Saturday, August 23, 2014

Arrived in Onset

At 10:30 this morning we pulled into Onset and dropped the hook. I called Customs on Skype using our MIFI and was checked right in. We used the small vessel reporting service and filed a float plan, it worked perfect.
Lots of rest today and shopping tomorrow.

Posted via Wifi.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Shelburne to Onset 3

It has been a good passage, we are 62 Nautical miles from Cape Cod.
ETA Tomorrow midday.
time 5:48 EST

Posted via Ham Radio.

Shelburne to Onset 2

We had a quiet night some fishing boats and a passenger ship.
On time for Saturday arrival.
Time 7:44 EST

Posted via Ham Radio.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Shelburne to Onset 1

We left Shelburne about 11:30 AM and rode the current around Cape Sable Island.
We should arrive midday Saturday.

Posted via Ham Radio.

Monday, August 18, 2014


I was sleeping so soundly until the wind came up about 3:30 am.  We were secure enough, but my mind began to play out another day of contrary winds.  Lockeport was quaint, quiet and friendly, but we did not want to stay another night on a dock without electricity or water at $0.95/foot per night. We set off shortly after 7am.  As we headed out of Lockeport, we saw five scallop boats working.  They move so slowly it is fairly easy to get around them.  The winds had turned WNW but the swell was still running SSW and therefore on our beam.  The winds on our nose were about 15 knots, sometimes gusting to 20.  Thankfully it was only a few hours before we were into Shelburne, taking a mooring, catching up with the gals working the desk at the yacht club, hiking to the grocery store and getting a lobster burger at Mr. Fish for $6 each.  While Myron changed the engine oil, I made humus and salad mix.  In summary, we are back to our routine, like Shelburne is home, although we will be keeping an eye out for a weather window to get back to PTown, Cape Cod or thereabouts.  I am sad to think this is our last planned port in Nova Scotia.  It has been a remarkable trip.
We have yet to connect with Brad and Maive to see if Myron is needed as race crew.

Love to all,

Posted via wifi.

Sunday, August 17, 2014


Carter's Beach is quite beautiful and I find the sound of waves gently breaking on shore to be a soothing sound. I did not realize how much I missed that sound and missed taking long walks on the beach.

We decided rather late today to get started. Not like us. We paid for it too. The south-southwest winds picked up furiously after the rainstorms cleared around noon. We were right into the teeth of it and the seas would almost bring us to a stop. We finally made one of the points and could turn off a bit. Then the debate was on whether to continue to Shelburne or to fall off for Lockeport. That debate was resolved when the winds made it difficult for us to round the next point of land. Into Lockeport we went.

It was so welcoming to see such a protected harbor. The harpoon sword fishing boats were in and most of the docks were full. We found an open spot, tied up and tidied up above and below deck. Things had gotten a bit discombobulated in the angry seas. We took a walk, found out who we had to pay for the dock and found a church that was having services on a Sunday night. Once we had fellowship, I had no doubt it was God's providence that He herded us here. We continued to visit with some of the folks from the congregation for almost two hours after service was over.

All the day's harshness is now behind us. I am ready for a good night's sleep.

Love to all,

Posted via wifi.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Carter's Beach

Hey All we separated from Northern Light our mooring buddy boat at 7 am this morning and headed for Carter's Beach. The seas got a little rough but we pressed on and arrived at 4 pm. We have covered some ground in the last few days and need some rest so we will be here a few days.

Posted via Ham Radio.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Rogues Roost

We did not get to do any sailing today, but the seas were calm, what breeze showed up was behind us, and we made some miles. When we were just outside Halifax, we had a Canadian military helicopter do a fly over, then another, then another. At least 15 times they went over. I think they were using us for some kind of practice, and at the same time they were showing off a bit. Pulling the chopper up into a steep turn and running us down again. We are pretty sure we did nothing wrong to garner such rapt attention by the military!

We are past Halifax in a tight little anchorage called Rogues Roost (when we have internet, Myron will post the track so you can see just how tight). We came in and saw three sailboats snuggled at the end where we thought we might get a hook. We decided there was not enough room and made our way back out into the bay when some folks came up in a dinghy and asked if we wanted to raft up to them on the mooring. We discussed boat lengths and Hold Fast's impressive weight and worked it all out. Back in to the cove we went. We rafted up, switched the mooring harness to us, and we should be just fine in here even with the forecast at 20 knots of wind. The friendly folks that made the offer are Norman and Breezy on 'Northern Light,' a C&C 37 out of the Royal Canadian Squadron where we bought fuel when we were in Halifax. We continue to be blessed by the kind heartedness of the Nova Scotians.

