Coping on a late fall cruise, Lake Ontario to Quebec
A quick note on the trip:
- Found a total crew of three was best for transiting the Locks on the St. Lawrence seaway. One each on fore and aft line and myself to watch. Check the spreader does not catch on the lock's walls.
- We were transiting the locks in late October and the public dock were removed. We could not contact the lockmaster as we needed the dock to get to the telephone to contact the lockmaster. The VHF channel for each lock was different than the last. The staff at one lock usually did not know the channel for the next. Consult the Radio Aids to navigation government of Canada publications.
- Most yacht clubs close at the end of October. event thought they are closed, they were hospitable and gave us space, There is a slight discount for off season, usually 10%, but seemed not enough for a lack of services.
- Found few sheltered anchorages in Lake Ontario and the Saint Lawrence River except for the Thousand Islands section.
- Great scenery in the Thousand Islands granite outcroppings, magnificent houses/cottages, islands; unique and not to be missed.
- Snow on deck is dangerous, very slippery.
- Even though this is a populated area, emergency health care is not readily available. Immediate help can be hours away.
- Tips for when the temperature is low. Some days we had temperatures below freezing. Needed felt lined boots. Because we have a metal destroyer steering wheel, heavy mitts (snowmobile mitts) were great for the helmsman.
- Floater suites, like Mustang's, were great for laying around, but too warm for work.
- Cabin heat is a necessity. Otherwise no way to get dry. More comfortable for eating and lounging.
- SOSpender's inflatable lifejackets were comfortable and readily worn by crew. The integrated harness made it easy to clip on when going on deck. And because the harness is integrated, the crew always has a harness on and do not have to take time to take off a life jacket and put one on.
- Togues are great hats.
- A permanent dodger over the cockpit kept us warm and out of the elements. Recommended for cold weather sailing.
- Self steering would have been useful. We hand steered the whole way and stood at the wheel. A helmsman chair would be useful, a necessity if singlehanded.