Category Archives: Everything Else!

July 1st – Happy Canada Day from Souris, PEI!

I wasn’t smart enough yesterday to go for a bike ride early in the morning and had quite the workout in the blazing sun at noon hour. Today, I went for a great ride very early and was back by 8:15 – just in time to do boat chores. 🙂 I took some nice pictures this morning of Souris and the surrounding area. The picture of the tombstone was in a little park in West Souris where the Acadians settled in 1800 or so.


Souris Scenes

Souris Scenes

After my bike ride, I helped Dennis polish the boat. Usually I don’t do any of that because I always had to work but now I have no excuse! After polishing, I had to sand the water line and then I had to polish the other side of the boat. Then, I continued with the inside cleaning. The whole thing was exhausting! I was thinking that I should maybe go back to work just until the boat is ready to go in the water. 🙂

Speaking of the boat going in the water, tomorrow is the big day! Hopefully everything will go right and then we’ll be down at the dock enjoying cool ocean breeze – that is after all the boat chores are done. I had no idea how much work there was! I just thought – well, actually, I never really thought about it. Dennis just did everything. Hmm…

Good news about the bimini. Eric Gallant’s sister is going to sew up the holes and even in almost the same colour! We were worried about this because it would not be fun to be out on the water with no protection from the sun or rain. So, we will pick it up tomorrow.

We went downtown this afternoon and checked out the Canada Day celebrations. Everyone was having a lot of fun! We are looking forward to the fireworks tonight. Of course, they don’t start until 10:00, so I hope I can stay awake! As I said earlier, I am exhausted from all the boat chores and there are more chores tomorrow. 🙂

That’s it for today!


June 28th – 30th – Parry Sound to Souris by car

We arrived yesterday (June 29th)  in Souris at about 5:30 after two days of driving. It was good to get out of the car! 

We left Parry Sound at 6:45 am on Saturday, June 28th and drove down the 400 to the 401 East. We got caught in a traffic jam at around Pickering but had a good laugh watching the “bachelorette” car for a few kilometres.Image


We stopped a few times at the On Route highway stops and each one was really busy! I guess half of Ontario was heading to the East Coast. The weather though was great – nice and sunny the whole way. We got the Quebec border without any problems. Since we had come from Toronto instead of Ottawa, we managed to miss Montreal altogether! We just bypassed it and kept to the southern side of the St. Lawrence. I would totally recommend that route since we always, always get lost in Montreal!

We headed along the St. Lawrence and enjoyed the drive. The traffic had thinned out so we were able to be more relaxed. Here is a picture of a farm along the St. Lawrence.


We missed the exit to Levis and ended up crossing the St. Lawrence to Quebec City but luckily the GPS had us very quickly go back over the bridge and find our way. We stayed in Levis overnight and left at 6:00 am on Sunday.

The ride was uneventful – we stopped at the Information booth in  Oromocto, New Brunswick and I got a picture of “Joffrey” on his throne. 



We arrived at Confederation Bridge at around 4:00. Image


Here’s a picture of red soil of PEI!


We got to the boat and started working right away. The tarp had been blown off so there is damage to the bimini. It’s too bad that I didn’t have my sewing machine because I could have patched it. We will have to find a canvas shop. The boat itself was in good shape – just lots of cleaning to do!


So, today and tomorrow, we will be working on the boat and getting it ready to launch! The weather is great and our friends that we met in Rimouski last year have been here for a week – they’re right beside us.




Posted by on June 30, 2014 in Everything Else!


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June 29th – The Trip to Quebec

I left Parry Sound this morning – drove to Nick’s house in Barrie and got a ride with the Simcoe Airporter Service.

Here is a picture of Nick and my mum and dad – they’ve been visiting for a few days and will stay at the house for another week or so.

I have to say that I really would recommend the Airporter service as it was so nice and relaxing to get to the Toronto airport instead of worrying about the holiday weekend traffic. The dispatcher was constantly giving the driver updates on the traffic so that he could take another route if need be. He was experienced and confident and for $62, it was totally worth it. Just look at the traffic going north!

