In Phoenician mythology, ASTARTE, the Evening Star, is the goddess of passionate love and fertility. She is represented as a beautiful woman, driving a chariot drawn by seven lions, wearing a crown of myrtle leaves and accompanied by doves. The Babylonians and Assyrians called her ISHTAR. To the Greeks, she was APHRODITE, and the Romans worshipped her as VENUS.
ASTARTE is a 1976 C&C 24 sailboat. We bought her in 1999 from Taylor Echlin in Port Credit, Ontario. He was her second owner. The boat had been maintained in immaculate condition and came with a great deal of equipment. Taylor did a lot of single-handed sailing on Lake Ontario so the boat was very well-equipped.
We hauled her home from Toronto with a pick-up and a trailer, too late to launch that fall. In the spring of 2000, we sailed her for the first time.
The C&C 24 is a lovely boat and sails like a witch. Like most C&C's she loves to go to windward and will move along with scarcely a breath of wind. With two reefs in the main and a storm jib she is comfortable in any weather our lake can produce. We try to be out on the lake every weekend of our short northern summer and overnight as often as we can.
Our annual tradition is a five-day cruise on the Canada Day long weekend. On the first day we sail as far as Huber's tourist camp where we go ashore for dinner in their restaurant. We spend the night on their dock and then in the morning we set sail down Dinorwic Lake. At the south end there is a creek into another lake and then a three-mile trip up the Crooked river into Minnehaha Lake. This is the end of navigation on the Wabigoon chain of lakes as there is a lovely falls on the river that connects Minnehaha with Peak Lake. It is very beautiful and totally isolated and it is our favourite sailing destination.
|Tucked in Hidden Bay|
|Flying the gennaker|
|Tree Fork Creek into Mile Lake||Contact Bay|
|Cruising Dinorwic Lake||Contact Bay Channel|
Over the six years that we had Astarte, we made many improvements to her. In 2003 we bought a new North mainsail, which made a huge difference to her sailing performance. Probably, the project which yielded the greatest rewards was getting rid of the porta-pottie and installing a proper marine toilet and holding tank. For a description of this project click here.
Much as we loved Astarte, we began to yearn for standing headroom, more comfortable berths and a private head. We wanted to invite another couple out for the weekend occasionally. There are four berths on a C&C 24, but you would have to be pretty good friends....
I am pretty much always shopping -- I love looking at sailboats -- and browsing the internet to see what is for sale, but we weren't actively looking for a new boat. Susan said we were going to get a new kitchen before we got a bigger boat. Then -- we saw her -- our next boat!