The group in the anchorage rounded up some mussels today and want to gather to have happy hour shortly. I am completely unprepared but will try to whip up something. My biggest worry is staying awake since we were up at O'dark thirty and it was a long day. If the forecast holds, tomorrow will be another long day and then I believe the weather may force us to take a break.

Love to all,

Posted via Ham Radio.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Shelter Cove

We are back at Shelter Cove. This time we can see all around - and it is some great scenery. It was another nice day of sailing. Very little swell. After anchoring, we had lunch, launched the dinghy and explored the beaches around this area. I do not believe we have walked on a sandy beach since our time with Simonne at Crescent Beach. We searched for mussels in the rocks at low tide, but to no avail.

We made it back on board in time for Myron to download weather faxes. He will request some gribs (for winds) when he sends this blog post on the HAM. It sounds as if there is a low coming by, dragging a cold front. That will make for some swells out there, but it should be manageable as long as we have favorable winds. As we finished up today, the southwest winds were getting stronger. Southwest is not favorable.

It has been a great couple of days, and I am thankful. I find it hard to believe the 'Shari sailing' will continue.

Love to all,

Posted via Ham Radio.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Spanish Ship Bay - Liscombe River

On Sunday we attended service at our favorite church on the Bras d'Or Lakes. Then we moved Hold Fast through the bridge and the lock and moored her on the wall. Technically, we were out of the Bras d'Or Lakes. We relocated because we wanted a very early start, three hours earlier than the lock opens. We attended church again Sunday night, said our goodbyes and did our best to get some rest.

The wind picked up as we approached Cape Canso and it stayed on our stern all the way around the cape. We had the jib poled out and full main up. Who knew we would get to sail around the cape at more than 7 knots? Not only that, we had clear visibility of the cape again. We have heard that most sailors see Cape Canso less than 10% of the time. We are running at 100%. There was not much swell. Basically today was what we call 'Shari sailing.' The motor came on a bit down the coast from the cape because the wind let up. Off and on we were underway using sail alone, depending upon the approaching rain and thunderstorms. Our experience so far with thunderstorms up here is that they are not at all as violent as the Chesapeake and south. Down there, the thunderstorms move at 20+knots and pack strong winds and rain. Up here, we might hear thunder, never sure what direction, and then we get a little rain. The most we have seen the winds increase has been 10 knots. And I am fine with that.

We got to see much of the coast that was shrouded in fog on our way up. At one point, the sun was out and Myron yelled 'dolphins.' They are so fun to watch. But they were on the fish and had no time for us.

We were making such good time and the seas and wind so favorable, we continued past our intended anchorage at Fisherman's Cove and tried this new one at Spanish Ship Bay. It is very well protected in here, but I must say the entrance to the bay from Liscombe River is a bit tricky. The charts were good and we had over 20 feet at low tide on the narrow entrance. It is good holding, which always makes for a good night's sleep. There are several wifi stations in the anchorage, but they are all locked up. Myron will request weather again with the HAM radio when he posts this blog. If all goes well, we will be moving again tomorrow.

Today was a great day. I only wish each leg down the coast could be as good as today.

Love to all,

Posted via Ham Radio.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

New Picture Album

I just posted our pictures from Ingonish Harbor and Bird Islands.  Click on the photo gallery link to the right.  I previously posted some of the best (moose and sunrise) in the blog, but there are some good views you might enjoy.

Such as...

Love to all,

Friday, August 8, 2014

St. Peter’s Again

It was really nice that Bill and Betty Jean could manage to squeeze in some time for a visit with us before they were back to their hectic, although retired, schedule.  There is a big annual event at Marble Mountain this weekend and they have a lot of related responsibilities.  Bill is very involved in preserving the history of the area.  People like us are appreciative because that is part of what we come to discover.

We are back at St. Peter’s.  This is a really easy going marina.  We fueled up, took a mooring, went on a hike and Myron got their internet going again.  We are on the cusp of departing the Bras d’Or Lakes.  I must say these lakes are pristine cruising grounds, just a bit of a challenge to get to/from. 

We plan to attend church on Sunday and re-unite with our new friends there.  We will be keeping a close eye on the weather for our opportunity to get around Cape Canso and down the coast.  Soon enough we will be back in tides, currents and swells...

Love to all,

Posted via wifi.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

MacDonalds Cove – Marble Mountain

Last night was a very peaceful stay.  We had a motor vessel join us in the late afternoon.  I was up at 5 am for the view, but no moose on shore.  As we left this morning, it was foggy and dreary.  By the time we were making our approach to Marble Mountain, the sun came out, the winds let up and it turned into a beautiful day.

There are a number of boats headed for St. Peters and the lock to take advantage of the forecasted northwest winds.  Bertha is on the outskirts and should pass by well offshore tonight.  It can sometimes be an advantage to ride a storm’s weather, if it is far enough away and you are on the correct side of the winds.  We are just not yet ready to depart the lakes and want to see our new friends again, so we will miss that traveling herd. 

