29 August 2023
After 2 delightful days on Ile Madame it was time to get moving again. The forecast called for very light winds in the morning before filling in from the north at 8 to 15 knots. As we steamed out of the harbour under cloudy skies and set course across the Canso Straight we kept our fingers crossed that the forecast would be correct. I guess we must be living right because as we approached Canso at the tip of mainland Nova Scotia the wind filled in as advertised. We quickly hoisted the sails, shut off the engine and settled back to enjoy the ride. And what a ride it was, the seas remained flat as the offshore breeze carried us along at a great pace all the way to Halifax. Quite often we take a reef in the main before dark but as the wind remained steady with only a few increases in velocity we opted to run with a full main and only took minor reefs in the genny from time to time. And guess what, no fog, this was the first overnight passage on this trip where we enjoyed a starlit sky. As dawn approached we could see the loom of the lights from Halifax and our calculations showed we would enter the harbour and a flood tide which we could ride all the way up the North West Arm to the Armdale Yacht Club. We elected to take a mooring at the Club and we safely moored by 9:30, 155 miles in 24 hours, pretty good considering our slow start.
We have found that Dagny and Whitebird (a Saga 43) to be comparable in speed making it easy to stay in touch on long passages. It's always comfortable knowing you have a buddy boat around if a problem arises. The only issue we had were a couple of loose bolts on our auto pilot bracket. During the afternoon while sitting back letting Otto do his thing I could here a faint clicking sound coming from the rear lazzerette where I store empty beer tins. My fist thought was one had fallen against the hydraulic ram, but closer inspection showed a couple of loose bolts on the mounting bracket. This had happened once before in 2016 so I knew the symptoms and all it would take was a few minutes to re torque the bolts. However , the last time I did this I had the luxury of being at the dock with an empty lazerette giving me lots of space to work. I set Bev up in the aft cabin with tools to hold the bolts as I crammed myself upside down into the lazerette while my feet kept getting caught in the wheel that was continually being moved back and forth by Otto. The repair only took a few minutes however, I knew going in this was going to hurt getting out, I had to push my lower ribs in to get them past the lip of the opening while dragging my shoulder blades out of the hole. But alas I was out with only a couple of bruises.
We initially thought we would stay in Halifax for 3 or 4 days as the city has a lot to offer. However, we have been away from crowded anchorages and the hustle and bustle of every day life and we quickly realized we yearned for the peace and quiet of remote anchorages. Our do to list included a haircut for me, a stop at The Binnacle, one of Canada's best marine stores and a visit to Pier 21, the Immigration Museum. We took a city bus over to the harbour on our second day in town and after a leisurely stroll along the boardwalk we headed to the museum. Bev and I spent a few hours watching films, taking a guided tour and looking at various exhibits, I have to admit I was impressed with the presentation which made me proud to be Canadian.
Wind and rain were forecasted for the weekend so we decided to get out of town while things were calm and headed around the corner(25) miles to St. Margaret's Bay. Whitebird was waiting for us in a remote anchorage called Rogue's Roost, an old hide out for privateers and rum runners. As we motored through the flat waters of The Sambro channel a whale surfaced a few boat lengths in front of us, but he only took a breath of air and disappeared before we got a good look at him. The narrow entrance to Rogue's Roost certainly gets your attention, but once through the narrow cut we were surrounded by high rock covered hills and trees. We barely felt the 25 knot wind that blew all night as yet another rain storm rolled through. We'll be parting company with Peter and Cathy sometime this week but we did manage to get some kayaking in before leaving this remarkable place. The plan is to head to Lunenburg for a couple of days until Whitebird finds a window to head south.
Today's picture is of Dagny anchored in Rogue's Roost, not the best shot but check out the boulder on top of the hill. There are serval more in the area.