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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Ingonish

Yesterday was full of surprises. It started about 5 am when Myron decided the weather and tides might actually be conducive to a trip outside and north. The engine and dinghy were stowed away, the anchor was up and we were on our way by about 5:30 am. *YAWN* All before the coffee was put on. Our route was modified to run us along the shores of some small islands aptly nicknamed 'Bird Islands.' I was thrilled to see puffins! They flew around the boat as we motor-sailed along.

It was a blessing to have a rare, sunny clear day. We rode the winds downwind until we hit a breathless pocket near Cape Smokey. It is quite a cape. It has a significant influence on the weather. As we rounded the cape to turn toward the narrow channel entrance for Ingonish, we found out where the wind went. It rushes down the other side of that mountain cape and blasts the water below. We wrangled the main in before approaching the channel, which was well marked but not in agreement with our chartplotter. Granted we are not getting all GPS satellites and our error is sometimes showing over 40 feet.

The guide mentioned several alternatives to anchoring, but we were interested in the 350' sturdy, albeit abandoned, wharf. These places are new to us and we do not really know what to expect when we arrive. We found the wharf populated by several sailboats and a little powerboat. The folks on board were happy to help us with lines. We soon discovered that four of the sailboats represented a cruising club out of the Royal Canadian Squadron from Halifax, stopping over for the night on their clockwise navigation of Cape Breton. We had been introduced via email to Bill and Chris on the fifth boat, 'Plover,' a Dickerson made on LaTrappe River in the Chesapeake.

We were informed we may need to adjust our position on the wharf because a 50' Hinkley, 'Remedios' had motor problems and was being towed in. She drew too much to put her on the end of the wharf, so we moved there to the shallow water and created an opening. Franz and Mary had a very able crew visiting on board (Hugh, Katlin and Liz) who stepped up to the task when Franz decided to decline the tow and bring Remedios in under sail. They said the most difficult part was sailing her into that small channel. At one point they were down to a half knot and hoping not to drift into the gravel bars on either side. Once in, they did a 'sail by' of the wharf to assess the situation and then requested that a dinghy be on hand. Myron and I quickly launched the dinghy and installed the motor. I put on my gloves and we sped out there to assist. I was impressed how well they worked as a team. Franz would call out speed and the crew would take in sail. It was a delicate balance in keeping control of Remedios but yet slowing enough to get her stopped in time. We were asked only at the end to assist and that was to take the stern line to stop them. I believe Franz meant for us to take it to the wharf, but the distance was great and time was short. I gripped the line as best I could, braced myself against the bow of the dinghy while Myron put everything our motor had into reverse. We were shipping water into the dinghy but ultimately the forward motion was stopped and we took the stern line to shore. All was well. No boats or bodies were hurt. Just another adventure. We found out afterward that Remedios weighs an impressive 75,000 pounds. She had shredded a belt and some local mechanics were immediately on scene to ascertain what to order. It pays to know people and Franz knows the manager of the golf course nearby.

Apparently all the folks in the sailboats knew each other and had pre-planned a dinner party at the Keltic Lodge. They graciously invited us to come along. Lovely people. It was a wonderful evening and I am glad we accepted.

The four boats in the cruising club left just after 5:30 am this morning under an orange sunrise. Hold Fast, Remedios and Plover remain at the wharf - although Plover plans to leave this afternoon for Newfoundland. I am not sure of our plans. I just made coffee. I plan to drink some. That is as far as I am planning right now.

We have seen loons, bald eagles, a pipefish (like a straight sea horse), seals, great white sharks, puffins. We still hope to see a moose, but who can complain about the sightseeing thus far?

Love to all,
Dena

Posted via Ham Radio.
{GMST}46|37.729|N|060|24.979|W|Moored|{GEND}

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Baddeck

Yesterday we motor sailed to Baddeck, dropped anchor practically in the middle of the harbor - and started a trend. We can clearly see the Alexander Graham Bell Park/Museum from our anchor spot. I am not sure we will have time to visit during this stay. Baddeck seems nice enough. I must point out that the 20+ SW wind rips straight into the anchorage. We are glad the holding is good. So far in every anchorage, the winds die down to a slight breeze during the night, or quit altogether. Last night was no exception.

