Here We Go Again
28 August 2009 | Shelburne Harbor, NS
Bob, A beautiful fall-like day
Nova Scotia's weather is making it very difficult to say goodbye. Last week it was Bill and now Danny. We've been making very slow progress since leaving Halifax last Monday just after Bill passed through. The ocean swells were exciting. I'd guess somewhere around 10 to 15 feet in that Lucky Bird had to sail up and up and then over the top and she's 42 feet. They were tall but also very far apart, some swells were a football field apart. Lots of clouds, fog and swells were all we wanted for the day so we found a safe harbor for the night. The next day was much calmer but the fog was the thickest I've seen. We navigated with the chartplotter and radar from bouy to buoy until we out in the open. We sailed all day without seeing anything but seals. Our AIS showed other boats passing by and we talked to the Canadian Coast Guard when we found a buoy off position. The winds have been westerly to southwesterly all week, right on our nose so progress has slowed. Yesterday we left real early hoping to take advantage of what looked like a weather opening to make it across the Gulf of Maine before Danny made a call. We power sailed all day making fantastic progress however the winds were building as well and when we arrived at Cape Sable, the southwest corner of N S it was once again 25 on our nose and building. Honestly the prospects for beating into this for the next 12 plus hours when we didn't have to was more than this seasoned sailor wanted so I talked my first mate into give up some ground and heading for Shelburne Harbor, a beautiful place with incredibly warm and friendly people.
I put up a copy of the current GRIB file forecast for Danny showing where the predictions are telling us where he'll be heading. You can see on our current position where we are right now and then compare that to the picture. It looks as though southwest N S has a bulls-eye. We are hoping Danny will diminish do to the cold water, 48.8 degrees F, while sailing yesterday, and will produce lower winds.
The members of the local yacht club have a plan from such storms and will have all boats vacate their docks. Some boats are choosing to ride it out on moorings while others, including this writer, will tie up to the public wharf where there is more protection. Alice and I went over and introduced ourselves to the Harbor Master, Don, this morning to learn more about the process. Tomorrow morning I suspect we will all move to the commercial docks where Don has opened up space for us.
Here we go again: the Gulf of Maine will be messed up now for several days.
When will we get to warm water? Ski clothes with foul weather gear over the top, gloves, ski caps and blankets that's how we sail in these waters off-shore.