Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Isle Au Haut, ME

The way to Isle Au Haut was a trying day. Full of fog as mentioned in previous post. It was intense with the visibility being about 500 feet. Moores Harbor was going to be the place I was going to throw the anchor since it had the least amount of obstructions in getting there. All day I was thinking, "God, I am OK with the fog. I am managing OK, but please, give me a little more visibility when I get to the anchorage area." I was able to see the buoys and land masses on radar and use GPS to guide me for the most part, but when getting close to land I get nervous. Request granted...saw a glimpse of blue sky, the whole bay including the large rock in the middle of it that the guide book was talking about. I made it to a good anchoring spot and threw the anchor and went to sleep.
The next day it was still terribly foggy but I had to get off the boat. I packed a lunch, hopped in the dingy and went to the direction of land (not visible at all times) and went hiking. Some good trails, lots of bubbling brooks, and full forest of trees. Eventually found "town." A dock for the ferry, a ranger house, I think there was a library/town hall, a tiny store next to the owners house selling souvenirs, and a cafe/chocolate place which was inside a persons home. Also, what was not there was cellphone signal. So there were a few worried people when they didn't hear from me for longer than usual.
These things are every where
On my way back to the boat and approaching the dingy I was met by Johanna and her 2 kids. After talking a bit I was invited to have some tea...and then dinner...and even a hot shower! Dinner was so good, spaghetti, hot dogs, mushrooms, salad, and the best...fudge and ice cream! It was a good and wholesome time with these 4 women (3 polish with great accents and one just normal person like me, all from NJ) and their 3 dogs and 2 kids . It turns out that Laura, (the "owner") had a grandfather who build this lovely home way back in early 1900's with hand tools. It is facing the harbor with a great view (with Chanty in it). It is filled with books with no end on nature subjects and identifying plants (mushrooms that we had for dinner(not the one with the slug on it)) and so on. It also has about 40 pairs of rubber boots sitting under the stairs for all its visiting family members, if you are a guest I'm sure there is a pair that fits. It has little treasures collected from the area like shells and stone and bones and even a whale vertebrae. The upper level has a bunch of bed rooms and a huge chart of all the little islands in the area. Besides the house there is this awesome boat house, a large one room area of space with more sleeping areas and mini kitchen. Not to mention a few kayaks and dingys to explore the harbor. So now with all the kids and grand kids etc. I expect there has to be some strategic planning to make sure every one gets a turn to stay at this great place. Around, well after sunset I was accompanied by the klan out to my dingy and was given a large chunk of homemade fudge and some fruit and a fruit-roll-up. I was happy.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

In the beginning...

Fog rolling in
These would have been day 2 of creation if light or dark hadn't been created yet...
or something like that...

Fog has been a problem here in Maine. When the weather report says visibility of 1 nautical mile or less...this really means 500ft. When looking for marker buoys...they literally are there before you even have time to make it out. Boats sort of creep around like they do in pirate movies and just show up like ghosts. Its a little spooky. Thank goodness for radar, GPS, charts, fog horns, bells and about every other resource you have on your boat for navigating.

"FOG ON THE MAINE COAST: FOG is a fact of life on the coast of Maine. It is most likely to occur in the months of July and August, but quite common from May through September. The amount of fog varies from area to area, as shown on the accompanying graph, and locally it can be totally unpredictable. Sometimes you will be shut in for a day or two, sometimes a week or more."

Great Cranberry Island

Great Cranberry Island was a nice place to visit. I came to hike a few trails and stopped at the Museum. The museum was the smallest I have ever seen. One corner was about boat building, the other was the Hitty Doll corner as you can see above, one corner was the "store," and the other was a collection of history stuff and nick knacks. The museum was already closed...but was opened just for me and even got a personal tour. Apparently, the Hitty Doll book is quite a hit. Hitty I guess was a super miniature wooden doll that a girl buys from an antique store back in the 1920's. The doll was already 100 years old. So the girl who buys this doll eventually writes a book from the doll's perspective about her life and all of its owners. The "tour guide" said that people come in with their entire wooden doll collections and have quite a time in the Hitty Doll corner.

