Our Summer Cruise 2016

May 16 - 22
May 23 - 29
May 30 - Jun 5
Jun 6 - 12
Jun 13 - 19
Jun 20 - 26
Jun 27 - Jul 3
Jul 4 - 10
Jul 11 -17
Jul 18 - 24
Jul 25 - 31
Aug 1 - 7
Aug 8 - 14
Aug 15 -21
Aug 22 - 28
Aug 29 - Sep 4
Sep 5 - 11
Sep 12 - 18
Sep 19 - 25

 

Monday, August 15

The weather cleared overnight but the clouds persisted throughout the day but we still had our great view to the south of our mooring of Kidston Island and its lighthouse.

 

The big boats moved on and were replaced ....

 

This evening we went to the Baddeck Ceilidh we missed last night and were lucky enough to get six cancellations. A ceilidh (kay-lee) is a traditional Gaelic social gathering with usually involves playing Gaelic music and dancing. It originated in Scotland and Ireland. When visiting Cape Breton, its Scottish heritage the Gaelic influence is impossible to miss. The Royal Cape Breton Gaelic College was founded in 1938 and it is dedicated to perpetuation of the Highland Scottish Gaelic culture. Its curriculum includes Gaelic language, Gaelic song, Gaelic history, Gaelic storytelling, Gaelic drama, traditional bag piping, Cape Breton fiddling, Cape Breton step dance, Highland dance, bodhran, harp, whistle and weaving. The Gaelic heritage is a source of great pride for the Cape Breton residents of Scottish and Irish descent.  

Nancy, a local resident has organized ceilidh’s at the local parish hall, seven nights a week during the summer months for the past 16 years. The hall only holds 100 people and it is sold out every night. On the evening we attended, we had a fiddler and a piano player, both in their mid 30’s and they entertained us with a mix of Cape Breton, Scottish, and Irish tunes, modern and traditional, ballads, jigs, reels and step dancing. They are both teachers at the Gaelic College and perform regularly in Cape Breton and many other venues across the country. They grew up on Cape Breton and were immersed in the Gaelic culture and ceilidh gatherings since their youth. It was a great treat to experience this music and appreciate that this music’s roots in Cape Breton go back to the early 18th century and have changed very little since then.

 

 

 

Tuesday, August 16

Baddeck to Island Point Harbor - 13nm

We did not have to leave early today and, as the weather was good, we dinghied ashore to settle up our bill for mooring and our pumpout when we arrived. They trust their boating clients and did not take a credit card up front! We took the opportunity to wander around Baddeck a little more in the sun and came across Mr.. and Mrs. Bell admiring the view of the harbor ...

 

Timber Framing is Still Alive and Well Here!

We only had a short run today out past the headland where Beinn Bhreagh is located to the southeast shore of Boularderie Island to an anchorage highly recommended in the Cape Breton Cruising Guide. Stephen's friend had also recommended the anchorage to us.

As we passed up the St. Andrews Channel, the bottom dropped out of the channel ... depths of up to 920' are noted on the chart in a channel only 2 miles wide. Our depth sounder only reads to around 700' then goes blank and it can take a while to come back so we tried to keep in shallower water as it would be nice to have a depth sounder when we go to anchor. We tucked into a small cove on the north shore of the spit that forms Island Point and anchored in 9' of water after crossing a shallow area. The Cruising Guide once again proved its worth.

The cliff face along this side of Boularderie Island is white gypsum rock. This rock is very soft and easily worn down by wind, rain, and ice and forms soft, rounded sculptural forms.

We had hoped to dinghy around the harbor later and get some photos but ended up helping Stephen remove and reinstall the hatch over his bed which had developed a small leak. I have "borrowed" one of Stephen's photos to show some of the closer rock. From our viewpoint at anchor, we could see some more examples and, every time we looked, we could see different forms carved in the rock.

What Can You See in This Rock?

 

Wednesday, August 17

Today was not a good day to travel with high winds and rain forecast. It wasn't long before the rain came and it did not let up all day. I think we ended up getting somewhere between 2 and 3 inches of rain and had to bail the dinghy our several times. At one point, I joked to Judy that animal were lining up in pairs on the shore and we had better get ready to repel any boarders!

Had a quiet day catching up on some inside boat jobs and some work on the blog.

 

Thursday, August 18

Island Point Harbor to McDonald's Cove - 32nm

As usual, the weather moderated overnight and, while still very cloudy, was dry with prospects for sun later for our trip back down into the "big" lake" as it is called. Bob and Jan went on to St. Peters while we left with Tug'n for Mc Donald Cove at Marble Mountain, the site of a now-closed marble quarry. At the halfway point, as before the bridge tender at the Narrows was very cooperative and halted traffic as we approached and opened the bridge for us.

Great Narrows Bridge

 

Marble Mountain in Its Heyday - 1914

 

What Remains Today

After finding a good anchorage in the Cove, we dinghied around to the Marble Mountain dock with Stephen and Fran and took a hike up the Mountain with its spectacular views over the "big lake" and the many islands.

