David Allsebrook and Rick Levick from the Sail Division of the Toronto Metro Marine Modellers (https://metromarine.org/) visited the Shellback Club to show what they sail and to describe their activities. After a presentation over lunch, the modellers, their boats, and Shellbacks headed to the pool to see and test the boats in action.
About David Allsebrook and Rick Levick
David was born in Niagara Falls, Ontario. His family moved frequently around Canada and overseas so that he attended twelve different schools before finishing grade 12. He learned to sail as a child in his parent’s Lightning dinghy. He attended university in Quebec and practiced law in Toronto for 34 years before his retirement any day now.
David is a former Shark owner and a former Commodore of the Toronto Sailing and Canoe Club.
David took up radio sailing about 30 years ago and presently is the Sail Captain of the Metro Marine Modellers. In radio sailing he has been the Canadian Champion in the Soling One Meter class and has finished in the top five in the United States three times. His YouTube video “Tuning the Soling” has reached 50,000 views.
Rick is a long-time Toronto resident. He also has a place at Long Point on Lake Erie. Many years ago he sailed dinghies. It was not until nine years ago, when he entered the elevator of his condo and met a man carrying a model boat that he got into sailing. He asked him what he was doing and received an invitation to come along to the Humber Bay Park East. And the rest is history. He has been into model boat sailing ever since. Indeed, he was also the Sail Captain of the Metro Marine Modellers, before David.
Richard Hudson returned to the Shellback Club to describe his visits to Newfoundland and Labrador aboard his vessel "Issuma".
About Richard Hudson
Richard Hudson is originally from Toronto, and has about 80,000 miles of sailing experience, including a circumnavigation of the Americas
• In 2013, Richard was awarded The Rambler Medal by the Ocean Cruising Club. The award is given for the most challenging voyage made by a member of the Club. He received it for his shorthanded voyage through the Northwest Passage.
• He made a short YouTube video last year about the chilly fun of sailing a Grampian 26 from Pickering on New Year’s Day. He sold his Grampian last October and found himself distressed this New Year’s Day by having no boat on which to sail!
Richard has previously shared with us stories of his voyages to Brazil, Antarctica, Easter Island, Patagonia, and the Northwest Passage. His last presentation was on How to Achieve Your Cruising Dream.
Kate Festeryga, Associate, Policy & Communications and Amina Mohamed, Associate, 307 Communications, Programming and Engagement from SIDEWALK LABS, spoke to the Shellback Club about the master-planned community that is currently being planned for twelve acres of the Toronto Waterfront.
"Quayside", as the project is called, will be a testing ground for numerous social, engineering, construction and technological innovations. Current details on the Quayside project can be found at the Sidewalk Labs web site: https://www.sidewalktoronto.ca/.
Shellback Club members interested in seeing a recording of the presentation please contact Dianne Leggatt, Shellback Skipper.
About Kate Festeryga
Kate Festeryga is an associate on the policy and communications team at Sidewalk Labs. Her career spans government, politics and communications. Prior to Sidewalk Labs, Kate led strategic communications for a Toronto-based communications firm. As a Legislative Assistant and the Issues Manager for the Ministry of Economic Development and Growth, Kate advanced the “Reducing Red Tape” legislative agenda, and led strategy for issues management and strategic communications. At the Ministry of Energy, she helped connect Ontario’s remote First Nations communities to Ontario’s electricity grid. Kate is a Western grad with a BA in History and double major in Political Science.
About Amina Mohamed
Amina Mohamed is the 307 Associate in Communications, Programming, and Engagement at Sidewalk Labs. Prior to Sidewalk, she worked at the intersection of policy, academia, and activism for a number of organizations including the City of Toronto, the Tessellate Institute, and the NDP. Amina studied French, English, and Comparative literature at the University of Toronto. Her research specialized in the movements of cultures and ethnicities in major cities, and how municipalities grow to accommodate changing demographics. As a lifetime resident of Toronto, Amina also specializes in the shift in city services, public funding, and TTC service east of Victoria Park beginning with Toronto’s 1999 amalgamation. In her free time, you can find her moderating discussions on active citizenship and representative politics, two subjects about which she is extremely passionate.
When Sue Williams set sail for the North Atlantic, it wasn’t a mid-life crisis. She had no affinity for the sea. And she didn’t have an adventure-seeking bone in her body. In the wake of a perfect storm of personal events, it suddenly became clear: her sons were adults now; they needed freedom to figure things out for themselves; she had to get out of their way. And it was now or never for her husband, David, to realize his dream to cross an ocean. So she’d go too.
