Category Archives: Everything Else!

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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Winter Sailing – Not!

Well, it has been quite some time since I last wrote. Summer is definitely over and we are actually wondering why it hasn’t snowed considering it is November 12th. We’ve had some cold days and quite a few cold and rainy days, but no snow yet.

Dennis has been checking on the boat and has covered it up for winter as you can see from the picture below.

The boat is covered now for the winter

He spent a lot of time trying to tarp the boat properly before the snow actually sets in. He will have to go to the marina to check on it about once a week. He is also doing something with the batteries but I really don’t know what it is. I don’t think it is that exciting.

The good news is that Dennis is researching our next trip via Google Earth. He is checking out the route and all the marinas that we will have to stay at next year. For those of you who do not know what we are planning, we hope to take the boat from Georgian Bay, down to Sarnia, then through the St. Clair River, eventually get into Lake Erie and then head up to Lake Ontario. From there, we will start heading up the St. Lawrence and we hope to get to Quebec City by late August.

I already told my boss that I would be unavailable to organize the “Summer Institute” which is a series of PD workshops for teachers during the week before school starts. We are not sure how long it will take to get to Quebec City. Just as long as I am home for Labour Day weekend.

The trip should be an interesting one but it will most likely be very hot and there won’t be much swimming as we will have to stay in marinas for the majority of the trip. There are very few places to anchor in Lake Erie and in Lake Ontario. We will though, be able to go see the sights in Port Dover, Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Burlington, Toronto, Kingston, Montreal and Quebec City. So, we will get lots of culture!

The following summer, we hope to start off at Quebec City and head up to the Gaspe Peninsula and eventually work our way to Prince Edward Island. That will be an undertaking! Once we get there though, it will be great! We will then hang around on PEI and work our way to Cape Breton. We want to go to the Red Shoe Pub and hear The Rankin Family sing. You never know – we might get lucky! We will then bring the boat to Halifax and keep it there over the winter. Not before going to The Split Crow though! We better get free drinks for all this effort of reaching the East Cost mecca!

The following year, we will bring the boat down the eastern seaboard. We would like to winter in the Caribbean – January 2015!

So, big plans – stay tuned!

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Posted by on November 12, 2011 in Everything Else!


Another Turtle Adventure, No Nexus Wind Instrument

We spent a good part of today provisioning the boat – I think it is almost ready to go. It seems to be a bit lower in the water, but we are prepared for anything! Of course, I always think that and we always, always forget something. One year, we had no cash (that was before banking machines, so it was a bit of a pain). Another year, we forgot the coffee and had to make detour into Britt and stop at Buissons to get their coffee – it was terrible but it had cafeine in it! I wonder what we’ll forget this year…

On the way home, we spotted another snapping turtle and Dennis, being the kind person that he is, brought it over to the other side of the road onto the gravel. If you’d like to see this heartwarming video, click on this link. We seem to be meeting quite a few turtles lately.

We are still having trouble with our Nexus wind instrument that we bought THREE YEARS ago at Fogh Marine. They now have the instrument and are apparently waiting on a code or something. Dennis has emailed them several times as well as calling them and they aren’t very good about speaking to us. We ended up having to email Marten Fogh and he suggested that we speak with Peter, who does not speak to Dennis anymore. He had someone else speak to him briefly today. Needless to say, it is too late to do much now as we are leaving, but we will be contacting our lawyer when we get back. Not impressed with the way Fogh Marine is doing business with us. It would be easier and less stressful to burn our money instead of dealing with them. That is unfortunate since we are spending a lot of money these days on the boat and would like to deal with a company that will at least return our calls.

Other than that, we are all set to go. Dennis is leaving tomorrow. His crew consists of Glen and Nick – that will be an interesting four days! They are coming back on Friday and then we will change crews. I will be finally finished school, so I will get to go!

Our house is being looked after by Gabor – a friend – who has kindly agreed to look after Jodi, the guard beagle who is about a hundred in dog years! I think he’ll enjoy himself and we feel safe having someone in the house.

Stay tuned for more adventures – they might include another turtle!

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Posted by on June 25, 2011 in Everything Else!


April 2011 – Uncovering Split Crow

Uncovering Split Crow - April 2011

We have had a very long winter – unusually cold temperatures. Finally, on April 8th, Dennis went out to the marina and uncovered the Split Crow. He spend all day taking the tarps off, putting up the canvas and generally getting things ready. Of course, it was a beautiful day, so he didn’t mind at all. He spend a good part of yesterday (April 9th) getting the boat back in order too. He put the interior back together and completed a bunch of tasks that needed doing inside.

