Category: Adventure

Jul 19

The fjord Baie Fine

So they say that Baie Fine is a unique fjord; They claim it’s it’s the only fresh water fjord in the world. We couldn’t pass by it’s mouth and not explore deeper.
There is a popular off-shoot at the very end of the fjord called “The Pool” where cruisers and sightseers head because of the beautiful scenery and walking trails to nearby lakes. We decided it was best to avoid the beaten path and stay in a secondary popular location called Mary Ann’s Cove… unnamed on the Canadian charts but “everybody” knows that’s what it’s called. I guess we’re now in the inner circle of cruisers!

Feng on the foredeck watching for underwater rocks, the Admiral makes sure I'm steering straight.

We arrived to find our new friends Patty and Dave on their Nonsuch 30 (32?) already swinging at anchor.  The unique, single sail boat is what they call cat-rigged and doesn’t have the traditional boom and two-sails like most sailboats.  I’ve loved the Nonsuch for years (there’s one in Tobermory I’ve often eyed) and so I liked looking at Patty and Dave’s while at anchor.  With a wide beam, a LARGE mainsail and its unique wishbone boom, it makes for a comfortable cruiser.  What it lacks in upwind performance, it surely makes up off the wind and in liveability.  This one is called Pelican.

The Pelican swings at Anchor

In Mary Ann’s cove, a deep clear-water cove, power boats anchor their bows out in the cove then tie their sterns ashore.  We decided to just drop a hook and swing as the wind would take us.  After we got settled, we were invited to a wine & appetizer get-together on a large powerboat… errr… I forget the name but it was owned by Norma and… Paul?  Feng decided to nap, but I went along to meet some new people.  Definitely a nice little boat!  Another one of the powerboats in the cove was large enough that it had two full King size beds.  What a far cry from our little Vixen.

In the morning, Feng and I planned to go hiking up to Cassan Peak.  Patty and Dave were also going on the same hike and invited us along in their dinghy so we could hike together.  Rossi had a blast.  Off-leash, mountainous wooded area with tonnes to explore.  The day was hot.  Not a little hot, but HOT.  Fortunately we were under the cover of trees for most of the hike up and there was a good breeze blowing, but it was still hot.

We reached the first lookout as we got above the trees…

You can see Baie Fine in the foreground and McGregor Bay further out.

Can you spot the sailboats in McGregor Bay?  We are high up.  Maybe this one will help…

McGregor Bay ... Can you spot the two, large sailboats?

There were piles of wild blueberries up in the hills.  Patty, Dave and Feng begain filling ziplock bags as fast as they could.  It was tiring work but really worth it.

Picking Blueberries high above Baie Fine.

Feng gets in on the blueberry picking action.

Even Rossi went for a roll in the blueberry patch! She was covered in bits.

The view was stunning.  Now for a flood of photos from the top of Cassan Peak.

Another view across Baie Fine and McGregor Bay.

Feng and Rossi sit on the warm rocks in the hot sun. Stunning view.

Patty and Rossi make it to the peak before I do.

Rossi sits at the top of the world, surveying her Kingdom.

Sitting on top of Cassan Peak.

It really does look like a bunch of “sitting around” on our hike.  But really, it was a long way up and I didn’t stop to take [many] photos along the way.  At least Dave got some work done…

Busted! I caught Dave working on his vacation. Ok, maybe he was sending photos to his kids.

Ok, there's a better pose. Looking like they're enjoying time away from family, work and hustle and bustle.

Work or kids? You decide...

ok… and then back to viewing the sights.

Baie Fine in the background. D'oh! I forgot to take off the dorky chin strap.

A hawk flies beneath us. We did see vultures later... perhaps it was a vulture.

Taking in the scenery.

Before I finish this post, I’d like to take a little aside.  You see, Valentina Rossi is a water dog at heart.  She spends a great amount of time swimming at home and on this trip, she has spent hours upon hours swimming from the dinghy, the boat, from shore, accidentally off the dock etc.  I didn’t think we’d end up with a wet dog, for once, on our hike up to the peak.  But, if you know the Lagotto Romagnolo, they can find water ANY where.  She found the only water at the peak and…

She's a water dog through and through.

It was really rather amusing.  She stepped into it, turned her head and you could see the wheels turning… she looks down and slowly lied down nice and slow.  She looked up at us and, I swear, smiled.  A big doggie grin.

Rossi looking pleased with herself after she discovered she could lie down in the puddle and wasn't going to get in trouble.

