A Little Hidden Gem INN Picton ON.

After the Inaugural voyage of the Salty Dog(Follow link to read about the Inaugural voyage. https://oldsaltydog.blog/2019/05/20/the-inaugural-voyage-part-2/ )I started thinking about the small drip (leak) we had found on the transom, and although it was not a significant leak it still had me worried. On the way back home and after dropping off Friends, Peter, and Erin, to their respected vehicles I headed over to Robs place where his wife and my wife, had prepared a nice steak dinner awaiting our arrival.After dinner we all gathered round their TV and watched the finale of the Game Of Thrones. During the show I started thinking about that leak on the boat and decided after the show I would head back and make sure it was in fact, a small leak lol.

At midnight I finally got back to the boat to my great relief she was still afloat, LOL, so I loaded my sleeping gear into the boat and checked the engine room for damages. There was actually a substantial amount of water accumulation at the bottom, or at least more than I had hoped for ( approx 5 cups) Still not enough to be much of a concern but enough to know I will have to do something about it in the near future.After a long day it was off to bed for a well deserved bit of R & R.

In the morning I woke up early and immediately checked the water levels in the bilge. It hadn’t risen much over night so I figured its was a perfect opportunity to get out and eat something lol.I decided to head into picton to one of my favorite little spots.Now over the past few years a friend of mine Scott, his wife Sophie, and his Brother David, have been running the Picton Harbour Inn, and although they have all been working tirelessly around the clock, to make sure their guests have some great experiences, with new, state of the art rooms, and great service. They have also revamped the entire property both inside and out.

In doing so, they actually re-invented the harbour, the Inn, and the restaurant ( a part of the Inn) not to mention this Inn has been a big part of the towns history. Scott, and his team have renovated the much needed and very dated, restaurant over a year ago and it looks great. If you pay attention to the decorations and decor within the restaurant it has a very distinct nautical theme, from old ship pictures that used to Harbour in Picton, to the nautical lines tying back the curtains over the windows. Of course it is right up my alley, lol.

They have taken the shoreline and transformed it, by installing some great landscaping, new docks, used by guests, local guides as well as transiants coming to the area and looking for a good meal and a possible room for the night.

They have installed a fountain in the harbor as well, which lights up at night and is a nice little addition to the area. The locals are relishing in its glory once again, and It has become a local hot spot for breakfast and lunch, the food, is simply, amazing.

From what I understand, the restaurant gets much of their foods from local farmers, and they support as much local business and community as they can, Ok I also have to mention the service of the Lighthouse staff, talk about personable people, it’s like you’ve known them for years when you first walk through the door until you walk right back out again, just a fun atmosphere all round.

One of the best parts about the Inn, is its location. It is located right at the end of the Harbour closest to the town of Picton. I’m telling ya, if you ever pass by this area you must give this little hidden gem a try.

In recent years the Picton Harbour INN, has been featured on many fishing shows and is a fan favorite for fisherman from all over North America.

The Lighthouse restaurant.

The Inaugural Voyage (part 2)

It was Sunday May 19th the day had finally arrived. I gathered a couple of my neighbors and good friends Rob, Mike, and, Pete to assist me in the first ever voyage of the Salty Dog. Mike unfortunately, was unable to make the voyage, however was able to assist in the launch of the vessel by using his truck which was much more capable than mine.

We still needed to test a few vitals of the boat, and I wanted to give her a good run as to test her abilities. I figured a 3 hour, 35 mile tour should be a decent test for the old girl, and little did I know just how right I was.

Well of course and just as expected, nothing was going to plan. After a few quick tests and trying to get the vessel running prior to taking her to the lake we find out that the ignition coil was defective. Should be an easy fix right? Nope, wrong.

With not much in the way of stores being open on a Sunday of a long weekend we had no choice but to start harvesting coils from other sources. We tried getting one off Mikes boat. It was the wrong size. We tried going to Mike’s shop. He had a brand new one there, It too was broken, we thought one might be over in Robs garage, it wasn’t. Canadian Tire was open, but they were sold out. Part source in Bellwville had what we needed AND, was open. Rob hopped on his Motorcycle and was off to get the part.

