Off to Maine – Oops, back to Shelburne
24 September 2010 | Shelburne, NS, Canada
Sylvia - windy and foggy evening
22 September, 2010
This was the day to get things ready for the jump over to Maine. One of the locals here in the marina has a car they loan out to cruisers so four of us women did a final run to the grocery store for last minute fresh things. The fellas got the water tanks filled but decided to wait on the fuel since the wind and waves were up enough to make it an uncomfortable thing to do.
There are 5 boats taking off tomorrow for Rockland - Eos, Changing Lanes, Nemea, Fire Crest, and Artful Dodger. The crews got together around 1600 and discussed the weather and all and agreed to monitor channel 10 as we went.
After supper, we got together with John and Joan and went to The Salty Dog for their Trivia Contest. Louise and Jean-Denis soon joined us. There were 5 teams there but we were the only non-locals and sad to say we didn't do very well. The questions on Canada were beyond Bill and I, of course, and many of the other ones were real trivia. How is that for rationalizing why our team didn't make a good showing? But it was a chance to do what the locals do on a Wednesday evening in Shelburne.
We were up and ready to go before 0800 but we had to wait for the marina staff to come on duty so we and Changing Lanes could get fuel. Jason told us he would come early at 0830 and get us taken care of so we could be off. While we were waiting for him Fire Crest and Artful Dodger dropped their moorings and took off. Changing Lanes got their fuel and were off as was Nemea while we filled our tanks. We were the last away about 0930 but knew that given time we would pass them all somewhere along the line.
We did just that about 1400 near Brazil Rock which is the turning point to start heading NW across the Gulf of Maine toward Rockland. We were having trouble getting the sail set and the auto-pilot to work well together and so when we turned and the wind was on the nose we rolled up the main and jib and then discovered that the auto-pilot wasn't working. We couldn't get the wheel locked so the auto-pilot could control it. Bill went below and discovered what the problem was and knew he could fix it but not underway.
I checked the charts and it was further to go up the NS coast to Yarmouth, the tide wouldn't be in our favor and we would get there in the dark. Not a good choice. So we decided to go back to Shelburne. We contacted Changing Lanes and Nemea and told them about our problem and plans and wished them all a good passage to Rockland.
Then we turned around and hand steered for 4 ½ hours back to Shelburne. That short time re-enforced our decision to go back and fix the auto-pilot. Hand steering all the way to Rockland would have been awful. I contacted Jason at the yacht club and our berth was now gone but they would put us at the gas dock. Luckily it is an L shape so those needing fuel can come up on the other leg of the L. We arrived back in Shelburne at 1815 - just before sunset and just in time to watch the yacht club race.
24 September, 2010
After a good night's cool sleep, we discovered that the heater would come on and ignite but wouldn't stay lit so it got kind of cool over night. Well, that fix, what ever it was to be, had to wait while we fixed the auto-pilot. It was a matter of getting the two piece collar off of the rudder post. It was slipping and needed to be tightened. We got it off and cleaned it all up so it could be tightened down cleanly. Then after a lunch break we put it back together and all is well now. Bill put some Loc-Tite on the bolts so they couldn't work themselves out and let the collar slip again. We probably should have done that at the time we fixed the problem we had with the auto-pilot when we were in the Thousand Islands but we thought we had it all tightened down enough. And it did work for many weeks without a problem.
Since we didn't have any heat on-board and it was getting cool we pulled out the 110 space heater while we were working and that helped a little. After we had the auto-pilot fixed, I suggested to Bill that maybe we should just turn the heater back on and see what happened. It turned on, lit and stayed lit. Hurray. We now had heat again. Why it did what it did we don't know which is a little disconcerting. It might have had to do with the diesel feed. While we were trying to get it going this morning the pump came on and filled the day tank up. That was the only thing different that we could think of. Oh, well, it has been working fine now and we are thankful and hopeful.
Pattie and Wayne on Mirthin are still here and they have changed their plans and are now going to take the long hop and go directly to Cape Cod - which is what we will now be doing as well. There is a three day window opening up Sunday through Tuesday which is great. Frank and Meredith on their catamaran and the four fellows on another cutter are all planning on starting out Sunday on the same trip. So once again there will be several of us taking off at the same time - two of us to Cape Cod and the other two to either Cape Cod or Newport depending on how things go.
We found out that there was a chili cook-off at the yacht club this evening and we were all invited to join them. It was a potluck as well. I found out too late to really put anything together but I had this foot-long chocolate nut bar that I cut up and took. It seemed kind of a meager offering but it was all gone long before all of the rest of the desserts were gone so it evidently was appreciated. There was voting for the best chili, the most unique chili, and the best dressed chef. The folks were so friendly and we had a great time with them all.
Then Frank and Meredith and Bill and I joined Wayne and Pattie in the lounge downstairs in the yacht club for birthday cake and some fine malt scotch to celebrate Pattie's birthday. As we were sitting there sipping our drinks and talking about books, I couldn't help but reflect that here we were in Nova Scotia with people we didn't even no existed a week ago having a perfectly enjoyable time and wishing we could be around them longer than was going to be possible. That is both the joy and the sadness of this life style.
As we were settling in for the night we got a call from Changing Lanes and they had arrived in Rockland about an hour after Nemea had. They were both settled on a mooring but the other two boats were still out there. The hope was that they had just grabbed a lobster pot and were sitting out there waiting for daylight before trying to come on in. That was what one of the locals said he did if he couldn't get through the pots and into port before dark. Joan said she didn't know they even made that many lobster pots. The pots were all over and it was just terrible and they had fog the last half hour or so. Those lobster pots were why we hadn't particularly wanted to go to Maine. John and Joan will be in Rockland and day or so and then they will be going to Provincetown as well so we expect to reconnect with them in a few days.
Tomorrow will be another lay day here in Shelburne and then, the weather gods willing, we will do the 40 hour plus crossing to Provincetown, MA.