Blue Hour

Who: Jonathon, Nina, Joni, Jonas, Sirius
Port: Toronto
17 July 2019 | Island of Silda, Norway
17 July 2019 | Krokepollen, Nordfjord, Norway
17 July 2019 | Krokepollen, Nordfjord, Norway
17 July 2019 | Domba, island of Hovden, Norway
13 July 2019 | North Sea
13 July 2019 | Domba, island of Hovden, Norway
13 July 2019 | Domba, island of Hovden, Norway
11 July 2019
11 July 2019
11 July 2019
11 July 2019
11 July 2019
11 July 2019
07 July 2019
07 July 2019
07 July 2019

17 July 2019 | Island of Silda, Norway
Jonas
I saw this nice wooden truck on a car-free island.

17 July 2019 | Krokepollen, Nordfjord, Norway
Jonas
This is the climbing thing we found when we went on a hike. It was a bunch of logs strapped to trees connecting them and you could walk along the logs and climb on them and stuff like that and we ate lunch there.

17 July 2019 | Krokepollen, Nordfjord, Norway
Jonas

17 July 2019 | Domba, island of Hovden, Norway
Jonas
This is when I caught 8 crabs in my lobster pot.

13 July 2019 | North Sea
Sirius
Jonas took my captain’s seat on the passage to Norway, so I had to sit on him.

13 July 2019 | Domba, island of Hovden, Norway
Sirius
Jonas’s giant crab

Norway

13 July 2019 | Domba, island of Hovden, Norway
Sirius
Hello peeps! It’s Sirius here, the star of the family. I was not at all happy with the weather a few days ago, because it was rainy and cold, but now we are in a new place that smells different. We got here last week, and I did not like that trip at all. I had to stay on the boat and there was no land for two whole days! That was not fun, because of course I couldn’t go to the bathroom on the boat so I didn’t go but finally I burst and Dad was mad because I did a really big pee all over the cockpit when I couldn’t hold it anymore. I was mad too, because I hate going to the washroom at home. My family painted their faces on the passage because they got bored and Mom was a pirate, Dad had spiders on his face, Jonas was a fairy, and Joni was not pleased because Jonas painted her face and he messed up the red paint and made it look like she had a giant nose bleed. I didn’t get my face painted.

Today, we were in a very nice place with big hills and no people. We went for a long walk up to the top of the hill, which was fun, and I even got to eat a dead bird - but don’t tell my parents. This morning, Jonas and Dad went out in this horrible thing called a dinghy, which bounces around. They came back with nine pounds of crabs that they caught. One was huge; its body was bigger than Dad’s hand and Joni wouldn’t let me get near it because she said I would get my snout pinched off. Joni has no faith in me. And guess what? I didn’t get any of the crabs. Typical. I tried to steal some off the table but Joni started petting me, which is annoying, so I had to retreat. I would like to say hello to my girlfriend Juno, my French ex Miss, and my friends Tiny, Cora, Jefferson, Milo, Molson, Hachi, Stick, and Boomer. They must really miss me (who wouldn’t?)

Canada Day

11 July 2019
Nina Nakajima

Cross Section of Joni’s Canada Day Cake

11 July 2019
Nina Nakajima

Drum Major

11 July 2019
Nina Nakajima

Bagpipe Band

11 July 2019
Nina Nakajima
Inverness happened to be hosting an international bagpipe competition while we were there. We heard many, many renditions of Scotland the Brave.

Sirius Keeping a Lookout for the Loch Ness Monster

11 July 2019
Nina Nakajima

Jonas’s 7 Hour Opti Sail

11 July 2019
Nina Nakajima
It took Blue Hour about 1 hour to sail from the anchorage of Puilladobhrain (which Jonathon calls “the pull your brain place”) to the town of Oban. Jonas decided to sail the 7 miles in his Opti. Gabe and Lauren sailed in their Opti and Water Dogs supervised them and kept in contact with walkie talkies and portable VHF radios. It took many hours in the light wind and they required a tow from Water Dogs for a short stretch but Jonas enjoyed it so much that he didn’t get out of his dinghy when he got to Oban. Instead, he continued to sail around the bay with Gabe until I called him home for dinner.

3 Dancing Queens

11 July 2019
Nina Nakajima
Taking Blue Hour up the 8 locks of Neptune’s Staircase in the Caledonian Canal took almost two hours. I was walking Sirius most of the time but when I returned, I saw three men taking care of Blue Hour’s lines. I assumed they were canal workers, but it turned out they were from the 20 foot dinghy locking through with us. Joni gave them freshly baked friandes to thank them. Soon thereafter, the tall ship Maybe turned up the music and everyone in the lock started singing to Blowin’ in the Wind. The next song was Dancing Queen and our line handlers had fun with that!