After a couple hours, Rob returned with the part. We got it installed quickly along with a couple sparkplugs and we were off to a nearby river to try and get the old girl started. A few tries, and SUCCESS, Salty Dog started, and actually sounded pretty good.

It was now after 2pm and getting late in the day, but I still had a bit of hope that we would still get Salty Dog launched this day.

Once in Deseronto, we launched old Salty Dog for the first time.

We gently lowered old Salty in the water and checked for leaks in the engine compartment below deck. So far so good. No water, “well, thats a good sign” I thought to myself as I let out a rather large sigh. Next was a test run around the Bay surrounding Deseronto. To the bridge, a few circles (testing the steering) and then back to the launch again.

My wife and Robs wife were standing on the dock when we returned. You would think this was because they came in support to see the launch right? Nope, it was because I was an idiot and forgot my keys for the car I left at our destination the night before so we could get back home once we got to the marina, and had to call my wife to come and drop them off to me before we left for our journey. LOL.

A good 15 minutes or so of looking around and last second adjustments and Salty Dog was good to go, she was all warmed up, one last check in the engine room and POOF, we found water . Wait what? Where did that water come from? It wasn’t much but enough that had me a little concerned lol. Well that’s what these tests are for right?

Now thinking (do I put her back on the trailer and pull her out of the water again?) “Hell’s no! “. (Lol) not for a dribble of water anyway. I call to my now “engineer” (Rob) who was directly beside me, a quick diagnosis of what it was? Tightened a loose hose clamp, and there was a very slow drip from a bolt on the housing, “PHEW”, (almost lost my Kool there), anyway no big deal. So we started off on our days journey. It was now 330pm and we had a 3 to 4 hour tour ahead of us.

Just as were were getting started a coworker Erin, messaged me asking how the voyage was going? “We were just starting” I told her. and since Mike wasn’t able to make the trip I had an extra spot so I offered Erin a spot aboard, and we picked her up on route 10 miles ahead of our starting spot at the public launch over at the Glenora Ferry docks. A quick stop to let Erin Aboard and we continued on our journey.

At this point the vessel was running very smoothly. I had noticed once we tried getting the boat on plane, she seemed a tad sluggish but I chocked that up to some old gas and full tanks of fuel along with a 4 man crew now making the vessel quite heavy. Anyway I didn’t pay much attention to that at this point.

After about an hour of slowly cruising at about 8 knots east in adolphus Reach towards the Gap. (The Gap is an opening in the Bay Of Quinte, between Picton County and Amerst Island, that allows access to Lake Ontario.) I thought it a good idea to take a couple pictures of the group. So I stopped the boat and positioned us to what I thought would be a good photo. Lined the gang on the back deck and as I was about to take the shot, everyone was leaning on the back rail and , SNAP. The rail gave way and all three passengers fell backwards into the lake. Rob did a backwards summersalt hitting his back off the swim platforms ladder, Erin’s legs and hands trying desperately to cling onto the side of the boat and not fall into the freezing 54° water, well she couldn’t hold on for long and (SPLASH) into the lake she went. And Pete fell backwards breaking our flag pole and landing right onto the swim platform. Peter really didn’t get too wet.

I quickly went and turned the engine off as everyone was right around the prop the I went to see if everyone was ok. I could reach Erin who was gasping for air, so I grabbed her arm and pulled her up on the swim deck Pete was already in the boat and then I went to give rob a hand but he was half way up on the platform already Pete was busy trying to salvage the broke handrail LOL. Everyone was safe and so I figured now was a great time for a photo OP, not really the one I was looking for originally, but this will do nicely LOL

After a couple moments to make sure everyone was ok and to stop laughing uncontrollably at the situation we got everyone out of their wet clothing and into dry ones. Ok now it’s time to just get to our destination I think.

