Tag Archives: Picton

Summer is flying by

Is summer flying by for you this year because it is for me.

We are already in the 3rd quarter of July and I feel that spring had just started yesterday. It is amazing how fast time goes by when your busy.

It seems like a few weeks ago I had just decided to purchase the old Salty Dog but in reality that was about 7 months ago this past January, I had worked on her over the winter, cleaning her up to get ready for spring. She has proven to be a project but one that I feel I must see through to the end and I am determined to get Old Salty Dog back in top working order and feel she will be a great family vessel when I am finished with her.

I just pulled her out of the water yesterday and she had gone to get re-fitted with a new (to her ) motor, (a 305 Merc Cruiser) This will essentially give her entirely new guts,

In addition I have outfitted her with new florescent green lights and a new deck around the wheelhouse as some of the decking was rotted out in one corner. No more ripped carpet for this old girl. Maybe next year I’ll redo the upholstery

Then I started working in Febuary at a new job for the MTO (ministry Of Transportation Of Ontario) on the Glenora Ferryboat, out of Picton, this job has been great so far, it is forcing me to get my excercise which I had been neglecting for, well, I’m too embarrassed to say lol. Also it has been a steady source of income and I have met some great people and made some awsome new friends.

With school ending back in June for my 2 boys one of whom just graduated highschool and will be going to college this fall, there has been a tonne of prep work and getting him ready to leave home in just a few weeks from now to go live at the schools campus. It is an exciting and exhausting time getting him ready to become an independent individual lol.

And through all this I have just taken on another (very part time) position on a dive boat out of Waupoose Ontario.

This is a very interesting position as a Captain of a dive boat, especially as I am not a diver myself. I felt I just wanted to be taking people on guided adventures again since I am no longer running a fishing charter and I miss taking clients out in this fashion. I still need to do a short course in order to take this position officially but I will make sure it is done shortly and will be taking clients out soon. The company (in case anyone is curious or wants to book an adventure ) is at the following website

https://www.divebrockville.com/

They have multiple dive boats and run in lake Ontario and the St Lawrence seaway. Check them out.

So although my year seems to be flying by it has been yet another great year so far and cant wait to see what the rest of the season has in store. Lol

Let me know in the comment section below what has been your favorite part you your year so far?

Another day another dive, on old Lady, Lake Ontario

Today was my second trip with ABUSC Scuba Charters. On Lake Ontario.

Located out of Waupoose Ontario is where the newest vessel to the ABUSC Scuba Charters resides. 1 of 5 boats the company operates, it is currently the only dive boat on the eastern End of Lake Ontario that actually Opperates within the open waters of the Lake. Their other boats are located within the St Lawrence seaway and the cover areas from Kingston Ontario to Brockville Ontario.

I have taken on a part time gig to Captain this vessel out of Waupoose as a relief Captain to help out the Owner get a little down time on occasion throughout the summer.

Today we went to 2 dive locations. The Olive Branch, and the Katie Eccles

Now I’m new to this but I was very impressed by one of our Divers (first name Mark) as he was a blind diver. This was so interesting as he had 2 other divers to help him feel his way around the wreck here is a picture of Mark after getting into the water.

Continue reading Another day another dive, on old Lady, Lake Ontario

The Salty Dog update.

So I apologize for the lack of story telling about the Salty dog this season, but my reality with her has been a struggle to say the least.

I know through experience that when buying an old boat, to expect some issues with her, but this one has been one thing after the other lol. It’s going to be ok soon I can feel it and there will be a light at the end of this tunnel however it will take just a bit more blood sweat and tears to get there lol.

After the Inaugural voyage back on May the 19th, if you recall I had struggled to get this old Salty Dog started and running to be able to get her in the water and able to get her over to the marina where she has sat ever since. I have been struggling to get the boat running properly.

Now July the 11, and after just about 2 months of tinkering with the Salty Dog I have come to the decision that unfortunately the motor she had come with is unsalvageable and I am no longer going to spend any more money on this existing engine.

First just to give a brief history on what is going on is this. During the Inaugural voyage it was clear to me that there was some sort of mechanical issues happening with the boat. She was way underpowered at the time it took a long time for us to get her up on plane. She seemed to cruise at low speed ok, however, when I needed the pick up and go she sputtered and just didn’t seem to have enough power to get up on plane.

So once I got her to the marina, approx 25 miles, I seeked out a mobile mechanic to come do some testing. Well once we started into the testing of the engine things seemed to just snowball out of control.

It seemed at every turn there was a new problem. At first I thought this mechanic was just trying to upsale me and make some extra money but I sat there and watched him and it just seemed that everything he was telling me just made sense

It started as soon as he opened up the engine room hatch lol I mean it looked like a disaster to be honest, a mess of wires ran in every direction and in every color of the rainbow. It took so much time just trying to figure out what wire was for what. So of course the wires all had to be changed , this was just the tip of the avalanche, so to date, I have had the following fixed in order to try and attempt getting this old girl to run smoothly.

– All the wires to every electrical item onboard has been replaced with their proper respected gauge wire and fuses, – new master power switch, – new bilge pump with auto float and wired correctly, – batteries wired correctly (if you saw them prior you would understand lol, -new engine ground wire – carb clean, – new starting coil, – new (to me) electronic distributer,- new distributer cables. – new distributer cap – properly adjust the timing of the engine, -new spark plugs, – all new wiring has been properly and neatly installed and stowed, – modified the alternators mounting bracket so we could properly tighten the belt. – and fixed the small water leak we had from day 1.

I have had the marine mechanic here on 7 separate occasions trying everything ha can to make this motor run properly and with no avail, so my decision now is, to scrap the engine.