6 Men in a Boat

11 July 2019
Nina Nakajima
We transited the Caledonian Canal with these six men in a 20 foot dinghy and with a tall ship named Maybe. Sirius got a lot of attention from the crews of these two boats.

Sirius’s reunion with his French ex

11 July 2019
Nina Nakajima
This is Sirius and Miss, his stylish French girlfriend that he travelled Ireland with last summer. They spent two days together in Oban.

About this blog

11 July 2019
Nina Nakajima
Hi everyone,

We have decided that all five crew members will take turns posting on the blog. The author's name is shown with each post. You can see that Jonathon most recently shared some photos from Scotland. Now it is my (Nina's) turn to fill in some other highlights from our time in Scotland. We actually arrived in Norway yesterday but we are behind on blogging.

Who’s the boss?

07 July 2019
Jonathon

Friends

07 July 2019
Jonathon

A brief stop in Wick

07 July 2019
Jonathon

Mr. Sirius Hiking

07 July 2019
Jonathon

Cromarty

07 July 2019
Jonathon
We had an unexpectedly great hike in Cromarty.

Bye bye Caledonian Canal

07 July 2019
Jonathon

And the winner is!

07 July 2019
Jonathon

Chess Tournament

07 July 2019
Jonathon
We had an epic Chess tournament

Having fun in Inverness

07 July 2019
Jonathon
Said by to Oma and Opa

Shoji and Nina

07 July 2019
Jonathon

Walking along the canal

07 July 2019
Jonathon

Invergarry fixer upper

07 July 2019
Jonathon

English tea!

07 July 2019
Jonathon

Docked at Urquhart Castle

07 July 2019
Jonathon

Captain Jonas

07 July 2019
Jonathon

Caledonian Canal

07 July 2019
Jonathon
We had a lovely time with Nina’s parents Ilse and Shoji travelling north through the Caledonian Canal. Joni and Jonas did a terrific job line handling while Sirius and Nina walked, ran or cycled beside the boat between locks.

20 June 2019 | Gigha, Scotland
Joni
Blue Hour is the dark blue sailboat and Water Dog is the white catamaran.

20 June 2019 | Gigha, Scotland
Joni

Sirius vs. Scottish Horse

20 June 2019 | Off the coast of Scotland
Joni
Jonas fell asleep on me when we were sailing and made knitting very hard.

We left Ardrossan Tuesday afternoon because there was nothing special about it save the marina and we wanted to start cruising. We sailed to Arran Island, which looked beautiful but I didn’t have a chance to explore because we arrived in the evening and left in the morning. Sirius was skittish at first when Blue Hour started to move and roll around, and we were worried that he wouldn’t settle down or would get seasick. When we were cruising last year, Sirius was perfectly fine, but he has had all winter to forget the boat. But, eventually Sirius relaxed and he slept the whole ten-hour trip from Aran to the island of Gigha. It was a calm sail, although too upwind to do any actual sailing, and I knitted the whole time. The only problem we had was when I dropped my favourite knitting needle overboard.

My family and I have been to Gigha twice already and we like it a lot. We went for a walk with the Water Dogs on shore since everyone had been cooped up all day. It was a nice, uneventful walk until we saw a small path that looked like a shortcut to our dinghy, Zoom. The path looked nice; it went over green fields, so we took it. Then Sirius raced ahead, barking crazily. We were all a bit confused, since he rarely barks, and then we saw the horse. Sirius was barking at it and running around it, and the horse was watching him nervously. We couldn’t get him to leave the horse alone, because he loves playing with other animals, so we panicked for ten minutes and hoped that Sirius wouldn’t provoke the horse enough to make it kick him. I wasn’t worried about the horse because I knew Sirius wouldn’t hurt him, but he kept running around to his hind legs and the horse looked like it was debating whether or not to kick him. Then Dad, who had stayed behind on the path with Gavin from Water Dog, sprinted along the road (this looked very funny, actually) and told Sirius to get out of the horse’s field. Sirius, who always listens to Dad, came to him and he luckily didn’t get kicked. This is definitely going on my list of Sirius’s top sketchy moments.

Start of Cruise 2019!!!!!!!

