Our final days of this first Gypsy Voyage

16 Jul

Goodness!! it’s time to catch up. I can’t believe we’ve been home on our mooring for just over a week! Things have been busy and the old blog got neglected.

Guillemot

Guillemot


We left Boothbay for a short jaunt up to Tenants Harbor. It was heavy fog so Avril and I took turns watching for the lobster pots. Ocean swell combined with chop made for an uncomfortable ride but it was a short one. We picked up a mooring in Tenants Harbor at 1215 then dinghied in to explore the small community. Tenants is a great stop – laid back with a protected anchorage. Throughout the journey we have seen so many birds species and have added Guillemot and Wilson’s Storm Petrel these past few days to our “tick list”.

A Classic Friendship

A Classic Friendship


An early start at 0630 in heavy fog – back on lobster pot watch. From Tenents Harbor we went out around Vinylhaven, then Isle au Haut and on to Southwest Harbor through Western Passage. Seas were lumpy at first then smoothed out. It was another cold day – discovered lying on the floorboards over the engine warmed me up nicely! At the harbor entrance we passed two US Coast Guard training whalers – sails up, oars out and bare a** to the breezes! No kidding – there was a young fellow sitting on a chem toilet in the bow of one whaler – too funny! 1530 we reached Dysarts Great Harbor Marina and docked in Southwest Harbor. We walked to Hamilton Marine in search of warm gloves and jib sheets – thankfully got gloves.

Avril at the helm

Avril at the helm

Crossing the border

Crossing the border

Off watch

Off watch


We’d been monitoring weather on NOAA, Environment Canada and PassageWeather – and the most accurate forecaster, Sean (McDermott). We decided to leave Southwest Harbor July 2 as it looked like it might be better than the days ahead. We prepped all morning – jack lines, harnesses and life jackets, stowing below, thermos’ of hot stuff, snacks, warm gear, fuel, engine check and so on. At 1515 we set off to cross the Gulf of Maine and Bay of Fundy, an overnight passage. The first several hours we made really good time and conditions were pretty fair. Through the night it was thick fog and a few hours of topsy turvy which I found disorienting in the fog and dark. We crossed the US-CDN border at 0127 AST – yahoo!! We saw a gannet – what’s he doing this far south in July? We saw one light from a fishing boat in the night, one as we neared land who waved to us like crazy, and two as we entered harbour. The first radioed back to his buddies; “anyone leaving harbour, there is a sailboat coming in” – nice to be announced. We averaged just over 5 knots for the crossing. We called the marina and he said I have a 210′ dock with no one so I think I can squeeze you in. (Later when I asked for loonies for laundry he offered me the two guys yarning at the office door – ha!) We docked at 1215. Jane and Don met us. We had our customs visit and were cleared in. The afternoon was a bit of a haze as we each had maybe 1.5 hours sleep during the crossing. Avril left and Jane came onboard. David Arenburg was great lending us his truck, feeding us coffee and most exciting of all took me for a short flight in his nifty float plane – truly awesome!! The fog closed in before David could go up for a tour. We all slept soundly that night!

Yarmouth - Avril disembarked, Don met us, Jane embarked

Yarmouth – Avril disembarked, Don met us, Jane embarked

We left Yarmouth with the plan to get a boost from the ebbing tide to head south and round the corner at Cape Sable after the Tuskets and then get a boost from the flood tide up the other coast. Unfortunately due to slower boat speed we missed the timing and lost our 8.7 knot ride getting as low as 2.8 bucking the current for several hours. Foggy again. We didn’t make Cape Negro but got to Port Latour before dark. We saw a fog image that Jane named a “fogbow”, with pots of gold either end! Entering harbour, we emerged from the fog to a beautiful evening on land. We tied up in an empty spot on the public wharf amongst fishing boats, a great little harbor and friendly.

Leaving Port Latour at 0800, it was a short hop up to Lockeport. We set off in fog which cleared as we approached Lockeport – and the westerlies (20 knots) came up. We were tied up at the marina by 1230 with blistering sun and over 30C!! We went in search of our friends. We visited Leo and Sonja and then reached Jane and Ed who came to see our boat. The 7 of us had dinner on Jane and Ed’s deck and it was a spectacular evening – warms, sunny, good people and conversation.

Early Saturday morning (0700) we set off with plans to go to Brooklyn(Liverpool). After so many days fumbling through the fog of New England and around Yarmouth, it was wonderful to see blue skies and sun. Another glorious day – and with the kite (spinnaker) up we took off and blew by Brooklyn! We all had great fun taking turns steering with the kite up – it was one of those magical Novie days. Along the way we passed the Fraser’s on Nor’easter buddy sailing with Mike Mulrooney. We turned into LaHave River and tied up at the Bakery at 1945. To our delight John and Phyllis (Harries) were there having tea and came to greet us! Shortly after David (Himmelman) came down river for a visit. It was a gorgeous evening in LaHave.

Our last day of our voyage home… Sunday, July 7. We set off early again and again it was a gorgeous day. This time we galloped along with “jib and jigger” (jib and mizzen sails). Then we heard Al (First Light) on the VHF and had a brief radio chat with him. It was such a beautiful sailing day – so lovely and warm. En route we saw seals, some harbour porpoises and most exciting of all a big lazy sunfish lolling beside the boat! We arrived at our mooring at 1230, met by Carol and Charlie. Thane and Patti came by on Ellagator for a visit and later Carol and Charlie were back and we all swam off the boat at the dock in 22C water! What a day – simply perfection. These past two days were some of the most wonderful sailing days (and weather) of the trip – or is just that we are in NS?

Boys! - there's a sailboat coming in out of the fog!

Boys! – there’s a sailboat coming in out of the fog!

The fog!

The fog!

"fogbow"

“fogbow”

Lockeport

Lockeport

still in Lockeport

still in Lockeport

Beautiful spinnaker day

Beautiful spinnaker day

Novie coast

Novie coast

Arriving home

Arriving home

At our mooring

At our mooring

At our own dock

At our own dock

We have spent the past few days excavating boat lockers, taking off excess stuff (lots!), cleaning and reorganizing things for a summer living aboard in the Chester area. We don’t plan any big sails this summer – time to enjoy our own backyard, relax a bit, get our barn loft built and take in the best part of summer – time with friends and family.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: