onsdag 18 juli 2018 - Skrivet av
Into Iceberg Alley....not so active this year
Iceberg number 1....in a lonbg row (?)
Into the starlit night still motoring. Through the Straight of Belle Isle, the narrow (9 nm) stretch of water between Newfoundland and Labrador. The Newfoundland side surprisingly well lit and Labrador side more sparsely so. At 0300 we meet a gang of whales, four on the starboard side, 20 m from the boat. Calmly rising up and blowing time and time again. Majestic! Magic! Another two soon shows up on the port side.
Around the corner and turning right, eh….sorry, starboard. We almost make landfall at Anse au Meadows, the only known Viking settlement in North America and now turned into a tourist attraction. That is that the floating wharf is not yet out due to the hard spring so instead we anchor up and use the dinghy. The exhibition is worth every penny (Can$9.20 for 60+). Longhouse, black smith’s shop, church (!), boat house for the recently built Viking ship “Snorre”, which sailed from Greenland to Anse au Meadows in 87 days (!) 1993. Lunch at a very decent restaurant, swim upon return to the ship (13 degrees….viking temperature!).
We aim for a short cut but chicken out in front of power lines that hang 68 feet above the sea. We draw 75 feet, nominally…..eh..they looked awfully low!
Out and around a small island and….we have our first iceberg encounter. A whipped cream wonder that gleamed in the sunshine. Wow !
Finally we motor into St.Anthony harbour. We are almost out of diesel and we need provisions for at least a week, until Greenland.
söndag 15 juli 2018 - Skrivet av
We wake to….fog!! Can’t see a thing around us. So we cast loose immediately and steer out into the pee soup, having breakfast on the go. The plotter is a blessing. We monitor our progress on the electronic chart where the boat shows up as a “blip” slowly moving between the isles. Our glass cupola, with a 50 m radius, could really be anywhere in the world; a small area of water and…nothing. This situation keeps up during the entire day. We run the radar, small “blips” show up and some also show up in reality; we see them as shadows in the mist. Small fishing vessels. Others never show up and many, no doubt, we are totally oblivious of. In periods a bright sun shines on us from above but around us…still fog.
At about 1600 hours the engine stops…!!! Aquaryd has two main fuel tanks, about 100 gallons each on the port and starboard side, respectively. In the middle lies a third diesel tank, same size, that feeds the generator and the heater. To alternate between the two main tanks there is switch that gets stuck and needs some “manoeuvring” each season. We had “manoeuvred” this some hours earlier but, inadvertently, left the switch in the same position…! So we were out of “gas”. Smart! Now the main engine needs to be bled from air and this is quite an undertaking, especially in the very hot motor compartment….. After an hour or so we are on the go again.
Miraculously, while down in the engine room the fog lifted and we now have a warm summer’s day (!?)
söndag 15 juli 2018 - Skrivet av
First landing on Newfoundland
Lark Harbor restaurant on the pier
A bright day with people fiddling around in the harbour. Masts off, boats launched. A US couple from North Carolina is leaving their boat here for the summer (?) “Start working on Monday”. We have breakfast and wait for Wayne who must insulate the new exhaust pipe that gets terribly hot. He does arrivr just as agreed upon at 0830 hours and fixes the final details. So...
...at 1200 hours we finally cast loose. In clear sunshine and little wind. We motor out through the estuary and by then the wind is up. We hoist full clothing and set off in a tight angle. Wind about 15 knots. After a while the wind turns east and then south-east and we have a lovely sail into the night. Our new heater works perfectly and not only is it warm, it is also dry! Very comfortable.
At 0500 hours the wind suddenly dies and we must continue by motor. This is, however, outside Cape Anguille, the (south-)westernmost point of Newfoundland. Drizzling rain!...that clear up after lunch into bright sunshine. Rain gear can dry out and the sea is absolutely calm. No whales, dolphins or orcas, however, we have high expectations….!!
Reach Lark Harbour, about halfway between Sidney and Saint Anthony, at 1600 hours. Tiny place (pop. 600) with a reasonable harbour. The shore line is impressive. Massive hills rise out of the sea with clouds circeling above.
Here we find the most hospitable community that invites us for coffee and welcomes us to the local restaurant (quite close to the harbour). Walk up to the community and the grocery store. Detour into a local summer cottage whose owner from Calgary (!), spends 2 months here every summer with his family. We have an enjoyable evening with fish and chips, pool and the lot.
We are now ahlf way between Sidney and Saint Anthony. We plan to do the rest in the coming two days and be at the northern top of Newfoundland on Tusesday evening.
Log 11988. Motoring 11 hours
fredag 13 juli 2018 - Skrivet av
Warm days ahead !
AQ brand new, powerful heater....
