Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Whale of a Sail

Sail #20: 07/08/12 - 27.4 nm

I've been told that dragon flies are a sign of good luck.  Which must be true given the amazing sail we had across Georges Bay.

Where to start...we woke to glassy water again at 0600, quite a contrast to the previous 2 days.  Photographers were out in full force on all the boats eagerly taking pictures of each other in the sunrise.  After an hour or so, the winds picked up across Georges Bay and we settled in for a nice relaxing sail.  We were extremely fortunate to be able to turn the motors off, which allowed us to get close to a pod of pilot whales feeding in the Bay.

Gaila crossing Georges Bay in the morning light
The crew of Fly-Bye-Wire spotted the first whale and it went from there.  There was a pod of pilot whales that seemed to follow us, coming within 15 - 20 feet from the boats.  They seemed to be intrigued by the dingies and at times looked like them might even roll right into them.  A female and her baby travelled along beside us for several minutes and were greeted with many "ohs" and "ahs"!

Pilot whales in Georges Bay

Momma and her baby

Getting amazingly close
The rain started as we approached the Canso Causeway.  There was a gravel barge making its way through the lock so we had a brief wait.  Travelling through the locks for the first time was a pretty special experience, particularly when you looked back and saw how many vehicles were held up as we made our way through the lock.

Exploits making her way into the lock at the Canso Causeway

Road bridge and lock opening 

While it seemed like we hadn't been travelling very long, the marina at Port Hawkesbury was looking better as the rain continued.  The fleet opted to tie up for the night, since making the locks at St. Peter's before the 8:00 pm deadline was questionable.  We were concerned however with problems getting through the Lennox Passage bridge on route, which was experiencing problems opening in the heat due to expansion.  We were confident of getting through today, but tomorrow forecast was for a return to warmer temperatures.

After settling in, the fleet crews walked to the mall and grocery store which was up hill again.  It was well worth it however since the Rear Commodore stocked up for the Rear Commodore's Reception, which featured gimlets and an unusual combination of Hawkins cheese sticks, Vienna sausage and anchovies on a tooth pick.  It was definitely a new taste experience.  The gimlets were popular however!

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