Category Archives: Sailing in the Northumberland Strait

June 14th, 2015 – Wood Islands to Charlottetown

We are supposed to be back in Summerside but due to the very strong north wind, we didn’t make it. About an hour after we left, the wind really picked up. It was supposed to go to 20 knots but it hit 40 more than a few times, so we either had to turn around and go back to Wood Islands or tough it out until we got to Charlottetown. We decided to tough it out and once Dennis brought the boat closer to land, it wasn’t nearly as bad. The wind was wickedly cold though – coming from the north so we were happy to see the inner harbour at Charlottetown.

The big event today while we were getting lots of sea action, was that there was a sudden crash down below. I went and checked and the mirror in the forward washroom had fallen right off and onto the floor. We were so lucky that it didn’t break! That is where we shower and I wouldn’t enjoy picking shards of glass out of my feet forever. You’ll see the pictures below of where the mirror is supposed to be and where it was placed today while under way.

It’s funny that the mirror fell off when it did because when we arrived at the boat on Wednesday, the aft washroom mirror had fallen off sometime over the winter and was lying on the sink. Interesting that the glue lasted fifteen years. It didn’t break so I went to the fishing supply store in Souris and bought some powerful silicone to glue it on. I guess we’ll be doing that tonight to the forward washroom.

Nothing much happened on the water today except for the mirror. There weren’t that many lobster pots to dodge so that made things easier. We did have a bit of trouble docking because of our instructions – the attendant told us that we would be docking on the starboard side and when we arrived, that wasn’t the case. We had to go back out of the marina and change the lines and fenders and come back in. So, I guess it is important to either make sure the dock attendant knows what he/she is doing or we need to rig both sides of the boat when coming into a strange harbour. Oh well, we just circled around once and Dennis was able to change everything to the port side.

I walked over to the No Frills and got a few groceries while Dennis hiked over to the other marina to buy fuel for the boat. We might need it tomorrow if it is anything like today! The weather should be better tomorrow though and maybe we will get to put up a sail.

Other than that, the only other funny thing was the “Harbour Hippo”. It is a cruise bus/boat in Charlottetown. After touring the city by land, the bus goes into the water and tours the harbour. When I saw it, it was playing the theme from Gilligan’s Island as it went into the water. I’m not sure it that would be my choice for a song but I guess it is better than the theme from the Titanic!



That is all the news for today!


Posted by on June 14, 2015 in Sailing in the Northumberland Strait



June 13th, 2015 – Souris to Wood Islands

The “shakedown” cruise of 2015 actually went fairly well. Compared to most years, this one was quite low key. I remember last year when we left Souris and rounded the corner at Cape Bear, everything went crazy – lots of wind from several directions and big waves. This year was much better.

We intended to leave at 5:00 but by the time we got organized and the fog has dissipated, it was 6:30. We left in the rain but there was very little wind. That was good because we had to keep our eyes peeled the entire day! We were on the lookout for lobster traps and knew that if one wrapped around the prop, it would be very bad news. We managed to miss them all but our track was probably not a very impressive straight line. At one point, when Dennis was having a nap and I was in charge, I spotted a whole bunch of lobster pot markers and veered off course. The markers suddenly flew up into sky. Humph!

The weather was a typical Maritime day – rain, fog, wind, sun, more rain and then more sun. Most of our time on the water today was rainy but it did clear up at around 1:00 and became a beautiful day.

The highlight of the day was when a little porpoise came alongside the boat and started swimming beside us. He then went in front of the boat and swam right in front of the bow for a good five minutes. It was really interesting to watch him dive and come right back up in front of the boat.

Once we arrived at Wood Islands, we immediately went over to Crabby’s and learned that it was NOT open and that it had changed hands. The new owners will open up in July so we will see if they were able to get the lobster roll recipe from Crabby as it was awesome!

Not much else happened today. All is good – we will be heading to Summerside tomorrow but it will be a long day on the water. North wind so it should be good for sailing. We will have to keep our eye on the lobster pots again.

Wood Islands


Here is an older post of the 2012 Shakedown Cruise.

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Posted by on June 13, 2015 in Sailing in the Northumberland Strait


September 1st and 2nd – Summerside to Souris

This is a picture of our boat taken by Donna McCarthy in Summerside.


