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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,

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