St. Peters, Cape Breton – Nova Scotia – Canada (Saturday, 7/27):
We know our Florida friends and family are envious when we tell them it was 54 degrees this morning, and there was a bit of fog in the cove at St. Peter’s Marina. It was wonderful and spectacular beautiful with nothing but bird chirps for noise.
IO at St. Peter’s in morning
Denise was up early to take a few pictures and to talk to her sister Claire, and then to catalog the numerous pictures taken yesterday. Once Mark got up we went on an adventure for breakfast. Locals had told us of a great place called “Diddles”; known for its banana nut-bread French toast. Mark wanted to try it out, so we headed for the walk into town. It really was not far from the marina and we were the only ones in the place, throughout our entire meal. The food was really good, but we wondered why on a Saturday morning more people were not dining here.
Diddles Cafe & Christmas Shop
Banana Nut Bread French Toast
After breakfast we walked to the St. Peter’s Catholic Church to confirm the mass time for tomorrow (10:30 am). Along the way we had a spectacular view of the St. Peter’s Bay and all the cute homes along the shoreline. Here are some sights we saw along the way:
Wall mural along sidewalk
Wall mural along sidewalk
Red Bikes line the streets
Residents house marker
Celebrating HS Graduates
We headed back towards the downtown and along the way met “Colin” and his cute dog “Gilda” (named after the now deceased comedian Gilda Radner).
Colin & Gilda
He was a 3rd generation “Cape Bretoner” and his Italian Grandfather (aka “Joe Pop”) left his mark on this community. He first delivered pop around Cape Breton (thus his nickname), then owned the Louie’s Cozy Corner, as well as several other businesses in the area. Colin was most informative about the area, its people and the lifestyle here. We enjoyed talking to him and like so many people in the area, he was open, friendly, and genuine.
Louie’s Cozy Corner
Once back on the boat we got to our chores. Mark washed the boat when not interrupted by locals who wanted to talk to us (“you came all the way from Florida”). Denise was busy cataloging pictures, writing blog, and communicating with other DE Loopers via the FB Group.
In the afternoon Claudia and Dave (“Still Waters II”) came into the marina and were put several docks away from us. Once we saw they were settled, we went over to see if they wanted to get together for dinner. As we were approaching their boat we noticed an American Tug on the end-tie of their dock. We had seen the boat from our dock and knew it was a tug, but it wasn’t until we got up close that we saw it was “Blue Haven”. We first met Alan and Leila in Peoria, IL in 2015 on our Great Loop, and then saw them again in Fort Myers in February 2018. Claudia invited them to join us on their boat, but they were headed out to a concert and were in a rush to leave.
After some conversation with Claudia and Dave, we agreed to go to dinner and headed back to the boat. We spent some time talking with family, communicating with our other DE Looper friends and relaxing before heading out to dinner. As this is a very small town (approximately 800 people live here) they have a limited choice in restaurants. We opted for the family-friendly “Louie’s Cozy Corner” that offered a variety of menu options, including Chinese food and some terrific fish. We had a very affordable and delicious dinner, but more importantly we got to know Dave and Claudia a little better. Once done with dinner we walked around the downtown area before returning to the marina for the evening.
A bit about this area known as Bras D’Or Lakes. The name of which means “arm of gold” and is a saltwater lake on Cape Breton Island. Because it is a large estuary that is part salt and part fresh water, it is also known as the “inland sea”. While there is a large body of water known as THE “Bras D’Or Lake”, and there is one known as “Great Bras D’Or”, all the surrounding bodies of water are collectively known as the “Bras D’Or Lakes” as there are so many coves and islands (each with their own names). The area is rich with culture from the original (called “First Nation”) settlers known as the Mi’kmaq, as well as immigrants from Scotland, Ireland, and France. In 2011 it was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, recognizing that the locals live in harmony with nature and work to promote a healthy environment, economy and culture. Throughout the area there are festivals celebrating the life of all these cultures including Celtic music, bagpipes, and first nation traditions. Music is huge and almost every night in the summer there is a concert or ceilidhs (pronounced kay lee) and involves Scottish highland dancing.
