TBI at Waupoos Island 1971 to 1976

Toronto Brigantine ran the shorebase program on Waupoos Island from 1971 through 1976.

Waupoos Island (40) is in Prince Edward Bay at the east end of Lake Ontario.  [Photo provided by Jurgen Braunohler, TBI alumnus 1973-1975].

Waupoos Island location was first opened in 1971 with Al Hazel as Director. Al Hazel continued as Director of the shorebase program at Waupoos Island through to 1976 when the Waupoos Island location was closed.   Over the years, Al Hazel had anumber of XO’s and Officers working with him.

  • In 1971, Stan Bydal was XO at Waupoos. Derek Wulff was also an instructor there that year.
  • In 1973, Doug James joined Al Hazel as Captain, David Mather as XO.
  • In 1974, Guy ? was Captain with Al. Doug Galvin was CPO at Waupoos Island that year as well.
  • In 1976, Richard Birchall was XO.
  • In 1977, Waupoos Island’s shorebase program was closed.

The program included one week of shore training followed by another week sailing aboard Pathfinder.

Here is Pathfinder at Waupoos Island 1972 [photo provided by Paul Clarke Jul 2012].

Here is Pathfinder, Playfair and Trident all togeter at Waupoos Island Camp, 1974. [photo provided by Heather Anne Bell, Jul 2012].

Here is Pathfinder docked at Waupoos Island, behind the 37 foot cutter Trident, used for overnight trips and as a stepping stone to the larger vessel. [Photo provided by Jurgen Braunohler, TBI alumnus 1973-1975].

At Waupoos Island, the trainees stayed at the barracks known as the “Seamen’s Block” [Photos provided by Jurgen Braunohler, TBI alumnus 1973-1975].

There were three other boats operating out of Waupoos Island over the 6 years there.  These p-boats (22-foot lifeboats) were Pilot (skipper Dean Powell) and Pequod (skipper Dave Hughes, future Playfair captain) and Pegasus (Skipper Randy Dittums).

Here is a photo of Pegasus.  [Photo submitted by Jurgen Braunohler, TBI alumnus 1973-1975].

Harvey the Rabbit was the mascot for Waupoos through the years.   [Photo submitted by Jurgen Braunohler, TBI alumnus 1973-1975].

Toronto Brigantine’s Winter Program now operates out of Marine West Quay in Toronto. After putting in over 10,000 volunteer hours working on the boats and training this winter, this Season’s Crew are ready to set sail with their first Summer Program trainees are scheduled to set sail just this afternoon on their way to Port Dover.

To book your berth for our tall ship sail training program this summer, contact the office today. www.torontobrigantine.org

Pathfinder Docked at Waupoos Island, 1975 [Photo provided by Jurgen Braunohler, TBI alumnus 1973-1975].

5 responses

  1. Wow… 1975, what a memorable year and many 1st’s for the
    ” Great White Bitch” Lets start with the race around Prince Edward Country with Playfair where we bounced Pathfinder of the ground between Nicholson Island and Sand banks, Sheared the bolts off the rudder, cracked the welds between the blast and water tanks and redesigned the shape of the keel.

    Next we were getting hulled out at RCYC in the Kawasinds ferry rack. It was early in summer morning and the 1″ winch cable snapped, have you ever seen Pathfinder go 7 knots backwards down a railway. Ken Prince was quick on the move, started the engine and stopped the ship from crashing into the rich yachtsmen having breakfast on their 42’C&C. As we had to get our rudder fixed, Skipper made arrangements for us to be plucked from the water with the Atlas Crane in the east harbour. We have a couple of nice photos of Pathfinder hanging 5′ of the ground fully rigged

    Next was the Girls cruise of 1975… Having a leisurly lunch on Friday; radio day for us in the Wardroom. We had full sail set when Watch Office Prince yells for help. 2 mins later we buried the needle in heelometer in the Seamens Mess. 50 degrees to Starboard. We had to climb out of the deck house, all the water emptyied out of the galley sinks, we could have painted the port side of the ship. All the ladies were calm and moving to to the windward side of the ship except for Michelle who was screaming with fear and Doris who was standing waist deep in water at Mid ship Starboard side with a big grin on her face. As the squall abated, we took stock of the carnage. We blew out the big fisherman and the Topsail and little did we know till later that we filled the diesil engine with water. We limped into Rochester under sail and had it repaired before returning to Waupoos.

    Now it was time for the 2 week cruise and we were headed to the Soo for the first time. Thru the welland canal, up the detroit river and through the 30,000 Islands. One of the highlights was Sailing up lake huron with the sails set perfectly so that no one had to physically man the helm.

    So it is the end of August, and the crew has left for home, Now we are down to six, Skipper, Tony Case, Bill Stewart, Paul Biggs, Mike Gravelle and Alex from Lakefield College. We set sail up the east coast of Lake Superior. Our first port of call was an abandoned fishing harbour called Garguntrois (sp). It was beautiful place, had dinner, took a swim and met some campers. Had kye with the campers and they told us how their back pack had been ripped from a tree by a bear. Next morning I was woken by Tony kicking my bunk… “Paul, Paul look out the galley skylight”. to our amazement and his or her’s there was a big black bear on deck with his arm and head through the skylight trying to get at the let overs from snack the last night. He ate a bar of soap, tea towel, bent a 1/2″ water pipe and left his signature in the mahagoney rail.

    We travelled north for another several days in some good winds finally makeing our destination Michepictoen (sp). In this final night for us that year, the stars were out in full view and our mate Alex took us on a 3 hour tour of the Universe. It was a one of a kind tour not to be repeated as of yet.

    Stay tuned mates

    Next we will talk about 1976 and our Trip to New York City.

  2. I was there in 1976 and did the New York City week, for the US bicentenary, with my younger brother. Awesome trip, awesome memories of swimming at Montauk beach, ticker tape parade in NYC and incredible waves in the Atlantic. Twice, the boat was fully submerged as we got blown around the Atlantic Ocean. Pulling into Sagg Harbour was truly a life affirming experience. Unforgettable!

    Marcus Perry, with Stephen Perry

  3. Karen Addison ( nee Leturneau) | Reply

    OMG I was on that girls cruise in ’75! Remember hitting that line squall and watching the gauge that measured the heel as the tips of the masts neared the water… nervous ex itement but we survived… and loved it. Was it that year we raced Playfair through the Axe Narrows and ran aground just past the Deseronto Bridge? All the girls hauled the line as we kedged off the sandbar while we watched Playfair sail away. Bestbtime of my life! Thanks guys!

    1. what huge world made so small by the internet 40 years later.

  4. I was there for ’76-’78. Waupoos Island was base for RCSCC summer sailing camp called Operation Sail Safe. Learned to sail using Petrel dinghy.

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