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Thursday, December 22, 2011

OYSTERS ARE A SPECIAL TREAT!

This is the time of year to get great oysters and in our household the are a holiday tradition! Here is a rundown on how to get yourself some really good fresh oysters shipped to your door. Wear a glove when you open them and use a good oyster knife with guard. After 30 years of opening oysters I cut my hand last Christmas opening a Raspberry Point and ended up in the hospital getting stitched up!

These first are the two I recommend as my favourites***

***Colville Bay – Clean and Jade green – food of the gods - excellent oysters, sometimes a little hard to get a hold of them ... they ship every Tuesday Canada Post express to your door ( 2 days) – these oysters ship (in Styrofoam container) and store well for 5 weeks Johnny Flynn owner 1 902 687 2222 office 1 902 687 3640 home They will bill you $98 case for 100 plus about $55 shipping

***Raspberry Points – Excellent oysters, a bit smaller than Colville Bays ... they ship overnight FedEx right to your door in waxed cardboard container covered with plastic. They store for up to 6 weeks in a cool location – bit difficult to open (that’s why they can store longer than some) 1 800 565 2697 Hassle free to order with Visa $92 case of 100 plus $50 shipping

Bedque – Strong flavored from Northumberland straight

Canada Cup – This is an American venture were they select a certain size/shape oyster from many Canadian growers – they are not a specific Oyster type so I don’t really recommend

Malpeque – This is what you will find in most Ontario restaurants .. Malpeque Bay is not the greatest oyster breeding grounds

PEI Select – These are the lower grade sorted oysters from Raspberry Point

Pickle Point – From same guys who own Raspberry Point- stick with the Raspberry Points

Summerside – Good oysters and a good size but not as refined as Raspberry’s or Colville Bays

Keep in mind the bays will be freezing up and the oyster harvest won’t go on too much longer. I’d get the Coleville Bays if you can arrange with them – sometimes hard to get a hold of them but worth getting them if possible. Raspberry Points someone always answers the phone and you get get the deal done quickly.Bon A petit!

Posted by at 7:32 AM
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Monday, December 19, 2011

ST. PETERSBURG SHOW SUCCESS

 The 2011 St Petersburg Power & Sailboat Show in Gulf Florida confirms the direction of boat interest that the Fort Lauderdale Show recently indicated – UP! Attendance at St. Petersburg Show was up 18% over 2010 and there were 25% more boats on display. The show ran December 1st – 4th and by all accounts both brokerage and new boat prospects and sales were up. Vendors seemed to be pleased and one commented that customers have recently returned to the market after placing their purchasing decisions on hold for the past few years. Let’s hope this keeps up and the bigger upcoming Miami Boat Show will play out just as positively.

Posted by at 6:56 AM
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Sunday, December 18, 2011

FLY FISHING TAKES CONCENTRATION

I’ve always wanted to get good at fly fishing. Catching fish on a fly rod requires three skills – technique, water observation and concentration. Often people think think that its all in the wrist technique to present the fly, but the location or pool must be exactly right and one must concentrate on the fish activity signs when casting and testing different pool areas. In shallow clear water it gets a lot easier, because you can see the fish below the surface sometimes ... but in deeper water with less visibility you have to wait to see the ripples as the fish test the surface. Here’s a good way to test your water observation and concentration. The exercise will bring up a pop up picture. You must watch the water and wait for the fish to jump. This may take up to 30 seconds. If you break your concentration and look away from the water the fish will not jump. You must resist any distractions and just focus on the water otherwise the fish will not jump. CLICK HERE to try this fly fishing exercise!

