7 Months Later …

To Friends and Family from Bluenoserjim

It has been seven months since Bluenoser arrived back in her home port of Penetanguishene. It was such a memorable day, having completed the Great Loop and to see so many friends and family standing on the dock, at Dutchman’s Cove Marina, as I pulled in. It was an exciting day and yet a sad day. Exciting because I had set out on a journey, which quite frankly scared the hell out of me, and was successful in completing it. A sad day, because the journey had now come to an end. A few friends came over to the house for a few drinks and then the day was over.

Bluenoser in a snow bank, its winter berth.

Bluenoser in a snow bank, its winter berth.

Within a week, Bluenoser was sitting on jacks, beside the house, as I wanted to take a break from boating. It sat there all summer, and I paid very little attention to it. In fact, I paid very little attention to anything. I struggled with the age-old question, as one is aging, “Is that all there is?” What can I do next? I spent more time working around the house and yard, cutting grass and weeding the garden, but generally fell into a slump.
I might even say that I got depressed. I started little projects to keep myself busy, but generally had trouble focusing on anything for a long period of time.

My sister, Shirley, passed away in the early summer and that was sad. She was my one sibling that really looked out for me. Her passing meant that I was the last remaining sibling which means, in my family, “I guess I am next!!!

Bluenoser the beautiful!

Bluenoser the beautiful!

Then one day, late in the summer, 2014, Wendy and I were talking about long-range plans and she brought up the idea of retirement. She decided that she would work for another year and retire in December 2015 at age 66. Honest folks, I had nothing to do with this decision, as she is a highly respected dietician, specializing in diabetes. I tell you folks, it was like a shot of “new life” injected into me. I brought up the idea of cruising the winter in Florida and the Bahamas, after she retires, and it was all systems GO.

I immediately started working on Bluenoser in September, making changes, to make her a better, more comfortable cruiser. I had thought about selling Bluenoser and buying a larger more comfortable boat; however, when I thought things over, Bluenoser has so many good qualities, that I changed my mind. She is a simple boat with simple systems that are easy to maintain. She is economical to run, and can handle almost any sea condition and never lets you down.

Dolphin beside BluenoserI wanted to add more fresh-water capacity, and house-battery storage, which I have now done.

I am also thinking about installing autopilot. During my voyage, last spring, I was just coming through the Trent Canal System and nearing home. My sister-in-law, Jan, was joining me in Peterborough, to complete the rest of the voyage to Penetanguishene. I arrived a few hours early, for our rendezvous and walked up town to do some banking and have a beer. While sitting at the bar in the “Tap Room” of this old hotel, I noticed my right elbow swell up like I had a soft ball implanted. And no folks, it was not because I had lifted too many beers.
I went back to the boat and googled “lump on elbow”. If you want to know anything about anything, just GOOGLE it. It may or may not be true. Well, a picture came up, exactly what I had, a large lump on the elbow, “Tennis Elbow”. The article said that it was caused by repetitive movement and rubbing the elbow.

I thought about this for a while and what I had been doing for the last 9 months. My right arm was going back and forth, all the time, on the wheel, steering the boat. And I would rest my right elbow on the window sill. DAH!!! This light came on in my head, why I had Tennis Elbow. That was a long story, as to why I plan to install autopilot.

IMG_1786I am busy building a new wood dinghy which will mount on the stern of Bluenoser. I designed it especially for my application. It will have a substantial keel for rowing, and enough beam for a ladder on one side to get back into the boat, after snorkeling.

I am keeping myself busy this winter, with working out at the YMCA, tutoring English and math to drop-outs, and teaching courses at the Midland Power and Sail Squadron.

My future plans are to cruise Georgian Bay extensively this summer, as we have a boating paradise right here at our door step. Then come the third week in September, Bluenoser will once again depart Penetanguishene, through the Trent and Erie canals, the Hudson River, and down the ICW (Inter-coastal Waterway) to Florida. I will come home and wait for Wendy to retire, after which we will cruise Florida and the Bahamas. My family have already brought up the idea of “Christmas in the Bahamas,” again.

It has become totally apparent to me, after what I went through this past summer, that one needs to dream. Not only do we need dreams, but we need to plan to make those dreams happen. It uplifts the spirit, and it gives one energy to move forward. So, please, my friends and family, do not lose sight of your dreams.

One side note: one of the changes I am making to Bluenoser is to change the aft deck so it readily configures into an aft lounge/sleeping berth. On this next voyage, I will, once again, be looking for family and friends to join us, as that is what life is all about.

Wishing everyone health and happiness in 2015, and as you go through life—“keep the dry side up”.

