2019 will be our 3rd year cruising the East coast of Canada. Following a cruise down the Nova Scotia shore, we plan to cross over to Maine and down the New England coast to New York. From New York, we will head up the Hudson River to Albany and into Lake Ontario via the Erie Canal.
Saturday, March 9, 2019
The winter of 2018-19 has been especially windy in maritime Canada. A windstorm in late November made a mess of our cover.
Fortunately, our service provider re-covered the boat as soon as the winds settled down.
It is now March and spring is in the air, the sun is getting warmer and we are getting anxious to take the cover off the boat. This year, the vernal equinox occurs at 5:58 PM on March 20th.
Soon it will be time to launch Gallivanting for another season. We plan to start with a short visit to Bras d’Or lake, before heading down the eastern seaboard.
On the hook, near Baddeck on Bras d’Or lake in August 2018.
Saturday, June 15, 2019
Spring has finally arrived, but it is not yet summer. The plan is to start getting the boat ready some time next week.
The getting ready includes; removal of the cover, repairs to the wind instrument, replacement of spreader lights, replacement of windlass switches, rebuilding the BBQ and if all goes well, the installation of a code zero furler.
I am hoping to be able to step the mast before the end of June, which will be followed by a shakedown cruise in the Bras d’Or Lakes.
Sunday, June 30, 2019
It is now Summer, with a forecast high for today of 14 Celsius. After an excellent road trip from Montreal, I arrived in Sydney, Cape Breton at sunset on Wednesday, June 19.
By June 26, repairs have been completed to the mast wiring, the mast is in the hole and Gallivanting is tied up at a dock. The past week has been spent rigging and cleaning the boat.
A shakedown cruise in the Bras d’Or Lakes. is still planned.
Friday, July 5, 2019
It never fails that I will have to go up the mast at least once a year. Between rain showers, I was able to make some minor adjustments to the rigging. That was Tuesday.
Also on Tuesday, with help of a new crew member, we comfortably put on the sails. By 1400, we departed Dobson YC for a shakedown cruise through the Big Bras d’Or channel and into the Bras d’Or Lakes.
Poor planning resulted in a bit of a rough ride through the Big Bras d’Or channel. The out flowing tidal current was being met with a significant sea coming in off the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Never fun.
Once inside the Seal Island bridge, things calmed down considerably.
After 2 days in the lakes, we made a much more comfortable exit, returning to Dobson YC at 1900, today.
Sunday, July 7, 2019
Another beautiful day. The past couple of days were spent preparing for our eventual departure down the Nova Scotia shore.
Monday, July 8, 2019
Closed up the boat at 0515 and started my 15 hour drive to Montreal, arriving in Montreal at 2015. The weather was perfect.
Saturday, July 13, 2019
Yesterday, we celebrated Mom’s 90th birthday.
Best Friends Forever…………., Forever Young
Saturday, July 20, 2019
We returned home from Montreal on Monday and on Wednesday, we caught a flight back to Sydney. The early and direct flight afforded us the time in the afternoon to provision with groceries and beer.
On Thursday, we carefully checked the tides and tidal currents in the Big Bras d’Or Channel and departed the Dobson Yacht Club at 0800.
The wind was out of the North at 15 to 20 kts and after heavy rain overnight, the skies were beginning to clear. At the Seal Island Bridge, we got a boost from the 2.0 kt current going into the lakes. At 15:30, we dropped anchor in Maskell’s Harbour.
On Friday, we weighed anchor at 09:00 and headed for the Barra Strait, passing the lift bridge at 10:30.
Sunday, July 21, 2019
We woke up to a calm and warm morning. With the temperature rising, we decided to transit the canal early.
After departing the marina at 09:00, we transited the canal at 09:45 and set a course for Cape Canso.
As we neared Cape Canso at 15:00, a severe thunderstorm warning was issued by Environment Canada. We decided to seek shelter and entered into a remote and somewhat hazardous area of the coast to find an anchorage. We dropped anchor in 40 feet of water at 16:00.
Within a couple of hours, the thunder and the rain arrived.
Monday, July 22, 2019
After getting up in the dark, we weighed anchor (including the salad) at 05:45.
Despite “Red sky in the morning, sailor take warning”, we enjoyed the sunrise.
As we proceeded out of the sheltered anchorage, we noticed a significant swell left over from yesterday.
The winds started out of the Northwest, which was favorable, but by noon the winds were again out of the Southwest, which was not.
We dropped anchor at 19:00 in a small cove near Mushaboom.
