Sunday, July 19, 2009

July 13-19, 2009 ::: Liscombe to Halifax, Tall Ships

Traveling from Canso to Lipscombe required a long trip in the Atlantic, almost 60 miles. The SouthWest winds were strong and the seas were uncomfortable. We had routine 2-3 meter swells with more than occasional 3-4 meter swells. A long ride that resulted in our pulling into Liscombe Harbour on our way for a two night stay at the Liscombe Lodge.

The pier at Liscombe Lodge is some 60' in length . . . which is just right for our 42' SONATA, however, when we arrived there were two sailboats on the pier. One move up along-side another and we then took his position on the end of the pier . . . one half of SONATA extending beyond the pier. The sail boats in front of us likewise extended half their length over the pier. There was electric power, water, and a great dinner in store; all is well.

Dinner at the lodge was outstanding! We enjoyed their plank smoked salmon as the main dish. Taste was out of this world. One of our best meals in Canada. We also used the lodge to access the internet . . . none available where the boat was located . . . and we had no phone service during our stay here.

After lunch Bonnie took the long nature walk while I stayed with SONATA to move forward. Two new sail boats arrived and were secured behind us. The sail boat, NEXT BOAT, was from New York and had just participated in the Boston to Halifax race. The boat was brand-new.

Having experienced a rough day on the water in the passage to Liscombe we departed early, first light, 0500, for Tangier Harbour, in an effort to avoid the strong wind and sea. Tangier Harbour provided a quiet calm harbour and we had been told there was a place to tie up and secure fish for dinner. We searched the harbour and found the fish processing plant with a small breakwater and protected cove next to it. N44-47.650, W062-40.517. Dale met us at the dock and showed us where to obtain fish. We purchased scallops which became our dinner. The electric service was not working due to lighting recently striking the power post and lamp which was beside SONATA after we tied up.

Halifax. We were greeted by the HMS SYDNEY (from Australia) as we entered port. This happened to be the Tall Ships week end in Halifax . . . they are along the Halifax waterfront.

"Our-own" VIRGINIA from Norfolk was present (the black hull).

as was the BOUNTY which we had last seen in Tampa, Florida. We cruised the waterfront with numerous other boats and then went to our slip at the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron.

Harvey, all for YOU! What a stately vessel!

We had not seen the Coast Guard's EAGLE prior to this visit, therefore, for Harvey (USCG, Ret.), we have included these pictures. We had a nice tour of the vessel and spoke with some very young Coast Guard students.

But now . . . it is time for Bonnie to return home . . . and leave SONATA in Halifax to await her return. Happens most every time, the fog, rain settle in upon her departure and then we know what to expect when she returns.

This will be the celebration, the joy, the weather upon Bonnie's return!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

July 10-12, 2009 ::: Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, to Canso, Nova Scotia

Crossing to Charllotetown, Prince Edward Island, was peaceful and pleasant. We arrived at our marina, Quartermaster Marina, and were ushered to a very narrow slip in a narrow fairway. The slip was 16' wide . . . SONATA is 14'7" wide. The slip was only some 35' deep and we are 42' long. Bonnie carefully turned SONATA around and gently slipped SONATA into her berth without touching the pier or the boat that was next to us.

On Friday Joe and Mary Beth Amelia came down to SONATA and we had lunch. After lunch Joe and Mary Beth took us on a tour of Prince Edward Island. We first stopped at the Canadian Park Service park for Anne of Green Gables.

This home has been created from the books about Anne of Green Gable. On Saturday we went downtown to the musical, Anne of Green Gables, which was a very nice and well done show representing Anne.

After touring Anne's house Joe and Mary Beth were kind to us and took us to their home for us to start our laundry while we went for dinner. Off to the lobster and mussels store for fresh sea food. Then to join Joe and Mary Beth's family for dinner of fresh lobster, mussels, PEI potatoes and a wonderful afternoon and evening.

Joe and Mary Beth completed the Great American Loop in May of 2009 and are now at their home here in the PEI. This is also their home. Joe is a long distance driver and Mary Beth joins him on some of the trips. They have now traveled the eastern US and Canada by boat . . . now by their 18 wheeler.

Strong winds prevailed on Monday the 12th so we delayed departure until late afternoon. We took on 1,500 liters of diesel at $0.982 per liter and departed at about 1730 for Ballantyne's Cove some 70 miles distant. We arrived at Ballantyne's Cove at 0149 and made our way through the narrow opening . . . in the dark by GPS, Radar, and careful navigation. We tied to their "T" pier and checked out with the Canadian Coast Guard, reporting our safe arrival. A quiet short evening before an early departure. The lobster traps are all stacked for the season is now over until April of next year.

The Canso Straight took us to the Canso Lock . . . our last lock on this trip. Passage through the lock took us into the Atlantic Ocean and began our trip legs to Halifax.

This Google shot shows our general path from Charlottetown, PEI, to around the point and into Ballantyne's Cove, and then on through the Canso Straight and Lock to the City of Canso.

