Sunday, September 5, 2010

8/27- Souris to Cheticamp, Nova Scotia

Early morning departure- Anomaly and the Lighthouse

Anomaly makes the Morris 42 look small

Ann writes:

Departed 7:37 am.  Sailing, no motor by 8:30.  Off Little harbor / Pt. by 9:30.  By 10 am we were watching seabirds fish off East Point, but no marine mammal sightings today.

I wasn't traveling all that well today.  The storm yesterday seems to have disturbed the seas, and although we had a nice downwind sail, a swell was coming from our port quarter causing Anomaly to roll quite a bit. It made moving down below almost impossible until he adjusted our course slightly

The wind started slowing about 14 miles out, so Jon started up the motor and we made it to the Cheticamp breakwater pier by 5:45 pm.  We walked up and down the town to see what was there and check out the restaurants, finally choosing Le Gabriel.  It was a good choice, and better yet, the dining room over the bar which had advertised "Acadian Music" like American favorite such as Houndog, This Land is Your Land, etc.  The only thing acadian about it appeared to be the singer.  Anyway, the food was very good- rich, creamy seafood chowder, a nice Chicken Cordon Blue for me, a huge portion of Black Forest Ham for Jon.

The light again was exceptional as we returned to the boat which almost made you wish for a real film camera again.  The compensation of a digital camera just can't capture that light.
Beautiful light over the town of Cheticamp

On a silly note, we noticed bioluminescence in the head- I was really surprised because I thought it would just be a kind of neon glow, but it's actually bright sparks of light, kind of like an old fashioned sparkler.

Jon writes:

The forecast 10-15 knot southwest wind actually appeared early and we were able to set the sails as we left the harbor and shut the down the engine. With 10-14 knots from the west south west we ran east north east, almost dead downwind. But the strong east wind from the day before had left a peculiar crossing swell that seemed to come from the north west, and the motion was uncomfortably rolly. I tried each gybe and finally settled on the starboard gybe with the wind over the quarter, even though this put us south of the course to Cheticamp. Towards the end though, the seaway abated so I could gybe back up the coast, as the wind died we motored the last few miles into the harbor and tied to the floating breakwater. 

Panorama of the Cheticamp waterfront (click to expand)

The town is spread out along the bay, and shows signs of converting to a tourist economy. There were several bed and breakfasts and small inns catering to those visiting the Cape Breton Highlands Park, which spans the peninsula north of Cheticamp. The "marina" described in the cruising guide was deserted and looked disused. The following morning a gentleman showed up asking for $20 for the use of the dock, normally paid to the harbormaster but the harbormaster had a 7:00 AM tee time (we were told) and therefore could not collect it himself. Sure enough, as we were entertained with stories about the harsh weather, the harbormaster himself showed up (at least he said he was) dressed in his golf shirt and collected the now $23 (tax don't you know) from the first gentleman. Having paid our dues, we got underway for the 35 mile run to Bay of St. Lawrence. 

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