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July 1st – 4th, 2015 – still in Summerside :)

We are still living on the boat at the marina in Summerside and now that the weather has warmed up, it is much better. I did buy a set of fleece sheets and they have made a big difference. I think I will keep them on all summer while we’re on the boat. Cotton just seems to absorb all the moisture whereas these fleece sheets do not. Now, they are shedding quite a bit even though I washed and dried them on extra hot, so maybe a few more washes might do the trick. I would recommend them, so here is the link.

We spent Canada Day here in Summerside and it was quite nice. There were activities for the kids down at the Green Shores Park which is about a kilometre away if you walk on the boardwalk. There were quite a few bouncy castles and I wondered if they were tied down enough due to the continual winds here on the island, but nothing went wrong, so I guess they were fine.

The fireworks were really good, especially because we just sat out on our deck. There were all sorts of people on the boardwalk and the dock and everyone looked like they were having fun. Allan, from the computer store next door kept us well entertained with his nine grandchildren. They all seemed to have to use the washroom and none at the same time, so he spent most of the night walking back and forth with a different child in tow every few minutes. It was pretty funny!

The house is progressing well and William has the windows all done as well as most of the trim. Next week will be a big week as Chris will be working on tiling the floors and the kitchen is coming on Wednesday. Most of the lights were installed on Thursday and they look really nice.

William thought it might be an idea to put a mantle on the fireplace so here is a picture of the fireplace without a mantle and with a makeshift one (ignore the ladders and envision just the mantle). If you have an opinion, please make a comment! We’re not sure yet what we like better. Here’s the pic:

fireplace

Other than that, we went for a bike ride today to Kensington. We stopped at all the antique stores along the way. There is so much stuff! I really like the antique wooden crates so I might get one later on. It is a good idea to ride your bike though while shopping for antiques because you can’t carry much. Here are some pictures of last night’s sunset and our bike ride.

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That’s about all the news for today.

 

 
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Posted by on July 4, 2015 in Sailing in the Northumberland Strait

 

June 18th to June 28th, 2015 – Summerside

We have been very busy with the house renovations in the past ten days. We are at the stage where we have to decide on things such as paint, lights, trim, sinks, taps and doors. It’s been interesting researching all of this. Good thing William is knowledgeable and has helped make good decisions.

Big ships come into the harbour during the spring to unload gravel. PEI has no gravel so it all has to come by boat. Once the ship arrives, all the different companies show up with their trucks and haul it away. It is a very efficient process and the ship is usually unloaded within 24 hours. Dennis says that the price of gravel per truckload is the same as we paid in Ontario where the gravel pit was about 10 km away.

Last February during a storm, a City of Summerside snowplow hit the sign that was in the middle of the parking lot and did quite a bit of damage. The sign really was in the middle of the parking lot and I am surprised that more people did not run into it. The city’s insurance paid for the damage so we opted for a sign right on the building for Allan’s business Live Techs. The insurance company also paid to take away the sign in the parking lot but we couldn’t have them do this until we were in Summerside because of the huge cement base. We didn’t want a vehicle driving over the base and wrecking their car. On June 22nd, Sign Station arrived and took the sign away. Yay! If you check on Google Street View, you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Dennis rented some machinery to get rid of the cement base. All that is left now is a little pothole. We have arranged for it to be paved over as well as another job near the deck. Check the pictures below.

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We went to an old fashioned carnival last Friday afternoon. It was the last day of school so between 4:00 and 7:00, the City planned all sorts of activities for the kids. There were all sorts of old fashioned games and the volunteers were dressed up in period costumes. There was live music playing and treats for everyone. It was a lot of fun!

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The fireplace is done. Chris Blaquiere – the Tile Guy – had two of his crew members complete all of the stonework for the fireplace. It looks great! One of the tile workers is also a musician. His name is Nathan Wiley and he used to tour all over Canada opening for Blue Rodeo. He’s back in Summerside full-time now and does beautiful work. He’s a man of many talents. He’s got songs on iTunes, so just search for him there as well as songs on YouTube. Here’s a link to one that I like.

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So, that is all the news for now. Canada Day is coming up and I think we have a good location to watch the fireworks. We will see!

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2015 in Sailing in the Northumberland Strait

 

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June 15th, 2015 – Charlottetown to Summerside

We managed to get to Summerside this afternoon with very little effort. There wasn’t much wind so we motored the entire way except for a 15 minute stretch when Dennis pulled out the sail. Soon after, the wind puttered out. Nothing much happened on the way down. Once we left the Charlottetown area, we didn’t see anymore lobster pots, so the only thing to contend with was the bridge and it was easy to go under.