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
Tuesday – Woke up to rain, drizzle and fog. We departed the anchorage near Mushaboom at 08:15 and dodged rocks and shoals for the next hour. Sailed for about an hour in the morning, with winds dying off to less than 5 kts in the afternoon. A heavy shower was followed by clearing skies. Arrived at Bishop’s Landing on the Halifax waterfront at 17:15.
Following a nice seafood dinner at a local restaurant, we enjoyed a visit from some family.
Wednesday – Despite light rain for most of the day, we were able to walk the Halifax waterfront and visit the markets and shops. We spent most of the afternoon at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, we thoroughly enjoyed.
In the evening, we enjoyed another restaurant outing with my brother Gary and his wife Donna.
Saturday, July 27, 2019
Thursday – We cast off from Bishop’s Landing and headed into the Bedford Basin. Following a short visit to the Dartmouth Yacht Club for fuel, we headed out the Harbour past Halifax.
Big Boat……….. Little Boat
Learning to sail……
A great place to visit………..
Off Chebucto Head at 16:30………..
Dropped anchor in Rogues Roost at 19:20
Friday – After a very calm and quite night on the hook, we departed Rogue’s Roost at 08:30. We tried to sail in the PM, but not enough wind, ……..but we saw our first whale of the season.
We arrived at The Rope Loft in Chester at 13:00, did a beer run in the afternoon and had dinner at restaurant in the evening.
Chester, Nova Scotia
Saturday – We departed Chester on a beautiful calm and warm morning at 07:45. Another heat warning from Environment Canada. Very light winds all day.
We arrived at the La Have Yacht Club in very pleasant weather at 13:00.
Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Sunday – We departed La Have Yacht Club in the fog at 09:30. The fog quickly turned into a big blue sky.
La Have Yacht Club on a summer’s morning……..
Departing La Have in the fog………..
After seeing our first dolphins of the season, we set sail in light winds and sailed all the way into Brooklyn Marina, tying up at 15:30.
Monday – Today was a very long and lumpy day.
We arrived Shelburne Harbour Yacht Club tired at 19:15.
Wednesday – Today is best described as a day in the fog. We departed Shelburne in dense fog at 08:30. After 9 hours, we caught a glimpse of the wind generators in Pubnico.
The Wind Mills of West Pubnico
We arrived Pubnico at 18:30. The harbour was full of fishing boats, in some cases rafted 5 deep. After contacting the wharfinger, we were told that we could raft up to lobster boat. After rafting up, we walked over to the Dennis Point Café for a lobster dinner.
If the weather is right, we will be departing for Maine in the morning.
Sunday, August 4, 2019
Thursday – We departed Pubnico in fog at 10:00. As we departed, we chatted with a seaweed harvester, who was transporting a full load.
A full load……..
A summer job……..
It was 13:00 before we could clear the coast, which has many reefs, rocks awash and significant tidal currents. Once outside, we set a course for Rockland, Maine, an overnighter.
By afternoon, we were able to see blue sky, but at the surface the advection fog continued for most of the passage.
Sunset in the Gulf of Maine………
Friday – A calm morning allowed us to add 20 liters of diesel to the on board tank. After 27 long hours, we arrived in Rockland, Maine at 13:00, which is now 12:00 Eastern Standard Time.
We tied up at the public dock and spent most of the afternoon wrestling with the new CBP Roam app. The new CBP Roam app can now be used to enter the United States.
Entering Rockland Harbour…….
In the evening, we tied up to a mooring and very quickly fell asleep.
Saturday – We dinghied ashore and started our tour of the town.
The annual Maine Lobster Festival was underway on the waterfront and a parade had just started. Our priority was to get a phone and access to the internet.
The Maine Lobster Festival……..
In the evening, a sudden shower interrupted a beer and we made for a mad rush back to the boat to close hatches. Needless to say, by the time we got there, the rain had stopped.
After the rain……..
Sunday – We are still enjoying Rockland. Boat maintenance and clean-up dominated the day. We re-fueled and prepared for a morning departure.
Sunday, August 11, 2019
Monday – Rum cake for breakfast…… We departed Portsmouth under a big sky at 08:00. The winds were WNW at 10 kts. Our destination today was Boothbay Harbor where we tied up to a mooring at 17:00.
This small fishing village is a popular tourist destination in summer, with the popular resident being Fritz, a 23 lb lobster, who resides at the Maine State Aquarium.
Tuesday – We departed Boothbay Harbor at 11:30.