We finally, finally got to leave Summerside on Monday. The wind warning had disappeared so we were happy to get going! We left early – around 6:30 and the sea was calm for most of the day. Of course, the fog rolled in for a few hours but we always had some visibility. Dennis turned on the radar, just to be on the safe side, and discovered that it didn’t work. He had crossed some wires (or something) when he had been working on the light for the top of the mast a few weeks ago. Luckily, he managed to fix the radar quite quickly.

There were quite a few lobster or (crab pots – we’re not sure) along the way, so we had to keep our eyes peeled. Unfortunately, we caught a line and dragged a trap for a bit. We went around in a circle, trying to lose it – hopefully it had only caught the keel and not the propellor! It fell off when we went in reverse. Whew! Dennis was not looking forward to diving down on the prop and cutting the line.

We carried on and made it in to Wood Islands at around 4:00 – just in time to meet up with David and Joy who were very nice to us and bought us dinner at Crabby’s. The lobster rolls and chowder were both excellent!

We left early again this morning and had some fog but also had some visibility so it wasn’t very worrisome. The weather forecast was not in our favour though and the entire area had another wind warning but we were ok. At around 9:30, Dennis just left his post to go make some coffee and I looked over on my port side and spotted a HUGE whale! It was very close and was about the length of our boat and travelling at the same speed. It surfaced twice, just long enough for me to see and then it was gone. Pretty cool though!

We got into Souris at 1:00 and enjoyed talking to Debbie. We felt like we were home! The marina had a couple of adventures over the summer and it was good to get caught up on the news. We also saw Dale (from Tranquilium) and had him over for supper.

The boat is coming out of the water tomorrow at 1:00 so if you want to see it, just watch on the harbour cam.

Here are a few pictures. The one on the left is of our view in the fog. The top right picture is of the information building at Wood Islands and the bottom picture is the Dutch Runner, seriously leaning in the Souris Harbour.


Photo 80

So, we had a lot of fun this summer and would like to finish off our adventure with a little video that we made this morning. Enjoy! Stay tuned though for another new adventure!


Posted by on September 2, 2014 in Sailing in the Northumberland Strait


August 24th – 29th – Summerside

Here are a few pictures of the goings on in Summerside this week. The yacht club had their 50th anniversary and had all sorts of activities including the Parade of Lights. Boaters were encouraged to dress up their boats with lights and do a sail past when it became dark. I got to be a judge and it was lots of fun! Boats were extremely well decorated. The sailboats, especially, with their masts, were able to really make things look spectacular! One of the powerboats, some people from New Brunswick, really put a lot of effort into the festivities as they had a small band (fiddle, guitar and banjo) on board – they could really play! Everyone also dressed up as pirates and as they went by for the sail past (several times), we could hear them belting out another round the Drunken Sailor! They got a prize for best participation! Anyway, here are some pictures of the Parade of Lights.

Photo 61


The other pictures are of Summerside and surrounding area. The fields are a beautiful colour, getting ready for harvest. The picture of the dogs was taken along the boardwalk – everyone likes to walk their dogs there. The final picture is of the skateboard park – it is pretty big – almost the same size as the skateboard park in Barrie.

Photo 65


We will hopefully leave for Souris tomorrow – we will only get as far as Wood Islands but the winds are in our favour so it should be a fun ride! Monday, not so much as the winds are supposed to switch. Of course, the forecast may change – who knows? Tomorrow, we should be able to see the Tall Ships leaving Charlottetown and coming into Summerside  and hopefully I will be able to get a few good pictures!

That’s all the news for now…

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Posted by on August 30, 2014 in Sailing in the Northumberland Strait


August 21st – 23rd – Port Hawkesbury to Summerside

On Thursday, we woke up early because the weather warning had been lifted the night before and we hoped to leave. Of course, a new weather warning appeared so we spent an hour weighing the pros and cons of leaving. The wind was coming from the west (which would mean it would be right on our nose) but it was supposed to switch to the north east (which would be perfect for sailing to Woods Island). We decided to leave and take our chances!

We spotted Dale from Tranquilium heading towards the Canso Locks and tried to radio him but he wasn’t answering. I managed to get some pictures of his boat in the rainbow. Here are some pictures of the beautiful rainbow that we saw as we headed into the lock.

Photo 55 Photo 57

Once we cleared the lock, the waves picked up but it wasn’t too bad. We could have gone to Ballantyne’s Cove but decided to continue on to Woods Island. It was a long day! We got in to Wood Islands just after Crabby’s had closed so we didn’t get any lobster rolls! Hmph! (We have one more chance to get them on our way back to Souris).

