Bye Bye Cape Breton
23 August 2023
After what was probably the nicest week of the summer weather wise Mother Nature decided to blast us with another day of heavy rains. Fortunately, we had expected it had picked out a nice protected anchorage 3 miles north of St Peter's and enjoyed a rather sporty sail across the lower half of the Bras D’Or lakes before dropping the hook in yet another well protected cove. We stayed on board all day Friday while another couple of inches of rain fell, but rain as it might it couldn't dampen our spirits. Our friends on White Bird have been trying hard to perfect the perfect boat pizza so we once again enjoyed a pleasant evening sampling various concoctions.
Anyone familiar with Down East music will recognize the "Rankin"name and that explains why we were so keen to get to the Crankinfest music festival in St. Peter's. The one day festival was held Saturday on a Rankin farm in a field over looking the water with Ile Madame in the background. It was like a mini Woodstock complete with muddy fields and great live music that went from 2 p.m. until 10. We loaded up our dock wagon with all the necessary gear and trekked the 1.5 kms. from the marina. All the acts that graced the farm wagon stage were good but Ross Rankin's band the Flat Black Cadillacs were amazing causing us to overshoot cruiser's midnight again.
As much as we wanted to stay on Cape Breton for another week, deep down we knew that we had to get moving. The experts had predicted that this would be an active hurricane season because of El Niño but so far it has been quiet. The concern is that the flood gates are about to open and we want to be prepared. After much debate it was decided to head over to Ile Madame ( 7 miles) on Sunday and have dinner with new cruising friends then head down the coast Monday or Tuesday. As we entered the St. Peter's Canal Lock I had that same melancholy feeling I used to get on Labour Monday at HYC. You know what I mean, summers were always full speed ahead and then capped off with the usual Labour Day blowout and then on Monday the club was like a morgue. This was the same sentiment as the lock passage signalled the end of our great summer with Peter and Cathy. However, the time to reflect was short lived as the 10 knot forecasted wind quickly increased to 20 with gusts to 29 making for a wet crossing to D’Escousse..
Certainly one constant in Nova Scotia has been the fantastic hospitality afforded us by everyone we've met and once again we enjoyed a great experience. Our hosts live in a house that was built in 1830 that overlooks the well protected harbour where Dagny lay at anchor. As it turns out Silver Donald Cameron, a well know Canadian author, had lived there for years. Monday's winds were not favourable plus with thunderstorms in the forecast we elected to stay another day and explore the island. Our host Gilles has lived here all his life and knows everyone and everything about the island. As a result we had a very informative fun tour of this amazing place that we all want to come back too.
Today's picture is of yours truly with Captain Hook in Baddeck