At 0900 hours, Wayne is by the boat with a new heater !! We do, however, spend a cpule og hours trying to get the old one to work. We fail, despite a new foul pump and many attempts. So, change to the new one! This turns out to be some work. First to understand the new configuration. The heater must be mounted horizontally instead of vertically like the old one, and in a crowded engine room this is no mean feat. When this is finally done we need to get circulation in the system…and that means to get the air out. At 2100 hours we do finally have a working system that promises to keep the heating water at 60-80 degrees Ç……oh, nice!!!
Meanwhile a detail of the crew has gone to buy provisions and come back with the whole store. We need the squeze this into every other place in the pentry, evetually successful.
Late dinner, ratatouille, by Ken who has managed despite chaos and all floor boards open. We go to bed relieved and with high expectation on the coming days.
torsdag 12 juli 2018 - Skrivet av
A repair day in Sydney
Bengt joined us, finally, late last night. Skipper picked him up in the darkness and fog across the river, somewhat scary….
Chris from Louisburg joined us in the morning. He took on the Raymarine system and after spending 5 hours (!) pulling every cable in the system he had it working. Loose connections/corrosion were his diagnoses and the this is probably correct. The heater will arrive tomorrow so we spent the afternoon having a look at “Bluenose II” an absolutely beautiful replica of the fisher schooner that raced the Americans in the early century…and always won. She is nowadays somewhat of a national-pride ship that sails around making good will in the Canada.
Sidney has a somewhat depressing “down town” but the surroundings are nice with beautiful homes in the “suburbs”; some of us walked to the boat on the other side of the rive by ways of a distant bridge.
The ubiquitous pizzas are easy to come by and they appear in the club house with some regularity. We enjoy our memebership in many ways….!
onsdag 11 juli 2018 - Skrivet av
Getting ready for the fist big leap, to Newfoundland
Well moored at Dobson Yacht Club awaiting repair people and the outskirts of a gale
The night has been warm. Water temperature in Lake Bras d’Or is 17 degrees and we feel the difference. Morning showers, breakfast and finally our dues are paid at the harbour master’s office, Can$62 ? SEK 400which is quite normal…!
We have down-loaded new weather files: Tomorrow there will be a bad gale to the east of us, just touching Cape Breton Island but hitting east Newfoundland badly. On the west coast of Newfoundland, where we are going, there will be continuous south-westerlies for at least a week.
Off at 0900 hours. The Raymarine system is now up running and behaves perfectly stable (??). This is, of course nice, but in reality the worst of all alternatives. We have a faltering system that works periodically. Hard to error search such a system! So we auto-pilot up the narrow channel heading for the big Gulf of St.Lawrence. Like motoring up a Norwegian fjord. We manage to catch a lobster bouy on our rudder and it takes a swin by the skipper to get it loose. 17 degrees and actually quite nice.
After half a day of motoring we get into Sidney the largest city and industrial centre of Cape Breton Island. The renouned Royal Yacht club that we read about in the pilot (from 2008!) disappeared in a fire 2015 and this marina on the main side of the channel is no more. We go to Dobson Marina across the river and become members (for monetary reasons; this is cheaper than to pay the daily fee). We will stay here for 2, possibly 3 nights getting fixed up while a weather system sweeps by on the outside (eastern) side with quite sever winds (30 m/s).
Bengt is joining tonight by bus from Halifax. We will drive across the river with the dinghy to pick him up.
Log 11784 nm. Motoring 6 hours
tisdag 10 juli 2018 - Skrivet av
Wonderful Lake Bras d'Or
Baddeck proved to be an endearing summer resort. Lots of tourists in gigantic "mobile homes"
We went swimming in St.Margret’s Bay in 17 degrees of water. Up here the water temperature has already dropped to 11 degrees so we forego the morning swim. Will probably be some time before this, otherwise compulsory activity aboard Aquaryd, is reinstituted.
The morning is foggy but the sun breaks through already 30 minutes after hoisting anchor at 0800 hours. Wind is low so we motor along. Today we aim for Lake Bras d’Or, supposedly a beautiful sailing fresh water lake right through Cape Breton Island.
We motor up around Cape Conso (north-eastern point of Nova Scotia) and further north towards St. Peter’s Canal, the inlet to Lake Bras d’Or.
Suddenly the Raymarine system starts to act up big way. The wind data disappears and goes on-and-off, the depth sounder does the same and finally the auto pilot, everything to th sound of different alarms, a real cacophony of noises. After a while everything goes dead !!??? This system has been dead steady for three years after instalment in Sweden. Thankfully we note that the electronic charts and GPS works perfectly, so we are not totally lost.
We make it up to the very bucolic St. Peter’s Canal, over Lake Bras d’Or, through Barra Straights with a bridge opening and end up in Baddeck, a summer resort with lots of activities. Lake Bras d’Or turns out to be a marvellous sailing ground. First a winding “canal” passed beautiful house spread out a great distances from one another; there is a lot of space in Canada. The lake itself opens up, surrounded by high ridges, all covered in lush green forests. Everywhere churches stick up their spires, surrounded by small villages.