The next day, we headed out early again so that we could get to Summerside. We actually were able to sail most of the way. Here’s a video of us sailing under the bridge.

So, here we are back in Summerside at our slip. Not much is new but we will be here for a week – probably until after Labour Day and then we will head up to Souris, put the boat up for the winter and come home.

Here are a few pictures of some kids getting ready to jump in the St. Peter’s Canal and the Parks Canada lady at St. Peter’s. She’s the one that had to open the bridge and then race over to the lock to let us through as well as another picture of the rainbow, the ospreys (all grown up)  and the lighthouse at Woods Island.

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Posted by on August 23, 2014 in Sailing in the Northumberland Strait


August 20th – Port Hawkesbury…

So, we are here for another day. The wind warning ended last night and we thought that we would be able to leave but a new wind warning was posted this morning, so here we are. We may be staying tomorrow too!

I will explain the pictures below. In the top picture, the coast guard, which is right beside the marina, spent quite a bit of time on a safety/rescue drill. We watched them for a while and got to talking to some other people on the dock. Then, I noticed that something was burning and when we looked at our stove, the eggs had been left on and they boiled dry. That was a bit of a mess!

The bottom picture is of John. He is on the boat in front of us and has been here for eight days. His wife left to go to Newfoundland so that she could look after her ailing mother and he has had a variety of other crew members who have also left. One lasted nine days and the other lasted eleven. So, now he is kind of stuck. He’s waiting for his wife to return and just bought a membership to the yacht club! His original plan was to sail south but it looks like he might be putting the boat up here in Port Hawkesbury.

Photo 66

John bought his boat in Louisiana, near New Orleans, shortly before Hurricane Katrina hit. He and his wife were at home in Belleville and after a lengthy delay, finally got to go down to down to assess the damage. His boat was in a marina all tangled up with all the other boats, docks and debris. He said that the water level went up 22 feet. There was (is?) a condominium at the marina and the first two floors were underwater. It took him two days to get the boat secured and he left it tied up to the remnants of a dock. He said the smell of everything rotting in the humidity and heat was terrible. He went back home to start straightening out the insurance and found out that the salvage company came along and took all the boats away – just hauled them to a variety of fields. He then went back down to New Orleans and spent a good long time looking for the boat and finally found it in a field with hundreds of other boats. In addition to the damaged boat, somebody had taken everything they could off the boat – cutlery, binoculars – anything that was of some value.

He managed to get it trucked up to Belleville and then fixed it up and is sailing it now. Here are some pictures that he took of the damage. Yikes!

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Photo 68


So, that is all the news for today. We are keeping our eye out for the weather and hopefully be able to leave soon.


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Posted by on August 20, 2014 in Sailing in the Northumberland Strait


August 19th – Port Hawkesbury

So, it looks like we are stuck here for today. The marine forecast does not look very good for anywhere in the Maritimes!

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Tomorrow doesn’t look that much better except that the wind is going to switch to the north which is apparently good for us. We will see!

Last night, Mike, Nadine, Marike, Nevé, Marcel and Mijanou arrived from Fort Louisburg. They were headed towards Halifax and stopped in for supper. They brought pizza and I made a salad out of the last of the lettuce. They are returning to Alberta on Thursday but it was nice to see them one last time. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to redeem myself in cards with the girls! Here’s a picture of the whole gang!


We will probably do boat chores today – cleaning and shopping. We will most likely get our exercise by going up and down the giant hill in order to get to the grocery store! I can’t imagine driving here in the winter!

Tomorrow, weather permitting, we will get to Ballantyne’s Cove and then on Thursday, we should be back at the Woods Island ferry terminal. We may as well get ourselves a lobster roll!

That’s all the news for today!


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Posted by on August 19, 2014 in Sailing in the Northumberland Strait



August 3rd, 4th – Ballantyne’s Cove – Port Hawkesbury

So, now that we are travelling and heading toward the Bras d’Or Lakes, I seem to be lagging behind on the blog. There’s a lot to see and do so my entries may get shorter and shorter!

Yesterday, we left Woods Island in the morning and motored over to Nova Scotia. During the “voyage”, we saw many seals, dolphins and a pod of whales. I tried so hard to get good pictures but they were just too far away. I could see them really well with the binoculars, but as soon as I positioned my camera, everybody seemed to take cover under water! This went on for at least half an hour so I was quite disappointed to only get a head shot of a seal.

