The Voyage of S/V Estelle

Settling in to the British Columbia Coast

28 April 2017 | Steveston, BC
14 February 2017 | Whistler, BC
13 November 2016 | Pender Harbour
31 October 2016 | Vancouver Rowing Club
10 October 2016
17 August 2016 | John Williams Boatyard, Hall Quarry, Mt Desert Is.
11 August 2016 | Wooden Boat School anchorage, Eggemoggin Reach
09 August 2016 | McGlatherties Island
08 August 2016 | Castine, Maine
07 August 2016 | Bucks Harbor
06 August 2016 | Castine, Me
05 August 2016 | Cradle Cove
28 July 2016 | Boothbay Harbor
22 September 2015 | Somes Sound, Mt Desert Island, Maine
15 September 2015
25 July 2015 | Oromocto, NB
22 July 2015 | Cambridge Narrows, Saint John River
15 June 2015 | Somes Sound, Mt Desert Island, Maine
01 June 2015 | Cuttyhunk, Mass

Summer Cruising

22 July 2015 | Cambridge Narrows, Saint John River
Sun/cloud, 26C, light winds
Northeast Harbor, Maine

One week ago today we returned to Estelle, driving down from PEI to Mt Desert Island and finding Estelle waiting for us and ready to go... almost. Our new genset, is off to the suppliers shop for yet more repairs. This makes three major issues with less than 100 hours on it. Not sure about this, but not a good feeling. Time to go to a wind/solar combo, I think. But rather than wait while yet another part is flown in from Italy, we were off. After provisioning, we just motored around to Northeast Harbor where we topped up the fuel at Clifton Docks, the best fuel dock we have found on the entire US east coast.
Pic
Estelle at anchor in Northeast Harbor


We picked up a mooring for the night, had a walk and next morning we were off. Heading deeper down east and into the Bay of Fundy, it was time to take the tides and currents seriously, so we were off early Friday morning, catching the beginning of the flood. In light winds, it was a motor-sailing day, and by mid-afternoon, we were anchoring behind Cross Island. Across the gut stood the impressive array of radio towers of the US Navy's Cutler Station. Not sure, but I think they use the station for ultra-low frequency communication with submarines.
After a couple of failed attempts at anchoring, we were finally set. The kelp here is very impressive and calls for careful work when anchoring.
In the dinghy we motored across to a small beach where we headed ashore. Cross Island was once a Coast Guard lifesaving station and the old house still stands, open to all, and used by an Outward Bound group. We walked some trails then headed back to the boat for the evening. In the fading light the lights on the antenna array presented an eerie and impressive picture.
Next morning we were off, again early and catching the flood tide. In the Grand Manan Channel the currents reach over 2.5 knots, so we shot up, with a fresh southerly breeze assisting us towards our destination, Saint John, NB. By mid afternoon we had lost the current and a fog and rain had set in, so we altered course for nearby Dipper Harbour. When arriving in Saint John, the best plan is to time it to pass through the Reversing Falls (at slack water) and not try to spend a night in the outer harbour with its ever-present swell. So when we lost our boost from the tidal currents, we lost our chance to get through the falls that night.
Entering Dipper Harbour, we passed the massive breakwater and circled the moored fishing boats deciding on where to anchor. But with a 23' tide it was apparent that the harbour would be pretty well dry at low tide, so we tied up against The Twelve Apostles, a fishing boat tied to the wharf. That meant we didn't need to worry about the rise and fall. Ashore we spoke to a retired fisherman who welcomed us.
pic
Dipper Harbour, NB

