Eastern Shore Anchorages
10 August 2007 | Halifax, NS
We had a wonderful week of anchoring in delightful spots all along Nova Scotia's Eastern Shore. We left the Bras d'Or Lakes on Aug 2 and gunkholed our way west toward Halifax, spending an overnight here, a couple of days there, in good weather and bad. There was no wireless internet to be found so that (and my busyness since we got to Halifax) is why there has been such a gap between postings.
Our first night out - at Cape Ronde on Isle Madame - was a rock'n roll one, followed by a long slog into the wind the next day to Port Howe. We plowed across Chadabucto Bay and wound between Piscatiqui and Hart Islands, past Canso, through Andrew Passage, and along through Dover Passage to our anchorage in Casey's Cove. That passage was so narrow we could have chucked rocks from one side of the channel to the other! We stayed two nights in this picturesque area, enjoying mussels that Gary - our hunter/gatherer - picked from along the shoreline, and roaming along the rocky beaches. There were a few little cabins tucked away among the trees but no boats other than the three of us.
Next stop was Liscomb Mills, home of Liscomb Lodge, about a five mile run up the river from the ocean - again just beautiful scenery. The marina manager, Chester Rudolph, is another of those magnificent marina men. He knew the water depths well, came out in his dinghy to show us just where to drop our anchor, made our dinner reservations, took us to Sherbrooke for groceries and to the St Mary's Smokehouse for mouthwatering smoked salmon. Jim and I hiked the 6-mile trail along the river to the salmon ladder and swinging bridge, and we all enjoyed the restaurant and showers.
We left there in dense fog on the morning of August 8, creeping our way back down the river, being vigilant about spotting buoys and ever thankful for our radar. The fog lifted now and then as we motorsailed once more westward. Our experience here leads us to believe that it is not the "sailing" that is wonderful on Nova Scotia's eastern shore; it is the anchorages, and you just get from one to another any way you can. It is rugged, rocky, and stunningly beautiful.
Because the forecast called for high winds and waves, we opted to weave our way inland among the shoals and islands again to spend a couple of nights at anchor in deBaies Cove in the Ship Harbour area. It was a perfect spot to wait out the storm. Our anchor held well as the wind shifted 180 degrees and howled through our rigging at 25 knots and more. We played cribbage, read books... and ignored the job list!
The last day of this part of our eastern shore cruise took us along under blue skies, sunshine, and little wind - again - toward Halifax Harbour. I could feel my heart dancing and my spirit bubbling as we rounded the corner into the city we called home for 10 years. Gary and Pam (of Atlantic Star) live right on the waterfront in Purcell's Cove and they kindly allowed us to tie up to their dock. Just like on the big ships, Gary zoomed out to meet us and came aboard to offer instructions on how to make the intricate little turns among the shoals to a safe landing. It was about the tightest manoevering into a dock that Jim has steered and it felt very satisfying to do it!
We'll stay in Halifax for several days to visit friends and make a dent in the boat job list.