We set off from Lunenburg and sailed for 10 hours up to Halifax. We had a little bird drop in for a rest and a free ride.
Our little feathered friend.
We had good winds on the way up and managed to actually sail for a good part of the.
Our friends, Dave and Corinne, in ‘At Last’ had moved to the dock, so we were able to pick up their mooring buoy that they rent from the Shearwater Yacht Club. We had full use of the facilities…..bar, showers, laundry and workshop…. which was a bonus.
We arrived on Monday 8th August, which happened to be Dave’s first day in a job for a few years. What a shock to the system that must be!
We spent the first couple of days with Corinne driving us around to get phones, formalities and shopping done. Such a help in an environment that demands wheels! We did take a return trip on the bus and connecting ferry to the city for the princely sum of $2 CA each ….about £1.50 in real money!
Dave and Marcus spent Saturday, Dave’s first ‘day off’, taking the fishing line off the wind generator. Needless to say it was not the easy job that they thought……. the line had melted into the workings of the generator and new parts were ordered as the old ones had been persuaded off and were useless.
On Sunday, all four of us and Libby, the dog, went on a trip along the south west coast. The countryside is very sparsely populated and villages along the road don’t seem to have centres. The villages on the coast are a different matter as they congregate around the fishing docks and harbours. We pulled into St Ann’s, which is a fully working fishing village that seems to tolerate the invasion of tourists.
Cape Ann with Dave, Corinne and Libby.
Us and the Lighthouse
As you’ll see from the plaque below, these shores are dangerous and the rocks have been worn smooth by the constant pounding of the ocean. The day we visited the sea was calm, but the fog kept blowing in and out and we could appreciate the hardiness of the people who make a living here.
A salutary sign!
Even here, at the end of the village there was a familiar sight. How or why it got there we don’t know!
Its not just the place names that remind us of Blighty!
Cape Ann fishing harbour.
The following day, Dave and Corinne lent us their car and set off NW to go and explore the bit of land that sticks out into the Bay of Fundy. This bay has the highest rise and fall in tides in the world, so we went in search of the sea!
The whole of the bay leading up to Truro more or less dries out to a flat red dessert at low tide. We decided to take our time and spent a night in a B&B in a place called Five Islands. Again, the area has grown up around fishing, tourism and, historically, wooden ship building. The other big employer is blueberry farming. What I had taken for large areas of flat moorland, turned out to be blueberry fields.
Lobster pots ashore. Maybe they’ve reached their quota?
Blueberry fields forever.
On the second day of our trip, we went further west to Cape D’Or. The last two miles was on a dirt track and then on foot down to the cliffs. The water here boils and swirls in strange patterns, driven by the incredibly strong currents that flow and ebb around the headland.
Cape D’Or with fog rolling in from the sea……
Cape D’Or looking SE.
Fishing fleet grounding at Five Islands.
Busy roads remind me of Ireland!
As time goes by, we have started to visit more museums to try and get a better understanding of how the communities we flit in and out of have changed and developed. The Age of Sail museum was a real gem, located in what appeared to be a deserted valley. It turned out that this site had been home to half a dozen or so shipyards.
Age of Sail museum.
The museum celebrates the wooden shipbuilding that employed hundreds of locals in the 18th, 19th and early twentieth centuries. One of their galleries is built like an upturned half hull of a schooner. The winters here are hard and although some fitting-out took place, the main occupation was logging in the surrounding forests. In the spring they floated the logs down stream on the melt water. In the 19th century, the demand for Nova Scotian pine in England was so great that boats were built, filled with lumber, sailed to England, unloaded, totally dismantled and used for building houses. New York’s rapacious growth led to a raft of some tens of thousands of logs being chained together, launched on the highest tide and drifting, as predicted, within towing range of the sawmills in New York! Fascinating stuff!!
Like the US, Canada has two or three churches in every small community and God is called on frequently in general conversation. The churches are built of wood and right on the roadside. Its good to see they don’t take themselves too seriously!
Church with a sense of humour…..
We have loved what we’ve seen of Nova Scotia and have met many kind and friendly people along the way……..the B&B couple actually called the nearby restaurants to make sure they stayed open for us the night we called to book a room…… The restaurant owners came and chatted about their hopes and dreams for their place and were fascinated by our voyage. We left like old friends and returned there the following afternoon for pizza and more chat!! ……..We visited an art gallery in Parrsboro and spent a good half an hour talking to one of the artists, Jill Langdon, who came from Winchester, settled here 18 years ago and loves the community feeling that reminds her of what life was like in her childhood.
If we ever decide to settle on land again, I think I could feel at home here too!
With August marching on it was time to leave Halifax and retrace our steps. We called into Lunenburg for the night and invited Doug, from The Boat Locker moorings and his wife, Robin, on board for ‘sundowners’. Lovely people who live on their classic wooden boat with their dog and two boys and who we hope to see again……perhaps in Antigua next year?
A quick overnight stop in Lovely Lunenberg………
……….and then on to Shelburne and the next call out for Hayward’s International Rescue.
It was Sunday afternoon and we were sitting in the cockpit talking to Dan on Skype. Suddenly I heard a distress whistle being blown and a yell for help……..Marcus had been watching a canoe with four people and a dog, making slow headway into the wind and then begin to sink.
Thunderbirds were Go!’, so Dan was left on my iPad in the cockpit and we quickly launched Ikitutu, (the dinghy) a.k.a. Thunderbird II !!
Luckily we were in the cockpit and heard their cries for help and got to them in under five minutes. They were at least 500mtrs from shore and were trying to swim against the current, pulling the upturned canoe with the dog standing on it!! No one else heard them and they were already cold by the time we pulled them into Ikitutu. I warmed them up on board IK while Marcus went off in the dinghy to retrieve their paddles and shoes that had floated off towards the rocks.
They had a very lucky escape and we had a very lucky reward…….they asked us for a ‘thank you’ supper at Charlie’s home the next day. They produced a veritable feast…….. We had a freshly caught lobster each, moose steaks, moose sausages and home made cheesecake. Moose is definitely one of the tastiest meats I’ve ever eaten and they were some of the most warm hearted people we’ve been lucky to meet. We are now all family!
So you see we continue to have adventures and plenty seems to happen.
All are safely gathered in. Tom, Charlie, Isaac and Tara.
On their way back to land.
Not sinking! A trick of the swell
The following day’s feast at Charlie’s house on the waters edge.
Moose steaks ans Moose sausages! You must try them. Mmmmmm!
The feast is set out.
The dog photo bombing the lobster shot!
Cheesecake, by which time we were groaning!
Coffee is served.
After such a wonderful spread, we didn’t eat until the next afternoon on our way across the Bay of Maine, en route to Rockland, Maine and back into the US.
Farewell Nova Scotia ………. we may well be back!!
The lighthouse in Rockland Harbor Maine.