Pic
A low tide

A short while later his wife presented us with a box of delicious freshly picked strawberries! We walked the quiet roads and lanes, and can confirm that Dipper Harbour is a quiet place. The one restaurant closed a number of years ago, so there is now nothing commercial except the lobster processing plane and that too was quiet on a weekend with the lobster season closed.
Next morning we took another walk, scaling the 25' ladder to the top of the wharf. We were in no rush to leave as slack water at the Reversing Falls was forecast for 1720 hrs. So we took another walk in the cold fog and drizzle. At noon, after a lunch of seafood chowder and scones for warmth, we were off. With more current than we expected, we watched on the AIS the busy coming and going of shipping in the harbour, and idled in to the inner harbour to await the slack. At 1655 hrs we started up towards the falls, 1.5 miles away, accompanied by one other boat. That gave us some comfort, as we assumed he was a local and knew what he was doing. Turns out we were a bit early and in the still-incoming current, we shot through the falls and squirted into the river.
Pic
Through the Reversing Falls

A bit more exciting that we would have asked for, but safely in. It turns out the river is a couple of feet low, meaning that "slack after high" is delayed by about 15 minutes. Slack after low is early, so we'll have o watch it when we leave.
But inside the river, the fog cleared, the air warmed and we motored in the quiet waters to an empty nearby anchorage. So now cruising the Saint John River.
Monday morning's first project was to call Customs to clear in, and that was all taken care of over the phone. Quick and easy. Project number two was to re-provision, with some food supplies, but mainly wine, as we are allowed only 4 bottles when entering the country. We picked up a mooring at RKYC, and two hours later were off again, motoring up past the Westfield Ferries with their cable crossing to anchor in Wheply Cover. Here we were surprised to meet four other cruising boats, as we had seen not one since Northeast Harbor in Maine. With dinner of BBQ Chicken Teriaki and the last of our US wine, we enjoyed a quiet warm evening in the cockpit.

After a quiet night in Wheply cove, we said good-by to Bruce Russell and his Hallberg-Rassy Monsun31 as he headed downriver and we headed up. We met Bruce the previous evening when he rowed over from his mooring behind us. Bruce is a retired fisherman from Whitehead Island, part of the group of islands around Grand Manan. We chatted about cruising the area and he gave us lots to think about when we head out... Digby, Annapolis Royal, Whitehead Island, all sounding like interesting stops.
On the river we enjoyed a quiet day sailing slowly upstream against the slight downstream current. At Evanstown we crossed another cable ferry, and passed the Evanstown Inn, the last remaining river inn from the steamer days. Today it seems to be maintained more by road than river traffic, although their small marina was busy.
At noon, we drew into a small offshoot to the main river where we anchored for lunch. After lunch we continued our drift, passing the site of the former village of Queenstown, with nothing remaining but a slowly decaying wharf. Then we crossed the main branch of the river and headed up Colwell Creek where we anchored for the night. In the dinghy we headed ashore, landing at another old steamer dock, this one still in good condition. The Saint John River Preservation Association is maintaining a few of the docks for boaters, an excellent project. Given the number of docks we passed, the river must have been a busy place in the steamer age. But today it is mainly used by pleasure craft.
Ashore at Colwell Creek we walked a quiet country road, seeing just two cars in an hour. Back in the dinghy we explored a couple of side creeks, disturbing only the herons and a large bald eagle.
Pic
Colwell Creek Wharf