That’s all the pictures I can get uploaded at this time via 3G… this slow speed is killing me.



Jul 17


We’ve been out of touch with the Internet world since we were up in Killarney.  I probably should have setup my 3G modem before we left but I hadn’t bothered and we were quite happy with the break from technology.  All of that being said is to cover up for any gaff’s I make with this and the next few posts… neglected experiences, people and disjointed thoughts are a result of my poor memory.

Killarney is a quaint and pretty little town; They claim the population is 454, but I’m sure when the boating season is here that number more than doubles.  It was quite a busy little channel with fishing boats, pleasure craft and tenders plying to and fro.  As we approached the Sportsman’s Inn, we saw Lyre at rest right ahead of our assigned slip!  ha!  Looks like we took different routes with different schedules and yet still randomly ended up at the same place.   Sportsman’s Inn which had very professional staff and excellent facilities;  It was finally nice to see the dock hands run for the boats and then know what to do with the lines once they were received.  Not only that, but the washrooms and showers were constantly being cleaned, there was a restaurant that delivered pizza to our boat as well as bar and hotel – both of which we did not utilize.  Once again, I neglected to take a photo.

Down the street lay the rest of the town; Not much to it and the few stores they had were extremely expensive.  But first we must talk about the fish & chips shop… of which I did not take a photo.  Right out front of the fishery is a converted bus that now serves as the local fish & chips shop.  The fish wasn’t battered, like Captain Highliner, but had just a dusting before being deep fried.  Their claim of “Best Georgian Bay White Fish” may be justified. It was really good!  (… even though I did end up having a few stomach issues after eating more than my fair share.)  After having a nice fish & chips dinner we wandered back to the Inn where we invited Betsy and Darwin (Lyre) to share wine on our boat.  They brought with them a special bottle of wine from Spain that was just excellent – very dry, just my style but a little much for Feng.

We had decided to outfit in Killarney before our week away so we stayed an extra night;  This was both a good and bad decision.  We definitely needed to outfit and taking an extra day allowed me to get a few chores done but the supplies were criminally expensive.  We visited the rigging shop, grocery (if you can call it that) store as well as made a few stops at the ice cream / family restaurant for snacks.  Then down to chores…

The toilet water pump was working but intermittently would lose it’s suction, needing a full priming before it would go again.  The flaky nature was a bit frustrating although more of a nuisance than a real problem.  It needed a new gasket – a simple rubber cut out that was priced at over $22, and a full maintenance kit was $89.  What?!  $89??? Really now.  Instead, I purchased a new, upgraded pump for $109.  MSRP $89.  *sigh* the middle-of-nowhere premium was paid in full.   I set to work replacing the toilet’s water pump and the task was simple.  6 bolts, sprayed with a bit of shit (dammit, that WASN”T supposed to happen!!!) and then bolt it back in place.  Yes, I really was sprayed and Feng nearly puked.  After that, I discovered the clamp between the toilet discharge hose wasn’t properly seated so I recut the hose and re-clamped it.  It still wouldn’t seal quite right so I made my own seal out of electrical tape which seems to have done the job.  Two chores done.  On to unclogging the ice box drain… Designers of sailboats usually consider access to critical bits and pieces but wouldn’t you know it that the clog in the hose was precisely where it couldn’t be reached??  Right.  Some environment-killing Liquid Plumber later and about 1.5 hours of snaking coat hanger through the pipe we now have a trickle of drainage.  All we need, but at least it’s moving.  That’s it, 3 chores and I’m spent.

We went through our checklist and made sure we had everything we needed for a week in the wilderness… fly swatters? check.  Food?  check.  All systems go? check.  With that, we relaxed for the evening with pizza and fish & chips on the boat and waited to set out early.

I finally snapped a few quick pictures of Betsy and Darwin leaving on Lyre… unfortunately, the photos didn’t turn out well.  I’ll post them but please don’t shoot the photographer.

Darwin backs Lyre out of a difficult spot! Expertise is shown.

Darwin waves goodbye after a good visit. Betsy looks after the foredeck.


Jul 09

Sailing to Killarney was a breeze!

Sailing to Killarney was a breeze.  Our course was ever-so-slightly to the northeast and the wind was beautifully out of the southwest.  Once we cleared the lee of Club Island, the engine was off and sails were up at a perfect 130 degrees of apparent wind.  We blasted away, at over 5 knots under sail alone.

