Tag Archives: ontario out doors

Life’s Adventures, & Working ON A Ferry. (update)

I know it’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post. The past couple years has been… well full of adventures, exciting, exhausting, chaotic, and down right life changing to say the least.

Since my last post back in May of 2019 my life has basically been turned upside down.

My life started to change when I had done some serious self evaluations and realized in March of 2019 that I had to make some serious changes. The fact was I simply, was not happy in my life, and I was spiralling into a deep depression.

I had made the very hard decision to leave my wife of nearly 20 years. Now my ex wife was and is an amazing individual it’s just we seemed to have grown apart. I guess this happens sometimes. And as unfortunate as the circumstances were at the time I feel that this was the best decision I could have made, not only for me, but also for my children and my ex wife.

Today my kids are doing very well, we have a much better relationship, I feel they don’t walk on eggshells around me and when I’m over visiting they are engaged in conversation, well most of the time anyway, lol, and spend their time with me, instead of locked up in their rooms playing video games. I’m not saying that never happens of course but at least they are paying attention to their father and vise versa more often than when I lived there. And we are doing things together more too.

My ex has a great guy she has been seeing for over a year and seems to have a bit of pep in her step lol. In other words she seems to be loving life again for the most part. I think the only stresses she has in her life still has to do with some loose ends she and I had yet to sort out lol.

And I have moved on with a relationship as well with the love Of my life Erin. Since I started dating Erin in September of 2019, I have discovered new hobbies and interests in my life that have kept me/us very busy, These are common interests both Erin and I share together which has been such wonderful experience to share with a partner.

Erin and I both have a love of being on the water, infact both our careers involve being on the water. We both work for the MTO working on separate passenger Ferry vessels in the KFL&A region.

In our spare time during the summer we spend the majority of our time on our sailing boat exploring Lake Ontario, The Bay of Quint, and the St Lawrence River throughout the 1000 islands .

During the past year, trying to work through and deal with the challenging times of Covid, Life still proves to be active and very interesting.

Of course because of Covid most of us have been unable to spend time with many of our loved ones like family, for me I have not been able to spend time with my parents, or sister and her family as well, I have now missed out on seeing them for 2 Christmas years and my nephew and niece are growing up and I miss them dearly, this type of thing has been hard on so many of us I know. I hope things get back to some normality soon so we can all get together again.

At work both Erin and I have realized that We have been very lucky to have the jobs that we do. Despite the everyday challenges of the working environment, if I sit back and think about life on the boat, it really is very interesting and I know I am super lucky to have a position in a company and in the industry I have come to love and have a passion for.

It’s funny when I chat to many of our passengers and just people I know in general, about my specific job, I get similar interpretations of what people think life on the ferry is like, in other words I get asked regularly if my job is boring?, they say it can’t possibly be to stimulating to run the same half mile stretch day in, and day out? Well, I say to most people, although they are not wrong about sometimes it can get a bit monotonous just running the same stretch everyday, what many people don’t see is what makes the job interesting.

What could that be you ask? Well, I’m glad you asked? Lol. You see, the fact is, that this job isn’t just running back and forth the same half mile everyday parking cars. This job requires that everyone is certified in some respect. From a deckhand to Captain we all require certification that enables us to work on the vessel, and at different positions, such as Marine first aid requirements, firefighting, operator certification, marine radio licenses, we all must have medical updates to maintain a specific level of health, ok sure so we need to be certified, but there’s much more to it than that.

You see we are a customer service type of service, answering people’s inquiries about the area, we give recommendations for local restaurants and sites to visit, wineries to try, we are a human version of Google maps for the area giving passengers directions, I personally on several occasions have helped law enforcement or ambulances do emergency runs across the bay, in other words, we are public servants. We have been front line worker’s throughout the covid pandemic with little to no recognition really a thankless job. So what makes a job like this so great?

Well other than the obvious about being a government job, with so many benefits to that alone. There is the fact that we work outdoors, YES, the winter can be a bit Harsh at times with extreme cold, or heat waves in the summer of course, but for the most part the winters aren’t too bad as long as you dress for it, and really I am Canadian so what are we gonna do, complain ? Ha ha ha. But there are some really great things about working in the winter too. For one, when all the bodies of water are frozen in the area, the ferry creates an open track (as pictured above), the local fire department sometimes does open water ice rescue training right in our path which was really great to witness.

