This series of posts were written by Lynn and Pat Lortie of Adamant 1 and originally published in the Canadian Yachting Magazine monthly newsletter.
Adamant 1 has finally shipped her dock lines and is on her way. The last three months have been full of activity for us. We have installed all new electronics (thank you Jack at RadioWorld for helping us!), new solar panels and charge controller, ICOM Automatic Identification System transceiver, Raymarine inboard self-steering system, stainless steel lifelines and our pride and joy, a Lofrans electric windlass! Our son, Darren, was a godsend and did all the connections for us and even went up the mast three times to connect all of the antennas. Slowly we have been learning how to work all the new equipment. Everything is tied together electronically and with the learning curve ahead of us it might have been wise to bring our son along with us for the first little while! Adamant 1 also has a website, which needs to be kept updated. I had learned quite a bit about websites at Kerrwil, but looking after one on my own, offshore, without my trusty and helpful coworkers and my son to bail me out, this may be a challenge. I can see many emails to my son for help! By the way, Automatic Identification System transceiver is a piece of equipment that will alert us to any vessels that may be on a collision course with us. At the same time, it will alert them that we are there. Because all of our electronics are tied together, we can see the vessel in question on our chart-plotter. By bringing the cursor over the triangle representing the vessel on the chart-plotter screen, we can identify the vessel by name, see its size, speed and course. Then we can hail them on the VHF radio and talk to them directly. This is particularly necessary piece of equipment in the inland rivers where the commercial tows are frequent and often hidden by the curves of the river. With this piece of equipment, we can see them well ahead of time and have time to move over for them. More about that in future blogs when we enter the river system.
We decided to rent our house, so that involved packing and moving everything to storage and moving aboard the boat at the same time. If I forgot something, I will buy a duplicate! On our last day ashore, we brought our trusty 12 year old car to the wreckers! We will need a new car when we return.
Paperwork was another issue that consumed a lot of time. We need a cruising permit to cruise in the US and that can be obtained by calling the US Coast Guard in Sault Ste. Marie Michigan and have them send the application to us by email so we can fill it out. I have a printer aboard, but I have yet to figure out how I will get the signed application back to them. Maybe I can hire a fax machine somewhere in Little Current or Gore Bay. Once they have the application back, they will bring our permit to Drummond Island where we can pick it up when we check in. Vessels entering the US now require a ship's station license for the VHF. Navigating a government website is tedious at best and I was relieved a few weeks later to get the station license in the mail. I guess I did something right! We also need a reciprocal license so we can use the HAM radio in the Bahamas. For a small fee you get to be totally frustrated with the communications department in Nassau and eventually they send you a call sign valid for most of the time you won't be there! Once in Nassau, we will need to locate said office and repeat the procedure face-to-face to keep us legal! I will keep my cool, perhaps! Besides making sure our wills and Powers of Attorneys were all up to date, we arranged for blue water insurance for Adamant 1, changed to rental insurance for the house and the biggest challenge, out of country travel insurance. Now that we are over 60, the premiums for extended care rise dramatically. We arranged with OHIP for the two year out-of-country coverage, but we still need supplemental coverage. It was a challenge to find decent coverage at a reasonable price.
So now we are at anchor at Heywood Island outside of Little Current. We had an uneventful crossing of Georgian Bay (well, uneventful for us as we are used to big seas), and spent 4 days in the Killarney area before heading here. We are finally winding down and beginning to enjoy the trip. Until next time......