This was a very hard decision to make after I had just spent the time effort and money to find out that the compression is shot in 2 of my 8 cylinders. I mean it should have been one of the first things I checked when I made the decision to buy this boat in the first place. So because of bad decission making on my part and not having the boat checked over I have decided that the Old Salty Dog and I are going to get through this together and we will be sure to make some great memmories in the future (together.)

I have purchased another motor to take its place, and on July the 21st 2019 The Salty Dog will no longer have the 255 Volvo Penta and will actually be getting a new(to her) Merc cruiser 350 inboard and should soon be ready for the water.

I look forward to being able to start writing about our adventures to come. I have high Hope’s for our 2nd inaugural voyage this time with my wife on board at the end of July, we are planning a 4 day excursion along the St Lawrence, so fingers crossed the Old Salty Dog will be ready to go by then.

Neon green lights installed
Mechanic making custom bracket for alternator then putting out a fire he created lol.
New flag pole installed after the Inaugural voyage disaster took the old one out.

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.

A Day on the Bay

They say a bad day fishing is better than a good day at work. I tend to agree with that statement and here is one scenario.

leave me a comment below and let me know if you agree.

If you have ever fished The Bay Of Quinte in the Fall you know that The Bay seems to have a mind of its own at times. The Bay Of Quinte commands respect. Every morning as many of you fight your way through city traffic and crowd your self onto over populated street cars and subways, trying hard not to make eye contact with the person rubbing up against you, by looking onto your electronic devices and spending all day trying to get the smell of a thousand different perfumes, mixed with BO, and thousand cologne smells you had the pleasure of encountering before you had your morning coffee, out of your head. relax there is a place where all that craziness seems to just disappear.

Of course, I’m talking about fishing. Fall Fishing on The Bay Of Quinte can be, in a word, majestic. As clients pull up to the harbor before sunrise and watch as the fishing captains of all the charters tied off to the docks ready their boats for the days activities, If you could just relax for a few minutes and pay attention to your surroundings, you would notice an array of activities going on. Anglers launching their boats into the water at the main public launch, the trees rustling in the wind on the high cliffs surrounding the harbor, the sound of the boats warming their engine’s, the sound of the birds coming to the harbor and landing in the water where they stay for the day to feed, the distant chit chat of anglers discussing their days plan and wishing each other luck.

As the sun tries hard to make an appearance a dim light starts to shine through the trees empty branches, its time to load clients onto the boats. As each Boat unties from their respected dock, you see a convoy of charter boats slowly making their way out of the harbor and into the channel. The water like a sheet of glass and the boats not even making a ripple in the water. By the time most of the boats have reached the entrance where the channel meets the bay, boats start to throttle up as to be the first boat to their days choice spot. the boats head out into all directions and soon they all disappear and you are alone, just you, your captain, and your crew.

As we make our way to our destination, the sun rising, you start to notice the light fog over top of the water as it is cooling and getting closer to the big freeze of the winter months. shore lines lightly covered with a dusting of snow, we pass a flock of low flying ducks one way, and a flock of geese the next. The boat throttles down and comes almost to a complete stop. The captain starts the small trolling motor and turns off the main engines you can barely hear the small motor running, after a short time the captain has set up all the rods and reels and you slowly start to concentrate on the rod tips moving, and awaiting the sound the reel makes when there is a fish on the line. Pretty soon any and all life’s little problems seem to have taken a back seat to the tranquility, and the immediate, here and now.

After a while of trolling around you start to get anxious and wanting to hear the scream of the reel knowing that there would be a potental that dinner may be on the other end, Yet Nothing happens. The captain makes a few changes in the program and you feel excitement that the changes made, will make all the difference, and soon a fish will strike.

More time passes, and the lines lay quietly in the water stalking your prey. You have now long since finished your coffee, and start to forget about the act of catching fish. chatting among your friends and reminiscing of old times, As time passes you have now completely given up on hope that any one will catch a fish today but you don’t mind as you are having fun listening to, and telling stories, having a few snacks, and listening to some music. its now mid afternoon and there is a strange clicking sound coming from behind your seat, the captain jumps out of his seat and runs over you to grab the rod with a bend in it he sets the drag of the reel and hands it to you. at first you don’t really feel anything maybe a bit of resistance but cant tell if a fish is on the line or if its just the lure at the other end. Suddenly a few good shakes of the fish and the rod loads up almost bending right over, you think the rod is about to snap. now your adrenaline pumping, the blood rushing through your veins, you realize you have a big fish on the other end. after several minutes of fighting, your arm gets tired, you want to hand off the fish but your friends are cheering you on and you can’t give it up now. you fight the fish until it is at the boat, the captain pulls a net out and nets the biggest Walleye you have ever seen. after taking a few pictures you decide to release the fish back to try and let someone else have their chance at catching this beauty fish.

Its your personal best walleye and possibly fish you have ever caught. the captain re-sets line in hopes of a last attempt to try for another one before its time to go in.

Unfortunatly not another one is caught for the day. The captain brings up the lines, turns off the small trolling motor, the big engines tart up and you head in for the day, on the way home you start to notice the sun starting to set, the birds that you passed in the morning are starting their journey back to where they came from, soon you notice other boats getting closer heading back to port, and shortly there is a few boats heading back up the channel to the harbor creating that convoy you noticed in the morning.

Once you get back to the dock you realize that you did not think about work all day, or that you have to get to the bank to make that payment, or you havn’t talked with your wife/ girlfriend/boyfriend all day and didn’t get the dreaded, (can you pick up a few things on your way home ) call. you realize that you had fun with some friends and have just made another great memory. Now your already looking forward to your next day on the water knowing every day fishing can be extremely different than the last trip out.

Capt James Mathias

Don’t forget to let me know if you agree.

Is a bad day fishing better than a good day at work?