So, the past 16 months have been challenging, including no cruising to the U.S., which is one of the reasons the club decided to only offer a social membership this year. That didn't stop members from planning trips on their own and that's exactly what we did at the end of July 2021.
Bob Rankin reached out to the members to see who'd be interested in a trip to Port Maitland. We were on vacation that week so we were grateful to join. On Wednesday, July 28, club boats Sea Wolf (Bob), Catherine (Ron), Dance with Me (Johnny), and Zambezi (us), set off at various times, starting at 9 a.m., and somehow arrived together in Port Maitland around 7 p.m. You know what they say about more than one sailboat travelling together.
We headed up the river for about 20 minutes, when we landed at Port Maitland Marina. There were only slips available for two boats, so Sea Wolf and Dance with Me anchored in the river since they had dinghys with them. Here's my instagram post for that day.
We had dropped off my car at the marina the day before so we could explore the area. Once we were sure everything was set up for the night, we headed into town for some dinner. The only place open at that time of night was the New Amsterdam Pub. We were thankful for anything to eat at that point but the wings were really good!
The next day was rainy, so we started with some lunch at the onsite restaurant, Thirsty Mate, and then visited our Marina host's amazing brass museum. What a fascinating glimpse into the past. In addition to an astounding collection of brass of all shapes, sizes and functions, there were some great pieces of memorabilia on the walls. We saw a map of all the shipwrecks in Long Point Bay -- many from the 1800s!
After that, we toured the nearby No. 6 RCAF Dunnville Museum. The museum was actually closed in preparation for a huge fundraising sale the next day, so we would've missed the opportunity if it hadn't been for Bob, who arranged for a guided tour. Our tour guide helped us understand the background on many of the displays, which really enriched the experience. I had no idea the area was so steeped in aviation history. See my Instagram post for photos.
On Friday, Sea Wolf and Dance With Me headed back to Port Dover. We opted to stay another night to head back on Saturday. After a lovely potluck dinner aboard Zambezi, we watched the beautiful sunset and settled in for the night.
We set out for Port Dover around 9 a.m. Saturday morning. Winds were light, so we motor-sailed for 3 hours before things picked up. I posted on Instagram that it was a lovely, gentle sail at 4-5 kts. Within minutes of that post, the mast creaked and we were on our side, running at 6-7 kts. There are no photos or video of what happened next -- only eye witness accounts from Ron, Derrick and me. The winds were gusting at what felt like 25 kts. Six-foot swells beat us up pretty badly, occasionally swamping us when I had to choose between turning upwind to avoid being knocked right down or broaching a wave at the appropriate angle. Zambezi and Catherine fared well in the rough seas and after dropping our mains just in time, we motored into Port Dover Harbour Marina, greeted by a few of our club members who helped us dock safely. We have the best club members out there!
Looking forward to more trips this year. Hopefully next year we can join our friends on the other side of the Lake too!
Bonus! When we returned to pick up my car the next day, we were able to have breakfast at Flyers Bakery Cafe in Dunnville. Always a favourite!