At one point, we had to sail deep – close to 180 degrees – and (although slightly unsafe) decided to sail wing & wing.  Yes, I know better than to do so without a boom preventer but I was steering a careful course and only went by the lee for a short time to open up the genoa.  There’s something ‘just right’ about sailing wing & wing… even if it is somewhat inefficient.

The girl is able to spread her wings.

Sailing slightly by the lee to keep open her up. Happy Feng trimming the genoa.

We only saw one sailboat and one freighter all day;  We all happened to meet at the same time and in the same space!

Freighter: Close and Personal

Spinnaker flying sailboat meets Freighter head on...

To put the above two photos into perspective, realize that the sailboat is 30-40′ long and the mast is even taller.  Take a look at this and consider the height of the bow wave and the sheer bulk of the lake freighter.

That's a 30-40' sailboat, meeting a lake freighter. Look at that bow wave!

Fortunately, no harm came to him… you can see his mast just peaking over the side here.

Catch the spinnaker, just slightly above his main deck.

That was our excitement for the day.  The rest of the trip was gloriously uneventful and we arrived in Killarney with lots of time to spare.  Wouldn’t you know it, but we ended up at the same marina as our friends on the Lyre.  So far, that makes Goderich, Kincardine, Tobermory and now Killarney!  I swear, we’re not stalking them.


Jul 09

Our day at Club Island

We spent the day relaxing and exploring this little island.  We discovered rocks, poison ivy and beautiful sunsets.

Me in my element. Reading a book, in a place far away from civilization.

Rowing back to the boat with the Admiral looking on.

The admiral keeps watch as new boaters arrive and sea gulls stay out of he reach.

Eventually the sun must set.  There were six boats that eventually made it into the harbour, ranging from our small 26′ up to a giant 54′ beauty from the USA.

Sunset at Cove Island

Another sunset photo... I just can't get enough.

The 6 vessels hiding away on a remote island. Need you ask why we sail?

And the row back to the boat… I had to take another one.

One last picture of the boat.

The evening comes to a close with three fantastic reflections of the sun…

The sun reflects of the clouds and water.


Jul 09

Little Tub

We spent two nights in Tobermory, in Little Tub, being in the heart of the action… although, there wasn’t much action after the tail-end of Canada Day long weekend.  Beaver Tails for breakfast, Georgian Bay Whitefish & Chips for dinner and some steaks on the BBQ.  It was pretty laid back

Vixen tucked away in Little tub harbour, Tobermory.

The facilities in Tobermory are very clean and the staff is professional.  There are few transient slips, and it seems like much fewer than when I was younger.  Lots of pedestrian traffic looking in at the boats… that’s great if you want to meet people and not so good if you want some privacy.  We met a number of new folks, Hugh the previous owner of the Crow’s Nest gave us the local news, and Michael in Shipwreck Lee’s gave us the local gossip.  A number of folks stopped by to talk about the Contessa with one young guy, Jesse, who was extremely interested in sailing to the Caribbean in one!  Good luck to him.  I hope to run into them again when we pass through going south, maybe we’ll get him out for a sail if we can.

Once again, we’ve run into our new friends Betsy and Darwin on their Lyre.  Darwin built their 31′ Hunter in 1985 as a kit boat and it’s beautifully done with ash wood interior and designed with the comforts of home.  Must be nice to have pressure water!  I wish I had taken a couple photos while we were having sundowners onboard.  They plan to stay another day or two before heading north… but not us, we’re on our way just a few miles north to Cove Island.

Overlooking Tobermory from the walking path

We couldn't decide which photo to post, so I posted all 3 of the same.



Jul 05

It’s a long, long way to Tobermory

Up before dawn, 3:30am to be precise, pack up, load up, fill up with diesel and off we go.  The weather forecast for Port Elgin, Sauble Beach and Tobermory all agreed that the winds would be light; 5-10 knots at best and would fall off in the evening.  We’d bite the bullet and motor the 11 hours north.

The sunrise was gorgeous as we left at 5:15am, an hour late and the winds were already picking up…

Morning: Lighthouse on Chantry Island

Sun rising over Southampton. 5:15am departure from Port Elgin

Bleary eyed girls, not accustomed to seeing the sun rise.

The wind was picking up and out of the northwest so we motored for a couple hours as we woke up.  Around 7:00am, the winds were still pretty strong, and still too far north for us to keep our proper course but it was faster to motorsail off-course than to power directly into the wind.  The wind picked up to about 13 knots and we began sailing… probably the only time of the trip where we got a good sail-only section of travel.

Sails up and we're cruising.

