28 August 2007 | Shelburne, NS
Friendly Folks, Aug 28,#29
We had an uneventful motorsail to Shelburne! No alarms, no excessive leaks, nothing to grumble about at all. We even made better time than we had predicted because we found a few shortcuts in the route.
Shelburne is a long harbour - in fact, the woman at the Post Office told us it is the seventh largest harbour in the world and the third naturally deepest one. The waterfront is a just lovely, with many restored buildings and beautiful houses - the kind with window boxes and lace curtains and comfortable chairs on porches.
The most attractive thing about this town, however, is the people. When we checked in at the Shelburne Harbour Yacht Club, Sue welcomed us and gave us a two-page packet of local information and maps. She looked up phone numbers for us, showed us around and then when we said we'd go up to the lounge for a beer, she sprinted up the stairs to do double duty as bar tender!
My friend, Eileen, in Halifax had told me to be sure to call Charlotte and Leroy when we got here so I called and left a message. The return call said "Hi - we'll be there in 20 minutes to pick you up!" So we hastily cleaned ourselves up, dinghied in to the wharf and were whisked away to their magnificent waterfront home for an evening of fine hospitality.
The next morning, we visited the All 4 One Graphics Shop where Sam and Carolyn happily agreed to print up some new boat cards for us - with no fuss about the layout or my need to have them later that same day (I had encountered these difficulties in Halifax and left there without cards). We went to the post office where the friendly woman said "Oh yes, I recognize your name. That parcel came in this morning." and gave us not only our mail (Thank you Canada Post!) but a warm welcome and some local information. We went to the hardware store where the gentleman told us which store to visit to find the particular light bulb we needed. As we walked down the street, Charlotte drove by, said she was on her way to the grocery store and did I want to come?
In the evening, we dined at the yacht club and chatted with Ken and Sherrie, gleaning nuggets of information for our travels south. It was a lively place as visitors and members gathered to watch the small-boat race and catch up on the news.
On Wednesday morning, we'll say good-bye to this place where people make eye contact and say hello, where we have only to put a toe over the edge of the sidewalk as if to cross the street and cars stop to let us walk across, where conversation is valued and errands take time because it is not just about the errand - it is about the exchange of goods and energy between people.
We head off now, to continue on with the next stage of our trip. Some 30 hours after departure, we'll make landfall at Northeast Harbour and start our "Lobster Buoy Adventure". Even if it takes a while to see a new blog posting, you'll be able to see where we are by clicking on the "winlink postion" in the sidebar of our site. Then click on Hybrid up in the corner for a google earth picture of us. That usually goes through pretty well on SSB and is as current as we can make it. The weather window is good, several boats are traveling together, and we'll be singing "Farewell to Nova Scotia" and "Until we meet again" as we travel.