Friday 26 October 2012

Breakfast With Wally

"Everybody's going there, and I'm going, too."
                                             -Billy Murray

  Friday morning I climb into the cockpit after swallowing my two-aspirin breakfast and spy a curious sight:

  Not the tin fishing boat trailing behind the sailboat, or the Oscar Meyer weiner of a fender, or..

   Okay, there was a whole mess of curious sights to spy, but what caught my attention was a)  the boat wasn't there when I  fell into bed after midnight and b)  the fuel dock closed for the season almost two weeks ago.   Hmm, looks like you ain't from around here, is ya?

That boat also looks a little familiar...

Curious about the curious sight, I snagged Hilary and we wandered over and hailed the boat.   An obviously wrung-out  head poked out of the companionway.
"Are you Wally?"  I asked.
"Yeah, how'd you know?"
"I recognized your boat from pictures on your blog.  Want a coffee?"
 A cup of Timmy's later we got acquainted.

 I briefly met Wally Moran at the Toronto Boat Show last winter, but neither of us had time for anything more than a grip-and-grin. I have been following his blog , his posts on Sailnet and his writing in Sail magazine for a couple of years, and enjoyed the opportunity to chat.  He's been there and done that, usually more than once, from the North Channel to Cuba.  Heading South again after summering on Georgian Bay, Wally and his crazy Cuban canine companion Aduana (seen below snarfing down a biscuit  she snatched from Hilary's truck) pulled into Port Dover at 4:30 am to have the mast pulled on his 34 footer, Gypsy Wind, after a frustrating, mainsail shredding slog along the coast of Lake Erie from Windsor.

Since Hilary and I were taking our boats in the same direction, and Wally had never been to Port Dover before, we decided to convoy out and hit the hourly lift bridge opening together, get tied up at the Bridge Yachts yard,  get Wally set up with some scrap lumber to build the cribbing to carry his mast on deck, then find some badly need breakfast, er, brunch,  at the Dover Dairy Bar.

Wally has more than 30 000 nautical cruising miles under his feet, and 30 000 breakfasts worth of stories to tell.  We all had a good time, talking about the weather, the state of Canadian politics, Cuba, the ICW, and just generally shooting the shit while Aduana slumbered under the table.  As soon as the weather clears, Wally is off, heading to Buffalo, the Erie Canal and warmer points farther south.  Fair winds,Wally-catch you next spring on the return leg.

"Talk the Dock!"


  1. Wally's Aduana looks EXACTLY like our beloved Maggie who passed away this spring. So nice to see her "alter ego" out enjoying life!

    Love the blog!

    1. The ubiquitous Wally! Keeps turning up all along the coast, from Canada to Florida.
      I'll keep an eye out for him on the Hudson as he heads for salt water. That red hull and maple leaf flag will be hard to miss.
      The Cuban rescue pup is also a signature item.

      I must have met your Maggie when you and Chuck graciously allowed my friends and I to tie up at your dock for the night over a while ago. I'm sorry to hear about Maggie.

      Caleb D.

    2. Thanks, Caleb! She was a grand old lady (14 yrs). We miss her!

  2. Erie Canal is closing this afternoon for the Hurricane, I am sure if there is no damage they will reopen next week sometime.

  3. After hearing about Wally I will find his blog and check it out. It seems there is living the life and then there's LIVING THE LIFE. Nice to see someone doing it.

  4. Hi - never been called ubiquitous before. Gonna have to look that one up! FYI, I'm still here in Port Dover, decided it was a good place to hang out and avoid Sandy - hmmm, not the first time I've hidden out from a cantankerous woman come to think of it.
    Spoke with the Canal people today - the canal will re-open within the week, once they've reestablished the water levels.
    Caleb, where are you at, let's try to get together on my way south.