East Coast Sailing: Dispatch 3


Owl’s Cove

After 11 days in Halifax, awaiting various boat projects to be completed, the new holding tank was installed, and Paul was itching to leave because conditions were good and were forecast to deteriorate (in a bigger way than we expected, but more on that later).

We really got to know much of Halifax. They have excellent public transportation, which I used daily. I believe that I took eight different bus routes, going to and from the Yacht Squadron to Costco, the great Canadian Tire (which someone told me is locally referred to as “Crappy Tire,” but we found all manner of hardware, boat cushions, a walking stick, etc), a veterinarian clinic (for the multipurpose medication “Revolution” for both OSC and OSD), Starbucks, where I used their internet for hours, and several excellent Middle Eastern restaurants, as well as a very mediocre Chinese one. The place we didn’t get to was the Citadel, which I, at least, hope to visit on the way back.

So we finally left, using two cruising guides and the electronic chart plotter. The NW sailors on this list (Norm and Linda, you know who you are!) are familiar with Douglass (updated when there have been major changes) and Bob Hale’s “Waggoner’s,” (updated annually), among others, which include area maps, small charts of the anchorages, and a description of the anchorages and any

not recommended when sailing

nearby services (stores, gas docks, ice, laundromats, nearby restaurants, etc). The best we can detemine, nothing quite like that exists for Nova Scotia. One cruising guide includes good descriptions and a very small scale map of Nova Scotia, with a large arrow pointing to the general area, but no “chartlets,” and the other includes chartlets, but no larger map, so unless

the listing is in both guides, it’s difficult to figure out where things are. Both do include compass or GPS positions, but, oh, for a map/chart of the general area!

Both are also somewhat dated (one published in 1997, the other updated in 2009, but with many locations not revisited since 1999 or earlier), as we discovered last night, when Paul pulled into Jeddore Harbour. Mud flats on both sides and the pier mentioned in one of the guides in disrepair, so there was no way to take OSD ashore. And that’s something that we never even thought about in the Pacific NW, as there were nearly always places to take dogs ashore. (Of course, we also didn’t take our dog with us then.)

We knew the forecast was for deteriorating weather, but Paul left early (around 6, just after sunrise) to try to get to the next cove before the weather hit. Never, never, never do things on a schedule when you are out cruising! Paul asked me to put on foul weather gear and relieve him after he’d be at the helm for at least three hours. Paul had been motorsailing, so when the sail was pulling, the boat moved much faster — but in the wrong direction! (That was the fault of the person at the helm who couldn’t steer straight….. Ahem.) Paul took over after he’d had a break and told me later that conditions worsened probably about the time that I took over and only continued to do so. He did find an anchorage much sooner than he’d intended to stop, and all four of us were relieved. It continued to pour, but the boat was securely anchored, and the sun did eventually come out. And it is gorgeous: a cove with low- to medium-banks, lots of trees and seabirds (mostly gulls) wheeling and calling. More rain showers and wind are expected tonight, but improvement is called for tomorrow!




Sheet Harbor, NS

What a contrast with yesterday! We awoke to bright sunshine and a nice breeze. Paul pulled the anchor up, started the engine to get us out of the cove, then raised the sail, turned off the engine and proceeded to spend the next five hours sailing to our next destination, which was about 25 nm away. The wind started out on a beam reach, great for junks, then steadily moved around and strengthened until we were beating, which is supposed to be quite difficult sailing for any junk rig. For DW the magical catboat, no problem, and she sailed beautifully. So the sea trial, which Paul was never able to do, was a rousing success. And despite the angle of heeling today (enough that anything not secured would have been thrown across the cabin), OSC took it all in as if he’d done it every day of his life and OSD was okay, too. We’ll stay put the next couple of days, as strong winds are predicted for tomorrow and rain on Tuesday.