Painting, Waxing, Cleaning and……Bugs
In the cooler climates of North America, the annual spring rituals that involve vessel maintenance and preparation are usually times of anticipation and excitiment for the coming season. As we look forward to the next phase of our extended cruise along the Great Loop, these feelings have certainly been at play for both the Captain and the Admiral.
In early May, with help from Doug Pringle (His Idea’s trusty and accomplished First Mate), John made a 10 day trip to Kingston to prepare and launch His Idea. Ria decided to remain at home, a wise decision given the number of unwanted guests that showed up to ‘help’ us (Admirals are wiser than Captains, that’s why they’re Admirals). With no previous exposure to what spring in Ontario is like, we were unsure of what to expect in terms of weather. Fortunately we were blessed with clear, calm and relatively warm conditions for the entire time we were there. Some days it even felt like summer.
Perfect conditions, yes? Not so fast! We had forgotten this is Ontario, land of the Canadian Shield – miles of forest, hundreds of rivers, thousands of lakes, and…..zillions of bugs! In this case, Mayflies. The good news was they don’t bite, but that’s the only good news. The bad news was they were everywhere – all over the canvas, all over the decks, all over everything. In the air, in the cabin, in the paint, up your nose. Our usual mantra of ‘wax on, wax off’ became ‘bugs off, wax on, wax off’ (and then bugs back on again). When we asked the locals if this was normal, we heard ‘oh, this is pretty good, you should have been here in ……(insert decade)’. When we asked if they would go away soon, we were reminded they were Mayflies, and that this was only the beginning of May. Oh good, only 30 more days to go! At this point the Captain swore he would never again complain about spring showers in Vancouver.
But enough complaining about being bug challenged. Preparations and launch mostly went smoothly and were completed on time; we had no major mechanical issues to deal with (many thanks go to Henry, Billie and the team at DC Marine for their friendly service and quality maintenance work); His Idea performed very well during her test run; we even had time for a cruise through the Thousand Islands to Gananoque. And we had fun!
So we’re ready to go and will return to Kingston to begin on May 30th. Our cruising plans this year include the Trent Severn Waterway, Georgian Bay and the North Channel of Lake Huron, south along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan to Chicago, and then down the Illinois and Mississippi rivers to Kentucky. We hope you’ll continue to check in on our progress from time to time, and comments to the blog, cheeky or otherwise, are always welcome.
A few pictures of our time in Kingston follow, and our next post will be sometime in June from the Trent-Severn…..