Merry Christmas

Hey everyone,

I know it's been a long time since I've posted here.  I have been very busy boat hunting and therefore neglecting all of my friends.  And I AM sorry for that! 

I am in the middle of an offer to purchase and have nothing to share at this point.  For those of you who know me personally, send me an email as I probably won't post the results here.  And I will most likely be starting up a new blog with the new name of my new boat as it's address.   So I will be sending that out personally as well.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone.  May 2010 bring you all that you ever hoped for.  I'm hoping for the same, and a new boat too!!!   Enjoy the holidays.........life only happens once!  Take advantage the first time! 

Sailing Adventures with Adventure Sailing Plus Ltd

August 25th and 26th, 2009

My very good friend Capt. Becky had arranged for a few of us to take a bit of a refresher course in sailing with her sailing instructor from last summer, Frank Baron of Adventure Sailing Plus Ltd, in Penetanguishene, Ontario. She had become such a keen sailor since taking that 5 day intermediate live-aboard cruiser course, that I hesitantly agreed to join her. Another lady sailor, Marcia, was also willing to take the plunge with us.  So we went.

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s/v Nyala ~ Girls Just Wanna Anchor.....the overnighter

As promised..... I received the "Becky's pictures" file and have them uploaded and ready to go.

This is year two of Capt. Becky arranging this girls overnighter trip aboard her s/v Nyala, a Beautiful Bavaria sailboat. She invites women friends with and without sailing experience and lets the chips fall where they may. This year, 4 ladies accepted, 3 sail with their husbands aboard their own vessels and 1 has been out sailing but is not a sailor, per say.
So we all met at the yacht club on s/v Nyala's dock at 9 am on Saturday, August 15th.  
The plan: Load the boat with everyone's stuff and food and wine and let's get going!!  
Before we got underway, Capt. Becky and I ran through all the safety equipment and procedures regarding that equipment  for the guests, just in case  the Coast Guard comes by.  We all were required to wear our life jackets as it is Capt. Becky's first rule on-board Nyala. 

So we did all that and were off the dock by 10:30, I think. Each guest was responsible for providing and preparing one meal for the weekend. I really like that idea, it gets everyone involved and everyone gets to taste something they may have never had before.    Like a pot luck, you always get the best food others have to offer.

The guests~

From L to R.. Capt. Becky, me (Michelle), Eileen, Katie, and Marg.

The Destination:  Little Port Elgin anchorage
The trip:  Sailing the 12 NM up our bay was mostly uneventful.The winds were forecast to be light and variable and that's what we got. We did try to fly the DRS but couldn't keep it full so we pulled her back down and put the Genny back out.  Once we got out of our bay and up to the 3 islands, the wind picked up for the last11 NM of our trip and we clipped along close hauled at up to 7 kts at times.!!
Thankfully Capt. Becky let me and the new crew off the hook (so to speak) regarding Man over board retrieval drills. On most day sails, Becky  tortures us with practice of this procedure. 

The first meal to be prepared was lunch while we were underway and that was my meal to look after. We had turkey and ham sandwiches with a side of sliced fresh fruits. Marg made some delicious home made cookies for dessert.

We arrived at our intended anchorage around 4 pm, after a very nice and easy day of sailing.This lovely anchorage provides good SW to NW protection , and lies just inside of the 3 islands on the mainland.

This area is owned by the First Nations and has a bit of a reputation for excitement. Some boaters believed that they were shot at with an undetermined firearm 2 years ago.  Alas, but being the brave women we are, we forged on!  However, we learned on this trip from one of our girls that the thundering sound of the unplanned V berth hatch dropping down at 3 am may very well been the infamous "gun shot" which alarmed everyone that weekend on '07.

  Since I am regular crew aboard Nyala, I helped Capt. Becky drop the hook and get anchored while the rest of the girls tidied up lines and such. And 1st things first, check the anchor! Becky got her suit on and went for a snorkel~


The temperature had dropped a bit by the time we were all getting ready to go for a swim, so we opted out and had cocktails instead.
We gratefully enjoyed a completely quiet night on the hook and as you can see by the pictures,  this was one weekend in Canada which did not require jackets. We finally had a hot one which was celebrated by  a little drinking. We'll swim in the morning!

