We had a relaxing day today in St.Peters with a walk up town to grab a few supplies and a hair cut. It was pretty nice wandering around St.Peters where we bought lunch at "the bus" a mobile diner set up in an old school bus and ate our lunch overlooking the canal. After lunch we walked across the swing bridge to find the local barber about 1/2 a mile outside of town. There was a sailboat race under way which we watched as we walked to the Barbers. There wasn't a breath of wind and the boats hadn't moved during our walk, such is sailing. We noticed on our walk a sign offering a ceilidh that evening so with that in mind we returned to the boat to get ready for the Ceilidh. The Inn where the Ceilidh was taking place is on the water with a floating dock so we decided to take Gypsy to the Ceilidh a short boat ride from our mooring. We had a great time at the Ceilidh listening to lots of talented local musicians, unfortunately we had missed out on supper since the restaurant had closed st 0700. By the time we made it back to Rose Lee we were starving but it was too late to make anything so snacks in the cockpit were the order of the evening and I have to say they were excellent:)
We had a pretty relaxing evening and a good rest after our foggy passage yesterday from Liscombe we needed it. We were on our way just before 1200hrs bound for St. Peters marina located just on the other side of St. Peters Canal in the Bras d'Or lakes about 20miles from Canso. We motored out of Canso with a nice breeze that was enough top sail on once we cleared the Harbor. There are shipping lanes here that we have to cross for ships transiting Chedebucto bay. As e approached the first lane there was a ship coming our way but it was about 5miles away, so no worries, I think. Joyce is a better judge of distance than me and said hey Scott I don't know if we can make it across ahead of that guy. Oh Joyce you worry too much we have plenty of time............Not. Joyce was right again and we did a big 180 degree turn and passed behind him, we would never had made it across his bow:( We were then able to sail the rest of the way without the engine and made good time right into St. Peters bay. At this point we started the motor and furled everything in preparation for transiting St. Peters Canal (lots of fenders and lines). The staff at the canal are very helpful and friendly which make the experience a pleasure even for nubies who have never been through a lock before. WE tied along side and waited for a few boats coming out of the lakes and once they cleared the lock we were given the signal to enter the lock. We waited for the water level and a call from the swing bridge operator to let us know that the bridge was open and we could proceed into the lakes. Sop just to be clear the canal has one set of locks that you pass through and further up the canal just before you enter the lakes there is a swing bridge but the lock master prefers that you wait in the lock until the bridge is open because if you arrive early it is difficult to manage your boat in the tight canal while waiting for the bridge. So now worries we were now in the lakes and had just a small trip around the corner < 1 mile to St. Peters Marina where we were going to grab a mooring. We had put a few miles on over the last few days and were looking forward to having a little break in St. Peter's (a friendly town with a nice marina). In the lakes at last excellent and a good trip.
We woke up this morning in Liscombe to heavy fog. Did I mention we haven't installed any radar yet on "Rose Lee". We found a brand new radome and display in one of the lockers but it hasn't quite made the list yet for installation. Oh well we did know the waters pretty well and were confident in our charting skills. We back up our chart plotter with paper charts and three hand led gps's. We are also pretty diligent about keeping a proper log which we update every hour with our position and any other pertinent information (observations, wind, sog, sea conditions etc...). If we have a major power failure we can go old school and still carry on safely. We departed at at 0630 from the wharf in Liscombe and slowly motored out the river in thick fog which looked like it would burn off by 0900. The river widens out quit a bit before you get back into the ocean, however the fog remained thick and continued along in our watery world which was about 400' in diameter as a result of the fog. Other than our updated position on the chart the only way we could tell that we had re-entered the ocean was due to the sea state. We had a big rolling ocean which came at us from the side and bow causing quite a bit of motion on board (smooth but excessive). I popped a couple the new ginger all natural gravol which we have found excellent and no side effects. Fog! Fog! Fog! pretty well sums up the day no wind motoring along in thick fog sounding the horn every minute or so to make our presence known. We made decent time running at about 6.5 knots. Our total passage to Canso was about 50 miles in length, about 30 miles into our trip we received a call on the VHF from Cameron at 0130, who was a little ahead of us and decided that they had enough of the motion and were turning into Whitehead Harbor. We said our good byes and carried on for Canso. As we neared Canso our next hurdle was getting through St. Andrews channel which is challenging in clear calm condition and not recommended in fog or rough weather (this is a difficult passage very difficult). Joyce was on the bow as we entered the channel giving me instructions a bit to port a bit to starboard small island dead ahead. Visibility was down to about 200' and we were inching along at 3 knots which seemed fast! When we finally got back into safe water and out of St. Andrews channel you could hear our collective sigh if you were any where near bye (unfortunately we wouldn't have been able to see you). Just three more miles and we would be in Canso, yay. We grabbed a mooring off the Canso marina at 1810 completely exhausted from a pretty stressful trip where our navigation was put to the test and we passed.