Yesterday was the first bad day for biting flies. Fortunately they fly rather slowly and our kill rate has been in the 90 percentile. As a result, I do not begrudge the wind. It keeps the flies away from the boat while we are at anchor.

The sailing school let loose their newbies in prams shortly after we arrived. Within 60 seconds of departing the docks, I observe a pram and a sailboat collide. On a couple of occasions we started to spring on deck to fend off the prams from hitting our hull, but instructors arrived in time to redirect. One pram turned into the wind to avoid us and the 20 knot winds pushed him backwards, filling the little boat with water. I hear 'help, help' and then watch the instructors arrive with a small bail bucket. At least the water is a tepid 66F and not 50F, but pride is pride.

Will send more news sometime after it actually happens.

Love to all,
Dena

Posted via Ham Radio.
{GMST}46|05.954|N|060|44.717|W|Anchored|{GEND}

Friday, July 25, 2014

MacDonalds Cove - The Other Side of Marble Mountain

After the last post, we were able to go ashore and spend some time visiting with Bill and Betty Jean. We got more history on the place and got to know some great new people. I hope we can visit again on our way back down.

Today was too much of a rainy day for hiking, but visibility was good enough to move to a new location. Our goal was Blue Cove next to Orangedale. We pulled in and, while we do not mind the shallow 8 to 10 feet, there was not much swing room in that snug cove for Hold Fast. Her weight can be a bit strenuous for the public docks. When the anchor would not set, the decision was easily made to retrace back to a larger cove we passed on the way in. Get this, this cove is also called MacDonalds Cove. I think this MacDonald guy got around.

There is no internet here, but cell reception looks promising. We are keeping our ear to the radio now that we know the Barra Strait Bridge is not operational. It sounded like it was good news about 2 pm today, but then even with generators something was awry. Just as well stay tucked in here until that problem is resolved. The bridge is between us and Baddeck.

We put the motor back on the dinghy and sped over to Blue Cove to chatted for a bit with the convenience store owners. The wife thought we were surely joking when we said we were from Florida. We were told what ice cream they had was what we could find. After a bit of digging through the freezer chest, we came up with a couple of dated Eskimo pie looking products. Close enough.

With chocolate smudges still on our hands (and probably face), we walked over to the Orangedale Railway Museum. It has changed hands in the last year, accompanied by a change of hours. They are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays now - glad we got here when we did because I enjoyed walking through the old cars as well as chatting with the very young lad assigned to watch shop. He took us into the railway snow plow. It is filled with wood burning stoves and has huge wings on each side that can be extended out to deflect the snow further off the tracks. I know, we are weird, we like that kind of old stuff.

As we came back to Hold Fast, three boats were working into the anchorage. We believe it was some of the crowd that failed to get through the bridge. They are now rafted together on one anchor. It is plenty secure in here for such an arrangement.

I have now seen two loons. No moose yet, but I am hopeful.
Love to all,
Dena

Posted via Ham Radio.
{GMST}45|54.364|N|061|04.743|W|Anchored|{GEND}

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Helpful Guide to the Lakes

We were told that the guides for Nova Scotia are lacking and probably not worth the investment.  The U.S. Sailing Directions, Pub 145, provides helpful general information and is available for free download, but is really intended to support large vessels.  While searching the internet in Deltaville we found one guide, at the nice investment price of 'free,' that is proving very helpful for the Bras d'Or Lakes.  All they ask is that we provide updates if we find something askew in the guide or something new to add.

Here is a link to the website that allows you to download the guide mentioned above, as well as a few other guides:  Cruising Cape Breton

Happy exploring,
Dena

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

MacDonalds Cove



Found more pictures to share. Here is one of Hold Fast hidden by the fog, taken from near the shore at Yankee Cove:

Here is a view from the other side of Yankee Cove - do you see her?  That is why we took the GPS with us on our dinghy adventure - so we could find Hold Fast again!

What a difference a sunny day makes.  Here is Hold Fast at anchor between two boats at the Crammond Islands.

