Monday, June 30, 2014

Carter's Beach, Port Mouton

We managed to tear ourselves away from Shelburne. Who knew our first port would be such a blast? We just thought we were going there to check in. Bradd and Maeve (Sampatico II, Beneteau 45) were delightfully helpful on local information. Other folks have been very helpful too, we cannot seem to get any exercise walking because people from the yacht club keep picking us up! Brad invited Myron to crew on his recently acquired race boat (oops, I do not know the make). Thursday night's race was on then off due to poor visibility, then on again. It did not appear to me that they got a good start. I watched as long as I could, until they were masked in the fog. The winds were light. It must have been a couple hours later that I finally I saw the Class A boats coming to the finish line. Brad's boat was in the lead. I snapped some photos of the finish from the yacht clubhouse. On Saturday, Myron was invited to crew again. This was a longer race, from Shelburne to Lockeport. I do not think the guys did as well on that one, but I am pretty sure they had a good time anyway.

I am not accustomed to these long daylight hours. It is light before 5 am and still somewhat light until around 10 pm. I feel tired, but I cannot blame it all on the daylight. We keep meeting new and interesting people. We talk on all sorts of subjects and suddenly it is midnight. We cruisers know we will probably never see each other again, especially the ones continuing east to Greenland and home, like Denmark. A Danish couple, Signe and Morten (on Komeet, a 38' double-ended, steel ketch) were at our boat last night until 11 pm. Singa brought dinner and I made a key lime pie. While they were here, the paid captain and crew of St Jean II (85 foot ketch), Bruno and Alex, young men from the Algarve (Portugal), also stopped by after their run. We said our 'see you laters' instead of goodbye, but I know the odds. It was a great evening. Since the evening was longer than we planned, we cut today's journey short and hope to head for La Have River tomorrow.

The sail began peaceful enough, the water so calm I could see most of the body of a great white shark lounging near the surface as we passed about 25 feet away. Spooky. Do NOT fall off the boat. Then the winds really picked up and we had quite a romp up the coast. The jib was poled out, we had to reef the main, and we did our direct downwind waddle through swells that rapidly rose to more than 3 feet. We put the pole down, put the sails on the starboard side and made a left turn to come in to Carter's Beach. We passed by Devastation Shoal and around Spectacle Rock which hides Massacre Island. Who comes up with these names?

Nearing land I could smell the trees. I am not sure why the smell of the trees here is so much better than anywhere else we have been with trees. It is truly different here and we love it. I highly recommend this anchorage. Now that the wind has subsided a little, I can hear the waves lapping on the beach. There are some campers on the beach and it looks like some folks are gearing up for a nice family gathering on Canada Day. We hope to help Simonne celebrate tomorrow in West LaHave.

Love to all,

Posted via Ham Radio.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Shelburne, Nova Scotia

We actually did get to meet with up the Brits in PTown on Friday, Iain and Fiona on Ruffian, a Sable 34.  It was a good visit, but they need to stop in Maine before heading east to NS.  We parted on Saturday, such is the sailing/cruising life.  I hope we see them again.  

 Before we left PTown, Myron got to have a long chat with the owner of the Portuguese bakery and we acquired some tasty morsels for our trip east.

Enroute, we met via radio Bradley on ‘Shear Madness,’ a ‘trawler’ as he introduced himself.  They were not close enough to see clearly, but I knew it was a large trawler based upon the information on AIS.  He told me they previously had an ‘Oyster’ sailboat before the trawler, so I knew they were way outside our budget.  They are headed to Labrador coast if the ice pack allows.  He gave us some tips on entering at Shelburne and warned us of the fish farms on the port side, in the event we entered in the dark.  As we were arriving at Shelburne, they were leaving to move before the weather was worked up by a low.  When they passed us by, I realized his humble chats gave no indication of the value of his vessel.  He they are passing us in their 72 foot Nordhavn.  

