Red Bay Beluga
12 September 2010 | Red Bay, Labrador, Canada
The wind finally let up in Battle Harbor and we sailed and motored 60 miles to Red Bay, in the Strait of Belle Isle, where we anchored in preparation for a NE gale the following day. The Strait of Belle Isle separates Newfoundland from Labrador.
The little beluga in the picture came over to the boat as we were entering Red Bay and stayed with us, swimming around and playing, for hours.
The preparations for the gale were straightforward. Red Bay is a very enclosed bay and we set the main anchor (88lb Raya) and a rope to a big rock. I had read that the mud on the bottom in this harbor was thin and didn't hold anchors well. We had no problems with the NE gale, but were somewhat dismayed to see that the forecast for favorable winds following the gale had changed to another gale from the north.
We reanchored, in the north part of the harbor, this time using the Raya anchor and the little Guardian (like a 40lb Fortress) anchor, each on about 150m of chain and rope. The Raya would likely have held us by itself, but one doesn't want to find out otherwise in the midst of a howling gale, so better to set two anchors if in any doubt. Both anchors hooked debris on the bottom, making bringing them back up a long process--quite useful for muscle-building (there is an electric anchor winch, but it only works with the chain on the main anchor, so the 80m of rope on the main anchor was lifted by leading the rope aft to a manual winch). Anyway, after two hours spent retrieving the anchors, we were able to leave the harbor and enjoy a brisk night sail down the Strait of Belle Isle.
Unfortunately, in the second gale, the wind generator (Air Breeze) died. So far, I have not been able to get it operating again. The wind generator supplied most of the electrical power onboard, so now computer use is much more limited, so there may be fewer blog entries.
After the gales, a big high pressure system moved in and we have since had clear, not-very-cold skies and pleasant winds.