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This is the end…….

Mon Aug 10

Port Hawkesbury was a good rest for our weary old seadog of a captain.  Today was ugly weather so we called my friend Dan, a local Cape Bretoner, and he came down and we did a cruise up Lennox passage and into the Bras D’or lakes.  It took us about 10 miles further away for our start the next day but the protected waters offered a nice trip even in rough weather.  We enjoyed a nice Haddock supper with Dan and Denise and Shamus (their 7 month old, 80 lb puppy..he ate a chair…now we have 3).  Dan brought “god” aboard and we blessed the boat with some local smoke ceremonies for the last leg of the trip.

Tuesday Aug 11

Homeward bound.  The winds have subsided and the weather window is open for the rest of the week.  We set off into the remnants of a 2m sea that had built over the last few days.  This coastline is definitely rugged with many offshore rocks and shoals, so navigation is constant.  We are plotting backup routes on the charts because of you loose GPS here you cannot easily find safe harbour in this melee of rocks.  We did 65 miles to Liscomb Harbour and pulled in to another beautiful sunset in our anchorage.  Not another boat in sight, one fishing boat came by to say hello.  Dad felt a swim was in order and said that he and Dennis had gone every night on the last leg.  (In the Northumberland Straight…this is the North Atlantic now).  I had a laugh as he jumped into what he called “the coldest water of his life except for when we cut a hole in the ice at camp”… sauna here though. We had a nice supper of ‘whatever was left’ and got a good night’s sleep.

Wed Aug 12

We left early on calm seas(1m or less which is as flat as she gets) and headed for Halifax.  With a few whales and many porpoises and seals watching over us we made good time all day.  Passed many places I have been on the mainland so it was nice to tie a seaview perspective to them.  We arrived off Halifax Harbour at about 4:30pm and decided since it was flat calm to pass the city and stay at Sambro Harbour, a better jump off spot for our final day tomorrow.  It is also quieter than Hali and much less industrial.  It is very hard for me to make the decision to stop as we have perfect conditions and home is only 5 hrs away.  But we have a welcoming party planning to come tomorrow and join us for the cruise in.  My restlessness was allayed by the perfect night and anchorage we had behind alittle island surrounded by the quaint little community of Sambro.

Thursday Aug 13

Another perfect day.  If you know this area of the ocean you know that this many flat days in a row are rare and we believe that our late friend Peter Hawkes was able to make this journey with us, in spirit.  We miss you “Lenny”.Thanks for the help with the weather.  We have only about 3 hrs to East Ironbound, the outermost island on our route in.  It is hard to see our destination and not get there any faster at first, I want more speed.  7.5 knots it seems is OK for 1550 miles but not the last 20.   As we pass Ironbound I look back to sea and start to think of what we just did.  Speed is no longer on my mind and I actually want to go slower now.  Dad and I embrace and cry and then sit completey silent for the next half hour.  What a father I have!  In a way it was fitting to end it just the 2 of us on this leg.  We will forever laugh at  what my words a year ago got us into and the experience we gained together.  ” No problem, we’ll just drive her out there.” 1600 miles later that sentence carries  alot more weight……….  The experience of a lifetime.

So now the nostalgia and the feelings are overwhelming, but don’t worry we are not going to cry our way home the last 12 miles.  The VHF begins to crackle…Entertainer this is Okeanas..over, this is Need for Speed, this is Liza and so on.  Next thing we see, as we pass between the Tancook Islands is a small fleet of friends ready to bring us home.  It is a little past 10am and we start drinking….convoy style.  We also get a call from friends at Round Island, one of our normal stomping grounds, and adjust course  and pick up a mooring ball and raft up 5 or 6 boats for a welcome brunch.  I ate rum.  Paul and Laura are onboard so they did not miss being part of the journey.  Kim is here too and she is being a good first mate.  I remember hearing Dennis say to Kim “Sure I’ll have a rum now” after he tied up his sailboat and had a cold beer with me on the flybridge.  “There’s none left”, she replied from down below.  Dennis and I looked at eachother knowing that just 5 mins ago he had brought us a new bottle onboard.  Welcome my son….welcome to the machine.  Over the next 8 hrs we made 2 liqour store runs(thank god Chad’s boat does 75miles and hour) and partied with; Jay, Fay, Gary, Jane and Brooke,Chris, Dorian, Sally and Mia,Adam, Chad, Andrea, Gary and Joanne, Paul and Laura, Blaire, Dennis, Kim and John and others.  It was quite the homecoming…great food(thanks Gary & others) and good times.

We left at 10 pm to make the last 4.6 miles home.  We arrived in the dark and moored her in her new home.Dead sober?

Fri Aug 14

We cannot end the journey without welcoming Louise on board.  She had put a bottle of Mike’s champagne on board for when we ‘reached’.  Probably a good bottle if it was Mike’s.  She flew in that evening and joined Kim and I, Paul and Laura, Rick and John and Victoria for appetizers and G&T’s on board and of course champagne.  We could not have done the journey without the support of our wonderful women.  “See you in a few weeks” we said as they watched children and did lawns and gardens and missed us constantly (of course).  Thank you all for your sacrifices too.

Sat Aug 15

The weather is spectacular, possibly nicest day of the summer.  Good boating day!  So we head out again and watch the hundreds and hundreds of boats out for Raceweek. After seeing so few for so long it is pleasant to be among so many sea farers again.  We cruise over to Young  Island and run into to many boating friends who are out for the weekend.  Had a great snorkel, saw plenty of “bugs” and everyone went swimming and spent part of the day on the beach.  Reminded us of why we love this area so much.  New boat, plenty of visitors.  At one point I counted 15 people on the back deck alone.  Ran out of everything, and I mean everything, even Ray’s Sambuca.  We had a great day and fine supper onboard again and finished with a fiery red sunset cruise home.  The Entertainer has “reached” and so begins a new Decade of her story…….

Gotta go. Have this thing called a”wedding” next week. Uh, I mean this week…..see ya……………….Dave


  1. Nice post, very touching