1 LiveBloggin' the ICW: September 2012

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sunny Sunny Sunny Days...

Remember that song from the band Lighthouse, in the 70s? Most Canadians will, I'm not so sure how popular the band was in the US though - but that's the weather we're having right now. Sunny, and mild. And I'm stuck inside working - it would be nicer to be outside in a Rav4, going for coffee or a cold drink on some nice patio and enjoy the sunshine and company. But, the bills have to be paid, so the work has to be done. Why couldn't I have been born rich, instead of incredibly sexy? (and who am I kidding?)
I'm getting ready to start heading the boat south again - well, north out of Georgian Bay, then south.
The plan for this trip - or should I say the 'intentions', since sailing doesn't always work out the way one expects - are to sail to Florida, return for the Toronto Boat Show, then cross over to the Bahamas, sail down to the Exumas, then across to Cuba and around to Cuba's beautiful south coast.
While in the Bahamas and Cuba, I will be shooting video for a new video and also a tv production about Cuba - you can see details of that at Cuba: Forbidden Paradise, along with some neat Cuba photos and videos. Make sure you 'like' the facebook page too please! That's http://facebook.com/cubaforbiddenparadise
Love to hear your opinions on all of this, and let me extend an invitation to everyone here, and especially the impish ones, lol - if you're interested in coming along for part of the ride, let me know. It's always great to have company on board, I get tired of sailing alone for so much of the time.

Sunday, September 9, 2012


Had about all the fun I could handle in Collingwood in the last week or so, and the weather was perfect today for a sail across Georgian Bay to the Midland area. Actually thought about putting in to Balm Beach area to invite a good friend to come sailing, something I'd promised to do this summer but doubted my friend would be available, so decided against it and went on to the Midland area instead. But at least I thought about it.
The Midland Town dock is where I kept my first sailboat years and years ago. It's a great spot and beside a big outdoor patio too - so great music and cold beer with friends on a sunny early fall Sunday. The only problem is that there are no other sailboats here - all power boats. Not that they're bad people, just that they have a different idea of what being on the water is about. The guys here used to abuse me terribly when I kept my boat here - so of course, I had to pick back on them. There were some hysterical practical jokes played, some by me, some on me. Ok, most of them on me, there were more of them! 
How about the time someone duct taped a hose to my bow pulpit and aimed the water to fall on my companionway hatch so I'd get soaked leaving the boat? Too cute. I managed to get someone to turn the water off, fortunately.
Here's a story from Write on the Water, a blog I used to contribute regularly to - enjoy!

I'll never forget that first morning I woke up aboard my new boat at the Midland town dock. I had stayed out far too late the night before inspecting the quality of some of Mr. Molson's product with friends. Instead of the quiet chirping of birds, I heard the plaintive voice of an eight year old girl, at far too early an hour - “Daddy, you put the worm on the hook for me please.”
I had awakened to a children's fishing derby. There were 350 children crowded onto every slip in the marina, including the one right beside my berth. This was not the serene and stress free sailing life I had heard and dreamed about. Hangovers need quiet time to heal and this wasn't helping mine in the least.
At some time in your sailing life, you must spend a summer at a public dock rather than a marina. It is a most interesting and entertaining experience. It can also, if you are single, be a rewarding way to meet attractive women who would like to go sailing.
While I knew the basics of sailing, it had been a long time since I had sailed at all. Fortunately, sailing is like sex or riding a bike. You never really forget, although your technique may need work. Also, like sex, there is always something new to learn, which make both sex and sailing far more interesting than biking, at least in my opinion!
The first sail on Publisher's Choice was six miles, from Penetang Harbour to the Midland Town Dock, with the marina manager's son crewing for me. We set out in a 10 knot west wind, meaning that we would sail to a port beam reach, jibe to a run and then a starboard beam reach into the docks.
It was later in the day (a Tuesday, I took the day off) when we set out and, while off Midland Point, the sun shone on the water in a bronze swath ending at my transom. Into that glow, another boat sailed behind us, becoming a silhouette against the falling sun. It was so beautiful it could only be an omen of great sailing to come. I was totally entranced and more than ever convinced that I was doing the right thing. The only thing that could make it better would be to sell my first boat, as I would now be paying two slip fees. This is not a good thing for a boater on a budget I can assure you. Avoid it at all costs.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Thanks everyone...

Who knew? I was so exhausted the other night...I had intended to save the last post (http://tinyurl.com/8g5z37w) to review in the morning, and instead, posted it without realizing I had done so. 
All I can say is thanks for the thoughtful and caring posts from several of you...they were very much appreciated. I've done all that I can do and whatever happens is now out of my hands. Now I understand how a parent feels when a grown child goes and does something foolish, or dangerous - you live in fear of the worst because you care, yet there's nothing you can do but hope that person comes to their senses before they are badly hurt, or worse. It's not a fun feeling. 
The sad part is knowing I've lost a friend who mattered in my life - but I think that feeling goes both ways here and that this sadness is not being felt by me alone, when there are no funny text messages, or cute email forwards, or just a cheery 'hello', because . Funny how it's the little things that can mean so much in a friendship, isn't it?
I'll be back with some sailing stories in the next day or two - I'm just wrapping up a writing assignment, and haven't had a lot of time to put to this blog in the past couple of weeks. And, of course, I'll be preparing to head south soon....and back to the ICW.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

OK, OK, I'm back!

Don't anyone panic, I'm still here, honest! It's been a busy, busy few weeks. Among other things, I'm completing several writing assignments, working on a new series of boating videos, fixing the boat (yes, again!), and getting some sailing in when I can.
Just before arriving here in Collingwood, I anchored out at Hope Island, and the next day sailed past (yes, actually sailed!) Christian Island, going past Faith Point...well, you get the picture. Took some great video on the way by and will eventually put it up here along with the music, but for now, you'll have to settle for this version of Gord Lightfoot's classic sailing song...
From Christian Island, I sailed on to Collingwood, to be almost greeted by a dear friend to go out for coffee - and 'almost greeted', because I had been expected to arrive the day previously. Ah well, it was a great try and I was very flattered!
After that, there was the Port Credit Boat Show, which went very successfully. I was asked to give two seminars each day, my ICW talk and the Cuba talk. I was quite pleased to discover that there was real interest in the Cuba seminar even here in Canada, since we can travel freely there.
So essentially, all is good. Almost.
However, there is a dark side to my life at the moment. I discovered, through friends, that the guy a good friend of mine has been dating has a serious criminal record for violence against his partners. There are  peace bonds against him from several women, including one whom I have met as the friend of a friend. 
The charges include possession of drugs (a suitcase full of them in fact), and other charges dating back to 1996. He has been to jail at least once, if not twice, in the past year over the most recent charges, and once for violation of the peace bond against the last girlfriend.
She is entirely unaware of any of this. That's because people like this do everything they can to hide their past.
I've contacted the court in the city where this all happened and they are sending me records of the charges and convictions - because what usually happens in these situations, the woman refuses to believe that her new love could be that sort of an animal. 
That's how women are hurt, injured, sometimes murdered by the men they love - who are adept and smooth talking sociopathic liars, able to convince women that they are not what everyone else knows them to be. So why I'm sitting awake at 3 am, writing this blog?
I can't sleep for fear for my friend. The violence of this man has escalated as he moves from one woman to the next. It's going to be a long night, trying not to think about my friend and the danger she is in.