Little Harbor Anchorage, Cape Breton – Nova Scotia – Canada (Sunday, 7/28):
The morning was lovely and cool, but not cold. We got a little laundry done before heading out to mass at St. Peter’s. This was our first English speaking mass in 4 weeks and how nice it was. The Philippine priest spoke with an accent, but he was clearly understandable and was very welcoming when we spoke with him after mass.
St. Peter’s Catholic Church
Inside St. Peter’s CC
We returned to the marina and stopped by the office to pay our bill. We also communicated that we would most likely be stopping back by on our way south, and we were assured there would be a spot for us. This is becoming a popular marina because of the wonderful service by dockmaster Gerry and his staff and we too are now big fans.
St Peter’s Marina
As we were walking back to the boat we noticed a familiar boat at the fuel dock. Amazingly, we noticed it was Gold Loopers Carolyn and George (“Lydia E”) whom we first met in Oriental, NC in April 2017, and saw again in Maine in July of that year. We stopped and chatted for a little while, learning they were headed to do the DE Loop backwards and would be heading back to FL for the winter. What a small world it really is, but more so in this cruising community.
Carolyn & David (“Lydia E”)
Finally back on our boat, we untied the dock lines and left St. Peters Marina.
St. Peters to Little Harbor
We cruised through St. Peter’s Inlet and onto the Bras D’Or Lake. It was spectacularly beautiful. It helped that it was a beautiful day and perfect conditions, but even if it wasn’t we were thrilled. Our anchorage at Little Harbor was not far away and while in route we passed our Looper friends Alan and Lila (Blue Haven).
Homes Near Beaver Island
Blue Haven on Bras D’Or Lake
House on Bras D’Or Lake
Bras D’Or Lake
Hoping to enjoy a Sunday dinner of smoked salmon at a restaurant that was on western shore of this cove, we were disappointed to find it had closed and that there was a “For Sale” sign on property. We probably should have asked about it from the locals in St. Peters, but we were not thinking. We had a freezer full of food and would not starve.
We drove around this large cove to determine where best to anchor, and settled in near a sailboat that came in just before us, and directly behind “Blue Haven” who had managed to beat us to the spot while we were checking out the closed restaurant. Later they came by in their dinghy to ask if we knew anything about the restaurant and we shared what we knew.
Entering Little Harbor Anchorage
Eastern shore homes
Anchorage with Blue Haven
Later in the evening several more sailboats came into the anchorage but because it was so large, it was not crowded at all. The sun set, the sky went dark, and we saw so many stars in the clear sky as there was no light pollution. It was spectacular and really was so peaceful and relaxing – until the wind picked up and slapped the boat hull all night long.
Baddeck, Cape Breton – Nova Scotia – Canada (Monday, 7/29):
Denise woke up and wanted to go outside, but during the night the bugs had attacked our cockpit. Although most were dead, they were everywhere. So sitting inside with a great view of the shoreline, she spotted an osprey grab a fish and take it to the top of a tree to chow down for a sushi breakfast.
Eventually Mark woke up and the generator went on to brew a pot of coffee and charge all the devices (phone, hotspot, iPads, etc.). It was a bit foggy so we waited a while to leave, but finally left around 8:00 am when it had mostly lifted. The anchor came up full of mud, but Captain Mark was able to wash it all off and we were on our way.
Little Harbor to Baddeck
Once outside the protection of the anchorage, we realized we were glad we left when we did. The wind on the lake was more intense than expected and we were in 2 foot seas almost immediately. Fortunately it was from behind so the ride was tolerable, but if heading south it would have been a miserable ride.
It was quite choppy by the time we approached the Iona Bridge and passed by the Barra Strait Marina to our right, and the town of Iona to the left.
Iona Bridge – Bras D’Or Lake
Barra Strait Marina – Bras D’Or Lake
Highland Village – Iona – Bras D’Or Lake
Once through the bridge, the water calmed immediately and it turned into a pleasant cruise. However, it had us rechecking the weather and making a change in our plans. Originally we going to go to another anchorage on the lake, but after seeing the latest forecast for higher winds tomorrow, we decided to continue on to Baddeck and take our chances at the public wharf (first come first serve) or anchor out in the harbor.
