2005 Catalina 320, Sail # 1050, True North
Summer 2011 aboard True North
True North is a 2005, Catalina 320 and has been the boat of my dreams, since I first saw one at the Toronto Boat Show in the mid-90s. We have owned this dream since 2006!
Our 2011 summer holidays are without a doubt the most memorable of all our sailing holidays, since we’ve owned True North. Unlike previous years, this time I had three weeks instead of the usual two, allowing us to pursue ports farther afield than previously attempted. An ambitious route was planned covering ports on both the North and South shores of Lake Ontario, including four lake crossings. I can still remember my wife rolling her eyes at me when I showed her the plan with the four crossings. There was a reason for this, as it had to do with starting the trip with a club cruise to Wilson, NY and concluding with a visit to see her brother in Niagara-on-the-Lake during the third week, when he was scheduled to be there. This logic managed to seal the deal.
Starting from Mimico Cruising Club, in Etobicoke our itinerary looked like this:
July 30: Wilson, NY (Tuscarora Yacht Club)
Aug 2: Oak Orchard, NY (4Cs Marina)
Aug 3: Rochester (Rochester Yacht Club)
Aug 5: Sodus Bay, NY (Sodus Bay Yacht Club)
Aug 7: Waupoos, ON (Waupoos Marina)
Aug 9: Picton (Prince Edward Yacht Club)
Aug 11: Belleville (Myer’s Pier Marina)
Aug 12: Cobourg (Cobourg Marina)
Aug 14: Whitby (Whitby Marina)
Aug 15: Toronto Island (Queen City Yacht Club)
Aug 17: Niagara-on-the-Lake (Niagara-on-the-Lake Sailing Club)
Aug 21: Home (Mimico Cruising Club)
This holiday was truly exciting, as the first two weeks of it were all new places we had not visited on our boat before. To me, this is both a thrill and a challenge. A thrill because it’s all new and time seems to slow down with this discovery experience. The challenge comes in the navigation and handling of the boat through unknown waters and situations. Ultimately, this challenge is what makes us all better sailors and we never stop learning to be better sailors, do we?
With the exception of the lake crossing between Sodus Bay, NY and Waupoos, ON all other legs on our trip were in the 25 – 35 Nm range, making each sailing day in the 5 – 6 hours. We find this to be comfortable timeline on the days we sailed. The Sodus Bay to Waupoos leg was about 52 Nm and took just over 9 hours to complete.
What stays with me about this trip was the number of Catalinas we encountered. It seemed there was such a large increase in the number of Catalinas on Lake Ontario, compared to previous years. Even more, was the interaction Catalina owners seem have with each other. Whenever we encountered Catalina owners, a conversation is struck up, usually with an exchange of experiences or a discussion about modifications made to our respective boats.
One interesting conversation, occurred in Waupoos, with a couple that owned a Catalina 28 MkII. They had discovered a product called “Streax”, a simple piece of polyethylene that affixes to the underside of the toe rail, at the points where water drains off the deck. It effectively diverts the rain water directly into the lake, instead of allowing it to run down the side of the hull and thereby prevents those annoying black steaks. The product is white, comes with a peel and stick adhesive and is so unobtrusive that if they hadn’t pointed it out to me I would not have noticed it on their boat!
The most interesting part of the trip happened at Cobourg. We arrived about mid-afternoon and we’re assigned a slip on the Visitor’s “E” dock. The dock was virtually vacant except for one power boat beside us when we arrived. Over the next two hours, more than a half dozen other Catalina boats arrived. As each new boat arrived, a small group Catalina owners, who had previously arrived, provided docking assistance and a welcome to the newcomers. With the conversations that followed, it had all the earmarks of a Catalina Rendezvous, albeit, an impromptu one. It was very evident, the pride in ownership which Catalina people have!
See you on the lake!