Final preparations and chasing formsLindsay McRory
September 16, 1995
Our pending departure comes after our most recent excellent adventure, cruising from Kingston, Ontario, to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Our route took us up through the St. Lawrence River then down to Prince Edward Island before finishing at Halifax, where we have spent much time in preparation.
The entire journey was about 1,500 miles long and took around five weeks to complete. The last few legs from Prince Edward Island to Halifax were long and hard. The next leg--from Halifax to Nova Scotia to Norfolk, Virginia--will be made with hopes we'll slide through before the fierce Canadian winter storms hit, but after the hurricane season down south.
This leg could be a lot harder than we have previously experienced as a family, so Denise and I decided that after preparing the boat I would enlist the help of some sailing friends and deliver Hakuna Matata to Norfolk. From Norfolk I would fly back to Halifax to pack the last of our gear, and the entire family would then fly to Norfolk.
That's assuming we ever finish preparing the boat.
The last month leading up to Hakuna Matata's departure from Halifax had been stressful and hectic. Mechanics, radio technicians, and cabinet makers had steadily beaten a path toward the boat. Jobs that were supposed to take three days in July dragged on to the day before departure.
On top of these final preparations, we also dealt with Canada's federal vessel registration process. Any ocean-going vessel--oil tanker to small sailboat--traveling to countries other than Canada must be federally registered. Now, Hakuna Matata carries the same set of ship's papers as the Queen Mary.
This process is considerably more involved than the regular provincial or state licensing that small craft undergo. A continuous volley of forms between ourselves and the ship's registrar in Toronto lasted three months and ended with us getting our ship's papers just two days before leaving.
And now the Queen of England owns 36 shares in our boat. She can summon our vessel to war in a time of need. Of course she didn't pay for her 36 shares, which would have been nice. The only useful function our little boat could perform in a time of war would be for target practice, but who can question laws that have been around for 300 years.
The final preparations are complete and the next leg is ready to begin.