Dennis also spent a lot of time cleaning deck of the boat. He polished and cleaned and made it look great!

Dennis cleaned the sliding hatch

He took the sliding hatch apart (this has the solar panel on it) and cleaned up ten years of disgusting dirt.

I arrived just in time – he was all done! All I did was take a few pictures and then give him instructions as to what I wanted done before we go away for the summer. This year, we really don’t have many major projects but I do want a switch installed near the shower that runs the sump pump. We have a very high quality pump (it’s the third replacement so we bought a good one) but it is very noisy and the switch to turn it on and off is way over near the nav station, so I have to turn the switch on, then run over to the shower and as soon as I’ve done the shower, the noise of the pump just about drives me off the deep end, so before I even towel myself off, I have to run back to the switch while I’m dripping wet and turn it off. So, Dennis is going to put another switch right outside the shower.

Another thing I would like is a good place to store the fresh fruit and vegetables. Last year, I kept them in a bin under the bed in the forward cabin and I may have to do that again, but I would prefer an alternate storage container. If there are any other Hunter 420 Passage owners out there who have figured this out, please let me know. I am open to suggestions!

There are a few other little things that need to be done, but basically, we are waiting for the ice to melt from the bay so that we can launch the boat! Hopefully before the May long weekend but we’ll see – spring is a couple of weeks behind this year.


Favourite Boat Recipes

Ok – I have a whole list of recipes (look in the main menu) but my favourite are the easiest (of course!) to make – I just like to “hurl” everything in a bowl, so here are my top five recipes. Add your own recipes in the comments section and I will add them to the main recipe page!

Coffee Cake (from Bessie Flynn or Forteau, Labrador)

⅔ cup white sugar
2 tsp butter
1 egg
½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1¼ cup flour
⅔ cup milk

Mix together and place half the batter in a loaf pan.

1 tsp cinnamon
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup white sugar

Mix together and put on batter. Add the rest of the batter and bake at 350.

Never Fail Chocolate Cake (from the Legion Cook Book)

3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
2 cups sugar
6 tbsp cocoa
10 tbsp oil
2 tbsp vinegar
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups cold water

Mix dry ingredients together in bowl, make three holes and put oil in one, vinegar in another and vanilla in the last one. Pour cold water over all of it and stir. Bake at 350 for one hour.

Snickerdoodles (Susan Johnson of Dunchurch, Ontario)

1 cup margarine
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
¼ cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
3 ¾ cups flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp cream of tartar
2 tsp salt

Form dough into 1 inch balls. Dip in sugar and cinnamon. Bake at 375 for five minutes.

Blueberry Buckle (pick the berries while anchoring somewhere on Georgian Bay – Covered Portage Cove perhaps?)

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ cup butter
¾ cup sugar
1 egg
½ cup milk
2 cups blueberries

Topping ingredients:

¼ cup butter
½ cup sugar
⅓ cup flour
½ tsp cinnamon

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg. Add the flour, alternating with milk. Toss the berries in 1 – 2 tbsp flour and fold in. Pour batter into 8 inch spring form pan. Set aside.

Combine ingredients for topping with fork to make crumbly mixture. Sprinkle over batter. Bake for one hour.

Arrabbiata (John Henderson)

1 can tomato sauce (28 oz)
2 garlic cloves
Chili powder
2 tsp olive oil
Fresh parsley

Brown garlic and chili powder in olive oil. Add tomato sauce. Simmer 15 – 20 minutes.

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Posted by on March 22, 2011 in Everything Else!


Obnoxious Boater Rant

I have noticed an increased number of obnoxious boaters this year. Although the nice boaters certainly outnumber them, the obnoxious ones are coming out of the woodwork!

The number one obnoxious behaviour of boaters is their loud music. When in a marina, you are practically living on top of one another, so it seems to me that you would take extra precautions to be considerate of one another. The first time an obnoxious boater played his music was our very first night on the boat in Parry Sound – July 1st. Everyone was getting ready to watch the fireworks, the marina was packed, and this guy on a powerboat turned up his music full blast. After a good fifteen minutes, his wife turned it down but once she went safely down below, he turned it up again and started dancing! Good grief! Somebody asked him to turn the music down and he answered that he liked annoying people. He was right!

