10 September 2023

The Passage to Nova Scotia

We left Provincetown at around 06:00 hrs on Tuesday 5 September. Brec had worked out a watch system which worked well we have to say. The sailors did 4 hours on and 4 hours off in the night, Sandy came on at 06:00 hrs every morning and did a three hour watch in the morning and one again in the afternoon.  This ensured the men did not have to do the same night watch two nights running. The weather at the start seemed benign there was no wind and it was flat calm. So under engine we motored out and on throughout the day. The sun came up and it promised to be a good day on the water. However, out in Cape Cod Bay the visibility was poor until we rounded Race Point when the sun began to burn off the fog. 

Brec paid homage to Neptune and gave him a good shot of Ouzo, but the crew did not get any. 

Brec and Sandy then sang in harmony quietly a song called:

Blue out on the Ocean
Blue out in the air
Can’t stay here much longer
I’ve got no steamship fair
When my earthly days are over
Cast my body out to the sea
Save all undertaker bills
Let the mermaids flirt with me.

We were now on the open ocean and crossing the Gulf of Main. Wind came slowly, we put up sail, but kept the motor going to maintain boat speed. Later when more wind came the engine was turned off and we sailed on into the night. On that first day we saw Dolphins and many sea birds. 

Our BBF acted as the Cook and so began by making everyone a cup of tea in the early morning and gave them a biscuit. Later he made breakfast and lunch and the evening meal before he went on his first night watch from 18:00 hrs till 22:00 hrs.  He was pleased about this as he would get to see the sun set and the sun rise again. 

The second day at sea was a little rougher now as we really felt  we were on the ocean far from land in all directions. The motion of the boat was very much like a corkscrew and it was difficult below as one was thrown about a bit. We sailed this without the engine and OTTER could handle it well. The Monitor Wind Vane steered and only at night as the wind died did we put the engine on again to charge the batteries. During the day we saw dolphins again up close and later we saw whales blowing, but much further out.

The second night at sea was bitterly cold even those sleeping below felt it. Our BBF made those  that wanted it breakfast and later sandwiches for lunch. The evening meal he made scramble eggs, bacon and beans. None of this was easy as the corkscrew motion he had to hold on with one hand as well as cook.  The second morning at sea the humans were all a little bleary eyed with fatigue. The cook made everyone porridge for breakfast. It was a very foggy and cold day, but later the sun did come up and burnt off the fog.

By later afternoon on the second day it was clear that if we continued like this we would arrive in Lunenburg at around 02:00 hrs so the skipper decided we needed a bay to anchor in for the night. He found an excellent little bay called Little Herbert and once the anchor was down an anchor beer was poured and the cook got on with making a pork casserole for supper.

The harmony on board was excellent, Brec and Sandy sang again after supper and the mood was very jocular. So much so that our BBF learnt that one could die laughing. While Brec was washing up Alan noticed a bright light in the rubbish bag and asked what it was. Brec replied that it was a damned flashlight that didn’t work for him so he threw it away. The way he told it made Alan laugh so much that he got into a spasm and couldn’t breath! It took awhile for Brec to notice Alan’s gesture to pat him on the back!

Brec retrieved the torch and gave it to our BBF saying if he could switch it off he could keep it. Alan did just that and noticed that the battery cap had been put on back to front. We now have a very bright light! Later that night our BBF had another laughing not breathing spasm because of the jocularity between Brec and Sandy and this time Sandy patted him on the back till he could breath again.

There was a thick fog over the anchorage in the early morning and we could not see the exit, so stayed put until the fog cleared enough to get out again.

Once underway because it was a late start Brec chose another anchorage to go to rather than try a night entry into Lunenburg.

A waypoint to the next anchorage was past an Easterly Cardinal Buoy, but here in Canada they are not at all like the ones in Europe for there is no top mark!

This is how the cardinal buoys look in Europe!

We now anchored next to Carter’s Island off a nice little beach in Port Mouton Bay. The cook made the evening meal and the  Skipper planned the next part of the voyage to Lunenburg assuming it would be in fog. Port was poured in the Shipfaced glasses and then the humans retired to bed, tired but happy.

The next morning we could only just see Carter’s Island but with our BBF on the helm and Brec navigating we set off for Lunenburg in the thick fog.

Brec hoisted his radar reflector.

But the humans worked together as a well oiled team and so the navigation was easier than it otherwise would have been.

At one stage the fog lifted but sadly it socked in again. As we got closer to Lunenburg we saw sail boats in the mist and eventually the weather Gods smiled on us for the sun came out and we could easily make out the marks to the harbour.

As we entered the harbour hte sailors on deck saw a seal close by in the water.

Brec had phoned ahead and reserved a place on a floating dock in the Zwicker Warf. The town from the sea looked really nice.

Once the boat had been washed and put to bed the humans went to shower and then to eat ashore. Sandy had found a nice restaurant in the  museum.

Muscles were had as a starter and they were delicious, so much so that Brec drank the broth they came in.

Our BBF had a burger which had been recommended by the waitress and he said it was good. The humans then returned to the boat and went almost immediately to bed as they were worn out but the last five days.

One fact we need to mention is that Hurricane Lee is about to put a spanner in the works.

One forecast puts it arriving on our BBF’s Birthday!! There are a number of options the humans are considering, none of them perfect, but they have not made a decision yet. Plan A calls for going ashore, hiring a car. For four days on Monday and touring. Then coming back and waiting out the storm. It is not even certain it will come this way, but it is as well to be prepared. There is no going to sea while the danger is imminent. You can all rest secure in the knowledge the very experienced round the world sailors will make the right and safe decision when more facts are known.

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