Week 27, 2 July – 8 July 2018 Newfoundland St Lawrence – St John’s 178 nm
2 July Monday St Lawrence
Woke up late after a long night sleep. Very convenient to be able to switch on the electrical water heater for the heating system. Cable ashore makes life almost too convenient!
Wind from east, grey skies and cold. We had already yesterday decided to stay in harbour due to headwind. Used the time to change oil in engine and gearbox. The harbor had depot for both oil and filters.
After lunch the sky cleared and we took a long walk out of the village. The surroundings were very similar to our landscape high up in the mountains. Unfortunately another, not so pleasant, similarity – Mosquitoes!
Back in Moon we did a lot of writing and reading before it was time to prepare the cod we got yesterday from a fisherman at the wharf.
Looks like the southerly wind that we are waiting for will give us another day in St Lawrence.
3 July Tuesday St Lawrence
Had a very quiet rain all night. Slept until after seven. Again put on the electrical heater and stayed in bed for another hour to let the boat be warm and comfortable for breakfast. Outside we had dense fog, not even able to see the next wharf. Felt like a good decision to stay another day in this convenient harbour with good protection, WiFi, laundry, showers and electricity.
Annika doing laundry before noon and Björn was working with photos for a new album, covering US east coast. Lots of photos because New York and Newport was included. Photos to an article in OCC magazine was also on the menu. After lunch we took a walk in the village. Yesterday our walk was long and very warm, where as today was chilly in the fog.
We lost the WiFi in the boat due to two big fishing boats moored between Moon and the harbour office. Because of that Annika had to work in the harbour office instead of using her own “office” in Moon. The fishing boats harvest cucumbers that are sold to China. One boat had over 50 ton caught in one day, earning 1,5 CAD per kilo.
Our windlass has been cleared customs and is hopefully in St John’s by Friday.
4 July Wednesday St. Lawrance – Trepassy, Avalon Peninsula 91 nm
Really early start to be able to reach our next port/anchorage before dark. Unfortunately not much wind when we came out of our bay. At the entrance to the bay we had thick fog, a fog that followed us through the whole day. Lucky we have AIS and radar as the fog only allowed us to see fifty to hundred meters around the boat for most of the time. Off and on we could sail, but most of the day we had to engage the engine. On top of this it was bitterly cold.
A nice warm dinner was served before six o’clock and shortly after that we saw the lighthouse on top of the peninsula where we were going to turn northeast into Trepassy. Not only the fog disappeared, a strong katabatic wind came down the high peninsula and gave us two hours with extremely fast and nice sailing on flat water all the way into the anchorage.
Not as easy as usual to anchor due to our collapsed windlass, but finally we were set and got a very well earned anchor dram after a long day in fog with a brilliant final making full speed.
5 July Thursday Trepassy, south coast of Avalon – Port Kirwan on the east coast of Avalon 43 nm
Woke up shortly after six and had breakfast at anchor. This is the first time we anchored since the windlass broke down. But retrieving the anchor came out ok, using the aft electrical winch and a long rope. We could pull eight meters at a time and secure with two chain hooks when attaching the next sling. The chain and anchor were very muddy hence the retrieving took some extra time. We hoisted a reefed main and then sailed off in warm wind from shore. The wind was very light making us use the engine the whole morning.
Had two Minke whales quite close when we rounded the first light house and headed for Cape Race, the Cape famous for its difficult weather and sea state.
After ten miles we could see the light house and had many blows from whales in the bright sunlight. Very pictures. Coming around to the south side of the cape we got strong head wind over land. As long as it came over land we were fine, but we were a bit worried about the conditions coming around the cape if the wind had the same direction. Off course the condition was almost worse than we expected. There was no way we could motor or sail against this steep sea and strong wind. We had a forecast telling us that the wind should ease and wear in an hour or two. The only reasonable solution was to unfurl the Yankee and sail offshore, waiting for the wind and sea state to be more cooperative. As we know about the wind shift and we didn’t want to come too far out or losing headway, we sailed almost heave too. Very slow and into the wind.