I go to start the motor back up, and nothing. Now were dead in the water. A soaking wet and shaking cold Rob was quick to have a look at the motor we used ether to get the motor started, something I never want to do but it was necessary to just get going at this point, once she started we were on the road, or water I guess, once again. I got the boat up on plane, and this time and cruised at a cool 30mph on the way to our destination to Waupoose Marina.

Now 730 PM and just pulling into the marina we pulled up to my slip and there is a nice 35 foot cruiser beside where I need to park. No problem. I pull up so I could back into the slip and when I try going into reverse, nothing, she quit on me again. I tried to start her, and nothing again. Rob once again on his belly almost hanging upside Down took only seconds to get her going once again. And we backed into the slip, shut her down, tied her off and the inaugural trip had come to an end.

So I guess she’s not perfect, but that’s to be expected of a 1979 boat I guess. So looking back on this Inaugural voyage.

RECAP

A bit of a rough start I know, Some forgotten keys, a broken rail, a missing flag pole, a motor that needs some TLC, there is a very slow drip into the engine compartment that I must fix ASAP, A trip that should have been a total of 5 hours door to door ended up being 11.5hrs, and to top it all off, I only dropped 3 out of 3 passengers into the lake on the first trip out. (SIGH) I now have some fixing to do but all in all it was an adventure and a memory of a life time LOL this is exactly what Salty Dog was meant to do. (Create Memmories) now let’s hope the next trip is a bit less memorable lol.

The Inaugural Voyage. (Part 1)

It has been some time anticipating the first Voyage for the “Salty Dog”. Infact I have been looking forward to this day for years, before I even acquired the vessel.

Recently I watched the movie (The Green Lantern) I know , a weird reference, right? and it made me wonder!

If you are familiar with this movie, then you know that the ring of the green lanterns, actually seek out their masters, The rings will travel by themselves when a master is about to perish in search of their next master, whom will become United with the ring and become the next “Green Lantern”. This made me wonder about my new vessel, why?

Well this past winter, I was not actively looking for a new boat, at least not at that time. Salty Dog, formally named, (Groovin) was offered to me by a good friend of mine over this past winter. In fact the odds were definitely not in my favor to acquire her at all. At the time, I was not working, I was on Unemployment (which I haven’t been on for over 20 years), my cash was going towards household Bill’s. However, never the less, the boat was offered at a price that was too hard to pass up, and an agreement made. Before I knew it, I was the proud new owner of a vessel that would soon become the new “Salty Dog”

Now Salty Dog, actually started its voyage over 2 years ago, in search of a new Captain, she came from a family up near Huntsville who had obviously taken very good care of her. She was on route to auction, headed to Windsor and eastern Ontario when my friend Brian was approached and asked if he was interested in purchasing her. Although Brian wasn’t really looking for a boat, he didn’t hesitate when the offer seemed too good to be true for such a fine vessel. Apparently the previous owner may have got a dirty look and some words were exchanged by his misses about the agreed upon price LOL. So instead of going towards Windsor, she was now doing a 180° turn and heading towards The Quinte region. Now Groovin Although she has needed some TLC mostly due to the fact she had been sitting on dry land for nearl 2 seasons before I finally got a hold of her. She had made her way to this area, put herself in the right circumstance to make sure I found her. This is why I say she reminded me of the Green Lantern movie. She had been searching for a master or (captain), and it took her very close to 2 years to finally get a hold of one,

Anyway so since my last vessel (Sea’s The Day # 2) had its misshap in Picton almost 2 years ago ( around the same time Salty Dog started her voyage to find me) I have been dreaming of the day I would be able to put another one of my own vessels back in the water and begin boating once again.

PIC OF SEA’S THE DAY #2

I had described in one of my latest blogs

Link – ( https://oldsaltydog.blog/2019/05/06/setting-up-my-new-boat/ )

that I have changed my priorities and need to switch my set up on this new vessel. Instead of using this vessel as a fishing boat, to set her up as a navigation/ pleasure/ &personal fishing vessel. I intend on using this vessel primarily with my wife to explore the St Lawrence river, and Lake Ontario. However for the first run My wonderful wife will not be on the old Salty Dog.

Stay tuned for part 2.

