Storm over the big water…

We have some catching up to do. On 7/7/12 we set out at 0500 with “Saltie with lime” to cross the widest part of Lake Ontario. A 70 mile stretch with no place to run and hide if trouble strikes and strike it did. All weather reports were perfect for seas less than one foot and winds under 10 mph with a 30% chance of showers but no thunderstorms until late afternoon when we would be safely across.

Four hours out into the middle, past the point of no return, the USCG issued a small craft warning to all boats and shortly thereafter issued a squall alert for the area just west of us and the wind was naturally blowing from the west helping it toward us. We consulted by VHF but no amount of talking would change the fact that we were in danger’s path! Just keep going.

Soon the radar and XM weather showed we were encircled by it. I have reprinted the picture of the radar screen showing us in the middle surrounded by storms. There was some lightening and this was the real concern. I would rather sink than get hit by lightening.

Luckily the wind was due to shift to the north which was our direction of travel. This meant the squall which was to the west would be knocked to the south and miss us. Also the storms ahead were broken up when the shift occurred and we were able to squeeze between them. We got some rain but very little considering we had expected to be drowned. I sure was happy to have found that fuse and fixed that radar a few days ago. When you need it you need it. A 223 meter ship was crossing our path out in that soup and we might not have seen him in time without it. As it was he crossed our stern about 2 miles away. Saltie never saw him until I called on the radio.

It took nearly 8 hours to cross and land loomed a welcome sight. I put up the yellow quarantine flag which marks us a a vessel comming from a foriegn port not having cleared customs. We eventually entered the Murray Canal where they collect a $5 toll with a tin cup on a poll as you pass by.

Finally arriving in Trenton we were greeted by a delegation on the dock at Frasier Park Marina and were glad to be welcomed. Clearing customs was so easy. Just a phone call and a few questions. We are legally here and entitled to fly a Canadian courtesy flag. Of course the Stars and Bars still proudly fly on the rear halyard.

That afternoon a boat with two children came in looking for a pump to blow up the water toy to tow the kids. I lent them a pump and they were so happy. my good deed of the day.

A cocktail reception was held at 1730 and so many fine folks were there. Afterwards Cbay went to dinner with Seabatical and 20BUCK$. Had Thai and Japanese. What a good feeling.

After dinner Pat blew the conch to signal the official time of sunset and everyone stuck their head out to listen.

 Tomorrow we tackle the Trent-Severn Waterway. Beauty and adventure await!