So while we relaxed before dinner, I snapped a few pictures......

Capt. Becky (s/v Nyala)

Katie (s/v Big Red)

Marg (s/v Unbound)

Eileen (A Wild Redheaded Woman)

and Me ( s/v Seabbatical 1 and s/v Cirrus)
I obviously did not snap this picture but someone did!! My camera doesn't like me much, but it might have been the wine too!!

Katie was in charge of dinner. She prepared pork tenderloin on the Barbie with mango chutney,  salad and rice.  Quite a lovely dinner. It really was 'just right', not too much, even though we all ate too much. 

(Photo by Becky)
As you can see, the wind settled down to nothing, and we had a beautiful sunset with the cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment for scenery.

After dinner, we gathered topside and relaxed and enjoyed the company and girl talk . We retired before midnight.

Most of us didn't sleep all that well, with the natives on shore partying loudly most of the night. But we managed.

Marg was in charge of breakfast and what a breakfast it was! She made a casserole that was to die for. Eggs, bread, spinach, sausage, 3 cheeses and , I'm sure other stuff. It was yummy. She also made scones with sliced fresh fruit. Marg is a caterer by trade and she does a wonderful job.
After breakfast, they all went swimming while I stayed aboard and tidied up and sat in the sun.

                                                                             The girls playing in the water.

   Katie enjoying the warm water from the stern shower.......she was actually doing that shampoo commercial from a few years back, where the woman was having an orgasm while washing her hair!!    It was quite entertaining. Herbal Essence Shampoo, I think!!  
We got underway after a tasty lunch prepared by Eileen.  We had chicken wraps with roasted peppers and onion, cheese and fresh veggies.  She also made a delightful lemon , blueberry loaf for dessert 

        While sailing back home on Sunday afternoon, I enjoyed sunning on the deck, til Becky got the camera out!

                                                                                 Katie on the helm.

   Just outside the yacht club basin, we rolled in  the main, and watched  the sun getting ready to set behind that cloud.


So we arrived back at dock around 8 pm.  Paul was not surprised to see how much stuff 5 women unloaded off that boat!
We had such a wonderful time and I'm sure I speak for all of us when I say that.  Thanks Capt. Becky,   TERRIFIC!    
The ducky

Sailing, sailing, sailing, it's always about that.

Well yeah, on this blog it seems to be!!  

After a very lovely sail in the afternoon on Wednesday with Becky on s/v Nyala, we raced Wednesday night, adding Paul to our crew.  The wind was 13 to 18 kts out of the west, so we did the reverse triangle course for the race.  We were maybe 3rd or 4th over the start line out of 6, and were moving pretty well.  Good wind to move us !    
Before we reached the 1st mark, s/v Ricochet over took us and s/v Sea Fever was working hard at doing the same.  As we were approaching the mark, it seemed like Sea Fever just stopped to let us round the mark,  I think they got a pile of dirty air from us and woohoo for us, they stalled and  we got to the mark 1st!!  
On the 2nd leg, we were on a dead run and Sea Fever flew their spinnaker for the short distance across the bay, They moved ahead of us leaving us in last place.
We rounded the 2nd mark last, but thankfully we were then on a close reach and just flew toward the finish line for our 3rd leg.  We blew by Sea Fever and gained on Ricochet steadily.  Needless to say we did catch and pass Ricochet to move into  4th place and finished there as well. 
It was not only our fastest time in any race this season, but our best finish, boat for boat in a race.  Wednesday night races are for fun and we don't do corrected time, but ....maybe we would have been 3rd!!  We ended the evening with pizza and wine at the yacht club to celebrate!
Sorry no pictures this time, we were busy racing for real !!

Canada Day

July 1st 2009.
Today is Canada Day. It is equivalent to the '4th Of July' in the states. It is Canada's Birthday and we celebrate it much the same as the US's Independence Day.
There is a Canada Day Sailing race every year and, of course, Captain and crew of s/v Nyala played with the big boys! And guess what?


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