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.

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Our little feathered friend.

We had good winds on the way up and managed to actually sail for a good part of the.

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Entering Halifax.

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.

Cape Ann with Dave, Corinne and Libby.

Us and the Lighthouse

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!

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!

Its not just the place names that remind us of Blighty!

Cape Ann.

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?

Lobster pots ashore. Maybe they’ve reached their quota?

Blueberry fields forever.

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 with fog rolling in from the sea……

Cape D'Or looking SE.

Cape D’Or looking SE.

Fishing fleet grounding at Five Islands.

Fishing fleet grounding at Five Islands.

 

Busy roads remind me of Ireland!

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.

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.....

Church with a sense of humour…..

......very good!

……very good!

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?

quick overnight stop in Lovely Lunenberg.

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.

All are safely gathered in. Tom, Charlie, Isaac and Tara.

On their way back to land.

On their way back to land.

Not sinking! A trick of the swell :)

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!

Moose steaks ans Moose sausages! You must try them. Mmmmmm!

The feast is set out.

The feast is set out.

The dog photo bombing the lobster shot!

The dog photo bombing the lobster shot!

Cheesecake, by which time we were groaning!

Cheesecake, by which time we were groaning!

Coffee is served.

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.

The lighthouse in Rockland Harbor Maine.

Gloucester to Shelburne, Nova Scotia.

Taken from Main Street, Gloucester.

Taken from Main Street, Gloucester.

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.

'Bandersnatch' in the slings. Always a worrying moment!

‘Bandersnatch’ in the slings. Always a worrying moment!

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.

Jan's work shop.

Jan’s work shop.

Jan at work, polishing my necklace.

Jan at work, polishing my necklace.

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.

One of the galleries we visited on our girls day out!

One of the galleries we visited on our girls day out!

Brenda's imagine gallery. She leaves a honesty box and book. Very hippy, but it works! She used to be a helicopter pilot!!

Brenda’s imagine gallery. She leaves a honesty box and book.
Very hippy, but it works! She used to be a helicopter pilot!!

Rocky Neck hangs on firmly to times gone by.

Rocky Neck hangs on firmly to times gone by.

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.

Lunch in the Azores.........restaurant with new friends Norman, Ralph, Anna and Jan.

Lunch in the Azores………restaurant with new friends Norman, Ralph, Anna and Jan.

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.

Josh Bevins with sails delivered to Norman and me in the dinghies.

Josh Bevins with sails delivered to Norman and me in the dinghies.

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!

Chopping board, knife and sharpening steel. All part of a splicer's equipment.

Chopping board, knife and sharpening steel.
All part of a splicer’s equipment.

The finished article.

The finished article.

Filing off the jagged edges!

Filing off the jagged edges!

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.

Farewell to new friends.

Farewell to new friends.

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!!

Sunset en route to Port Mouton.

Sunset en route to Shelburne.

Dawn breaking.

Dawn breaking.

Chilly morning watch.

Chilly morning watch.

Our first taste of Canada was delightful. We were made very welcome at the Shelburne Yacht Club and enjoyed two days exploring the town.

View from the Yacht Club.

View from the Yacht Club.

Shelburne Harbour.

Shelburne Harbour.

One of the three museums in the village.

One of the three museums in the village.

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.

Port Mouton harbour.

Port Mouton harbour.

Port Mouton anchorage.

Port Mouton anchorage.

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.

Arriving in Lunenburg.

Arriving in Lunenburg.

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.

The Bandstand above Lunenburg.

The Bandstand above Lunenburg.

Visiting artist from Oz.

Visiting artist from Oz.

Young musicians take part too!

Young musicians take part too!

Husband and wife...she's a one woman band!

Husband and wife…she’s a one woman band!

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!

Saying goodbye to Kantala.

Saying goodbye to Kantala.

We set sail for another 10 hour sail up to Halifax and our friends Dave and Corrine on board ‘At Last’.

We like Canada!!!