East Coast Sailing: Dispatch 2

6/29/11, Halifax, NS

Nova Scotia has one peculiar characteristic: There are no marinas! All cruisers become temporary members of various yacht clubs, and right now we are members of the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron in Halifax. I hope that all of you have proper posture and are formally dressed as you are reading this. We were also temporary members of the Lunenberg Yacht Club, where we awaited the woman who fashioned a new sail cover and dodger (a complicated fitted cover that offers some protection from the wind, rain, and sun) in apple green. Membership seems to grant one a berth for a night, use of the washroom (as they say here in Canada), including free showers – a nice bonus – and the ability to purchase a meal or beverage in the yacht club’s dining room if they happen to be serving meals, that is.

The Yacht Squadron is a long way from downtown and from the marine parts store. One sailor, a woman named Judy, who was working on her large boat when we arrived (she’s a real member of the Yacht Squadron) told us that we should just stand by the side of the driveway and someone would offer to take us to the marine parts store, and sure enough, after just a couple of minutes, a woman stopped and took us there even though it was out of her way. And after spending 45 minutes and several hundred dollars, we were ready to leave the store with a small mountain of stuff, and a woman named Anne left the store just after we did, noticed us, drove back into the lot, and asked us if we wanted a ride. She had to move a lot of her own packages, but got us and all of our stuff in. People here are just so very kind here!

And it extends to other things, as well: one of the boat builders at the yard where Paul had DW for several months stopped by to check to see if the dinghy we’d had shipped from Seattle was okay. Although he does live in the Halifax area, it was certainly out of his way to stop by. And someone else delivered a whole slew of UPS boxes to us in Lunenberg when they arrived at the previous place we’d been. It certainly makes me wish that I’d gone out of my way for others more than I have.

Because we will need a holding tank before going into the Bras d’or Lakes, (DW, like many older boats built in Canada, doesn’t have one) we’ll be here through the weekend – Canada Day in Halifax! – and if the weather holds, will head to points east (and out of internet range) next Monday. One of Anne’s comments: Oh, the east coast (east of Halifax) isn’t as sea-kindly as the south coast (Halifax and west). My fingers are crossed that the weather will continue to hold: unlike sailing in the Pacific NW, where one has either the Kitsap/Olympic peninsula or (further north) Vancouver Island as a buffer from the ocean, not to mention all of the islands and passages in Alaska to avoid the Pacific, the Atlantic is right there and there’s nothing between you and It..

Pets continue to be fine, though OSC (Official Ship’s Cat) has indicated his preference for motoring or motor sailing, as opposed to the motion from sailing alone – he was only seasick once, and we expect that he’ll get used to the motion. OSD has decided that passing sailboats may contain alien life forms and should therefore be growled at. Training …

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