We motor sailed in light winds and clear skies for most of the day, arriving in Harpswell Harbor at 16:00. Being a not so busy harbor, we decided to drop anchor for a change. The anchor held well meaning that we had a very quite and restful night.
Wednesday – We weighted anchor at 06:45 and departed Harpswell Harbor in fog and light winds.
When cruising the Maine coast in the fog and during lobster season, one must constantly maintain a lookout for lobster boats and lobster pot markers.
There are strings on these things that can easily foul a prop.
Not all Lobster boats have AIS, so RADAR is a “must have”.
We arrived Portsmouth at 16:00, just as the thunderheads were forming. The evening was a major light show.
Thursday – After heavy downpours overnight, we decided to spend another day in Portsmouth. We took the opportunity to top up with fuel and water, changed a frayed engine belt and changed transmission fluid. It’s all part of boating.
Friday – We departed Portsmouth in sunshine at 08:00. The day started on a beam reach but slowly evolved into motor-sailing.
We arrived in the Marblehead area at about 15:00. Being that it was Friday and there were several events going on this weekend, getting a mooring was going to be a problem. After checking both Marblehead and Salem Harbors, it seems as if we were out of luck. If you are unfamiliar with this area, there are more boats here than you shake a stick at.
Even though we arrived in Salem Harbor at 16:00, it was 17:30 before we tied up (at a dock).
Saturday – Our second day in Salem was busy one. We used uber to get a propane tank refill, we did a large load of laundry and we did groceries.
Sunday – We departed Salem at 09:45 and went by Boston at about 11:30.
Having enjoyed Scituate Harbor in 2009, we decided to return and picked up a mooring at the Scituate Harbor Yacht Club at 14:00.
Saturday, August 17, 2019
Wedneday – We spent three nights on a mooring in Scituate Harbor, where we visited the town and replenished some provisions.
Today, we transit the Cape Cod Canal, which cuts through the narrow neck between Cape Cod Bay in the north and Buzzards Bay to the south. Without this canal, boaters would have a rather long passage out and around Cape Cod. That being said, there are other challenges for a sailboat. The difference between the timing of the tides between the east end and west end of the canal is 2.5 and 3 hours. This results in a tidal current that could, at times, exceed 6 knots. When entering from the east, boaters have to be able to anticipate the westward current in the canal, otherwise a eastward current will significantly hamper your passage.
The other consideration is the wind. When you exit the canal you are heading southeast through Buzzards Bay. If the wind is out of the southeast (against the current), you could be in for a rough ride. So, some planning was required.
We entered the canal, heading west, at 11:00. The current is westward, boosting our SOG (speed over ground), at times to 10 kts.
Cape Cod Canal…….
We exited the canal into Buzzards Bay at 11:45. The winds were out of the north, which made for a comfortable ride to Cuttyhunk Harbor, where we tied up to a mooring at 15:30.
Thursday – We departed Cuttyhunk at 09:30 on a heading to Newport, Rhode Island. With the winds out of the NNE at 10 kts, we were able to sail most of the way.
Sakonnet Point Light (2009)
Castle Hill Lighthouse (2019)
House on a rock in Narragansett Bay (2009)
Rose Island Lighthouse (2009)
Upon our arrival in Newport Harbor a very pleasant Harbor Master guided us to an area of the harbor reserved for visiting sailors. We dropped anchor at 14:30.
In the evening, we dinghied in to the “Black Pearl” for grub and grog.
Saturday – Still in Newport……..
Wednesday, August 21, 2019
We have been on the hook in Newport, Rhode Island for the past six days. Newport is a major international boating center as well as a major tourist destination in the summertime. Most days, we dinghied in to the waterfront, where we walked, visited shops and enjoyed lunch at the local restaurants.
We weighted anchor at 08:30. Next stop, the fuel dock, where we topped up with diesel and water, and departed Newport at 09:00.
Once out of the harbor, we were once again into the fog. As we neared Point Judith, we are dealing a significant thunderstorm, with heavy rain. After the storm, the fog lifted and Block Island was in sight.
We dropped anchor in the Great Salt Pond on Block Island at 13:30.
Friday, August 23, 2019
Thursday – After a quiet night on the hook, we exited the Great Salt Pond at 10:00. For the next 4 hours, we motor sailed across Block Island Sound in the fog.
Block Island (Google Earth)
The Great Salt Pond (Google Earth)
We picked up a mooring in Stonington, Connecticut at 13:00 and walked the town in the afternoon.