The wind kept picking up and it was still from a steady 320-340 degrees so we motorsailed… and motor sailed… and motorsailed.  The northwest rollers were slamming us, and even though we were slicing through them – thanks to our thin, ocean-going hull design – the big waves  would grind our process to a halt if we hit them wrong.

Close-hauled, punching holes through each of the waves, we spent 13:40 hours on a rollercoaster of a ride north.  It was a long trip, we managed to take a few naps… I think I had two 40-minute naps, while the napigator also managed to close her eyes.  Rossi slept like a baby for most of the trip.

Bravely sleeping in waves of over 1 metre and wind up to 20 knots.

We eventually had to give up on the motorsailing and head directly into the wind to clear Cape Hurd.  Bunching 4 hours north directly into each wave at a mere 3.5 knots … that’s less than 7km/h for the land-folks!

We rounded Cape Hurd and expected a wicked down-hill run, which would have been the perfect angle of sail for the steady 16-18knot winds we’d had all day… but, Murphy was watching, and the wind died.  Yes.  Dead calm.  We had our sail out for a total of about 5 minutes before it shut right down.  I had to laugh, and smile.

It was a fantastic feeling to finally get to see Tobermory from the water side.  It’s beautiful.  The islands to the north are begging to be explored, although the charts show perilous rocks just below most of the surface.  I hope we get to anchor out there a few nights on our way back!  Or maybe even tomorrow…


Jul 03


The time came to cast off the lines and head out on the big adventure.  I hate to admit it, but it was harder to let go of shore than I had anticipated.  After 6 months of planning, preparation, spending, learning and fuss, there’s always this nagging feeling that you’re not quite prepared.  In fact, we weren’t.  We forgot a few minor things; The steak knives and wine glasses are still in the dish washer and the mosquitoes reminded us that we had neglected to put up some velcro to hold the screen in place.  Minor indeed.

The forecast called for cloudy with a 30% chance of thunderstorms throughout the day.  We were a bit “late” in leaving, although with lots of time for daylight, it would make our arrival time coincide with thunderstorm o’clock.  The winds were beautiful and we carried 8-11 knots of apparent wind all the way from Goderich to Point Clark.  They were from the south, instead of the southwest as forecasted so this made our trip slightly longer but this was just a niggly inconvenience.  We worked our way out into Lake Huron, out of sight of shore, then back towards Point Clark.  For some reason, we could achieve 4-5 knots on port tack, but 5-6 knots on starboard; I will have to sort out what I was doing inefficiently, downwind sail trim has always been my weakness.  Approaching Point Clark was a bit of a pain as we could see the light house marking the dangerous, and only, navigational hazard on our daily run but the red marking buoy was nowhere to be seen.  Feng, with binoculars, spotted it and confirmed it was precisely in the right location as set by my GPS mark.  Fantastic.

The Coast Guard began sending up squall warnings and put out a severe weather watch for southern Lake Huron at 3:15pm, slightly before we reached Point Clark.  As the wind died down on the east side, we decided we better motor sail for a while to add a little haste for port – we weren’t going anywhere fast anyway, so hey, why not?

Thanks to the motor-sailing ,we were within sight of Kincardine when we saw the wall of fog & rain approaching.  Peddle to the metal, we headed in and grabbed our slip.  My turn was less-than-sharp into the slip so it wasn’t a pretty docking with all eye’s watching.  However, some friends we met in Goderich were there to greet us which was a nice welcome.  The thunder started 30 minutes later and a slight shower rained down on us but it was more bark than bite.  A big sound show with not much rain.

We finished off the day with some beers and dinner on the patio of the Bruce Bar (Bruce Steakhouse?) that overlooks the lake facing west… beautiful sunset.

I took only a couple photos of us out on the lake and neglected to bring my camera up to the Bruce Bar;  I’ll have to post the photos later when I grab them off the camera.

Feng helps sail from Goderich to Kincardine


Jul 03


It’s always nice to start a big trip with a send off from old friends and, in this case, some new ones too.

Firstly, it was fantastic to see Rob, Sue and their daughter Sarah and Jeff on Friday night for a sunset sail.  (Rob, you’ll have to send me those pictures!)  Thanks for bringing over the wine and smoked salmon!  That was really good.  In fact, we liked it so much, Feng is demanding I put in an order for your next batch.  haha.

We met some extremely nice folks in Goderich during our time there; Their assistance was, and is, invaluable.  Mark & Michael especially.  I do hope we cross paths in the future and thanks for welcoming us into the boating community!

