the lake.

The nasty olive-green porta-potty which we had to empty in public washrooms.  Glamourous or what?

I wish I had thought to take a photo of the paper towel containing our nightly count of squashed mosquitos.  Seriously.  Have you ever tried sleeping with those things buzzing around your head?!  I insisted we kill every last one of them in the cabin before retiring for the night.  And I kept count.  By their squashed bodies on a paper towel. Our record was 16.

But in all honesty, the hardships were more than worth it to be amongst the beautiful scenery.  See what I mean?

Gorgeous, isn't it?

It's impossible to take a photo of your boat, while on your boat.  So we hiked way up a mountain, just so I could get this photo of our boat for you.  Really.  Well...that and the rumour of wild blueberries atop the rocks.

And for all you doubters who went "ppfft" when I said we anchored in a volcano, here's my proof - notice the steep rock wall that dips straight down at the water's edge?  Notice the pitted lava rocks?  Believe me now? We were actually in an ancient volcano!

This is a rock formation that looks exactly like an Indian head.  Really.  Okay... I might have been a little slow with my camera, but if I swear if you could just back up a few meters to the right, you would agree that it does indeed look exactly like an Indian head.

Here's Dan at the helm.  I also have a real sexy photo of him with his shirt off, looking all rugged and wind-blown, but I think I'll keep that one for myself.

Here's me chilling in the cockpit one evening.  Hey!  I just realized my profile looks just like that Indian head, minus the cedar tree growing out of my lip!    

And to make you a little jealous, here's some scenery shots:

(this was the lake-filled volcano crater.  Our first clue to it's origins was when we tried to drop anchor in the middle and realized we didn't have enough anchor line!)

Don't get too jealous - that is NOT my boat.  That is not even CLOSE to being my boat.  I bet they have a head you can stand up in  (with a real toilet and even a shower with hot water), and a fridge, stove and oven, maybe even a microwave.  I'm sure their berths are in enclosed cabins.  With real mattresses and linens and down comforters.  And air conditioning!  I bet you anything they have air conditioning.   *Sigh*   Now I'm  jealous!


  1. The photo of your boat and you in the galley were missing! Loved reading about the trip, however.

  2. That's odd...all the photos are the same size and format.

  3. Les BotcharAugust 04, 2011

    I'm a tad jealous. just enough to make me reconsider my hubbie's desire to have a sailboat one day. despite the fact neither of us knows how to sail. and we live near the Ottawa River (ick!). LOL Glad you have a great trip inspite of tiny head (room?). Pics are gorgeous!

  4. You should DEFINITELY reconsider. You could keep it back home in Kingston and use it as a cottage. We had no experience before we bought our boat and only used the few pages dedicated to sailing instruction in the owner's manual to figure it out. Sailing's like golf - you can learn how to do it in an afternoon, but it may take years of practice to master it.

    And I LOVE the Ottawa river. We once went rapids rafting down it. Beautiful country!

  5. Sooo gorgeous! I LOVE these picture :0)

  6. Wow! What great fun, well except for the mosquitoes and air conditioning thing. I was a bit jealous of the first description! Thanks for linking with the Sit and Relax weekend hop! But, if you're around today, I'd love for you to link this to the Show Us Your Town Hop, too!!
    Heartfelt Balance Handmade Life

  7. Grandma BonnieAugust 06, 2011

    So many beautiful photos. I sure wish grandpa would take me sailing like that.
    I love adventure. I would trade my a/c for that trip any day. Have a great weekend.
    New follower from sit and relax weekend blog hop. Hope you follow back.

  8. It was definitely worth all the effort! The scenes are amazing! Loved reading about the trip....lovely!

  9. It was! Im already thinking about going back next year.

  10. Hi Kara, and thanks for stopping by my blog. So how do find the boat compares to a cottage? I think your scenery was just amazing, but I could stand up in our cottage bathroom :)