This morning we strapped up our hiking boots and went in search for a trail at the Crammond Islands that would lead us to some ruins of a former farm.  We never could find a decent path into the island’s interior.  After several tries, we abandoned the idea and opted for lunch.  The other two boats left our little anchorage.  We were tempted to stay put, nice and secluded, but there is more we want to see, and we did not get our hiking fix yet.

We left the motor on the dinghy and pulled it to MacDonalds Cove, about an hour north.  It is near Marble Mountain, which is visibly obvious from most places on the larger lake given that the quarry scars have not healed over.  As we arrived, the only boat in the anchorage was leaving, giving us our choice of an anchor spot.  We are tucked in behind a natural gravel breakwater and quite pleased with this protected cove.  

We quickly headed out of the cove, past Clark's Cove and to the community maintained wharf and beached the dinghy in the adjacent sand.  If you bring a boat in here it is $7 per day to tie up.  Our goal was to find either a small store with an ice cream, or a trail, or both.  It was a hike just to get up to the highway.  We asked a woman working on the flowers at the community center.  She apologized for their lack of a store with ice cream, but she did offer to give us a cold soda and told us how to take the dirt road up to the quarry.  We thanked her, declined the soda and set off for the quarry.  Along the way we met a man named Bill who has a house and dock a couple hundred feet from where we are anchored.  He gave us a lot of history on the place and invited us to stop by his house for an ice cream cone, as he had already heard of our plight.  Here is a picture of Bill's dock at our stern.  His house is not in the picture:

It must have been 80F today.  We are parched and tired from our several hour hike.  Maybe tomorrow we will go check on Bill.  There just might be ice cream involved.  Also, the community center has game night tomorrow 7:15.  We are pondering sticking around, unless we perceive the games might get too crazy. 

Love to all,
Dena


Posted via wifi.
{GMST}45|49.890|N|061|01.038|W|Anchored|{GEND} 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Crammond Islands

St. Peter's was a very nice town to visit. It took a bit, but we finally found a church for Sunday morning. Twenty or thirty of us met in the back of a fire station. We accepted their invitation to return Sunday night. It was a blessing to know them. This morning we did a short hike to St. Peter's canal, across the lock and then up to Mount Grenville. It felt good to get some cardio in and the view was well worth it.

After obtaining a last few grocery items, we slipped the mooring with Marble Head on our minds. As we wound through the lake toward our destination, we noticed that the two boats in front of us were headed the same way. That was all it took to alter our plans to consider Pringle Island or Crammond Islands. After a little discussion, we felt Crammond would be more protected should we have a thunderstorm tonight, and it was not much further. As we turned in, taking in the beauty of the undeveloped coastline, I saw two sailboats anchored a good distance apart. We got closer and I realized the people were swimming near each of their boats. I guess 66F looks pretty welcoming after coming from 42F water. I have no urge whatsoever to jump in.

Myron spent a good deal of time on the internet back in St. Peter's researching hiking trails near appealing anchorages. One of the nice things about the lakes is that we can get in a hike and wait noon to relocate to another anchorage. We are very glad we came here.

We do not have internet anymore and doubt we will have any until we get to Baddeck.

Love to all,
Dena

Posted via Ham Radio.
{GMST}45|45.180|N|061|05.419|W|Underway|{GEND}

Picture Update

Our good internet in St. Peter's allowed me to upload some photos to share.  Please click on the photo galley to the right to see the new posts.  I have yet to see a moose or a loon, although we hear the loons at night.  To entice you to click on the link, here are a couple of shots.

Myron on bow of Brad's boat, helping tweak the headstay before the race (Shelburne).


Sunset at Carter's Beach.

Maggi's shot this picture from her house, of us beginning to launch the dinghy. Yes, I think it is always sunny up the LaHave River since the water is so much warmer.

A serene morning at Eric and Ellen's mooring in Deep Cove.

In my opinion, this colorful shoreline viewed from Vince's mooring in Purcell's Cove, was the quintessential picture of Nova Scotia, at least in summer.

I hope that entices you to go enjoy the other pictures as well.

