Tag Archives: outdoors

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)

New blog site

Hi folks I wanted to let my followers know that most of my ne content can be seen on my new blog site. Follow the link to see it and press the follow link to get updates on my newest blogs. Any fishing related future blogs will continue on this site.

LINK :        https://oldsaltydog.blog

Cheers everyone

 

First Couple Of Weeks At Slippery Winds Lodge.

Hi everyone, my name is James Mathias I have taken a job with Slippery Winds this summer. My position here is fishing guide/ shore hand. I have decided to write about some of the adventures that I have had already and will continue throughout the season to write about my experiences here at the lodge.

I will begin with a short story about a few day out on the water. Well, I suppose I should back it up just a bit for a moment. This season started off with a good couple of weeks of getting to know the staff here at Slippery Winds. Lori our Manager / Chef,  Elizabeth and Paulene, our waitresses and house cleaning staff, Rick our mechanic/maintenance and a bit of everything handyman, Sam, our 2nd guide and shore hand helper,  Stormy and Aaron, our helpers that came up just to help open up the lodge for the season, and of course our fearless leader himself Mr Randy Duvell. Getting to know these people over the first few weeks of the summer has been a pleasure. everyone has put in a lot of hard work to get the lodge ready for guests to come and relax on a fishing vacation they will not soon forget.

Our first guests arrived on the 19th of May. with cold-front cold wet conditions, the fishing was proving a bit tough to figure out, it wasn’t just our guests either that were finding things tough but our guides too, especially myself, I  was finding it very difficult to get even enough fish to have a decent shore lunch. On day 3, two of our guests decided to break down and hire a lodge guide I was the man for the job. I took a fantastic couple of guys from Texas out for the day. In the morning we hooked into several Largemouth and smallmouth bass and then got into a few northern pike. As the walleye decided to go to a bay we didn’t hit yet I had made the decision to keep a few of the smaller pike to keep for shore lunch. Lunch was a hit. The almost traditional Canadian shore lunch which consisted of fried tomato pork beans, canned corn, homemade hash-browns, fried onions and, well, in this case instead of walleye it was northern pike seasoned with the slippery Winds top secret seasoning and properly filleted and deep fried over an open fire in the pouring rain. Our clients seemed very happy with the day as they hooked more fish than they were expecting by days end.

   

Over the next few day’s I was on the water daily, Guiding some outstanding fellas from Wisconsin. For the first 2 days, the fishing was outstanding, hitting over 35 Bass landed and around 15 pike on both days. My clients seemed super excited when both of them on each of their trips with me while fishing for some walleye in the later part of the afternoon, had the privilege of being able to have the feeling of what it feels like to have a very large musky on the end of their lines. It was a good thing neither of them had actually landed the beastly fish as the musky are not actually in season as of yet.

On their 3rd day of guided trips, the same Wisconson clients wanted to go to a back lake to try their hand at some lake trout. I mentioned that they may wish for a 2nd guide for the back lakes as the boats on those Lakes are a bit on the small side and wanted them to be as comfortable as possible. Sammy, (our 2nd guide) was out with the group for this next adventure.  We decided to hike into a lake called Bluff Point. Bluff Point is definitely known for its lake trout fishery and the clients soon found out just how good it was.  Sammy hooked into over 10 lakers, 3 or 4 Pike and a few Bass in 2.5 hours and I had around the same number of Bass and Pike but a few less Lakers than Sammy. The competition was fierce in the morning between the 2 boats before a great packed lunch on a majestic island in the middle of the lake. After lunch, everyone had decided to pack it in to get to another lake to try our hand at some more bass fishing. I myself made up for the friendly competition loss in the morning by getting over 25 Bass in the afternoon. once again the clients seemed very happy with the result of their trip and I manage to get myself some great rest before tomorrow’s next fishing adventure.

 

I hope you have enjoyed this little story about fishing here at Slippery Winds this past week and stay tuned,  I will tell the stories of my fishing adventures here at Slippery winds throughout this 2017 season.

Ice Fishing Video

This past weekend I had the opportunity to take Filipino TV and the crew from the Canadian Fishing Network {CFN} out for a weekend of fun in the sun, well on the ice anyway.

I wanted to pack as much into our weekend as possible. Its not every day you get the opportunity to showcase what you do for a living to a large population or viewership at little to no cost. People or companies pay big $$$ to get this type of advertising for their businesses.

Sometimes its nice to just be able to kick back and relax with a few friends and not worry about catching the biggest fish. With social media widely used, fishing seems to have taken off in a crazy 180 degree hard left turn over the last few years. everyone and their dog seems to think that if you want to be considerate a fisherman these days, you need to have the latest gear, the best electronics, the highest end latest and greatest tackle, and of course if you are not sponsored by someone then you are a nobody and why even fish at all, right? Well I like to think we can still just get out and fish for a good time, maybe meet some fellow fisherman, get some people introduced to the sport, that kind of thing. So that is exactly what I had in store for CFN and Filipino TV.

I had CFN meet some of their fans up on the Moira Lake to go fishing with, we had a good old fashioned fish fry on the ice, we had multi species targeted over the 2 day weekend, we introduced youths, both males and females to the sport and they all caught their first fish through the ice, we had great food prepared on the ice by chef AJ, for lunch, and it was one of the best trips I think I’ve had on the ice in a long time.

click the link below to see the weekend show.

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009627498906&fref=ts

2015 season winding down

only a few short weeks and we will be in 2016. With the warm temperatures in southern Ontario The Bay Of Quinte doesn’t look like we will be seeing ice any time soon in the near future. With one of my main engines down at the moment, yesterday a friend of mine, another charter guide Ed Mackenzie with Chasin Eyes, helped take some clients of mine out for a December fish to try and get a few of the famous Quinte Trophies that help make this region famous to anglers throughout North America. although the fishing has been slow lately we did manage to hit a few decent fish. Our best yesterday was an 11 lbs Falleye giant, and little Katie with her personal best at around 9lbs looks like Quinte is starting to turn around finally.

 

heng and katie 2

ssheng and katie 1

11225070_1085236591509921_3827441252705969912_n

12316645_1085236534843260_8287355380124860304_n