We stayed in Shelburne for a day while it rained; we got showers, filled our tanks, and slept. After leaving fairly early in the morning, the fog set in. Thick, murky fog where you can see nothing. Out comes the radar, and hopefully, the experience we have using it on slightly foggy days will pay off. It did, the radar worked great and we could see buoys, land, and boats on the radar, we could see our course on the chartplotter, so we were running blind, but on electronics, very cool.
It was still cold, 40’s and low 50’s we had four layers of clothes on, then after it started to rain (of course), the fifth waterproof layer went on. At least mine did, that’s when MB declared she was going to stay inside, all warm and toasty.
Due to the fog, we decided it would be just as simple to run all night as try and work our way in to settle for the night, we decided to continue on. We stuck to our 3 hour shifts as we have prior, and had an uneventful night. Friday we found a port in Jeddore, NS that the cruising guide said had a government wharf that we could tie up to. We both wanted to get off the boat, go for a walk even though it was still raining, and thick fog. We worked our way in, the only wharf we could find was full of shrimp boats that were too huge for us to raft with, so we anchored. It took a few tries for the anchor to set, seemed like a very rocky bottom, so I put out all 100 feet of chain.
In the morning, the fog lifted hallelujah!! It was still cold, with a dark sky, but we could see. When we left early, we saw the rocks we had worked our way around. They were huge, and some unmarked with buoys or lights. We had a good track loaded in the plotter.
We have seen a lot of crab pots on this trip, but very few on the Nova Scotia Coast, we have stayed out in deep water where they don’t go. About two hours out, for the first time ever, I snagged a crab pot. I realized I did because the boat slowed from 5.5 knots to 3 all of a sudden. I was able to get the line out of the water and cut it, which released the pot, but the line and buoy was tangled in my prop. I quickly tried putting in reverse, to release it, but no luck, it was fouled.
Friends of ours (Pat and Colin ‘Lady Margaret’) tangled with a pot in the Gulf of Mexico, and Pat went for a swim and cut the line off the prop, I remember she sent me pictures (of course, the water in the Gulf was in the seventies). They have many, many more years experience with these things than I do, so if they had to swim to cut it loose, that would be my only solution, I decided.
I went through my Red Cross books to see safe water temperatures to swim in for any length of time, and couldn’t find anything). After donning my swimsuit and putting my foot in the water (temp was 49.9 degrees, this is the North Atlantic), I decided I better find out for sure. I radioed the Canada Coast Guard and put the question to them. They agreed it was not possible without a wet suit (which I didn’t have, but was going to buy one in the Key’s, but it was a cute little one with no legs or arms, so would have been useless anyway), and offered to send a Coast Guard Cutter with a diver to cut the lines. Wonderful to be back in Canada!
Another sailor, ‘MS B HAVEN’ heard the conversation and was fairly close to us, and offered me the use of their wet suit. Too cold for me to go in, but you’re welcome to the use of the suit. I accepted it, and in I went. I managed to cut the line, had to cut it in three places, it was really wrapped, but off it was. I cannot possibly believe how cold that water was. My hands and face were not covered, and felt like they were frozen solid. With the wet suit, my body stayed comfortable (not warm), but kept the body warm and safe. I am not sure how long this would last, but they for sure work.
I notified the CCG that the line was removed, and the Diver would not be necessary. He was happy for us, we were happy for us, we returned the wet suit, and continued on our way. Another experience.
Since we never went ashore at Jeddore, I did not have enough fuel to get us to Port Hawksbury, our next intended Port. Tonight we had good (variable) winds to 25 knots, but from the right direction, so we decided to sail for the night again. MB would not take her duty roster when the time came, not unless I turned on the motor, so I had a long night, but sail we did. Later in the morning, the wind died, I was now comfortable with the gas, so I got some rest.
The sun came out (no, it’s not warm, still in the 50’s, but we saw the sun), the fog was gone, and it was a nice sail. In Chedebucto Bay, on our way to the marina, the fog came back, hard. Out came the radar again, although it’s not as much help in a canal, it did provide assistance. I called for other boats in the canal on the VHF, and with no response, I figured there was no one there. Once we got inland a couple miles, the fog let up, and we could see again.
We passed the Port Hawksbury Paper Mill, I go here in my truck to load when driving, and this is the view from the water!
We next went to the Port Hawksbury Yacht Club, a favorite stop for cruisers from PEI to the Bras D’Or Lakes or Halifax. They are under severe construction right now. No laundry, no fuel, no Wi-Fi, no electricity (the whole reason we came in, for the heater) and no building. I doubt it will be re-constructed this year.
The folks there attempted to be very helpful, and drove us to fill our jerry cans. They offered to drive MB to a laundry and grocery store, but when she tried to take them up on it, there was nothing available. We walked. They ran long extension cords so we could plug in the heater. They use a “borrowed” building, a short walk away that has a washroom and a shower, so facilities can be found, so they go out of their way to be helpful, it’s just inconvenient. Hopefully, they will arrive at a better solution before the rest of the cruiser’s come through. It would be a shame to lose this stop.
This ends our Nova Scotia Leg of the journey; we are about two sailing days from home with good weather.
Hopefully, weather will warm up soon. We heard they are calling for warm, sunny weather today, I hope so. We are going for a walk, see the town, and will leave tomorrow to do our last, last, lock (this must be close to 150, I lost count).
Love to everyone,
Joe & MB S/V “Pot ‘O’ Gold”