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Category Archives: Bras d’Or Lakes

August 16th – 18th – Little Harbour, St. Peter’s, Port Hawkesbury

There’s a really neat anchorage called Little Harbour in the Bras d’Or Lakes – there is a tiny little opening and then it opens up into a nice, safe place. It also happens to have the Cape Breton Smokehouse Restaurant and the cooking is German, so of course, Dennis wanted to try it. The Smokehouse is a beautiful log cabin and is run by two people who sailed their boat from Germany. They actually have their boat out in the harbour (here’s the link to it on Yacht World as it is for sale) and sailed it from Germany to Africa and then to the Caribbean and then finally to Cape Breton.

After supper, we went for a walk and saw a couple of beavers in the stream down from the restaurant. Here are some pictures:

Photo 64

The next day, we left the Bras d’Or Lakes and went through the St. Peter’s lock. We decided to tie up at the lock for the night. I went for a big bike ride and was not disappointed with the huge hills! Quite the workout (totally needed though).

Just before I got back to the boat, I thought I spotted Dale from Tranquillium. We met him in Rimouski last year and again in Souris this summer. I called his name but he didn’t respond and I thought that I must have been mistaken. But after supper, we went for a walk to the marina and there he was! He came over for tea and we compared notes on our adventures.

We kept our eye on the weather because Environment Canada had issued a wind warning and everything on the map was red. So, this morning, we debated as to whether we should leave or not. We discussed it with the guy on the boat that was also tied up in the lock and he said that there was no risk and that we should be bold. (Quote, unquote). He reminded us of the Bruce Willis of Quebec that we met last year. The Bruce Willis of Quebec had a super fast boat and always wore the coolest sailing outfits. He also only went where the wind took him so we met him in several different places as he criss-crossed the St. Lawrence. The guy we met in the canal, was quite like him but older. He has crossed the Atlantic five times and seemed considerably more adventurous than me!

Anyway, we decided to go and it worked out just fine. We tied up at the Port Hawkesbury Marina at 12:30 in the pouring rain but at least the wind had slowed down. We might get stuck here tomorrow, again because of the winds, but that is to be expected at this time of year.

No other news!

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Posted by on August 18, 2014 in Bras d'Or Lakes

 

August 15th – Baddeck, Maskell’s Harbour – Visit with the gang from Alberta

My brother Mike and his family arrived on Thursday night. They have been travelling around Nova Scotia and PEI for the past couple of weeks and we met up with them in Baddeck. The weather did not really cooperate but we were determined to go for a sail and swim so on Friday morning, the whole gang (including Nadine’s father Marcel and her sister Mijanou) joined us.

They all piled into the boat and we had a good laugh because of all the stuff they had! I wondered how long they were planning to stay – several weeks? But Nadine said that it is best to be prepared and she was right as it was pretty cold, windy and rainy.

We were actually able to sail over to Markell’s Harbour and anchored there for the afternoon. Almost everyone went swimming (Marike and Nevé were the only sensible ones not to go as it was pretty cold). The girls tried their hand at fishing. They had no luck catching our lunch so it was a good thing that Nadine brought food along!

I learned a new card game with Marike and Nevé – Spit. It is a fast actioned game and both of the girls were easily able to beat me! I tried several times to beat Nevé but she in particular, seemed to have a knack for it. Very irritating to be beaten by 12 year olds… 🙂 I should have made them “walk the plank”.

We motored back and of course, we were headed into the wind so it wasn’t quite as much fun as sailing but nobody turned green. After a very tricky docking (with the wind going in all directions), Dennis managed to dock the boat and let everyone off.

It was a great day and hopefully everyone had fun! The only thing we forgot to do was to play the guitar and strumstick – since they were a “captive” audience, it would have been perfect! Here are a few pictures of the day.

Photo 57

Photo 58

 

We are slowly starting to head back to Prince Edward Island. The sun is shining so we will take a couple of days in the Bras d’Or Lakes and then head over to St. Peter’s, to Port Hawksebury and then Ballantyne’s Cove. Depending on the wind, we will then make a run for PEI and start thinking about coming home.

 

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2014 in Bras d'Or Lakes

 

August 12th to 14th – The Bras d’Or Lakes

We’ve been anchoring out lately and enjoying the good weather. The swimming has been great and walking, well what can I say? The hills are unbelievable here!

I don’t have much news today. We are waiting for Mike and the gang – they’re at the Woods Island Ferry Terminal eating lobster rolls right now. Hopefully, the rain will hold off tomorrow for the big sail and swim!

Here are a few pictures – pretty nice here…

Photo 57

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2014 in Bras d'Or Lakes

 

August 11th – Alexander Graham Bell Museum

Along the waterfront, there is a beautiful statue of Alexander Graham Bell and his wife Mabel. Dennis thought he’d be funny and pose with them. Check out what he is holding up to Mr. Bell’s ear – I can’t imagine what he would think of all the modern technology!

Photo 49

So, we went to the Alexander Graham Bell Museum and it was definitely worthwhile to see. There are many replicas of his inventions as well as a few original pieces. I think Mr. Bell was way ahead of his time! The museum has many interactive objects for kids as well as a few programs. One of the programs was kite flying and we had a good laugh when someone’s kite got all wrapped up in the Canadian flag. The Parks Canada worker had quite the time trying to unravel it! I also noticed a kid fascinated with a rotary dial telephone – it was the same phone that my grandmother had. The kid kept dialling and dialling, (he doesn’t know what he missed!)

Anyway, check out a few pics below.

