Where Has Summer Gone?
05 September 2011 | Halifax NS (crew), Florida (boat)
After moaning about the weather through June, we enjoyed a beautiful July and then headed into a cool and damp August. It’s been one of the wettest here in 30 years and we indulged in a fair bit of “Grumble, grumble, moan and mumble.” Come September the sun is shining again and providing lots of daytime warmth. Besides grumbling about weather, though, here is what’s been happening in the lives of Madcap’s crew.
No more sailors from the waterfront have come for food and showers but we had a wonderful visit from our fab friends, Sandra and Steve (formerly on Princess), as they headed for Newfoundland for a few weeks of sailing on Hillary. We sampled lots of Nova Scotia wine, visited our fabulous seaport farmers’ market for veggies and cheese, and walked the waterfront – and enjoyed planning some similar excursions in new ports this year. Jeannie and Jim (Estelle) were in town a couple of weeks ago. We managed to eat a few mouthfuls of dinner (grilled shrimp skewers and quinoa salad – for the foodies who always like to know!) while peppering them with questions about Belize and Guatemala – the best route, what to see on the way and what to see and do once we get there. Our appetites are wheted for a trip to new places.
We spent time at the cottage, lovely mornings on the porch with coffee and books, and afternoons with paint brushes in hand as we painted it a beautiful soft blue. Long walks on the red sandbars and swims in the warm salt water were fun whenever the tide and weather were right. I have been picking slugs off my plants in the early mornings at home. Oh boy – have I been picking slugs – by the hundreds. Some of my plants have managed to grow in spite of them and we are enjoying sweet and salty little orange tomatoes, and purple pole beans. The dahlias were mostly chewed up but I can see multicoloured blossoms of cosmos and splashes of colour from impatiens in the shady areas as I sit on the deck. The lilies, rhodos, wigelia have come and gone, and I’m about to scatter a few pots of mums in among the left over greenery.
Jim and I had a most wonderful time talking about our sailing experiences and sharing pictures at our two “engagements” this summer. It was sheer joy to reconnect with old friends and meet some new ones at Trident Yacht Club near Gananoque, ON in July. We talked of how and why we got started on this whole cruising lifestyle and how rewarding it has been for us – each of us sharing our own perspective. One gentleman was heard to say, “I don’t know how those two managed to live on a 36 foot boat for a year and a half!” We wonder that sometimes ourselves – but we did and we continue to greatly enjoy the 6 -7 months we now spend on Madcap each year. TYC (on the Bateau Channel between the mainland and Howe Island at the east end of Lake Ontario) is a gorgeous and friendly club that welcomes transients. Do stop in if you are in the area.
In August, at the invitation of Sharon and Gary Vernon, we joined members of the Chebucto branch of Canadian Power and Sail Squadron for a pot-luck-supper and slide show at Elbert White’s cottage on the Tidnish River in Nova Scotia. We were pleased again to see some old friends and meet some new ones – listening to their boating stories and sharing our own as we showed pictures of our travels.
We also stopped by Bev and Jean’s idyllic bakery and pizza shop to enjoy a special evening with these friends relaxing on their waterside deck as we sipped red wine and savoured delicious hand made pizzas freshly pulled from their traditional wood oven. They used to sail the southern waters on El Rio and now cruise the land in an RV – still connecting with sailing friends. It turns out they are great friends of Linda and Wayne (Isla) whom we met in Great Sale Cay with Valerie and Graham (Bonnie Lass). Once again – small, small world!
Summer also gave us the opportunity to be with family of course, and we loved spending time with Alex and Liam in Ottawa, and with Mary Beth here in Halifax. My dad is still gardening and making jams and pickles and we’ve been the happy recipients of his produce at many shared meals.
Jim and Alex are now off on a road trip to Florida. We decided to take our car down this year and do some land based exploring during October. They will fly back to Canada, and then shortly afterward, Jim and I will head off on our next great adventure. We’re taking a big boat cruise! We fly to Copenhagen (where we hope to meet up with Christian and Ann Christin (the Norwegian boat Ella). We’ll visit several ports including Amsterdam, Bruges, Lisbon onboard the Norwegian Sun and then head off across the Atlantic Ocean, arriving in Port Canaveral in early October. We have never been on a cruise ship and always wonder what it is really like out there in the middle of the ocean so this allows to us to experience both – in the company of good friends Art and Christine (Miles Away – not a boat but their sweet summer home in Lake Annis, NS)
These early Sept days are prime time for enjoying Nova Scotia so I will just close this computer now and go off for a walk in the sunshine – enjoying the last days of summer!