The weather is so nice in fact that we talked about the possibility of a swim after lunch.  I will retract that statement if I see any jellyfish.  I truly never thought I would be relieved to see 70F water.

Love to all,

Posted via wifi.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Deep Cove - Washabuck River

Baddeck is a handy place to get groceries, do a load of laundry, drop off trash. It is also handy for the fresh fish and mussels we can purchase at 'The Kissing Cod' fish market on the government wharf. We bought five pounds of mussels (for $9.95 total), a couple of pounds of fresh haddock ($8.50/lb), and some very tasty morsels of smoked salmon. At $14.95/lb, we only bought $4 worth of smoked salmon. It is still plenty of meat to put on the top of several spinach salads. Last time through Baddeck we bought a couple of pounds of fresh cod that practically fell apart in the pan and melted in our mouths.

We hit Baddeck on Sunday for the opening day of race week. Not on purpose, we just seem to have a knack for that. Live music was playing, the day's races were just finishing, and jet skis were tormenting the anchorage. The two large yachts anchored near us had tenders running to and from the docks on a regular basis. It was much more muss and fuss than we had grown accustomed to and made us itchy to move on.

Before we headed back to St. Peters, we decided to take a detour to St. Patrick's Channel. We were sure that the proximity to Baddeck would result in a number of vessels in these quaint anchorages. To our surprise, we were the only boat on Washabuck River, much less this pristine cove. I can see no houses on the river or any of the coves, as well as a clear absence of pubs. There is no reason to launch the dinghy, I see no place to land. But I do see several boggy areas that might interest a moose at evening and will keep an eye out. This is a welcome change from the busyness of Baddeck.

Our solemnity also means a lack of internet. This will be posted via Ham radio. I am signing off so I can go take in the scenery. We have yet to be disappointed in the views on these lakes.

Love to all,

Posted via Ham Radio.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Baddeck – Part Deux

I am glad to have some internet to share a picture of that incredible Cape Breton Highlands orange sunrise.  It rained shortly after I took this:

We had at great hike yesterday.  The trail is named ‘Franey’ for the mountain range it traverses.  I must say that the going was a bit tough for a while since our bellies were still in dreamland over the piece of butterscotch pie we shared at the Main Street CafĂ© in Ingonish Beach.  Along the hike, we encountered four other sets of hikers, no big groups, mostly we were by ourselves.  The first returning group told us they had seen a moose.  From that point on, my senses were keen to get a moose sighting.  After we grabbed a couple of shots of the incredible view at the lookout, we waited for a bit to let the forest quiet down from the departure of the other hikers, hoping to increase our chances of a moose sighting.  Indeed, we saw one in a boggy meadow from afar.  We knew the trail was going to go right by it.  I kept taking pictures as we approached, just sure that it would bolt when it heard us.  Then as we got closer, we could see it was a momma and her well grown calf.  She would turn her ears to hear our footsteps, we had not surprised her at all.  Myron continued to talk to her anyway and we made sure we never got between her and her calf.  Finally she turned to look at us.  I think we both figured that was close enough.  Yay!  My first moose sighting ever.  It was good advice to look for them in the Cape Breton Highlands.

To top it off, we saw what looked like quail to us.  A couple and their chicks.  The only decent picture I managed was of the male, a big fella.  We were told it was a partridge.

By the way, we got from the wharf to the trailhead by using the one and only cab van in Ingonish (Ingo Cab).  Darryl offers the service each day starting at 2 pm, after his day job.  His phone number is 902-285-4523.  It was $5 per person each way.  He also charges $2 for any additional stops along the way (such as a grocery store). I cannot advise walking on the Cabot Trail Highway.  We found it to be a risk to our health.

Today Hold Fast moved along a bit too fast for us to properly time the tide at Great Bras d’Or on our return to the lakes, therefore we loitered around Bird Islands again.  We saw more puffins on this trip than the last, and many more birds that will require some research to identify.  We saw several golden eagles and more than ten bald eagles.  Pictures were tough to get of the ever moving puffins.  You will see better pictures on the internet, but here is a puffin taking flight near Hold Fast, you may have to zoom in to see that crazy nose…

Our journey today marked the beginning of our return trip.  Ingonish Harbor was as far north and east as we will go this year.  We are acutely aware that every mile we travel north and east in southwest winds will extract a price on the return.  Not to concern ourselves with that now, we still have several more days to enjoy in the lakes.  Some of you have asked and here is the answer: We traveled 2,175 nautical miles from MOW Cay, Bahamas, to Ingonish Harbor, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

Love to all,

Posted via wifi.