As our journey took us about 200 miles east, we sailed into a different time zone – “Atlantic.”  We knew something was up when we could see first light near 3 am.  We decided the coldest time of the day were the pre-dawn watches.  Around midnight Sunday, as we were trying to round Cape Sable, I could see the lighthouse light on the starboard side of the bow (wrong side!), when the current set us in one direction.  A bit after Myron came on watch it moved to the port side when the current set us the other direction.  When I came on for my 3 am to 6 am watch, that light was still on the port side.  I thought for sure it would be at our stern.  Our waypoint to turn more north was about six miles away when I came on watch, surely we would be there within the hour.  Then it was five miles and we were down to 4.5 knots (just over an hour to go); then four miles and we were down to 3.9 knots (just over an hour to go); then three miles and down to 2.9 knots (just over an hour to go).  It was like something out of Monty Python, the longest hour that lasted almost my entire watch.  I was getting disheartened.  It was cold to boot.  As dawn broke on the third day of summer, I began to wonder what were we thinking?  I will save some words and give a picture.

All those negative thoughts melted away when our speed ramped back up and we could see the beautiful coast line.  We arrived early afternoon, called the Shelburne Harbor Yacht Club to check in and get diesel.  The check in had to happen first.  They put us on a face dock and we used their pay phone to call the toll-free customs number.  Anne and Bob on Jule III were at the dock to catch our lines and inform us of the simplicity of the check-in for US citizens (as opposed to their German friends who arrived at the same time, same dock, and had to wait for a physical inspection).  Myron called in and I stood by with our documents.  There were questions about the boat, a few about us and suddenly they gave us a number and told Myron he was done.  Myron was not sure how much time we actually got to stay in the country, but I figure they know we cannot handle the cold and will leave soon enough. 

As we were filling out our paperwork with the marina, a small girl tapped me on the leg and held up a flower she had found on the ground.  I told her it was beautiful, she held it up higher and said, in a precious little child’s voice, that it was for me.  I asked why she wanted to give it to me, she said because she liked my hair.  Good grief.  I did not even know this girl’s name and she already had me wrapped around her finger.  She kept an eye on me.  As we packed up to move Hold Fast over to get fuel, she wanted to know if I was going to put the flower in my backpack.  I told her I was afraid it might get crushed, did she want it back.  ‘No’ she said, somehow her eyes getting even larger, ‘I gave it to you.’  At that point, I had to get her name.  She is Capri, her sister is Cali and much more shy, her small baby brother is Crew.  We met dad later, his name is Carl.  I do not know mom’s name, but I gather it starts with a ‘C.’  They are on a 65 foot steel sailing boat, ‘Salty,’ on the mooring next to us headed for Newfoundland.

The workers at the marina and the sailing folks here are so nice, we think we might stay here while we wait for a low to go over.  The moorings here are CAN$16 per day, or seven days for the price of five - if you stay a week.  Dockage is CAN$1.10/foot/day or 7 days for the price of 5.  We took on diesel at CAN$1.49/liter plus 15% HST (“harmonized sales tax” which is a combination of federal and province taxing).  In American speak and at an exchange rate of $1.0254 CAN/USD that is $5.50 per gallon.  Almost Bahamian prices.

Shelburne Habor Marina.  Fuel on left with green dock, face dock on right for checking in, race boats for Thursdays dry docked behind fuel dock, brown building to left was converted to a Center for Arts.

We need to take some time to figure out our sailing plans, how to time some visits and to communicate with those we are visiting.  I asked Myron what was on our agenda today.  He said “to figure out our agenda.”  I have laundry to do.  Sounds pretty high pressure.  Think we will squeeze in a walk before the weather turns.  Except for a lack of chafe gear on the lines, these moorings look bullet proof.  We will test that theory to some extent on Wednesday.

Love to all,

Monday, June 23, 2014

Arrived Shelburne

Hey all we are at Shelburne Harbor Yacht Club on a mooring be here a few days for weather.

Posted via wifi

P-town to Shelburne N.S. 4

Hey all we are almost there, another beautiful night with stars and lots of meteors.
Its strange that first light happens at 3 AM.