Love to all,
Dena

Saturday, July 19, 2014

St. Peter’s – Cape Breton

There was no cell phone service or internet at Yankee Cove.  We took Thursday off, caught up on some rest, and addressed some boat items, including rearranging refrigerated items because the old one bailed for the third time.  No worries, it was the back-up unit Myron got for helping someone.  He has an interim solution to cut an opening between the two refrigerators and let one unit handle the load.  Mañana (not today), it is just not hot enough up here to worry about it for now.  As a matter of fact, it was cold enough to us that Myron lit a fire each morning and each night.  The water temperature was about 47F.  The fire keeps the inside of the boat nice and dry, especially when he puts coal in and the inside of the boat gets to about 80F!

On Friday we launched the dinghy and explored the waters surrounding Yankee Cove.  We took the hand held GPS with us just in case the fog closed in again.  It was such a relief to see blue sky.  The solar panels had to come out of their slumber and get back to work.  There was no fish farm to be found in our little bay.  During our exploration of the bay’s edge, we heard a workboat speeding through the fog and then appear near us.  With a quick wave from the driver without missing a beat, he weaved through a creek and disappeared again in the fog.   Of course we followed.  That little creek led into another bay, where we found the stored the nets and an operational fish farm.  Myron thought that bay was even more beautiful than Yankee Cove, but too risky to get the big boat into it.  As a side note, I do wish they would use red or yellow floats rather than black, as black floats are very hard to see in the fog.

Our 20 to 25 knots materialized Friday afternoon and then disappeared again by midnight.  Today was supposed to be 15 to 20 knots out of the northwest, but it was much less and then swung back to the southwest.  Something we have noticed in Canada is that we cannot find any bouys that give weather information (wind, swell height and period, temperatures).  When we are having trouble with forecasts in the states, the bouys are a big help in getting information real time, even while we are on the move (can pick them up over HAM radio).

Today’s trip was easy enough.  We had good visibility departing our anchorage – probably a good thing we could not see what we were getting into when we came in!  Lots and lots and lots of rocks.  We timed rounding Cape Canso to be about slack low tide, and that appeared to be a good decision.  We had light winds on our beam.  Before we knew it the water temperature was nearing 60F and we were entering the St. Peter’s canal to go into the Bras d’Or Lakes.  The folks at the lock were as easy going and nice as could be.  There is no schedule, so they told us to come right to the lock and they would grab our lines, they would have us through in no time.  We got a bunch of materials about places and events on the lakes, some pins, a sticker and a key float.  Then we got the run down on how they will drop us two feet and when they will open the bridge.  Easy peasy.  Locals were fishing in and near the lock, eavesdropping on our conversation.

We yelled thanks and goodbye as we passed through the swing bridge.  When I turned forward to look at the lake we were entering, my jaw dropped.  I mustered an “oh my gosh!” and Myron was making this throaty ‘cat ate the canary’ laughing sound.  “Oh yeah” he says, “it was worth it!”  We have only seen a ½ mile of the lakes and we love it!  Perfect evergreen trees rimmed in by blue water and a blue sky dotted with little white clouds.  We have shed our flowlies, fleeces and wool socks and are back in shorts and sandals.  The cockpit enclosure is opened back up.  I think the air temperature must be 20F more on the lakes than Yankee Cove.

We took a mooring to make it easy to do laundry, get groceries and get internet.  Now that we are here, we need to figure out where we are going on the lakes! 

Love to all,
Dena

Posted via wifi.
{GMST}45|39.744|N|060|52.528|W|Moored|{GEND}

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Yankee Cove

Forecast for Fourchu: 20-25 knots, rain, patches of fog; Actual: 5 knots with thick fog

I know there is wind out there somewhere because our thick fog was accompanied by rather inconvenient two meter swells. Glad it was a short day. CCGS says fog will lift Thursday night. Maybe a day off is in order. Maybe two. If I do not get sun, I get cranky. I recognize that is evident in the words I write.

We are sharing this cove with a fish farm, somewhere. I never did see it as we came in. I imagine that this is a pretty spot, based upon what I can make out of the shoreline. We had to come back out into deep water to find mud to make the anchor happy. We have just over 180 feet of chain out.

I think it is time for jalapeno poppers and ginger beer. Sorry Barry. Not sure any of the Propeller inventory will survive the trip if the sun does not shine soon.

By the way, today's forecast for Bras d'Or Lakes: 10-15 knots, sunshine; Actual: same (according to some famous surfer gal interviewed on a local radio news show while she transited the lock on a paddle board).

Love to all,
Dena

Posted via Ham Radio.
{GMST}45|13.937|N|061|09.625|W|Anchored|{GEND}

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Fisherman's Harbour

The 20 to 25 knots never materialized, not even 10. We watched the wind indicators swing in circles in earnest to find a breeze, influenced only by Hold Fast's miserable rolling from port to starboard on breathless seas. Today was a burn of our precious diesel.

Myron checked us in on the Cruizeheimers Net this morning. Dyad noted our position and commented that it is a beautiful area. We would have no idea. Once we left the anchorage, which was indeed beautiful, we saw nothing but fog. Visibility was around 6 boat lengths, sometimes less. As we said before, we are used to that from California, however it can get a little stressful entering an unfamiliar harbor. When we came near shore, visibility opened up and allowed us to evaluate whether to tie up at the dock. Once we brought Hold Fast alongside, we abandoned the idea as part of the dock had broken off into the water and the remaining dockage was less than the length of our boat. We are anchored a bit away from the dock in this well protected harbor. Myron is working on downloading some weather faxes from NOAA and I need to get dinner going.

I miss the sun. I know it is out there.

Love to all,
Dena

Posted via Ham Radio.
{GMST}45|06.685|N|061|40.855|W|Anchored|{GEND}

Monday, July 14, 2014

Shelter Cove Near Sheet Harbor

Vince introduced us to Dave and Carolyn, whose floating dock we used to come ashore. After visiting with them and a bit of touring, including the prison cells at the Arm's Yacht Club, we enjoyed a nice dinner that Sharlene put together. It was 10 pm before we knew it, way past cruiser's midnight. Sunday was a blur of historical highlights combined with some needed shopping and a propane fill. We topped that off by catching the world cup final before we said our goodbyes to Vince and Sharlene. It was the end of another wonderful stay with the friendly folks of Nova Scotia.

This morning we took on a few gallons of diesel at the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Club (Squadron). Then we were off in good winds to head "up the coast." I put that in quotes because one of our legs of over 24 miles today had a heading of 100 degrees, just south of east. I saw a great book yesterday titled 'You might be from Nova Scotia if…' and one of the lines was 'you never say north or south and your compass reads Up the Coast, East, Down the Coast and West.' Another one of the lines was 'if you tell someone to take the 'New Bridge' and you are referring to the one built in 1970.' I read that aloud to Sharlene in the store and a gal passing by with her cart blurted out "It's true, there is the old bridge and the new bridge!" Maybe I will have another chance to purchase that book.

The winds picked up quite a bit today and visibility was going down with rain mixed with fog. I must say that this cove is holding good to its name. It is blowing right good (yep, I am getting the lingo down) and we are snug as a bug. We were told to disregard the depths on the chart, which show our current anchor spot as one foot of water. We came in near low tide, never found the rock at four feet (that is a good thing) and dropped the anchor in 21 feet of water. The most we should see in tide is 7 feet, so, yes, the charts are wrong. I say better wrong in that direction.

It is gorgeous here! We are surrounded by rocks and spruce trees and not a single house. No point in putting out the wifi antenna. We are showered up, Myron has the fire going and it is time for dinner.

Love to all,
Dena

Posted via Ham Radio.
{GMST}44|46.769|N|062|39.278|W|Anchored|{GEND}

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Purcell's Cove - Halifax

Where did three nights go at Deep Cove.  We had a great time with Eric and Ellen.  Thursday they took us to the Maritime Museum in Halifax where we met up with Vince, and then later had lunch at the Bluenose with Sharlene joining in.  In an attempt to walk off a great meal, we hiked up to the Citadel, followed by a leisurely walk through the Victorian Public Gardens. On the way back, instead of touring Peggy's Cove, I was pleasantly surprised by the picturesque North West Cove with its working boats, and South West Cove with its castle.  We said our goodbyes after Friday's dinner, but it was not over.  As we walked down to the dock, the Deep Cove fireworks started.  Fireworks at LaHave (actually Green Bay from Crescent Beach) and then fireworks at Deep Cove.  I am sensing a trend we would like to continue!

