: 'Fair in showers and poor in fog'
Jim Fraser and Allan Parry's June 2006 continuation cruise
on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia in Wayfarer 8328
(part 2 of 2)
Note: You can see much larger versions of the charts by clicking here: chart 1 chart 2 chart 3 chart 4
Day 5: Thick fog greeted us the next morning but we needed to push on. The wind had abated, so with a number of waypoints punched into the GPS, we set off. Things went well until we emerged from the shelter of Whitehead island. The swell, left over from the previous days wind built rapidly.
With thick fog, breaking water all around, and the outboard lifting out of the water as we pitched, we decided to cut our losses and return to Yankee Cove (above). That evening we decided that our best bet would be to follow a very tortuous inshore passage through the rocks. They would protect us from the worst of the swell but the route was very intricate. I spent the evening punching fifteen waypoints into the GPS just to cover five miles. I wasn't looking forward to the next day.
Jim Fraser at ...
... the helm.
Day 6: The misty morning gave way to bright sunshine (above) and our trip through the rocks was delightful. What a difference a bit of sunshine makes. This was one of the most interesting parts of the trip, and the GPS performed brilliantly. As navigator you have to instill confidence in the helm, assuring him that the breaking waves ahead are supposed to be there and that we will turn before we get there. Further on, we went through Dover Passage, Little Dover Run and Andrew Passage, all inshore cruiser and fisherman rat runs, to emerge at the eastern tip of mainland Nova Scotia, Cape Canso. A simple run down the coast brought us to the fleshpots of Canso town.
Here we re-entered civilization. We moored in a marina with showers, camped in a proper campsite (below), visited a supermarket and hiked to the liquor store. We had only been in the backwoods for a few days; what must six months have been like?
Day 7: Reluctantly leaving Canso, we sailed across to Cape Breton Island. This is a substantial voyage for a Wayfarer: across eighteen miles of Chedabucto Bay. There are traffic separation zones and the like to negotiate. No problems arose and we pulled in behind Rabbit Island to look for a campsite. No joy there, so we went on to Inhabitants Harbour. We were back in a semi wilderness area and started looking for barrier beaches. These are often good campsites as they are flat, have no trees, and you can often get the Wayfarer in behind them....
The first beach was enormous. We put ashore and climbed up to investigate. There was a large swampy area behind, which was probably mosquito infested. However the thing that swayed our decision to leave was a large bald eagle eating his prey not thirty meters away. The second barrier beach was also rejected as we were dive-bombed by groups of 'Willets' (like peewits) who were probably nesting.
We made camp on our third choice barrier beach - on Inhabitants Island (above). It was chucking it down with rain by then, so we pitched tents , made a fire and had a meal which was mainly beans , cheese and whisky. We retired early.
Day 8: It was still raining the next day, and my tent was so full of mosquitoes between the inner and outer that it nearly took off. We broke camp in oilskins and mosquito hoods. On the bright side, we saw a couple of loons, and two small deer swam from a nearby small island over to our island. They seemed completely unconcerned by our presence.
St Peters Canal
Our trip was almost over and we sailed to the Provincial Park campsite (above) at St Peters. I went up to register. ''Name, address, zip code and 'phone number, please." None of the English info that I gave him fitted into the boxes on his computer. Lot of muttering. ''Car registration number, please." ''Sorry, we came by boat." What a culture shock to come back from a semi wilderness to this politically correct rubbish. Davy Crockett would be spinning in his grave.
Thanks again to Jim and Gail Fraser for their hospitality.
Allan Parry In Naomi W8328