Sue and Dave Williams shared with the Shellback Club the story that Sue wrote in "Ready to Come About", a compelling memoir of an improbable adventure on the high seas.
Sue's book can be found here:
About Sue and Dave Williams
While in their early 50s, Sue Williams, without an adventure-seeking bone in her body, and her husband David, without any real blue water experience, left their three sons, cast off in their 37 foot sailboat from Hamilton Ontario, and headed east; destination the North Atlantic Ocean.
In the space of a year they completed two transatlantic crossings and spent a total of 86 days on the high seas.
Sue has written a memoir, Ready to Come About, of their improbable, often perilous, adventure through which the mom in her grew to believe her sons needed liberty to chart their own courses, and that risk is a good thing … sometimes, at least.
Ready to Come About is endorsed by Miriam Toews, award-winning author of Women Talking. It was recommended by the Globe & Mail and, just before Christmas, by Canadian Yachting. And it’s now been on the publisher’s bestseller list for going on six months.
Melodie Ridge Schaffer told Shellbacks of her time spent aboard as crew on the Southern Ocean Leg of the Clipper Round the World Race..
Melodie has documented her race in her blog "Life at 45 Degrees":
A couple of entries are included below.
Life at 45 Degrees - Day 1
Early start to leg 3, as we had to be on the bus for immigration at 7:45am. Back at the dock by 9:15 for final boat prep and goodbyes to family. We were the first boat on the schedule for the official team photo. Well wishes were received from Sir Robin Knox -Johnson and we were the first to leave the pontoon. It is timed very precisely, so that every three minutes a team slips their lines. With the team's song playing, the drums beating and the crowd cheering, I was so caught up in moment that I forgot that this is it for land for 4 weeks.
In the bay, all the boats organized themselves for the parade and media photos, and then final mock MOB's. A quick lunch and then were into pre race maneuvers. There are 11 boats competing in this race around the world. The race of this length, won't be won by the start but it can be lost. A strong start pin end with clean air. Several tacks with port crossovers that involved a quick tack to lee bow and then ducking under another on starboard. Not all the boats were so fortunate, with two boats having a major collision and had to retire for repairs. They will be in Cape Town for two weeks while the repairs are completed.
Everyone had their assigned role on the boat and I was on main, with two crew on the coffee grinders to pull it in. I balanced precariously over the navigation hatch, feeling the angle of the boat and watching the skipper's eyes to judge when he would call for an ease of the main. We quickly developed a synchronicity. As we rounded the last real mark in the harbour, on our way to virtual marks on the mighty ocean, he complimented me with "I've been waiting 10,000 miles for this and you to be here".
One boat had main sail issues an hour after the start. Three boats out of eleven now had problems. Nick commented that at this rate, we just need to finish to be successful!
The breeze is strong and the boat finds her way at a 45degree angle. Life below deck is challenging and the waves take their toll. Throughout the night 7 crew are sea sick. (There are 16 crew, 1 media rep, the AQP (mate) and skipper). We switch onto a three watch system (On ,off and standby). Each watch is 4 hours long with two two hour dog watches mid day, which rotates the hours you are on by four hours each day.
The first off watch sleep was rough. My 'coffin bunk' was on the high side and it seemed no matter how high the bunk was cranked there was the feeling of sliding out. I was too tired to logically improve the situation but resorted to becoming very small and sleeping perpendicular at the head of the bunk where there was some form of wall. It was a Houdini act but I was tired and desperate for a few minutes of sleep.
All too soon we were awoken for the standby watch. We dressed quickly, gear on ready to go on deck, but we could wait below. The seas were rough and the low side was filled with all of the ill people toughing it out in their own silent miseries.. Three of us on our watch put a cushion on the high side floor and curled up to sleep. On the floor it meant we did not have to brace ourselves against the precarious angle. We were like a three puppies tired out from play, and had flopped to sleep. It was wonderful.
4 am we are on deck with 4 hours of sailing. The first night watch of many. We rounded Cape Hope at the end of the watch. Down below again desperate for sleep, I was delighted as we were on a favourable tack for my bunk - I would get a good sleep.
South Africa and the last of land is behind us. We are now on the Indian Ocean!
