Friday, June 22, 2012
SUMMER IS HERE – KEEP YOUR COOL
Well summer is here and early indications are it’s going to be a scorcher. These super humid heated days make for unreliable weather forecasting. Thunderstorms and strong winds can pop up well before there forecast time. As a matter of fact as I write this blog article it is about 34 degrees C and the storm warnings forecast for the evening are actually upon us at 4 pm. A half hour ago it wasn’t even showing on weather radar. I guess that’s why they call them pop up thunderstorms. Pop up thunderstorms can get serious when they turn to full downdrafts and you experience damaging tornado like conditions. When your out at anchor on really hot humid days, you want to make sure your anchor is well set because conditions from this kind of warm front weather pushing up from the south tend to go from very still to gusty violent winds in a matter of minutes. It’s those gusts that break anchor set more so than steady winds. Better yet, if anchoring conditions permit put your second anchor down Bahamas style - and you can relax and sleep better at night. If the waters not too deep and clear ... dive it to check your anchor set.
Another thing about these scorching days – make sure you stay hydrated and take a dip every once in a while to keep your cool. Bathing suits are the order of the day – great excuse to get the ladies in bikini’s so they don’t overheat! Don’t forget the waterproof sunscreen yada-yada ... I personally hate the greasy stuff and won’t use it ... but you should, because your smarter than me. Alcohol dehydrates ... so if your at the dock or at anchor enjoying a few brews or Margaritas make sure you chase it with a big glass of ice water. And don’t drink so much that you can’t react in the event a storm rolls in and you have to take on the roll of capable Captain. There you have it - have you had enough lecturing already? Summer comes and goes fast – have a blast and we hope to see you out cruising.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
ONCE IN A BLUE MOON
What are the odds. A ship as old as the SS Keewatin ... a wooden steamer, 107 years of age, not only survives without burning, sinking or falling apart, but it gets dredged out of the mud in a foreign port and gets moved back to her home port of Port McNicoll on Georgian Bay generations after she was left to live out her last days. Not a reproduction or completely rebuilt from the ribs - the original - the real McCoy.
She moved passengers for 60 years from Port McNicoll to Thunder Bay and never wrecked ashore or foundered in stormy weather on treacherous Georgian Bay ... a virtual graveyard of ships from ancient times to modern day. She was built 5 years before the Titanic. Pardon the expression but this ship must have been “built like a brick shit house” and had it’s keel “plated with horseshoes”. It’s unheard off – any other ship would have wrecked to the bottom of Georgian Bay at some point. Not only is she resilient, the ship in is relatively good shape – hull intact and looking good with enough hutzpah left over to pass Coast Guard and insurance inspections.
Hail the mighty SS Keewatin and the able hands that built and Captained her. I can’t wait to dine on board and tour her new 4000 sq. ft. museum. They say dinner service will utilize the original silverware and china! What a miracle that Skyline Investments was able to bring her back to Port McNicoll.
Thanks to the USA for taking care of her all these years so she could be returned to her home. I know where I will be when she arrives June 23rd, 2012 – right out front of Port McNicoll harbour watching the tugs bring her in gently to her berth and recording the event in photographs and video to share with you on this site. Back in port the champagne corks will be flying to celebrate the immortal spirit of Keewatin. Keewatin is Cree for BLIZZARD OF THE NORTH and she may ride out more of those than any other ship in Canadian history. So maybe the moon is made of blue cheese and pigs can fly?