We arrived at Ballantyne’s Cove and promptly went to the beach for a swim as it was really hot out. The water was perfect! We basically floated around until we cooled off – it was so nice. Then, I decided that I needed a good, brisk walk and headed up the road. Nova Scotia appears to be quite a bit more hilly than Prince Edward Island – yikes! It was a good walk and the view of the ocean and the rocky shoreline was spectacular.

Here are a few pictures – one of the seal, the other two of the scenery around Ballantyne’s Cove and the final one of Jackson, the three legged dog.

Photo 54

Today, we headed across the bay and went through the Canso Causeway locks. Just before we went through the locks though, we spotted an entire pod of whales feeding. There were four or five different groups with three or four whales in each group. We were able to get some good pictures and some video.

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We locked through without incident and are now tied up in Port Hawkesbury. There is a 50 foot catamaran from New Zealand beside us but the boat is empty – apparently the people have left for a week. I would have liked to see the inside of that boat!

Photo 66

That’s all the news for now – we are heading to St. Peter’s tomorrow and will most likely anchor the next day. Of course, Hurricane Bertha is supposed to make an appearance, so we will have to tuck in somewhere.


Posted by on August 4, 2014 in Sailing in the Northumberland Strait


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Summerside – July 16th – 17th

We’re still in Summerside and will most likely be here for a few more days. Eventually, we will be sailing to Pugwash. In the meantime though, we have been able to amuse ourselves very well!

We went to the Summerside Harness Racing track the other night – Red Shores. We had never been to a racetrack before and I’m sure it was quite obvious! However, a couple of kind young ladies happily took our money for our bets and helped us figure out how it all worked. We bought the racing program and I picked out a horse to win based on its name. So, I placed a $2.00 bet. Dennis picked out a horse too (I’m not sure what his method was) but he placed three $2.00 bets – win, place and show. Needless to say, my method paid off and my horse won in the first race! So, I went back to see the young ladies and they had a great laugh as my winnings were $2.30.

Since my betting method proved immediately successful, I repeated this four more times and won three of the five races. In one race though, my horse came dead last and of course Dennis thought this was hilarious! Overall, I came out ahead. I spent $10 on five races and earned about $8 in profit. Dennis lost overall, but he still had lots of fun. Perhaps, he will adopt my selection method in the future! Here is a picture of one of my winning horses as well as them in action.

July 16

We walked over to Credit Union Place which was right next door. This is a HUGE fitness facility. Unbelievable! Included in the building is a swimming pool for doing laps, another pool with a waterside, a hot tub, steam room and sauna. There is a bowling alley, a fitness room with tons of equipment, two racquetball courts. There is also an indoor stadium which has an ice surface in the winter. The stadium has seating for 5000! Gordon Lightfoot played there in May. At the top of the stadium is a walking/running track. Apparently, there is another ice surface somewhere else in the building. Here’s the good thing – if you want to use any of the facilities, you can buy daily tickets or a monthly membership for $35 (senior rate 55+) ($45 adult). The bowling alley is extra but pretty much everything else is included. Here are some pictures of CUP.

July 17


That’s all the news for today – my parents made it and are staying at Linkletter Provincial Park in their RV for the next few days. We’re going on a walking tour today.


Posted by on July 18, 2014 in Sailing in the Northumberland Strait


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Summerside – July 14th – 16th

We picked a good week to stay in Summerside because the Lobster Festival is on. We’ve been enjoying all the activities – lots of outdoor concerts, all sorts of vendors and tons of things for kids to do. Monday was the parade. Of course, it poured rain all morning but finally at 1:00, the rain let up (just in time for the wind to blow a gale) for the parade. There were 80 floats in all – the highlight being the giant lobster. I thought that the wind would take it away but it did not although its giant claws were waving wildly!  One of the highlights was seeing Heather Moyse, the Olympic bobsledder from Summerside. Here are a few pictures.

Parade - July 14 Photo 32

The College of Piping was also in the parade – they were excellent. Here is a video of them at the parade plus plus a couple of other activities during the festival. They are certainly unique and hard to explain so watch the video. 🙂

Last night, we had the opportunity to see The Ballad of Stompin’ Tom and it was excellent! If you do get a chance to see it, please do so. Here is some information on Stompin’ Tom – he sure had a rough start to his life. Of course, my favourite song is… (Click the link!)

That’s all the news for now. We are expecting company from Canmore tomorrow – looking forward to a visit with my parents. They’re driving around in a rented RV. Pretty windy ride, I bet!