So, I boarded the plane at 3:00 and my seatmate was a second mate of a cargo ship for Algoma Shipping. We discussed quite a few things about the St. Lawence and the Great Lakes.

Thank goodness Dennis was waiting at the Quebec airport as my bag was pretty heavy. He was dressed in fleece and had socks and sandals on (which I quickly adopted because it is so cold here!).

I checked out the boat and certainly would recommend sending someone ahead as the advance party because it looks pretty good! He did a lot of work in the two weeks that he was here alone.

So, we wandered town and saw the sights (dressed in fleece and socks and sandals).  More to come tomorrow.

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Posted by on June 29, 2013 in Everything Else!


Visiting The Split Crow In Winter

Well, we drove all the way to Quebec City on Monday, March 11th. It was a long drive there and we only got lost once in Montreal. Thank goodness for the GPS!

We wandered around Quebec and saw the sights in winter – slightly different – that’s for sure! Still very nice and not as many tourists. Here is a picture of the Chateau Frontenac at night as well as a photo of the skating course for the Red Bull Crashed Ice. I can’t imagine doing this!

Chateau Frontenac

Chateau Frontenac

Red Bull Crashed Ice

Red Bull Crashed Ice

On Tuesday, it poured rain all day. Our visit to see the Split Crow was uneventful. The boat is safe and was winterized well by the staff at Global Marine. I would recommend them to look after your boat. The Split Crow is very dirty on the outside though, from being in the city in the winter as well as being right on the St. Lawrence. Dennis will have a lot of work to do in June!

We also went to the famous ice castle in Quebec and it was definitely worth the visit. You can actually stay overnight! They provide a nordic sleeping bag for you as well as a room at the Sheraton (in case you get cold!). There are about 40 rooms with beds made out of ice and artwork carved into the walls – dinosaur skeletons, mythical creatures, etc. There is even a suite with a fireplace, a private hot tub and sauna! It was a good tour but not somewhere I would like to stay overnight – perhaps Glen would as he likes winter camping!

We drove to Saint Anne de Beaupre and toured the beautiful church. It is very big and spectacular – I can’t imagine the work that must have gone into building it! I really liked the wall of crutches and splints for those who experienced a miracle!

We also went skiing at Mont Saint Anne. It was fun! There were many challenging

Split Crow - wintering in Quebec

Split Crow – wintering in Quebec

Split Crow - wintering in Quebec

Split Crow – wintering in Quebec

Ice Castle in Quebec

Ice Castle in Quebec

Jane sitting on an ice bed in the castle - a little cold!

Jane sitting on an ice bed in the castle – a little cold!

Crutches and canes - Saint Anne de Beaupre

Crutches and canes – Saint Anne de Beaupre

Dennis standing in front of Saint Anne de Beaupre Church

Dennis standing in front of Saint Anne de Beaupre Church

Old Port of Montreal in March

Old Port of Montreal in March

Basilica de Notre Dame - Montreal

Basilica de Notre Dame – Montreal

Wild turkeys in the yard - March 14

Wild turkeys in the yard – March 14

runs for us. When we first went up, we were covered in fog (since it had rained the previous day), so it was an adventure getting down the mountain. After a couple of runs though, the fog cleared, the sun came out and we had amazing views of the St. Lawrence!

We drove to Montreal and visited the old port to see how it looked in the winter. Not quite as busy! We went to Basilica Notre Dame for a light show that told the history of the church. Very worthwhile! Even Dennis was impressed! The show was about half an hour long and then we toured the church.

We left Montreal at 5:30 am and arrived safely home by 2:00 in the afternoon. The only exciting thing we found at home were a couple of wild turkeys wandering around the yard! (Real turkeys – not friends or relatives!)

In all, it was a good trip although we did a lot of driving! The plans are starting though, for our next adventure – down the St. Lawrence and over to the Magdalene Islands, PEI and possibly Nova Scotia.

