Sailing can be very unpredictable. When we set off from Liscomb to Whitehead Harbour, the wind blew us happily along. But then it dropped, and for a while we sat with empty sails slatting back and forth above the boat, making very slow progress. And (because we forgot that it’s better to reef and take the pressure off them) we ended up with two of the slugs that hold our sail into our boom broken. Something to fix at our next stop, which, as it turned out, was not Whitehead Harbour, not after all the calm. In the meantime Richard tied the end of the sail to the boom.
It became clear that there were not going to be enough daylight hours left to make it to our original destination before nightfall. So we had to make a change – and we’re glad we did. We looked at where we were and at the chart, and chose to change course to New Harbour. It was closer to where we were, easy to get into, and the chart showed a breakwater that should give us some shelter from the ocean swell.
We approached carefully, comparing the harbour as it actually was to the way it looked on the chart. We passed the breakwater and saw moorings and a dinghy past a good-sized wharf. The depths were skinny, but good enough, and we turned toward the moorings to drop anchor.
It’s hard not to like a place where the first person you see as you come in and prepare to anchor greets you cheerfully and asks if you want clams for supper. We were a little busy anchoring (twice – the first time we found ourselves not quite enough behind the breakwater, and it was rolly), but we smiled and thanked him. As it turned out we didn’t get off the boat that evening, but when Richard went in the next day to see if there was water for the having we did indeed get clams for supper, and instructions on how to cook them properly.
New Harbour is a small fishing harbour, and the water that’s deep enough for a sailboat like ours to anchor in is around the dock and toward the moorings – to your left as you enter. The rest of the harbour is shallow. Around it is a small settlement, a mixture of houses in different sizes and colours, and not a lot else in the way of buildings or stores that we could see. Of natural things there might have been an abundance, like the river that the clams came from. The trees and plants were richly green. The ground slopes gently up from the water, and the dock, boats and fishing are obviously very important to the community. Indeed, a large part of the community was out fishing on the dock soon after we arrived!
And there is kindness in abundance. When we asked for water, it was offered from a household well. And so was a ride to and from the house, which made carrying the water containers that much easier. And the phone service was better than in Liscomb, though the signal was best if you held the phone in such a way as to avoid blocking the antenna with your hand, high in the air outside in the cockpit. Or so we found.
The fishing boats shelter behind the wharf, but if a visiting boat wishes it can tie up on the outside for the very reasonable sum of five dollars a night or thirty dollars a month. Something to consider if you’d like to stay a while.
But we couldn’t. We liked it there, but we had to keep moving along.