2 September, 2014
Hello My Friends,
Sorry, long time, no write. My bad. Jeddore Oyster pond turned out to be a bit of a trek up a shallow, narrow channel between mud flats that were about a foot deep-Hence the oysters. Once in the pond (about 3 miles up the channel), the anchorage opened up into an area about a mile square, 10-15’ deep-perfect. We had read about a new resort on the pond that sounded pretty cool. In reality, when we cruised by, we saw that the docks were all on shore, and the place was locked up tighter than a drum. It looked like a lot of pesos were tied up here, but to no avail. We were anchor up by 0730, and to the Queen’s Wharf in Halifax Harbor by 1230. On our way in, we saw no less than 4 different sailboat races going on in different areas of the entrance and harbor. The commercial traffic in this port is also quite substantial, Halifax being the largest natural deep-water port in the world. In fact, during the two World Wars, Halifax was the staging area for most of the convoys headed to Europe from North America. Halifax Harbor was also the home port of Foundation Maritime, a company that ran deep sea towing and salvage operations in the North Atlantic during the first half of the twentieth century. Stories of the tugs’ heroics are recounted by the Canadian author, Farley Mowat, in two books, “Gray Seas Under”, and “The Serpent’s Coil”. Read years ago, these books remain among my favorites. Being the nerd that I am, I had to find the location of Foundation’s old office and wharf, even though they’ve been long gone. After a day or two of asking around, we found an old captain who knew the locations. Success! The pictures of the run down wharf will mean nothing to anyone but my inner nerd. Halifax’ attractions included its’ fort (rebuilt 4 times since the 1600’s), The Atlantic Maritime museum, the Titanic Cemeteries (many of the bodies were recovered by Haligonians after the sinking), a guided walking tour of the city, and the City Park (an 18 acre Victorian park/garden reputed to be the first of its’ kind in North America). Lots of good seafood in town, but on the recommendation of our walking tour guide (a recent college grad-speaker of English, French, Arabic, and Chinese, waiting on a Chinese shipping company for a job offer), we headed to Bearly’s/Ace Burger for dinner on Sunday. Their burgers were recently voted to be the best in Halifax (their fries came in second). Bonus was the live country band playing. During our stay, we had visits from some other Krogen owners-Ted and Sue on “My Dreams” were a couple of docks over, and Brian and Jackie from ”Gotta Smile” dropped in on their 9,000 mile and counting road trip in the U.S. (their boat is in Grenada at this time). Our last morning in Halifax took us to the farmers market, which is housed in Leeds rated building (solar panels and wind generators on the roof, water recycled). Very cool.
Sunny August 26th and we depart Halifax Harbor at 1000. There isn’t nearly as much pleasure boat traffic on this weekday, but significantly more commercial stuff. We alert Halifax traffic as to our intentions, and follow “Scotian Sea” to the outer marker. She turns to the port, to service the offshore oil platforms about 100 miles out near Sable Island, while we turn to the port, and southwest toward Lunenburg. On the way, in 1-3’ seas, we spot numerous seals and a few porpoises, but no whales. Forty-eight nautical miles later, we arrive in Lunenburg. Our first glimpse of this idyllic, UNESCO World Heritage town fulfills our stereotyped image of the ideal seaside 1800’s era town. Multicolored buildings stretch up the hill surrounding the harbor, each with a view to capture the returning fishing fleets. Originally platted by the British, but settled mainly by German immigrants, these immigrants quickly converted from an agrarian lifestyle to a seafaring one, fueled by the scarcity of arable land, and the plentiful sea. The boat builders of Lunenburg were legendary in their time, and in spite of changing times a few small boat builders still remain. The “Bluenose II”, a replica of the famous fishing schooner of the same name that won every sailing race that she was in (against the American fishermen for around 13 years straight), was built, and is wharfed here still. There are a few scallop draggers that call Lunenburg their home port, as well as some coastal boats that hand line for Cod and Mackerel. Tourism is now a large part of the economy of Lunenburg, with The Atlantic Fisheries Museum acting as the anchor. We figure that we’ll be here for a while, as high wind warnings will be in effect for the next few days(thank you tropical storm Cristobal), so we take a berth on the dock. There’s hydro (electricity in Canadian), but no water-that’s cool, we took on 400 gallons in Halifax. We scope out town for a little bit, then end up at “The Salt Shaker Bistro”. Out on the terrace, I have the best (non-home cooked) meal of the trip, a seafood linguine-type concoction, with a pound of mussels as an appetizer. Next morning, I’m pokin’ around the fish boats, askin’ where they get their fuel. Bailey’s fuels is the only game in town, so I mosey up the hill to see if they can get us hooked up in the next day or two. Yep, as a matter of fact, they can, and Jamie’s heading out with the truck right now-“how ‘bout 15 minutes?”