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Posted by on March 15, 2013 in Everything Else!


The Split Crow Sail Bag

The Split Crow Sail Bag visiting Muskoka Living Interiors

The Split Crow Sail Bag visiting Muskoka Living Interiors

The Split Crow Sail Bag was made for Dennis’ birthday. It is made of sailcloth from the SV Orient Express, a sailboat that our friends Jim and Sharon owned. Its claim to fame is that it raced the Chicago to Mackinac Island race. I don’t know how it placed but its sail is now being used to make bags.

We went to Port Carling the other day so that Dennis could sell some of his bowls at Muskoka Living Interiors and the ladies were excited to see the bag and they would like me to make some for them. We got carried away and started taking a bunch of pictures of the bag posed in their shop. We thought that we might take pictures of the bag on our trips – kind of like “Old Pink” but without Dennis. Could be fun!

Anyway, this is our picture of the Split Crow Sail Bag visiting Port Carling. For more pictures of bags that are similar to this one, go to Bowls and Bags.


Posted by on March 9, 2013 in Everything Else!


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August 20 – Home

We left Quebec City at 6:00 am. We had spent part of the day before getting things put away and all secured. The boat is staying in the water until the Cirque du Soleil packs up, then it will get hauled out, placed in the Cirque parking lot and winterized by Global Marine. Dennis will be going back to the boat in June to get it ready for next year.

Our trip home was uneventful. We only made one mistake in Montreal (my fault) but we did manage to miss the construction so maybe it was a good thing. Nick drove the first three hours, then Dennis drove for a couple of hours. We stopped for a quick lunch at Lake of Bays at the Subway. Nick asked if I wanted to split a six inch meatball sub, so I agreed. When we got it, I broke it into two pieces and he kind of wondered what happened. He said it must have been a miscommunication – I guess he wanted to split a twelve inch sub! Oh well, we didn’t need to eat much anyway.

I drove after lunch for a couple of hours and then when we stopped for gas in Huntsville, Nick took over and got us home. So, the trip took 10 and a half hours. We were home by 4:30 – a little stunned, but happy to be home.

Here is a picture of our sailing route.


It was a great trip! Lots of fun and adventure! I think my favourite place was Montreal although almost everywhere we went was good. The weather cooperated – it hardly rained. It was very hot for most of the summer but since we stayed at a lot of marinas, we were able to use the air-conditioning often which offered some respite.

Anyway, that is all I have to say! Thanks for reading and commenting. Stay tuned for more adventures!

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Posted by on August 21, 2012 in Everything Else!



2012 “Shakedown” Cruise” – Killbear Marina to Bob’s Point

Hmm… the trip from Killbear Marina to Bob’s Point (in Parry Sound) went fairly well. It was interesting though at the very beginning as soon as the boat was launched. The water level in Georgian Bay has gone down considerably in the past year. The Split Crow draws 5 feet of water and there was only 4 foot 8 at the dock as well as in the channel leaving the marina. Luckily, the depth metre is not that accurate!

Dennis motored the boat by himself from Killbear to Parry Sound – the sails are still down below in the cabin. We are waiting for a calm day to set them. Once out of the channel, he put the boat in auto-pilot (which actually worked!) and went down below to check the engine. There were a couple of problems but he continued motoring on because the engine seemed to work.

Once Dennis arrived at Bob’s Point, he found out the various things that needed attention. The impeller (whatever that is) was all chewed up, so he bought a new one and installed it. That was fairly straight-forward. The other problem though was that the transmission was leaking water (sorry if I am unclear in this) and he spent a couple of hours trying to repair and replace the important O ring. His hand got mangled in the process – and now has this big red patch on it – I think he said that he got his hand twisted in the engine somewhere.

After spending several hours on the transmission, he gave up and come home to think it over. He’s back at it this morning with a new solution – something to do with crazy glue – I think he is going to cut the O ring, crazy glue and stick it back on the leaking transmission part. We will see if this works. Apparently, there was a problem before we owned the boat because someone else had previously worked on the same thing.

