Lake Ontario Sailing was a only a gleam in my eye over fifteen years ago. It was during Christmas break that I decided to do something with my spare time. The sailing season is short on Lake
Ontario, so what better way to enjoy the off-season then to write about sailing.
My name is Ken Palmer. My wife Ruth and I started sailing in the year 1995. I can remember dreaming of sailing when I was a young man. I never figured that Ruth would have that same dream until we had enjoyed a three hour tour aboard a schooner on Seneca Lake. It was then we discovered our mutual dream.
We purchased our first sailboat, a 1972 Irwin that we named Up North. Not knowing how to sail, we decided to take lessons. Our friends Al and Sue Myers went with us to Annapolis Sailing School in St. Petersburg, Florida. There we took a one week course in basic sailing and cruising.
To make a long story short, Ruth and I sailed Up North for two seasons. We sailed up to Kingston, Ontario for our first cruise, and loved every minute of it. As time went on, we started to look at larger boats. Enter Mike Ratigan from Navy Point Marine. Mike found us the perfect boat: Liberty, a 1981 Hunter 33 foot sloop.
Liberty served us for seven years as a day sailor and racer. Every summer we would go on a cruise on Lake Ontario and race with the Genesee Yacht Club Tuesday nights. We did pretty well for new racers taking home a few trophies on Cups & Flags night.
In 2003, while attending a Hunter Rendezvous in Port Credit, Ontario, we discovered another Hunter 33. This one was a 1990 Hunter 33.5. It was a trade-in brought by Angus Yachts of Toronto to the rendezvous. Ruth and I couldn’t believe that this boat looked so much larger than Liberty. Both boats at 33 feet, but designed by different designers. Well, we made Angus an offer and it was accepted. Our new boat, Water Colors, has been a joy to sail. The cabin has more space than we ever had before making life easy while cruising.
This takes us to the present. After cruising for 10 years, Ruth and I made a major decision. We sold Water Colors. We had found that we were sailing less often, and that routine maintenance was getting more difficult for me. Ruth was having some trouble getting on and off the boat because of some medical issues.
I hope this little story will help others decide to take up sailing as a hobby. Please feel free to ask question by going to the Contact page.