Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Official Start to the Canadian Summer - Splash Down!

May 24th weekend is generally regarded as the unofficial start to the Canadian summer.  It's a popular camping weekend (read alcohol ban in national parks), the start of the outdoor gardening season and yes, the start of the sailboat season.  What better way to celebrate than to launch a boat.

We finally got "most" of the work done on Exploits and got her back in the water in her new home, the Barrachois Harbour Yacht Club.  She went in on Saturday evening.  Daniel and I spent most of Sunday getting her ready.

Our first sail in the Tatmagouche Bay was on Victoria Day (Monday).  Judy, Daniel and I had intended to go out for a quick sail before the company arrived.  We didn't check the tide schedule though and ended up hitting a sand bar.  We eventually got off, but it meant we had to spend another 2.5 hours in the bay waiting for the tide to come up.  On our way in the second time we ran into another bar at the mouth of the marina.  Four other boats got stuck on it before us.  The water on the North Shore is very shallow to say the least, which is going to take some getting used to after sailing in Halifax.

We eventually hooked up with the McCarthy's and had a nice relaxing (very little wind) sail / motor.  With no incidents!

Let the "exploits" begin on Nova Scotia's north shore!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunday at Sunrise

Very windy and cool on the North Shore today.

We spent Saturday night cleaning bird crap inside the cottage from a feathered friend who spent the winter inside.  We haven't actually found it yet which is not good.  The good news is, the cottage is fully functional and cleaner than it's been in years.  We also said good-bye to the dingy today, but it has gone to a nice home!

As far as Exploits is concerned, I rewired the mast and installed a new antenna for the VHF.  This was my first experience working with coax cable.  Hopeful I did it right!

I also sanded the bootstripe and below the water line.  Very hard on the shoulders since you are basically working over your head most of the time. I taped off the bootstripe by decided to wait until we get better weather to paint it, hopefully Tuesday of this week.  I should have the mast up sometime this week. 

Met a number of fellow sailors in the boat yard today and had a great chat with the new owners of Sunrise Marina.  Hopefully we'll be in the water on the long weekend.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Moving Day - ACE's Are Wild

May13, 2010 - Moving Day for Exploits.

The boys at Armdale were fantastic.  Hauled the boat by 9:00 am and pressure washed it clean for the move.  Sadly, while I was on the phone with my boss (having a stimulating chat about "soil amendments" - don't ask), the guys from ACE Towing put a couple of nasty scratches on our boat.  Unfortunately I didn't notice it until they were long gone with a lot of my money.

Bobby from Sealand was fantastic.  He arrived early, secured the boat like a real pro and arrived within 5 minutes of when he said he was going to be there.  He put in a full day and I don't begrudge a cent I paid him.  Good guy.

We arrived to a crowd at Barrachois Harhour Yacht Club.  I guess word got out that there was a boat arriving so the local boys turned out to say hello.  Great bunch of guys around the boat yard and more than willing to lend a hand.  Turns out I need many hands because I know very little about sailboats or sailing.  Unfortunately, we didn't get the mast back up.  I ran into a little problem with the radio antenna so I figure it's easier (and cheaper) to fix it now than it is to take the mast back down in a months time.

I love Bobby's motto!

Judy and I sold the dingy tonight which covers a portion of the costs to move Exploits.  However, we're happy to be on the north shore and really looking forward to getting Exploits back in the water by the end of the month.

Rolling into our home port, the Barrachois Harbour Yacht Club on the Northumberland Strait, Nova Scotia.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Thanks to Mikey and his friends, I got the mast taken down and everything is packed and ready to be moved tomorrow.  Armdale moved the cradle downto the boatyard  this afternoon.  They plan on hauling the boat at 9 tomorrow morning and will pressure wash it for me before we load it.  If all goes well, we should be on the North Shore by early afternoon.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Packing Up - For a Price!

Exploits is pretty well ready to be moved.  We took off the main sail and boom today, removed the dodger, backstay and packed the halyards.  The only thing left to do is step the mast.  I painted bright red nail polish on the turnbuckles to help me retighten the shrouds.

Mike and I will drop the mast Tuesday night.  It gets pulled out of the water on Wednesday and moved to the North Shore on Thursday.  Very exciting!

I did make one major booboo.  I forgot to arrange a crane to lift the boat onto the truck.  Armdale doen't have that capability.  Luckily I called a guy today and he said they could do it.  For a price!  Everything associated with sailing is "for a price".

Sunday, May 2, 2010


May the First, 2010....well and May 2nd as well.

Our first dinner cruise aboard the boat. The first night we slept on the boat. The first meal cooked on board. First time tossing eggs with Japanese chefs.

Mike and Heather, Andy and Kim and Jude and I sailed from Armdale to the Hamachi House on the Halifax waterfront Saturday evening. The winds were good and we arrived 15 minutes before our reservations...which almost weren't reservations. Enter Heather and Kim to sort it all out. It's pretty sweet to leave the dock at Armdale, sail around the peninsula and dock on the waterfront of one of Canada's greatest cities, at the door step of your restaurant.

Judy and Heather both took a turn at tossing the egg into the Happy Happy Chef hat.  While Judy created a couple of tense moments for our Japanese chef, it was Heather who's egg sprayed egg white across the restaurant and down her back...not once but twice to the delight of our crew and fellow diners at our table.

The winds died off during supper so we fired up the diesel and headed back to Armdale.  It was a beautiful night.  I was surprised that there were several other boats in the harbour that time of night.

Jude and I spent our first night on the boat and enjoyed our first Sunday bunch on the water.  Parker Noohan (our boat's former owner) dropped down to his Westerly 32 and so we had an opportunity to quizz him on Exploits.  It was sort of cool to hear about all the work he did, which makes us appreciate the boat even more.

Jude and I sailed down the Arm after brunch.  There was a military ceremony in Point Pleasent Park to mark the 65th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic.  Just off "Hens and Chickens" they towed the HMCS Sackville, the last Corvette from WW II and released wreaths in memory of the more than 3,000 sailors and merchant seamen who lost their lives delivering supplies across the Atlantic Ocean to Britain during the Second World War.

We have one more weekend before we have to pack up the boat and ship it off to the Northumberland Strait.