A “Tacky” Sail to La Belle Province…

Thursday announced itself as one of those summer-privileged days perfect for a leisurely sail in Lac Deschènes: sunny, with day temperatures from 20º C to 26º C, with light albeit fairly sustained NW winds at around five Kts.

The crossing started at 10:15am EDT.  At the KN8 junction marker the sail was hoisted and sheeted with the end of the boom levelled with the toe-rail (close-reaching with the mainsail at midship is not recommended for cat-rigged boats). Then the chase (for the wind) started… The first two tacks, were done in good wind for the first 1.5 NM where speed was sustained above 2.5 Kts. From there on, frequent lulls significantly reduced the average speed. Also, at the end of the fourth tack the wind veered more to the NNE forcing the close-hauled course to be adjusted accordingly. After a couple of more short tacks, the fairway buoy at the entrance of the channel was already abeam. The sail was dropped and the Tohatsu took over.

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The chart piece on the left shows the entire track recorded by the Garmin GPSMAP 78 in a MacENC display of CHS raster chart 1550, and the one on the right is courtesy of program GPXSee (https://www.gpxsee.org), showing the speed over distance graph for the upriver journey. The colour arrows indicate the “helm’s a lee” moments. The brief drops in boat speed were due to sudden wind lulls.  On sail, the distance covered was of 4.3 NM, in 2:50 Hrs, at the “zooming” average speed of 1.5 Kts.

In the Aylmer marina the floating docks for visitors are superb and docking on idle was even easier than it usually is when approaching Sassy’s dock at Nepean.

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After performing the required salute to the captain overseeing the river from the upper floor of the club house of le Club de Voile Grande Rivière

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… two hours were spend visiting, first the Resto Bar for a long glass of Cheval Blanc (a white brew from Montreal, QC), and then a nice stroll along the beach and woods of “Les Cèdres”.

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Sassy reluctantly bid “au revoir” undocking exactly at 16:00 hrs. In almost no wind, she surrendered herself to the muscle of the Tohatsu and the gently steering of Steve-Theodore, her ST-1000 first mate, supported by the flexible UniSolar 11W solar pannel charging her dual 48 AHr batteries. Sassy was also more than happy to share the ride with the lonely bumblebee that insisted in trying to extract nectar from the colour threads in the rope of the mainsheet.

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The entrance to the marina was perfectly timed just before the able racers of the club lined up in the channel to exit for their regatta of the day.  After a perfect single-handed docking  at Sassy’s narrow slip in the Nepean Sailing Club marina (something that Sassy’s skipper is not always able to achieve), he had the rare opportunity of sharing a table and an inspiring chat about sailing and literature with Dr. Nigel G., a formidable sailor and colleague sailing-instructor at the CYA (now Sailing Canada), with whom he once had the pleasure of sharing the decks of “Constance”, a Bavarian 37 that once set sail off Granville Island in the Port of Vancouver.