End of the season

What an amazing year we have had on the boat this season, with things opening up as they have, it allowed us the opportunity to really enjoy the boat & try a few things.

Last year, we installed solar panels, lithium batteries and a new inverter. It all comes off at the end of the season, but during the season we love that we can go off the grid with our set-up. This year, whilst we were in NYC, Starlink sent out an email letting people know that you could order an RV version, which we did & it was a game changer. Between the solar panel set-up & our Starlink dish, we took remote work to a whole new level. In fact, the connection we have on the boat is better than what we get at home with our local ISP. This just justifies the need to live & work remotely on a boat, which is supported by those that we work with (which is nice, not that we really need that stamp of approval, but it makes life easier). Once word was out that we had Starlink, a few people that we know then went out to get one too. The great thing about the RV one is that you can switch it on & off as needed (a little more expensive, but when you aren’t going to use it for several months it helps, plus it’s supposed to move around, which it clearly does).

The boat that we have at the moment is a little cozy for 4 as a live-aboard, being a Catalina 30 MkII, but it’s not bad & didn’t stop us from making memories & taking a few longer trips this year than last year on it.

This year we joined our club in going on a couple of cruises, one was to Alexandria Bay & the other one was to Henderson Harbour. Alex Bay was a lot of fun, we almost gave up in going when we had some issues with the CBP ROAM app, but it was user error in the end, as we had lodged our application to come over the border a little too early for it to be approved (you need to be fairly close to US waters to have them approve). For both trips they did a little zoom chat with us on the boat, making sure that we were indeed on a boat & that there were 4 of us.

Coming back from both trips, one had to wish that Canada would have the same option in terms of an app, as you have to call Customs 1 888 226 7277 (1888CANPASS) & wait in a queue, often for an hour for someone to talk to you. You still have to do the ArriveCan app, but that isn’t something used to declare “officially” that you are back in the country. You are required to contact CanPass & give them all the details of the boat that you are on (registration, make & model) as well as passenger details (passports & DOB’s) & give them the code for your ArriveCan declaration. As much as it takes a little bit of time to get through to someone here in Canada (shortest wait for us was 40 minutes), at least you can use that time to tidy & sort out the boat & run off to the toilet (although, I pass the phone over to G to look after, because the last thing I want is to be on the phone on the toilet, especially with customs & immigration).

Alex Bay was quite a lovely town to pull up into, the town is a little tired in places, but quite the happening place (at least it seemed that way to us). The mayor & deputy mayor come out to see us all at the marina & make sure we knew that we were welcome & to please come back. People from town also came down to see all the sailboats, with many remarking on how they hadn’t seen so many sailboats in one place before. It was quite a surreal experience. The kids loved the scavenger hunt that Kelly, who is social director for the club, organised, which also encouraged everyone to spend a little money & support the local economy. I loved the art shop & of course got something small to support a local artisan. The kids on the other hand loved the popcorn shop.

The Henderson Harbour trip was a little different. HH Yacht Club is similar to the current club that we members of, although HH isn’t quite so far away from the town as our current club is. We had a lovely welcome from members of the club & enjoyed chilling out in the clubhouse with everyone else who came from Trident. The Christmas in July celebrations (a happy coincidence), in the area were a particular favourite, with fireworks that went on 20-30 minutes (just as you thought they were done, you realised they were just ramping it up another level). On Sunday night a taco dinner was organised for everyone, which was lovely & they were so good at catering to all my food allergies.

Besides those cruises, there has been time out to the islands to anchor out on weekend’s with other friends from the club, and to take a few friends out on the boat for a day trip here & there, as well as staying at the club on the boat whilst the kids did a sailing class in Kingston for a couple of weeks & attending a few other social events at the club.

It’s been a really lovely summer. I’m sad to see the season ending a little earlier for us than originally planned. Given issues with water levels dropping as they have & our personal circumstances, I am also glad that we aren’t pushing the season as long as we normally do. Extremely grateful for all the memories and fun that we had this season on our boat, Can Knot Agree. Rest well little boat & we look forward to seeing you back in the water again very soon.

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