The big excitement though occurred last night. Someone was filming a tv series at the marina. It is called Just Passing Through and they were filming an episode for the second season. Here are a couple of pics.

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Other than that, not much else is new. As I said, we made it safely back to Summerside. The house is progressing well and I will be writing about that soon as we won’t be traveling anywhere for the next while. Here is a picture of us going under the bridge.

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This is a picture of the harbour from our new home. The sailboats are out racing tonight.

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That’s all the news for today!

 
 

June 14th, 2015 – Wood Islands to Charlottetown

We are supposed to be back in Summerside but due to the very strong north wind, we didn’t make it. About an hour after we left, the wind really picked up. It was supposed to go to 20 knots but it hit 40 more than a few times, so we either had to turn around and go back to Wood Islands or tough it out until we got to Charlottetown. We decided to tough it out and once Dennis brought the boat closer to land, it wasn’t nearly as bad. The wind was wickedly cold though – coming from the north so we were happy to see the inner harbour at Charlottetown.

The big event today while we were getting lots of sea action, was that there was a sudden crash down below. I went and checked and the mirror in the forward washroom had fallen right off and onto the floor. We were so lucky that it didn’t break! That is where we shower and I wouldn’t enjoy picking shards of glass out of my feet forever. You’ll see the pictures below of where the mirror is supposed to be and where it was placed today while under way.

It’s funny that the mirror fell off when it did because when we arrived at the boat on Wednesday, the aft washroom mirror had fallen off sometime over the winter and was lying on the sink. Interesting that the glue lasted fifteen years. It didn’t break so I went to the fishing supply store in Souris and bought some powerful silicone to glue it on. I guess we’ll be doing that tonight to the forward washroom.

Nothing much happened on the water today except for the mirror. There weren’t that many lobster pots to dodge so that made things easier. We did have a bit of trouble docking because of our instructions – the attendant told us that we would be docking on the starboard side and when we arrived, that wasn’t the case. We had to go back out of the marina and change the lines and fenders and come back in. So, I guess it is important to either make sure the dock attendant knows what he/she is doing or we need to rig both sides of the boat when coming into a strange harbour. Oh well, we just circled around once and Dennis was able to change everything to the port side.

I walked over to the No Frills and got a few groceries while Dennis hiked over to the other marina to buy fuel for the boat. We might need it tomorrow if it is anything like today! The weather should be better tomorrow though and maybe we will get to put up a sail.

Other than that, the only other funny thing was the “Harbour Hippo”. It is a cruise bus/boat in Charlottetown. After touring the city by land, the bus goes into the water and tours the harbour. When I saw it, it was playing the theme from Gilligan’s Island as it went into the water. I’m not sure it that would be my choice for a song but I guess it is better than the theme from the Titanic!

Charlottetown

 

That is all the news for today!

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2015 in Sailing in the Northumberland Strait

 

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June 13th, 2015 – Souris to Wood Islands

The “shakedown” cruise of 2015 actually went fairly well. Compared to most years, this one was quite low key. I remember last year when we left Souris and rounded the corner at Cape Bear, everything went crazy – lots of wind from several directions and big waves. This year was much better.

We intended to leave at 5:00 but by the time we got organized and the fog has dissipated, it was 6:30. We left in the rain but there was very little wind. That was good because we had to keep our eyes peeled the entire day! We were on the lookout for lobster traps and knew that if one wrapped around the prop, it would be very bad news. We managed to miss them all but our track was probably not a very impressive straight line. At one point, when Dennis was having a nap and I was in charge, I spotted a whole bunch of lobster pot markers and veered off course. The markers suddenly flew up into sky. Humph!

The weather was a typical Maritime day – rain, fog, wind, sun, more rain and then more sun. Most of our time on the water today was rainy but it did clear up at around 1:00 and became a beautiful day.

The highlight of the day was when a little porpoise came alongside the boat and started swimming beside us. He then went in front of the boat and swam right in front of the bow for a good five minutes. It was really interesting to watch him dive and come right back up in front of the boat.

Once we arrived at Wood Islands, we immediately went over to Crabby’s and learned that it was NOT open and that it had changed hands. The new owners will open up in July so we will see if they were able to get the lobster roll recipe from Crabby as it was awesome!

Not much else happened today. All is good – we will be heading to Summerside tomorrow but it will be a long day on the water. North wind so it should be good for sailing. We will have to keep our eye on the lobster pots again.

