Put PEI on your bucket list
25 August 2010 | Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada
Sylvia - Blue skies and light wind
August 21, 2010
After getting some sleep yesterday, we ate at the restaurant here at the Silver Fox Curling and Sailing Club. Isn't that a great name for a club and marina? The Silver Fox part comes from the very prosperous silver fox trade that was here years ago. Then it was an early night to continue our recovery from the 28 hour run.
This morning I decided it was time to rent a car and really take in Prince Edward Island (PEI). So Rent-a-Wreck picked us up and we rented a very nice Trans Am for a couple of days. I am so very glad we did. I would hate to have missed seeing this lovely island.
The first thing was a stop at the Saturday Farmer's Market for fresh produce, bread, eggs, and pepperoni. What fun wandering through and talking to the merchants. Then it was off to Charlottetown (our next stop) to check out the marina. They can accommodate us on the outer dock so we made arrangements to be there Tuesday evening - weather permitting. We found out that getting diesel and a pump out would be an issue so that made it obvious we needed to be sure and fill up and pump out while in Summerside.
Then it was a leisurely drive along the north part of the Central Coastal Drive through beautiful rolling hills. The countryside here is some of the most beautiful I have ever seen and the farms, cottages, homes, and towns are immaculately clean. I never did see anything that wasn't either well-kept up or in the process of being upgraded. I found out later that it is illegal to have old junk cars lying around which certainly makes a difference. The heritage is Scots, Irish and English and there is quite evident pride in home and farm.
We drove by Green Gables of Anne of Green Gables fame, the Delvay Resort which was once a "mere" summer place, Brackley beach and many, many cottages for rent. This is a truly lovely place and people come from all over for vacations. There are many bikes for rent and lots of bike trails all over this section of PEI. I would highly recommend this area to anyone for a quiet and peaceful vacation. There are the fun parks and such for those who want those things but just the scenery and the beaches are worth enjoying all by themselves.
After we returned to the marina we met a very nice couple, Chick and Cheryl, who are living aboard here for the summer. They have taken one 15 month sabbatical to take their boat to the Caribbean and back and are planning another one next year. They had lots of good info to share and were helpful as we turned Eos around at the dock.
August 22, 2010
The day started with Chick and Cheryl and Alex (the young marina staffer) helping us get Eos to the gas and pump out dock during the morning calm. We had to move another boat and again work Eos around so she was facing out of the marina. Then Bill, Alex, and Chick took Eos out to the end of the marina and they messed around trying to do more backing up and turning around in small places. Something we haven't had to do a lot of and need to know how she handles and what she will and won't do.
After going to the grocery store and getting everything put away we took off again in the car for a partial drive up the North Cape Coastal Drive on the western end of PEI. We found lovely little bays and fishing wharves and the Cap Egmont light house we had seen during the night on our trip in.
Then it was back to the boat for some chores for Bill and a trip to a laundramat for Sylvia. The marina has only one washer and one dryer so having the car came in handy for finding a larger laundry.
August 23, 2010
After returning the car, I wandered into the visitors area of the yacht club and there was Ken from Fair Wind. He and his crew had sailed in mid-morning from the same little fishing harbor we had stopped at the day before on our drive. His crew had arrived and the two 19 year olds although having little sailing experience are game to learn and help out and are talking about having their passports sent to Halifax so they can sail to the States with Ken. It was a pleasant surprise seeing him again.
It was time for a good wash down of Eos and other minor things before Bill and I wandered around the local area near the marina. There is a re-creation of a small fishing village with brightly painted fishing cottages that are now occupied by various shops. And the Art Center with a nice history of Summerside display is right here as well.
Chick, our local help and source of much information, came over for several hours in the evening and we filled several pages with notes on anchorages and such along the way to the US coast as well as some info on the gulf stream and the Caribbean. He was a wealth of knowledge and experience and so willing to share it. Sailors just seem to be wonderful that way.
Tomorrow we will be heading out to Charlottetown, the capital of PEI, and another great area to explore right around the marina.
August 24, 2010
We had a leisurely start to the day since it would be a short (about 8 hour) run to Charlottetown and we didn't want to leave too early because of the tide. About 0930 Chick and Cheryl came by to say good-bye and help cast off our lines. We all hope we will be able to meet up again in the Caribbean in 2011.
It was another benign travel day. There was no wind and the only thing we had to do was dodge the lobster pots around the Confederation Bridge which connects PEI to the mainland. The bridge is an engineering feat and something to see. It is 8 miles long and resembles an extremely long Roman aqueduct. It's highest arches are 197 feet high and the lowest are 130 feet high.
About half way through the trip we caught up with Ken on Fair Wind and his crew who had started out a couple of hours before us. They were planning on going straight to Pictou on the north coast of Nova Scotia. As we talked on the VHF we figured out that he thought the docks were on Pictou Island. He didn't realize the town of Pictou and the marina and docks were up river a bit and on the mainland. So they decided to change direction and we made a parade into Charlottetown, PEI.
We docked at the Charlottetown Yacht Club. It is certainly pricier than the one at Summerside and not nearly as nice a place. I guess their locale in Charlottetown lets them charge what they are. It is that old adage - location, location, location.
Northern Light is here - a 151 foot power yacht that is in charter. I found out that it is only $74,500 a week to charter - US dollars. There are 8 couples currently chartering it. So it is less than $10,000 a couple for the week. I am still kind of in awe of yachts like this but I am sure as we go south they will become just a common sighting. But for know they are a "Wow!"
We had initially planned on staying here in Charlottetown for 2 days but the weather may dictate that we stay longer. It was supposed to be rainy tomorrow. I haven't checked the weather yet this morning but Ken stopped by and said all of the southern coast of Nova Scotia had strong wind warnings for the next couple of days and from the wrong direction, of course. I don't know if this is related to hurricane Danielle or not. The path for Danielle will also be something that we will have to watch and plan around. We no longer have the major tide and current concerns that we had before but we certainly have the hurricanes to watch out for. They usually don't get this far north in full force but the residual winds and rains can certainly cause problems.
Hope to post more pictures while we are here.