Wednesday March 29, 2017
Hi. My name is Ashanti and I am so excited. I am a 36 foot CS Traditional racer-cruiser sloop and I heard through the grapevine that I am to be launched into the water this week! I can’t believe it. I have been sitting here in this hot, dusty storage area for quite some time and all my joints have stiffened up. But I am going home! I am so longing for cold, clean, unsalted water where nothing grows on my belly and salt granules no longer foul up my topsides.
My owners, Elmar and Carola, have finally decided to sail me back to Canada. It was about time too. My God, those two really are getting on in years; Elmar just turned 77 and Carola isn’t far behind. I am keeping all my lines and ropes crossed and hope we all make it safely back.
I am particularly excited about the fact that I will be staying at a new place this time. And I get to be a teacher. Imagine, at my age, they will let me teach their son-in-law Bryan how to sail. But first, here is a bit of my biography.
I was born in Brampton in Ontario in 1983. I spent the first two years of my life at the Mimico Cruising Club in Toronto on Lake Ontario. As I was so young, my first owner was not very demanding. He only took me on an occasional afternoon sail. But when Elmar and Carol bought me, they really took me through my paces!
They never let up and immediately took me through a doozy of a storm along the length of Lake Erie – through the whole night! It was our very first night together; I was so scared! I had never been out at night; it was a totally new experience for me.
I didn’t want to go, so I tried running around in circles, but they fixed the autopilot and I had to carry on. Then I thought: well, if they can’t see, perhaps they’ll pull into a marina. But Elmar was too smart for me. He is a great mechanic and was familiar with VDO instruments. He quickly figured out that I had the 24v lights on, that’s why they were so dim. He found the 12v lights, installed them and off we were. I hate smart people!
We made it all the way through the Great Lakes into Georgian Bay. I had to sail all the way down to the most southerly part of the Bay, to the Owen Sound Marina, where I lived for 18 years. When I arrived, my older, but smaller half-sister Kiegel, a Bayfield 29, welcomed me. She hung around the other side of my dock for five years before she decided to get hitched to a new owner.
I won’t be going back to Owen Sound though. I shall miss that place. There is nothing in the world like Georgian Bay. It has beautiful cold, clean water and hundreds of islands I can hide behind when the wind blows hard. I was always pretty well alone out there, had all the water to myself and I loved it. At that time, in the 1980’s, I was also one of the biggest boats around and mighty proud of it. Of course, nowadays you can’t even find me among all those 40 – 50 foot boats. That’s all right, I had my heyday.
I hear I am going to live at the Port Credit Marina near Toronto on Lake Ontario. That will be a new experience. Georgian Bay is about 125 feet deep, at least in the area that I frequented. I hear Lake Ontario is 600 feet deep and will n e v e r warm up. Brrr, I shiver just thinking about it. And, apart from the Toronto Islands, it has no other islands in that part of the lake. What a shame, where am I going to throw my anchor? And the traffic; there are five million people living there; I am going to have to defend every wave I want to be on!
I probably won’t be going on week-end jaunts anymore either; more likely my folks will turn into Toronto sailors who just go out for the afternoon and have dinner at home. I hate sleeping by myself! It was always so much fun to have the whole family on board every week-end.
I haven’t seen the kids in a long time, I miss them. Rick has been away for 26 years and is a father of two boys. I don’t know if I would recognize him anymore. Yes, he came to visit a couple of times when I was anchored in Miami, but his boys were so small then. I hear they are as tall as he is now, and he is 6’4”! And little Monica; she was twelve years old when we met. She has a four-year old and two-year old twins? I can’t believe it. I can’t wait to see them; I bet they are as pretty as she is. Wow, where did the time go?
I wonder what Rick and Monica thought of all our sails together. Did they enjoy it? Do they miss it? Did it influence their lives and how they live now? I sure miss having them on board. Perhaps they will come for a visit when I am in Port Credit.
Enough of this reminiscing, I have to get myself in shape for this big journey. I must say, my owners have some nerve. First, they let me sit here for years and then, all of a sudden it’s: “Come on, let’s go, we have 2000 miles to cover and only three months to do it in”. So, it is good-bye for now. Next, I’ll let you know how the launch went.