Captain's Blog, Tuesday, March 14th, 2017
The Captain's Blog Page was created today. We are now on daylight saving time and looking forward to warmer days. Although our departure date is still 12 weeks away, the planning is well underway. This spring, we will be installing AIS, new batteries, an EPIRB, a new ladder and a new RADAR.
Captain's Blog, Wednesday, April 19th, 2017
Work on the hull and the bottom are well underway and launch is scheduled for Friday, April 29th.
Captain's Blog, Monday, May 1th, 2017
Gallivanting is now in the water.
Captain's Blog, Monday, May 8th, 2017
The stick is on and over the next 4 weeks, we will re-assemble and provision.
Captain's Blog, Monday, May 25th, 2017
Betty has a new outfit and is anxious to get underway.
Captain's Blog, Wednesday, June 7th, 2017
"It never rains, but it pours..." As a result, we are ever so slightly behind schedule.
The good news.......... the 5 day local forecast is suggesting a significant improvement in the weather.
We now expect to depart for points East this week.
Captain's Blog, Saturday, June 10th, 2017
3 days of sunshine in a row...... Wow.
We are now planning to depart Lakeshore YC on Monday, June 12th.
Captain's Blog, Monday, June 12th, 2017
s/v Gallivanting at the Lake Shore Yacht Club service dock ready for departure
"Are we there yet?"
Departed Lakeshore Yacht Club at 08:30. Wind was out of the SW at 13 kts. We set sail with the wind on the Starboard Quarter and headed East to Kingston.
Within hours the winds were at 20 kts. We averaged 6.0 kts until 23:30, when the winds shifted to Northwest and dropped off. Whenever you can sail (with a destination) for 15 continuous hours, it is awesome.
Captain's Blog, Tuesday, June 13th, 2017
02:00 - We are motoring pass the Ducks (the islands) and into the upper reaches of the St. Lawrence River.
Sunrise, June 13th, 2017
09:00 - Arrived Portsmouth Marina, where we topped up with fuel and water.
09:45 - Arrived at the Kingston YC.
17:00 - Moved to Confederation Basin. Too much wave action out there.
Captain's Blog, Wednesday, June 14th, 2017
10:30 - Departed Confederation Basin, Kingston.
Thanks to Kim for printing our seaway lock chits, which are required by the lock attendants.
Thanks to Rob for helping us get off the dock safely.
Today, in an effort to minimize the impact of the high water levels on Lake Ontario and in the St. Lawrence River, the Moses-Saunders Dam at Cornwall will be releasing more water than ever before. Recreational Boaters are being warned "to be cautious of the extreme conditions".
Photo Source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/lake-ontario-dam-outflow-st-lawrence-1.4158570
As we proceeded down river, we noticed an additional 1 to 2 knots on our "speed over ground".
This is the Singer castle, for more go to: http://www.singercastle.com/brief-history/
There was a time when castles were big. Nine boat houses.................., seriously.
17:00 - Arrived at the Brockville Yacht Club, only to find out that they were not accepting guests due to the high water levels.
We went a short distance upstream and dropped anchor on the downstream side of Smith Island. We enjoyed a quiet evening with dinner in the cockpit (no bugs).
Captain's Blog, Thursday, June 15th, 2017
08:30 - After a pleasant night, we weighed anchor and got under way.
Weather - Sunny, winds East at 10 kts.
11:00 - Speed over Ground 9.3 kts. (A boost of 2 - 3 kts)
11:30 - Arrived at the upstream end of the Iroquois Lock.
12:30 - We were informed by lock staff that there had been an accident in the lock and that there would be a delay of "about" 6 hours.
Upstream end of Iroquois Lock
The repairs continued well into the evening. A special thanks to the staff member who kept us informed on the progress of the repairs. To compound the problem, a freighter ran aground downstream of the lock. We decided to call it a day and turn in.
Captain's Blog, Friday, June 16th, 2017
Traffic on upstream side of the Iroquois Lock
Waiting at the Iroquois Lock
07:00 - We were asked by the lock attendant if we would like to go. Does a bear live in the woods?
Weather overcast, wind SW 15-20 kts.
08:00 - We got the green light to enter the lock.
The Iroquois Lock is kind of a drive through lock. Normally, the water level difference is minimal (less that 2 feet). The downstream gate starts opening just as soon as the upstream gate is closed.
08:40 - Speed Over Ground is 9.2 kts.
11:15 - We enter the Eisenhawer Lock and are out in 30 minutes.
Transiting the Eisenhawer Lock
12:15 - We enter the Snell Lock and again we are out in 30 minutes.
13:00 - Speed over ground is 11 kts. That's a 4 kt river current, twice the normal average.
14:00 - Enter Lac St. Francois
The lift bridge at Valleyfield
19:00 - Arrive the Beauharnois Lock
19:05 - We were turned away from Beauharnois Lock. Not a pleasant experience.
21:00 - Dropped anchor upstream of Beauharnois Lock and went to bed.
Captain's Blog, Saturday, June 17th, 2017
06:45 - Weigh anchor
07:15 - Arrive Beauharnois Lock for the second time.
10:15 - Enter the Beauharnois Lock
Stephen and Dan of Finale in the Beauharnois Lock
Linda in the Beauharnois Lock
11:15 - Exit the Beauharnois Lock into Lac St Louis
13:00 - Arrived at the Royal St. Lawrence Yacht Club in Dorval.