This track we keep open during the winter also allows wildlife to congregate so they have fresh water to drink, it provides a hunting ground for birds, so we get a vast array of bird life to watch during the winter months from ducks, and swans, to owls and Bald eagles.

Owl watching me from a near by building
A bald eagle waiting for the propellers of the ferry to churn the water and send up a meal to the surface of the water

The sun rises are absolutely stunning. You can never get tired of watching the sun rise or set over the bay when it’s covered in a blanket of ice and snow.

Sunset over Picton cement plant
Sun rise on the Adolphus side of the river

During the Spring all the way to end of Fall, watching the magnificent boats of all sizes and classes pass by our position is fascinating. From fishing boats, yaughts & sail boats to big Lakers. They all pass by and I think about where they are all going and where they came from.

The scenery on the water is constantly changing and it’s absolutely mesmerizing. The Bay is my office and it a view that is constantly changing. Even if it is only a 1 half mile stretch of water.

Every day is just a little different, sure sometimes things go wrong, but tell me a job where nothing has ever gone wrong, it’s all about what’s going right that one should focus on. So for me it’s obviously the scenery and atmosphere, the people I get to work with, and the people you meet. I met my future wife at this job, so that should tell you it’s a pretty awesome place to be lol.

So that is just a few of the good points of how life working on a ferry boat is for me lol. There have been so many other changes in my life over the past 2 years but I’ll leave that for another blog (soon to come)

BIG THANKS

 

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Just a recap on one of my greatest fishing years to date.
I started the year with some of my greatest ice fishing years I ever had with over 23 Walleye’s over 10lbs iced
Then in April I headed out to the east coast on a 3 month commercial fishing adventure that I have been waiting more that a decade to try, The Lobster season on a commercial fishing vessel. all while I documented the entire trip on my blog.

(follow the link at www.fishingquinte.com. ) if you wish to read about it.

The most incredible lobster we landed was a rare blue lobster. The cool part about it other than it was blue of course, was it’s size, all the other blue lobster I had seen from other Lobster fisherman’s Phones ect. had been much smaller. Also in my captains 25+ years on the water he had only ever seen 1 before and apparently wasnt even close in size. we released it so it would have a chance to reproduce and fisherman may get a chance to see more in the future.

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During that trip I had added 3 more species to my ever growing resume of fish species targeted. I was able to land a stripe Bass, and a flounder on a rod and reel combo, and Snow crab on another commercial fishing day out in the roughest waters I think I believe I have ever fished in.

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Then Once I made it home in July I worked on getting my new fishing vessel ready for the fall Walleye season, although rushed a bit to get it all together, I managed to get the boat in the water just in time to take a couple professional Golfers that were on tour for the Mackenzie PGA tournament out for a short 2 hour tour around the bottom of Hay Bay while it was filmed for TSN. a very cool project for me. (copy and paste the following to see the video)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfPVLHFXYMg


Also this year I was able to obtain 3 sponsors which have helped me grow my business over the year through social media. Monster Stalker, Fish Bum Outfitters, and Seafour Lures, all companies I love and am proud to represent.

monster stalker-logo

logo seafour

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Then of course  the fall season hit, October started off a bit slow for my liking and continued to be slow right to the end of November and into December but nevertheless I persevered and pushed through and ended my season on December 7th with a great group of high school  kids and an interesting and informative tour at the Glenore Ministry Of Natural Resources fisheries center.  

group fishing

 My efforts for the season have paid off BIG, with many people calling to book in charters, for next year, and ending my 3rd successful full year as a Charter Captain on The Bay Of Quinte.

I’d Like to thank all of my customers this season, friends, my colegues on and off the water, my wife Rachel, Ed MacKenzie, Scott Walcott, Yvan Roseau, Joe Picstock, Dave Paro, CareFree Pickerel Park, Richard Dunlop, Capt Jody & all my fishing buddies in Mabou Harbor   and of course my Sponsors that have helped make this dream job a reality for me and have helped with another very successful season. and I hope to see you all again in 2016. 

quinte falleye

If you are thinking of coming for the 2016 ice fishing or regular walleye or salmon seasons, then now would be a good time to put in your requests. These seasons can fill up quickly.

tight lines and see everyone in 2016