I am really getting around.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bar Harbor, ME

Jordan Pond, Arcadia National Park
I am currently in Bar Harbor Maine on Dessert Island. This is were Arcadia National Park Lives (2nd most visited national park to Yellowstone). Lots of nature and hiking, biking, boating, etc places to go (with the FREE shuttle buses that take you every where).

Two nights ago spent the night at a dock with shore power for my electrical heater to give Chanty and good "dry out." I paid way too much to stay there with limited facilities not to mentions a rocky night...but at least everything is dry and cozy. I then spent yesterday hiking around Jordan pond. Very beautiful...the pictures just don't compare.

Really cool walk ways along Jordan Pond

Last night I moved Chanty to an anchorage area. At low tide in the photo below you can see this bar of sand that people take their cars out to and drive across to see Bar Island. When I first got to Bar Harbour it was high tide and this is not visible. I was going to cut through this area until I saw a person walking quite far out. I was thinking that maybe she had on special water walking shoes...uh, no. I changed my mind about that route very quickly.
Low Tide

View of the bar from Bar Island

View of Bar Harbor from Bar Island Summit

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Lockeport, NS

I think these used to be jelly fish.

A little island call Little Hope II. This guy is hopeless.

Made a short trip to Lockeport a little fishing harbor. Got some fuel, oil and water...good to go for a while. The plan is to make the jump over the Maine now. It will for sure be and overnight trip. No wind, no waves, lots of fuel and lots of motor. It should be an easy overnighter...hopefully.

Any way, had some time to go exploring. The lady at the hardware store recommended their famous beach, Crest Beach. Very beautiful. Took a super long walk down a self guided walking tour. Very pleasant and nice to move a little. Later some other sailors came...we all ate a great spaghetti dinner made by Ed. Thanks Ed! Very much needed instead of something from the can. We did some trading of food and also did a book swap with Doug. Thanks Doug for some new reading material! Also very much needed. I already started it. It was good to share stories and be social after a few days of being solo.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Tall Ships, Halifax Nova Scotia

Took a bus back to Halifax yesterday to see the Tall Ships. Very cool! So many to see. The weather was drizzly and overcast making it hard for some good photos not to mention A LOT of people, and it was only friday. I was getting in "gotta get out of here or I might hurt some one," mode. Glad to be back on the boat. Slept in this morning, ate a huge pancake breakfast, and just doing odds and ends stuff on the boat. Will leave tomorrow on to the next place. The showers should be done by them. Probably going to be a SW wind which is the exact direction I have to go. Might be motoring for a while.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Small Boat Race


So currently in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. I little but of a touristy town but it has what I need...a sail repair place and a boat repair place. Since the beginning of my trip my roller furler was a little sticky. Was having trouble pulling in and pulling out the sail. On the way into the harbor it was completely jammed. I pulled in, anchored and slept to deal with the headache of figuring out what to do in the morning. Thank goodness for Internet. Google brought me right to what I needed- "Covey Island yacht repair." John the owner himself came out the boat to have a look. We took the sail down and inspected the swivel...very grindy. He went back to the shop to make a call to the manufacturer. I dreaded the news...hoping desperately I would not have to take down the mast or undo the fore-stay to get this thing off and wait for a few days of shipping for a new one to come. But good news just dump some boiling water through it and work it a little hopefully dissolving salt that may have gotten in there. It worked! Nothing like a little home remedy to get things working again. One problem solved! Thanks John! But another one came about while removing the front sail. While I was just rolling it ripped. Thankfully there is a sail maker just down the street. They looked at it and scolded me for not having the UV protection on the edges, which is what caused the tear. I felt like a child being scolded by her mother for not putting on my sun screen. They made me bring in the rest of my sails before they allowed me to do anything else. Thankfully, my other front sail was in working condition, solving the issue of a front sail, leaving yet another issue. This one had the UV protection but on the wrong side. No problem, just unfurl the furler and roll it up the opposite way. The main sail, on the other hand, needed a little beefing up. (This is the one that I hand stitched at seam that blew) so all for the price of $135 dollars I have a more trust worthy mail sail with stronger seems and a little bit of a face lift. It was done in record time. Done the next day!!! Thank you to my new girl friends at North Sails Atlantic!!! I have never been in a sail loft cool, huge sewing machines in floor and a hole for the person sewing to sit in. Huge room, but not big enough for some of the sails they get. They said that its not uncommon for them for measuring purposes to pull the sail through the doors to into and across the street!!! Any way, a good stop and learning a lot.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Dartmouth Scottish Festival