As we approached the town we noticed there was a spot on the wharf on the south side. We decided to tie up here and Captain Mark parallel parked the boat between a Nordhavn 40’ boat and a charter catamaran. He made it look easy.
IO at the Baddeck Wharf
Unlike many of the other wharfs in Canada, this one was not free but it is still open to the public. There are a few tour/charter boats that operate off the wharf including a big “pirate” cruise. So there is always someone looking at your boat. It is also a fixed dock and with a 6’ tide it makes getting on and off the boat a real challenge, especially at low tide. However, it was still better than being blown away by the wind and we had easy access to the downtown.
Just north of the wharf is the Baddeck Yacht Club, with a nice facility but no dockage for boats like ours. It is mostly a sailing center, and like all yacht clubs in the summer, they have the young kids out in the “Optimist Prams” to learn about sail trim and turning (e.g. tacking). It is always a hoot to watch.
Baddeck Yacht Club
Yacht Club sailing lessons
After settling the boat we went to register and pay our overnight dockage. Here you do so at The Freight Shed Waterside Bistro & Market; the only eating establishment on the wharf. Along with the usual information about a marina (Wifi– open and weak signal; restrooms – only when the bistro is open; we got all the information about the downtown area.
Wharf welcome sign
The Freight Shed & Marina Office Signage
We then walked over to the Baddeck Marina, located next door. We have reservations for tomorrow night, but couldn’t get in a day early. They also have a marine store and Mark wanted to see if they had the diesel fuel treatment he had purchased in Gaspe. He wanted more in case our “fuel in water” issue came back (which fortunately, it has not). We were able to get some and then confirm the slip location for tomorrow night, as well as the amenities we were lacking on the city wharf (private bathrooms and protected Wi-Fi).
We then walked to the main street that runs through town and went to see “Rose” at The Outfitter Store. She was our contact for trying to secure a rental car. We got her name from a local in St. Peters. Unfortunately, Rose was not the primary rental-car person, but she shared “Phillips” phone number and Mark made contact with him. Without going through all the details, we were unable to secure a rental car from him or any agency out of Sydney (Avis, etc.) before 8/15. We finally gave up on this plan and decided the Cabot Trail would have to wait for another trip to Nova Scotia.
The Outdoor Store
After the Outfitters Store we went to the Tourist Information Office and got answers to several questions we had. After that we stopped at The Frozen Spoon for an ice cream to cool off from the heat; it was 85° and all the locals were complaining about how hot it was. Of course with no air conditioning in most buildings it was truly uncomfortable.
The Frozen Spoon
Ice Cream break at The Frozen Spoon
We headed back to the boat to do some itinerary planning and watch the people come and go. We saw our friends on “Blue Haven” come into the harbor and anchor. We also were approached by a woman (“Barbara”) who wanted to talk with us about our boat. Come to find out she and husband just purchased a new-to-them Back Cove 37, but it is an older model. Their boat “Porpoise” was at the dock for the Inverary Resort, located south of town, where they were spending a few days. They are from Chester (near Halifax) and are in town with their two adult children. We spoke for a while and she told us to look her up when we get to the Halifax/Chester area.
“Porpoise” at Inverary Resort
Mark decided to rinse off the boat as it was covered with salt from the morning run up from Little Harbor. When he was done and putting things away he realized he could not find the fuel treatment we purchased earlier in the day. We attempted to contact the ice cream shop, thinking we may have left it there, but were unable to find a telephone number for them. They have no website and their Facebook page had no phone listed. Wanting some more exercise, Denise agreed to walk back there and hunt it down. Unfortunately, it was not there but she walked back down to the Outfitters store hoping it was there. Sure enough, Rose had it. And when she walked into the store to ask, she was talking to none other than Barbara (“Porpoise”) who was with her husband Richard. They talked briefly and then Denise headed back to the boat.
