Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sailing for 2013

I went to Lunenburg on April 19 to get Easy Go ready to launch and do sea trials on the new BetaMarine Engine on April 22. The launch was uneventful as was the sea trial. After the sea trials I went to the Zwickers Wharf for a few days to start the install of the AIS/VHF antennae, splitter and electrical. The only glitch I experienced was needing an MMSI number to activate the AIS. After making application to Industry Canada this was obtained and the miracle of AIS was activated. One little problem with the signal splitter was resolved with a rerouting of the antennae cables. I had an overlap on the incoming and outgoing cables that apparently was creating some kind of magnetic interference that caused the AIS to malfunction. All is working well.

 The only other cruiser that was in the harbour was the Dutch yacht, Bo with Ronne, Bouke and family aboard. We had a nice visit before they headed off to River Bourgeois to visit Kathy then on to Newfounland and Greenland for the summer.

Went to anchor for what I hoped would be a short time but actually lasted until May 19 when the first weather break occurred. Bo had left earlier while I was waiting for the MMSI number then the weather closed down with easterly winds for a couple of weeks. Had the chance to meet old friends and enjoy the spring weather of Lunenburg.

Got in the anchor on a beautiful May 19 morning and motored out of Lunenburg Harbour. Dodged the lobster trap lines heading towards Halifax. I don't know why the lobster trap lines in this area seem to be more problematic. The lobstermen of Lunenburg and Mahone Bay seem to need between 100 and 200 feet of extra line on the surface to retrieve their traps. Unique to this area as most other areas I have travelled in weight their lines so that they go straight down and are less likely to get tangled on the keel, rudder or propeller.

Once clear of the lobster pots I put up the sail, had Reggie the self steering wind vane take over the steering and settled down for an enjoyable solo sail back to River Bourgeois. We had clear weather to Halifax then the fog closed in. Limited visibility with fog and light winds were in order for the rest of the trip. Didn't see the shore again until the fog lifted at Canso.

The AIS proved its value off shore where I was able to check if there was any shipping in the area before putting my head down for some sleep. This works offshore but I would not trust the AIS inshore where lobstermen and a small fishing boats infrequently have AIS. A dutch Cruise Ship was on the same track as me. When about 1/4 mile to my stern it steered to Starboard and made a safe pass. Spoke to the ship on the radio. They had me on their AIS for more than 20 miles. Good feeling that this system is working well.

Passed in close to Canso on the bright sunny morning of May 22. The water was looking glass calm, seals were playing and the only sound was that of the diesel engine pushing us along. Moto rsailed  to the area of Petit de Grat on Isla Madame where I took down the sail to motor exclusively through the lobsterpots in this area. the pot lines are well weighted and easy to avoid.

Entering Bourgeois Inlet at the top of the tide.

Entered the harbour of River Bourgeois at about 5:00 pm local time. Kathy, Gordon, Ingrid, Sarah and Brooklyn were on the wharf to greet me as I motored past on the way to our mooring. The mooring was a little tangled have been laid last fall and never used. Got the chain up, untangled everything and brought Easy Go to rest after 56 hours on the first passage.

Approaching the mooring.

Great to be home!

Getting up the mooring chain.

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