Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Lines and Waves

My very talented brother-in-law Matt Stamm just released his fifth album Lines and Waves.

Check it out on iTunes

Control yourselves ladies... he's married to my sister!

Here's a Lincoln Center favourite from a previous album

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Home Port – 6000 nautical miles round trip!

After gruelingly slow motoring against the strong current of the mighty St-Lawrence river we finally made it back to our homeport in Montreal. We were greeted by our excellent ground support team to help us immediately re-step the mast and install the sails. We are so grateful for Paul, Patrick, Jean-Francois and Josh along with my parents! Dexter as usual did nothing. 
We had an immediate little beer & pizza party to celebrate.

The next morning we had an in-studio interview Canada's national broadcaster the CBC about our adventure. You can hear the interview here. I'll have to have a word with our media manager about scheduling these things before I've had my morning coffee...

That evening was Welcome Home party! So nice to see friends we've missed.

Now to adjust back to land life.... we're freaking out!

Last night at anchor

Can Dexter come out to play?

Farewell old friend

Our last sunset

Canada's got some game too!

6000 nautical miles!!!

Easy does it

That look straight to you?

Thank you!

Tina from Brin de Folie!!

Let's be honest... came to see Dexter

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

All Locked Up

Rode the tidal current all the way up the Hudson river to Catskill NY where Sean and the boys at Hop-O-Nose marina unstepped the mast. Unfortunately the amazing mast supports that we designed, built and used on the way south disappeared from their storage barn and so we had to build new ones. The stands were clearly labelled with Topanga's name and my cell phone number. I don't make threats lightly but if I ever find the person who took our stands... a punch right in the kisser! Take another man's mast stands... it just ain't right. If you sailors happen to see my stands around please let me know.

We follow the blog of two Michigan twenty-something girls and their dog who've been doing the Great Loop on their small 27ft sailboat Louise. Who should we see when we pulled up at the Hop-O-Nose marina? We went over and introduced ourselves and when they started to introduce themselves I told them, as un-creepily as possible that we knew who they were and had been following them for a while. These girls are pretty impressive and have been featured in several Sailing magazines and Women's adventure publications.

My parents were kind enough to once again meet us and take our sails and some other gear by car. It was so nice to see them again, and looking so great! Thanks mom & dad!

After passing the ten locks of the historic Champlain Canal system we motored up lake Champlain and dropped anchor in front of my family's in Essex NY. On the return leg of our amazing adventure, to have Topanga anchored in the exact spot where my love of sailing and this dream had their genesis was very special. We spent a wonderful few days with my cousins Carole & Laura and even got to go for a sail on their little boat Laughing Gull. This was literally the first time that we've sailed on another boat in the last eleven months. Small boat sailing is such a joy.

Unfortunately we couldn't stay longer (go go go) and continued motoring up Lake Champlain to the Canadian border. Good to back in Canada. Another ten locks and seven swing bridges in the historic Chambly Canal has us currently making our way up the Richelieu river.

We are almost home.

Fare thee well New York

Following Henry

West Point

One last Wing-on-Wing

I'll miss you sails, we'll be reunited soon

Down she comes

Louise and the girls and Reggie the dog

Dexter ready to grab a line... ya that'll be the day this dog does something productive!

Just like our deck

Grill master

Topanga in the background

Also where my love of scooters originated

New Yorker by the pool... classic Cassy

Sailing on someone else's boat is so less stress!

Raising the fashion quotient as usual

Drunken sailors


Coconut shrimp!! Heyo!

Drop the boat 100ft. And an H&M advert

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Stand Clear of the Closing Doors

Temporary new addition to the crew. Dominique, Cassy's friend, who's wedding we just attended in Winnipeg is joining us for a week on board. Great, deck hands needed!

A few more days in Long Island and then we set sail around to NYC. Perfect sailing day and sailing into New York Harbour is always spectacular, the bridges, Lady Liberty, the city skyline, the tour boats & ferries and on this 4th of July holiday weekend there were so many other sailboats it was picture perfect.

Up to the 79th st. Boat Basin, thanks to our friends Logan & Caroline for arranging a mooring ball for us (all the transient ones were taken!). You may remember we met these two experienced sailors in Wrightsville NC and hoped to cross paths again in the Bahamas but kept missing each other. They run a sailboat charter, school and summer camp out in NYC and it was heart warming to see many little faces beaming with enthusiasm for sailing.

I love NYC but visiting always kicks my butt. I've been several times so I'm not really into the tourist stuff anymore but prefer to just hang out. It was Dominique's first time and Cassy's second so it worked out well because the girls could take off and run the sight seeing gauntlet while I did my thang (jogging, boat maintenance, fill propane)

I know this will sound ridiculous to most but one touristy thing I did really want to do was take a tour of the NY Stock Exchange on Wall Street. See the trading floor, the center of the financial universe! Where it all goes down! There was some tour information on the internet but ultimately turned out to be outdated because they no longer give tours (hello post 9/11 world). Second best was the Federal Reserve down the street, where they keep a quarter of the world's gold in vaults five floors down. Even the girls would like to see that! No tours for my available days though. Finally I just cut my losses, grabbed a coffee and read an interesting economist book at a table on the pedestrian mall in front of the exchange.

We saw the Broadway show Kinky Boots and the girls went to Les Mis the next night. Our last night was a stand-up comedy show that I'll always remember because so many of the comics bombed!

The 79th st Boat Basin is not my favourite anchorage in the world; strong and shifting tidal currents, the frequent "wind against current" effect and the wakes of heavy commercial and recreational traffic make for a bumpy spot to say the least. There was a front coming through, when it hit we were at a show but it must have hit something fierce because when we got back to the basin some boats had dragged their moorings and were hitting each other. At the entry gate we crossed one very panicked owner racing out to save his baby. One boater told us that it was so rough the bow on his moored 42ft yacht was plunging beneath the waves! Topanga was OK, some things thrown around the cabin. Poor Dexter was on board alone for it all, in the dark (I forgot to leave a light on) but not a word of complaint. What a soldier.

Thanks for visiting Dom!

Now up the mighty Hudson to unstep the mast and motor towards home.


Picked it with my own hands from the depths

Man those kids are ugly!

Dominique at the helm

See that!

Dinghy needed a little CPR

Dominique loves pointing

Little Italy