17 June 2019 | Ardrossan, Scotland
Joni | Mix of sun and clouds
Welcome back sign from the Water Dogs

Welcome back to my blog! We are in Scotland! It was a relief when we arrived here with all our luggage and our dog Sirius to find the boat in good condition. Here is the plan for the summer: we will be in Scotland until roughly early July. Then we will sail north up the west coast of Norway until the end of August, when we will store our boat Blue Hour in Bergen until next summer and fly back to Toronto for the winter. But right now, we are still in Ardrossan, Scotland, cleaning the boat. I spent all day scrubbing the galley (‘galley’ is a kitchen on a boat) because it was full of mould.

Our trip from Toronto to Glasgow felt long. First, we left our house at 2:15 pm, and my grandparents drove us to the airport in Toronto, which took about 45 minutes. We dropped Sirius off at the cargo shipping depot, which was extremely nerve-wracking because taking dogs on a plane is kind of sketchy and Sirius was almost too big to fit in his crate. We waited there for about an hour. Then we went to the airport, cleared customs, security, etc, then waited for our 7:00 pm flight. It was 7 hours long and I was very nervous about Sirius. We arrived in Glasgow at 7:00 am, Scottish time, then retrieved Sirius and got a taxi to Ardrossan. By this time, it was 9:00 am. When we arrived in Ardrossan, my family and I were very happy to see that our friends and fellow boaters, Gavin, Val, Gabe, Amelia, and Lauren, were there waiting for us and had cleaned Blue Hour as well as washed our bedding and put up a “welcome back” sign. This was great since, because of the very wet Scottish weather, Blue Hour had been covered in mold. We have been spending a lot of time with our friends, who are on a boat called Water Dog, since we will only be seeing them for a few days (we want to go north and they south).

As I was saying earlier, I have spent all day scrubbing. I do not like scrubbing, and I wouldn’t have bothered if it wasn’t the galley I was scrubbing. I use the galley a lot because I love cooking and baking. When I opened the drawers to find the cutlery and measuring cups covered in mould, I freaked out a little bit (well, maybe a lot) and had to scrub all the cupboards and drawers. We are all still a bit jet lagged, though not as a bad as yesterday. Since we skipped a night of sleep, everyone was basically sleeping with their eyes open. The Water Dogs were very good about it, though, they made us breakfast and dinner since we were too tired to do anything. Hopefully, we will leave Ardrossan tomorrow and start our cruise!

31 August 2018 | Ardrossan, Scotland
Joni
Blue Hour with her keel off

31 August 2018 | Ardrossan, Scotland
Joni
Sirius and the other Greek rescue dog

End of Cruise 😢

31 August 2018 | Caladh, Scotland
Joni
We spent two days in Caladh before heading to Ardrossan on the outskirts of Glasgow, where Blue Hour is spending the winter. We spent a couple of days getting ready for haul out. Then a 50 ton travel lift came to haul us out. It went very smoothly, and in 15 minutes we were hauled out. It was the best service we have ever had and a big contrast to when we hauled out in Iceland, where the crane was 5 tonnes too small and Blue Hour spent hours dangling from it. Her keel had been leaking so we wanted to take it off to make sure everything was alright. It came off without a hitch then went back on within a day. Everyone working on the keel knew what they were doing. Dad had his hair cut for the first time in fifteen months and I didn't recognize him at all. The next three nights were spent in a rental house. It is in the suburbs of Ardrossan and I named it Privet Drive, after a house in the suburbs in Harry Potter. We tried to get Sirius up the ladder and on board Blue Hour. It sort of worked. He climbed the ladder pretty easily (he looked really funny) but then he got scared coming down and Dad had to hoist him over his shoulder. The next days were spent cleaning. I am very sick of cleaning by now. We met another rescue dog from Greece this afternoon who looks very similar to Sirius. We talked to the owner of the dog, who said that her Greek dog was just as stubborn and sneaky as Sirius. Tomorrow, we will get on a plane to Toronto! None of us want to go home, though. This has been an excellent year and I am eager to get back next summer. My blog will stop for the year now, but you can check next year in early or mid-June!

25 August 2018 | Crinan Canal, Scotland
Joni
Jonas opening the sluice to let the water out.

25 August 2018 | Puilldobhrain, Scotland
Joni

The Crinan Canal

25 August 2018 | Puilldobhrain, Scotland
Joni
Oban was the largest town we have been to in a while and it was a bit shocking. We had Blue Hour measured so that a cover for her for the winter could be made, took forever to pick out new fabric for our cushions, went grocery shopping, and bought a new den for Sirius. We left the next day and sailed to Loch Aline. It was mostly wilderness there with a large estate. The coast was very picturesque but with lots and lots of sheep and cow poo. Jonas took off his shoes and waded to a small island off a beach. Then he got paranoid about there being cow poo in the water and wouldn't come back for a long time. We bought venison at the estate gift shop. The venison had been hunted on the estate and was delicious.