We will be spending a few days in Montreal with family.
Linda and her Mom.
Captain's Blog, Tuesday, June 20th, 2017
Woke up to thunderstorms.
Burgee exchange between Lakeshore Yacht Club and the Royal St. Lawrence Yacht Club.
Topped up fuel and water.
09:30 - Departed the Royal St. Lawrence Yacht Club.
We have 2 more locks to transit.
15:30 - Entered the Côte-Sainte-Catherine Lock.
17:00 - Entered the St. Lambert Lock.
Transiting the St Lambert Lock.
The ships of the St. Lawrence River.
22:15 - Arrived Sorel.
Captain's Blog, Wednesday, June 21th, 2017
First day of summer.
Sleep 'til 0915.
Winds west at 20 kts, a little cooler and less humid.
11:30 - Departed Sorel.
12:20 - Entered Lac St. Pierre. Winds strong, sometimes gusting to 30 kts.
Speed over ground reached 12 kts at the Richlieu Rapids.
19:45 - Arrived Portneuf.
Captain's Blog, Thursday, June 22nd, 2017
A big High Pressure moved in overnight. Sunny and cool with the winds out of the Northwest.
09:00 - Departed Portneuf, following a pump out.
11:50 - Passed under the Pierre Laporte Bridge doing 12.4 kts over ground. We apparently caught the Ebb tide, which means that the Ebb tide downstream current was approximately 5.4 kts.
12:20 - Arrived at the Quebec Yacht Club.
Burgee exchange between the Lakeshore Yacht Club and the Quebec Yacht Club.
It is high tide in the picture. The basin is full. The water level in the basin at low tide will be at least 15 feet lower. Thank god for floating docks.
Shortly after we arrived at Yacht Club de Quebec in 2002, we met a most kind and gentle man, named Peter. Peter seemed to enjoy answering our questions and we had many. He enthusiastically explained how we could take advantage of the tidal currents downstream of Quebec City. Despite a physical handicap, Peter was a sailor and he loved his boat. Born in Alberta and transplanted to Quebec, Peter was a happy sailor.
In 2008, we again arrived at Yacht Club de Quebec. Once tied up, we looked for Peter and found him working on his boat. We reminisced and again talked a lot about boating.
Today, we found ourselves again looking for Peter. But Peter was not to be found.
In the fall of 2015, Peter fell from his boat. Sadly, he died from his injuries. Near the entrance to the club house, overlooking the basin, there is bench honoring Peter. RIP, Peter.
Captain's Blog, Friday, June 23rd, 2017
We wake up to rain, drizzle and fog. Decided to move 3 miles downstream to the old port.
09:30 - Departed Yacht Club de Quebec.
10:00 - Arrived at the old port.
Visited the market for a while, but because it's raining, we decided to return to the boat. Linda wants everyone to know that she picked up some fresh Île d'Orléans strawberries.
Captain's Blog, Saturday, June 24th, 2017
Today is St. Jean Baptiste Day in Quebec and we plan to visit the old city.
The weather is a little cooler, but drier, with some sun.
Captain's Blog, Monday, June 26th, 2017
For those who have slow internet and those who visit regularly, I have started doing the blog entries at the top of the page.
The weather was great for our day in Quebec City. Lots of "Gorbies", yet still charming and full of life.
Hi from old Quebec.
Everybody is on their smart phone.
After a full day of walking, drinking beer and people watching, we returned to the boat and transited the lock to be ready for a 04:45 departure. To get maximum advantage of the tidal currents, the optimum time to depart Quebec City is 3 hours before high tide at Quebec City. Coincidentally, Sunday's tide was a big tide (a spring tide).
Departing Quebec City.
Another beautiful day.
On Sunday morning, we started out bucking a 2 knot current, but shortly after passing Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, the flood current turned and became an ebb current. Just before Isle-aux-Coudres, our SOG (Speed Over Ground) hit 14.3 kts. By departing at the right time we get a tidal boost all the way to Cap-à-l'Aigle, where we arrived at 13:20. The remainder of the day was spent relaxing and moving the dinghy from the davits to the deck.
On Monday morning, we departed Cap-à-l'Aigle at 08:00. with a big sky. We saw our first whales, belugas.
Cap de la Tête au Chien.
We again ride the lunar express all the way to Rimouski, where we arrived at 18:30. Before dinner, we did groceries.
Captain's Blog, Tuesday, June 27th, 2017
After a comfortable night at Rimouski Marina, we departed for points east at 09:00.
The weather is sunny and calm.
We arrived Club de Yacht de Matane at 17:20.
Captain's Blog, Wednesday, June 28th, 2017
We departed Club de Yacht de Matane at 05:00.
The sun can't shine everyday. Today was one of those days............., rain, drizzle and fog with the wind out of the East. We decided to batten down the hatches and cruise in the rain.
At the helm with the hatches battened down.
Passed Cap-Chat at 11:30
End of day for a fisherman.
15 hours later we arrive in Rivière-Madeleine at 20:00.
Captain's Blog, Thursday, June 29th, 2017
The sun is shining today.
We departed Rivière-Madeleine at 07:00.
