Ottawa River - enjoying the viewThe sunny sky suddenly turned black as we waited on the blue line for our turn to enter the mammoth Carillon Lock on the Lower Ottawa River just east of Hawkesbury, Ontario. Then, just after the lock’s giant “guillotine” gate rose overhead to let us in, a strong wind broke the calm. It blew from the east, hammering into the open mouth of the lock and catching several entering cruisers unawares. Frantic lock staff managed to grab one and secure it, but operating under minimum power and with limited manoeuvring room, two other wayward boats started to turn sideways and drift uncontrollably towards the closed gates at the other end – and into each other. So it was Sea-Doo’s to the rescue…a couple of us masqueraded our personal watercraft as tug boats, gently nudging the larger vessels back into position, where grateful lock staff could get them properly fastened.

Lake Superior - Edward IslandsMorning. Thompson Island on Lake Superior. Fourteen nautical miles out of Thunder Bay. Perfect weather. This begins on Day Two because we cast off yesterday and conditions precluded time spent below deck with my nose buried in “Frodo’s” logbook: co-operative winds, scenery that could make a politician cry, waves decorating cobalt waters that glittered like jewels in a crown.  Day two because right here is the perfect beginning: remembering last night, sun dipping in the west, sky-reaching islands hovering like mirages or a Lawren Harris landscape, a fine mist creeping over the water, blurring the edges of a perfect full moon, silvery light on a sauna built by boaters, fired by hardwood, the smell timeless and evocative. 

 

Saint John River - Regent Street WharfCruising on Canada’s East Coast, at least for those who have never been there, can conjure up images of fierce tides and dense fog. While these conditions do exist at times, they can be managed with prudence and planning. However, there are two large cruising areas that are as inviting as any protected inland lake or river. These are the Bras d’Or Lakes region of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia and the Saint John River in New Brunswick. Although the Saint John River runs for over 400 miles from its headwaters in the mountains of northern Maine, it is the approximately 75 miles between the river’s mouth at the port city of Saint John on the Bay of Fundy and the head of navigation at Fredericton, that attract the boater’s attention. 

 

Murchison - Louise NarrowsWe were cruising for two weeks in Gwaii Haanas. Spread out among three boats, (a Campion, a Bayliner Trophy and an Iron Wood) we were seven adults, four children and one large dog. We dropped the boats in the water at Moresby Camp and spent a few days traveling south. By Day 4 we found ourselves in a very nice little anchorage known as Civa Cove, Murchison Island.   

Our first evening anchored here three of us decided to snorkel across the bay in a bit of a stronger current alongside a nameless little island. It was by far the most spectacular snorkeling I’ve ever done. There was nowhere to place a foot or hand on the ground without touching something alive. The kelp beds were bubbly flowing works of art and there seemed to be a bit of everything in a multitude of colours; star fish, sea anemones, sea urchins, cucumbers, crabs, scallops, goeducks and abalone. If it belonged on the north coast it seemed to be here by this little island.

Port Of Newcastle Saturday, July 18th, 2015  the Port of Newcastle invites you to their 21st Annual Wooden Boat Festival.

 

 

Port Dover - Harbour MarinaLake Erie always feels somehow older, more mature ..It’s been the cradle of boating and summer pleasure for years. Port Dover is a time-honoured port with an established feel, high spirited traditions both old and new and a real character all its own. Fishing and sunning have been going on for a couple of centuries although the town’s best known institution, PD13, the spectacular motorcycle ride-in that occurs every Friday the 13th and has put the place forever on the map – only began in 1981. 

Named for Dover, England in the early 1880s, Port Dover evolved as a fishing port and has been loved by generations as a long established summer resort pretty well ever since. 

 

Georgian Bay - BeausoleilGeorgian Bay: Just the words evoke ethereal images, stirring something special in the hearts and minds of all boaters whether you explore silently by kayak, traverse under taut sails or power through her more than 30,000 Islands. 

This vast body of water is technically part of Lake Huron, but is often referred to as the sixth Great Lake for its sheer size and diversity of destinations. It’s a lake of legends, lost ships, forgotten coves, iconic windswept pines, artistic inspiration, rich history and endless islands each packing plenty of personality all their own.

Where to start? Good question. Boaters could spend a lifetime travelling the bay and never know all of its nooks and crannies; never stay in the same spot twice and still not see it all. 

Ghost Lake - Aerial viewWhen we (an Ontario couple) both raised sailing on the Great Lakes and Lake Simcoe,  decided to pack up and move our lives and careers to Cochrane, Alberta (minutes West of Calgary) in 2013, our rationalization banter went a bit like this: 

 

 

Muskoka Ontario, Muskoka WharfOwning a runabout or personal watercraft enables boaters to do unique explorations not possible with larger cruisers. The only additional equipment needed is a good tow vehicle and trailer. This way, you can launch wherever there’s a handy ramp to embark on new trailer boating adventures. 

One of the most enjoyable and memorable is touring in Muskoka, Ontario. Dubbed “the Malibu of the North” by the New York Times, Muskoka has attracted the rich and famous since the latter 1800’s. Its cottaging celebrities include Martin Short, Steven Spielberg, Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Tom Hanks, Harry Hamlin, Cindy Crawford, Ted Rogers, Kenny G, Bill Murray, Kevin O’Leary, along with many sports and business luminaries. During the summer, the Muskoka population swells as tens of thousands of pretty well heeled cottagers take advantage of fun in the sun on its clear and sparkling waters. 

Ocean Harvest Cruise ViewWe met Bobby Sherlock in Ucluelet on the West Coast of Vancouver Island onboard his Hunter 340, Pegasus, near British Columbia’s Barkley Sound. The Broken Group Islands would be our home, for the five of us, for the next few days. The Broken Group Islands are located are on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, in an area known as Barkley Sound and are only accessible by boat. 

With fishing licenses in hand, and after a thorough tour of the boat, we talked with our skipper about the evolution of his unique Ocean Harvest Cruise. It seems like a natural fit for Bobby to lead such an adventure, with his education in outdoor adventure training and having cooked in professional kitchens since he was 15 years old.

My Big Fat Greek Charter

My Big Fat Greek CharterBy Mark Stevens
Photos by: Sharon Matthews-Stevens

We did breakfast yesterday in the Greek port of Piraeus, just outside Athens:strong coffee, crisp bacon, fresh bread, and omelets spiked with Feta Cheese.

We did dinner last night, al fresco, in a village called Perdika on the island of Aegina.

Sometime over dinner it hit me;I knew I was on to something. Raising a glass of ouzo, I toasted my wife, Sharon, and our friends and crew, Ed and Kim North.

“Forget about weddings,” I said, referring to a hit movie penned by a Canadian of Greek ancestry named Nia Vardalos. “Welcome to my Big Fat Greek Charter.”

Read more about their greek charter.....

 

 

 

 

Lifestyle

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Boat Reviews

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Four Winns H290OB

Four Winns H290OBBy Andy Adams

Exciting new model for 2018

The Four Winns H290OB combines two of the most popular new big boat trends to come up with a great new 30 footer. It's a luxurious and spacious deep-V day boat that can handle big water and big groups, and it's powered by outboards. In this case, two Mercury Verado 300s gives this boat 600 hp of silky smooth, ready to run power.

The H290 has been available for the past three seasons as a twin-engine stern drive powered boat, but the outboard version is brand-new and it's a home run for sure!

Read mroe about the Four Winns H290OB.....

 

DIY & How to

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Marine Products

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