Puilldobhrain (I have no idea how to pronounce it) was also mostly wilderness. We made a failed attempt to climb a hill then played on a small island. There were highland cattle (large, hairy, horned cows) there that Sirius kept wanting to chase. He didn't seem to realize that they were five times his size and had huge horns.

Our next port was the lagoon near Ardfern, then we sailed to the beginning of the Crinαn canal. It is a canal that cuts through to a place called Ardrishaig with 15 locks. The locks have to be operated by yourself and were all manual. Mom, Jonas, and Sirius went ahead and opened the lock by pushing each lever while Dad and I operated the boat. Then Blue Hour sailed into the open lock and Mom and Jonas would close it again. They opened large sluices at the bottom of the gates with another lever that let the water out (or in, depending whether we were going up or down the canal). When the water in the lock was level with the water on the other side of the lock, Mom and Jonas opened the gates and Blue Hour sailed into the next lock. Sometimes we had to motor for a little ways in between the locks. It was very, very tight. It took us three days to go through the Crinan canal and now we are heading to Caladh.

Statistics

24 August 2018
Joni
STATISTICS
Most Annoying Dog Owner Moment:
We met a man who asked what type of dog Sirius was. We said we weren’t sure because he was a stray but when we looked at pictures of a dog called Greek harehound, Sirius looked exactly like one, and all the Greeks said he was a Greek harehound.
‘’No, he’s a bloodhound,’’ the man said.
‘’Well, we think he looks like-‘’
‘‘No, he’s a full bloodhound, I’m sure of it. He’s going to grow to be huge.’’
‘‘No, I don’t think so because we saw his mom-‘’
‘’He’s definitely a bloodhound.’’
It annoyed me because it would sound like this if you said it to a human:
‘’Where are you from?’’
‘’Well, I’m adopted so I’m not sure.’’
‘’No, you’re Korean.’’
‘‘ Well ...’’
‘’No, you’re fully Korean, I’m sure of it.’’
‘’No, I don’t think so because I know my Mom was Icelandic-‘’
‘’You’re definitely Korean

Top 15 Sketchiest Moments:
15) Aegina, Greece
Mom tried to swing on board Blue Hour because the boat was far from the dock but she ended up in the water and eventually pulled herself back on board because Dad and Jonas took forever trying to pull her out.
14) Ermopoli, Paros, Greece
The clip on Sirius’s leash broke and he almost ran into traffic before Dad tackled him.
13) Off the coast of Croatia
Sirius almost fell overboard during the passage to Croatia when he was doing his buisiness on the back deck. A big wave came and he nearly slid off but Dad dragged him into the cockpit.
12) Corinth, Peloponnisos, Greece
We docked on a floating dock that was bouncing up and down because it was so rough. We could barely stand up on it.
11) Porto Kheli, Peloponnisos, Greece
It was so windy that the wind pushed the water up and the dock almost went underwater. Dad hurt his foot jumping onto the dock after putting an anchor out to the side to hold us off the dock.
10) Gigha, Scotland
Jonas got lost
9) off the coast of Italy
We were sailing along peacefully when we heard this over the radio:
‘’Sailing vessel approaching warship _______, turn to starboard now.’’
We turned to starboard, though we couldn’t see any warship.
‘’Sailing vessel approaching warship _______, turn to starboard now. You are in our security zone.’’
We turned to starboard again. We still couldn’t see any warship.
‘’Sailing vessel approaching warship ____, turn to starboard now or we will open fire.’’
We started to panic.
‘’Opening fire in 5 ... 4 ... 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...’’
We ducked. Then we heard,
‘’Practice drill ended.’’
8) Hydra, Greece
We were Mediterranean moored (the bow was tied to the dock while the stern was held in place with an anchor) and it blew so hard we dragged and almost crashed into the wall.
7) Lipari, Italy
We were docked when some workers told us we had to move.
‘’Works, we’re doing works,’’ they said. We later saw that we were moved because they were doing fireworks right there and we would have gotten blown up.
6) Toronto, Canada
We were at the airport ready to fly to Blue Hour but the man at the desk said we couldn’t go because we didn’t have a return ticket. Luckily, his boss said it was okay.
5) off the coast of Greece
We almost crashed into a sleeping whale.
4) Tinker’s Hole, Scotland
Mom almost got her head cut off by the wind generator
3) Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland
We had wind against current, which meant that the waves were huge and a wave came right over us.
2) Kioni, Ithaca, Greece
It was very windy and Blue Hour almost got washed up on the beach because the undertow was nearly stronger than the anchor.
1) Youghal, Ireland
There was so much current the anchor dragged. Jonas and I went into Zoom (our dinghy) to pull up the kayak while Dad re-anchored. He did a tight turn to avoid another boat and Zoom tipped on her side with me and Jonas hanging on for dear life.0



