Toronto to Fairhaven

Our sail from Toronto to the U.S. was uneventful, but for two minor incidents, getting boarded by the Coast Guard, and navigating through Big Sodus Bay at night. The first requires some perspective. I took the first watch alone the night of the fifteenth, as everyone was exhausted, and the wind was scarcely blowing. Around 1am, I saw a large ship approaching from the stern with a spotlight. Not wanting them to hit us, I began putting the beam of my flashlight up on the sail, indicating our position. They eventually turned back behind us, but I caught a glimpse of their ship as they did so, and it certainly appeared to me to be a navy or coast guard vessel, and their lights remained behind us all night. The following morning when I was back on watch, we discovered that it was indeed the Coast Guard, as they sent a boat alongside to get two of their men aboard. Thankfully, everything was in order, and we were all very happy to discover that in our absence from the United States, no wants or warrants had been issued for us. Apparently they had spent some time the night before hailing us, but I had unthinkingly left the VHF volume on low, and the radio face down on the table, causing them to wonder at our intended purpose. The two Coast Guardsmen were very polite. One of them was quite affable, while the other seemed to make jokes, but maintained such a severe look on his face that it felt imprudent to laugh too heartily. They pulled away, although not without some minor comedy, as they had to come back only minutes later to return our vessel documentation that they had forgotten to return to us.

With our egos slightly bruised and the side of our hull slightly blackened from the (admittedly very impressive) boarding process under way, we maintained our course for Sodus Bay. What we unfortunately found, however, was that Big Sodus Bay and Little Sodus Bay are located in very different places, about 12 miles apart from each other. Intending to stay at Fair Point Marina, we made it about a quarter mile from Little Sodus Bay, before discovering that we in fact had to sail 12 miles back west to Big Sodus Bay to find a videophone to clear customs. As it was already 6:30 when we learned this, we arrived in just about pitch darkness and had to navigate through and around various buoys, boats and sandbars, before arriving and discovering that the videophone was in fact broken, and we had to clear customs on our cell phones anyway. Too exhausted to even think of moving the boat anywhere that night, we simply came back and passed out, ready to make for Fair Haven and Little Sodus Bay in the morning.


One thought on “Toronto to Fairhaven

  1. Hello Dustin,
    I have read the last couple of blogs and I enjoy them so much. Please don’t take a long time before posting another. We had the apprentice Brunch today and the penultimate performance, Tosca, is tonight, with Thomas Hampson! We haven’t see much of Thom while we have been here because I just haven’t had any time. It is looking easier now, however, and he leaves tomorrow. He will be in Chicago in the fall.

    Much love to you. You make me want to come and visit but I probably won’t. I would be too operatic for your group. Maybe we’ll figure out a way to get to a Port where you happen to be!!

    All my love and good wishes, Dad

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