Lastly, we met another cruising couple heading in the same direction we are; Betsy and Darwin on their 1985 self-built Hunter have managed to take a month and are cruising from Clinton, Ohio up to the north channel.  Slow-paced and relaxed, that’s the way to do it!  I’m sure we’ll bump into you later on this trip and hope to share some more sunsets as we do.

Once again, I have been remiss in taking pictures of what matters most – the people.


Jun 28

Preparations almost complete…

I’ve neglected writing over the past month and although I’ve been busy with a whirl wind of preparations, the real reason was that I forgot that I had started this journal.  I guess writing isn’t as high on my priority list as making sure the engine and sails are in working order…

Let me bring you up to speed from my last entry.

First off, the biggest worry was our newly acquired boat had a bad engine;  The problem was “low oil pressure” and after much discussion with lots of people and knowledgeable mechanics, we discovered that our oil pressure was running around 10psi at idle and 15-18psi at full RPM.  The manual stated that it should be minimum of 7psi at idle and 23psi at full RPM but the company’s website claimed the minimum should be “1.8 bar”… right, that’s 26psi.  I had to look it up.  We decided the manual was correct and discovered that the low oil pressure light began blinking at 18psi and became solid at 15psi.  So all of this worry was for not!  It turns out that for all of this hassle, we had never been in a critical situation… this improper warning light was warning us for no reason.

Having said that, the oil pressure was still below our target values and so I worked with the previous owner to rebuild the front have of the engine and add a new oil pressure pump.  All went well, until we realized he hadn’t connected the fuel injector pump to the throttle… d’oh.  We had to rip the engine out of the boat and I let the previous owner make a second attempt at it on his own time.  Sure enough, it worked like a champ.  Our diesel is now running with the proper oil pressure. …. but now the temperature sensor may be off and I haven’t confirmed that the oil pressure/temperature warning lights are working.

Moving right along… We pulled out our sail inventory and brought them to the loft for inspection.  It turns out that instead of the advertised 100% jib, and 2 x 120% genoa’s, we ended up with a 100% jib (with hanks), 130% genoa (with hanks) and a 155% genoa (furler)!  Well, no wonder the previous owner’s wife had problems in the Atlantic while using a 155% genoa!!  Wow.  I decided to have the 100% jib re-cut to add the proper luff tape for our furler and I wish I had done the same for the 130% genoa… but alas, one thing at a time.  Our backup main sail turns out to be a somewhat mildewed mizzen sail from some random boat…  I left it with the loft to see if they could sell it on consignment.  The 155% genoa is in surprisingly good condition so it went back on the boat as-is.

I went over all of the systems;

Waste system has an empty tank, new hoses and a new-ish head.  Once I primed the pump we were good to go.  Literally.

The water system wasn’t so good… the tank was partially filled with glycol antifreeze and the inside of the tank was (and is) pretty fouled with dark spots (mildew?) and crusty/film (hard water deposits?).  The access hatch does not permit me to wipe it down and I spent a long while crammed under the foredeck pumping out sediment, antifreeze and murky water.   At this point, hose water and javex will have to do and we just won’t use that water for drinking.

Further to the above water problem, the kitchen Whale pump worked like a charm… only the seals had gone on the faucet.  Upon further inspection, the previous owner had not replaced the seals with correct seals… he had hand-carved a cork!  A new pump is $75-85 and the maintenance/rebuild kits are $30+/- for a few washers.  That was way over the top for 3 rubber washers so I did some experimenting with $0.30 washers from the hardware store and we’re back in business.  The faucet doesn’t leak, but now we notice the pump handle has a tiny leak.  No matter, a little water in the boat won’t hurt us.

We scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed.  I did some big-brush scrubbing of the deck, Feng did a huge amount of little brush scrubbing on the deck and then she began scrubbing the boat lockers, v-berth and head.  We’re making progress and she’s starting to feel comfortable.

We managed to test out the electronics; radios, GPS, autohelm and radar all appear to be in working order.  We’ve got a dead light-bulb which I am not looking forward to replacing as it is up the mast about 20 feet or so.  Needs to be done.

We began testing the inflatable dinghy, and she inflates and holds air well but the dinghy motor, which is spic&span like-new, did not want to run for more than about 30 seconds.  I pulled it apart;  Air flow is fine but the spark plug is fouled.  I couldn’t remove the fuel line ‘filter’ (screen) so I brought it in to a mechanic to look at… I’m still waiting.