The Race Is On

 

 

This very large quarry opened in 1869 and closed in 1921. Over those 52 years, this remote part of the island would witness the growth of a major industry, a vibrant business that by the early 1900s would employ more than 1,000 men. The marble from this quarry was shipped to places all over North America and was used for flooring, counter tops and other high end furniture, and to decorate the walls of public buildings. By the time of the First World War the village of Marble Mountain had two churches, seven stores, a branch of the Royal Bank of Canada, and its own power station.

Today, the population is only 75 but they are very active in preserving the history of the community. One family is restoring the General Store ....

In the early 1900s

Today

The Perfect End to Another Perfect Day

Friday, August 19

McDonald's Cove to St. Peters - 18nm

Up very early for the 2 hour run to St. Peters for haircut appointments and to meet up with Bob and Jan. Within an hour of arriving, we had both been shorn for the princely sum of $34 including a generous tip and were ready to leave for our next destination of Yankee Cove, Nova Scotia.

St. Peter's Bay to Yankee Cove - 38 nm

Wings Exiting St. Peter's Lock

We exited St. Peter's Bay via the Lock and headed south passing Ile Madame into the Chedabucto Bay and at this point we were in the Atlantic Ocean with over 2500 nm of water to France in the East. Fortunately, we would be heading generally southwest for the next few weeks along the coast of Nova Scotia, (known as the Eastern Shore and the Western Shore).

This was the first time we had experienced ocean swells versus waves and the swells were 3 to 6 feet high from the east and south. It sounds uncomfortable but the peaks of the swells were widely spaced so the boat just rode slowly up and down with the occasional strange motion when two swells arrived at the same time. Overlaid on the swells were small waves (caused by wind) of up to three feet from another direction. Boat speed varied considerably as we rose and fell with the swells with occasional spray over the forward windows. This was something else to get used to.

The landscape soon began to change as we reached open water with a rugged shoreline beginning to appear, facing the full force of the Atlantic in bad weather.

 

 

 

As we made the turn to head towards Yankee Cove, the rocks looked just how we expected the Nova Scotia shore to appear.

 

Yankee Cove turned out to be well protected anchorage, a bit tricky to enter but fine if you missed the entrance rock. We arrive at low tide with numerous rocks covered with bright seaweed littering the shore line. The shore was tree-lined and not particularly interesting but a good place to overnight. The spruce trees that covered the land adjacent to the shore lined have been badly damaged by spruce beetles and almost half were just silver-grey shadows of their former selves. In years past, the scenery would have been much improved. A sailboat on the next mooring ball to us at Baddeck was already at anchor, heading south like us. The boat had a good dose of salt, so we took advantage of a full water tank to rinse the boat down and get most of the salt off before cooking and having an early night after watching the full moon rise quickly.

 

Saturday, August 20

Yankee Cove to Sally's Cove (Shelter Cove) - 70nm

An early start again today as we have a long day planned, probably 10 hours, to a highly recommended anchorage, one of the best in Nova Scotia, according to Peter Loveridge the author of the "Cruising Guide to Nova Scotia". He was right ... significantly better than Yankee Cove with varied elevations around, rocks, and trees. Damage from the spruce beetles seemed significantly less here. After doing a thorough wash down of the boat again, we just had enough time to join the gang on Wings for Happy Hour. We did some exploring by dinghy after dinner and started to get the promise of a good sunset. In just the few hours since we had arrived close to low tide the shoreline had changed dramatically with rock previously visible hidden under water. One needs to be careful dinghying around near the shore here!

STB at Twilight ... but it was to get better.....

 

Sunday, August 21

The weather was good again and we all got the dinghies out to explore Pope's Harbor, the area surrounding Shelter Cove. The wind out in the bay had kicked the waves up some but going north was fine as we soon planed the mile or so to the small village of Pope's Harbor where a couple of fishing boats were docked. After chatting with the fisherman for a while we headed back a little slower this time as the waves had built up. We abandoned plans to go around to the other side of the Cove to see the two fine sand beaches and thought we might cross the narrow strip of land from the Cove later at low tide. Sammy the seal showed up in the Cove .... he's shadowing us again!

I dinghied around the Cove taking photos at low tide with the bright yellow seaweed radiant in the sun .....

 

 

 

Stephen attempted the overland route to the beach after lunch and found out that this was not a good idea and ended up knee deep in black, sticky mud which created a big mess in his dinghy. This shows the route but I thought it looked a bit hazardous earlier.

 

 

 

May 16 - 22
May 23 - 29
May 30 - Jun 5
Jun 6 - 12
Jun 13 - 19
Jun 20 - 26
Jun 27 - Jul 3
Jul 4 - 10
Jul 11 -17
Jul 18 - 24
Jul 25 - 31
Aug 1 - 7
Aug 8 - 14
Aug 15 -21
Aug 22 - 28
Aug 29 - Sep 4
Sep 5 - 11
Sep 12 - 18
Sep 19 - 25