Pic
Storm clouds reflecting on Colwell Creek


Back aboard, we tucked in against the rain that was forecast during the night,
Comments
Vessel Name: Estelle
Vessel Make/Model: Bristol 41.1
Hailing Port: Charlottetown, PEI
Crew: Jeannie & Jim Lea
About: Flag Counter
Extra: After cruising the east coast of North America for 10 years, from Nova Scotia to Panama, it's time for a change. Estelle will be cruising the coast of British Columbia and Alaska beginning in 2017.
Estelle's Photos - The Voyage of S/V Estelle (Main)
Our first BC cruise, from Pender Harbour to Strait Marine in Steveston BC
26 Photos
Created 27 April 2017
Estelle's arrival in Vancouver
8 Photos
Created 31 October 2016
63 Photos
Created 28 July 2016
Our first year cruising... Exumas, Bahamas.
11 Photos
Created 28 July 2015
69 Photos
Created 24 July 2015
17 Photos
Created 31 May 2015
8 Photos
Created 12 April 2015
25 Photos
Created 4 December 2014
3 Photos
Created 30 November 2014
20 Photos
Created 20 November 2014
5 Photos
Created 20 November 2014
13 Photos
Created 13 November 2014
20 Photos
Created 9 November 2014
Pics of our trip from Mount Desert Islans to the Saint John River in July 2014.
64 Photos
Created 14 August 2014
15 Photos
Created 9 May 2014
60 Photos
Created 20 September 2013
18 Photos
Created 3 April 2013
50 Photos
Created 14 January 2013
104 Photos
Created 12 December 2012
40 Photos
Created 1 December 2012
23 Photos
Created 10 November 2012
19 Photos
Created 25 October 2012
14 Photos
Created 13 March 2012
47 Photos
Created 6 March 2012
59 Photos
Created 1 March 2012
70 Photos
Created 27 February 2012
107 Photos
Created 21 January 2012
Nov/Dec 2011
48 Photos
Created 17 December 2011
San Blas Islands
4 Photos
Created 17 December 2011
58 Photos
Created 17 November 2011
23 Photos
Created 29 October 2011
22 Photos
Created 26 October 2011
49 Photos
Created 10 May 2011
52 Photos
Created 29 March 2011
18 Photos
Created 18 March 2011
18 Photos
Created 18 March 2011
Feb, 2011
67 Photos
Created 11 February 2011
33 Photos
Created 7 February 2011
34 Photos
Created 4 December 2010
33 Photos
Created 4 December 2010
62 Photos
Created 17 November 2010
39 Photos
Created 15 November 2010
41 Photos
Created 31 October 2010
25 Photos
Created 4 October 2010
17 Photos
Created 4 October 2010
15 Photos
Created 3 October 2010
13 Photos
Created 1 October 2010
9 Photos
Created 1 October 2010
14 Photos
Created 1 October 2010
Some photos at John Williams Boatyard as we prepare for departure.
7 Photos
Created 14 September 2010
Our trip to various BC ski resorts Jan-Feb 2010
69 Photos
Created 7 February 2010
August/Sept in Maine
58 Photos
Created 29 August 2009
Our trip from Norfolk Va to Mount Desert Island, June 20th to July 7th, 2009. Gerard Watts aboard as crew!
89 Photos
Created 8 July 2009
11 Photos
Created 26 April 2009
65 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 22 March 2009
65 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 11 February 2009
43 Photos
Created 29 January 2009
42 Photos
Created 29 January 2009
5 Photos
Created 23 December 2008
27 Photos
Created 22 December 2008
Our trip from Maine to Miami
108 Photos
Created 19 December 2008
Pics from Jan to June 2008, Bahamas to Maine
50 Photos
Created 18 June 2008
Trip south from Maine to Bahamas, Sept-Dec 2007
42 Photos
Created 26 December 2007
14 Photos
Created 25 December 2007
4 Photos
Created 21 August 2007
These are pictures of The Hermitage on Cat Island, Bahamas. It was built single-handedly by Faather Jerome who was sent out by the Church of England to rebuild churches destroyed in the hurricanes in the early 20th century. He then converted to catholicism and built a number of Roman Catholic churches until he sought and received permission to build this hermitage where he spent the remainder of his life.
10 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 24 June 2007
1 Photo
Created 24 June 2007
21 Photos
Created 23 June 2007
3 Photos
Created 12 June 2007
These pictures were taken while on Long Island, Bahamas, in February, 2007
6 Photos
Created 11 March 2007
This album contains some photos of our time in the Jumentos Islands, in the Bahamas
11 Photos
Created 11 March 2007
3 Photos
Created 11 March 2007
9 Photos
Created 11 March 2007
4 Photos
Created 11 March 2007
19 Photos
Created 11 March 2007
18 Photos
Created 11 March 2007
13 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 11 March 2007
9 Photos
Created 11 March 2007
5 Photos
Created 11 March 2007
18 Photos
Created 11 March 2007