For our trip over to Purcell's Cove today it was sunny and clear.  A completely different day from our journey to Deep Cove, we could see the coastline!  We were welcomed to Purcell's Cove by Dave and Vince.  Vince posted our arrival on Facebook before we could even launch the dinghy.  We are now having dinner with Vince and Sharlene.  I need to get this posted so Myron and Vince can talk charts and I can get in and help with dinner.

We are safe and sound and in good hands.

Love to all,
Dena

Posted via wifi.
{GMST}44|36.609|N|063|34.153|W|Moored|{GEND} 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Deep Cove – Mahone Bay


Tuesday evening we took ashore a peanut butter chocolate pie to share with our hosts on LaHave River.  Goodbyes are sad, might as well sweeten it up.    

Our guidebook warned us to be prepared for a weather change as we departed LaHave River.  All we really had to do was just get past the cable ferry.  At that point, the winds increased, the temperature dropped and the fog closed in.  We had less than 1/8th mile visibility for the remainder of our trip to Mahone Bay.  Years of sailing out of Ventura, California groomed us for such conditions and the use of radar.  Still I was disappointed, being robbed of my view of the magnificent coastline.  Regardless of the fog, we had 20 knots or more, mostly behind us, and seas were 2 meters, or about six feet.  The next time we had more than 1/8th mile visibility was when we neared the Aspotogan Peninsula, a couple miles from the entrance to Deep Cove.  Better late than never.  Our goal in route was to make water, since Arthur was such a dry storm and unwilling to give up any moisture.   We made about 135 gallons at 85 ppm.  Cold water makes pure water.

The LaHave River is picturesque, I hated to leave it.  As we leave one beautiful place, I wonder what the next place will be like.  So far what we have found is that the next place is just as enchanting as the last.  Deep Cove is no exception.  Myron says it is like sailing on an alpine lake.  We have tall hills with evergreens and rocks all around us.   The entrance is almost fiord – like.

Eric and his son, Wade, were at the mooring when we arrived.  They were rigging a pennant.  We got our snap shackle on their line and they helped us put on a safety line from their speed boat.  We have already been up to the condo, chatted with Eric and Ellen, and made plans for Thursday.

We have no internet for me to post pictures right now, but I will try to rectify that in the coming days.  This post will be a day late.

Love to all,
Dena

Posted via wifi.
{GMST}44|31.597|N|064|06.297|W|Moored|{GEND} 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Day After PTS Arthur


Our biggest challenge this morning is getting internet, hence we are fine.  Thank you for your prayers.

The barometer was at 1016 on Friday and began dropping rapidly Friday evening.  The winds increased about 2 am Saturday out of the southeast.  The timing was well forecast in the gribs, although the velocity was understated.  The southeast was our most exposed direction of fetch and it was not an easy task for Myron to go forward and check for chafing.  Further, I had opened the starboard water intake, optimistically seeking to fill that tank with rainwater, but we got very little rain and were taking salt water over both sides of the deck, therefore Myron secured that tank early on.

Since Arthur moved up the Bay of Fundy to our west, that put us on the east side of a north moving storm.  Our strongest winds came while we were in the northeast quadrant of the storm.  We do not have wind instruments on board.  It was daylight soon enough, allowing us to estimate winds based upon visual observance.  We figured the winds to be at Force 8 (Beaufort Scale) based upon how the top of the fetch was blown off into streaks across the surface of the water.  According to Luke, a local who radioed us from shore to check on our status, the winds were clocked nearby at 100 km, or 54 knots.  By 10 am the winds were more south for us, putting us parallel with the shore and a little less fetch.  It was nice not to be concerned about other boats in close proximity, although we were struck on the port side by the float section that broke off of a swim platform moored nearby.  No major damage.  We knew we just had to ride it out, so we watched movies, looking forward to when the wind turned west and came directly off shore.