Cap des Rosiers
We arrived L'Anse-à-Beaufils at 19:30, only to find that there was no place to tie up. We decided to continue on to Sainte-Thérèse-de-Gaspé , where we were able to tie up to a fishing boat in a very busy fishing harbour.
Captain's Blog, Friday, June 30th, 2017
Departed Sainte-Thérèse-de-Gaspé for Îles de la Madeleine at 09:00. The passage would take approximately 24 hours.
Sainte-Thérèse-de-Gaspé - a floating dock.
Shortly after leaving port, we experience the squeal of a loose engine belt. With the smell of burning rubber, we shut down the engine and tightened the belt. We were again underway in less than an hour.
A change in the weather is expected.
Overcast with low visibility.
As the night falls, the winds pick up. We unfurled the jib and sailed into the night.
Captain's Blog, Saturday, July 1st, 2017
Happy birthday, Canada.
We sailed into Canada Day. The winds dropped off at 05:30, at which time we furled in the jib, leaving us in a somewhat uncomfortable quarterly sea.
Always wondered why this island was called Rocher du "Corps Mort".
Arrived Cap-aux-Meules, Îles de la Madeleine at 10:30. and also arrived into Atlantic Standard Time. The weather is still overcast, with fog.
First things first, ........ an afternoon nap. In the evening, we attended the Canada Day celebrations, which included fireworks and live bands.
We later visited one of the local bars, before retiring.
Captain's Blog, Sunday, July 2nd, 2017
A relaxing morning.
In the afternoon, Conrad gave us a tour of Cap-aux-Meules, Étang du Nord and the I'm alone II.
A special thank you to Conrad for the tour and his assistance with refueling.
We picked up a rental car at 16:30 and drove to Île du Havre aux Maisons for a lobster dinner.
Captain's Blog, Monday, July 3rd, 2017
Today, we did some touring with our rented "smart car".
Club Nautique De Cap-Aux-Meules with Île d'Entrée in the background.
Sailing on Baie-de-Plaisance
L'Étang de la Martinique (Martinique Pond). Conrad is out there somewhere.
The beach at Île du Havre Aubert.
Mixed in with the touring, we were able to do laundry, get groceries and replenish my wobbly pop.
After returning the car, we discovered that the gas tank for our outboard went missing.
After reviewing weather forecasts and windy.com, we decided that our weather window to Newfoundland will be the next couple of days.
Captain's Blog, Tuesday, July 4th, 2017
While docked at Cap-Aux-Meules, we met Camil, who is the President of Le Club Nautique De Cap-Aux-Meules as well as the operator of a marine store. Camil arrived at our boat this morning at 07:30 with some bulbs that we needed. Once Camil learned about our missing gas tank, he took me into town in search of a replacement. Eventually, we found a replacement and we are now ready to depart for Newfoundland. Than you, Camil. We very much appreciate all your help.
With Camil's help, we shove off at 08:45 and have our sails up by 09:00. It is a beautiful sunny day and the wind is on the beam at 10 to 12 knots. Our SOG is 6.0 kts.
Sailing at 6.0 kts.
Late afternoon (Still sailing at 6.0 kts.)
Red sky at night, sailor's delight (Still sailing at 6.0 kts.)
We take down the sails at 22:00. After 13 hours of sailing, the wind speed has dropped off. It is a bright moonlit night.
Captain's Blog, Wednesday, July 5th, 2017
At 06:00. (Newfoundland Time), favorable winds returned and the jib is again unfurled. The sun is coming up over the horizon as we go by Cape St. George.
Another beautiful day.
Sailing Newfoundland's west coast, with Gros Morne in the background.
Bonne Bay, with Gros Morne in the background.
Arrived in Bonne Bay around 18:00. With high winds forecast, we decide to drop anchor in Neddy Harbour. Also at anchor are 3 other sailboats, two flying the Norwegian flag, while the other is flying the flag of Switzerland.
Captain's Blog, Thursday, July 6th, 2017
The forecasted high winds have not yet arrived. We head over to Norris Point to see if we can get some fuel. We are able to raft to the Swiss sailboat who was there getting his jerry cans filled. With the help of Pernell, we transported our jerry cans to the local service station and got them filled.
With our fuel replenished, we return to Neddy Harbour, which has good holding and provides good shelter from the winds. We anchored in 40 feet of water and put out 200 feet of chain.
Neddy Harbour, Bonne Bay.
As we hunkered down for the night, the winds picked up significantly, with gusts sometimes exceeding 40 kts. One of the Norwegian boats had to re-anchor late in the evening.
Captain's Blog, Friday, July 7th, 2017
Based on the movement of our boat and the noise in the rigging, the overnight winds were blowing at least 30 kts, often gusting in excess of 40 kts. We were awakened regularly by these strong gusts. I can say with confidence that Neddy Harbour provides excellent shelter and has excellent holding.
Today's plan is to hang out until the winds subside.
Captain's Blog, Saturday, July 8th, 2017
We wake up to rain and fog. TIN
After a quiet night, we departed Neddy Harbour at 07:00. Headed out and up the coast passing the Rocky Harbour lighthouse, which we did not see.
The visibility remained low until our arrival in Cow Head at 11:00.
Tied up at Cow Head.
The rain stopped at 13:00, but it remained overcast.