Overnight was at the Cape Canso Marina which was nicely inside a breakwater and provided us with a quiet night. The town and marina are suffering from the economic depression caused in part by over-fishing. Mike, one of the marina operators and a local diver, met us as we pulled in.

Early, Tuesday, the 14th, we were off for Liscombe via Andrew's Passage; a narrow waterway between the southern small islands and Nova Scotia.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

June 26 - July 10 ::: Rimouski to Charlottetown

Back at the marina . . . Rimouski is nice and quiet in this photo. Not true for the week SONATA remained there waiting for Bonnie's return. Every day was strong wind, rain and/or fog. The sun ceased to exist. Les and Judy Emery arrived the same days SONATA did and was waiting, as was ODYSSEE, for a clear day to proceed east, down river on the St. Lawrence.

July 3rd was a better day; Bonnie to arrive in Quebec. Charlie is off in a National rental car from Rimouski to Quebec, and, a pause for a bite to eat. This little hummingbird brightened an otherwise, again, foggy day in Quebec before meeting Bonnie. Grocery shopping completed in Rimouski and then preparation for our next stop.

Sainte-Anne-des-Monts. As seen on radar and the GPS. When we departed Rimouski we were following ODYSSEE and VOUAGER II; they had left Rimouski on July 2nd. The river was to be calmer on the 4th . . . it was not. There was fog, rolling seas and a tough trip to Sainte Anne.

In Sainte-Anne-des-Monts we met up with Les and Judy and they were nice to provide us with this photo.

Sainte-Anne-des-Monts to Riviere-au-Renard . . . another trip with fog, rough sea . . . a long day. The benefit of the day was arrival at about N49-16.0 W065-13.8 (our northern most latitude) . . . we turned SOUTH. We are now really on the way back to Virginia.

SONATA rests after another long day at the end of the pier across from the fishing boats in Riviere-au-Renard. We had 15amps of electrical service . . . the boat was still, we did not rock and roll. A quiet fishing village. We walked to lunch and visited the local fishing fleet.

We walked down the street toward a local eating spot. After several blocks, asked a fellow driving a pickup for the restaurant location. He could only speak french . . . made some eating gestures . . . and he offered a ride. We took the ride for several more blocks to eat. Ordering was assisted by the fellow at the table . . . we enjoyed a a "Michigan Hot-dog" (heart-burn special). It was a small hot dog covered with spaghetti sauce and cheeze.

One of the fishing boats we passed was a shrimper. They were unloading shrimp that has been bagged, then when unloaded placed in the large blue containers and covered with ice.

The next boat was a "long-line" boat. They take all these hooks and fasten them to a line they play out behind the boat (movie "Perfect Storm") then after laying out their lines, come back and pull them aboard hopefully having caught fish. Hard work!

The Canadian Coast Guard. Not enough good can be said about them, in particular their radio and emergency systems. You may file a "Sail-Plan" with the Canadian Coast Guard. You tell them your MMSI number, your boat name, homeport, USCG Registration number, a description of the vessel, and who is on board. They then record and keep this information. Then you tell them where you are leaving from and your estimated time of arrival (ETA) at your destination. If you tell them you will arrive at 1800 and you have not called by 1800 they start calling you, first by radio, then by phone, then the marina . . . then a search and rescue mission will be launched. They are serious about this matter. Along the way you can file updated positions, and for us that is terrific. Some days we will travel almost 100 miles so updated positions narrow the search if there is a problem. We have used this service since leaving Quebec. It adds a comfort level!

After remaining in Riviere-au-Renard for an extra, weather, day, we departed on the 7th for Shippagan. Outside the harbor we were greeted with the wait-a-day-reward, calm seas and a beautiful sunrise.

Along the Gaspe Peninsula there are light houses on the coast line down low, and

and ones up high; the Cap-des-Rosier light which was built in 1858 and is the tallest in Canada at 112 feet. The walls are 7' thick at the base and 3' thick at the top.

Perce Rock is one of Canada's most famous and most photographed landmarks. This picture comes just as we leave the Gaspe Peninsula.

And here we are, not yet clear of Perce Rock and Bonnie captures a whale. He did not breach, just a little roll as he went by.

Our next stop was to be Shippagan. A long channel into the marina, then in the am a long channel out the "back-door".

This possibly give you a better understanding of how we came in the front door, Northern entry, and went out the back-door, Southern exit.

On our way out through the southern flats we were blessed with a fishing vessel that went before us and made sure we knew where the channel was. We were further blessed with another Glorious Day of flat water and a beautiful moon-set and a sun-rise. One can never see enough of these!

We continued south with great flat seas and by-passed the mouth of the Miramichi River where Charlie had previously fly-fished with Bob O'Neill for salmon. We never touched bottom and the place was remote, clean and a great overnight stay.

July 9 we left Boctouche in the fog. We had the track on the GPS from entering and felt confident with a high to falling tide. Another flat day on the water.

The Confederation Bridge. Confederation represents the formation of Canada, which took place in Charlottetown, PEI. Wonderful flat water!!!!!!!