All the while we have been telephoning and there seems to be a guy, Chris, in Louisburg (20 minutes away from Sydney, where we are heading). He will come and have a look at our navigational woes. It is simply astonishing how things break down, also relatively new things. Sailing is a constant fixing things….!
The evening ends at Bellbouy Restaurant where we indulge in fisheries of various kinds.
Log 11743. Motoring 7 hours.
måndag 9 juli 2018 - Skrivet av
Making good distance
Whitehead Harbor, a rather deserted place.
Ingemar has not slept well: He has pondered the failing fresh water pump all night and sets about it immediately upon awakening. After changing three different parts from two pumps in every possible combination we do actually, finally, have a functional pump. Gloom lifts and we are again one happy crew and Ingemar is hailed as our hero.
Sky again formidably clear and blue and the sun in shining. The wind is rather cold though but the sun is good and warm; we are at the same latitude as Bordeaux, France. We set out at 0830 hours and motor out at large. Wind the same and we make good speed north-eastwards “tacking and running”.
We get a telephone call from Andrew at the Webasto distributer. They are planning a new burner for us to be installed “end of the week” in Sidney, on the northern shore of Cape Breton Island. Wonderful news!
After a long day’s sail the wind suddenly dies and we are left with the swells. So we motor into Whitehead Harbour a similarly deserted place with I high quay that we forfeit. We anchor in very well protected shelter and enjoy a good dinner.
Log 11675 nm. Motoring 3 hours
söndag 8 juli 2018 - Skrivet av
First day out from Shining Waterrs
Famous Peggy's Cove, first rounded point on the home stretch
Log at start 11518 nm.
Up and away, finally. It is a rather gorgeous day, a bit nippy, though, and the oppressive heat wave/humidity is gone. We clear some final things, get the border control papers back from the marina and at 1045 hours we cast off. On the boat now is Ulla and Ingemar from Linköping, brother-in-law Ken from Brisbane and Marion and Skipper. Bent E has finally “had” his fifth grand child and will join us on Wednesday.
There is a south-westerly blowing so we motor out of St Margret’s Bay. Outside Peggy’s Cove we set sails, a grand sight of course from the hundreds of people on the cliffs by the famous light house. We now start the down wind sail along the coast of Nova Scotia. He wind is rather fresh, 10-12 m/s, so we do make quite good speed. We sneak very close to Chebucto Head where there is a former costal battery installation. On one of these concrete foundations, skipper’s former research fellow Michael D, has built a house perched quite precariously on top of the cliff.
Onwards along the coast! We aim for Owl’s Head harbour and Marion googles. “Formidable resources, showers, restaurants and the lot! When we get there, at 2000 hours the place turns out to be quite the opposite. There is (a quite new) quay but apart from that – nothing and Marion’s google place turns out to be somewhere in Florida (!) – a slight misspelling in the search line.
Simultaneously, we discover that the fresh water pump does not function!! This is disastrous. We sit on one cubic meter of water but cannot get it out of the tanks!! For this reason, skipper always carry a replacement, that, however, just now is a replacement itself – eh…not perfectly fit.
Ingemar and skipper spends the evening in the holds (machine room) and we have a somewhat gloomy, albeit well tasting, dinner. The evening/night is cold and we do realize that a heater would be nice……. We have high hopes, though
Log 11588 nm. Motoring 3 hours
lördag 7 juli 2018 - Skrivet av
Ready to go home.
Shining Waters Marina early morning
Last day at Shining Waters. Sun is just up and the morning is nippy. We are, however, at the latitude of Bordeaux, France, so in a while it will be good. We have had the heat wave of the century during the last week, and humidity to go with it, 32-34 degrees. This is now gone.
We are good to go tomorrow and all, well most, things have been fixed. The remaining problem is the heater, that has now been officially pronounced to be “obsolete”! No longer supported, no spare parts. Now, when doing a life time sail to Greenland, and after having spent “some” money on the hoses for this system, it remains somewhat awkward not to have the burner itself. So we are looking for a replacement that we hope will be installed somewhere up the coast next week.
Meanwhile, life in the Halifax area has been good.. The other day we were at the “Atlantic Museum” featuring the Titanic catastrophe and the “Halifax explosion”. A ammunition ship collided in the harbour and levelled the entire city. A 3 kT explosion, the largest non-nuclear bang ever. Yesterday we went to Cape Split at the bay of Fundy where the largest tide is found, a full 50 feet ! Twice a day no less than 16 billion tons of water goes in and out. That is equivalent to 16 cubic kilometres of water! So Nova Scotia is exciting.
This blog will be updated intermittently at various intervals when we hook up to the net.