. Ten minutes later, he’s down at the dock, figuring out if his hose will reach. No dice, he’s about ten feet short. Good news, our neighbors have moved out to a mooring, and we can move our boat closer to shore. He’ll be back in 20 minutes after he fuels a fish boat. 1700 liters later, with 20 for our neighbors that we also filled with water from our tanks yesterday, he’s outta here-$$ cha-ching $$. It’s supposed to rain tomorrow, so today is the day for a bike ride. The town of Mahone Bay is an 18 kilometer ride from here, on a trail built on the old railroad right-of-way. It’s just a tourist town, but supposed to be pretty cute, and situated in a bay that we’d like to see (for future reference). The Lunenburg Yacht Club (in Princes Inlet) is half way there, so we’ll check it out too. The ride is gorgeous, transiting mixed hardwood forest, brackish marsh, and cedar swamps. It’s easy too, as it’s pretty flat. We pop out into town and stop a local to find out where to grab lunch, and have some seafood goodies on the terrace overlooking the sunny harbor. On the way back, we take a five mile side trip to the LYC (after getting directions at the bike shop in Mahone Bay). It’s pretty, but too small for The Girl. By the time we get back to the boat, my butt’s so sore; I fell like cryin’ like a little girl (I know, too much information). Off to dinner at the recommendation of our neighboring diners from last night. Magnolia Grill was very good, but didn’t hold a candle to The Salt Shaker (maybe I was too tired to be a good judge). As promised, rain the next morning, and we’re off to the farmers market at the hockey rink. After a couple of wrong turns, we find the rink in the pouring rain. The place is jammed and going full tilt at 0815. Seems like the place to be in Lunenburg-all the locals are chattin’ it up and it seems like old home week. Make a beeline to the “sausage guy”, as we were told that he sells out in the first half hour of the market, and his stuff is a “must buy”. He sounds like a German import, and his homemade sausages are unbelievable. Spicy, mild, pork, beef, lamb, natural casings-decisions, decisions, decisions. As cased meats are an oft-overlooked food group, we take away a good stock. By this time, the line behind us is about 12 people long, and the folks in it are looking worried-Oh well…”The early bird gets the…” The fresh veggies are all local, and priced to sell so we buy. The bread looks pretty tasty too, so we’re in for a few assorted loaves. Those teeny quiches look good too, and the nice lady will microwave them for us on the spot. Coffee from the Laughing Whale roaster in town, and the two of us are squattin’ in the corner of the iceless rink, surrounded by bulging backpacks and shopping bags, eatin’ in style. On the way home, we stop at the Lunenburg Foundry, which does all things boat, and are now branching out into some solar(Prometheus Project) and geothermal stuff in their foundry and machine shop. There’s a boat (around 150’ or so) at their industrial pier, reputedly belonging to one of the owners of the Miami Heat, having some machining of broken stuff here. There’s a monolith of concrete standing outside of the loading area, so gotta see-It’s a piece of the Berlin wall, standing in a patch of weeds-Go figure (Lunenburg, Germany?). Back at The Girl, the grub is stored, then off to the Atlantic Fisheries Museum. The guided tour is a good one, and then we retrace our steps for some more in depth. On the way home, we stop at theLW roaster to pick up the bags of beans that we special ordered from the coffee dudes this morning. We have new neighbors, Ed and Cheryl, on a Mainship 44, “Just a Splash”. They tell us that they’ve been following us, in fact, took our berth in Halifax after we pulled out. They’ll spend a day or so here, waiting out the conditions on the sea. (Hurricane Cristobal has just passed by, creating 8 foot swells coming from the Southeast, opposed by a 25-30 knot North wind-not good). Next day is spent just bangin’ around town, shoppin’ some shops and checking out some old buildings. Talking to some of the fishermen, our decision to stay is confirmed-it’s pretty sloppy out there. We’ll leave early in the A.M., as the seas are supposed to moderate by then.