I rigged up Gypsy and made a into the marina to pay for the mooring and hopefully grab a pizza. The guys at the marina were great and gave me a lift up to the pizza shop to grab the pizza, it would have been quite a walk. When I returned to Rose Lee with my catch Cameron must have changed his mind and was anchored close by. We were to tired to even visit and settled in for pizza and wine with visions of Cape Breton dancing in our head.
We had a great sleep on the wharf at Liscomb, which is kind of unusual for us. We prefer to anchor or pick up mooring just because we like the privacy and find the motion nicer. Today was a nice lazy day which began with showers followed by breakfast at the lodge. After cleaning up the boat a bit and relaxing for the morning we headed over to Cameron's boat which was in the anchorage we had vacated. Cameron and his wife were a super nice and interesting couple. They were both US citizens and professional musicians with the symphony here in NS. The wine was delicious only beaten by the conversation. One of our favorites things about cruising is the interesting people you meet along the way. We soon had to say our good byes as they were moving their boat out the river further in preparation for an early morning departure. We decided to stay on the wharf that night and would take off in the morning pretty early as we had about 50 miles to make if wanted to get into Canso before dark. Cameron was also heading for Canso, however we likely wouldn't see them since they were about 4 miles closer out the river than us. We really enjoyed our stop-over in Liscomb but it was time to keep going for the Lakes.
This morning, true to his word Cameron's came out from the dock with his sail boat and we switched spots he set an anchor and we moved up to the dock which was a bit easier since we were dressing up and had reservations for dinner in the lodge tonight:) We spent the day doing a bit of exploring and took out a few bicycles for a ride. We played a little pool in the games room and generally relaxed. I found Cameron back down in the lounge at the marina and we discussed plans. I had been planning on moving further down the coast the following day but he was looking at the weather and things were looking a bit nasty rain, wind and fog. Twist my rubber arm, we decided to stay until the 30th and head out then. Cameron invited us over to try some of there homemade wine the next evening.
Dinner in the lodge was fantastic great food and great service, nice. Another relaxing evening on the boat after a bit more pool at the games room. We were looking forward to a nice lay day in the morning "nothing to do and all day to do it". Did I say we really love this sailing life style!
We had a nice quiet night with and woke to a calm clear morning. Calm and clear is a plus on the Eastern shore since they have lot of fog right into August. Our plan was to get on the go early since we had a passage of about 50 miles and planned on geeting uip the Liscombe River which is home to a beutiful lodge and resturant (known for their planked salmon). Wed had the anchor up by 0700 and wer on our way under engine. By 1000hrs we were on the main and genoa (nice and quiet again). The breeze was 14 knots out of the sw and we were making good time.We had a really nice sail up until around 1300 and the wind started to lighten and by 1430 we had to get the engine started and proceeded under motor. We had a real treat as we were turning up into the Liscombe river we spotted a huge Leather back turtle(this thing looked as big as a small picnic table). Like all things you see the camera is never close enough but what a memory. It was beuitilful motoring up the Liscombe river which is about 6 miles until you reach the lodge which is as far as you can go by boat. The river used to be quite famous for its salmon fishing, however the fish have left, and its now populur due to the scenery, walking trails, nice cottages and its proximity to the historic town of Shelburne. The lodge is very welcoming to boaters and deisel and water is available at the dock. You can also tie up to the dock when there is room for $25 anight which gives you access to all of the lodge amenities (kayaks,canues,bikes,paddle boats etc..) When we arrived there was another sailboat on the floating dock so we opted to anchor just out of the channel. I had called ahead and gotten instructions from Chester "the dock master" who suggested a spot to anchor. We tried his area and found the depth to be a bit thin for a falling tiide. I took Gypsy into the dock to get a bit more local knowledge and met Cameran who was skiper of the sailboat on the dock and he showed me an excellent spot to anchor a 1/4 of a mile back out the river, he also let me know that He was mvoing the next morning and we could move into his spot on the dock (sweet). Joyce and I enjoyed a nice supper on the boat and then dropped in to the pub where we were entertained by a guy with a guitar, all in all a great day.
Three Weeks of Vacation Woo! Hoo! Bras d'Or Lakes here we come, but 1st the "god foresaken Eastern Shore"
Vacation time was finally here and we had three consecutive weeks off so it was time to get Rose Lee out on a bit of a shake-down cruise. Joyce an I love the Bras d’Or lakes and would definitely rate it as one of our favorite destinations in the Maritime Provinces to cruise, however to get there you have to go80 nautical miles up the eastern shore of Nova Scotia a rocky, foggy and down-right hazardous coast line (this place can kick your but big time) home of more than 1200 ship wrecks. In fact Joyce has aptly nick-named it the “godforsaken eastern shore”. We tossed around the idea of doing an overnighter and decided instead that we were on vacation and would take it easy making stops each day that were relatively short < 50 nautical miles. We had a bit of a late start on Saturday morning; I was playing with the generator that had decided to stop working on our last trip. I thought I had rectified the over-heating problem but on our departure day it shut down again after a short period. I spent a bit of time on it until we decided we had lived for the past 30 years without a genset so another three weeks wouldn’t hurt us. And so after several years of dreaming about the boat we were finally going to get a chance to take Rose Lee out for a nice run.