The cockpit cushions were in a sorry, sad state and needed to be replaced.  New ones are now being made nd should be finished today or tomorrow.

I took inventory of our anchors and found the chain to be woefully thin.  I must go buy longer, heavier chain today.

New binoculars arrive in the mail by end of day tomorrow.  And a whole list of new items have already been purchased; $85 for winch handles was a good deal from their original price of $145, a new rigging knife for Feng, jerry cans, tools, toolbox and the list goes on and on… at least 3 pages in my notebook.  I should be complete with the purchasing today or tomorrow!

We’re now in our final stage of planning.  Feng is working on provisioning, I’m working on route planning and we’re beginning to watch the weather forecasts as they unfold.  So far, we’re on a tight schedule but think we can keep to our planned Saturday departure.



Jun 03

The Delivery

I lie here on the starboard berth, looking through the keyhole companion way at the blue sky with a few puffy clouds.  What a difference a week makes to my stress level.

One week ago on Friday, our Contessa passed it’s mechanical inspection.  Looked good, sounded good but had not been tested on an extended cruise.

Saturday, we met with a marine surveyor who helped us with a sea trial… The sea trial was short and I feel that the surveyor did not do a thorough job, but there it was.  A passing recommendation.

Having completed the main survey, the mechanical inspection and sea trial without major problems so we decided to finalize our boat purchase and celebrate!  By the time we had completed the paperwork, payment and so-on the weather had deteriorated further and the wind was at 18knots and increasing.  The forecast called for thunder showers and we, prudently, decided not to set sail Saturday evening.  Instead, we had a tasty dinner at the dockside restaurant and spend our first night on the boat.

The Saturday night forecast for Sunday was for an overcast day, blowing 10 knots from the southeast with no rain until very late in the afternoon or evening.  This would be ideal for our first sail since we were travelling a mere 13NM north to Goderich.  However, weather forecasts are not to be trusted.  Sunday morning arrived with calm conditions, forecasted for 4 knots or less from the north and fog.  We packed up, had breakfast at 09:00 and departed around 10:30.  We initially raised the sails when we hit open water, but the wind was already lightening from 4 knots and we knew it would take us all day with the very light winds against us.  Rolling up the sails, the engine took a moment to start.  Strange behaviour that, it had started first time every time before.  We ran the engine for about 45minutes to one hour at about 3/4 throttle making about 4.5 knots SOG until we noticed that the oil light popped on!  Oh no.  This was the *same* problem that was occurring from the previous owner.  I must admit, I said a few “sailor words”.

So there we were, with no engine, about 1/3 of the way between Bayfield and Goderich and a few nautical miles off the coast – barely visible through the foggy/hazy conditions.  Fortunately, the wind has picked up a bit so we said, “AHA!  We don’t need an engine, we’re a *sail*boat.”  As mother nature and Murphy intend, the wind always happens to be from the exact direction you wish to travel.  We sailed for about an hour with the wind peaking around 7 knots and then falling back to zero.  I think our peak spead was about 3.1 knots SOG but ost of the time was only about 1-2 knots SOG.  After an hour, we were back to glassy calm waters, no wind, no engine and perhaps in trouble as we heard the coast guard send out securite warnings for squalls that were approaching from the south.

Our only choice was to use the engine;  We discovered that we could use the engine for about 10 minutes if we let it rest for 15-20.  We limped all the way to Goderich in 10 minute bursts.  At one point, we were dead in the water right off the mouth of the commercial harbour channel, looking at a freighter that was just firing up its engines!  That was a tense 20 minutes.  We didn’t have enough time, in one burst, to make it up the channel to the inner marina so we called ahead to find a spot in the outer marina.  They told us we could dock temporarily on G-dock and let the engine cool down.  *phew* A life saver.  Just as pulled into the inner marina, the engine quit again and we went from full-throttle to coasting as we entered the harbour.  Yes, I docked under no sails, no power, on a new boat in a strange harbour.  It was a mixture of relief, pride and happiness when I docked perfectly under the eyes of all those other boaters.  An hour later, the engine had cooled and oil pressure was increased enough that we were able to move into the inner harbour.  We found our dock and tied up just in time to beat the massive thunder storms moving in.

The 13NM trip, that should have taken us 2.5 hours took us over 8.

… now to settle the issue with the previous owner.

p.s. A thank you to all that helped us.  Ron @ Bayfield Marine Services, Uta @ Mailtland Valley Marina and my Aunt and Uncle who helped shuttle us back to Bayfield.