2014-Labrador Here We Come

July 19,2014

(Post written by Bradley – being posted from Battle Harbour, Labrador with just a few very small photos and very limited internet connection. More details and photos will follow later).

Two little known facts about Newfoundland and Labrador. One, they are a single province within Canada, like our states, but one gets the impression they would like to be separate. They each have their own flag. Two: Newfoundland is one of the few places in the world that moves their clocks ahead by only a half-hour, rather than the standard 1hour increments.

Moose in Norris Point, Newfoundland

Moose in Norris Point, Newfoundland

When I last left you, we had just arrived in Norris Pt, Bonne Bay and dropped the hook. Kathy and I lowered the tender and went ashore to explore and hike. We were met at the dock by a very talkative and helpful young man, who suggested we hike up the little hill that bordered the anchorage. There is also a national park within a few kilometers that we will explore the next time we visit this area. Our plan was to rendezvous with Capt. Gulliver on Migration and then proceed north as soon as the weather encouraged such behavior.

Kathy and I went proceeded to hike up the hill and as we were walking a narrow path cut into the very heavy forest, we almost walked into the rump of a moose, who was lazily munching on the fresh growth along the side of the trail. He slowly turned his head looked us over carefully and decided we were unarmed, no danger to him and returned to munching. What struck me about the moose, was just how big he was. He stood as tall as many a horse I have ridden.

View from Norris Point, Newfoundland

View from Norris Point, Newfoundland

After wandering down the trail, to the very local ferry dock; there was a very nice little bar with single guitarist playing 70’s ballads and local songs. It was a very nice place to sit and have a beer while we waited for Migration to arrive. On our way out in the tender to great Migration, we decided to stop in and say G’day to a lovely sailboat flying the Australian flag named Volo. It turns out that they have cruised with our friends Mike and Sue on Yarrandoo in Alaska. Mike and Sue are two very good friends of mine, that I lived with in Bath England for 3 months in the early 80’s and then spent 3 months cruising with them Australia in 1996, just as they purchased Yarrandoo. What a small world!

After greeting Capt. Gulliver on Migration, it was decided to head out for a local dinner. The Firstmate on Migration did some research and found what turned out to be an outstanding local restaurant. After a little adventure of flagging down a local pickup truck for a ride to the restaurant a wonderful evening was had by all.

Pot luck Dinner aboard Migration

Pot luck Dinner aboard Migration

Most interestingly on our return to the anchorage, what do we find, but a third Nordhavn. Adventure had decided to take advantage of the weather window and their desire to see some Icebergs to join us. We had a quick planning meeting at their stern in the dark with us aboard the tender and decided to pull anchor at 0500 for the approximately 90 mile trip to Port Au Choix.

We all pulled anchor as planned and had a very comfortable trip north. Some patches of fog and light ran, but this is where the advantages of a trawler come in handy. We were warm and dry.
We arrived at the docks in Port Au Choix, just minutes before it began to rain in 25 knots of wind. We were each assigned a dock by the harbor master, spaced among the commercial fishing fleet. There was plenty of help, as many of the local seafaring men came out to see the 3 fleet boat arriving.

Shortly after we arrived, Adventure offered to have a happy hour party on board. We all had a wonderful time. While there, we looked up and who should be arriving but Volo. They had elected to anchor out for the night. Migration offered to sponsor a pot luck dinner onboard for Tuesday evening, so we radioed Volo and they were in.

Our first big icebergWed. morning was spent with some boat chores and the afternoon Kathy and Marci did a hike to a remote section of the peninsula. Of course, within minutes of their departure, a very heavy fog rolled in. George and I spent a good part of the afternoon on trip and weather planning, as we are organizing to depart at 0400 on Wednesday morning. All three ND were going to depart heading up the coast. Adventure was going to turn right at the top onto the east coast of NF, and we were going to cross the channel and have our first anchorage in Labrador.

First however Tuesday evening we were going to have our pot luck dinner. Migration prepared some wonderful baked tilapia, Adventure brought home made bread, including a wonderful loaf for each of us to take home. Volo contributed some wonderful vegetables and Shear Madness brought a classic English dessert – Sticky Date Pudding. This is a desert Bradley was first introduced to by his good friend Neil in Auckland many years ago. All of the food was enjoyed by all and the pudding passed the test of the Aussie – Max & Sandy.

We call this one Nordhavn 64 because it looks like on!

We call this one Nordhavn 64 because it looks like on!

Even thought we did not drink at the party as we have a 24 rule before cruising and we were back at the boat by 21:00 – it is amazing how early 03:30 rolls around. We woke to a very heavy fog and a steady 15 knot breeze. The three boats departed at planned with visibility less then 200 m.

We had a great cruise of the Straights of Belle Isle – the fog lifted like a curtain again and it turned into a wonderful day. 15 to 20 on stern 1 to 2 meter seas – and most importantly, we found our first Icebergs.

Unfortunately, this time Shear Madness and Migration had to say goodbye to Adventure for a long time. While Shear Madness may see them in the fall on our way south, Migration is heading to Europe after Greenland, so it will be a while.

We had planned 3 different anchorages at very distances from our start, with the furthest being 140 NM and the shortest being 70 miles, with our stop selection being a function of wind, current and boat speed. We ended up facing a 1 to 1.5 knot current, cutting are average speed into the low 7 knot range, and we decided returning fog and pending rain it would be prudent to anchor at our first choice.

Bradley, Kathy, George and Marci with Migration and Shear Madness at Pitt's Harbour, Labrador

Bradley, Kathy, George and Marci with Migration and Shear Madness at Pitt’s Harbour, Labrador

We pulled into Pitts Harbour and set the pick in a beautiful location, surrounded by hills – great protection and some abandon little villages – where a couple of the cabins were clearly being used in the winter as hutting cabins.

After a wonderful stir fried dinner of vegetables and fresh Newfoundland shrimp given to us by Adventure (who had purchased a case) we went to crashed for the evening to the sound of heavy rain – a boat wash.
Labrador here we come

Two little known facts about Newfoundland and Labrador. One, they are a single province within Canada, like our states, but one gets the impression they would like to be separate. They each have their own flag. Two: Newfoundland is one of the few places in the world that moves their clocks ahead by only a half-hour, rather than the standard 1hour increments.

e) we went to crashed for the evening to the sound of heavy rain – a boat wash.

  1. #1 by Dewberry, Sid on July 19, 2014 - 7:39 pm

    Kathy and Bradley, thanks for the up date. I don’t think I’d like to do this trip on a boat that only goes 8-9 knots. Give me something that planes and gets there soon. You may as well be on a sail boat. Of course the extra space is neat and the fuel saving is appealing. Pirates could be a meance. We once had to outrun a suspicious looking boat passing Hati on the way to St. Thomas. Our shotgun and 45 shark killer would have been like a toy to serious pirates. I suppose you can be safe in Canada and Greenland. It is good that you are traveling in groups. You are still living the life just about everyone one would like to live. Reva never liked that type of sacrafice, so Bradley, you chose the right mate. happy sailing. I look forward to that crossing to Greenland

    Best, sid ________________________________________

    Like

  2. #2 by Anonymous on July 19, 2014 - 5:03 am

    Carolee would have had a container of chocolate syrup to pour on the small iceberg pieces to taste it as a frozen icice!

    Like

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