Week 24 11 – 17 June 2018 Yarmouth Nova Scotia — Grand Greve Harbour, Cape Breton Island 327 nm
11 June Monday Yarmouth – Carter Island, Port Mouton 88 nm
Our anchorage half way into the harbour in Yarmouth was much better than expected. After the high speed ferry from Maine passed leaving almost no wake shortly after nine, no boats came by during the whole night.
Woke up shortly before the sun raised and started immediately preparing for an early departure, not to miss any of the sun lit hours.
Motored the whole day, first to the south east cape on flat water in no wind. Later we got some ocean swell along the east coast.
Late afternoon we started to think about the gale next day, having 110 nm left to Halifax. No wind at all was forecasted for the night made the alternative to continue to Halifax not very good. Decided to anchor over night and continue early morning to be able to reach Halifax before the peak of the gale.
Anchored just before sunset in Port Mouton where we found a bay inside Carters Island with absolutely no swell and very nice surroundings.
12 June Tuesday Carters Island, Port Mouton – North Wets Arm, Halifax 79 nm
Slept well in a very quiet boat. We woke up before sunrise and left the anchorage before breakfast into the rising sun. Very happy that we had no lobster floats in the bright sunshine! After five hour, around ten o´clock, we had enough wind to shut down the engine and in an open reach sail full speed towards Halifax.
The gale was predicted to start after noon and blow from behind, giving us a dead downwind sailing. We were happy that it was late because running downwind in that sea state is not fun.
Already at three o´clock we turned around the peninsula southeast of Halifax and could change course straight into the harbour. Halifax Traffic Control called us up to make sure we stayed on the western side of the traffic separation.
Now the gale was on and together with the downwind over the peninsula we were almost flying the last five miles into town. Anchored in the head of the North West Arm after two attempts with bad holding. Sunshine and cold wind the whole day made it extra nice to enjoy a glass of wine together with a piece of cheese in the sunny cockpit.
Around us we later got two Norwegian, one Swedish and one from France.
We will have an early night because of three full days on the run, from early morning to sunset.
13 June Wednesday Halifax
Sunshine from a clear sky when we woke up. Not at all the cold weather we had yesterday. The furnace had been shut down during the night and was lit up before we left our warm bed. Fifteen degrees C is a little bit cold, sitting down to have breakfast, but perfect for sleeping. On top of that we cook our breakfast on the furnace, saving electricity.
Did a final rearrangement to get more space for Berit, coming from St John by bus this afternoon. Due to weather we had to head for Halifax before she arrived by plane from Sweden to St John. Noe she got a six hours bus tour seeing a big piece of New Brunswick.
We shut down our furnace after the morning coffee, which was enjoyed in the cockpit. The sun was now really warm and we had 23C already in the shade and almost no wind. Had our salad lunch around noon when part of the crew from the Swedish boat Fairwinds, anchored close by, came to say hello. They thought we were having breakfast! OK young people have different routines! They sometime more or less go to sleep when we wake up in the morning. They were curious about our route to Greenland, and we exchanged some information.
In the afternoon we took the dinghy ashore and walked across the ridge to downtown Halifax where the Berit’s bus should arrive some hours later. Did the town, which was surprisingly interesting, for us who are really not into big cities. Learned about the big blast 1917 when two ships collided in the narrows outside the wharfs and most of central town was whipped down by the extreme pressure or by the tsunami that followed. More than 2000 people were killed. The strongest man made detonation ever, except for the nuclear one in Japan. Embarrassing that we didn’t know about that! The photos of the destroyed town we saw reminded us of the one we saw in Hiroshima!
After that lesson we had to try the local beer. Some shopping was done in SuperStore next to the bus station before Berit came from St John.
A long walk, first uphill and the down to Moon in North West Arm. We had a lot to carry, our findings and Berit’s luggage, so we were quite tired when we finally took the dinghy out to Moon on anchor.
We all needed an early night after dinner.
14 July Thursday Halifax
Rain and easterly wind started after midnight. We were lucky to have pulled the plug in the dinghy, hanging outside the cap rail. Woke up late in a cold boat. Yesterday summer temperature was exchanged to say the least!
Furnace lit up and then half an hour under our blankets. Then breakfast cooked on the furnace. The weather was perfect for staying indoors!
After noon we made a fast trip to the grocery store close by. Back in Moon we continued reading in the rain.
Salmon for dinner and later straw berries.
