A few weekends ago, we drove to Toronto and took the kids for a cruise on the Kajama, a pretty decent sized tall ship; technically a three-masted schooner, according to the brochure. I don’t pretend to know much about boats, but at 165 feet long and a capacity for 225 passengers, it’s not exactly small for a ship of this type. From what I’ve been able to gather, the boat is a 1930s vintage German craft that sailed between Europe and Africa for sixty years until it was purchased, moved to Toronto and restored in 2000.
It was an interesting experience for the kids- the crew makes a point of allowing (actually it was more like conscripting) passengers to help with raising the sails. My daughter was watching them climbing among the rigging with a little too much interest; with the masts standing nearly 100 feet above the deck and 7000 square feet of sails, there was a lot of climbing to be done. She’s a sucker for anything that smacks of daredevil antics– the recent episode where she fractured her nose at school while hanging off the monkey bars is only the latest testament to that. So, the rigging was off limits for Tasha.
There really is lots to look at from the lake when cruising around Toronto: Ontario Place, the island airport, the waterfront in general all take on a completely different perspective. The kids found the mix of craft almost overwhelming. In the sky overhead there were commuter planes, single engine aircraft, sea planes and helicopters all buzzing about. Around the Kajama, small sailboats, jet skis, big motor boats, cruisers, police boats, yachts and ferries all zipped around. We watched the apparent chaos and the kids soon figured out that there were patterns if you watched carefully; everyone was playing by some sort of rules.
As if being on the water surrounded by boats and planes wasn’t enough, the midpoint of the voyage brought it up a notch. The ceremonial firing of a miniature cannon. No sail boats were sunk during the engagement.
Here’s a picture of the cannon and the obligatory shot of the Toronto waterfront from the lake.