Wood Islands

 

Here is an older post of the 2012 Shakedown Cruise.

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2015 in Sailing in the Northumberland Strait

 

June 12th, 2015 – A PEI Lobster Dinner

Well, we cooked up our first PEI lobster dinner tonight. We have had lobster before, Dennis especially, since he lived on the east coast for nine years but this was the first time we actually cooked it ourselves on PEI. I wonder if that makes us islanders now?

Peter, the guy who runs the travel-lift for putting the boats in the water, brought us over four lobster after he had finished fishing this morning, so they were good and fresh. We had lots of advice from a variety of people on how to cook them but we decided to follow Peter’s recipe and use salt water and simply cook them for about twenty minutes.

They were pretty good to eat, I have to say! A bit of work though. Dennis had to use his giant set of pliers (that’s all he had on the boat) to crack the shells. Luckily, he knew what he was doing and we were able to have a good meal.

Here are a few photos:

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cooked lobster

Dennis using his pliers

That’s about all the excitement that we had today. We spent the day getting the boat ready to go tomorrow. It is looking pretty good and if the weather is good, we’ll be leaving at about 5:00 am for Wood Islands where we will stay the night. 

If you’re interested in an excellent podcast about fishing, CBC Ideas has one called, “The Mortal Sea”. It is really interesting and well worth a listen.

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2015 in Everything Else!

 

June 11th, 2015 – The Split Crow is in the water!

It has been quite some time since I’ve written on the blog so I will try and get everyone up to date by writing the condensed version of what we’ve been up to since September.

We bought an industrial building at 360 Water Street in Summerside, PEI. If you check it out on Google Street View, you’ll think we were crazy but we were given permission from the City of Summerside to turn it into our residence. The building is right on the water (the Summerside Harbour which leads out to the Northumberland Strait) and right downtown. It was exactly what we were looking for even though it didn’t really resemble a house. Dennis was the one who saw the potential of the building and we are now in the process of renovating it. Thanks to a number of Summerside people, Jeff Barry, Wilfred Smith, Scott Buchanan, Roy Kilbride, Denis the painter and especially William Jones (I will write an entire post about William in a few days but needless to say, he is one amazing carpenter!), the place is looking awesome! We should be able to move in at the end of July.

Here is a picture of before and after (so far…)

Before and after (so far...)

Before and after (so far…)

We bought 360 Water Street in August of 2014 and once the deal went through, we put the Split Crow away for the winter (in Souris, PEI) and went home to get ready to sell our house in the spring. Within a week of being home, we got an unexpected visit. Janice Hughes, the owner of Hughes Communications, had a boat to cottage on Trout Lake but was thinking that she would like to move to a more permanent location and had heard that our house was going to be for sale. She looked around and I knew within five minutes that she was going to buy our house. Long story short, she did and is very happy there roaming the trails with her dog Daisy and paddling around in Crow Lake. Here are the pictures of the place that I posted on Flickr.

We spent the entire fall, winter and spring getting rid of most of our belongings. Dennis had quite a bit of worldly goods that he had to “thin out”. He was going from 23 acres to about 50 feet so there was no room for his collection of treasures.

We finally managed to get rid of a lot of stuff, loaded up the rest in a 20 foot U-Haul and headed out on June 2nd for PEI. We arrived the next day in the evening and just about froze! There was a frost warning out – yikes! Over the next two days, we unloaded our belongings into two storage lockers and basically got in William the carpenter’s way because we were so impressed with the work that had been done. We could not believe the transformation. I will post pictures of it on a later date.

At 360 Water Street, part of the building is rented out to a computer company – LiveTechs. The owner, Allan Ramjattan, has been very patient with the construction. He is a great guy and so easy to get along with. The other part of the building used to be rented out to a hair salon but we will be turning that into Dennis’ workshop for our very small business, the PEI Wooden Spoon and Sewing Company.

We suspect that there were a lot of people wondering what we were up to. Somehow, (thanks William :)) we were interviewed by the Journal Pioneer. Here is the article.

Finally, finally, on to the boat! We have officially moved onto the boat for the summer and will be bringing it to Summerside on Saturday and Sunday if weather permits. The boat went in the water today and we are very comfortable on it. Here are a few pictures of it being moved from the yard to the water.

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If you’re interested in seeing the boat going into the water, please watch last year’s video – it was pretty much the same thing except that Dennis and Peter had different shirts on (we hope!). Here it is:

Anyway, that’s about all the news for tonight. As you can see from my final picture, the boat is safely in the water. 🙂

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Posted by on June 11, 2015 in Everything Else!