We left Lunenburg early in the morning – but not as early as Ticonderoga. She was gone before we woke, no doubt bound for another port where she had an appointment to keep. Other boats were leaving too, many of them (including the sailboats) motoring off into the distance with authority. There was very little wind to speak of when we set off – but it soon came up, and we had a very happy day of sailing. Sunny and windy, with the wind from just the right direction to send us clipping merrily along. Richard set the vane to steer us, and the water chuckled merrily past the hull. We were well heeled over, and I worked on strengthening my sea legs. A work in progress.
The day felt less bright when we heard a mayday relay from the coastguard; a boat in trouble off one of the islands in St. Margaret’s Bay. Too far away from us to offer any kind of help, but hopefully another boat closer by could. We saw the Coastguard rescue boat leaving Halifax as we approached about twenty minutes later, and hoped all would end well. Travel takes a long time on the water.
By early evening we were sailing up the North West Arm, and dropping anchor again close to our old familiar spot. We were having a snack below when we heard the thump of a diesel engine, and a local sailor lingered close by long enough to say hello and tell us he enjoyed seeing our boat there as he drove past. Later we watched him ground his boat on the beach nearby a couple of times and rock it off – we still haven’t figured out why.
The next day was for getting ready to set off again. Then we were off to Jeddore Harbour, our first stop on the trip up the Nova Scotia coast toward Cape Breton. It was a long day’s sail, leaving early in the morning and arriving early in the evening.The wind started light and grew heavier through the day, though not to the point of being uncomfortable. Going in to Jeddore it was behind us, and we went bouncing in on the small waves.
We followed the well-buoyed route in, past a large sandbar where a man and his two dogs watched our arrival. There are lots of very shallow areas inside – the kind where the birds stand with damp feet and dry bodies. And some beautiful rocky islands, best enjoyed from a distance. Colorful fishing boats sat clustered at a couple of docks, and a white church spire rose from the hill above the most crowded dock. Fishing and faith – a necessary combination given the potential dangers and the hard work involved?
We paused only for the night, dropping anchor at the head of the harbour, and not taking the jog toward the marina that lay on the other side of the rocky islands. No doubt it would have been more sheltered by the marina, but the breeze that had been lively in the afternoon died down overnight, as it often seems to, and we had a good night’s sleep.
Our next destination was Liscomb River, an overnight sail away (if the distance is too long to travel comfortably in daylight we prefer to leave later in the day and travel overnight, so we can navigate our way in to a new place by the light of the next day). And we wanted to get there because the weather predictions (or weather guesses, as Richard says) suggested that we would have a good day for sailing, followed by a couple of days of higher winds and rain.
As it turned out, the weather guessers had guessed right.