I woke up this morning and realized something was wrong I couldn’t feel the movement of the boat… Oh Ya I’m in our apartment everything is fine. I laid in bead for a bit listening to the sounds of the rigging next door moving a bit with the wind (200 sailboats = wind chimes). What a great looking Saturday morning, the air is so clear this time of year and you can feel just a little hint of fall. Joyce and I relaxed on the balcony for the morning watching the boaters come and go, just a great way to start the day. It wasn’t too long before Rose Lee seemed to be calling our names and we soon found ourselves on board and heading out for a sail. What a beautiful day to spend together on Rose Lee, the wind was up to 16 knots and we were having a grand old time tacking out the Harbour once again (this just never gets old for me). Joyce and I have been together for over 30 years and we are so comfortable with each other that quite often we will spend hours together without speaking but we are connected and enjoying each others company and wow does that feel great. Now when you add a beautiful day and a great sail with that it just doesn’t get any better, we are so fortunate to have each other and to be able to share these moments together, very special.
Its the last Friday in August and I am at work (the Telephone Company) and if I'm being totally honest I'm daydreaming about retirement, it would be just about this time of year that we will be packing up Rose Lee to head South but that's a few years away:( I finally step out of my office to grab a coffee and boy does it look like a perfect day for a sail. I make an executive decision that I will do a team-building exercise (normally done on a golf course with your peers) but this time the team-building exercise will have a twist. I will be a team of one and do something I enjoy, go sailing (golfing is just a waste of a good walk:). By 1300hrs Rose Lee and I are under full sail with a fresh breeze pushing us along. Isn’t it amazing how quickly you forget about work once the wind fills the sails and the boat comes alive, all is right in my world today, wow! I had 14knots of breeze which is just about perfect for Rose Lee and easily handled with the help of Bobby Lee our trusty auto pilot. I use the self-tacking feature on the autohelm where you push two buttons simultaneously which brings Rose Lee around onto a new tack while I take care of the sheets. The Dartmouth Yacht Club is located in the Bedford Basin a large body of water located deep in Halifax Harbour and in order to get into the basin you pass under two large suspension bridges the McDonald and The Mackay. Our prevailing wind is SW so as you leave the basin the wind is on your nose and you have to short tack up through the narrow's and under the Mackay Bridge. Short tacking Rose Lee when Joyce and I are both on board is challenging and doing it solo is quite the work-out. I was up for it and was pretty pleased losing count of the number of tacks I had to make to clear the 1st of the two bridges sweet. The bridges are far enough apart that you get a little rest before you have to tack under the second one, thankfully. A few long tacks later across the Harbour I was under the second Bridge and having a great time as the breeze carried me across Halifax Harbour, what a day. Once I had gone as far as McNabs Island I decided it was time to turn Rose Lee towards home and have a nice run along the Waterfront as I made my way back to the DYC. It was so quiet with the sails pulling us along while watching then sites along the waterfront, people strolling and lots boaters out enjoying the last Friday in August. The motor started without incident again and I was able to grab my mooring on the 1st try, what an awesome sail as well as a very successful team-building exercise:) Joyce is home from work now and waves from the deck as I am coming ashore in Gypsy(our tender), I cant wait to tell her all about my big adventure.
We are feeling a little melancholy this morning, our last real day of summer vacation, ouch! With that said it is a beautiful day sunny with no wind and the forecast says it will stay like this for the remainder of the day. The motor started up right away and we started out at 2100rpm which seems like a good spot for the engine (very fuel efficient) and it pushes us along at about 6 knots. We had a very pleasant and uneventful trip home. It was a good day to catch up on some reading and reflect on what a great 1st summer we had on Rose Lee. We had set our expectations pretty low for this 1st summer with our Catalina 470 which was a big jump from our Douglas 32 and we had been on an 8 year hiatus from sailing on top of that. Our initial plan after we launched was, let’s get Rose Lee out and see how we feel and if it means we stay in Halifax Harbour this summer getting used to the new boat and getting re-acquainted with sailing that’s fine. We never imagined when we began the season that we would have as much fun, feel so comfortable and go as many places as we did. We are very happy with how much we learned and the speed that our sailing and navigation skills have come back. Next summer can’t come soon enough, lots more to learn but we are ready.
Last night was great at the Ice House Lounge; however we were pretty well behaved and woke up this morning ready for another day full of fun on the water. We really enjoyed our morning coffee as we watched the International Dory races which were in full swing. There was a lot of stiff competition from the USA but Canada had a clean sweep which is a 1st in quite a while results. There was lots of support for all of the teams with hooting, hollering and foghorns blowing (pretty exciting).
Next stop the Town of Mahone Bay. We had given out friends form Island Girl a call yesterday to let them know we would be back in Mahone Bay in case they were interested in meeting up for the evening. Fortunately John & Rita were available and plans were laid out for Mahone Bay.