The loud music has occurred on a number of occasions, and I don’t want to generalize but on every occasion, it has been on a powerboat. When we were in Little Current on July 5th, a powerboater turned up his stereo and played the American National Anthem full blast. First of all, he was in Canada, and second of all, it was July 5th! After this endearing move, he continued to play (more softly) cheesy elevator music for the next hour.

The best incident though was actually unbelievable! We pulled into St. Amant’s in Britt beside a powerboat named Studio 54. I am naming this boat because the man who owns the boat clearly needs to have an attitude adjustment. He played LOUD music the entire afternoon and evening – Jimmy Buffet, music from the 70s and disco! The people on the other boat that were traveling with him told us to just wait until he got the disco ball. We, of course, thought they were joking. They were not! So, this idiot played his music until someone complained and Mr. St. Amant had to come out and tell him to turn it down.

In conclusion, I find it hard to believe that other people can be so inconsiderate. This is truly obnoxious behaviour! End of rant!


Gore Bay Rainbow

Remember to keep checking Old Pink! We are updating this often!

After raining for most of the day, this is what came of it!


Posted by on July 18, 2010 in Everything Else!


July 18 – Gore Bay

Remember to check the Old Pink post – it was updated today. It took a bath!

For the first time on the trip, it is raining. That is actually a good thing because we stayed an extra day and toured around. We got a ride from an elderly gentleman – Bill – who took us to Kagawong. We checked out the Bridal Veil Falls. The falls does not have as much water as it used to but it was still fun to go in. The town of Kagawong has made a lot of improvements – there is a new staircase, which is very well built, to get down to the falls. There is also a walking path that will take you back to Kagawong if you choose.

We toured the village and then Bill took us out to the lookout via a road that was closed, but we went anyway – it was somewhat bumpy but we did manage to get through to the other side. Bill was a good guide though and knew a lot of history of Manitoulin Island. We were also treated to a drive-by of the former Gore Bay turkey processing plant which has been converted into a funeral home.

Dennis bought a very tiny folding bike and he drove around town for a while. It is kind of cool – it comes in a duffle bag. I tried it and if you are just interested in bombing around, it is great! Obviously my bike is much better for going any distance but it is really not that handy for driving around town. Surprisingly, I haven’t used the bike much since I discovered jogging. It is certainly not as fun to jog, but you get a better workout in a shorter period of time, so for me, an hour’s run is equivalent to a two hour bike ride. I haven’t mastered the art of getting a good swim workout yet, so that is next.

Dennis met up with a couple from Goderich, Ontario who live on their homemade trawler full time. They winter in Goderich and spend the summers in Gore Bay. I can’t imagine enjoying a real winter on a boat but they seem quite happy. I was hoping to wrangle an invitation onto the boat, but the captain is sleeping (it’s raining so he may as well…).

We are going to watch a movie tonight – The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo – I unfortunately downloaded the Swedish version with English subtitles, so it might not be that great!

Here are a few photos of Bridal Veil Falls and Gore Bay.

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Posted by on July 18, 2010 in Everything Else!


Old Pink

The following pictures show where we’ve been. Notice the lovely shirt!


Posted by on July 17, 2010 in Everything Else!


Meldrum Bay – Gore Bay – July 16, 17

We had a wild sail from Harbor Island to Meldrum Bay yesterday. The boat was really going fast in the strong wind (not that we would know the speed – sigh…) but we had lots of fun. The end was not great though when we were trying to bring the sails in – lots of lines whipping across the boat. I’d hate to be hit by one of them!

We were forced to go to the dock to speak with the Customs officer – on the phone. That seemed a bit bizarre as we could have just anchored out and rowed the dinghy to the dock. We would have avoided the black black tire mark on the side of the boat but the cabana boy polished that out very quickly once we were safely anchored.

We decided this morning to leave at 7:30 for Gore Bay. The wind was perfect – right behind us the whole way. Waves were six feet but we weren’t pounding into them, so it was fun – kind of like riding a small roller coaster. We sailed the entire way and were safely docked at 1:00.

We went to the laundromat (very necessary) and then did the shopping. I had three trips to the grocery store and filled up on lots of produce plus a case of club soda.

Tomorrow, it is supposed to rain so we are not sure what we are doing. We would like to get to Bridal Veil Falls in Kagawong and Dennis found someone who might drive us. Should be another adventure, I’m sure!

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Posted by on July 17, 2010 in Everything Else!