Saturday, August 2, 2014

Portland, Maine, Bay of Fundy to Halifax

Love Locks
Portland to Boothbay, Maine
              We spent a few days at the marina in the bustling city of Portland, Maine, re-provisioning and preparing for the trip northeast back to the homeland and Nova Scotia shores. Last stop in the good ol' U.S.of A. was Boothbay, one of those enchanting New England fishing towns you only see in the movies. A minefield of lobster pots awaited us in the bay, as we picked out way stealthily along and anchored in the harbour. While not quite as 'picture-perfect' as some of the harbour towns of Maine, it quickly became our favoured spot for it's charm and quality of being a real 'working-man's' town. But time marches on and we reluctantly hauled anchor a few days later for a double-overnighter crossing the Bay of Fundy.

 The Bay of Fundy to Shelburne  Nova Scotia

              The Bay of Fundy has some of the biggest tides in the world,(over 40 ft!), and consequently, some of the strongest currents. Fortunately, the seas were calm with light winds, and we crossed uneventfully in to Canada. We tied to the dock at the historic town  of Shelburne at the  Shelburne yacht club. Suddenly you're in the Maritimes! A rugged, foggy coastline, fish docks and simple framed solid wood shake pioneer homes, and friendly folk. The cruisers have returned after their notable absence on the trip north. We will wait it our here for the weather to clear before heading to Lunenburg and Halifax for the 'craic' (fun) as Daragh would say!

Shelburne YC 

Lunenburg, Nova Scotia
                  A thick fog had descended as we crept out of the harbour towards the whimsical fishing village of Lunenburg. Bright red store fronts and colourful houses peeked out of the mist as we side-tied to the pier, right next door to the famous Bluenose 2, modeled on the fastest schooner on the East Coast. Tourists gathered on the waterfront to get a closer look and hear talks of the plight of those early seafaring vessels, and the tiny wooden dories that hand line fished the ocean for Cod and Haddock. The cheery, red buildings, we were told, were not merely decorative, but designed to aid sailors in finding their way when the ubiquitous 'pea soup' of fog shrouded their passage home. The whole town is built on a steep hillside, a very pretty sight to behold, and to explore on foot.
The Bluenose 2
Lunenburg NS

            Another day socked in with the inevitable fog. The skies cleared, mercifully, as we entered Halifax harbour, the largest deep sea port on the entire coast. We docked under sunny skies at the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron. In the morning we taxied in to town for a brief but pleasant surprise  visit with friends from Victoria, Christine and Craig James, and daughter Taylor. After breakfast the boardwalk was already alive with entertainment and revelry of all kinds; acrobats, jugglers, carnival rides, and of course, musicians. We spent a couple of hours at Pier 21, the immense immigration depot where all new immigrants to Canada were processed up until the 1960's. The captivating stories of so many people fleeing wars and seeking a new life in Canada tugged at the heart strings. Next was the exceptional Maritime Museum with many displays including the great explosion of 1917 when a war ships loaded with explosives collided with another in the harbour and devastated the city, killing over 2000 people! Also, the rescue efforts of the people of Halifax for the disastrous sinking of the Titanic that fateful night in 1912.
Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron 

Christine and Craig James 

Brian and Daragh on board Hat Trick
Immigration Pier 21
         At the harbour dock we met our neighbour from the RNSYC, Brian,who invited us aboard his 40ft. power boat Hat Trick. Brian has the distinction of being a former NHL hockey player and member of the Pittsburg Penguins! We ended an eventful day at the Old Triangle, Irish Pub (where else?), where we were pleasantly entertained by two talented Newfoundland girls and some excellent fiddle playing to a packed house. These folks really know how to party!
Halifax Fiddlers

                                 " So here I lay in my 23rd year,
                                  How I wish I was in Sherbrooke now,
                                  It's been six years since I sailed away
                                   And I just made Halifax yesterday,
                                   God damn them all!
                                   I was told we'd cruise the seas for American gold,
                                   We'd fire no guns, shed no tears,
                                   Now I'm a broken man on a Halifax pier,
                                   The last of Barrett's Privateers"
                                                                                      Stan Rogers



1 comment:

  1. Great to see you guys out getting your feet wet again! I'm betting you'll have a pile of fun with the music, food, and people on the east coast. Oh..yea...and the drink! ; = ) Our kids bought a property in Lunenburg a couple of years ago and we can't wait to get our new RV out there to explore that coast with them. They always come home so relaxed and happy.
    Looking forward to the further adventures of C & D - Happy Sails - Al