Later in the afternoon we were hit with a major thunderstorm, not unlike the ones we get at home. We had watched the clouds build all day, and heard the rumble of the thunder for about an hour before it finally hit. Fortunately, we were on the edge of the storm and it passed us by quickly. Within 1 hour the sky was cleared up and we didn’t have any more rain the rest of the night.
Stormy skies brewing
On recommendations from locals in St. Peters and from the Active Captain reviews, we chose to dine at the “Baddeck Lobster Suppers” restaurant. They are known for their seafood, specifically the lobster. They have a fixed price dinner for $50 that includes all the steamed mussels and seafood chowder you can eat, plus a 1.25 lb lobster, dessert and soda. The restaurant is on the south end of town and to get there we first walked the boardwalk that runs along the harbor, then up a hill, then down another hill. It was worth the walk and Denise loved the fixed price meal. Mark opted for a smoked salmon dish that was good, but unimpressive.
Baddeck Lobster Supper
Boardwalk along water
Mabel & Alex Bell scultpture
House overlooking harbor
NS House overlooking harbor
NS House overlooking harbor
After dinner we walked back to the boat via the boardwalk again. This time we were able to take in the sights, including the sculpture of Mabel and Alexander Graham Bell sitting on the park bench. Mr. Bell had a home in Baddeck and there is a museum here that is a National Historic Site. It is the only museum in the world containing the actual artifacts and documents from Bell’s years of experimental work here, and we are planning to go there tomorrow.
Baddeck, Cape Breton – Nova Scotia – Canada (Tuesday, 7/30):
We started the day by moving our boat less than 800 yards to the Baddeck Marina. Here we had a reservation for one night, and wished it was for two nights. It was more comfortable with much better Wi-Fi, and they had nice low docks. Unfortunately, they did not have water on their docks so we would have to use the water in our tanks (no big deal).
IO at Baddeck Marina
Next we walked to the north end of town and up the hill to the Alexander Graham Bell museum. It was very informative and we learned how many other numerous inventions he had, and the work he did to help those who were deaf (including his wife, Mabel). The museum is very well done and we were very glad we spent the morning here. As we walked down the hill to head back to the marina, we saw “Still Waters II” had pulled into the anchorage near “Blue Haven”.
Alex Bell with Helen K and Annie S.
Bell quote at museum
After lunch Denise walked to the grocery store (“CO-OP”) to get some milk and a few other things. While she was gone, Leila and Alan (“Blue Haven”) came over to the marina and talked with Mark. They are coming into the marina tomorrow and they are the reason for us not being able to extend an extra day. Later we saw “Porpoise” come into the marina fuel dock for a fill-up and we had a chance to talk with them about their hometown Chester and the Mahone Bay. We are headed there after Halifax and wanted as much information as possible. They have suggested we look them up when we are there, which we will most likely do.
That evening we caught up with Dave & Claudia (“Still Waters II”) for a pizza dinner at “Tom’s”. It was pretty good pizza and we even have some leftovers for another meal.
Claudia & David (“Still Waters II”)
While sitting there, a local artist started playing his guitar and singing literally 5’ from where we were sitting. It had been really hot outside all day and the loud music combined with the hot (non-air conditioned room) meant it was time to go. On the walk down the street back to the marina (us) and the dinghy dock (“SWII”), we encountered an entertainer playing bagpipes as he walked down the street. Most likely he was heading for the public wharf as we had been entertained there last night before it started to rain.
Bagpiper walking through town
Here are a few other pictures from the lovely town of Baddeck:
Pirate sculpture at Baddeck wharf
Buildings on Water St
Fish N Chip Stand in town
Baddeck, Cape Breton – Nova Scotia – Canada (Wednesday, 7/31):
As soon as the fog lifted we left Baddeck to head back to St. Peters and start our journey south. From today onward, we will be heading towards home.
Baddeck to St. Peters
Winds on the Bras D’Or Lake were forecasted to build and they would be on our nose from the Iona Bridge southward so we wanted to get across before it got too bad. We left Baddeck when it was foggy but with still good visibility. By the time we got to the Iona Bridge we didn’t need our radar any longer, even though it was still foggy. After the bridge it was a bit choppy but not nearly as bad as forecasted. It took us less than an hour to make it across the lake, and as we entered the channel to take us to St. Peter’s Inlet, the fog lifted and it was spectacularly beautiful.
