What a strange year. Shaped in many ways by COVID and the accompanying restrictions and barriers to travel. I feel in many ways fortunate to have carried out my basic plans for the year.
The time on the boat has been great. I’ve covered a lot of ground. From Toronto to Ottawa via the Rideau Canal and Thousand Islands, then Montreal and a side trip to Lake Champlain. Out the St Lawrence, around Cape Breton, lots of time in Nova Scotia, then a dash down the US east coast to south Florida. Whew!
No major breakdowns occurred. I had two relatively minor incidents. Got swept into the dock at a seaway lock in Montreal when they opened the fill gates, and put two small scars in the topsides. Their small boat dock is not friendly. I also hit the propeller on something hard – I suspect a mooring block – when I was poking around in shallow water in Mahone Bay. Both could have been avoided with a bit more diligence on my part.
Escapade has been a good boat for me. There’s little that I want to change. I had a new shaft installed in Nova Scotia, and all systems are in good order. I had contemplated adding to the fuel tankage before heading for the rivers, but I think what I have is adequate.
What could have been better? I’ve spent too much time by myself. I’m generally happy to be solo when underway, but part of my rationale for a bigger boat was having friends and family join me from time to time in my travels. Also in the past I’ve been able to get off the boat and travel home or elsewhere. My ideal is a mix of time on board and on shore.
It hasn’t been a great year from that perspective. Travel and socialization has been constrained, and some visits canceled.
I’m also disappointed that I couldn’t get into the US sooner. The trip from Nova Scotia south was more rushed than I would have liked. Ideally I would have been in Maine two months earlier than I was. But given that cruisers from Ontario and Quebec weren’t able to make it south at all I’m not complaining too much about that.
Some basic numbers for the year, starting when I left Toronto in May:
Distance traveled: 5,075 nautical miles (9,400 km)
Fuel used: 5,140 l (1,360 us gallons) including 330 l for furnace/hot water
Hours underway: 954