We departed our mooring at 1100hrs with no wind until about 1200hrs after we passed Mcnabs Island we were able to shut down the diesel and carry on under main and genoa. The breeze came up to 20knots out of the sw and we were having a great run, going this direction up to Cape Breton is always or pretty well always with the wind, it’s the beat back that gets you… The wind kept on cooperating and we were making great time averaging over 7 knots “awesome”. About 40 miles up the coast there is a cove called Owl’s Head which is pretty short to get into about 2 miles (a lot of places on the eastern shore are > 5 miles in). We had never been into Owl’s Head before and it was recommended to us by a sailing buddy who said if offered good protection and excellent holding. Well true to Tom’s word we arrived in Owl’s Head just a touch over 1400hrs and dropped the hook in mud.
This was a nice sized cove with a few little houses and not much else. It was well sheltered and Joyce and I enjoyed a nice meal and some red wine as the sun slowly set. What a great 1st day. Mucho wind.
Well after having another great evening in Mahone bay with our friends John & Rita from "Island Girl" we said our good byes, since we were planning an early morning departure (work was calling). This was the first time we had ever really done any buddy boating for a weekend and based on the great time we had it won't be our last, perfect weather, great sailing and goods friends an excellent combination. We awoke early to a clear sunny day and a hint of a breeze. The wind was forecast to come up a bit and we had about 40 miles to complete on our passage back to Halifax so we were on the go early pulling up anchor a little before 0700. We had a nice light breeze so by 0730 the genoa was unfurled to assist the motor while we waited for a little more ummmph. Just before 0900 we were able to roll out he main and shut down the motor. Rose Lee was moving along nicely at 6 knots with 13 knots of wind out of the sw. This was a great beam reach across St. Margeret's Bay with the wind building to about 20 and making way at about 8 knots (this is why I love sailing absolute living in the moment). What a great day to be alive I got a bit of reading done and Joyce napped while Bobby Lee took us home. We again decided to furl the genoa for the through Sambro Channel and proceeded under the main & motor. Once we were through we shut down the motor and continued under sail entering Halifax Harbor with the peace and quiet of the wind while Van Morrison serenaded us. The breeze carried us right into Bedford basin and we were back on our mooring just after 1500 hrs. What a great weekend perfect weather, good friends and a few more learning's:).
For today we didn’t have anything significant planned and were leaving Princess Inlet and heading over to the town of Mahone bay only 5 miles away just around the corner. We had a pretty relaxing morning and were invited over to Island Girl for Breakfast. After a delicious breakfast I ran John and Rita into the club for showers and ice while Joyce grabbed a shower on the boat. I decided to head back out to Rose lee and would return for John and Rita when they gave us a shout a bit later. Upon returning to Rose Lee Joyce had just begun having a shower when one of our tanks went dry. I ran below to swap out to another tank and after a few minutes had everything sorted out. I returned to the cockpit to relax and enjoy the nice morning with just a light breeze. Well that’s Strange……. Island Girl was on my port side and now she’s on my Starboard side mmmmmm maybe she’s dragging…….. wait a minute the cottage that was off my bow is now way off my starboard side as well…… ROSE LEE IS DRAGGING. Ok stay calm, don’t call Joyce you have lots of sea room Scott get the motor going and get that anchor back up. Done! The anchor has been taken back on board after which I moved the boat back upwind and reset it with plenty of scope Whew, that was to close imagine if it had of happened during the night or while I was ashore 30 minutes ago. This is our 1st boat with a motorized windlass and I had procrastinated putting markers on our all chain rode, it was just one of those things that never made the list yet. We normally use a rule of thumb 5:1 scope and have a 55lb bruce, however it is a bit deceiving when the chain is peeling off the windlass it just seems like a lot more chain is going out than actually is. We have since rectified the problem with rode markers and when in doubt let more out. This was a good learning experience and even though we had set the anchor at 1500 rpm’s the lack of scope combined with a high tide and some breeze managed to be enough to drag. After the excitement I ran in and picked up Island Girl and we had a nice jaunt around Princess inlet in our rib “Gypsy”. We followed this by an uneventful sail around the corner to the town of Mahone Bay.
After a nice breakfast with our friends from “Island Girl” we pulled up anchor at 1115hrs and motored slowly out of the Roost looking forward to another beautiful sunny day. The winds were pretty light however we decided to shut off the motor and let the sails pull us along at 3 knots since we had nothing to do and all day to do it and our passage to Princess inlet was only about 25miles. After drifting along for about 90 minutes the wind began filling in and Rose Lee was on her way at 7 knots. This was one of our best sails yet this summer the wind held at around 18 knots and we flew along on a beam reach all the way to Princess Inlet. Princess Inlet is a very picturesque cove located in Mahone Bay adjacent to the Lunenburg Yacht Club. We dropped the hook and set it at about 1630. A little bit later Island Girl had their anchor set close by (what a great day followed by a great evening with John & Rita).
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