2009 - A Long Sail North to Nova Scotia and Back
Bahamas - Winter
Carol joined me for trip to the Abacos joining our many friends for their winter away from the cold of the north. The Abacos are a destination for many Canadian Cruisers who spend the winter months in the Abacos and then in the spring store thier boats in Florida before returning to Canada for the summer. The Sea of Acaco makes a wonderful place to sail protected from the freqent winter cold fronts.
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Nova Scotia and Return - The Trip North - Summer
Carol and I, on Wild Matilda, joined Willie and Mark on Liahona for a trip to Maine and Nova Scotia. We buddy boated up the coast stopping in Charleston and Beaufort before continuing on to the Chesapeake Bay.
The first stop on our way north was one of my favorite cities, Charleston. A city of quite streets, hidden courtyards, and great restaurants. We spent several days touring the city.
The Chesapeake Bay
After a brief stop in Beaufort, NC and three days up the Inter-coastal Waterway we reached the southern Chesapeake Bay at Norfolk. We spent a couple of weeks on the bay before heading north again.
From the north end of the Chesapeake Bay we entered the C&D channel to the Delaware River. The passage down the river is always long often punctuated by biting flies and strong currents (why are they always against us?). After a night passage up the New Jersey coast we reached New York. We anchored on Staten Island.
Long Island Sound
The passage through New York and up the East River was interesting. It got exciting as we approached Hells Gate and our speed with a current pushing us along reach 14 knots over the bottom. We were spit out into long island sound and enjoyed a nice sail and several nice stops heading east.
The Canal, Provincetown and the Isles of Shoals
Provincetown was a great deal of fun. Enjoyed the sites and sampled the good food. Heading north we stopped at Plymouth, and then on to the Isles of Shoals of the coast of New Hampshire and Maine. The provide a great anchorage and a short passage into Maine.
The Coast of Maine
Maine was spectacular except for the fog. When we had clear weather the views and scenery was special. However, on our way north we encountered many days of thick pea-soup fog. Navigating by radar and keeping our eyes out for lobster boats that would appear suddenly out of the fog and then disappear just as quickly. We kept expecting to see whales, but they must have been just beyond our vision in the fog. We did finally see them on the way back south.
Canada - New Brunswick & Nova Scotia
The Saint John River
The Saint John River is a beautiful, 200 mile long river into the heart of New Brunswick. The only challenge is negotiating the reversing falls. As the tide rises in the Bay of Fundy, the rapids at the mouth of the river reverse and it is possible to enter the river. Unfortunately it is only a narrow window in time. We were a few minutes late and encountered almost an 8 knot current against us. Once through the sailing is spectacular. We spent several days enjoying the river before returning to Saint John.
A lively city and major commercial port on the Bay of Fundy. We spent several days touring the city.
Nova Scotia, Annapolis Royal
We crossed the Bay of Fundy at night in the fog. Fundy Traffic Control kept us aware of traffic around us, even though we could seldom see them. Arrived in Digby at daybreak still in the fog. Pick up a friend to help us navigate up the river to Annapolis Royal. As we approached the town the fog finally lifted and we were not to see it again for the remainder of the trip. We took moorings on large mooring balls used for scallop boats. We were strung between two mooring balls as the tidal current was strong.
Jan and Cam welcomed us to Annapolis Royal and their home. We joined them at their annual cruisers reunion and were the cruisers who traveled the farthest to get there. It was great to see many of the familiar faces from our time in the Abacos.
Nova Scotia, Exploring
We spent almost a week exploring the West coast of Nova Scotia and a bit of the interior.
Nova Scotia and Return - The Trip South - Fall
Back to Maine and the Trip South
The trip back across the Bay of Fundy and into East Port in Maine was done in daylight and without fog. We finally did see our whales. If fact we were so busy watching them in the distance we almost ran into one crossing our bow. Easily as big as Wild Matilda. We poked slowly south along the coast of Maine enjoying the many bays and coves.
Our first stop heading south from East-port was a small bay filled with lobster pots. We did manage to find a spot and were treated to fresh caught lobsters right out of the pot by the local lobster-man. We also had seals sunning themselves on the rocks just off our stern.
Mount Desert Island, Maine
We pulled into the busy harbor of Bar Harbor Maine next. Finding a mooring was a challenge, but in the end we found one. Explored the town and then took an excursion to the Acadia National Park. Climbed the hill and enjoyed the spectacular views.
A quanta town located on Long Island in Blue Hill Bay, Maine. We took a mooring there and stayed a number of days. There are extensive trails and several good restaurants to choose from.
After Maine, we made a quick passage south stopping in the Chesapeake Bay for the Annapolis Boat Show.
On the way south we stopped at Mantio, NC and rented a car for the day. We visited Kitty Hawk, Cape Hatteras, and Ocracoke. Many of these spots I visited as a child when my family and I vacationed on the outer banks of NC. Of course much had changed in the intervening years. The Cape Hatteras Light was moved more than 1000 feet inland to prevent it falling into the sea some years ago. I used to climb to the top of the lighthouse as a kid, but unfortunately it is not open for exploring or was not the day we visited.
Walking the grounds at Kitty Hawk brought back memories as well. The park has been improved a lot over the years, but some of the flavor of the original camp has been lost I think. The is a great museum there now and replicas of the wright fliers.
The last stop on the day trip was Ocracoke Island. This is the southern most inhabited island on the outer banks of North Carolina. I had visited it several time over the years by boat. The National Park Service maintains, the former PT boat docks for the use of sailors. The town is touristy, but nice.
Georgetown - 2009 - Winter
On the way south from Nova Scotia, Mark needed to get some boat repairs done and selected a rustic marine yard in Georgetown SC. I joined them to get some interior wood work done. The stay turned into two months and provide very interesting.
The yard was an old one with two marine railroads (one of which was still in operation. Mark was hauled on the marine railroad. This is a very interesting process. Unfortunately, due to my fin keel and deep draft, i could not be hauled. The yard manager was an interesting character and work proceeded along anything but a straight path. Lots of drama and enough goings on to populate several books.
While there we got to explore the region and discovered many interesting things and met many fascinating people.