Sunday, 5 June 2011

Lunenburg at last

Been a while since we posted and much has happened since we left Cary and Portsmouth behind. We set out for Lunenburg, Nova Scotia with a favourable wind and made good progress the first day. But, as ever, it seems predictions and actualities are far apart and the wind eased and progress slowed. After 3 days we were closing the coast of Long Island as the forecast was for stiff easterlies....progress was slow but steady around 3 knots as we were passed by yet another 60 odd foot boat under power. Violent thunderstorms could be seen between us and New York but we were to far east to get wet or fried but we did have Queen Mary 2 pass within a mile of us .

Fog came in and we eventually made our way into Block Island to wait a better slant of wind. We've been meaning to get into here for the last 5 years or so but never made it for various reasons. Good shelter and, at this time of the year, very few boats. A boat we know of but have never actually met came in a few days later and as we were talking to Robin and Jac on Skype we were able to get Andante's (the boat we wanted to talk to and they knew) email. Soon after they came on the vhf to hail us- the wonders of technology. Of which more later he muttered darkly....
We both left the following morning though to slightly different directions. We had a long haul up Buzzards Bay in the inevitable fog, anchored for a few hours to await the tide turn. As we hauled the anchor up the wind was squally and the sky black with rain. No fog but poor visibility as we sailed up the channel and into the canal proper. As we exited the other side with a stiff wind the prospect of a night sail with a beam wind and rolling seas slamming into us overcame me and against Bee's protest we sailed into Provincetown for the night. Which turned into several days as we, again, waited a better slant. But a few more jobs were done, Bee kayaked ashore and we followed the local news as the CG searched for a missing lobster diver. Sadly the body was recovered days later in 56' of water.

But the weather turned and one bright morning at 6am we set off. OK a bit of fog around but the cruise up the coast in sunshine was pleasant as we were passed by the inevitable fast moving yot under power. We cleared Cape Cod, all sand dunes and a few small cabins and set the course for Lunenburg. Sometime around 10 we sailed into the fog and there we stayed. And stayed. The trip across took about 90 hours and we saw nothing until we entered Lunenburg harbour about 300 miles later.Often the vis was about 1/2 mile or less and sometimes it may have been a tad further but mostly it was a wet, cold silent trip. We spoke to the Arcadian - a ferry (I think) that runs between Canada and the US and when we ended the call were surprised to hear from Andante who were about 7 miles from us and moving at 6knots to our 4. I can see the advantages of a roller furling in this situation. Want more sail? Release this line and away you go...whereas we need to take one down, put another one up and then stow the wet one somewhere - usually on deck, hopefully lashed well down. Still we were making our usual steady progress and Stan the steerer was working so no complaints really. Andante were bound for Halifax but in the end pushed onto St Peter's in Cape Breton. Our paths will cross and meet soon we know.

Into Lunenburg for the first time in 6 years and luckily one boat on a mooring who, in response to our hail,  left the movie he, Michael, and his girlfriend, Hannah were watching, leapt into a dinghy and rowed to a dock to take our lines, joined by a couple, Richard and Jo off a huge brigantine, Concordia.  Phone was borrowed, Customs contacted and whilst we settled down to wait our line handlers left for the night. Customs arrived about 2 hours later and conducted the usual thorough interview, particularly about how we fund ourselves..........., whether we had gifts etc etc. Finally by 11.30pm we were cleared in and sleep called.
The following day I wandered off to find out about the jetty we were on and returned to find Hannah and her mum, Laurel on board . Hannah has been at sea on various boats for the last 10 years from the Picton Castle to Maggie B to an Arctic Tug and is only 27!! Amazing woman.  Our next visitors were Steve and Marilyn and Bee treated them to a cup of coffee, the significance of which is about to follow.....

The last time we were in Lunenburg we felt the town was a dying, everything seemed as though it was on its knees but this time around was much better. It has an amazing waterfront, colourful, interesting and unspoilt. No huge marina just a few buoys or you anchor. We really liked the place.

So we left Lunenburg with a cooker that for some reason had decided to stop working. It would light but the flame would die within a few seconds. But we were on our way to see Steve and Marilyn who, after 30 years in a boat, have opted to do a bit of land living. We anchored in a bay close to their home and set about getting the cooker to work. Well it didn't. We have cleaned pipes, cleaned out the tank, stripped the burners and more you don't want to know about. This went on for days and days; meals consisted of crisps and alcohol and dreams were dominated by kerosene fueled antics... One day was taken out as I couldn't bear the thought of yet another day spent messing with the damn thing and we rode off to visit the local sail maker, a really neat woman called Michelle Stevens who, as Bee says, took pity on the old man and gave us a lift back to the boat. See her site here  We also visited a guy who has a Wylo (like Blackthorn) and he'd ditched his Taylor's in favour of a simpler "Primus" cooker system and that's the way we think we're going.. But in the meantime we persevered and persevered and finally last night, Sat 4 June we got it going.. A good flame and we ran it for 3 hours as Bee made a loaf of bread, cooked a meal and we kept an eye on it. Finally we were back in business and emails were sent out to various folks who have been advising us. This morning the roaring sound of a Taylor's cooker was once again back to the silence of the cloister as it refused to work. We know it wasn't a dream 'cos we have a meal and a loaf of bread sitting there. So there you have it - primitive technology still has the ability to beat modern thinking or something. Today we refused to touch it and wrote this up, Bee helped in the garden, we cleaned the prop and changed the fan belt. In an idle moment we thought we'd try the bloody cooker again. It worked.....

It'll be up for sale when you read this.

1 comment:

  1. Let's hope the prospective Taylors purchaser hasn't read this. We don't think you'll sell it. We felt guilty when we considered swopping ours for a Force 10 we were offered in Deltaville. Life would have been just too easy!