Friday 30 August 2013

Kajama, Toronto, ON

Gord and I took today off to make it an even longer long weekend.

We headed down to Harbourfront this afternoon to sail on the Kajama.  We try to do it every summer, though we've missed the last couple of years.

Kajama is a three-masted former cargo schooner that currently operates on Lake Ontario as a cruise ship.

The ship was built at Nobiskrug shipyard in Rendsburg, Germany, and launched on July 26, 1930, under the name Wilfried.  Captain Wilhelm Wilckens was her owner and master and he operated from the homeport of Hamburg from 1930 until 1960.

In 1960, she was purchased by Captain Andreas Kohler Asmussen of Egersund, Denmark. Asmussen renamed the ship Kajama after his two sons and his wife Kaywe, Jan and Maria.

The ship continued to work under sail until the mid-1970s, at which time the Asmussens converted her to a strictly motor-driven vessel. In the spring of 1998, Captain Asmussen suffered a fatal cardiac arrest while at the helm. As he was the only crew on watch at the time, the ship went up on a beach near Malmo, Sweden. Drydocking determined that little damage had been suffered.

Throughout the years from 1930 until 1998, Kajama traded general cargo. Her voyages went as far south as Bilboa in Northwest Spain, throughout western Europe, and Scandinavia, and above the Arctic Circle in Northern Norway.

In January 1999, she was purchased by Great Lakes Schooner Company of Toronto. After preparation for sea she steamed to England, Azores and on to Toronto. Kajama underwent a major overhaul and restoration to her original profile in just over ten months.  She is now operating on Lake Ontario, taking pride of place in Toronto Harbour. She offers public daysails, educational programs and corporate charters. 

We went on the 2pm sail and there were many who had the same idea we did.

One of the deckhands gives us the safety drill.

And we were off!  We hung out at the bow (the front) at first.

Getting the sails up ...

Passengers are invited to help

The sun was in and out ... mostly in for the first part of the trip.  Plus there was a haze in the distance.

Because of the planes practicing overhead for the airshow this weekend, we headed east, away from them, and around the back of the Islands.

Toronto with the Islands between us

About halfway, we went to the stern (the back).

The lighthouse in Tommy Thompson Park

They fire a small cannon off every cruise.


Our captain was friendly.

These boys from Kitchener had the right idea!

Here are me and Gord!

The sun came out and stayed out as we headed back to dock.

It was a hot humid day ... it was 28C but felt like 38C.  So it was a great day to be out on the water!

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