Leaving Baddeck Harbor in fog
Approaching Iona Bridge southbound
Fog on eastern shore Iona Bridge
Fog and a light chop on Bras D’Or Lake
Near St. Peters Inlet
We arrived at the St. Peter’s marina and pulled into the fuel dock to fill up our tank for the long journey down the Nova Scotia coastline where fuel stops are limited and the price is higher. We then moved into our side-tie slip at the t-dock, right next to where we were last weekend. It’s a great location and an easy out.
Over the last few days, the cyst on Mark’s neck was getting worse and today it started oozing and not looking great. Fearing an infection, Mark identified a clinic in St. Peter’s we could go to, but closed at noon. We were trying to make it there in time but we were not able to do so. When he went to the marina office to register us for this visit, he asked Dockmaster Gerry for suggestions. Within 30 minutes he had the keys to his car and had an appointment to see the only doctor-on-call at the clinic in Arichat, on the Isle De Madame. This meant a 45 minute car ride there, so we promptly locked up the boat and headed there.
The route by car took us over the Lennox Bridge; the one under construction that we had cruised through over a week ago. Here there road was one-way only so there was a wait for our side to go across, but it was not long; not a lot of people live in this part of Nova Scotia and a “traffic jam” is a relative term.
Going over the Lennox Bridge to Dr.
Lennox Passage from Lennox Bridge
Finally we arrived at the clinic in Arichat, signed in and then had to wait 40 minutes to be seen by the doctor. He looked at Mark’s cyst and determined that it had to be lanced and packed. No big deal, right? Except the clinic is not prepared for such procedures and we would have to drive one mile up the road to the “hospital”. There, the doctor would meet us as soon as they got us registered. Yes, this doctor must travel frequently between these two facilities; one a clinic and the other the community hospital. Both are managed to the highest level of inefficiency. To make a long story short, we finally got out of there at 5 pm and still had to drive back to the marina. On the way back we stopped at the grocery store in St. Peters and picked up a rotisserie chicken for dinner, which we had on board.
When we returned to the marina, there were chairs set up on the lawn for an evening of live entertainment which we were able to hear from the boat. The first musician (guitarist) was good, the second one (rap) was awful, and the last one (female) played too short of time. By 8:30 it was all over and they were breaking down the stage. That worked for us as it had been a very long day and we were beat, so we went to bed early.
Set up for concert
Sunset over St Peters Marina
St Peter’s, Cape Breton – Nova Scotia – Canada (Thursday, 8/1):
Still feeling a bit run down from yesterday, we stayed close to the boat all day and had no real adventure. We did laundry, a few boat chores, cataloged pictures, and wrote and published the last blog update.
In the afternoon two of the locals whom we had become friends with over the last week came by the boat. “Brent” and “Glenn” had been wanting a tour of the inside of our boat and since they had been most helpful to us during our stay we wanted to oblige. Brent and his wife Shauna gave us lots of good information about the Bras D’Or Lakes, about the Dr. Mark saw yesterday, and about their life here in St. Peters. It is such a warm and gracious community we would have sworn we were back in the south. We will miss this place.
Brent & Shauna
The St. Peters Lions club is the owner of the land and the marina and they frequently have events at their club up the hill from the marina. Gerry is an unpaid volunteer who pours his heart and soul into making sure the customers are happy and have everything they need. However, all the young kids working here during the summer are paid. They are friendly but not too knowledgeable about boating, so many of the locals who keep their boats here seasonally pitch in and help.
Lions Club hall
Tonight the Lions Club was having a fund-raising dinner at their club and all were invited. Originally we considered it, but nixed the idea because basically it was chowder, rolls and coffee. Instead we walked to town and ate dinner again at Louie’s Cozy Corner one last time.