Life at 45 Degrees - The Mission
"Now the mission begins" as heard by my crew mate. He had made a coffee and needed to take it to the skipper at the nav station at the stern of the boat. This simple task on land requires cat-like stealth abilities on the boat. Every aspect of what you do is planned. With the angle of the boat and the motion over the waves, you need one hand always holding on. There are grab rails around the boat so you move from one to another to get around. It's a return to our primate phase, like a monkey in a
Often as the waves build, it becomes more of a drunken stagger. It's a challenge when both hands are free, and requires thoughtful consideration when you are holding something and limited to one hand. There are places of course with no handholds, which requires timing with the waves or leaning against a wall of bulkhead, and bracing yourself as you move. Crew mates offer a hand of support or a back-up in case the boat moves different than expected.
It's timing, it's a dance but it's also essential. A mis-timing and a fall can be very unfortunate, especially when you are thousands of miles from shore.
Last night we had squalls and some intense moments. Sailing on a broad reach, sometimes the power would build and the boat would head up. The helm would struggle to bear away. The prior shift helm, an 'around the worlder' who is a young strong guy, at one point cranked the wheel over and then literally seemed to be hiking off the leeward side of it to take it over further. It's a battle. The rudder can suddenly kick back to you like a rifle after it has fired. On our shift, the skipper was at the wheel and I stayed back at the wheel with him. When the wind would surge and the boat heeled hard and definately head up, I would drop down and brace myself by the main winch, ready with the main to ease it off. Sometimes it would be a few seconds but eventually it was closer to a minute with the boat charging like a freight train gone off its tracks. It was time for a reef. The first one at night. The standby watch was called on deck and the main was taken to reef one. The sail reduced and the crazed freight train ride ended.
We had a beautiful day of sailing. A couple brief squalls but mainly blue skies and decent winds. We enjoyed the show of the albatross playing the winds behind the boat. Rein and I maxed out our time on the wheel, building up our experience and feel of the helm.
It's now 3am. We are on standby watch. Fully dressed ready to go on deck. We tried to sleep for the first couple hours some on the floor and others on the bench. None of us managed sleep on our off watch so this was our chance but it wasn't forthcoming. My last sleep was an hour on the dog watch 12 hours ago. 5 more hours before I get another chance.
We are called on deck to help with a reef. The winds have built so we put in reef two. It's 30-40 knots and a fight to get the sail down. There is wind, waves splashing and it's raining. Two of us helped with the task. When we return below deck, we are treated to hot chocolate and discover that bread has been made. It will rise and bake while we are on deck, and we will enjoy fresh bread when our shift ends at 8am. Small moments like these are very much appreciated.
We've travelled 800 nmiles in 3 days. 4200 nmiles to go.
Details on the Clipper Round the World Race can be found at:
About Melodie Ridge Shaffer
Melodie is the daughter of Howard Ridge, a longtime Shellbacks member.
She has sailed and raced out of RCYC on variety of boats from dinghies (Laser, 470, International 14) to keel boats (Shark, C+Cs, 8 Meters, J105s).
She is a Crew member for the Clipper Round the World Race, 2019-2020.
She just finished the Southern Ocean leg which was a three week race from Cape Town to Freemantle.
And she will be racing two further legs – the Australia to China and the China to the US legs.
She is an engineer by profession, is married and has three children, one in high school and two in university.
Shellbacks met at Mimico Cruising Club for their annual pre-Christmas luncheon. Delicious food, carol singing, companionship, and conversation. Thanks to all who contributed so much to the setup, auction, and managing the event.
Paul shared experiences and photos of his recent trip to the Holy Land.
Paul started his tour in the north of Israel, near the Syrian border, and showed images of historic and religious sites, working southward to south of Jerusalem. Along the way, Paul pointed out the religious significance and role in Biblical prophesy of many locations.
About Paul Lamont
Paul graduated from University of Toronto in 1978 with majors in Biology and Psychology. He has numerous diplomas from George Brown College and the University of Southern California, Berkley. He also has certification in Financial Planning.
Paul worked for City of Toronto in water supply, starting in production and treatment. He retired after 32 years while being responsible for the managing of the distribution system.
He has been running an after-school club for children 3 to 7 years old for the last 35 years. Some of the children have special needs. At other times, he teaches teenagers.
He is a Bible scholar with a special interest in the Old Testament.
Paul has sailed for over 50 years on many different boats. He has his advanced certification and was a CYA international sailing instructor. He now mentors newer sailors at Lakeshore Yacht club. Currently, he sails a 7.70m Bavaria yacht which he has been fine tuning for 12 years. He is almost finished with the work.
In 2017 Paul helped deliver a boat from New York to Toronto.
