It's about 7 in the morning, and the wind has also decided to take a vacation. Not a breath stirs the air. The only other traffic on the bay are the rowing groups out practicing. Deftly avoiding them as we motor toward the bridge - and they manage to catch up and keep up surprisingly well, so it's a good thing our paths don't converge for too long - we approach the Burlington Bridge on track for the 8 am opening. As we're approaching, we see a freighter leaving the Hamilton Steel Mills, also heading for the Lake. Those things are huge, and seem to have a special privilege when it comes to the opening of the bridge. As it nears, the bridge goes up, despite it not being on the half-hour. Totally understandable once you've seen a freighter go. It gets up enough momentum that, once started, it could not stop and go again in any reasonable amount of time, so the bridge operators obviously have it down to an art as to when to raise the bridge so that the freighter won't have to stop. Pretty neat, and I thought we might avail ourselves of the early opening of the bridge, but it turns out, they go much faster than appearances would suggest. We were motoring at a decent rate as we watched the freighter disembark, but there was no way we could catch up. Once that became evident, we slowed down a tad instead so as to catch the usual bridge opening and not get swamped in the freighter's wake. Not that that was likely, as it took us close to another fifteen minutes to reach the bridge. Distances can deceive you on the water.
(for instance, when referring to a map of the marina, the question: "What do these triangles on some of the slips mean?" and her answer: "I actually don't know. Maybe electrical hook up?" As we obviously couldn't answer her return question intelligently, she got on the phone and checked on things for us), and we booked ourselves a berth for the night. It took a couple of tries before we found the correct dock. ("C dock is the one on the second finger," the helpful newbie told us, and we figured out exactly what that meant by motoring up to a couple of docks, then asking someone going to their boat, whereupon we were redirected to the proper area - the second finger being, in fact, the far side of the first finger; it all depends on how you look at things).
One of the questions upon signing in was whether we belonged to another yacht club (we'd have gotten a deal if so). While this might potentially indicate that this marina sat on the higher end of the scale than our marina, we just smiled and said no and continued on our merry way. That being said, imagine the horror of those with permanent berths when we motored in, decided once the sun finally came out that we wanted some shade on our boat, and swiftly proceeded to set up our sun tarp. This consists of a grey tarp tented over the boom and secured to the lifeline; simple, easy, and cheap. A not uncommon sight in our marina, but we had the distinct pleasure of being the only folks with such a rudimentary yet perfectly functional contraption at Fifty Point. The other boats with shade devices had bimini tops, ridged fabric on a structure supported by metal poles. No one commented on our set-up, but then again, this seemed like the sort of marina people park their boats in and visit on the weekends, not overnight on or actually live in (that's more the style of our marina - yes, we have people that live in their boats year-round where we usually dock), so there weren't many people around to see our simple system. We laughed about our 'trailer trash' manners anyway. A case of those keeping up with the Jones' vs something closer to Cletus the Slack Jawed yokel.
The Conservation Area does have a beach though, and we took a walk there. By this time, the wind had picked up and the waves broke upon the rocks lining one side of the beach in great white plumes. Definitely happy to have missed sailing in those conditions, especially given the narrowness of the entrance. It would have been our luck to approach the lighthouse, get clipped by an errant wave, and get a little too friendly with the shore. Happily, that didn't happen and we enjoyed the waves on the beach, though we didn't go in beyond our knees. Those waves had a definite pull and seemed only too eager to suck you back into the Lake with them. The wind would not usually come directly from the Lake like that, so another good reason to have missed the wind on our journey in. The guy on the sea-doo, however, very much enjoyed bouncing along the waves as he swerved in and out of the beach area and around the buoys that marked the edge of the swimming area.
So all in all, our great adventure to Fifty Point was more of a sleepy putter to a nice green space with fancier boats and more accouterments (on both land and vessels) than what we usually saw. The way back, however ... a different story.
We left early the next morning, the weather forecast suggesting that might prove the wisest course. We stopped by the fuel dock again, and happened upon the woman in charge of ringing in sales - somewhat more knowledgeable than the woman who greeted us. We filled up our gas tank and headed out. Into the waves. Which were far more evident than yesterday. In retrospect, Mike figures if we'd gotten the sails ready before we left the marina (had the mainsail cover removed so that we only had to raise the sail), I'd have been OK. As it was, we bounced into Lake Ontario, I crawled up on the roof of the cabin to undo the sail cover (without falling off), crawled back, helped raise the mainsail and unfurl the jib, and asked Mike to get my bracelet (which sometimes helps with the motion-sickness - whether in truth or only psychologically hardly matters). I sat as Mike got us pointed in the right direction, then decided maybe lying down would work better. So I stumbled belowdeck and curled up into a fetal position while Mike took care of the sailing. Turns out listening to Gordon Lightfoot and Neil Diamond while trying not to throw up and lying on my stomach actually works for me. We got to the bridge and I considered coming up to join the land of the living, then decided just lying there might be the better course. By the time Mike lowered the sails for the second time (the first being at the bridge), I managed to get myself back on deck and doing something useful as I helped bring the boat back into our own slip. So this adventure on the way back from Fifty Point proved that Mike could sail our boat single-handed, and that I could find myself a suitable position so as not to throw up. Not a bad learning experience!