Still on the Dock
04 September 2008 | Halifax, NS
Beth - just drying out after a wet, cool week
We have been attached to this dock for over 2 weeks now - unheard of for Madcap - and yet we find it hard to cast off the lines. I feel like I have one foot ashore and one on board the boat.
It seems very cool to be here in what will be "our" neighbourhood, walking the streets and the Harbourwalk, taking in some of the multitude of activities Halifax has to offer. While we have not made any real attempts to link up with shoreside friends - time for that once we move in - we did have a great dinner with old friends and former neighbours, Glenn and Peggy. We took in a couple of plays at the Fringe Theatre Festival - one terrible and one reasonably good. Signal Hill was playing on the outside stage at the Lower Deck last weekend and we spent a foot tapping evening there. We got to know that band when we stopped here on our way south last year.
Our sailing pals, Sandi and Steve (Hillary) arrived on Saturday from Newfoundland where they've spent the summer sailing the south and east coasts. Their tales of great people, pictures of gorgeous rocky inlets, and "Why not?" attitude have us enthused about the possibility of sailing over there sometime. It's that line, "It's only a daysail away..." that pulls us into all sorts of broader thinking.
We visited the Farmers Market across the street at Alexander Keith's Brewery on Saturday morning where I picked up rainbow-stemmed swiss chard, crunchy pale green and purple peppers, small red potatoes, picked-today corn on the cob and wild blueberries. We also picked up a frozen Acadian Chicken and Pork Pie which proved to be so tasty that (once on land) I may stock my freezer with a few of them for quick meals.
The popularity of the excellent academic institutions in and around Halifax became evident again this week as we met more friends delivering their daughters to university here. While we were at the Farmers Market, I heard Jim's voice saying, "Well hi! How are you?" and I turned to see Ottawa friends, Martha and Don, who were in town to deliver Madeleine and Bridget to university. Then on Tuesday evening, a knock came on our hull and we looked out to see Doug and Kathy (Pleiades) from Trident Yacht Club and their daughter, Kirsten, also returning for graduate studies here.
Along with Sandi and Steve, we traveled to Murray Corner, summer home of Jim's sister and her family for a lobster feed. While we built the bonfire on the beach and enjoyed sitting around it as the tangy salt air blew over the sand flats, we never did get the seawater to a boil so we abandoned that effort and toted pot, water and wiggly lobsters up to the farmhouse to cook on the kitchen stove. This picture shows Jim doing his trademark soothing of the lobster before he pops it headfirst into the pot - seems to work - it stops wiggling. We had a small crowd around the table this time, but the lobster was sweet and the company fine. Sandi and Steve instructed me on how to make lobster risotto - how have we lived without that? Thanks you two!!
Next morning the wind howled, the rain pelted down and Jim and I opted to stay put while one carload headed off to return to the US and the other headed into Sackville. We did manage a walk in the evening, but the rest of the day was spent with our noses in books or our incredulous eyes glued to coverage of the Republican VP pick on the internet and TV.
We continued to have rain off and on all week, which has left us disinclined to head off to one of those pretty little anchorages along the coast. At least here in Halifax, we can go ashore to some dry and warm spots. We've had the fireplace on most days to take the chill off and I light our beeswax candles every evening to add atmosphere and remove some of the dampness from the air. The current plan is to head out on Friday morning, keeping an eye on the progress of Hannah and making plans to be somewhere safe if the high winds predicted for Sunday and Monday show up.