We left Lunenburg around 1200hrs while the dry races were still underway, but we were anxious to get sailing since we had been here for two nights and the breeze was up and in our favor. The wind was up to about 14knots and we had an excellent sail coming out of Lunenburg overtaking the 60’ “Eastern Star” Woo! Hoo! What a day, if only we had further to go. We never turned on the motor until we got close to the anchorage in Mahone Bay at 1530hrs, awesome. They didn’t have any moorings available so we found a great spot to anchor nearby and the tender service now knew us and happily picked us up at anchor. John and Rita had arrived a bit before us and had secured a nice mooring in near the dock sweet. Now that we had a fun filled day it was time to begin our fun filled evening with Island Girl. We had a pot luck on our boat and what a great evening of fun and conversation. There is something about spending an evening with good friends and watching the sun go down from the boat that just seems right (a pretty special day).
We had a great sleep last night and awoke to another beautiful day. After we finished a relaxing breakfast it was time to kick back for a while in the cock pit and enjoy the sights and sound of Lunenburg. There is always something to watch in Lunenburg harbor in the summer. There were People rowing dory’s and others coming and going in their small tenders. The Whale watching tour boats were busy taking tourists to catch a glimpse of some whales. The Eastern Star a 60’ classic wooden Ketch was taking out tourists for a sailing trip they won’t soon forget, and they are a joy to watch, the way they can handle the boat etc… very impressive. Joyce and I have been on a few sailing tours over the years but nothing like The Eastern Star they take you sailing and love a fresh wind routinely burying the rail, not your average sailing tour. Of course in Lunenburg there are always a few classic wooden boats sailing around and you can usually hear a make and break engine powering one of the classic little wooden boats. It’s great to see that Lunenburg hasn’t forgotten its routes and is still home to some modern fishing trawlers.
We had to push ourselves to get off the boat and head up town but the day was passing and we wanted to check out some shops and go for a nice walk in Lunenburg. I know I might have mentioned it earlier but just wanted to say again that Lunenburg is a great town for walking with all kinds of interesting shops and architecture, so much to see. We eventually ended up at one end of the waterfront in time for the blessing of the dory’s; this was pretty cool with some pomp, and ceremony and a good turnout.
I think that we hit most of the high points in Lunenburg today, visiting a lot of shops including “the Boat Locker” the local chandlery and the folks who rent the moorings (1 902 640 3202 call ahead to reserve). As our legs began to wear out we made our way back to Rose Lee for a quick bite and some wine before we headed in to The Ice House at 1930hrs for open mic night.
“The Old Fish Factory” was the former fish processing plant in Lunenburg and has been converted into a very nice fisheries museum. In addition to the museum the building is also home to an excellent restaurant called “The Fish Factory” on the 1st flr and “The Ice House Lounge” on the 2nd. The museum is really worth a visit and is busy with bus tours throughout the summer. You can get a real feel for what the fishery used to be like and they have a wooden fishing schooner outside in the water that is also part of the museum, very cool.
We got into the Ice House in time to nab some great seats at the bar 20’ from the mic, a little loud but excellent entertainment and appetizers. Joyce is pretty social and had soon engaged Irish folks next to us in a great conversation. According to our new Irish friends they felt that Ireland and Lunenburg had a lot in common (Friendly people, good Pubs, good Grub and great music). All I know is that we had a very enjoyable evening and some of the folks that performed were fantastic. WE got back to the boat around midnight and after a glass of wine we hit the hay.
All good things must come to an end as did our visit Lahave, this was one of our more memorable places that we visited this summer and were looking forward to getting back in 2015 and maybe heading a bit further down the shore to Shelburne.
With plenty of good memories of Lahave, we were on our way we slowly motored back out the river at 1030 and were on our way to Lunenburg.
At 1130 we were able to shut down the yanmar and carry on under sail for the remainder of the trip. WE re-started the yanmar outside the Lunenburg breakwater and headed into the Mooring field. WE attempted to call ahead to book a mooring but were unable to raise anyone on the phone or via VHF. The mooring we had grabbed last time was available so we headed over to grab it. Another sailboat had followed us in and crazy as it might seem when they saw us heading for the mooring they gunned their engine in an attempt to get there first, or at least it sure seemed that way to us. We didn’t race but proceeded to the mooring and picked it up. The other boat veered off and decided to anchor, after searching for another mooring to no avail. We watched as his 1st anchoring attempt failed and he pulled up what looked like a wheel barrow full of weeds and rope. He was successful on the second try so no worries.
It was around 1530 by the time we had Rose Lee secured in Lunenburg so we decided to head up town for a walk and some sightseeing. We had dinner at the Grand Banker overlooking the water and our server was good enough to bring us up to date on what was happening in Lunenburg as far as live entertainment. Apparently the Fish Factory Ice House lounge was hosting an open mic session the following evening, excellent looks like we will spend another day in Lunenburg. Oh and the international dory races were being held on August 23rd so maybe will catch that too.
With our exercise and appetite satisfied we headed back to the boat to enjoy an evening in the cockpit with the beautiful lights of Lunenburg for our entertainment.