Statistics

19 August 2018
Joni
Jonas with his hair that looks like a shaggy mop because he hasn’t cut it in so long.

STATISTICS
# of Haircuts:
0

Top 5 Favourite Hikes:
1) Eiðiskollur, Eiði, Faroe Islands
2) Vulcano, Aeolian Islands, Italy
3) Heimklettur, Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland
4) Mt. Leenane, Leenane, Ireland
5) Mt. Eros, Hydra, Greece

Nautical Miles Traveled:
9,120

17 August 2018 | Tayvallich, Scotland
Joni

17 August 2018 | Tayvallich, Scotland
Joni
Dougie giving Jonas the langoustine creel

17 August 2018 | Gigha, Scotland
Joni
Blackberry pie

The Islands of Islay, Gigha, and Tayvallich

17 August 2018 | Gigha, Scotland
Joni
The school in Gigha

Our first port in Scotland was Port Ellen on Islay. It was a nice town with a nice walk and we picked some blackberries. Then we sailed to the island of Gigha. We had been to the island last summer and really liked it, so we wanted to go back. Don and Emma, who are dairy farmers on the island, invited us over for dinner. They bottle their milk in glass bottles and run the Wee Isle Dairy. They gave us a tour of the farm and showed us how they pasteurize the milk and other things they do on the farm. That night, we had dinner at the restaurant by the harbour with Don and Emma and their family. We had a nice time seeing them.

Our friend and my previous teacher Kim had given us some of the books from her classroom to give to some people who could use them. We decided to give them to the school in Gigha, because the school is small and we figured that they probably wouldn’t have many books. We got invited into the school and everyone was very nice there.

I had been wanting to make blackberry pie from freshly picked blackberries and we finally found enough to do so. The pie was very good. In Tayvallich, we visited some other friends, Dougie and Lottie. We had been to Tayvallich last summer as well. Dougie gave Jonas a creel for langoustines and told him how to use it. Jonas talked about it for hours. It was good to see Dougie and Lottie again.

Statistics

13 August 2018
Joni
STATISTICS
Times Jonathon Checked the Weather Forecast 🌊: Over 1,000,000

Books Joni Read 📚: 145

Passages Over 24 Hours:
Höfn, Iceland🇮🇸 to Eiði, Faroe Islands🇫🇴 249nm
Suderoy, Faroe Islands🇫🇴 to Stromness, Orkney Islands, Scotland🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 186nm
Youghal, Ireland🇮🇪 to Cedeira, Spain🇪🇸 498nm
Binibeca, Menorca, Spain🇪🇸 to Portoscuso, Sardinia, Italy🇮🇹 196nm
Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy🇮🇹 to Trapani, Sicily, Italy🇮🇹 174nm
Taormina, Sicily, Italy🇮🇹 to Fiskardo, Kefalonia, Greece🇬🇷 256nm
Kassiopi, Corfu, Greece🇬🇷 to Dubrovnik, Croatia🇭🇷 224nm
Kotor, Montenegro🇲🇪 to Messina, Sicily, Italy🇮🇹 378nm
San Vito Lo Capo, Sicily, Italy🇮🇹 to Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy🇮🇹 258nm
Matafaldo, Sardinia, Italy🇮🇹 to Mahon, Menorca, Spain🇪🇸 220nm
Mahon, Menorca, Spain🇪🇸 to Espalmador, Spain🇪🇸 154nm
Espalmador, Spain🇪🇸 to Gibraltar🇬🇮 373nm
Cadiz, Spain🇪🇸 to Porto, Portugal🇵🇹 392nm
Porto, Portugal🇵🇹 to Cedeira, Spain🇪🇸 190nm
Cedeira, Spain🇪🇸 to La Rochelle, France🇫🇷 330nm
Ouessant, France🇫🇷 to Kinsale, Ireland🇮🇪 237nm
Total: 16 passages, 4315nm







Vessel Name: Blue Hour
Vessel Make/Model: Westerly Ocean 49
Hailing Port: Toronto
Crew: Jonathon, Nina, Joni, Jonas, Sirius
Blue Hour's Photos - Main
This is the light show in Cascais, Portugal.
21 Photos
Created 27 September 2017
11 Photos
Created 15 June 2017

Who: Jonathon, Nina, Joni, Jonas, Sirius
Port: Toronto