Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Home and Away - the road trip and the tropical storm

I’m sitting in a trailer in Northern Ontario. Wood paneling on the walls, aluminum siding surrounds us. Beyond that, countless miles of pine trees and small lakes and rivers are broken only by ATV trails and the one highway that connects the massive province of Ontario. It’s a sunny morning in the wilderness.

It's beautiful and the air smells so fresh I can't breathe enough in. Here it's so removed from the hustle bustle of the city and the cookie-cutter developments of suburbia. This is the Canada everyone should experience.
We’re ready to make the last leg of our 1800km road trip from Toronto to Fort Frances, a paper mill town where my mother was raised.
But as we look forward to the welcoming scent of sulphur, and meeting extended unknown family members and many who’ve changed immensely since I last saw them at 12 years old, we have something much more daunting on our minds.
Back at ‘home’, in a little bay, at 12 degrees north, Grenada, Shiloh laps up and down on the waves, awaiting the potential for a hurricane, that is slowly developing out at sea, about a 1000km away.
I’m sure the cruisers are abuzz with the news of the weather formation out in the Atlantic. This is hurricane season, but no one really believes such a calamitous storm will hit, until the threat is this real.
And though some friends and fellow cruisers are headed ‘into the mangroves’ to tie up against the battering of the brutal wind and rain, we all still will wait and hope and count on the weather system breaking up and dissipating and/or moving north, missing Grenada and it’s cruising community of vessels completely.
 It’s amazing, sitting here, so very far removed, that it’s only been 4 months since we ‘set sail’ on the boat life adventure. Amazing that it feels like we’ve just begun, but how at home we feel aboard.
It is surreal now to be sitting here, on land, deep inland, where lightning storms are just a pretty display in the sky and don’t illicit fear and panic; where showers are long and hot and wasteful and decadent; and laundry can be done at your leisure, in your house, with the luxury of separating out the whites from the colours, the towels from the clothes… it’s strange and foreign. And where we feel at home is on a tiny rocking island, that is at the mercy of mother nature and her tropical storms.
As we head further north, our internet checks will be to the weather sites, the hurricane watches, and our hearts will be south and afloat with our boat and our anchored friends down in Hog island.


  1. The sea "gets" to you. I was born on the sea and I couldn't ever live without it. Even if I had to move, it would have to be on the sea.
    Its majestic beauty enters your soul and never leaves you.
    Enjoy the hot long showers!

  2. I probably need to go back and read your old post to see if there's a mention of it, but why are you guys back on land? What happened to Shiloh? Just a bit surprised when I logged in from my desk on the 16th floor in hot & muggy NYC, I was looking to zone out & daydream through your sailing journeys, but's like opening the refrigerator with a bowl of cereal in hand to then find out that there's no milk. Whyyyyyyyyy! In any event, enjoy the comforts that being on dry land offer.

  3. Garnet - I've just gotten back to Toronto after a long road trip spurred on by a family reunion. Shiloh is waiting for our return and we are also looking forward to being back on the sea. We've got another month up in Canada, then back to the sea that calls us!!! Enjoy your NYC summer :)