Halifax - Destination and Closing of a Circle
18 August 2008 | Halifax, NS
Beth - cool breeze, warm sun
As we sat in the cockpit enjoying our fruit, yogurt and coffee the sun shone brightly and we watched the birds whirling overhead and the occasional car heading along the road toward Lunenburg. An hour later, the fog had rolled in so we hauled up the anchor and headed out once more with the radar as our guide. By searching out the buoys and noting when we were just able to pick the shape out of the grey, we determined that our visibility was less than a quarter of a nautical mile. Once out on the ocean, that changed and we were able to discern the difference between land fog and ocean fog.
The fog lifted and we spotted a red buoy at 1.5 nm. We started looking ahead for Big Duck Island that we knew was close by to starboard but we just couldn't pick out the shape of land from the hazy horizon. It wasn't until we were 0.200 nm away from it that the outline of land started to appear. It was an interesting example of the types of fog we've read about in books and courses.
Once again, the conditions didn't match the forecast that called for 15 - 20 knot SW winds. What we had were 5 knot E winds. They eventually shifted but never reached the velocity we had expected so we motor sailed until we turned the corner and headed through the Sambro Channel. Then we were delighted to proceed under sail alone past Ketch Harbour (where we had taken shelter from high seas and fog last year) past Chebucto Head, and Herring and Purcells Coves, past the great red cranes of the cargo terminal and the large ship at the Cruise ship terminal, to our dock on the waterfront.
For some reason, our GPS coverage disappeared again and stayed off through most of the last hour. Once again, the hand held worked when the main system didn't, but it really didn't matter since the channel was well buoyed and the visibility by that time was excellent. I guess Halifax and New York City have something in common - it was on our approaches to both cities that the main system was down.
We pulled into Sackville Landing and tied up, with the HMCS Sackville - a restored Corvette - as our slip mate. Jim went in search of champagne and I stowed the sailing gear and made the cockpit ready for a celebratory occasion.
We have come full circle on this particular aquatic journey. Although we started out in Ontario and traveled the length of the mighty St. Lawrence River, we departed from Halifax on August 17, 2007. Now, a year and a day later, this is as far as we are going. We will stay in Halifax for a week or so and then travel slowly back down along Nova Scotia's south shore to Chester Basin where we'll have Madcap hauled out and stored for the winter at South Shore Marina.
Our reason for hurrying to Halifax rather than lingering among the gorgeous coves and islands of the south shore is that we are on a mission. We discovered that salt water is indeed in our veins and we just could not bear the idea of going inland again, so Halifax will be our home for the next year and we need to find a place to live. Jim has made arrangements to work from the Halifax office of the Department of Justice; I will continue to write and look for some financially rewarding opportunities as well.
This business of having our home traveling along with us has been magnificently freeing, but now that colder weather looms closer, we'll feel better once we find an apartment to rent. That is the first order of business, and then we'll go merrily off to explore and experience some more. One thing we have learned this year is that the world is full of fascinating people and places. We want to meet them and visit them. Our journey continues and you'll hear about it right here!