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Whereas last season Rebecca and I stayed pretty close to home while sailing, so far this season we have been trying to challenge ourselves a bit more. After changing the oil in Katana’s two engines on Tuesday (the first time we have done that when the boat has been in the water), and completing an entire list of other chores, we headed out to Big Sandy Bay on Wolfe Island. After consulting our charts and the weather, we chose this anchorage as we thought that it would give us good protection from the forecasted NE winds. Did it? Um, no, not so much. In fact, it was quite a rough night, and the thunderstorm didn’t make it any better. We were the only boat in the huge anchorage though so at least we didn’t have to worry about swinging into someone else or having them drag and hit us!

The little oil-change pump that came with our boat works quite well!

Zig-zagging through markers. We found the smaller ones were sometimes quite hard to pick up at a distance, even with our binoculars.

One rough night was enough though so we again consulted our charts. The weather was predicting thunderstorms later in the afternoon and the ominous clouds in the sky offered some validity to the forecast. We decided to make a run for it though and head along the southern coast of Amherst Island to Waupoos, a fairly popular area destination. The calm before the storm was in full force though and the 2-3 knots of wind were right on the nose. That’s what we have engines for though, right? With the weather supposedly going to turn ugly we didn’t want to spend any more time in the middle of the lake than we had to so after getting by some shoals we cranked the engines up, set the autopilot and enjoyed the smooth ride (the lake was almost like glass).

Pigeon Island… one of several spots we needed to avoid on the way to Waupoos.

On the tramp while the boat steers on auto.

Trying to distinguish what those far-off pieces of land are.

Yes Mr. Coast Guard, we do have charts for the area, and we were looking at them!

The area around Waupoos Island is very shallow. This was a good place to have our paper charts as the data on the chartplotter was lacking in detail. We ended up anchoring in 6′ of water, the shallowest area that we have been into (on purpose). The storms never did come that evening so we were able to catch up on the sleep that we lost while at the other place!

The clouds behind us as we arrived in Waupoos.

Fortunately we could not hear the sheep from where we anchored.

The pretty little marina at Waupoos.

The ferry between Waupoos Island and the mainland. Um…. yeah.

Did I mention I suck at fishing? All I managed to catch is our rudder. Don’t ask!

Can you say H Y P O T H E R M I A ?

The weather was calling for light winds for our sail back, and it certainly started out that way. We were really tempted to try flying our spinnaker, another first for us, when the winds jumped to 10 knots. I guess the BIG sail will have to wait for another day!


  1. Big Sandy Bay is quite a beautiful spot. It’s expensive to get to by land in the summer, and so doesn’t tend to be very busy…. and for some reason (quite possibly the rough conditions you describe) I never see more than one or two boats there.

    I suspect there hasn’t been any new investment in island ferries around here for several decades- still, I don’t think I’ve come across one being towed by a skiff yet. Most of them have cables (thankfully, we don’t seem to have too many skippers trying to cross ahead of a cable ferry 😉 ).

    (First time poster, but I’ve been reading for a few months- keep the great posts flowing 🙂 It’s a great incentive for the rest of us to try to spend more time out there.)

    • Hi Matt

      Thanks for the comment. I do think big sandy bay would have been much nice had the weather been better and there were less bugs. Our boat was once again swarmed by midges! We hope to get back there with some sunshine!

      • Ahh, the midges…. I don’t know why the Kingston area is so terrible for them. They’ve been known to shut down parts of the hospitals on occasion (you’ve seen what they do to your yacht, now imagine what happens when they get sucked into HVAC systems).
        We have a few mesh-veil hats that do a great job of keeping them out of your face…. two bucks each at dollarama, although they’re a (very) long way from fashionable.

  2. Helen A. Spalding

    Looks as though you are reaping the fruits of your labors, to mix metaphors! Looks like a good time. When do you head south?

  3. As long as you don’t fish-hook your mate, it’s all good. It’s been done, just not by me!

  4. Man – you have got a lot of dust on that camera sensor! Maybe get it cleaned before you leave? Which camera is it?

    • It is a Canon 30D. The lens might just be dirty. How can you tell, Michele?

      • You can see soft (out of focus) black/gray spots on some of the images – particularly noticeable on the first shot of Pigeon Island and the shot of the marina at Waupoos, plus the last one of the wet you!

        If it’s dust on the lens, it’s going to be on the front of the lens, as the spots are soft. If they were on the back glass of the lens, (closer to the sensor), they would be sharper as the focus point of any camera is within the body. But my bet is that the dust is on the sensor – or rather the piece of glass that covers the sensor.

        A couple of websites to check out if you want to do this yourself:
        The Digital Picture

        You can buy sensor cleaning kits, I recommend these from a good Canadian company – expensive but excellent: ;.)
        Visible Dust

        However, the process is not for the faint-hearted, as the slightest scratch can cause damage that can be costly to repair.

        Canon and some stores do offer sensor-cleaning as well.

        • I see the spots you are referring to. I am really careful when changing lenses to avoid getting dust on the sensor. I guarantee the lens (filter) is dirty. Hopefully cleaning that will help. I don’t think I want to try cleaning the sensor myself, but I do sincerely appreciate the info!

  5. Good to see you guys gaining confidence in yourselves and in the boat….All the hard work you are doing now will pay you guys back when you are out on the open sea or in remote anchorages….I remember the first time I anchored in less than ideal conditions….I kept the anchor alarm on but I slept zero that night….We were fine….Because of that night in less than ideal conditions, I gained so much confidence in the anchor and in my ability to anchor…Repitition is the only way to learn how to anchor, dock, line handling, changing the oil etc…….By the way Rebecaa, please leave that leaf like sweatshirt north whne you cross the border…Our colors are red/white/blue….

    • Thanks John. You’re right… the experience does add to confidence and skill.

      As for the sweater, she is determined to bring it with her. You may not be aware of this but Canadians are actually loved world wide! 🙂

  6. Was the rudder good eating? 😉

  7. There used to be a camp on Waupoos Island (although I think it’s closed down now), I spent a week there in high school. The people just laughed when we asked what time the ferry came, as if it had a schedule. I had a fantastic time though.

    • Nice. The weather wasn’t so good when we were there so we didn’t get off the boat. Next time though I’d like to visit that island, and also the mainland there. I think we’ll use our dinghy rather than the ferry though.

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