Here are some other pictures from St. Peters:
Lobster trap sculpture in town
Pay phone in St. Peter’s marina
Kayaking kids near marina
Strachans Cove – St. Peters Marina
Liscomb Mills, Nova Scotia – Canada (Friday, 8/2):
We left St. Peter’s Marina a few minutes after 8:00 a.m. and after calling the lock to let them know we were on our way. We entered the St. Peters Canal, passed through the lock without issue, and headed out of St. Peter’s Bay.
Entering St. Peter’s Canal
Approaching St. Peters Lock
We entered Lennox Passage briefly, then turned to a new course that would take us offshore and for our run down the east coast of Nova Scotia. In the distance we could see the fog as we made our way around Isle de Madame. We entered the Chedabucto Bay and although present initially, the fog lifted and we were able to turn off the radar. And now we were in the Atlantic Ocean for the first time since entering NY harbor in June.
Seals in bay
Fog on Chedabucto Bay
We crossed the Canso Strait and passed the town of Canso off our right side.
Town of Canso
The seas were very calm and the fog continued to dissipate. We came up on several sailboats and easily cruised past them; all of us grateful for the light wind on our nose. We passed several lighthouses along the way, all of them a little different in shape and all there to protect the boater from the numerous rocks, ledges and shoals that line the Nova Scotia Coast.
Sailboat off of NS – New Harbor
Canso Coastal Barrens Wilderness Area
Cranberry Island Lighthouse
Whitehead Island & Lighthouse
Country Island Lighthouse
Soon we came to the Liscomb River and made a right turn to make the 10 mile cruise up the river to the “Liscombe Lodge Resort and Conference Centre” – yes, Liscombe with an “e” – even though the town name is “Liscomb”. This is a big resort in the middle of nowhere that offers a small floating dock that can house 2 boats (more if you are willing to raft up). When we arrived there was already a sailboat at the dock (“Phoenix”) and it didn’t look like there was room for us. But there was and since we had reservations, dockmaster Chester was there to meet us and assist with tying the boat up.
Approaching Liscombe River Lodge Resort
Once the boat was tied up and connected to shore power, Chester gave us a walking tour of the place, pointing out that in addition to the hotel rooms, there are cottages and chalets on the property along the river. He took us to the main desk/gift shop where we registered and learned what the dining options were for the restaurant or the bar. He then took us across the parking lot to the indoor pool and fitness center, then walked us back to the marina. Here they have bikes and catamarans for their guests to use at no charge.
Also on the property there are games (shuffleboard, life-size chess), a pool and fitness center, a recreation center with pool and ping pong), and an ice cream stand. But that is all that is here in this location. There is no town or anything else to attract one to come to this spot. For us, it was a place to pull into that was safe from weather (mostly winds) and offered us a chance to get to church on Sunday (more of that later). There was also no cell phone service, but they did have Wi-Fi. Once we enabled our phones for Wi-Fi calling, it was fine and we were able to use our hotspot to get emails and do some work before the week came to a close.
Ice Cream building
Cottage to rent
Chalet by falls
We had a few leftovers in the galley, so we opted for dinner on board and a quiet evening.
Liscomb Mills, Nova Scotia – Canada (Saturday, 8/3):
Today was a very relaxing day. We spent the whole day hanging around the marina and resort. We talked with family, worked on cataloging pictures, and watched Chester take resort guests a river tour in the pontoon boat docked next to us.
During the day a sailboat came in and raft to “Phoenix”, the sailboat behind us. Almost immediately Jaime & Lori (“Sea Quester”) were eager to meet us. Their sailboat was one of the last made by Sabre before they converted to building only power boats. Sabre is the parent company of our boat: Back Cove. We chatted for a while, shared boat cards, and learned they are headed to Newfoundland and Labrador before heading back to the Boston area where they are from. As experienced offshore sailors they had lots of information to share about the Nova Scotia and Downeast Maine coasts, and agreed to share “must see” places with us later.
Lori & Jamie “Sea Quester”
During the day the WIFI went out and Mark notified Chester, who notified the Lodge management. It took several hours before it came back on. Most people would be relieved to have no phone or internet access for a day, but for us it is our lifeline to our business and the only thing that allows us to stay connected when we are cruising. But, it was a Saturday and not an urgent business need, but did limit our communications with family.