Bluenoserjim

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Friday, June 6, 2014 … Final Newsletter from Penetanguishene

Hi Folks,

Sunrise on Lake Ontario

Sunrise on Lake Ontario

I thought I would send out one last newsletter, to wrap up this adventure. Bluenoser crossed her wake on Monday, June 2 at 3:45 PM. Crossing your wake means that one has crossed the old track made last fall and closed the Loop. It was a momentous occasion for me, recounting all the adventures, good days, bad days, and anxious moments, to make it all happen.

Jan on the Trent Canal

Jan on the Trent Canal

I have come home and started the process of settling back into a normal, land-based way of life. The financial set back was about $25,000, however, it was a trip of a lifetime for me, filled with memories I will cherish forever. I can now fully appreciate that, at my stage in life, life is not about wealth, it is about health. Therefore, I do not regret, in anyway, doing this trip, as now was the time, health-wise, for me to do it.

Bluenoser waiting at Lock 45

Bluenoser waiting at Lock 45

I thought I was going to come home and spring into action, with gardens to plant and grass to cut, along with many other chores to be done, that surfaced during my absence.

Bluenoser crossing wake, June 2, 345 PM

Bluenoser crossing wake, June 2, 345 PM

In reality, I have had great difficulty getting my mind-set changed from one of carefree adventure, to getting on with normal life. My head is spinning, and my mind is in neutral.

It is now 4 days since returning home, and slowly I am settling back to routine life.

Would I ever do something like this again? That is surely a difficult question. On one hand, if one has a dream and can still accomplish it, then yes, I would do something again.

Lloyd and Jim finishing the Great Loop

Lloyd and Jim finishing the Great Loop

Perhaps not so challenging, and with more comforts. On the other hand, during this past adventure, there were certain things I really did miss, and will not be so ready to give them up. I missed my grandkids, Christmas at home, family events. I missed being at home for the arrival of spring and the Robins coming back. I even missed a good snow storm.

I guess we really take things for granted, and only realize how much they mean to us, when they are not there.

All that being said, the trip was totally worth it, with such great memories as Christmas in the Bahamas, great passages with family and friends.

Bluenoser will be put up on jacks, beside the house, until next spring, and I will take the summer to do some work on her.

I met a Canadian boat, that a couple had named: “What’s Next“. That about sums it up.

I like to think that the end of this trip, is just the beginning of some new adventures. It is just not clear what they might be.

So to all my friends and family, I cannot thank you enough for all your support, and encouragement, throughout the past 9 months. It was always an uplifting treat, to get your messages, jokes and words of encouragement.

For all of you that took the time and expense to come and join me, I thank you oh so much.

For all of you thinking about doing an adventure, I say: “Stop dreaming and DO IT“.

I will be the first person to help you DO IT.

To everyone, please keep in touch

And as you go through life, remember: “Keeeeeeeep the dry side up!

Bluenoserjim

Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Tuesday, June 3, 2014 … Lloyd Walton … The Last Leg with BluenoserJim

The Last Leg

By Lloyd Walton

I said good bye and good luck to Jim McLarty and his boat, Biuenoser,  last September in Chicago as he was about to enter the Illinos Waterway with a new crew. Many more crew changes would follow as family and friends would hop aboard to help him on his dream quest of boating through the United States, out to the Gulf of Mexico, around the tip of Florida then over to spend a carefree winter in the Bahamas, hopping from island to island.

It was not an idle dream. Fulfilling it took planning, fortitude, diplomacy, nautical wisdom, courage, an overriding sense of good humour and Bluenoser. It’s a good boat. Jim lived his dream, a blur of turquoise ocean island and beach pleasures.

Alas, on March 24, 2014, Bluenoser’s diesel engine was fired up, lines untied, and she turned north, north through places with names like, the Dismal Swamp, the Coastal Waterway, Chesapeake, Delaware Bay, Cape May, the Hudson River, and the Erie Canal. On May 25, he re-entered Canada. The 48 locks of the Trent Severn Waterway, then home lay ahead.

I rejoined Jim and the boat for the last leg of the trip at the Big Chute Marine Railway, on the Severn River. As Bluenoser drifted into position, a giant cradle on railway wheels emerged from the depths, then lifted and carried the boat down a steep incline to the river 53 feet below.

Jim proudly announced to the railway operator that he had just travelled 8,000 miles.
“Were you lost ?” the operator answered back.

I’m back at the helm again in the winding narrow speedy gorges of the River Severn. It feels good. Standing waves shot Bluenoser ahead in a few spots reminding me of shooting rapids in a canoe. As the current mellowed out, a gondolier poled by, all decked out in full costume. Huh?