Captain's Blog, Sunday, July 9th, 2017
We departed Cow Head in heavy fog at 06:30. We managed to safely navigate our way out through the rocks at the harbour entrance.
The seas were calm and the fog lifted a little at 11:30.
At about 11:00, a whale surfaced a few feet off the port bow. We believe it was a Minke.
As we approached Point Riche, the winds began to pick up. By the time we rounded the headlands, the winds were gusting to 30 kts.
We tied up at a floating dock in Port Au Choix at 15:00.
Enjoyed a dinner of cod and halibut at the Anchor Café.
Captain's Blog, Monday, July 10th, 2017
Fuel, propane, water, groceries, laundry and a shower are all on our list of today’s activities in Port Au Choix. We also found time to visit the Parks Canada building housing a collection of artifacts from the Maritime Archaic cemetery (c. 3,000 years) at Port au Choix.
While making an enquiry at the local gas station, we were offered the use of Sheryl’s pick-up truck to run our errands and get groceries. We’d like to thank Sheryl for her kindness. Having the use of your truck made our day much more comfortable and enjoyable. Thank you, Sheryl.
Later in the day, a fisherman provided us with a very generous amount of freshly caught shrimp, which somehow resulted in a pasta with shrimp scampi later in the evening.
A big thank you to the harbor master who helped us get our onboard water tanks filled and gave us rides around town.
The strong winds continued into the night.
Captain's Blog, Tuesday, July 11th, 2017
We were awakened by much gentler winds and sunshine. We untied at 06:30 and headed out the harbour, passing fishing boats coming in after a night of fishing.
We motor past St. John’s Island at 08:00. The winds are out of the south at 10 – 12 kts, while we are heading north, making it somewhat difficult to sail.
As the winds pick up to 15 kts, we put up the main, primarily to stabilize the boat. We caught the tidal current and sometimes hit 8 kts SOG. Speed Over Ground represents the speed through the water plus the speed of the current.
The skies remained mostly clear as we sighted our first iceberg at 14:00. Despite being 7 miles from us, the berg loomed large on the horizon.
As we arrived at the entrance to Red Bay, we sighted several smaller bergs in the area.
We entered Red Bay at 16:00 and tied up on the outside of the public wharf at about 16:30. We were a little uncomfortable with the tie up at a dock that was constructed of creosoted wood and somewhat dilapidated. To add to the situation, the wind was out of the Southwest, blowing us on the dock. Despite a weather forecast calling for much stronger winds, we decided to stay at the dock for the night.
Captain's Blog, Wednesday, July 12th, 2017
Today is Mom’s birthday. Happy Birthday to Mom on this special day from Wayne and Linda. Here’s wishing you a beautiful and most pleasant day from Red Bay, Labrador.
Meanwhile, it was a rock’n’roll night at the dock. Overnight, the winds picked up out of the Southwest and the fog moved in. We could barely see the berg that moved into the harbour entrance overnight.
Iceberg at the entrance to the harbor at Red Bay
By 09:00, we were physically banging the dock, when a local resident dropped by and suggested that it would not be prudent to stay on the dock. We decided to try and get off the dock and anchor on the east side of the basin. Although it was a bit hairy with the strong wind, we managed to get off the dock safely. To the local resident, although I didn’t get your name, we do thank you for your advice and assistance.
By 10:00, we were anchored in 20 to 40 feet of water on the east side of the basin. We had 150 feet of chain out with good holding and without a doubt we were much, much more comfortable.
We battened down the hatches and watched the “History of the Eagles”. Did I ever tell you that Linda just LOVES the Eagles?
By 14:00, the blue skies have returned, but the wind continues out of the southwest at 20 kts gusting to 30 kts.
Captain's Blog, Thursday, July 13th, 2017
We were up at the crack of dawn. Overnight, the berg moved into the middle of the the harbour entrance. Winds are light with a mix of sun and cloud. We are offline with no weather forecast.
Red Bay, Labrador
Bergs and bergy bits
Departing Red Bay
We decided to head back across the Strait of Belle Isle for Noddy Bay on the Northern tip of the Northern Peninsular, departing basin at 06:00. The winds were 15 to 20 kts out the west.
We saw whales and dolphins, but were far to busy to get pictures.
At around 08:00, the winds picked up and within a half an hour there were many gusts that exceeded 40 kts. Although we did have much time to observe wind speeds, I do recall observing 44 kts at one point. Under these conditions you have to manually steer the boat as the autohelm just can’t keep up.
40 kts plus
These conditions continued, more or less, until 11:00, when we reached Spiller’s Cove (locally known as Straitsview), in Noddy Bay, a pretty little harbour with good holding in 20 to 30 feet of water. We slept through the afternoon, which did not seem to have any effect on our need for sleep that evening.
Captain's Blog, Friday, July 14th, 2017
We woke up to sunshine, much calmer conditions and no cell service. Cell service is important to us for weather forecasts and calling Mom.
After rowing our dinghy ashore, we hike into L’Anse Aux Meadow for a tour of the 1000 year old Norse village.
Visiting with Wulfric at L’Anse Aux Meadow.
Betty has been a little reclusive and maybe she's not enjoying the icebergs all that much. I did find her one day, catching up on the news.