Posted by at 1:44 PM
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Thursday, December 15, 2011

YACHT PARTY 101

Hey I just figured out how to hold a yacht party without wrecking your boat by reading a story on Tilman Fertitta’s yacht party aboard his 164 ‘ super yacht BOARDWALK. So you know the problem when you invite a group of friends, business colleagues or relatives to a boat gathering and they show up in street shoes and heels anxious to step aboard and hang out with a drink and some food! Well the street shoes are a killer on fiberglass and teak and most visitors don’t realize the kind of almost irreparable scratching damage this can cause. Then comes the food droppings and the wine stains on the carpet etc. It’s all too much for many yacht owners to manage and it’s embarrassing all around when guests don’t know any better in terms of how to party on a boat bare footed and casual. Let’s face it – few boat owners have Bill Gates pocketbook to pick up the tab to make things as they were on your boat before the party. For the most part only other boaters understand this ... and the work involved in rubbing out gel coat and refinishing teak doesn’t enter the picture for visitors. At one time or another, you have likely cringed at some relative or guest that shows up and jumps from the dock to the cockpit in one street shoe clad leap, landing like an elephant on your balsa cored cockpit putting spider cracks all over the gel coat. You don’t want to be a party pooper and educate or chastise anyone ... so you put up with it.

So Tilman Fertitta, as the wealthy Texas owner of Landry’s Restaurant chain and the Golden Nugget Casino knows a thing or two about staging a yacht party. The yacht becomes the backdrop for the party, not the party central location. Guests do not go aboard the boat in shoes – bare feet only ... and the booze and food are served on dock only. So everyone congregates on the dock where champagne flows and plenty of nibbles circulate - but if you want to step on the boat you give up your shoes and walk aboard without the prospect of getting any food or drink onboard. So how long are visitors going to hob knob on the yacht without a drink and everyone eating and having fun on the dock? – not many for long. Folks take a look around and filter back out to the dock to party and converse. Those that do stay aboard are likely to sit somewhere and fall into deep conversation or contemplation rather than wrecking your boat.

So everyone enjoys the atmosphere conversation and food & beverage but you don’t spend the next week fixing the boat. It works on any scale. Only suggestion I can add to Mr. Fertitta’s great strategy is plan the event around the bug seasons and invite your neighbors five slips down on both sides and anyone else that happens along so they don’t hold the dockside commotion against you. Oh and don’t forget to have a boat hook handy for those that fall off the dock. Yah I know, Bah-Humbug!

Posted by at 8:25 AM
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Thursday, December 08, 2011

JIMMY BUFFETT DONATES BOAT

Famous Margaritaville entertainer Jimmy Buffett has donated a 33’ Navy vessel to the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in Ocean Springs Mississippi. Watch This Video   The boat was built for the the Navy in 1973 and is valued at about $70,000. The boat named after Buffett’s mother Miss Peetsy B will be used for educational programs for school children at the Mississippi Marine Education Centre.

The boat was rechristened with Land Shark beer (a brand Buffett owns) and it will be converted to run on waste vegetable oil (think McDonalds deep fryers). Watch This Video  Buffett says “ It seemed like a logical extension of a disaster caused by an oil spill to look at alternatives”. Yes but it’s like torturing these kids to have them on a boat all day that smells like French Fries! You can’t get to a McDonalds when your out on the Gulf when you get a hankering for Fries!

Buffett adds, “I always like to work locally and then hopefully, in these days and times with technology, it becomes a very global awareness thing that can come out of a local situation” Well it was very nice of Jimmy to buy that boat and donate it to a good cause. I guess BP should have thought of that.

Posted by at 12:03 PM
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MUSKRATS CAN SINK YOUR BOAT!

We continue to find more stories of Muskrats that get into boat exhausts and chew through the silicone hoses that join exhaust to engine – often sinking the boat. We did a story on this on our Boat Stuff page in support of Hurley Marine that manufactures Muskrat Guards. The thing is, this problem is more common that you think.

Almost every fresh water marina has a Muskrat or two wandering around and if there is any low swamp in the area you probably have lots of them. They seem to like to explore man made structures (including boats) to nest. They are not deterred easily by people and will come back again and again crawling into any hole they can fit into below or close to the waterline. Strange thing is, they crawl into areas they can’t back out of and they either die in there or the chew their way through into your boat. I’m guessing in nature most tunnels dead end in a few feet. Under docks they can turn themselves around. In a boat exhaust, it goes up a fair ways and they simply can’t turn around or reverse out. It’s a bit of a crap shoot and if your lucky they get into some other boat exhaust, and not yours. If your really lucky and you get one in your exhaust it dies and when the engine is started it spits it out. If your not so lucky it means costly repairs taking everything apart. If your really unlucky your boat ends up sunk to the bottom.