Photo 50 1

 

Our only other exciting news was our exit from the town wharf. The wind was blowing us onto the wharf, so the captain untied the bow line and kept the stern line attached to the bollard on the wharf. He told me to turn the wheel hard and then rev the engine but we couldn’t make any headway – we couldn’t get off the dock. Then, he told me to turn the wheel hard the opposite way and then put the engine in reverse while he hung onto the stern line. That seemed to work except for the dinghy bumping along the piers – thump, thump, thump… Oh well, no damage was done and the onlookers had some excitement. Dennis actually took a bow and everyone clapped! (Sigh – he is incorrigible).

BTW – apparently there is a web cam in Baddeck pointing at the wharf. Too bad we didn’t know that earlier because now we are anchored out in a very nice cove. Great swimming! We will be heading back on Thursday though to pick up Mike, Nadine, Marike and Nevé for a sail and swim. They are on their east coast tour for a couple of weeks.

That’s all the news for today. 🙂

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2014 in Bras d'Or Lakes

 

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August 9th – Baddeck – Going to a Ceilidh

We went to our first ceilidh (pronounced Kaylee) last night in Baddeck and it was tons of fun!  Here is some information on it – click this link:

There were two performers – Donna Marie DeWolfe on the fiddle and Mac Morin on the piano. Mac plays in the Natalie McMaster band. At the ceilidh, we were treated to lots of good music and step dancing. Some brave volunteers learned how to do a dance – kind of like square dancing. The whole thing was very informal and relaxed – as I said, it was lots of fun.

Here are some highlights of the ceilidh.

 

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2014 in Bras d'Or Lakes

 

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August 7th, 8th – Baddeck, Nova Scotia

We anchored out a couple of nights in the Bras d’Or Lakes and it was really nice – kind of like being in the North Channel without the granite! There are all sorts of inlets and islands to anchor and the swimming is really nice. The water is brackish so you can taste the salt but it looks really clean and we don’t have to worry about the tides and other ocean hazards. Below are some pictures of the area. The picture with the boat and the rainbow behind it was taken last night in Baddeck and the rest were taken while we were on our way here.

Photo 49

We had an interesting time in a narrow channel the other day. We watched a huge yacht come toward us and we wondered what they were going to do. Well, the yacht blew his horn and it just about made us jump! We immediately changed our course and avoided “disaster”! Of course, the captain of the Split Crow was not too pleased as he felt that he was in the right, so he decided that he was going to radio the yacht and give him a piece of his mind. So, he radioed over and said, “Nice horn you’ve got there!”. He really told him! 🙂

Here are some pictures of the yacht and of our anchorage near Marble Mountain.

Photo 48

We arrived in Baddeck and picked up a mooring buoy then rowed ashore to Baddeck Marine. We wandered around the town – it is really pretty with lots of restaurants and shops. There are tons of boats here as there is a sailing regatta on. When we got to the wharf, we wondered if anyone could dock there and asked the wharf manager. He said that as long as there was room, we were welcome to tie up so that is what we did.

The last set of pictures is of the happenings on and around the wharf. The Amoeba, a sailing tour boat, is shown coming into the harbour. There are also a bunch of little boats racing around and they are quite interesting to watch. The funniest thing though are the kids that keep jumping off the wharf. One little guy kept saying to his buddy, “Watch this! I’m going to do a 420 and I’ll show you how it’s done!” Then, he would run and jump of the wharf and do a little twirl, splash and come back up and do it again. The two pictures of those kids are not as spectacular as the acrobatics that they did over and over… 🙂

Photo 50

 

We will probably be here for a few days. We are going to go to the Alexander Graham Bell museum sometime and maybe rent a car to tour the area.

That’s all the news for today!

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2014 in Bras d'Or Lakes

 

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August 5th – The Bras d’Or Lakes

Well! We have finally arrived at the Bras d’Or Lakes and it is very beautiful here even though it has just started to rain. We are anchored out kind of near St. Peter’s in a nice big bay and we’re the only boat around, so it is very peaceful.

We left Port Hawkesbury this morning at 9:00 – we were fogged in so we left a little later than usual but I used my time wisely and walked up and down the hills – I thought I needed my exercise and this was a good workout!

The day was uneventful. We had to radio a bridge in the Lennox Channel to let us go through. Somewhere along the way, we spotted a couple of “fixer uppers” and Dennis immediately thought of Glen! (Don’t worry, Jo – they’re impossible to bring back to Ontario!)

Photo 48

In St. Peter’s we had to go through the lock. It was the easiest lock ever – we didn’t even have to be on the boat! We just tied it up and wandered around while the lock master did all the work. Then, she hopped in her truck and raced over to the swing bridge to let us out. Her partner was out mowing the lawn somewhere so I wonder if the National Parks have had to cut back! 🙂 At any rate, it all worked out.

Photo 49

 

As soon as we got to the Bras d’Or Lakes, we spotted several beautiful boats which you can see in the pictures below.

The only excitement here is that there seems to be some sort of confrontation going on with the herons and the ducks. Every once in a while, the herons let out a prehistoric cry and a great flurry of activity arises. The ducks get chased off and then everyone settles down again.

The rain has stopped and it is really nice out – Dennis is going to go fishing. (I am glad I made a couple of trips to the grocery store on my bike yesterday as he doesn’t seem to have much luck!)

I think we are heading toward Baddeck tomorrow but I am not sure if we will get there. The lake reminds me of Georgian Bay – maybe not as many rocks and bent pines but very beautiful!

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2014 in Bras d'Or Lakes