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Rich and Kelly Rae's Excellent Adventures
The Seventh Cruise of the Starship Kelly Rae - Boldly Going Where Lots of People Have Gone Before. But We Haven't - So it is a Great Adventure!
Baddeck, Nova Scotia

I had to include this picture taken while I was still in Lunenberg.

The Bluenose II was built in 1963 as a replica of the very famous Bluenose "fishing" schooner. I hyphenate the "fishing" because, while it was part of the racing rules of the time that a racing vessel had to also be commercially involved in fishing, the Bluenose did just enough fishing to qualify.

One look at this hull shows that hauling tons of cod off the banks was never her true purpose.

The Bluenose II is nearing completion after a $14million rebuild (which saw her reduced to just her frames and included complete re-planking) and will re-launch sometime later this year. The picture doesn't capture her true dimensions. She is 140' long.

Baddeck, Nova Scotia

KR in the lock in St. Peter's being raised up to the level of the lake - in this case. The lock is a tidal lock, meaning that it is there to allow vessels easy passage through the canal without dealing with huge tidal currents. Since the tide outside was nearly low when we went through last Wednesday morning, the lock raised us approx. 4 feet. When the tide is high, the lock lowers vessels entering the Bras d'Or Lakes.

Baddeck, Nova Scotia

I feel like I am cheating.

Every cruising area is a mix of charms - and challenges. For example, Maine is beautiful with good harbors and wonderful people but it has 10' tides, significant currents, lots of fog and lobster pots just flipping everywhere. The Bahamas are a tropical paradise of clear blue waters, white sand beaches and great sailing but the harbors seldom have good all-around protection, the cold fronts can be really festive with fully clocking 30knot winds common in the winter and many of the inlets can be downright dangerous when currents and wind/waves are opposing.

Here in the only slightly brackish Bras d'Or Lakes, almost completely landlocked within Cape Breton island, there is great sailing, beautiful scenery, a seemingly endless number of perfectly protected and lovely harbors (all with good anchor holding), little to no tides or currents and no fog. The waters surrounding the island of Cape Breton can be completely blanketed with fog but over the warm water of the Lakes fog is seldom a problem. The waters are well charted and hazards buoyed.

All of the charms of a great cruising area - without the challenges! The Puritan in me finds this hard to accept - but I have to admit, it is pleasant. It is doesn't hurt that the weather has been beautiful as well. There are a couple days of showers coming in this week, however.

Since arriving last Wednesday, I have been moving the boat from harbor to harbor each day, exploring by dinghy, kayak and foot. The picture was taken from the top of the old marble quarry on Marble Mountain looking out over West Bay. While not really all that much of a climb, I am afraid that my legs had become a bit weak from too much time on board. There is constant motion when sailing (particularly at sea) which uses all of the little balancing muscles but the major groups don't get much exercise. I need to work on that.

I arrived here in Baddeck yesterday and enjoyed a lovely Sunday here. My day ashore included a visit to the Alexander Graham Bell museum. Bell and his wife had a summer estate on Red Head just across the Bay, a home which still exists and is still owned by their descendants. While the estate was purchased and their home built after Bell's invention of the telephone, much of his future experimentation was done here. The highlight of the museum for me was a full scale replica of a hydroplane that Bell designed and built which, with its two aircraft engines reached speeds of over 70mph in testing in these waters.

I'll spend the rest of July here in the Lakes before heading back out from St. Peters and wandering north along the west coast of Cape Breton and other points north.

Best to all.

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S/V Kelly Rae
Who: Rich Simpson
Port: Grand Lake, Colorado
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