We got away on Essential for a few short days over the 4th of July, but our normal summer cruise group elected to wait a few more weeks to schedule our main cruise around the Ideal 18 Lake Ontario Challenge Cup, which was held at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club this past weekend.
We pulled out early Friday morning, hoping to cheat the weatherman who was calling for building winds well into the teens and backing from SW to W late morning. We enjoyed the first hour of the ride west, but the wind did build and back as predicted, and it got pretty snotty. We elected to bail out in Wilson for the rest of day. We enjoyed a tasty dinner and entertainment at the Wilson Boatyard Marina and were off to Youngstown the next morning.
We were in Youngstown to attend an old friend’s wedding. It was an interesting, different format. The wedding took place on the Niagara River. Announced as a “Flotilla Wedding,” the bride and groom were on Blue Moon, the YYC Committee boat, along with close family and a newly ordained official (who I was told had just completed his $50 online course).
Fifteen or so boats, with one hundred plus spectators, were there to witness the event and help cheer and celebrate with the newlyweds. Later, the party moved to the Porter Town Park where more friends showed up for libations, tasty snacks, and a great band playing well into the night. Sunday morning, we headed over to Toronto to catch the last day of the Ideal 18 Lake Ontario Challenge Cup. It was a perfect “powerboat” kind of day, crossing Lake Ontario with barely an occasional ripple on the water. The corridor from the Niagara River to Toronto was like weekend traffic on Route 95 in the spring when the Snowbirds head north.
The Ideal 18 Lake Ontario Challenge Cup event alternates between the Rochester Yacht Club and the Royal Canadian Yacht Club each year. The host club provides eight boats with each club fielding four teams and tight racing ensues. Our timing was less than ideal with only two races on Sunday, in lumpy, light air conditions. When we arrived, they were just towing in after cancelling racing for the day.
We did get to the afternoon awards ceremony to see the Rochester Yacht Club team, who took 1st (Skip Shumway), 3rd, 4th, 5th at the event. The hosting Ideal sailors put on an outstanding BBQ cookout with unlimited ribs on South Island for all the sailors, spectators, groupies, and just about anyone who walked by! On Monday, we were off to Whitby and the Whitby Harbor Marina, which is very clean with a very hospitable staff.
Then on Tuesday, we made our way to Cobourg, which is always a favorite for us. As we got near the harbor, we were informed there was a diesel fuel spill in the area of our dock assignments and we were all directed to the west side of the main pier while the hazmat team worked on clean-up. One of the marina staff said a very nice looking 60′ trawler came in late the day before with some fuel problems and tied up on the north wall. Reportedly, the bilge filled with diesel fuel and the bilge pumps proceeded to pump it out into the harbor. A hazmat team was called in with containment booms and pumps to clean the mess up. They were still working on it the next morning as we were leaving.
As I was pulling out of Cobourg, I was thinking of the potential cost of the clean-up of the spill and wondering who would get stuck with the bill. I believe I saw a clause in my yacht insurance policy that addressed this, with the coverage being on the high side. I think a call to my agent might be appropriate.
On Wednesday, we transited to Belleville, a stop we haven’t made since Covid started. Now, I am enjoying a quiet night sitting in Meyers Marina writing this article.
To be continued…
Notes: Traffic around Lake Ontario and the Bay of Quinte is the heaviest I have seen in many years. It’s good to see boaters out enjoying their boats again! New for me this year were the number of “Loopers” all flying their AGLCA Flags (Americas’ Great Loop Cruisers Association) from their bows. AGLCA’s mission is to assist boaters in all facets of their high-adventure, low-risk, long-distance journeys around the Great Loop. In that regard, they provide indispensable support to and among members and sponsors as they dream about, plan for, and cruise the Great Loop.