Just after 12 noon, our barometer hit bottom at 988.6 mb.  Arthur was about 982, according to last time we could get internet, and we figured he was passing about 61 nm west of us.  We knew we would get a break for a bit, so we went on deck to check our tie-downs, recover the mizzen halyard that was mysteriously climbing up a jack line, add additional ties and to also secure the cover on our dinghy.  It had blown off the front, over the engine, and was trailing from the back of the dinghy like a red cape.  It took both of us in the dinghy to accomplish the task as the gusts were still strong.  After over 50 knots though, 30 knots, or even 35 knots (gale force) seems like a break.   We also used the break to get some needed sleep.

About the dinghy, we chose not to secure it on deck Friday night.  It is frequently a dilemma for us as we like the thought of having the dinghy for an exit strategy, but it is also a worry to keep it safe from capsizing behind Hold Fast during a storm.  We removed things from the dinghy that might go airborne, left the engine down, and it would have been fine if I had only thought to secure the cover as well. 

The winds increased again late afternoon.  We were well protected by the hills and trees on our west.  Occasionally some strong gusts would use the hill like a ski jump, rushing down to lay Hold Fast over on her side.  The knock downs were abrupt enough to make objects fly off counters and to re-arrange cabinet contents.  So we watched movies.

We went to bed looking forward to a calm 20 knot day.  The winds must have died down after 2 am, because I slept like the dead.  We were so blessed by Robin and Maggi who gave us the use of their secure mooring, and we are thankful to Simonne and Luke who were watching out for us.  I keep saying, great people here in Nova Scotia!  We want to go ashore soon and check on them as they appear to still be without power.  Simonne may be back from the mud run by now, rescheduled from yesterday to today due to Arthur.

We will use the next day or so to find an opportunity to put Hold Fast’s canvas back on, as well as wait for conditions to calm down outside.  Seas offshore are 3 to 6 meters, where is the fun in that?

Love to all,
Dena

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Storm Preparation


We have been advised to stay put in the LaHave River on our current mooring for the storm that is forecast to arrive here Saturday.  This mooring was installed new last year.  The chain must be half inch.  Today we put a shackle on the mooring and connected our 5/8 inch storm rode, letting out about 20 feet.  The backup is our normal mooring line and snap shackle.   Both have extra line to let out should we have storm surge.  The canvas will be removed or tied down.  Friday evening we will break down the dinghy and secure it aboard.  This area is more open than where we tucked away for hurricane Irene in 2011, however the hills around us are taller and the water much, MUCH cooler.  Further there are no boats in our immediate vicinity, which became a problem last time.  Lastly, Arthur should be reduced in strength from a hurricane to a post-tropical storm and we should not expect to see more than 50 knots sustained (measured as held for 60 seconds).

The people in Nova Scotia are very caring and watching out for us.  We only just met Robin and Maggi, on whose mooring we have latched.  As former cruisers, they understand the challenges we face.  You can read about them at www.maggi-ansell.com.  Once at the site, click on the CBS video and watch their story.

This blog posting was written not so that you can worry, but to give you an idea of our situation.  Please do not worry about us.  We do what we can to prepare for it and trust the Lord to take care of the rest.  And we wait – I think waiting is the hardest part.  Based upon the current forecast, it should all be over on Sunday or Monday at which time we hope to connect to the internet give you an update.

Love to all,
Dena

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

La Have River – Robin and Maggie’s Mooring

We are just north of the La Have River Yacht Club.  Simonne offered us her mooring, but we could not figure out which one it was.  We pulled up to a large mooring near her dock and motioned to the man on shore, asking in sign language which one should we take.  He pointed to the one nearest us.  When I tried to pull up a pennant, I realize none had been attached.  I looked back ashore and the man was holding up the pennant.  Question answered, no pennant.  We lassoed the mooring, launched the dinghy and Myron put a snap shackle on the mooring chain.  We were set.  We finished assembling the dinghy, came ashore and thanked the man for his help.  We introduced ourselves and I told him I assumed that Simonne had told him we were coming.  He said “no.”  Get that.  He does not even know who we are and he tells us to take his mooring.  Try that in the states. 

We got to know each other now!  I even bought Maggie’s book about her and Robin’s sailing adventures aboard their 50 foot sailing vessel ‘Orca.’  If you have heard of the Ansell’s, you know how the story ends in March, 1997 in the Coral Sea.

Time to read a book and get some rest.

Love to all,
Dena

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