Following our visit to yesteryear, we stopped by the Northern Delight Restaurant in Gunner’s Cove for a feed of Fish and Chips (fresh cod).
We had another restful night on the hook.
Captain's Blog, Saturday, July 15th, 2017
We again wake up to sunshine. With a forecast for light to moderate winds out of the south, we weigh anchor and head toward Cape Bauld, with a destination of St Anthony, where we plan to spend at least a couple of nights.
Cape Bauld, the most northerly point of the island of Newfoundland.
Lots of icebergs
Linda thinks that this trip is taking a toll on me.
We departed at 08:45 and rounded Cape Bauld at 09:30.
The real winds turn out to 20 to 30 kts, sometimes gusting much higher. Lots of bergs.
We arrived at St. Anthony at 13:30. Dropped anchor in the west end of the harbour.
Welcome back to cell service.
Captain's Blog, Sunday, July 16th, 2017
Today, we rowed ashore and checked out the town of St. Anthony. We managed to fill our water tanks at the public wharf, but decided not to stay any longer than necessary.
A strong west wind would be problematic.
Tomorrow, we will focus on resolving a couple of issues. First, we need to get a gas tank for our outboard, to replace the leaky one. Secondly, we need to resolve a siphoning issue with the bilge pump. We also need some groceries and maybe some beer.
Captain's Blog, Monday, July 17th, 2017
A busy day was planned. The long list included; laundry, groceries, beer, a gas tank, diesel fuel, propane, something to resolve the bilge siphoning and if time permits, a haircut.
After lots of walking, we were successful on most accounts, with the exception of diesel and propane, which are scheduled for tomorrow morning.
The Captain of the Whale Watching boat, very generously volunteered his truck to get diesel and propane. Thank you, Captain.
Captain's Blog, Tuesday, July 18th, 2017
With our list now complete, we weigh anchor at 12:30 and head out the harbour. Before heading south, we decided to visit a rather spectacular iceberg sitting just offshore.
The St. Anthony berg
We remained at least a quarter mile from these gigantic chunks of ice, while enjoying and taking pictures.
After that awesome tour we head south to an anchorage at the bottom/head of Maiden’s Arm.
Captain's Blog, Wednesday, July 19th, 2017
It was another beautiful summer day on the Northern Peninsular. The night was so quiet that I once woke and didn’t know where I was. What…? no wind in the rigging.
The pool at the bottom/head of Maiden’s Arm is a secluded, wild, protected anchorage with good holding. After a leisurely breakfast in a wilderness environment, I made some refinements to my NMEA connections.
We weigh anchor at 10:00 and head out the arm, through the tickle and south toward the community of Conche. The winds are south (on the nose), so we are motoring in a 10 to 15 kt wind. The wind drops off in the PM.
Shortly after 14:00, we get a visit from a very rambunctious pod of dolphins. These fun creatures played around our boat for at least a half hour. Amidst all the action, a large whale surfaced as he/she headed north. I believe that Cetaceans are some of the most interesting living creatures on our planet.
Dolphins locally known as "Jumpers"
A humpback whale
By 15:00, we had rounded Cape Fox and wow, another large iceberg at the entrance to Conche harbour. We do another iceberg tour, before tying up at the public wharf.
Betty, checking out the bergs and whale watching
The Conche berg
After a very exciting day on the water, we are assisted and welcomed by some very friendly locals, who suggested that we attend a dinner with music starting at 17:30, which we did and very much enjoyed.
A local resident and fisherman, Paul Bromley kindly delivered fresh cod fillets to our boat. Thank you, Paul.
Dinner was followed by a very quiet evening at the dock.
Captain's Blog, Thursday, July 20th, 2017
By 9:30, the winds were out the northeast at 15 to 20 kts and the fog moved in, followed by a light rain, known locally as drizzle.
With rain, drizzle and fog in the forecast, we decide to stay at the dock another night.
In the afternoon, we visit the French Shore Interpretation center, a most interesting and impressive project of the people of Conche.
In the evening, we pan fried some of the fresh cod provided by Paul. Thanks again, Paul.
We enjoyed a quiet windless night on the public wharf in Conche.
Captain's Blog, Friday, July 21st, 2017
Departed Conche at 10:30. We get to enjoy the iceberg at the harbour entrance for a second time.
It is just one iceberg.
The winds are still out of the south, so we are motoring.
At Englee, we heave-to and take advantage of the cell signal to get a weather forecast. Based on the weather forecast, we decided to carry on down the coast to Forche Harbour, aka Williamsport. We dropped anchor in Williamsport at 14:00. Williamsport is an abandoned whaling station.
We launched the dinghy and toured the old whaling station, the remains of the village and the cemetery.
Williamsport whaling station
Just before launching the dinghy we see 2 moose near the cemetery, first a female and then a male.
Captain's Blog, Saturday, July 22nd, 2017
Our morning greeting from mother nature is the sun straight up with fog all around. There is little or no wind, when we decide to leave Forche Harbour and head across White Bay to Fleur de Lys.
For the first half of the passage, we were in fog. The fog eventually lifted and visibility improved just before the rain arrived, with a thunderstorm and heavy rain as we approached the entrance to Fleur de Lys harbour.
Captain's Blog, Sunday, July 23rd, 2017
Today, we had a beautiful sail (with just the jib) from Fleur de Lys to La Scie, some 22 nautical miles.