Cruising The Great Lakes.

As a former, (and possible future) employee of a passenger vessel of the St Lawrence seaway and Ottawa River systems, the Canadian Empress, and the St Lawrence Cruise Lines.

https://www.stlawrencerivercruise.com/

I find this a very interesting read. When working in the industry I really didn’t see too many cruise lines that offered or does exactly what the St Lawrence Cruise Lines offers their passengers along the river. And although in the below article link, the vessels and companies mentioned will be offering a somewhat different kind of cruising experiences for their passengers. It certainly will be interesting to see such an increase of activity in the river and Great Lakes cruising industry and right in my back yard to boot.

Some very interesting passenger vessels setting their sights on the great Lakes for the coming years.

An interesting read about cruising the Great Lakes and how it is becoming a booming industry.

Follow this link to read about it

https://expo.cleveland.com/life-and-culture/g66l-2019/05/1da58e9525280/cruising-the-great-lakes-more-ships-more-passengers-more-stops-in-cleveland.html

Setting Up My New Boat AND NAMING HER.

This past winter I have finally acquired another vessel. I am super excited as I have not had a vessel of my own for a couple of years now, and I was getting really down on myself, not being able to get on the water whenever I wanted to. I have spent lots of time over the past few years upgrading my licenses enabling me to be on the water for work, however it’s just not the same as going out on your own terms, for pleasure, and it was getting me in some sort of deep blue funk.

I have decided to rename the new to me vessel, but Before I do, I must take many things into consideration, my hobbies, what I will most likely be using her for, {like fishing, or just doing some family cruising, or will I just become one of those weekend warrior types that never leave the dock and rarely even turn over the engine and just socialize at the marina lol, {ya not likely on that last one.}LOL. My plan for now is, I would love to cruise with my wife around the bay of Quinte and the 1000 islands, and maybe even take a trip up the Trent Severn waterway this summer. Basically this vessel should represent who I am as a captain. This is why I have chosen the name

SALTY DOG

Meaning of Salty Dog, – A nautical slang for an experienced sailor who has spent much of his life aboard a ship at sea. A salty dog is often given increased credibility by ship mates in matters pertaining to ship-board life and duties.

Now that I know I will be using the vessel to do some travel, of course I will be doing “some fishing” out of her as well, LOL. I find that I am looking to rig her out more for navigation than for fishing, but obviously with me being, “well me,” (LOL) I’ll want some fishing capabilities as well. So before one gets started to rig out a vessel you need to do some research.

1st and foremost you need to know what your budget is, I mean that kind of goes without saying right? but if you have a smaller budget than you’d ideally like, as I have , then you may not be getting exactly what you want, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get what you need either..

I first needed to recognize that my priorities have changed from being outfitted as a fishing vessel and need to rig her out more for travel and navigation. So what does this mean exactly?

When you are looking for more navigational equipment you will be looking for a fish-finder also known as a chart-plotter, however, you will be needing some functions that not all chart-plotters come with, such as the ability to hook up a VHF {AKA= Very High Frequency} radio with GPS capability’s, also you may wish to have your plotter have the capability to attach an AIS (Automatic Identification System) Reciever as well, so you can see other commercial traffic, or any vessel with a AIS transponder on board show up on your plotter. or you may want others with an AIS to be able to see you so you may wish to have and AIS transmitter on board as well.

There are VHF marine radios with AIS compatibility that can hook up to your plotter these radios also usually have DSC (or digital Selective Calling} capabilities. Having a radio with DSC means that you can send pre-defined digital messages through the Medium, high, and Very-high Frequency maritime radio system. AKA VHF radios.

So of course having a Marine radio on board is really a basic essential part of boating in general, but what can it do for you?

Well, there are many different types of marine radios, so picking one that suits your needs is crucial to safe smart boating. Of course marine radios will allow you to communicate between yourself and other vessels on the water, however not all radios have the same functions.

