06/08/2008/5:35 pm, Yarmouth, NS, Canada
We made it!
We left Frenchboro on Tuesday night just before 8pm, sailing through the lobster pots in the rosy light of the setting sun. A couple of boat crews waved us off as we set off to "go home".
With all our planning for not too much wind, we ended up not having ANY. The motor roared the whole way for 104.2 nautical miles, and the wind picked up just as we entered the harbour. The Gulf of Maine was empty too - just a couple of sightings of far off fishing boats, a pass-by of the fast ferry this morning. We met it again in the long entrance to Yarmouth harbour.
It feels strange to be back in Canada - back home - yes - but also much closer to the end of this wonderful trip.
We'll stay in Yarmouth for a few days visiting friends and then will make our way up the south shore of NS as we enter this next stage of the journey.
05/08/2008/4:30 pm, Frenchboro, Maine
We had a glorious sail today from Southwest Cove on Merchant Island to Frenchboro on Long Island.
The sun came out, the air was fresh and the sails full. After a delicious lobster lunch on Lunt's wharf, we walked up to the library and checked the weather sites and made a decision.
There is still red around NS on the graphic but the wind is supposed to drop overnight. We expect that means that the red will be gone by tomorrow. Everything looks workable - reasonable winds - reasonable seas - no fog.
We'll catch a nap and head out of here tonight, arriving late tomorrow afternoon.
04/08/2008/10:56 am, Camden, Maine
We started off under overcast skies - headed for Camden. That's where we ended up but only after a whole range of weather conditions.
A short but intense electrical storm caused our hearts to skip a beat or two. We had seen the glowering clouds build up behind us and move ever closer so we pulled the mainsail down and put the insert in our cockpit "roof". The rain really pelted us for a bit and the wind picked up to 20 knots but it was the simultaneous lightning flash and thunder roar that startled us. Within 15 minutes, it was all over and the sun started peeking through the clouds. Some fog drifted in, lifted and moved off; then the rain came again and by the time we reached Camden it was a perfectly lovely afternoon. We asked if they'd had the storm, and they certainly did. It damaged the chimney on a big apartment complex and hit the very tall mast of a boat at the dock. We're not sure what damage was done - the boat looked good from the outside, and there was a blue tarp over the chimney on the building.
As we experienced the weather show, we wound our way through the narrow little passage under Thompson and Hupper Islands, by Mosquito Ledge and Mosquito Island Island - between shoals and ledges and points of land. We motored through Muscle Ridge Channel and into Penobscot Bay with a dozen other boats coming and going in both directions.
Last fall we stayed on a mooring ball owned by Wayfarer Marine but they were full this time and suggested we call Willey's Wharf. Fortunately they had a ball available so we tied up just inside the outer harbour. There is also room to anchor outside the mooring field.
This is such a pretty town - great stores to wander through - looking at books and fine art and pretty things -parks to sit in and look out over the harbour. I could happily stay another day but those "one more days" are catching up with us.
We revised our plan to cross to Nova Scotia because it looked like there would be a weather window on Tuesday. We planned to go from here to Long Island - probably to Frenchboro harbour where there is wifi - and then leave from there in the wee small hours of Tuesday morning for our 100 nautical mile crossing, arriving in Yarmouth sometime in the evening.
When we looked at the Environment Canada weather site this morning, however, we revised the plan once more. All that red area (strong wind warning) in the picture is a no go zone for us. We are now thinking of a Tuesday night crossing, arriving on Wednesday afternoon in order to make use of the flood tide. We must keep in mind the effect of currents as we cross the mouth of the Bay of Fundy. Every 12 hours and 25 minutes, water equal to the flow of 2000 St. Lawrence Rivers rushes into the Bay of Fundy!! That is a whole lot of water.
This is all subject to change again, of course. We don't want to do it in dead calm so we have to motor all the way; we don't want to do it in 25 knot winds or wind right behind us or wind "sur le nez"; we don't want to do the whole thing in dense fog. Aren't we getting picky?!