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August, 2010

Aug 10

We made it

Pulling in to Port Hawkesbury, Chevy’s friend Dan met us on the dock with a couple of delightful treats including a lovely dozen of fresh farmed eggs for us. So after a long journey we enjoyed a few drinks to shake out the sketchy memories of that leg of the trip.

7am Thursday, we depart Port Hawkesbury, and head up the coast of Cape Breton towards Cheticamp. Good conditions running up the coast and beautiful sunny skies showing off its green rolling hills and steep cliffs. Comparatively speaking, the coast of Cape Breton was much nicer than the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia. Could’ve had something to do with the fog on the first part, but oh well.

Only one boat was passed on the way up, so not much traffic other than a giant pod of seals we ran into. We ended up right in the middle of a pod of about 200 seals feeding off the abundant cod I guess. It was incredible, they’d pop out of the water, check us out, giving us a look of displeasure to indicate we were interrupting their feeding, then dive under and slap their tails loudly. Some of the seals had to be several hundred pounds. We ended up hanging out long enough to take it all in, and marvel at the amount of marine life in this area. Meanwhile we find out later, they’re probably poking their heads out of the water to look for a rifle targeted at them since that’s what the fishermen do out here. Everyone seems to find them as pests that should be controlled so there’s more fish for fishermen. And then the conversations all come back to the Paul McCartney baby seal campaign from years ago.

So we make Cheticamp that evening, and pull up on a wharf all to ourselves. Couple of shots of Sambuca to warm us up, then off to play pool at the town bar. Few shots and pitchers later, we’re still owning the table and winning drinks off the locals. Time to call it a night before our livers quit, so we head home late with an early morning in store. 7am, captain and first mate find ourselves waking up staring at each other from 3 feet away from each other. Legs intertwined, scratching our heads for a minute before saying anything, wondering how we ended up cramming ourselves into the same tiny bed that had even less room from the back cushions and laptop bag. It was ridiculous, I mean it can be tight on a boat at times, but that was just completely unnecessary. So we shut off the radio and lamp that we had left on, purged the excesses from the night before, and off we go. Oh and where’s Boydy? Wasn’t to be seen until he left the v-berth at noon, to find himself half way to Iles de la Madeleine. Must be nice to have that much time to recover.

One other boat was seen that trip, until we arrived in the beautiful islands. Just gorgeous sand dunes and beaches. Very incredible sights out here. We got in Friday afternoon and Boydy’s girlfriend Isabelle met us at the wharf and took us up for some out of this world delicious tapas. Poutine with blue cheese, scallops, and seal sausage were just a few of the delights we enjoyed. Back to the boat for a quick dip in the bay in the warm water. Then off Boydy and Isabelle go, to see her family, so Chevy and I find ourselves having a romantic evening watching the sunset over some Mojitos, followed up by some beautiful crepes with Nutella and Strawberries to top off the night in case we didn’t have enough to eat by then. We quickly realized that we had to budget our metabolisms so we could maximize the amount of food ingested since everything here is so incredibly fresh and tasty. Just trying to figure out how much Bocce is required to burn off all these calories.

Early night Friday, anchored in the bay away from the wharf since its busy with Acadian week here and a huge sand castle building contest just over the dune from us. Dozens and dozens of campers have come out for this event, some say 10,000 people show up for it, hard to say but the tiny street in town here is bumper to bumper with tourists.

Saturday, off to the beach with Isa’s family. Hard not to find a beautiful beach anywhere here, that’s all there is. After that beach, we head back to the boat, and visit the sand castle contest. Saturday night, live music at the bar, running into some guys we played pool with back in Cheticamp. Turns out they have been up drinking the entire time since Cheticamp. Chevy and I become worried, this could be trouble. So we head back and have a lovely prosciutto sandwich with cheese curds and fall asleep instantly. This time, we sleep in separate beds.