For dinner we went to the lodge restaurant and found the food to be very good, but the service was really slow. It took forever to get our meal and the place was not crowded at all.
View from dinner table
Afterwards we went back to the boat and settled in for the evening. The music from the wedding reception held at the Lodge had kicked in high gear and there were some rowdy attendees, but not to the point of being offensive. However, after we had gone to bed one of those attendees decided to come on our boat. Mark woke up and found him on the bow, but told him to get off and he did. So much for their so-called security guard looking out for us.
Liscomb Mills, Nova Scotia – Canada (Sunday, 8/4):
One of the reasons we came here was to be able to go to one of the few catholic churches in this very remote part of Nova Scotia. Chester loaned us his car to drive to the nearest town of Sherbrooke Village where the church was located, about 20 minutes away. We left in time to get breakfast at the Sherbrooke Village Inn, but it took less time than expected and we had some time before the 11:30 mass. So we went to do a reconnaissance on the historic “Sherbrooke Village”; a recreated village that depicts the history of the area – mostly British loyalists who left the USA after the American Revolution. We had considered going here after church, but once we saw what it really was, we changed our minds. It looked a bit cheesy and very touristy and we later learned none of the buildings were original, but rather reconstructed. We are not up for inauthentic touristy stuff, and instead we drove around to see some of the town and then went to the church early, sitting in the parking lot until it was time for mass.
Sherbrooke Village Inn – Breafast
The church at St. Paul’s is really small, and is one of several churches that make up the parish; all served by the same priest as is typical in these parts. There were no more than 50 people in mass, and with the exception of one family the average age was probably 150, but they were all warm and welcoming.
St Pauls in Sherbrooke
Inside St. Pauls
After mass we drove back to the Liscombe Resort and just in the nick of time. When we got down to the docks the high winds had put a strain on the floating dock where the two sailboats were rafted together, and the floating dock broke from the main dock. The two boats were coming perilously close to the rocks on the other side of the fixed structure. Several of the maintenance workers and Chester were just arriving and we hurried to offer assistance. Eventually “Sea Quester” untied from “Phoenix” and we moved “Phoenix” to raft up with us until the maintenance team was able to repair the dock. With new reinforcing hardware the dock was reassembled and put back into place. “Phoenix” was moved back into her slip and “Sea Quester” (who had been motoring up and down the river waiting to see how this would play out) came up and rafted to our boat. They were going to leave in the evening for an all-night passage up the Nova Scotia coast anyway, so it made no difference to us.
Repairing the dock
Repairing the dock
Later in the afternoon Lori & Jaime (“Sea Quester”) came over to share some information about places to anchor or to see along the Nova Scotia coast, as well as in Maine. About this time another sailboat came up the river, but we all agreed it would not be great for them to raft to “Phoenix”. Without advanced reservations, there was no place for them so they anchored in the middle of the river. It was still better protection than being near the ocean. However, the winds eventually died down and it became quite calm. We did get a few sprinkles of rain, but not the all-day rain expected.
Soon it was time to leave as we had dinner reservations at Liscombe Resort for their all-you-can eat salmon and prime rib buffet. We asked Lori & Jaime (“Sea Quester”) to join us and we had a delicious meal and got to know them a little bit better. Once again the service was sub-par, but we didn’t care as we were enjoying each other’s company. We walked back to our boat and said good-bye to them. As soon as they had readied their boat, they unhitched from us and headed out to sail for parts further north.
“Sea Quester” leaves – Sailboat at anchor
Carters Cove, Nova Scotia – Canada (Monday, 8/5):
We were up early and left Liscomb Resort by 8:00 am with a cool morning temperature of 53° – back to long sleeve shirts and jackets. We had a small weather window in the forecast before the offshore seas would kick up and we wanted to get as close to Halifax as possible. We had 4 “bailout” positions identified in case we decided to cut the 80 mile voyage short. Going out the Liscomb River was peaceful, but once we turned our boat in the direction of Halifax, we felt the swells of the ocean. It was a little bumpy but the sun was out and there was no fog so it was tolerable.
