Safe Arrival to Toronto, Home port of PCYC.

Just completed close to a 1,000 kilometer trek back to Toronto. Continuing up the Hudson River to the now familiar Hop-o-nose Marina in Catskills, New York. Very friendly, professional staff and ownership. The only place I would recommend on the Hudson for stepping your mast and storing your wooden mast supports, or even building them right on site. We had left ours here for safe keeping in the barn. I found them just as we left them. I was on my own now for a couple of days, and it took me about 1 day to set up my mast supports, take down my sails and boom, disconnect all the mast wiring and electronics. Then the very capable and always willing to help staff stepped the mast down for me in no time. I was ready to leave the next morning.

My next stop was Albany, NY. This is where the new crew would be meeting me to assist in navigating the Erie and Oswego Canals back to Lake Ontario. The crew this time around was my mother in-law, Mary Hook and her sister Judy Horvath. I had pretty much tapped out all willing and able crew personnel from the Black Diamond crew bank. So these ladies were nice enough to volunteer their services. We had successfully made it through 33 locks, escalating a total of 460 feet above the Hudson river, and then back down about another 100 feet to Lake Ontario.

At first I wondered if these ladies could handle this, but Judy was one of the best fore deck hands for going through the locks you could ask for. And my mother in-law, well you could not have a better cook in the galley stirring up your favorite meals one demand. All in all, I think we enjoyed the trip, the weather was perfect for the whole trip through the canals. We made a few stops in a couple of towns. But mostly kept a steady pace back to Toronto.

We arrived in record time of 5 days from Albany to Toronto. On day 4 we started at about 10am, and went straight through for about 8 hours to Oswego, and just kept on going without stopping from Oswego at about 6PM straight across the lake to Toronto in 19 hours for a total of 27 hours non-stop motoring. It took us 22 hours last summer to cross the lake, this time in 19 hours. This record time was due to a 20 to 25 knot wind on our back, 6 to 8 foot seas pushing us along from behind, hitting speeds of 8 knots under power. I felt like I was back in the Ocean, it all looked to familiar. However the seas were 4 degrees celsius, almost freezing, and it was a cold windy ride home right through the night and most of the next day. 

The next couple of days I plan to step the mast back up, unload some cruising toys, clean her up, and on Friday night we are entered into the Susan Hood Race. This race is from PCYC Mississauga, to Burlington to Niagara and Back to PCYC. This is a 75 knotical mile non-stop, over night race, starting at 8PM and finishing sometime the next morning.

Cruising the Caribbean and then without missing a beat, arriving just in time to hit the Toronto Racing scene. I love this sport!

s/v Black Diamond

I have been boating for over 25 years, at the age of 43, this is more than half of my life time. Starting out with a number of smaller power boats, then switching to sail about 8 years ago. I have sailed various boats from wind surfers, dinghies (lasers), keel boats from 26 to 45 foot yachts. I live in the area of Toronto Canada and sail mostly on Lake Ontario. I have been racing yachts for the past 7 years. I have also entered many long distance races such as the Fort Lauderdale to Charleston, completed in 2 days 8 hours, we received 4th place in division, 8 minutes in PHRF behind a 3rd place trophy. Then 4 times finishing the Susan Hood, a 75 mile over night race, 4 times entered in the Lake Ontario 300 the worlds longest fresh water race, a 308 knotical mile race around the perimeter of Lake Ontario. My crew and I on Black Diamond finished in 2 days 12 hours in 2009. In 2009, delivering the boat back up to Canada from the Bahamas we entered in a couple of interesting races, one from Fort Lauderdale to Charleston described as a sled ride up the gulf stream, the Charleston race week regatta series and the New Year's Day Staniel Cay Regatta in the Exumas, Bahamas. This race we came in 2nd over entire fleet, only lost by 3 minutes in a 2 hour race to a 47 footer. This was a boat for boat race, no PHRF scoring. "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So cast off the bowline, Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain Blue water experience include yacht deliveries from the Abacos, Bahamas to Charleston South Carolina 2006. This delivery was a non-stop, 3 and half days, total of 500 miles. We crossed parts of the Bermuda Triangle, and during most of the delivery were over 200 miles offshore. The delivery of Black Diamond a 40 foot Jeanneau racer/cruiser has been delivered to New York City and then offshore to Florida and the Bahamas from Toronto, Canada. This delivery from NYC to Florida was completed 100 miles offshore, for a distance of over a 1000 miles non-stop to Jacksonville, Florida. Completed in what might be a cruisers record of 5 days 3 hours non-stop offshore. This fall my family and I added another 500 miles of sailing throughout much of the Bahamas. Spending 6 weeks aboard Black Diamond sailing the Abacos, Nassau and the Exumas. I then sailed the boat back to New York, completely offshore, entered a few races along the way, and back to Toronto through the Hudson River and Erie Canal. During the 2009 season, we sailed Black Diamond off the dock 148 different days out of 365, winning the Vacant Dock award the second year in a row. Most recently, 2011, completed the delivery of friends boat Tracey & Nilson Ruiz, from Tortoal, BVI to New York. Tortola to Georgetown Bahamas in 5 days non-stop. Last leg from Charleston to New York over the momorial day long week-end non-stop Friday to Monday in 4 days. All completed safe and sound without incedent. Need any deliveries let me know. I am also an Open Water Certified diver and an active member of the Canadian Power and Sail Squadron, certifications included Power/Sail boat handling, Seamanship Sail, Piloting/charting, GPS Navigation, Extended Offshore Cruising and a VHF Radio operation license. I hope to further my education, qualifications and experience in long distance cruising and racing. One of my goals is to obtain a commercial Captains License. Feel free to contact me at [email protected]

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