DSC radios and what are they? Having A DSC radio also means that besides the basic function of having a marine radio for communication and getting up to date marine weather forecast purposes, that in the event of an emergency that all you need to do is push a small red button and your information ( name of boat, GPS co-ordinates, emergency contacts ect. } automatically get sent to the Canadian Coast Guard and rescue and they will be on their way to your location much faster than as if you had to try to rely on relaying that information via talking over the radio.

You must set up the radio once you have purchased it prior to setting out on your first voyage. ( instructions come with most radios.) Costs of these radios vary from $400 to well over $1000.00 range. I have outfitted my vessel with the one in the pic below and it costs around $500.00 this unit also has a built in GPS in addidition to my chart Plotter so I do not have to set it up to the GPS in my plotter for emergency response situations. I bought it for the function of the AIS as well, so I will be connecting it to my plotter regardless.

Screenshot_20190309-133248_Chrome

Ok so now that I have a Plotter with GPS, AIS, and VHF/DSC /, you may also wish to considder getting into radar.

The difference between GPS (or Global Positioning System} and Radar is GPS signals are coming from satellite and radar uses a radio wave system that can detect a multitude of different things such as weather formation, birds, planes, boats, and moving and or stationary objects in real time, especially in low light, or low visibility conditions. A radar system can be an exceptional piece of kit. What I really love about it is you can see well ahead of time if a storm is forming, and then make an educated guess weather or not you will need to seek shelter before it hits your location, or of course if you may be on a direct collision course with another vessel meaning an alteration of course may be necessary, this would come in handy during heavy fog, rain, or night time navigation. Now a radar system can be expensive so as for now since I know it is equipment I will be installing at a later date I will ensure my chart plotter will be compatible with the unit for later purchase.

EXAMPLE BELOW.

{on left side} radar overlay on chart also showing AIS targets ahead through connection of VHF/ AIS Radio

{on right} Radar only

Screenshot_20190309-132020_Chrome

so if you know you will be wanting radar on your vessel it is important to know that you will not be able to hook up one manufacturers radar with a different manufacturers chart plotter. for example, I cannot attach a Furuno radar to a Lowrance chart plotter.

so in conclusion, when trying to figure out what you are going to need on your vessel, 1st figure out what you will be using your vessel for the most? if you are a weekend warrior that fishes, and you stay mostly in sheltered bays and don’t stray away from uncommon territory you probably do not need many of the items listed above if at all, and you can get away with a very basic fish finder unit.

If you plan on fishing many different lakes and other bodies of water and you like exploring, then you may wish to opt out for a better fishfinder with the options listed above to help keep you on track and out of harms way and of course it’s a bonus that it can help you to easily locate the fish.

Now if you do not plan on fishing ever and only plan on taking long leasure trips where you will go exploring new body’s of water on a regular basis then you may want to considder all the above mentioned items plus even a few more items I havnt mentioned in this blog, the more equipment you have like these, onboard your vessel, the better. But remember, none of this equipment takes the place of old fashioned paper charts. Always make sure to carry the proper paper charts for the area you will be boating in, and know how to read them properly. Remember that all electric equipment on board are only as good as the power source on your boat and the operator behind them, so If you are not able to give your location to the authorities in an emergency when the power goes out then it won’t matter how much you’ve spent on fancy electronic gear so always have a back up plan. lol

Screenshot_20190309-231614_Chrome

Fun fact .

DId you notice that I keep referring to my vessel as she, or her? do you know that most mariners refer to their vessels in the female figurative, and not as an it or a what?. this ideology stems from the early days of shipping or boating when crew members would look at a ship as a place of sanctuary, literally a place of nurture, kind of like a mother figure if you will, the ship was supposed to take care of a crew, just like a mother does for her child. that is why vessels are referred to as female.

“A ship is called a she because there is always a great deal of bustle around her; there is usually a gang of men about; it takes a lot of paint to keep her looking good; it is not the initial expense that breaks you, it is the upkeep; she can be all decked out; it takes an experienced man to handle her correctly; and without a man at the helm, she is absolutely uncontrollable. She shows her topsides, hides her bottom and, when coming into port, always heads for the buoys.”

Calm seas, don't make great sailors

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