Month: March 2013

Leeward Ho!

A short report from the Squadron’s Executive Officer – John Mason.

There’s snow on the ground.  It’s cold outside.  Time for some winter boating!  John and Pauline Mason, and grandson Xavier, took a March charter out of Sint Maarten.  Well we, and 158 others, ‘chartered’ a cabin on one of Star Clippers 370 foot boats.  Have you seen the ad in the Canadian Yachting that comes with a membership to CPS?  Take a peek a page 95, April; that’s the four mast clipper we were on. (Editors note – it’s Star Clippers through Europa Travel and Tours, here’s a link to their website.)

Pauline and I have been on three river cruises in Europe; this was different but just as good.  Our state room had a queen size bed, a bunk for Xavier, and a bathroom with shower.  Quite big enough for the trip.

St. Maarten, Nevis, Dominica, Les Saints, Guadeloupe, St. Barts. Each day we stopped on one of six leeward islands.  As well as possible tours ashore there were options for rafting down a river, zip lining through tropical forests, snorkeling through reefs, that kind of thing; or you could stay with the boat for wine tasting, water sports, including a ride to a nearby beach to swim and snorkel. The days could be full.

The week on the boat can best be summed up by Xavier who said day after day, “This is the best day of my life!”  His best days included tubing down the rapids, climbing the mast, learning to scuba, (he reported he could live underwater) and, even I have to admit, some of the very best meals.  There was a choice of three chef prepared dinners each day. If chicken, Chateaubriand or lobster were not to your taste, there was a steak or veggie dish.  Five or six meals or snacks through the day – just what a growing boy needs.

Pauline and I agree it was an excellent trip AND the Green Flash exists.  As I climbed down from the mast I stopped to see the sunset.  After years of watching for it, it happened.  A small flash of green in the center of an orange Sun. I saw it.

I am ready to do it again.

To get out of the way of hurricanes and catch the lucrative Mediterranean market, the boats are repositioned twice a year.  I have always looked forward to sailing across the Atlantic and I now think this would be a way to go.  Want to come with me?

Up, up and Away

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Great Lakes Data Resource

I was provided information by Gerry Shipman of Sound Boat Works and a squadron member concerning ice coverage maps for the Great Lakes a month ago, and promptly forgot about it.

With a little bit of digging I’ve managed to find the site the map was sourced from at the NOAA (US – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency). This site has lots of other information that will be of interest to squadron members including winds, waves, surface currents and much more.

There is also specific information on Lake Huron including Georgian Bay. I’ve pasted a screen clipping from one of the composite Lake Huron pages. If you go to the page you will be able to click on the individual maps for a larger image and more detail. It’s worth a look. I’ve placed a link directly from the image below to the corresponding web page in case you want to take a closer look.