Almost a Year Later... back in Canada
24 March 2018 | boat in Gold River, NS and crew in Halifax
Beth / still in fleecy jacket and gloves
It has been so long since I updated this blog that I almost forget how! And there are certainly many events that just haven't made their way into my usual day to day and week to week journal. Here is an update though, just so you know we are still sailors!
We moved Madcap over to Sailcraft Boat yard in Oriental NC as planned last May, and with help from the crew there, we spent several depressing days tearing her all apart: sails off, mast out and rigging inspected and wrapped for travel, radar and wind generator disconnected and poles down, dodger and bimini canvas off and frames taken apart. We distributed galley provisions among friends, and packed everything as best we could for truck travel. In hindsight, I laugh at myself for being so careful to secure locker doors and bookshelves; Madcap had far rougher journeys on the water than any road trip could possibly be.
In true Madcap style, we managed to balance all of that with fine meet-ups with other boaters in the yard - a delicious potluck with the regulars, a couple of evenings at the Silos for pizza and music, a day's outing to New Bern with Mike and Kathy.
And then we headed for home, leaving Madcap at the yard, waiting to be picked by VMG Marine (vmgmarine.ca). A couple of weeks later, we drove from Halifax to Gold River Marina on the South Shore of Nova Scotia (goldrivermarina.com), to see the big red truck backed down by the waters edge and a crane ready to lift the boat off the truck and onto jackstands. Despite my fearful nighttime images of Madcap swinging wildly from the crane, there was none of that as she was gently lifted from the truck and settled onto jackstands. Then the work of putting her back together started, and that really did seem like work. It took us longer than we had planned, and I began to wonder if we had saved ourselves any time at all. Perhaps not. Perhaps we simply traded boat travel for boatyard work, but at least we could combine it with family time, garden time, spring activities in Halifax, rather than being focussed on wind and weather every day in an effort to get north as quickly as possible. At any rate, we were very glad when launch day came and we could be boaters again!
Launching at Gold River was a new experience for us - they use a marine railway rather than a travel lift so Madcap travelled via truck across the yard to the slip and into the sling. With the framework well secured to a heavy chain, the motor started and she crept inch by inch down the slope into the water.
We rented a mooring ball in the town of Mahone Bay for the summer (the name, Mahone Bay, applies to both a big gorgeous bay with picturesque islands and channels, and a small town with cafes and shops) and enjoyed some lovely nights aboard and daysails around the Bay, We didn't get as much summer sailing in as we thought we would - mostly due to other commitments - trips to Newfoundland, cottage time on the Northumberland Strait - but it feels good to have Madcap back in Nova Scotia waters. We know we made the right decision regarding bringing her north.
In September, we hosted family and friends from all across Canada, New Zealand and the UK for a local celebration of Liam and Alice's marriage. (the first ceremony took place in New Zealand in Dec '16).
Our winter was certainly a little different this year - we enjoyed lots of family time including welcoming our wee Duncan (almost 2 now) along with Mary Beth and Graham for Christmas in Halifax, and a fairly mild (if long and drawn out) winter. A 3 week trip to Spain in February/March gave us a lovely break and now if the recent series of nor'easters ever ends, and the days get longer and the temperature warms, we are looking forward to some new spring adventures. We have some varnishing and painting to do on Madcap once we get the winter cover off, and we plan to move aboard for 2 weeks this summer to make sure we get in some quality cruising time.
It was a wonderful grand 10 years of cruising southern waters, and now we plan to spend more years cruising around our beautiful Maritime waters. Stay tuned for more stories!