On my Sea Ray it has those patented underwater torpedo shaped exhausts with the 90% bend inside. Muskrats love them ... so you have to bolt through several bolts near the bend in the torpedo so that they can’t get up inside. Some kind of guard or preventative measure is in order as you never expect this kind of thing to happen until it does. I’m surprised that boat manufacturers don’t put guards on as standard equipment – or that insurance companies don’t require them to write a policy. Some policies won’t insure for rodent damage!

Posted by at 7:47 AM
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Wednesday, December 07, 2011

PENETANG EIGHTY-EIGHT

 Fairmile Motor Boat Company UK designed B model “dog boats” for coastal shore patrol, torpedo boat and submarine hunting. Many were fitted with some serious armor & guns after initial production. Some were built in Toronto, Orillia and Honey Harbour. Canada built a total of 80 of these boats and most ours were used as escorts.

A particular Georgian Bay boat Eighty-Eight named after it’s wartime service # was built in Toronto in 1943 by J.J. Taylor & Son. A local cottager bought it government surplus for $4000. Not a bad deal for a $250,000 well built boat of only a few years in age. She was moved from government storage in Quebec to Georgian Bay in 1947 by the new owner Bill Christie who had her refitted as a pleasure boat. In 1954 he sold her to Pete LePage in Penetanguishene who used her commercially for ten years to transport people and goods in the area. What made this Fairmile boat unique that is was one that had a home in Georgian Bay while the many that were produced at Honey Harbour went off to war never to return to the Bay.

Only two Fairmile B’s remain in Canada on the west coast. Eighty-Eight ended up sunk in Lake Ontario in the late 1960’s near Gananoque, where it was in use as a cadet training vessel at the end of her life.

Posted by at 7:59 AM
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Thursday, December 01, 2011

MERMAIDS IN GEORGIAN BAY

Yes I sometimes see Mermaids along the shore or on yachts - but this is the real thing!

Lonely Island (located miles from shore, south of Manitoulin Island) Assistant Lighthouse Keeper – Rudy Payerl swore the existence of Mermaids as published in an article in the Toronto Star some years back. During a storm Payerl heard voices from the lighthouse tower and turned to look out the window observing five mermaids frolicking along the shore. He heard them many times during his tenure on the island during his lighthouse duties on the isolated island ... but he observed them only once. It is not known which brand of rum was his preference, and let’s face it, Lonely Island is well ... lonely. Lonely Island is also known as the place where Asia ship wreck victims washed ashore and it is also an Indian burial ground and grave site of a Lighthouse Keeper who starved to death with his dog when he decided to winter over on the island.

Do you believe in Mermaids? Lots of sailors over the years swear there is such a thing but it is thought in warmer climes they were likely to be Manatee’s. But what about Georgian Bay - perhaps giant sturgeon? Or maybe just real Mermaids. We’ll try and document some next summer and post them on this Blog.

Posted by at 4:36 PM
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FAITHFUL SERVANT - THE MIDLAND CITY

The Midland City was built in Glasgow Scotland in 1870. She was 120’ X 32’ at that time under the name of Maud and working in Kingston ON. In 1895 she was enlarged and renamed the America. In 1920 she came to Georgian Bay as a steam side-wheeler and renamed as the S.S. Midland City by the Georgian Bay Tourist Company of Midland. The ship was well staffed and luxurious by the days standards and including a restaurant and staterooms for the wealthy. She even had space to transport two cars. In 1933 she was converted to a propeller motor ship. She sank several times on Georgian Bay - the first in 1926 when tied to the dock when a storm tilted her and her open portholes filled her with water. The second in 1934 on return from Go Home Bay she struck a reef at Present Island and she was beached on Midland Point to prevent lose. In 1955 she was de-registered and she was hauled up where Wye Heritage Marina is now. It is unclear exactly where the hull is in the marina - some say she is buried as part of the gas dock pier, some say in the Wye River right beside the marina and possibly on the north side of the marina R dock jetty. There are a number of ships in there so there is confusion over which is which. In any event she loyally served cottagers and tourists for 35 years and at the time of de-commissioning she was the oldest commercial passenger vessel operating in North America.

Posted by at 3:58 PM
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