The winds were southwest, 20 to 30 kts, sometimes gusting even higher. We departed Fleur de Lys at 08:15 and were tied up in La Scie by 12:00. We later learned that the floating dock is managed by the La Scie Harbour Authority and reserved for transient pleasure boats.
Captain's Blog, Monday, July 24th, 2017
After meeting up with Clyde, the Harbour Master, we learn that the La Scie Harbour Authority has recognized the needs of recreational boaters. We would like to compliment the La Scie Harbour Authority for their approach. Showers and a laundromat are also provided. Clyde also kindly provided transportation to get groceries and get our jerry cans (diesel) filled. Thank you, Clyde.
La Scie harbor
The day was sunny with some cloud and a fresh to strong breeze out of the Northwest.
In the afternoon, we walked across town to the Outport Museum & Tea Room. On the menu today are fish cakes, which Linda has been craving for weeks. They were amazing. We also very much enjoyed chatting with Valerie and Larry. If you’re in the area, a visit to the Outport Museum & Tea Room is highly recommended.
Sunset in a busy fishing harbor.
A little light reading before bed.
Tomorrow, we are heading for Little Bay Islands.
Captain's Blog, Tuesday, July 25th, 2017
Before we departed La Scie at 07:30, we filled our water tanks at a wharf near the entrance to the harbour.
Weather was cloudy, with some sun and light winds. We rounded Cape St. John at 09:30 and headed south past Nipper's Harbour and into Notre Dame Bay.
Cape St. John
Arrived Little Bay Islands at 13:30, to find sailboats tied up at the wharf. By evening there were 10 sailboats tied or anchored in the harbour. We had clearly arrived in popular cruising area. Notre Dame Bay is the cruising capital of Newfoundland.
Hiking at Little Bay Island
A potluck on the wharf in the evening.
Captain's Blog, Wednesday, July 26th, 2017
In the morning, we were greeted by another beautiful summer day. After some discussion with other sailors, we decided to depart for a secluded anchorage named God’s Pocket. The suggestion being that it provided great protection. We were accompanied by Gord and Linda, who sail out of Lewisporte, the sailing center of Notre Dame Bay. Not a lot of wind, so we motor sailed.
Betty on watch
The girls looking for Whales
We arrived at 14:00 to find 3 other sailboats. Later, Gord commented that he had never seen so many boats in God’s Pocket.
With the dinghy, we harvested (collected/picked) our dinner, the biggest mussels that I have ever seen, which went real well with a bottle of Pinot Grigio.
We settled in for very comfortable evening.
Captain's Blog, Thursday, July 27th, 2017
A very comfortable night. Departed at 09:30. Arrived South Samson Island at 14:30.
South Samson Island has a beautiful anchorage with good holding. The story is that when schooners were anticipating a storm while at Exploits Island, they would retreat to this anchorage on South Samson Island.
Captain's Blog, Sunday, July 30th, 2017
We departed Twillingate at 07:15.
The weather was overcast and the winds were light. By 10:00 we were in a light rain and by 11:00 visibility is reduced in rain, drizzle and fog.
We arrived in Seldom on the south side of Fogo Island at 12:30. Seldom used to be known as "Seldom-Come-By", back when passing sailing ships would regularly stopover in this well protected natural harbor and was "Seldom Passed By".
We tied up at the Fisherman's Union wharf, which is reserved for pleasure craft. In the afternoon, it is shower, laundry, then settle in 'til the rain passes.
A rainy sunset.
Captain's Blog, Friday, July 28th, 2017
Weighed anchor at 08:00 and headed for Twillingate. With sunshine and light winds, we sailed and motor sailed through the islands of Notre Dame Bay, past Moreton's Harbour and into Twillingate Harbour. Just before entering the Harbour, we did a 360 around the Twillingate iceberg.
Arrived Twillingate at 13:30 and tied up at a wharf with 2 sail boats and a fishing boat.
In the afternoon, the Harbour Master drove us to the service station to fill our Jerry cans. Thanks, Gordon.
In the evening, we went out to dinner with Bill and Darlene off the S/V Solstice.
We later met Eric, a resident of Twillingate, who offered to give us a tour of the town in the morning
Captain's Blog, Saturday, July 29th, 2017
Eric promptly collected us at 0900 and we began the day with breakfast, followed by a visit to Long Point and Sleepy Cove. We later got a tour of Eric's house, which was also the house of his parents, built in the 1950s. Thank you, Eric.
Wayne and Eric touring his root cellar.
Since yesterday, the Twillingate iceberg had moved down the shore and was breaking up.
In the afternoon, we re-provisioned the boat with groceries and beer.
Captain's Blog, Monday, July 31st, 2017
Fogo Island is a most interesting place on several different levels.
The island has a long history connected to fishing, involving the Basque, the French, the English and the Irish, and no one paid much attention for centuries.
Fogo Island is quaint and offers a glimpse of a 1950s Newfoundland outport.
One can sense the concern about a changing community. A community that is attracting celebrities and people who have more money than they know what to do with. Looking for something "off the beaten path", they are flocking to Fogo. A rather large and expensive inn has been constructed to cater to their every need, not to mean that it will. Many of these people "from away" have purchased properties here, inflating the price of houses on the island.