We had a great trip up the river and enjoyed the view from the water of the beautiful waterfront homes. What a nice place to spend the summer overlooking the Lahave and the boats coming and going, very nice. With our booty in hand we headed back down the river to Rose Lee. After we caught our breath for a little we headed into the club, Joyce wanted to get online and take care of some banking (the bills don’t take vacation I guess). I got the tender operator to run me back out to Rose Lee so I could bring her alongside for fuel, water and a little wash-down. Of course the breeze came up a little just as I was attempting to back in and blew me off my mark. Abort that attempt and try again and the second time in went fine. Well with the boat and banking stuff completed it was back out to the mooring for a nice BBQ and a very chillaxing evening. Gotta get rested up we are heading for Lunenburg tomorrow.
We left the Town of Mahone Bay at 1130 and slowly motored out of the anchorage. There was just a hint of breeze 5-10 knots and since we weren’t in a rush we opted to shut the motor down and let the sails pull Rose Lee along. Let the drifting begin, by times we were sitting still and at other times we were rolling along at 2 knots but with that perfect blue sky and worm temps we relaxed on the foredeck and let the world go by without us. Some sailboats sailed by and some drifted by while other chose to motor. Avery nice Island Packet 46 passed Rose Lee motoring along at about 8 knots (must be in a hurry to get somewhere).
The wind began to fill by 1330 and we were making way at 5-6 knots under main and genoa. What a great day for a sail. The wind came up to 13 and we were now trucking along at 6-7 knots, nice.
As we began to reach the headland where we would turn into the large bay at the entrance of the Lahave we spotted a large sailboat ahead of us also flying his main and genoa, well ok then. I will say right here I am not a racer and while cruising I set it and forget occasionally making and adjustment for a wind shift, however when there is another boat heading in the same direction as I am something primal in me changesJ Is Joyce is off watch she can tell right away when there is another boat around, all of a sudden sheets are being trimmed winches are grinding and I am actively steering, not leaving this up to Bobby Lee, and when she looks and see’s the other boat she laughs, here we go again.
We are definitely gaining on that boat, aren’t we Joyce? You know I think your right Scott, and all of a sudden Joyce becomes a racer and together we are getting every bit of speed out of Rose Lee possible. By now we know that he is heading in the same direction and it looks like he is pouring on the speed as well and now we are in a tacking duel and it’s with the nice Island Packet 46 that passed us a few hours earlier. We can see with the binoculars that they are working hard to keep their lead. Unfortunately………….for them Rose Lee stretches her legs with our help and waves good bye. And to our credit we did an amazing job of sailing Rose Lee, nice clean tacks and calling the wind tacking before we were shadowed by the land etc… Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! Wow that felt good we couldn’t stop smiling all the way into the Yacht Club.
We were pretty excited to be heading over to The Lahave River since we had never managed to sail there over the years and had always wanted to.
La Have was an important centre for the Mi'kmaq people, who traded with the Europeans. Samuel de Champlain called there in 1604 on his first trip to Acadia. Henry Hudson made landfall there in 1609 on his voyage on behalf of the Dutch East India Company. Despite being shown hospitality by the Mi'kmaq, Hudson's crew staged an unprovoked assault on the Mi'kmaq settlement. As a result, the Mi'kmaq staged a raid on the next Dutch ship to visit 1611.
LaHave was the capital of Acadia from 1632, when Isaac de Razilly settled on a point of land at the mouth of the LaHave River, until his sudden death in 1636. During this period a fort was built along with a chapel, a store and houses for the workmen in the village. Within twelve months of Razilly's arrival, La Have was a thriving trading post, the centre for a small farming community in the area, and a major port of call for the large fishing fleet. At one point there were five hundred transient fishermen in the settlement.
The Lahave River today has it’s small village by the same name nestled at the entrance of the river adjacent to the Lahave River bakery which is not to be missed. In fact the bakery has a floating dock that you can use for the night or to stop by for a visit.
The river is navigable by large boat for about 8 nautical miles which will take you up to the town of Bridgewater where there is a larger town and a small marina. Before you enter the river there are several great white sand beaches that you can reach by car or boat. The river contiues for another 50 miles past Bridgewater and was once quite famous for it Salmon. Fly fishermen would travel in to fish the river.
Well you would be proud of us today, we got at away at 1030, surprisingly early for us:) We had lots of sun and a nice SW breeze of 13knots so at 1120 we were able to turn off the motor and sail. We had a fantastic run across St. Margaret’s Bay and spent some time on deck chatting and enjoying the moment (It’s nice being married to your best friend). Once we turned into Mahone Bay and started making or approach for the town the clouds came out and brought a little of rain (just enough to clean off the boat). There was also a huge opti regatta (>100 boats) under way that we maneuvered around so as not to interfere with their race. It was quite a sight seeing all the opti’s with their colorful sails competing to get around the mark.
At 1530 we dropped the hook in the town of Mahone Bay and after dinner ashore we were rewarded with a gorgeous sun set that we enjoyed from the boat. Another great day!
Follow Rose Lee live with the link below