|'berg close up|
Onward south and with the possibility of a blow coming with a head wind in the next day we opted to keep going through the night. Not a happy time as vis. was poor, bergs and growlers numerous and we still needed to motor but we did, eventually, make the safety of Smokey Hbr where we were able to stock up on wood before the rains and strong winds came. South yet again and as we approached the entrance to Grady, in the dark of course, the engine cut out when we were about ½ mile from the entrance. The main was still up and once again we bore away to get sea room and see if we could sort it. Well this time we simply connected a fuel jerry can to the pump, ran the return back to it and followed our exit track into the harbour, anchored and set about locating the problem. A chance remark by Bee about whether I had cleaned the barbs on the water trap before replacing it (I had) made us consider the barbs on the primary filter and there was our problem. Choked. Cleaned and checked and cleaned again we re-fitted everything and away the engine went and has continued to do so. No doubt a more mechanical minded person than me (not difficult) would have sussed it long ago.....
|Comfy shelter at 40 knots|
|The other side of Punchbowl - vandalised buildings.|
With no response but a “favourable” wind, well it was behind us, we set off for the Petite Rigolot. The rain fell through the fog and the wind howled as we bowled along. This shore is particularly rocky and leading marks abound so we wanted visibility to get things right. The wind, dead astern, made closing the shore iffy and we decided we'd carry on, hoping that winds would moderate and fog lift before we made Harrington about 45 nm further on. We hadn't been back there for 5 years, I think, so were looking forward to seeing Jim and Sharon, a local couple who had befriended us. Conditions didn't change of course and as night came in and rather than face the rocks and islands we looked at the forecast for the next few days, saw it offered a chance to make it down to Dingwall in one hop and decided to carry on. No forecast survives contact with reality and we spent a frustrating few days gradually working our way south. Spectacular sunset one evening had us wondering what lay ahead but eventually we were closing the Cape Breton coast and our destination of Dingwall. The wind, by now from the NW and a steady 25k was accompanied by the ever present fog and rain. Dingwall now lay to windward, it was around 1am and the tide was ebbing.................we'll keep going for the Lakes we said.
Probably for the first time ever we arrived at the entrance as the tide was running into the Lakes and slid through with a bit of wind but an engine humming along. Once through we sailed, slowly, catching each small puff to move us along. The wind, still from the NW, was moving the tree tops that line that part of the Lakes but was fluky and variable at water level. Of course when you reach the open bay where Baddeck sits (and our new destination) it picks up to 20k plus and leaves you with a stiff beat.... or not in our case. We made one long board to see what sort of angle we would make, muttered “stuff it” and carried on for our 5th new destination of this trip. A call to Barra Strait Bridge for an opening and we were racing through the gap with sails pulling and engine in stand-by,the bridge keeper snapping away with his cellphone. Finally, finally we made it to the other side of the Lakes and came upon our anchorage. The wind had once last go at us, snarling and snorting in an uncalled for squall but we were in, good water and lovely tall trees to shelter us. Time for a drink we said and slid below to a warm fire some four and a half days after we set off.
A short motor the following day saw us at the canal where we tied up with the help of Jack and Glenda, long time friends. A guy came down said “You must be here for the International Speak Like a Pirates Day” and roped us in to helping! A day or so later we had numerous kids aboard who were duly hauled up the mast,allowed to climb in the net and generally enjoy themselves. Not sure how the mothers/carers felt as the kids climbed across the bowsprit and into the net before leaning precariously over the water despite cries of “he/she can't swim...”
Russ and Alison turned up a day later having been to Harrington where, they were assured, we'd been spotted at anchor in a nearby bay....??
With good winds we forecast we headed away from St Peter's Canal on the Monday, down through Andrews Passage and onto Yankee Cove where we found Francis B the boat that had relayed the message from Trevor all those weeks back. They opted to remain but the next day Walkabout and Hannah were on the move again for a shortish hop to Fisherman's Habour and then onward to Lunenburg. Which is roughly where we are now except around the back anchored off friend's house's whilst we await our visa appointment.
|The Button Island bear, bloody from the seal meal...|