July 13, 2014
With Arthur safely past it was time to resume cruising. But first we needed to visit one of our favorite restaurants, the Cape Breton Smokehouse. Situated in a beautiful log home in the middle of nowhere and run by a German couple who also live in the house, this is one of the more interesting restaurant experiences we have had. Braving serious mosquitoes, Brad and Lorraine from Adventure (the Nordhavn 55 who also hid from Arthur in Little Harbour) picked us up in their tender and we headed ashore. There are the remains of a dock, but it is so badly damaged by wood worms that is has collapsed. So the owner/chef/dockmaster met us at the shore to help us secure the tender and get us to dry land. Then it’s a short hike up to the house where the second level is a stunning restaurant with beautiful views. We asked to visit Bonnie, the resident Russian wolfhound who we had met last year and she was brought out for a visit. Then we enjoyed a wonderful meal of smoked salmon and fresh local seafood. The salmon is smoked on site and is wonderful so we asked for some “to go”. They had an entire half salmon, which we bought and split with Brad and Lorraine. The mosquitoes were even more savage on the return trip and had us dancing and swatting as the chef again helped us board and launch the tender.
Then it was time to move on to Baddeck. Brad (short for Bradford, not Bradley) and Lorraine decided to follow us so we got underway in beautiful conditions. We were about half a mile ahead of Adventure as we approached a bridge which needed to open for us so we decided to conduct a man-overboard drill in order to kill some time and allow Adventure to catch up so that we could both pass through the bridge in one opening. We threw a life ring overboard and then Bradley maneuvered the boat back around while I retrieved it with a boat hook from the swim platform. While not exactly the same as retrieving a person from the water, we do this drill from time to time, alternating our roles, just to ensure we know what to do in the event of an emergency. As you will see in the next post, it turned out to be good to practice this maneuver!
Soon we were safely through the bridge and we decided to stop for a visit to Iona, where there is a re-creation of a Highlands village. Here we learned a lot about the history of Nova Scotia – it is a walking tour with people dressed in period costumes recreating life from different eras, beginning with Scotland and progressing through the early Century in Nova Scotia. It includes several authentic buildings that have been re-located from various sites in Nova Scotia. The most impressive is the church, which was brought to Iona via the water on a large barge. From there, it was driven several kilometers to its current location atop a large hill overlooking the water, requiring the temporary moving of power lines along the way. The story of its journey was very interesting and it is a beautiful landmark for all who pass by on the water! After a great walk and enjoyable visit we were soon back on our boats, enjoying a pleasant and scenic cruise to Baddeck, just a couple hours away.
After dropping our anchor and preparing to attach the snubber line, Bradley noticed that the large bolt holding the anchor roller in place was loose and nearly off. If this bolt comes out, the entire anchor roller would have fallen into the water. So now we had a bit of a problem – the anchor was out resulting in lots of weight on the anchor roller. In order to tighten the bolt, we would have to figure out how to remove the weight of the anchor and then tighten the bolt. Since we have two anchors and two windlasses (the winch that is used to lower and raise the anchor), we engaged the second windlass and used it to lower the second anchor just far enough to allow the snubber line to be brought up through the port roller to take the tension off the anchor chain. The starboard side anchor chain was then raise up and over a crowbar, allowing access to the bolt. Brad and Lorraine from Adventure came over in their tender and with Bradley working from above and Brad working from below, we soon had the bolt tightened and back in working order.
Once safely anchored in Baddeck, we enjoyed some shore time, swiming and kayaking. We met some interesting folks too. First was the crew of Novara, a 60-foot sailboat tied to the town dock. The 4-man crew included the owner, Steve, who is a serious mountain climber, an Englishman, a Scot, and a New Zealander. We had a delightful visit with them and discussed their imminent departure to transit the Northwest Passage and our plans to visit Greenland. We started talking to the Kiwi chap (Ding) about New Zealand and how we had cruised there in our sailboat, an Oyster 56. Turns out that Steve’s previous boat had also been an Oyster 56 named Curious and that Ding knew the people who had bought our old sailboat – he even had photos of it on his laptop!
And continuing the “it’s a small world” theme, there was an Australian boat in the anchorage, Odern, and we met Bill and Karen who have spent the past seven years cruising across the Pacific. Again we got to talking about our time in Australia and soon realized we had some good friends in common – Geoff and Geraldine on Blue Dawn, who we had met in Cairns and cruised with off and on and who we keep in touch with.
Our friends aboard Migration were due to meet us in Baddeck and while Bradley was out kayaking, I happened to look up and there they were – arriving a day earlier than expected. They were soon tied up at the public dock where it is easier for Captain Gulliver to go ashore. We got together to review the latest iceberg reports and to firm up plans for our crossing to Greenland. We agreed to head first to Bonne Bay in Newfoundland, then to work our way north as the weather allows, up to the east coast of Labrador and crossing to Greenland as soon as conditions allow. Migration will likely continue on to Europe after visiting Greenland, while we will return to Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and then back to the US.
After a visit to the local farmer’s market where we procured some of Bradley’s favorite dark German bread, and a dinner out with Adventure, Migration, and Odern at the local Chinese restaurant, it was time to depart for Newfoundland (new-fund-LAND, rhymes with “understand”). Migration is delaying their departure by a day to wait for some mail to be delivered so we will cruise with Adventure up to the Bay of Islands on the west coast of Newfoundland before heading to Bonne Bay.
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