Category Archives: 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...


Garmin Forerunner 310XT

The reason I am writing about the Garmin Forerunner 310XT is because when I am on the boat, I like to get exercise and unless I can track my distance, I tend to cheat. So, I got this tracking device 18 months ago from Mountain Equipment Co-op and it has been very reliable.

Garmin Forerunner 310XT

I have used the Garmin for kayaking, cycling, running, walking and even for swimming (although I’ll need to go over the pitfalls for underwater) and its accuracy is amazing. You turn it on and wait for it to find the satellites. If you’re moving around, it does take quite a while (sometimes five minutes or so) to find the satellites, but if you’re holding still, then it usually only takes a minute. Once the satellites have been located, you press Start, and away you go! Your distance as well lap speed is recorded.

I find that it is clunky because it is so big, so if I am running, I don’t keep it strapped to my wrist. I just hold it in my hand. Probably someone who is a bigger person would not have a problem with it. When I use while I am kayaking, I just lay it down on the kayak (in the cup-holder) and watch my progress. As for biking, I just attach it to my front bike bag. I did use it for swimming, but it was not that great because every time the Garmin goes underwater more than a foot or so, it loses the satellite and has to find it again so it was not terribly accurate. Also, I worried about it falling off my wrist and if I lost it in Georgian Bay or the North Channel, I’d never find it again.

The battery time for the Garmin is pretty good, about 4 – 6 hours. It is a good idea though, to check the level of the battery after each use so that it can be recharged as that takes quite some time – well over an hour if it is drained.

As for uploading the data, that works well except again, it takes quite some time. What you have to do is plug a little USB device into your computer, turn the Garmin on and then put it near the USB. The Garmin will sync itself and upload the data onto the Garmin website (you have to create an account). You do need to have Internet to upload the data and it takes about ten minutes or so. However, everything is stored – all my info is there since I bought the device in June 2010. You can download spreadsheets and also check out your routes on Google Maps, so there’s a lot that can be done.

The Garmin failed on me twice – once while I was kayaking at Covered Portage Cove – the screen went a little wild so that I couldn’t read it. I turned the Garmin off and on but that did not help. After about half an hour, it fixed itself and I don’t know what it did. I also had an incident in the fall where the Garmin would turn on but not show anything on the screen and I thought it was broken. I then thought I should sync it with the website, and it downloaded new software which made it work again, so I guess it is important to keep the software updated. It hasn’t let me down since and I’ve used it quite a bit for running and for skiing.

All in all, I do like it and it works everywhere we’ve been, so I would recommend it if you need to know your distance and speed. It is very accurate and does let you set goals. It is pricey but it really helps, especially if you are getting cabin fever because you’ve been on the boat too long and have not been getting enough exercise. So, it is worth it!

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Posted by on January 31, 2012 in Everything Else!, Products


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