What is happening in my backyard?
There is one story about a celebrity who wore a hoody during the first few days on the island. To avoid recognition, I assume. After a few days, the celebrity removed the hoody and ventured outside and was immediately recognized by a swarm of mosquitoes, locally known as "nippers". The celebrity was last heard saying, "I'm outa here". It's not clear whether it was lack of recognition by the locals or too much recognition by the nippers. Somehow, I suspect that there is a difference.
The only thing that is permanent is change.
Captain's Blog, Tuesday, August 1st, 2017
We departed Seldom-Come-By at 08:30.
The winds are light and the fog is slowly lifting. By noon, we are experiencing large swells, likely produced by a large low pressure situated out in the middle of the Atlantic.
Arrived Lumsden at 13:45.
Captain's Blog, Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017
We departed Lumsden at 07:45. The day was overcast, with a southerly wind at 10 kts. The swells were at least 10 feet.
To minimize the roll we unfurled the jib at 0900 and motor sailed all the way across Bonavista Bay, arriving in the Bonavista harbour at 1600.
Lobsters for dinner.....again.
Captain's Blog, Thursday, August 3rd, 2017
Since Bonavista is the largest town we have been in for some time, we decided to spend a few days of R & R.
We again have access to a vehicle, thanks to Bob, a fellow sailor who is also visiting the area.
While re-fueling and re-provisioning, we made a few detours to visit Catalina and Elliston.
Puffins at Elliston
Captain's Blog, Friday, August 4th, 2017
Today, we visited Cape Bonavista, with lots of whales and puffins, and Giovanni Caboto.
Getting a picture with Santino Caboto.
In the evening, we visited a newly opened Irish pub (established 2017), followed by a visit to more established pub, where we met Harvey and friends.
Captain's Blog, Saturday, August 5th, 2017
We departed Bonavista at 07:45 and rounded Cape Bonavista at 08:30, then headed south into Trinity Bay.
The wind is on the nose at 15 kts, with a mix of sun and cloud.
Rounded Horse chops at 13:30 and arrived Trinity at 15:15. Again, we saw many whales, including 3 that breached, making a big splash, unfortunately at a distance.
Captain's Blog, Sunday, August 6th, 2017
We decided to stay an extra day and tour the historic town of Trinity.
The Dock Marina on the Benjamin Lester premises site.
St. Paul's Anglican Church, Trinity
Captain's Blog, Monday, August 7th, 2017
We departed Trinity at 09:45 and headed for Old Bonaventure. The weather is overcast and the wind is again on the nose. The waves had built up overnight and we're now rock’n and roll’n.
Upon our arrival at the entrance to the Old Bonaventure harbour, it appeared to be both small and full. Since we did not have a harbour chart, we decided to go around the point to New Bonaventure, only to find that it was quite exposed. So back we go to Old Bonaventure, where we slowly and gingerly entered the inner harbour and found a vacant spot at the end of the wharf, where we quickly tied up.
Old Bonaventure Harbour at dawn
Old Bonaventure is where my maternal ancestors were given land in the early 1800s, known as the Stone plantation. It included most of the north side of the harbour, including a small peninsular. Gilbert Stone, the last with the Stone name in the community moved out just recently.
The Stone family plantation
In the evening, we enjoyed a social, including a Jiggs dinner, mummers and screeching ceremonies.
Captain's Blog, Tuesday, August 8th, 2017
With the use of Daphne’s car, we toured the Random Passage site and visited several cemeteries in the area.Thanks Daphne, for lending us your car for the day. Yes, cemeteries, after all, I’m researching my family history.
William Stone was born in the winter of 1826 (Stone Plantation Cemetery)..
The Stone plantation Cemetery
If you look carefully, you can see a slate headstone between the roots of a mature pine tree. Likely an early Stone, but maybe a Bailey, as there was a close relationship between the two families.
Captain's Blog, Wednesday, August 9th, 2017
We departed Old Bonaventure in rain and fog at 07:00. Visibility decreased as we passed the Ragged Islands and didn’t improve until we reached East Random Head. Northwest Arm is long and deep, with depths of approximately 300 feet.
East Random Head
At the end of the arm is Clarenville, where we arrived at 12:30. The weather has warmed up, the rain has stopped and we now have a mix of sun and cloud. We tie up at the Clarenville Yacht Club.
Captain's Blog, Thursday, August 10th, 2017
Happy Anniversary (Clarenville)
Captain's Blog, Friday, August 11th, 2017
We departed Clarenville at 08:00. Sun and cloud with light winds. We rounded Random Head at 10:30.
12:30 – Transited the tickle at Thoroughfare Rock and headed up Smith Sound. The wind is on the nose at 15 kts.
We arrived at Lower Lance Cove on Random Island at 14:30. Very calm conditions.
We walked up from Lower Lance Cove to find that grandmother’s old house was no longer. After meeting up with Doug, Keith and Sharon, we learned that the house was sold and relocated “up over the ridge”. We spoke briefly with Ross Stone.
We enjoyed a quiet night at the wharf in Lower Lance Cove
Captain's Blog, Saturday, August 12th, 2017
It was another day in Lower Lance Cove. We walked in to the pond, where I swam as a kid.
We visited Stoneville and met Alex who invited us back later, when the crowd arrives.