Trains in Dartmouth

Halifax Harbour

Chanty Sails

Saturday, July 11, 2009

St. Peter's Canal

This whole incident was very confusing to me. The bridge in the picture is a swing bridge and I need the call the bridge master for him to open it. So I tie up and see this sign (above)...looking for some phone number written to call (as the sign seems to indicate) someone to let me through. I neglected to see this little phone with the box closed. Any way, I call on the VHF radio to the coast guard to see what I am supposed to do, they suggest a few channels for me to call the bridge master luck. I walk up to the little control one there. I come back down and stand in front of the sign for a little while, scratching my head at this confusing sign with no phone number. I see the box...proceed to force it open (a little rusty on the hinges). I feel a little like i am close to finding the cache just looking for a clue. A phone is inside...I pick up the phone and it starts ringing...a girl answers...I am not even sure what to say...-long pause-... I am on the telephone and feel I should introduce myself, say my first name and in a long complicated way I tell them what I need because I don't really know who I am calling. Some home down the street who comes down to open this bridge or something? After the long pause I force myself to remember that just because I am physically on land and speaking on the telephone I have to talk in boat terms. "This is sailing vessel Chanty requesting passage through the St Peters Canal swing bridge." It was all very weird. Its sort of like seeing some one you work with at the grocery store with street cloths instead of a uniform and wondering to do I know that person. Out of context. Then (totally unrelated) a bunch of people (well maybe 3-4) with cameras show up and start taking pictures of the boat as if someone send out a memo..." boat going through swing bridge...don't miss it" Even more starts running to get a shot from the front of the boat but she couldn't run fast enough. Every time she stops there isn't quite enough time for her to take the picture. I felt a little bad and slow down for her. It was just a weird experience. I wonder if I said "weird" enough times.

The latest

Some very needed blue skis!

Handy Dandy sea stove

Steve in the usual foul weather gear we ALWAYS had to wear for the rainy weather, oh ya...and the hail!

The latest is...Steve hopped of the boat last Monday at the Bras D'or lakes and got a flight back to St John's. Steve, for those wondering who he is, is a friend of Deb and Rolland's who not only helped me sail the boat for a bit before I was on my own but helped with all of the pre-departure stuff. Thanks Steve! Since then I have made it to Halifax and stayed here for 3 nights. Figured out the wind vane with a sailor who has one here. Feel much better about that. Also, I have been doing things like provisioning and getting charts and the like. Today I went to a Scottish festival in Dartmouth. Lots of bag pipes, drums and skirts. Very interesting! I was a little bummed when my camera stopped working...i forgot to take the extra battery...BA! None of the other Nikon users took along an extra or a charger either. I managed to get about 5 pictures.

So the plan is probably to leave tomorrow to Yarmouth and then onto some time in Maine. I hear it really pretty there.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Chanty in France
Rachael leaving Quidi Vidi
Rolland actually smiling in a photo

Left Quidi Vidi last Tuesday night. We made it to St. Pierre, France. (A little french area off of Canada) So now I have a french stamp in the passport. So every thing has been going pretty good. Besides the seasickness, motor stalling because of air, halyards getting caught on the mast steps, not having the right charts, halyards not in the right tracks inside the mast, a ripped sail, hail and lots of rain and lots and lots of fog, Steve and I are still alive. We were able to read the motor manual and bleed the air out, seasickness only lasted one day, repaired the sail by hand in St Pierre (took the whole day) and got a few charts. What else, finding places to get fuel has been challenging. Right now waiting for a person to come special to turn the diesel pumps on for us in the bras d'or lakes being Sunday and all. Next place to fuel...nobody really knows here.