Launch Day, Gold River Marina, NS
15 June 2018
The day finally came when we had to declare the “on the hard” work done – at least as much as it was going to get done.We stayed in “Rosie” the campervan the night before so we would be ready to catch the high tide bright and early on Wednesday morning. Darrin, Alex and Carl showed up as we drained our first cups of coffee, and the process began. Unplug the power cord, make sure there are bow and stern lines ready, remove the ladder, get out of the way!
I always like to watch launches and haul outs, but I missed most of this one. The truck hauled Madcap over to the railway slip and the boat was lifted into the sling, but the water wasn’t quite high enough so we paused for what I thought would be an hour or so. When I saw movement across the yard as we finished bowls of granola and another round of coffees, I raced over to find the lift moving slowly back up along the rails, the guys walking up the ramp – and Madcap securely tied to a dock. It was a most uneventful launch!
Jim checked the through hulls, started the engine, got a little scare when there was water seeping in around the through hull under our berth, (it stopped within minutes – apparently the seal just needed to swell a little after being dried out for the winter) and we spent the day working through the list of “starting the season jobs”.
While it was too windy during the day to bend on the sails, the wind died enough in the evening for us to enjoy a glass of bubbly and dinner of pasta with asparagus and red peppers sprinkled with freshly shredded Parmesan as we sat in the cockpit. It was SO good to feel the gentle rock of the boat and listen to lapping of tiny waves on the hull.
By Friday, the wind dropped to a reasonable level (although it was on the nose) so we motored out of the river and down the shore a few nautical miles to our mooring in Mahone Bay. In typical Nova Scotia fashion, the wind was nippy but the sun was bright, so we wore long pants and jackets as we travelled, and quickly shed them once we were tied up.
Before we left the marina, we enjoyed an evening aboard Shearwater with John and Debbie (Mahayana) and host, Mike. It was the first Happy Hour of the season and a good start to the social side of the cruising season. We also spent Father’s Day on the boat and toasted the last 11 years of our cruising life. It was on Father’s Day in 2007 that we pulled away from the dock at Trident Yacht Club near Gananoque, ON to head off on our journey down the St Lawrence River to the salt water of the Eastern Seaboard. That night we sat with Mary and Blair (Strathspey) and toasted the beginning of our adventure together. This year, we raised our glasses alone as we contemplated what shape this season of sailing in Nova Scotia waters would take, and remembered the wonderful encounters we enjoyed with folks from all over the world during our 11 years of cruising from Lake Ontario all the way down to Guatemala and back to Nova Scotia.