An hour later the wind eased from gale to a force that we could cope with, heading north east. Unfortunately the wind did not change direction enough to allow us to sail without the engine, but this was good enough and allowed us to reach the coast again after an hour. Lots of whales, this time Humpbacks, were fishing between us and the coast. We had sunshine all day in spite the fog was at the horizon.
Three o’clock we headed into a deep fjord and stayed at the first little harbor, Port Kirwan, where we tied up to the public wharf perfect with our bow into the wind. Kirwan had summer record, 31 C, yesterday and today was another warm day. During tying up we had to undress rapidly in the 26C sunshine with little wind!
Took a long walk up the steep hillside and out to the coast with marvelous views out at sea.
6 July Friday Port Kirwan – St John’s 44 nm
Quiet morning in sunshine. Left the wharf shortly before nine o’clock and out in the flat water of the fjord we hoisted the main with one reef. Out at sea we could unfurl the Yankee and shut down the engine.
Today the wind finally came from south and we could very comfortable sail 130 degrees to the four islands famous for its birdlife. 260 000 Puffins are breeding here and more the half a million storm petrels, not to mention common murre and razor bills.
When we came closer to the islands it was obvious that this concentration of birds we had never seen. The sky was full of birds. Looked more like mosquitoes that sometimes can make the sky gray!
We tried to have some photos, but it was not easy. They are extremely fast and the sea state didn’t make it easier.
Coming closer to St John’s the wind increased even more and in the final into the narrows we had forty knots making us fly into the harbour.
Got a good spot all the way into the harbour, although it’s a commercial wharf with big tires on the wharf, we managed to tie up reasonable safe using all our fenders and fender boards.
Before dinner Annika started to dismantle our windlass and now we could see what finally had killed it. Water under the lip seal got into the bearing and corrosion did the rest. But the final disaster happened when the gearbox suddenly came apart and the whole thing got stuck. Why a windlass hasn’t got a stainless permanently greased and sealed bearing is difficult to understand. Even a bad designer should know where a windlass is supposed to be used!!
7 July Saturday St. John’s
Slept until nine after a little bit disturbed sleep during the night due to strong, gusting winds.
Berit took a walk to the information center to get information about how to get to the airport, and on the way back she bought some things for our lunch.
We continued to dismantle the windlass.
Ted, our contact in St John’s, came with our windlass and we had a chat about what not to be missed on the north coast of Newfoundland. The windlass was the right size and voltage, but no capstan and on top of that a crack in the frame holding the windlass under deck. This was not something that could have happened during the transport with the styrofoam box not affected!
We broke lose the cracked part and glued it in place, changed the position so it would not be effected of the weight of the motor. In the fall we will have to do a more serious repair! And change the bearing!!
After preparing the surfaces after dismantling the old windlass we took a long walk in town. Much more interesting than we had excepted. Lots of tourists of course but not too crowded. It has been a very nice and warm week and still it is t-shirt and shorts. Going downhill through downtown we found a nice pub and they served very good beer!
Down in Moon we prepared the dinner when the crew had a well earned shower. There is no showers in the harbour and the fitness center don’t allow us to shower unless we buy a 15$ day pass each.
Lucky we can have a shower in Moon.
8 July Sunday St John’s
The wind died early night and we had a full night undisturbed sleep. Had breakfast in a slow pace before we started with the windlass. We had improved/repaired the first one several times and now we did those upgrades on the new one, hoping that we will avoid those failures. We put loctite in all eight bolts that hold the gearbox together, trying to avoid the final disaster when the gearbox came apart. Hopefully the new one will be more robust and last longer than the first one!! At noon all parts where in place, but waiting for the seal to cure we took a long walk up to Signal Hill and a geologic museum. For us three technicians the museum was very interesting and nicely put together. Coming out, or rather up from the museum, the wind was even stronger. To walk up the remaining trail to the top was too chilly and we opted for the town instead.
Berit was to fly home tomorrow late dinner time. We didn’t want to be stressed on a restaurant tomorrow, making us chose a restaurant tonight for final outing. Found a good restaurant in downtown and had very tasty lamb racks.
Back in Moon we had to reorganize after the hard work with the windlass to be able to sit down and sum up the weeks together with Berit.
Annika & Björn