Gloucester to Shelburne, Nova Scotia.
We spent two weeks in Gloucester and met new friends!
Norman and Jan, aboard ‘Bandersnatch’ took us under their wing and we spent a lot of time together. Norman had built Bandersnatch, a long keeled Ferro- cement sailing hull, back in the 70s. By the 80s, he decided he couldn’t be messing about with sails, so he never raised the mast and rigging, so Bandersnatch motors up from Florida to spend the summer in Gloucester and back down again in the fall.
It is so good to find other cruisers to show us the ropes……laundrette, supermarket, farmers market, fuel, dinghy docks, bars, restaurants etc. and for Marcus……a pool table!
Jan is a Master Bench jeweller and although she no longer does the setting of stones and ‘heavy metal’ work, she produces some fantastically creative pieces in her onboard workshop.
Together with another new friend, Ana, had a great ‘girls day out’ visiting numerous art and jewellery studios and galleries. One specific area of Gloucester, called Rocky Neck, is an artists colony. Many of the artists live above or behind their studios and are happy to show you their work and talk.
It’s a bohemian, quirky place, but like the rest of Gloucester it has a welcoming, working, warts-and-all honesty feel to it…….just like coastal Britain!
We were introduced to a great Azorean restaurant by Ana and her husband, Ralph, and visited their home.
Ralph is a Portuguese/English interpreter, who in his youth, studied musicology, so being let loose amongst his numerous musical instruments was like being in a sweety shop for me!!
Another new friend was Ernie……he happened past one evening in his rowing skiff. He was incredibly helpful and generous. We now have two paper charts of Nova Scotia and two sailing books and he is educating us, via email, on the finer points of reading weather grins and charts. It turns out that he sailed on the Solway Maid for the same Roger that we knew in Edenbridge years ago…….small world!!
Our reason for being in Gloucester, we had to remind ourselves, was to get the mainsail repaired! After some logistical problems, caused by the shear size of the beast and the thickness of the canvas, the inimitable Josh Bevins worked his magic and we were delivered of a working sail and also a repaired UV strip on our Genoa.
With the sails back on board, Splicer-Marcus, worked his culinary magic on the out-haul line that failed. As you’ll see, old chef’s habits die hard!
We had a farewell party onboard with Jan, Norman, Ralph, Ana and three couples (and two dogs) from three other boats at anchor near us.
A good time was had by all and we set sail the following morning for Shelburne, Nova Scotia……a 48 hour passage, which due to very little wind, we motorway!!
Our first taste of Canada was delightful. We were made very welcome at the Shelburne Yacht Club and enjoyed two days exploring the town.
As with all seaports, Shelburne has seen better days as far as fishing and boat building goes. Government quotas and exorbitant fishing licences have severely reduced the number of young men able to afford to earn a living in the industry, so it seems that even though fish stocks are said to be recovering and lobsters are plentiful, there are not the young men there to take over when the old boys retire…….exactly the same as we saw on the east coast of England!
We decided to break our journey to Lunenburg by staying overnight at Port Mouton (pronounced Port Mutooon) A very quiet anchorage with a remote feel to it.
Our next port of call was the delightful Lunenburg. This is a working fishing port with shipbuilding and tourism all thriving during the summer months.
Once again, we managed to arrive at the right time…….it was the Folk Harbour music festival! We spent three afternoons at the bandstand listening to some great musicians and one evening we actually paid up and heard two bands playing at the Curling Club.
Our neighbours at anchor were ‘Kantala’……Michael and Sheila, Canadians who built their own boat and have been cruising the world for the last 28 years. Great company and modestly knowledgeable. We will meet again, as they are travelling south too!
We set sail for another 10 hour sail up to Halifax and our friends Dave and Corrine on board ‘At Last’.
We like Canada!!!