We pulled away from the last lock, and coasted under Highway 400, then it hit us, that familiar musky scent of sky and water. We were back on the precious giant, glassy, Georgian Bay. The engine seemed to change its tune from a working rhythm to a happy, happy song. It was like it could feel its home waters.

Jim has been very quiet for this last leg of the journey. He has left so many beaches, rivers, lakes, swamps, canals and heavy seas behind. Then there were the countless fleeting friendships from fellow loopers, boaters, bystanders and beach buddies. All journeys must end.

He mutters, “Bittersweet.”
There’s no place like home.

Up ahead is the spot on the chart where we cross our departure track. We slow down to take pictures. Jim has completed the loop. Family and friends await him on the dock in Penetanguishene.

But what’s next ? Bluenoser will be put up on land for the rest of the season. There will be gardening to do, a wife to please, and grandchildren to cuddle. But how to top that amazing journey ?

Just wait. Jim is an inventor. He always has been . He is a master of invention as a matter of fact and what lies ahead is the reinvention of Jim McLarty. Just you wait.


Attention all, Jim tells me he’s got one more story to tell about his Great Loop Adventure … please stay tuned and keep following BluenoserJim!                 Sandy Campbell  4June2014

 

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Monday, June 2, 2014 … Bluenoser Arrives Home in Penetanguishene!

On the dock to welcome Bluenoser Home …

Bluenoser Pulls into Dutchmen's Marina, home base

Bluenoser Pulls into Dutchmen’s Marina, home base

 

bluenoser
Latitude:44.78931
Longitude:-79.93564
GPS location Date/Time:06/02/2014 13:12:30 PDT

Message:I have arrived at today’s destination and everything is OK

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/HAJfw/44.78931N/79.93564W

If the above link does not work, try this link:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=44.78931,-79.93564&ll=44.78931,-79.93564&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

bluenoser

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Sunday, June 1, 2014 … Big Chute Marina … Dutchmen’s Cove Marina 3:30 – 4:00 pm Monday, June 2, 2014


Jim, We’ll all see you tomorrow in Penetanguishene at Dutchmen’s Cove Marina! WELCOME HOME!


bluenoser
Latitude:44.88547
Longitude:-79.67468
GPS location Date/Time:06/01/2014 14:35:00 PDT

Message:I have arrived at today’s destination and everything is OK

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/H9Naw/44.88547N/79.67468W

If the above link does not work, try this link:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=44.88547,-79.67468&ll=44.88547,-79.67468&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

bluenoser

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Saturday, May 31, 2014 … Near Gamebridge on the Trent, approaching Lake Simcoe

bluenoser
Latitude:44.49344
Longitude:-79.14001
GPS location Date/Time:05/31/2014 13:25:59 PDT

Message:I have arrived at today’s destination and everything is OK

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/H8FO9/44.49344N/79.14001W

If the above link does not work, try this link:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=44.49344,-79.14001&ll=44.49344,-79.14001&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

bluenoser

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Friday, May 30, 2014 … Big Bob Channel at Bobcaygeon, Ontario

bluenoser
Latitude:44.53707
Longitude:-78.54788
GPS location Date/Time:05/30/2014 13:42:34 PDT

Message:I have arrived at today’s destination and everything is OK

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/H77tI/44.53707N/78.54788W

If the above link does not work, try this link:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=44.53707,-78.54788&ll=44.53707,-78.54788&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

bluenoser

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Thursday, May 29, 2014 … Lakefield, approaching Mink Island and Clear Lake

bluenoser
Latitude:44.48854
Longitude:-78.23202
GPS location Date/Time:05/29/2014 12:30:59 PDT

Message:I have arrived at today’s destination and everything is OK

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/H5wG7/44.48854N/78.23202W

If the above link does not work, try this link:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=44.48854,-78.23202&ll=44.48854,-78.23202&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

bluenoser

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014 … Little Lake, Peterborough, Ontario

bluenoser
Latitude:44.29869
Longitude:-78.30459
GPS location Date/Time:05/28/2014 12:58:58 PDT

Message:I have arrived at today’s destination and everything is OK

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/H4ocn/44.29869N/78.30459W

If the above link does not work, try this link:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=44.29869,-78.30459&ll=44.29869,-78.30459&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

bluenoser

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014 …. Hastings, Ontario on the Trent River

bluenoser
Latitude:44.30884
Longitude:-77.95474
GPS location Date/Time:05/27/2014 13:11:51 PDT

Message:I have arrived at today’s destination and everything is OK

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/H3fWJ/44.30884N/77.95474W

If the above link does not work, try this link:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=44.30884,-77.95474&ll=44.30884,-77.95474&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

bluenoser

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