Posted via Ham Radio.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

P-town to Shelburne N.S. 3

Hey all, well we should arrive Shelburne tomorrow before noon. Everything is going fine we saw whales and dolphins today always a treat.
This cold (49.5 F) Canadian water makes pure R.O. water at 107 ppm.
Will report position in the morning.
Time 6:20 PM.

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P-town to Shelburne N.S. 2

Hey all we had a quiet night wind stoped so we are motoring.
ETA Tomorrow Morning.
Time 5:41 AM

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Saturday, June 21, 2014

P-town to Shelburne N.S.

Hey all we got underway right at noon and motor up and around Cape Cod. Now under sail with wind from just aft of abeam doing 6.5 knots. Our ETA Shelburne is Monday morning.
Time 6:12pm Heading 84 Deg M

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Provincetown, MA – Cape Cod

There was nothing in particular about Onset Bay that was keeping us there.  Instead, we did have some scheduled maintenance to do, as well as some surprise repairs/maintenance.  We thank God that the surprises happen in such secure spots.  Here is a picture of Hold Fast at anchor:

An Onset Bay sunset viewed from Hold Fast.  Not a bad place to do a little maintenance...

The brushes arrived at Onset Bay Marina.  The folks at OBM were kind enough to let us ship to them, since we did try to order the brushes through their parts department.  It was a short repair job for Myron to install the brushes.  Check that box.  The scheduled maintenance included changing oil on the engine and fuel injector pump, adjusting the valves, checking the raw water impeller and flushing the fresh water fluids.  Myron did not like the look of the fresh water and decided to inspect the engine’s fresh water heat exchange.  He discovered that it was partially plugged with a mystery substance.  Further disassembling of the fresh water system revealed that the hose to the heat expansion tank was oversized and someone, prior to our ownership, adjusted the size of the tank’s pipe with marine-tex.  Mystery substance solved.  Myron installed our spare heat exchange, replaced some hoses and hose clamps and reassembled the fresh water system.  Then we ran up the engine to flush the system.  After about 3 to 4 minutes, the engine would sputter and quit.  Myron would bleed air out of the fuel system and I would start it again.  Same schmo after 3 or 4 minutes.  After a few different analyses, Myron figured out it was the fuel filters.   OK, so we cannot quite get 1,400 hours on our fuel filters.  We thank God for the discovery at anchor rather than in a current waiting on a bridge.  

We did have to wait at the RR bridge this morning, just after entering the Cape Cod Canal.  All the time we were anchored at Onset, I would watch that bridge.  I knew it closed just after 7 am and 4 pm, but I had not seen it close at 9:30 am.  That is the time we left because it was near slack tide, which makes it much easier to accomplish the turn from the Onset Channel to the Cape Cod Canal.  When we came in to Onset, there was a four knot current running.  Do-able, but exciting.

After departing the canal, our sail to Provincetown (AKA PTown) never developed.  The winds were behind us at maybe five knots.  Four of us (sailboats) had the same destination.  Three of us are here.  Some hard core Brits have not arrived yet.  I speculate that they changed destinations to accommodate the wind.  I am disappointed.  We had hoped to meet up with them about sailing to Nova Scotia. 

PTown is packed with tourists and a large population of eccentric folks.  Not really our style.  However, we did find a Portuguese bakery and deli and I hope to return to that shop tomorrow.  I will say this about the area:  they are not welcoming to boats at anchor.  The mooring fields have expanded to the point that only about three boats can anchor on the west side.  Hey, we are in, and we will make the best of it.

We are waiting on a weather window for two days, two nights on the Atlantic Ocean up to Nova Scotia.  Given the trend for forecasting experienced up here thus far, it feels like rolling dice.

Love to all,

Posted via Mifi.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Staying at Onset for a Bit

We met one of the other cruisers yesterday morning, Mary and Dave on ‘Mon Amie,’ a Sabre 38 in pristine shape.  They summer over here at anchor and Mary is the net control for Cruizeheimers on Thursday mornings.  They gave us some local knowledge until they were interrupted by a call to pick up their visiting granddaughter.  We left to go exploring.  Our biggest goal yesterday was to order brushes for our autopilot.  The price was stunning at $82 a pair.  They should be here Friday.  In the meantime, we are looking for brush material to make our own, estimated cost probably $6 a pair plus our labor (yes I help Myron).