Sunday, another beautiful beach, great for Bocce where Chevy and I show the locals how it’s done. Super high sand dunes and nice water with the softest sand and no rocks anywhere. Isa’s family teaches us more French as we enjoy another incredible beach snack spread provided by Chef Boydy. Pate, local cheese, lobster, mackeral, tomato and cucumber all served on the softest bread. Then lobster sandwiches and poutine for dinner, and back to the boat awaiting Kim’s arrival 7am this morning.

Monday now, the plan is to move the boat from the wharf here in Havre Aubert over to Cap aux Meules and take Isa’s family for a trip since they’ve been such great company. There’s about 10-12 of them coming so it should be a good ride for the short hour and a half it takes. Kim’s here now too, and of course we take her to the bakery first thing to show her what she’s in for regarding the food they have. Which includes Beignets or Tortierre(?) -deep fried donut like bread roll with either homemade Molasses or Caramel. How can you get enough of this stuff??? I keep making the mistake of getting home fries with my breakfasts which is just unnecessary filler, taking away room for more important items. Not that the potatoes are bad, there’s just an important ranking system needed to maximize enjoyment based on limited (mostly full) stomachs. The thing is I think Chevy has been planning for this trip for a long time and has a head start on me in terms of having more room for food in his mid section. I have to say with the food here, I might be a tad jealous.

Anyways, I think that’s enough for now. Definitely wish Faye and Brooke could be with us out here, I miss them like crazy, hoping that we can come back another time somehow.

Aug 10

Fog with clear patch

Day 1: Packed and off we go leaving Chester Basin at 1:30pm Tuesday August 10, 2010.
Beautiful conditions in Mahone Bay, things looked great. A few sailboats coming in for Chester’s Raceweek. 4pm hits, I take the wheel, Chevy has a nap as we have a long night ahead of us planning on running through it up to Canso.
4:30 Boyd and I hit a wall of fog that wouldn’t lift until the next day.  They called for fog patches, but as Chevy put it, they should’ve called for clear patches. I think we found one at around 1am while Boydy was driving. We were able to use a star in the sky to help keep on course for about an hour there. Before and after that, we just had to feel the waves and try to keep us straight. Autopilot wouldn’t work with a following sea that was pushing us around from the South. We all had a lovely workout spinning the wheel vigorously to fight the swells.

Couldn’t wait for daylight, counting down the minutes until we could see more than 10 feet in front of us. We had the gps and radar on, so nothing to worry about…  Maybe that’s why Chevy decided to worry about running out power. He thought it was too easy heading out into the fog all night long with two rookies. Maybe I’m exaggerating. In the end, we made it
So we showed up in Chedabucto Bay around 9am and it was finally nearly flat calm. Pulled into Port Hawkesbury at around 5pm after a straight 27 hours out at sea. Had some lovely drinks, dinner, and watched a beautiful sunset. So nice, I only got off the boat to tie it up. None of us felt the need to waste time with showers either. Dedicated.

Through the lock at canso, out off the coast of cape breton now. Looking good, though the seas are a bit rocky pushing into us, but the forecast looks good.


Aug 10

Guess who’s back…..

Chevy: So, we decided to tread lightly, this year with the Enterainer’s Wake. We started with issues of the personal type all around. So we left.

Mahone Bay, simple.

Bye bye race week….

Boyd’s schedule was moved up, so we decided to do an easy 29 hours from Mahone Bay to Port Hawkesbury. Luckily we only encountered fog for 17 hrs, combined with a confusing sea, and the sea vapour also helped to confuse our minds.

We were lucky to see the front of the boat, and often times steered in circles admiring ourselves….mostly Boyd.

Better decisions left aside, we covered hundreds of miles, in the worst conditions. With the best of friends.

And of course,  the last ten miles were absolutely beautiful as Boydy said felt like “Didn’t matter if it took 2mins or 2 secs, smashing your balls in the drawer for the first time is inevitable. Death or life can last two seconds, unravell your bag skin, like the swells in the ocean, your balls..
And Chevy says ……”


Btw….we’re not overcoming yet.

Worst night ever
Slept in my life jacket

Editor’s first revsion…