19 May 2008 | 40mi South of Cabo Finisterre
19 May 2008 | Vigo, Spain
19 May 2008 | 47 0.0'N:008 47.00'W
19 May 2008 | Rio De Vigo, Spain
18 May 2008 | 43 10.0'N:009 31.00'W
15 May 2008 | En Route to Azores, 47 24.0'N:008 47.00'W
14 May 2008 | 48 0.2'N:009 2.2'W
14 May 2008 | 47 59.9'N:008 43.2'W
13 May 2008 | En Route to Azores, 48 12.8'N:008 04.1'W
13 May 2008 | 48 34.9'N:005 17.2'W
12 May 2008 | Departing L'Aber Wrac'h
12 May 2008 | Departing L'Aber Wrac'h
12 May 2008 | 48 39.9'N:004 52.2'W
11 May 2008 | 48 35.98'N:004 33.69'W
11 May 2008 | 48 35.98'N:004 33.69'W
11 May 2008
09 May 2008
08 May 2008 | 48 35.73'N:004 39.88'W
01 May 2008
29 April 2008 | 48 35.73'N:004 39.88'W


09 July 2017
It took a day and a half to sail from Cape Breton Island to Bay of Islands, Newfoundland. We didn't sail a direct route, as I wanted to decide on our destination depending on the weather forecast. I had considered a closer first stop in Newfoundland (Codroy), but the forecast called for 40knot winds near the area of the closer first stop, so we kept going.

We had favorable winds most of the way, which was great.

As we approached the entrance to the Bay of Islands, the fog alternately covered and uncovered the islands and shores.

Cabot Strait

08 July 2017
It was great to be back at sea. Cold, wet, foggy and moderately windy, but very nice to get back into the rhythm of sailing overnight.

Dolphins played alongside for a while.

Leaving Great Bras D'Or

06 July 2017
We spent longer than planned in Baddeck. Ron came aboard there, and after we left anchor, I realized the 12volt alternator was not charging. While I had a spare alternator, and other means of charging the batteries (generator, battery charger, or booster cables from house bank) it was best to return to the safe port and fix it at anchor.

Issuma has two alternators (one 12 volt for the engine controls and starter motor, one 24 volt for the house system), very close together in a tight space. I removed the 12 volt alternator and, after many attempts, realized that the new, spare alternator that I'd carried since Vancouver, didn't actually fit! Fortunately, Ron took the back cover off the faulty alternator and saw that a wire had broken inside, so fixed that, and the original alternator was reinstalled and operational.

Leaving Bras D'Or Lake at the northern end (to Cabot Strait), involves going through a narrows (Great Bras D'Or) with fast tidal currents. It is best to time the passage so the current is with you approaching the narrows, then slack as you pass through the narrows.

As the alternator problems caused us to miss the time of slack current at the narrows during the day, we anchored closer to the narrows for the night. We got up the following morning at 0100 to get underway so we would reach the narrows at slack, about 0450.

In the picture, we are leaving the entrance buoys to the narrows, heading into Cabot Strait, as the sun rises.

Schooner Amoeba

05 July 2017
We spent a few days in Baddeck, at the NW end of Bras D'Or Lake in Cape Breton Island.

The schooner Amoeba, in the picture above, takes tourists out for daysails. I don't know the name of the other boat in the picture.

Bras D'Or Lake

30 June 2017
We passed this sloop as we headed north in Bras D'Or Lake.

Canso Lock

28 June 2017
I'd heard about Bras D'Or Lake on Cape Breton Island for years--beautiful, minimal tides, (relatively) warm water, no fog. Not really a lake, but the access from the sea is via narrow channels at either end.

To enter from the south, you pass thru one lock, administered by Parks Canada. The water level barely seemed to go down when we went thru, but it depends on the height of tide.

Lobster Boat

27 June 2017
It was almost the end of the lobster season when we passed this lobster boat. Later, at the dock in Canso, we met the lobsterman, Garth Meade.

I had wanted to anchor in Canso, but there isn't really room to do so. We then went to the government dock, but it was under construction and not open.

We then went to the marina which, from a distance, seemed to be for smaller boats. It was low tide when we approached, and the marina kindly called us up on the VHF (I wasn't sure what channel they monitored, so hadn't called them) to tell us where the deepest water was. Turning slowly into the marina at about a knot, we briefly grounded, raise the centerboard higher, and proceeded in.

Along the way

27 June 2017
Approaching Canso from the south, via the back channel, was this interestingly-named house.

When the wind died...

27 June 2017
We had a lovely, light, following wind after leaving Tor Bay. As
we approached the rocky cape seen below the spinnaker in the picture, the wind suddenly died completely. The spinnaker just collapsed, so I lowered it to the deck and bagged it.

We were about 200m from some rocks. As I went to start the motor, an onshore breeze came up, starting to push us towards the rocks.

The motor didn't start--the starter just clicked. With staysails set, there was enough wind to sail clear of the rocks, so Sarah steered while I worked on the motor.

One of the two starting batteries had failed. I replaced it with one of my house batteries, ran the (hand-started, portable, gasoline) generator twenty minutes to charge the starting batteries, and then confirmed that the engine could be started.

The rest of the day was a pleasant sail and motor to Canso.


22 June 2017 | Jeddore Harbor
Pretty scenery of hills, houses and fishing boats line the long shores of Jeddore Harbor.

We made our way to the head of the harbor, where we enjoyed the hospitality of John and Heather from Ocean Cruising Club.

The farther up the harbor one goes, the smaller the buoys, and the more interesting they become to see in the late or early hours of the day if the sun is in one's eyes.

As dawn arrived, we motored out of port in a flat calm, then found a sailing wind once we reached the sea.

Vessel Name: Issuma
Vessel Make/Model: Damien II, 15m/50' steel staysail schooner with lifting keel
Extra: Designed for Antarctica. Built in France by META in 1981. Draft 1.3m/4.5' with keel up, 3.2m/10.5' with keel down. More details at
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Survey pictures taken of Shekin V
14 Photos
Created 29 April 2008