It’s always a perfect day to launch a boat, if the ice has melted and you are a sailor whose winter has been way too cold and too long…right! Some of us managed to escape the elements and sail the coast of Belize this winter, but now the focus is on the 2011 Toronto sailing season.
To begin, we scheduled the launch date for two of the SailTime Toronto yachts; “Never say Never” and “Bow Movement.” 9:00am in the yard at Bronte Outer Harbour, Never say Never, Ivan and myself were greeted with 50+ knots of blustery NE winds, a raging lake and bitterly cold temperatures, -5 with the wind chill…maybe more. If you didn’t come prepared in long johns, hats and gloves and cold weather gear, you were gonna freeze your butt off! But there is a bright side to all of this, it was a perfect day to take pictures and we took lots. Add the excitement of seeing your boat go back into the water, which is really where they belong, and this made for a Fabulous Friday!
So off we went, Ivan and I, securing the mooring lines, filling deflated fenders, all the while not trying to be blown off the deck of the boat. We were actually beginning to wonder if the launch would happen today at all with the high winds, but the expert crew at Bronte Outer Harbour Marina were ready to roll.
First step, position the traveller exactly as needed under the cradle of the boat, carefully lift and off we went down the road through the yard to the hoist. Next step, line her up and enter into the framework of the hoist. The guys then positioned the slings which would lift the boat from the cradle and transport her over to the launching area. Good… she isn’t swaying too much, but just enough that all eyes are watching carefully for any slips. OK, now we slowly carry her, like a baby in mother’s arms to the launch, next gently start to lower her. Everything is going great, within moments the rudder and keel touch the water, then the hull. The bow stays slightly lifted while Ivan and I climb aboard to start up the engine, she starts, purring like a kitten as she gently nestles in the waters of Lake Ontario. She is lowered the rest of the way, until she floats on her own, slings are released and removed and we pull away from the launching area.
It was a short distance to the dock, with gusty winds pushing us about, but here we were smiling, wind in our faces, with the waves carressing the hull, we are the first of the SailTime Toronto membership to hit the water, and boy it sure feels good!
The Water is calling us, our season has begun and we all look forward to fabulous sailing, friendship, fun and many tall tales.