In the evening, we joined the Stones in Stoneville for an evening of music and friends.
And a good time was had by all.
Captain's Blog, Sunday, August 13th, 2017
Wind and rain overnight, but we were good at the wharf.
Some sunny breaks in the afternoon, but still a low fog. We left the dock at 16:30 and cruised up to Petley in the fog. We were not able to tie up at Petley, so we cruised up the sound past Upper Rocky Brook, Monroe and Gin Cove. At Harcourt, we turned and passed by Burgoynes Cove before returning to Lower Lance Cove at 20:00, where we tied up for another night.
Captain's Blog, Monday, August 14th, 2017
It was another quiet night at the wharf in Lower Lance Cove.
In the morning, Barry Laite gave us a ride up to Petley, to visit the All Saints Anglican cemetery for a visit with 3 generations of my family.
Later, we strolled through the old village of Petley and on up the hill to “an everything” store. After buying more stuff than we could carry, we again called upon Barry for another ride, back to Lower Lance Cove. Thanks, Barry.
We departed Lower Lance Cove at 14:30 and set sail for Ireland’s Eye. For the next 2 hours, we sailed with a 20 – 30 kt. wind on the port quarter. After sailing through the tickle at Thoroughfare Rock, we entered Traytown Harbour on the island of Ireland’s Eye.
Traytown Harbour has a reputation for a number of reasons. The people who lived there for generations were resettled in the 1960s, leaving a ghost town. The harbour is a beautiful natural harbour that provides protection in the most severe weather. Today, the harbour is a significant stopover for cruising sailors. Back in 1987, drug smugglers used the harbour to import 30 tons of hashish.
We dropped anchor in the inner pool of Traytown Harbour at 16:30.
Captain's Blog, Tuesday, August 15th, 2017
Today, we launched the dinghy and toured the harbour, then around the headland to the former village of Ireland’s Eye. It was a most relaxing day with great weather.
Captain's Blog, Wednesday, August 16th, 2017
After sleeping in, we departed Traytown Harbour at 10:00.
The weather is overcast, the winds are light and the water is flat for our 4 hour motor across Trinity Bay to Old Perlican. The highlight of the passage was a visit by a pod of dolphins.
We arrived in Old Perlican harbour at 14:00 and tied up at a floating dock, where we were provided with a fresh cod by a generous local fisherman.
The remnants of hurricane Gert are expected to bring wind and rain to the area tomorrow and Friday, meaning that we expect be tied up for few days.
Captain's Blog, Thursday, August 17th, 2017
Today we just hung out, did some laundry and had a long hot shower.
Captain's Blog, Friday, August 18th, 2017
We sleep 'til nine and shortly after getting up, get a knock on the hull. Within 15 minutes we get an invite to Carbonear. Upon our arrival, Ed and Regina treat us to breakfast, before driving us back to the boat. Thanks guys.
With the wind picking up and white caps in the harbor, we batten down the hatches for the night.
Captain's Blog, Saturday, August 19th, 2017
It was a very noisy night, with northerly winds at 30 kts, sometimes gusting to 40 kt. By noon, things calmed down and by evening we had sunshine.
Captain's Blog, Sunday, August 20th, 2017
Today was a much more pleasant day, sun and cloud with a southerly wind. Before departing, we head over to the public wharf to fill our water tanks.
We departed Old Perlican at 07:00. Shortly after our departure, the s/v Finback departed for Harbour Grace. With the wind is out of the south, we unfurl the jib and managed to motor sail comfortably through Baccalieu tickle and into Conception Bay. With the wind now on the nose, we furl the jib and motor down the shore or is it up the shore..
We arrived Holyrood at 17:30, to see the largest number of sailboats that we have seen since Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine.
Captain's Blog, Monday, August 21st, 2017
Today was R & R. We toured the marina and chatted with the Harbour Master. Later in the day, we helped John take his mast off.
We will likely haul out at this marina. We are currently looking for jack stands.
Captain's Blog, Sunday, August 27th, 2017
Well, it has been almost a week since we tied up in Holyrood. We have been busy. We have made the necessary arrangements to be hauled out at Holyrood marina. We have made several visits to St. John's. We have enjoyed a beer with some old friends. We have been invited to a "Jigg's Dinner" at the Terra Nova Yacht Club.
We expect to haul out this week and are booked to fly home the following week.
Captain's Blog, Friday, September 1st, 2017
It's been another busy week. The mast has been pulled and is now on the rack. Gallivanting has been hauled out and is now on the hard. Over the next few days, we will be winterizing the engine and the plumbing.
If all goes well, we plan to fly home at the end of the week
Captain's Blog, Monday, September 11th, 2017
After 12 weeks of cruising the East Coast of Canada, we arrived home last Thursday.
Gallivanting is now put away for the winter.
Since our arrival, we have been busy grocery shopping, cleaning house, getting a haircut, and sometimes reflecting on an awesome summer. We are also in awe of the fact that we survived 12 weeks living in a confined space together. We met so many wonderful people, people who were very helpful in so many ways, providing information, assistance, fresh seafood, transportation and advice.
We are now looking forward to the summer of 2018, when we will cruise the south coast of the island of Newfoundland, before crossing over to Cape Breton. While on the south coast, we plan to include a visit to the French islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon.
See you in the spring.