Monday 7th October
Shelburne, Nova Scotia
I am now playing catch up with the blog having had a couple of months rest from it. At the beginning of August we were in Halifax with a plan to continue east and north to the Bras d’Or Lakes in Cape Breton. We had lived in the Halifax area during the mid 1980s and so didn’t feel that we needed to spend much time site-seeing in this part of the world. However, there were old friends to catch up with and in particular Heather and Andrew Powell and Ron and Vanessa Manson who we had met in the BVI’s in 2007. Unfortunately Andrew was at sea at the beginning of the month so we didn’t see him for a couple more weeks.
With social engagements behind us we left Halifax on Saturday 3rd August bound for Cape Breton. It is at least three days of day sailing and we arrived at St Peter’s Canal, one of the entrances to the Bras d’Or late afternoon on Tuesday 6th August. Typical Nova Scotian summers tend to be a bit warmer than the UK with temperatures of 30C being not that unusual. However, offshore it is much colder than the UK as the cold Labrador current tracks south down the coast causing at sea temperatures to be at least 10C less than those on shore. Added to that there is the fog which is in the form of a semi-permanent bank sitting off the coast in July and August. Any wind with a southerly component brings it in and so sailing along the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia can be both cold and damp. So it was for most of our trip to Cape Breton……. and for most of the trip back.
Our luck with social events continued and we arrived at Baddeck during the Bras d’Or Yacht Club’s 100th annual regatta – another party! Heather Powell’s parents both live in Baddeck and Dave, her father volunteers at the yacht club. We were made royally welcome and had a thoroughly enjoyable couple of days there! Baddeck is lovely and it is easy to understand why Alexander Graham Bell built a home and lived much of his life there. Parks Canada run a particularly interesting museum dedicated to the great man.
Even the lake is not immune to bad weather and the morning we left there was a gale blowing with gusts of easily 40 Kts. Indeed we heard a report later that a gust of over 70 Kts had been recorded! However, we had a date and couldn’t be late! It was off to Marble Mountain to meet our friends Don and Michele who we had met earlier in the year in the Turks and Caicos Islands. They live on Prince Edward Island (PEI) and drove across to Nova Scotia to spend 24 hours with us. They brought with them sample of island produce – potatoes (PEI is world famous for its potatoes), beer (not so well known for that) and a bottle of island gin (not known at all for that but it was very good!).
After a delightful time with Don and Michele anchored off the Crammond Islands we returned them to their car at Marble Mountain. Much to everyone’s amusement we found it where it was left but now a local music and BBQ event was taking place around it!
Next stop was St Peter’s canal for the night before leaving the Bras d’Or behind….
By 18th August we were past Halifax and on our way to meet Andrew and Heather in Hubbards Cove. On the way we passed what is possibly the most photographed site in Nova Scotia, Peggys Cove lighthouse….
We had a great weekend in Hubbards, ate well, drank too much and made some new friends. All good things come to an end and the party broke up on Sunday morning as we went our separate ways, in our case to South Shore Marine, near Chester, where Emma Louise was due to be hauled out for a few weeks. On the way we had time to stop at Big Tancook Island and have a walk around it…
Next stop was Chester where we left EL as we headed back to the UK for a three week “holiday”.
Before we flew we had time to complete a commission for my old friend Barry Coughlan. His wife, Pauline (nee Murphy) is related to one J Dawson who drowned on the Titanic. A long story short de Caprio played a J Dawson in the film Titanic although the director denies his character was based on the real J Dawson. Many of the victims of the tragedy are buried in the Fairview Lawn Cemetery in Halifax. Here is me beside J Dawson’s headstone…
Apparently they were able to identify him because his union card was buttoned in the top pocket of his overalls. Many of the victims lie under unmarked memorials. If you want to know more Wiki has an article on the subject http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairview_Cemetery,_Halifax,_Nova_Scotia. We also had time to visit Heather at her place of work, the Hali Deli…
Heather and Andrew were kind enough to drive us to the airport on 22nd August and we flew with Icelandair to Glasgow and as far as the journal of the voyage of Emma Louise is concerned the story rests for three weeks.
Continued in September.