Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Happy (belated) Birthday Canada

Seems at least one person reads this blog since they noticed the lack of a weekly update on our latest exploits aboard "Exploits".  What a past week it was!

On June 30th, we along with 5 other boats from BHYC, crossed the Northumberland Strait to spend Canada Day on the waterfront in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.  It was for us, our biggest adventure yet.  Admittedly, I was somewhat nervous crossing the Strait.  The last time I ventured out that far was some 20 years ago when I drifted for 7 hours to Amet Island on my windsurfer (without my rig) on the May long weekend.  Coming that close to a potentially dangerous situation tends to change your perspective on things.

The weather was perfect on the 30th and the winds allowed us to sail on a nice reach straight into Hillsborough Bay.  We were averaging 5-6 knots until the wind dropped off completely.  Rather than drift against the out going tide, we fired up the iron jib and motored the last hour or so.  We completed the 32 nautical miles in 7.5 hours, dock to dock.

We had a fantastic spot at the Quartermaster Marina, right on the Charlottetown waterfront, close to all the Canada Day celebrations and Daniel's apartment.  We had a front row seat, on Abigale for an absolutely spectacular fireworks show.

Fly-Bye-Wire and Baby Bird headed back to BHYC on Friday while the brave crew of Meltemi headed out on their own to Pugwash.  It was a fantastic sailing day so we ventured up the cove towards New Dominion with a 102 year old wooden boat from Holland.  The boat had been sunk during WWII by the Germans and was dug up after the war.  It is a beautiful wooden boat that we referred to as "The Shoe Boat" since it looked a little bit like a wooden shoe.  It sailed beautifully and made Exploits seem like a new boat, despite her 40+ years.

On Saturday, we headed back to the mainland at 6 am to take advantage of the tides and to avoid building winds forcasted for later that afternoon.  The wind was hard on our nose, so the crew of Ever After decided we should motor.  Half way into the trip we broke from our travelling partners and hoisted the sails and made our way down to UA2 off of Cape John to cheer on Nut Case and Prospector who were racing from BHYC to PictouAbigale planned to join us, however their youngest crew member (5 years old) fell ill so they motored the rest of the way as well.

It was a fantastic way to celebrate Canada Day and an exciting new chapter in our sailing exploits story.

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