15 June Friday Halifax – The Bawleen 51 nm
The weather is fairly unsettled and we have to use the days when wind isn’t on the nose, even if the wind force sometime is very limited. After a normal breakfast in the cozy heat of the furnace we prepared Moon for the next trip north along Nova Scotia east coast. Started in a fresh north westerly that gave us full speed for the first two hours until the wind decreased and the engine came to use the rest of the day.
In spite our experiences from south Nova Scotia with zero lobsterpots, we now found them in hundreds. On top of that they use floating lines. Very dangerous, especially when you don’t recognize the direction of the current from the float. We manage to avoid getting snagged, even if it sometimes was uncomfortable close.
Fiveish we headed towards a well protected lagoon. The entrance looked a bit tricky, but inside it was fairly clean.
We arrived at low water and Björn was on the bow keeping a sharp outlook into the sunny water. Unfortunately the entrance was right into the sun.-
We found little difficulties in the entrance and soon relaxed moving further in at very slow speed. Suddenly Moon “climbed” up a rock and stopped where we should have had five meters of water. No big drama when your speed is only two knots, but still, Moon doesn’t stop momentarily.
We didn’t want to make the damages worse by trying to reverse off the rock, especially as the rudder was only inches above the sloping rock. In fact we had to do something rapidly to prevent Moon, as the water was rising, to slide backwards with the wind and damage the rudder. We estimated that we had no more than thirty minutes before the water was high enough to get Moon afloat.
Launched the dinghy and put our kedge Al-Spade anchor almost to windward, fifty meters from Moon. Tied the line to a cleat at the bow to make sure we didn’t move backwards, rather to port into deeper water. It worked as planned when Moon came afloat and we retrieved the anchor and went further into the lagoon were we did our normal anchoring routine and found very good holding.
Looking very carefully at the chart we found the rock but more than 80 meters from where it actually was in the middle of the glittering sharp sunshine! OK we know that you are supposed to not go into the sun trying to see the bottom. If the water had been warmer we had investigated the damages immediately, but being well below ten degrees C the investigation had to wait for our first option to haul out. Unluckily we had no internet and could not start to search for a haul out.
Spoiled ourselves with pork tenderloin with mushrooms for dinner.
16 June Saturday The Bawleen – Isaacs Harbour 51 nm
Very quiet and calm night with no additional heating. We made breakfast on the furnace and had breakfast in the sunny cockpit. Pulled the anchor and moved slowly out of the lagoon, again into the sun as we wnt in to the west and now going out heading east.
Coming out at sea we went around a peninsula before we could retrieve our north easterly course. Again a lot of floats. At the head of the peninsula we came close to a working lobster boat. He just pulled a pot as we drove by and held a lobster high in his hand. Björn at the helm took that as a sign and did thumbs up and put our engine to idle. Shortly the lobster boat came by and they throw two nice, very fresh, lobsters on Moons deck. He opened his throttle and roared away before we even had time to do more than wave as a “thank you”
It was easier to accept all the floats after this nice treat!
We motor sailed with only one headsail for most of the day. Annika boiled the lobsters to let them cool down before the evening dinner. Anchored in an open bay, not having to go into the sun! The lobsters tasted heavenly and were poiled in seawater and dill seeds.
Still no cell phone or internet. Very frustrating now when we are looking for a place to haul out Moon.
17 June Sunday Isaacs Harbour – Grande Greve Harbour, Cape Breton Island 58 nm
Late last night we decided to have an early start in spite the predicted northerly that would become more easterly later. The idea was to sail 25 nm east, using the morning northerly wind and anchor before the wind turned to eastly, and then wait during the rain on Monday.
Another early start just after six o’clock. A reefed main and full headsails gave us a perfect close haul on flat water because the wind came over land and we were protected from the ocean swell. Moon liked the conditions and made easily above seven knots in spite thirty-five degrees to the wind.
Reaching our planned anchorage shortly before eleven, nobody wanted to stay. We used the good and still favorable wind and continued. The wind had started to become more north east and we hoped it would continue to east to south east. Our wish came through which made us continue the whole day and anchored just south of the lock in to Bras d’Or Lake on Cape Breton Island, the northern part of Nova Scotia. We anchored in a nearby bay instead of using the wharf outside the lock.
The plan is to do the lock and the swing bridge as soon as they open tomorrow morning and then sail in strong southerly wind thirty miles up to Baddeck where we hope to be able to haul out Moon to investigate the result of our grounding.
Annika & Björn