We have a big, heavy, cumbersome boat. I don’t want to say that she’s old as she’s exactly ten years younger than me and I’m in my damn prime, but she is stubborn and wants everything her way. In this relationship love triangle between John, myself, and the boat, the boat wins. Every time. I’m okay with that. We both know she comes first, and hopefully that will mean we will all have a good, solid, respectful relationship over the next several years.
Our boat also takes her time. It’s challenging to explain this to a person who is unfamiliar with (especially large, heavy) sailboats. We have a cruising speed of approximately four knots for maximum fuel efficiency, but can push it to four and a half if need be. We haven’t attempted above that speed given our distrust of the engine, though she has (knock on wood) been behaving very well.
Four knots is equal to 7.41 kilometres or 4.606 miles per hour. The average human walking speed is around 5 kilometres per hour. So if you could walk on water, you could basically keep up with us doing a nice solid power-walk, or possibly prancercise.
If one drove to Kingston from Hamilton, it would take about three and a half hours given optimum traffic, four and a half to five hours if you’re combating Toronto rush hour. Google maps tells me that it would take a day to bike there. We’ve obviously decided to take the scenic route.
We set off from Hamilton Harbour at 2:30 pm after having a long shower, good lunch, and topped up the fuel. After our traditional send off from Robert, we began the trek across the lake.
Six and a half hours later we watched the sun go down over Mississauga and saw the Toronto skyline transform. An hour later I left John for his first night watch.
It was a quiet night, and I came up to relieve John (and Jarvis, our newly named autopilot) just before sunrise. John caught me up on the course, the weather, the plan, and then pointed behind him at the Toronto skyline which you could still plainly see the lights of on the horizon. Slow moving indeed.
Let me just say that I adore Jarvis. As the sun came up, I was free to move around the boat to grab some photos while Jarvis did the work. As long as you don’t need him to change direction, he’s your machine.
Sunrises and sunsets are spectacular on the water. I definitely could get used to this.
The lake started to get choppy shortly after sunrise and we weathered the rolling and weaving through the water. Decked out fully in our foul weather gear, it was cold during the nights and brisk through most of the day. We arrived in Kingston before the office opened at Confederation Basin Marina so we navigated our way in after circling around the entrance a few times, and tied up until we could hail someone to show us to the right spot. We were tired from the two full night shifts and from the newness of it all. There were learning curves and guesswork and a few minor freak out sessions on my part. (I find comfort in knowing exactly what to do and where to go and I was completely out of my depths, so to speak.) But despite John’s exhaustion, my anxiety, and Jarvis’ lack of a sense of humour, we made it.