Journey To Hell: The William OLeary Series


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Tim Allen – today

There were no cottages available. Even the local motels were full. I pointed out he only had two weeks of vacation. He enlisted the help of friends of ours, two couples with sailing experience, to move the boat.

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He cancelled our slip in Hamilton. And he arranged haulout at the end of the season in Wiarton, on the other side of the peninsula. Our friends each took week-long stints to move the boat to Sarnia at the southern tip of Lake Huron. Full disclosure, David sailed north while I read books, sun tanned, and cuddled with Leiah underway.

My favourite part of the journey, was eating burritos at a Mexican food stand in Grand Bend! But, once again, David was right. We arrived in Kincardine days before the camp began, where I spent three glorious weeks aboard the Killarney II , in the marina, in the company of our son, John, and our trusty dog, Leiah, and experienced phenomenal concerts in little churches, bagpipers on the main drag, the lovely boardwalk with its native gardens, the inside of an actual lighthouse, and yes, the historic blackout of Once the camp was over, I went home to Guelph.

And David, with the help of our oldest son, Ben, sailed the Killarney II through the night to Tobermory, and then several more days to round the tip of the peninsula and travel down the other side.

It was sailing vessel Inia , and she was lying, in all places, in Hamilton Harbour! David, and I, ultimately sailed Inia over 11, nautical miles on two transatlantic crossing in the space of one year, starting and ending in Hamilton Harbour. Perhaps we will see you there! One of the significant details about our two transatlantic crossings was that they were completed within the space of one year. We crossed our outbound wake in Lake Ontario days precisely on our return to Whitby Harbour; May 25th departure, May 25th return.

My memoir, Ready to Come About , describes how we experienced the changing seasons. Evening, I took the first shift, nine to midnight, my customized watch kit by my side. The temperature was pleasant, the sea state calm, the sky a bright sapphire long after the sun had set. It was near the summer solstice, when evening twilight lingers and the night is its shortest. Daytime, the ocean was dark blue-grey tinged with bronze, the air a light mauve. The sun, in its south declination, was low and at an angle relative to our northern latitude, not only creating the longer nights, but also this subtle change of palette and glow.

Despite the absence of the typical hallmarks of fading gardens and dropping leaves, it was unmistakably fall.

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These same seas that seemed playful in the light of day felt sinister at night. And, as it was just past the winter solstice, the nights were long. David pointed out, optimistically, that since the sun had reached its most southern declination and was moving higher and we were travelling to lower latitudes — twelve degrees lower, to be exact — daylight hours would start to increase.

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But as it stood, our sunrise was at , sunset at If not for the moon, we would have fourteen hours of darkness on the ocean. As we moved along, midday temperatures crept up, burning off the early morning chills.

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Treetops were turning lime green and mustard yellow, pussy willows were budding, patches of crocuses and daffodils were fragrantly in bloom, cyclists and joggers were hitting the towpaths in droves, and quaint villages were coming out of hibernation to prepare for the seasonal influx of boating business. Everything and everyone along the canal was coming to life.

It was spring, the season of renewal and new beginnings. And we were heading home. It was a beautiful warm afternoon in mid-June.

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What a fabulous historic town and library! As an aside, at this event we met a really neat person who had spent years sailing the Caribbean, Diane Taylor. Just so happens Diane also wrote about her adventures. We were thrilled to find a copy at the Naval Marine Archive in Picton. If you are lucky, you can find yourself a copy of this wonderful book, too.

And, guess what!


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Bensen branch of the Port Hope Public Library. The library, once again in conjunction with Furby House Books, has invited me and my husband, David, to do a presentation of our year-long adventure on the high seas, what precipitated the voyage, and what we learned by it. Afterwards there will be time for questions and answers. Books will be available for sale and signing. Mark your calendars! Hope to see you! During our visit, I mentioned to her that I was writing a memoir about our year on the high seas.

She listened intently as I read through the prologue and chapter one, in which she was mentioned. She had saved this message on her phone for eight whole years! Listening to it, of course, I cried too!

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I originally wrote this article as a blog post on the Nautical Mind Bookstore website. Christmas Eve my husband, David, had a grand mal seizure while doing last minute shopping in the mall. The event was so violent that he sustained two compression fractures of his thoracic spine, and cuts on his head took fourteen stitches to close.


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  4. When he returned to work, with the scars still raw, he was fired. This is your chance. You have the boat. You can look for a new job when you get back. By Day Eight on our passage to Caiscais, Portugal: we had snagged a rogue fishing net that pulled the engine off its mounts; David had to dive into the choppy Atlantic for almost an hour to cut the net loose; we were taking on water through the stuffing box; we had entered a Nortada along the western coast of Europe causing our weather cloths to tear, our radar reflector and courtesy flag halyards to break free, and monstrous seas to develop; and Inia was losing a nautical mile, or a minute of latitude, in the strong south setting current every time we checked.

    David, as skipper, felt responsible for the safety of his vessel, Inia , and the welfare of his crew, me. These were just some of the many challenges we faced in our 11, nautical mile, year-long circumnavigation of the North Atlantic. As they say, adversity introduces one to oneself.

    We also learned that the rougher the passage, the more joyful the landfall. An Ottawa valley town named after a Mexican general? Read the great reviews and scroll up to download and start reading today. Get A Copy. Kindle Edition , pages. More Details Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Journey To Hell , please sign up. Lists with This Book.

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    Journey To Hell: The William OLeary Series Journey To Hell: The William OLeary Series
    Journey To Hell: The William OLeary Series Journey To Hell: The William OLeary Series
    Journey To Hell: The William OLeary Series Journey To Hell: The William OLeary Series
    Journey To Hell: The William OLeary Series Journey To Hell: The William OLeary Series
    Journey To Hell: The William OLeary Series Journey To Hell: The William OLeary Series
    Journey To Hell: The William OLeary Series Journey To Hell: The William OLeary Series
    Journey To Hell: The William OLeary Series Journey To Hell: The William OLeary Series
    Journey To Hell: The William OLeary Series Journey To Hell: The William OLeary Series

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