Licence to Chill Sailing Adventure
Nova Scotia to Toronto

Last updated: May 3, 2014 10:45 EST


John Wilson
Mobile: 416-450-2499

Current Location

Currently the boat is dry docked at South Shore Marine.
South Shore Marine
130 Marina Road,
Marriotts Cove (Chester Basin), Nova Scotia
B0J 1K0
Phone: 902-275-3711


The idea for this web page is to provide a central repository for planning and organizing our sailing adventure from Nova Scotia to Toronto. Content will be updated regularly as more information becomes available. Click on photos for an enlarged view. Any and all feedback is welcome, just email or call me at the coordinates above.


Gemini Catamaran Licence to Chill

Starting on June 1st 2014 the catamaran Licence to Chill, a 34 foot, 14 foot beam, 1999 Gemini will sail from Chester Nova Scotia south to Boston, then New York, up the Hudson River, through the Erie Canal, and then across Lake Ontario to Toronto. Ian and Lynn Wilson will arrive in Chester Nova Scotia approximately 2 weeks before departure in order arrange to have the boat readied for sailing and taken from dry dock to be put in the water. John Wilson, the current owner, will arrive in Chester on June 1st in the morning. The previous owner will spend the day, likely June 2nd reviewing the operation of the sail boat on the water in preparation for our voyage.

Route Map

We are looking to have an experienced sailor who will meet us on or around the first of June in order to prepare for the trip, and accompany us on the first week or two south and over to Boston, across the Bay of Fundy. Leigh Geraghty, the wife of John Wilson, will likely meet up with us in Boston for a two week period as we travel from Boston to New York, and head up the Hudson River and along the Erie Canal. From Oswego on Lake Ontario, John Wilson and crew will make the jump across the lake and back to Toronto.

About Us

Leigh Geraghty and John Wilson

John Wilson and Leigh Geraghty purchased Licence to Chill in the fall of 2013 with the plan to dry dock the boat through the winter, and then sail her back to Toronto in the Summer of 2014. Ian Wilson and Lynn Wilson, parents of John Wilson, have agreed to arrive in Chester a couple weeks before the first of June 2014 in order to ready the boat, and make arrangements in preparation for the voyage, along with help from the previous owner. The previous owner sailed the boat up from Florida a few years before we bought her. Our son Ian Wilson and daughter Claire Wilson may join us for portions of the trip. Leigh and John have three years sailing experience on Lake Ontario. Our longest trip, however, up until this point, was a two week sail west of Lake Ontario to Port Dalhousie and back in our previous boat Initram a 35 foot 1974 C&C. Our only other cruising experience was a week long trip throughout the Guadeloupe Islands on a 48 foot Beneteau.

About Our Catamaran

Licence to Chill Bow in Water

Year: 1999
Location: In Chester, NS
Hull Material: Fiberglass
Engine/Fuel Type: Single diesel
W# 1408-2504386

LOA: 34 ft 0 in
Beam: 14 ft 0 in
LWL: 31 ft 9 in
Minimum Draft: 1 ft 6 in
Maximum Draft: 5 ft 0 in

Licence to Chill Stern in Water

Engine Brand: Westerbeke
Engine(s) Total Power: 27 HP
Engine Model: 30B3
Engine Hours: 1460

Fresh Water Tanks: (60 Gallons)
Fuel Tanks: (36 Gallons)
Holding Tanks: (18 Gallons)

Mileage Breakdown

The following are rought estimates and do not include weather days. Total distance is about 1,000 nautical miles.

Ports Distance (nm) Number of Days (60 miles/day)
Chester NS - Yarmouth NS 180 3
Yarmouth NS - Bar Harbour MA 100 2
Bar Harbour ME - Cape Cod Canal MA 195 3
Cape Cod Canal MA - New York City NY 175 3
New York City NY - Oswego NY 310 6
Oswego NY - Toronto ON 180 3

Check List

  • Charts and Guides
  • Fenders, extra for 40 locks that will be traversed
  • Radar
  • GPS
  • Depth finder
  • VHF Radio
  • Cruising permit for US, good for one year, obtained when clearing customs
  • Cruising permit for Canada
  • All members of crew must have a valid passports

Trip Plan

Our journey will begin in Chester Nova Scotia where Licence to Chill sits on the dry dock. Our hope is to set sail on June 2 or 3, having completed a learn to sail day with the previous owner on June 1 or 2. Provisioning and getting the boat in the water will be taken care of by the previous owner and Ian and Lynn Wilson who are arriving a couple weeks before the planned departure date in order to get things ready.

Chester to Shelburne or Yarmouth

The coastal waters we plan to sail are known as the South Shore. This coast line is extremely varied, with islands, bays, headlands and sand beaches. Many beautiful sheltered bays with picturesque villages provide peaceful uncrowded anchorages. From Shelburne to Yarmouth is known as Southwest Nova, an area that is affected by the Bay of Fundy tides, and the extra care by the sailor. Southwest Nova will require more anchoring or tyling alongside warfs or workboats as marina facilities are few. Fog presents a real challenge. Chester is the first Harbour in Mahone Bay which encompases the stretch from Pennant Point to Seal Ledge. South Shore Marine where Licence to Chill is currently on dry dock, in Stevens Cove. There are no shops or services near South Shore Marine. Provisioning in Mahone Bay is a real pleasure, so perhaps that is where we will load up. Princess Inlet famous Lunenberg, where the Bluenose was built, are west of Mahone Bay. Le Have is a quiet beautiful place to anchor after Lunenberg.

Some stops along the way: Port Mouton, Carters Beach Sheatric and Bo Street. Get jerry cans filled with diesel before heading for Boston.

Shelburne or Yarmouth to Boston

It is about 100 miles from the tip of Nova Scotia to Boston. We need good sailing conditions & slack tide, ideally for an overnighter, look for a 3 day weather window. Slack tide will give you +4 knots. 50-60 hours if direct to Boston. Clear US customs in Bost, Presidents Road inlet at Long Warf near the city. Can use NEXUS. Get US cruising permit. Must check in and out at every customs house.

Boston to New York City

Go through the Cape Cod Canal (time it right for the current). Buzzards Bay and Red Brook Island. New Port Harbour, call in to customs. Old Port Maine, Long Island, New York, Vishers Island, Port Jefferson, Port Washington, Frogs Neck, Hells Gate (time the East River for tidal current). East River to 79th Street Boat Basin.

New York to Oswego

Up the Hudson river for 60 miles to Cornwall on the Hudeson, then Catskill Credit and Riverview Marine to take the mast down and build cradle. Waterford, Amsterdam, Little Fork, then 50 miles to lock 21 and E22 Oswego.

Oswego to Toronto

From Oswego on the south side of Lake Ontario we will sail west to Wilson. From Wilson we will sail across Lake Ontario to Toronto.