Friday, September 3, 2010

Charlottetown to Souris (8/24)

I was determined to leave early for Souris to forestall the late arrival we experienced in Charlottetown. But two things conspired against us. Starbucks does not open until 7 AM in the Capital of the province of Prince Edward Island (in the backwaters of Napa - capital of nothing - Starbucks opens at 4:30) and then there was the issue of the GPS. 

We use the GPS to navigate, however in this instance with good visibility in constant sight of well marked channels, that isn't necessary. But the availability of GPS has infected everything electronic like a virus, so that the chart display, radar display, satellite weather display etc. will not work correctly without a position fix from the GPS. And it wasn't cooperating.

It powered up this morning without the foggiest notion where it was. It also set the datum (the earth reference model from which it calculates position) to Peking 1954. I'm not sure who uses the Peking 1954 datum, perhaps the Red Army, but certainly no one in Atlantic Maritime Canada. I reset it, restarted it, reset all the settings and finally after some time it found its bearings and began to work.

And so we motored to Souris, in the light east wind which does not happen this time of year so everyone said.  The description in the cruising guide - "not the most attractive harbor" - while perhaps strictly true (I can think of several in the Virgin Islands more attractive) that is a short sale of the harbor. It is a working fishing harbor and also the ferry terminal for the Madeleine Islands ferry, but the marina facilities are as good as anywhere with nice floating docks, nice washrooms and showers lined with aromatic pine, friendly staff, and a poplar take-out restaurant serving several kinds of ice cream only a block away. The town is a short walk and had craft shops, grocery stores, and a cafe recently opened with haute cuisine.

We stayed the next day to catch up on provisioning and laundry, then stayed the following day as the forecast called for 20-25 knots again from the east with rain, and we wanted to go east - preferably in the sun. Finally we left early on the third  day for Cheticamp and the Cape Breton Peninsula.

'Anomaly' is currently lying Harbor Breton, Newfoundland, Canada

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