Today, Paul will give us impressions of the four seas of the Israel, among other impressions he derived on a recent trip to the Holy Land.
The "Cyclone", a hydraulic dredge that was operated by the Toronto Harbour Commissioners in the early part of the 20th century, was a major force in the extensive lake filling that shaped Toronto's Central Waterfront, Toronto Island and its airport, Port Lands, and Bathurst Quay. Much of what constitutes today's waterfront was built over a relatively short time by this dredge (at the time the world's largest) and others in the Harbour Commission's fleet.
About Ron Jenkins
Ron is a long-time member of the National Yacht Club. His father, Alf (past Purser Shellbacks, Class A Dinghy Sailor and was an active keel boat owner) and his grandfather, Herb (long time treasurer of NYC and an active keel boat sailor) carries the Jenkins’ name well back in NYC history. Herb had a wonderful style to deal with all kinds of difficult matters with a deft touch. And so it continues in the family.
Ron is an active nature and sailing photographer; when hobbies do not interfere, he works in technology marketing. In the technological area, Ron is our web master; he, weekly, records the sessions and uploads them to our web, in addition to loading our schedule and any other pertinent information.
He is an active participant in Waterfront for All, a coalition of groups protecting the Toronto waterfront.
Bill Bialkowski returned to entertain the Shellback Club for the third time. His topic: Celebrating Canadian Naval Aviators since 1914.
About Bill Bialkowski
Bill was born in Poland in 1940. His father, an aeronautical engineer, had escaped the German invasion and was already flying in RAF 300 Bomber Squadron. The family escaped to England after WW II, where Bill’s father worked on a jet fighter project. Bill set his sights on becoming a naval aviator, flying Sea Hawks from carriers. His interest in Naval Aviation has continued ever since. In 1957, the family moved to Canada as Bill’s father was hired by AVRO for the Arrow project.
In 1963, he received a degree in Electrical Engineering from Nova Scotia Technical College, paid for by Royal Canadian Navy as an ROTP cadet. On graduation, he served in destroyers at sea, before electing to leave the navy in 1966 to pursue graduate studies. He graduated again with a Masters Degree as a Control Engineer from the University of Toronto in 1968. In 1984, he founded his own consulting company, which applied the science of stability, control, and simulation to helping pulp and paper mills achieve higher productivity.
He has published many technical papers, and contributed to several books. He was inducted into the Canadian Academy of Engineering in 1994, awarded the Control Engineer of the Year Award (in LA, 1997) and named a ‘pioneer’ of the US Pulp & Paper Industry in 2000.
At 50, he took up flying as a hobby, flew aerobatics, and owned a seaplane, all to compensate for not flying in the navy. He has logged over 1000 hours, including 400 flying float planes. He is also a sailor.
He is a member for the Naval Association of Canada, supports the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, the Shearwater Aviation Museum, and Vintage Wings of Canada.
Bill is married, has three grown children, four grandchildren.
It is true: Flying is 99% routine and 1% terrifying, especially at night!
Rob Mazza returned to the Shellback Club to describe inductions into the Canadian Sailing Hall of Fame, induction criteria, and potential future inductions.
1932 Olympic 8-Metre crew; Ernest (Jack) Cribb, Peter Gordon, George Gyles, Harold A. Jones, Ronald Maitland, and Hubert Wallace
1932 Olympic 6-Metre crew; Gardner Boultbee, Kenneth Glass, Philip Rogers, and Gerald Wilson
Apologies: recorded as time lapse video.
About Robert Mazza
Rob Mazza is a Mechanical Engineer and Naval Architect with over forty years in the marine industry. He began as a yacht designer with C&C Yachts and Mark Ellis Design in Canada, and Hunter Marine in the US. He moved to sales and marketing of structural cores and bonding compounds with ATC Chemicals in Ontario, and Baltek, Inc. in New Jersey. Returning to Canada in 2011, Mazza is currently semi-retired, acting as a contributing editor to Good Old Boat magazine, and writing articles for Professional Boatbuilder, and Wooden Boat magazines. His articles often focus on the history and development of yacht design, especially in Canada. Mazza sits on the Board of Directors of the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston, is a past Vice Commodore of the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club, and is currently chair of the RHYC Heritage Committee. He continues to follow his interest in the history of yachting . . . and today he will share the stories of recent inductions into the Canadian Sailing Hall of Fame.
The Shellback Club will make occasional posts on this blog. If you want something added in a blog post. let us know.