The other interesting problem is that a mouse somehow got into the cabin over the winter and left all sorts of parcels. I can’t imagine how it got in and I keep expecting to find its body but so far I haven’t. Dennis thinks that it must have gotten out because we had no food on board. I hope so. This has motivated me to clean the boat though and as soon as it is put back together, I will get on it.

So, good thing Dennis is handy – I am sure he really enjoys these mechanical puzzles. I said that when we actually leave, the boat will have no room for luxuries such as food because we’ll have to fill it with spare boat parts.

PS – the wind metre still works!


Posted by on May 26, 2012 in Everything Else!, Sailing in Georgian Bay


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Good-bye Killbear Marina…

Killbear Marina

After many, many years and three boats, we are finally leaving Killbear Marina. Our boat, the Split Crow, is being launched by Will and Ed Reichenbacher for the last time this morning. Dennis is planning on bringing the boat to Bob’s Point today and we will keep it there until June 29th. That’s when I finish work and we can start our summer vacation and the beginning of our trip out to the East coast.

Staying at Killbear Marina has been great for a number of reasons. First of all, it is located on Georgian Bay, near the outskirts, so we don’t have to motor for two hours to get out of the Big Sound area in Parry Sound. There are many great places near Killbear to sail and to anchor. For example, Regatta Bay, one of our favourite anchorages, is just around the corner.

Killbear is also a full service marina and probably the best place in the Parry Sound area to launch big boats. The marina has a travel lift, grocery store, restaurant and a marine supply store so we can always get what we need without having to drive the 40 minutes into Parry Sound.

We have stayed at Killbear for many years, since we first moved to Parry Sound in 1997 when we had Hetarae.  The owners of the marina are Will and Ed Reichenbacher – two brothers who have taken over the operation of the marina from their father Deiter, who started the marina many years ago. Will and his wife Wendy, have two girls and Ed and his wife Sharon have a boy and girl. The kids all attended Nobel School where I taught for many years. Our son Nick has also worked at Killbear since he was 15 being a dock boy and general helper in the summers.

So, although we are happy to get going on our next adventure, we are sad to leave to leave the marina. However, it is time to get going on our adventure and I am counting the days until school is done!

After many, many years and three boats, we are finally leaving Killbear Marina. Our boat, the Split Crow, is being launched by Will and Ed Reichenbacher for the last time this morning. Dennis is planning on bringing the boat to Bob’s Point today and we will keep it there until June 29th. That’s when I finish work and we can start our summer vacation and the beginning of our trip out to the East coast.


Another Boating Adventure!

Spring is really taking its time this year to arrive and our boat will be one of the last to be put in the water, so Dennis has been spending his time scheming on how to go boating. Here’s his solution!

Dennis and Nick launching the dock for a spin around Crow Lake.

Heading around the point - I hope they don't run out of gas!

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Posted by on April 22, 2012 in Everything Else!


What We Do In The Winter – Bowls and Bags

Click the picture to go to Bowls and Bags

Well, the sailing season in northern Ontario is pretty short. The boat is sometimes launched on the May long weekend and if we do actually go sailing, we just about freeze to death even if it is warm on land! The boat is also hauled out in September, so our sailing season starts in mid June and continues on to July and August, so it is a pretty short season. Of course I have to work from September to June, so that kind of puts a damper on sailing too. However, in a couple of years, I get to retire and then we can do whatever we want. And what we’ve been doing lately in the off season is making stuff. Dennis has discovered that turning wooden bowls is a lot of fun. He’s made quite a few and has also sold several of them too! I have been making bags – purses, tote bags, computer bags. This is a lot of fun too and we hope to sell these hand-crafted things at local craft fairs (once we make enough of them). So, we now have another website called Bowls and Bags. This is where we fill feature all of our things that we make in the winter when we are not sailing around. So, take a look at Bowls and Bags!

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Posted by on February 19, 2012 in Everything Else!, Waiting for summer...