We set a course for Halifax that routed us through the inner passages along the rocks and shoals, but it was still better than going a few miles offshore and having to deal with the open ocean. We continued along passing very remote areas and lots of small islands, but few structures even on the mainland. It got a little bumpier and after a few hours Denise reminded Mark it was supposed to be fun, and it no longer was. Plus, the reservations for the marina in Halifax did not start until Tuesday when the weather is supposed to be even better and we really did want to do some other exploring.
Beaver Island Lighthouse
Brother Is & Black Ledge
So we took one of our bailout locations and headed up Shoal Bay, passing Borgles Point and cruising into Carter’s Cove.
Borgles Point in Shoal Bay
With the intention of anchoring, we found the wharf was lined with lobster boats on hiatus since the close of the season in July. As we approached we asked a guy on the wharf if we could raft up and he said yes (a common practice in these fishing towns all throughout Canada). “Norman” assisted us with rafting to the lobster boat at the end of the wharf, and with making a 15 amp connection for some power. He also collected $10 for our “dock fees” for the night, and provided us with other pertinent information. There are no services here, but as the wind had picked up we were glad we were still tied to the dock and not swinging around on an anchorage. Plus it was a really beautiful place.
Carters Cove Wharf
Wharf at Carter’s Cove
One of the reasons we chose this location was that it is the home of Rosborough Boats and we were intrigued with them. We knew of their fiberglass small boats that we have seen on the water in the USA, and when we were in Shippagan, NB we learned of their RHIB (Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat) class that sells to law enforcement, Coast Guard and Marine Research groups. You can learn more about them here.
As we were finishing the boat set up with Norman, Bob Rosborough (owner and son of the company’s founder) came to the wharf. After a brief introduction he praised our boat and we talked about the Rosborough boats. He invited us to go see the plant which was located in the few buildings at the very end of the wharf.
“Four My Gals”
Rosborough Boats buildings
After they left, we ate our lunch and began charging all the devices we could. With only 15 amps (not 30 or 50) we had to manage our power needs carefully. We then went to the Rosborough office, met up with “Garnet” who then walked us over to the plant and gave us a tour. They run a clean environment and are very well organized. We saw how they lay up the fiberglass hulls, insulate, reinforce and attach decking, and use some of the best product in the industry for their boats. We learned of the various options on their boats and for a small shop (only 9 people work here) it is really amazing. As consultants to manufacturers and with a handful of boat manufacturers in our client base, this was very cool for us.
“Garnet” at Rosborough
IO at wharf in Carters Cove
In the afternoon several local people came to the wharf to fish. They were catching mackerel on multi-hook rigs by the handful and offered us some. But Captain Mark overruled the Admiral as he didn’t want blood and guts on Island Office. That didn’t stop Denise from socializing with the locals and watching the seals and dolphins who had come into the cove with the tide and fish.
Seal in Carters Cove
Speaking of tides: the further south (really west) we move, we are seeing the range of tides growing. Here is it is as much as 8’ and by the time we get to Yarmouth it will be in the 18’-20’ range. On the Bay of Fundy it will grow even more.
Low tide at wharf – climb the ladder to get off
Later in the afternoon, “Danny” the owner of the lobster boat which we were tied to came by his boat “Four My Gals”. Denise immediately struck up a conversation with him. We learned how he named the boat (his 4 daughters) and how he has been to the Orlando-area several times in the winter as his wife loves it there. We discussed lobster fishing and all that is required to become a lobsterman today versus when he first started. Let’s just say it is expensive to get in it and the season is short. We thanked him for allowing the tie to his boat and for sharing his story with us. Nova Scotia truly has the nicest people!
As there are no services, restaurant or town to go explore, we grilled a few hamburgers on the bar-b and enjoyed the peaceful waters that surrounded us. We saw more seals, a few eagles and even a great heron on the shore. And of course the sunset and moonrise were spectacular.
Sunset over Shoal Bay
Grey Heron at Carters Cove
Tomorrow we will head to Halifax where we will spend a few days there before moving “up west”.
Stay tuned for more of our adventures on Island Office