Tuesday, October 9, 2012

New Home for Gallery Wenzl

The new summer home for Gallery Wenzl is 15 Church St., Port Elgin, NB.

view from south east side

Village of Port Elgin Wharf
Village of Port Elgin Wharf

The Gasperaux River

Friday, September 14, 2012

Road trip home

On the ferry from Riviere de Loup to Saint Simmeon

La Baie
Quebec City

506530_300x250 banner

Shediac NB to Halifax NS

Mike joins the trip
August 5.  A short hop to Shediac.  Left early as there were high wind warnings for the afternoon.  SW 10-15 when we left and S 15 - 20 when we arrived.  Point de Chene Yacht club entrance is very narrow, one needs to blast the horn when entering and leaving the club/marina.  Ended up docking on the SW side in a newly constructed area that is part of the marina. Did not know that marina and YC were two different places until we had already booked a spot. As we went to our assigned slip we had to go back out the entrance and around the point into a smaller protected area.  Had to get a bunch of people who were diving off the wharf and swimming to move out of our way so that we could enter, a little tricky with the increased winds. The next day was to be a rain day so we decided not to go anywhere. Turned out to be a nice day so we stay at the Bear's and got to know our hosts better.

sunset in Shediac

leaving Shediac NB
August 7.  The winds were out of the NE @ 10kts when we left at 6:45am and sailed with both main and genoa at an average speed of 5.5kts. Had some current with us as we went under Confederation bridge around 1pm. Then the wind gradually died and sailed with main and motor for the rest of the afternoon. The afternoon and evening was partially cloudy and by around 11pm fog patched started to develop. These patched increased as we watched the ferry heading to PEI gradually disappear into it with its fog horn blasting at regular intervals. During the night the fog was quite thick, could not see a thing, pitch black, rather intimidating. No wind, the sail hung like a wet rag.

the little speck off in the distance is Mike and I sailing along Northumberland Straight's sand dunes

Confederation Bridge in the background

Mike plotting our route

We took turns at the helm, and followed a shift schedule through the night allowing each of us several hours sleep.  During the night in the fog and against the tide we were motoring at an average speed of 3.5kts.  This increased to 4.5 - 5 kts by morning with waves less than 1ft.

early morning fog lifting

We rounded into St. Georges Bay by 7am as the fog started to burn off and then had clear skies for the rest of the day.  Proceeded to the Canso lock and bridge, which is on request, the only link between north and south NS. Stopped in Port Hawksbury for fuel.

Mike had the dock attendant fill the gas tanks while I went to the washrooms, when I came back the jerry cans were full and the attendant hands me the nozzle at which point I realize he is giving me the diesel hose and he had filled the cans with diesel.  Had to have him empty and rinse the cans before refilling them with gasoline.  Good thing we got to the boat in time before he started to fill the tank on the boat.

Left Port Hawksbury by at 1:45 and decided to continue on.  It was sunny and warm and the forecast was one metre waves diminishing to less than one by evening.  Winds were around 10kts from the SW and we were able to motor sail with main only. By 7pm we rounded Canso point on the Atlantic. Skies were still clear and the winds were now out of the SE at 10-15.  With the main only we were averaging 5kts. As we continued on and we got further out the waves increased to 1m rollers with 1m waves on top.  We were no longer able to sail as we were heading more into the wind and ended up motoring through the night. At one point, around 11pm we tried to seek shelter in a place called Fisherman's Bay but decided against it as it was too dark to make out anything and find a safe anchorage. We used the opportunity of the calm waters to add fuel to our tank and then continued on through the night.  The winds and waves did not subside as forecast.  Once the moon came out we had good visibility and no fog as forecast.
arriving in Shoal Bay NS after 60hrs of sailing

By 5am the waves finally subsided to 1ft but the 1m rollers continued.  The morning brought clear skies and light winds, still on our nose, so we continued to motor, averaging 5kt.  A big improvement from the night when with the wind and waves we were able to only manage 2 to 3.5kts.

By noon there was a slight increase in wind but not in a direction that would be of any help. Still on the nose and thereby reducing our speed.  At around 4pm we left the ocean and entered the approach heading to Shoal Bay and tied up @ Carters Point Public Wharf. Tied up for the night for the first time since we left Shediac, 60 hours ago.

Shoal Bay NS

There we met with Catherine who had driven 2hrs plus from the ranch she was staying, bringing us dinner. Though before dinner ended up doing a 40min trip, each way, to the closest gas station for fuel.

Once we were back, had dinner on-board and relaxed, and enjoyed the quiet evening.  Mike plotted a couple of  courses for the next stretch so that we could use  the GPS only if there was fog and either go through the eastern passage if there is visibility or through Halifax harbour entrance if visibility is reduced.
Shoal Bay NS, morning fog
August 10.  6:45 am. Light fog with light winds from the S-SW and calm waters as we pulled away from the wharf.  The fog then thickened and we had to follow the course set out on the GPS.  Mike would blow the fog horn every couple of minutes to alert anyone who might be in our path.  Once out on the ocean there were fog patches and several fog arches.

Fog arches
Eastern Passage
The first time we saw an arch in the fog it was like a gateway and once we were through the sky was clear.  We were able to see a fishing boat and land.  Then another fog arch and back to little to no visibility.  This happened several times until the fog lifted completely around 10am.
Even with the increased winds to almost 10kts we continued to motor since we were again heading directly into it and at this point just wanted to make our next port, the final destination.

As we approached the Eastern Gap we entered another fog patch, luckily it cleared in time so that we could go through the Eastern Gap.  The Eastern Gap is a narrow channel and shallow at one point and would not be possible in the fog.

Easily cleared the gap and made our way to Sheerwater Yacht Club and tied up at a service dock for the night at 5:10 pm.

2581 km or1394 nm and 46 days.  Toronto, ON  to Dartmouth, NS.  Done! Time to celebrate.

Sheerwater YC, Darthmouth NS

Mike and Ashley

Handing over the ship's papers to the new captain of "Woodwind"

"Woodwind" at its mooring in its new harbour

Port Dover, Lake Erie, ON to Dartmouth, NS