We used the free wifi at Marc Anthony’s pizza to get the down low on the brushes.  We needed to eat lunch anyway.  Everyone so far has been very friendly, they just talk with a funny accent and talk faster as well as do things faster than you will ever find in the Bahamas or Deltaville.  I say they are helpful, they expect you to answer their question quickly or they kind of loose patience with you.  At least that was the case with the Italian guys at the pizza joint.  By the way, great pizza.  We will do that again sometime.

It is a quaint town and I like it.  We will be here at least until the part is received and installed, and until there is a proper weather window to continue through the Cape Code Canal and northeast.  This is all such new territory for us.  It is fun to explore.  I make frequent references to a map to ascertain what city we are near, and even to know the state.

We are currently at Cup 2 CafĂ©, using their wifi.  We seek these places out since our AT&T (Straight Talk) service does not allow us to use hot spot or to tether to a computer.  Incomprehensible.  Data is data, what do they care?  We find it too tedious to do email, research parts and get weather over a tiny phone.  Today’s walk will be several miles for this coffee shop and to run down some spares.  I do not mind the exercise, I just try to stay off the busy streets and out of the rainy weather.  I figure we will get a handle on the bus schedule right about the time we leave!

There must be a lot of Portuguese folks here, because people know how to pronounce our name…and spell it!

Love to all,

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Onset - Massachusetts

It has been a good trip so far. I saw huge turtles when were about 30 or 40 miles off the Jersey coast. At first I thought they were floats for pots. It was only after I saw one up close that I realized it was a turtle. The shell was sun bleached and had barnacles on it. The thing was huge and seemed to not give a care about us passing by. It continued to swim along with its head down in the water. Once I realized what they were, I saw many more and pointed them out to Myron. Not many dolphins, but I did have one come up even with the cockpit, jump up to take a look at me and then swim away. We saw plenty of sharks. They removed our desire to do any fishing.
After three days and two nights on the Atlantic Ocean, I was glad to see over a hundred open moorings at Block Island, Rhode Island. The Harbormaster, Steve, told us that we are about two weeks ahead of the season. He said from July 1 to Labor Day we would not find an open mooring, or may get in a fist fight trying to get one that was just vacated. On Labor Day, it will take all day for all the boats to leave the harbor. Apparently, it is quite a party town. Yes, very glad to hit it off season as that is not really our scene, especially at $45 a night for a mooring.
When we arrived at Onset and dropped anchor, I already liked this place better. We will better know tomorrow how we feel about the place, but it already seems a lot more low key.
It is definitely cool here, literally. The water was 55 degrees off Block Island. The water heated up to a balmy 60 degrees here at Onset. Myron lit the cole stove last night. Even though we barely saw the sun today, I think we will do without the cole stove tonight since it is not as drizzly and rainy as yesterday. There are a couple of other cruising boats anchored here. Hopefully we can meet them tomorrow.
Time to have dinner and then get some rest.
Love to all,

Posted via Ham Radio.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Arrived Block Island RI

Hey All, we are on a mooring at Block Island.

Posted via Ham Radio.

Deltaville to Block Island 5

Hey All, we are almost there with ETA of 6 PM today then on to Onset tomorrow.
Time:5:55 AM

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Sunday, June 8, 2014

Deltaville to Block Island 4

Hey All, We are off of Atlantic City and having a good passage.
Time:6:18 PM
ETA Block Island: tomorrow afternoon.
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Deltaville to Block Island 3

Hey all, we had good night with light winds and bright moon.
Time:5:55 AM

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Saturday, June 7, 2014

Deltaville to Block Island

Sorry about that, we are going to Block Island not rock.

Deltaville to Rock Island 2

Hey all just quick position update.
Time: 5:26 PM
All is well.

Posted via Ham Radio.

Deltaville to Rock Island

Hey all we left Deltaville around 6 AM heading for Rock Island, should arrive some time Monday afternoon.
Currently off of Cape Charles.
Time 1:05 PM

Posted via Ham Radio.