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Category Archives: Sailing in the Northumberland Strait

July 11th, 12th – Borden-Carleton to Summerside

We anchored at Borden-Carleton on Thursday night. We didn’t didn’t get off the boat to look around because of the tide and the windy conditions. Last year, we dinghied ashore at high tide, left the boat on the beach and when we came back, we (as in Dennis) had to drag the boat in the PEI red muddy sand forever to get it floating back in the water. So, this year, with the winds being up, we just stayed on board.

We got the anchor up without a problem and headed under the bridge. Here are a few shots of Borden-Carleton and the bridge – it is very impressive from the water. If you want to learn more about the bridge, click on this link.

Confederation Bridge

 

We arrived in Summerside with no problem and were tied up by 11:00. After Dennis cleaned off all the salt from the boat, we went for a walk along the boardwalk.

Summerside seems to have a lot to do. There is a Farmers’ Market every Saturday, harness racing, The Ballad of Stompin’ Tom, concerts in the summer by the College of Piping, and all sorts of events happening such as the LobsterFest which takes place next week.

After our walk, I went for a bike ride and rode along the boardwalk. There is a 7 km boardwalk along the waterfront. As I was returning to the boat, these two girls stopped me and asked if they could talk to me. (Hmm… well I really didn’t have that much planned for the rest of the afternoon, so what the heck!) They introduced themselves as missionaries from the Church of Latter-Day Saints. They were very nice and I learned that they were on PEI for 18 months. One was from Edmonton and the other was from Idaho. I asked them if I could take their picture for the blog (I really didn’t have much exciting news so…) so here is their picture as well as the Summerside harbour at low tide. If you look closely, you can see people way out in the distance – they were able to walk out there.

Summerside - July 11

 

That’s all the exciting news for now. We are heading out to the Farmers’ Market.

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2014 in Sailing in the Northumberland Strait

 

July 9th – Souris to Woods Island Ferry Terminal

July 9th was Nick’s birthday, so we wish him well! Last year, on July 9th, our boat was surrounded by belugas so it was very exciting. If you want to see that video, click this link. This year was not as exciting. We did see a seal popping his head out of the water and a whale taking a couple of breaths but that was about it except for the gannets – which are always entertaining when they dive head first into the water.

We left Souris at about 7:20. John (the guy who was offering advice to his wife while she was up at the top of the mast) was going to help us cast away but he was still in the shower when we decided to leave. Maybe he’ll make a comment and then we can get in touch with him. He and Dennis beat Kim and me in Euchre the other night, so we will definitely have to catch up with them for the rematch…

It was fairly windy when we left Souris – the wind metre said it was 20 knots, which is ok. It went up to 25 for a while and we got quite a spray of salt water all over the boat. Of course, we were motoring right into the wind so it was slow progress. When we rounded Cape Bear (which seems to be PEI’s equivalent to Cape Horn where all the winds meet and create horrible conditions for sailors), the wind went up to 47! Yikes – that was not much fun. We bounced around quite a bit and tested our skills in ensuring that everything was properly stowed. Our big worry is always the dinghy but Dennis had tied it down well. It is tied down even better today (although the wind is only 5) but you never know.

We arrived at the ferry terminal at about 3:00 and tied up to the wall. We did manage to put a small dent in the rub rail (it wasn’t me!) and then went ashore. We checked out what time Crabby’s closed and then I went to see how the ospreys were doing. We then had supper (lobster rolls – excellent!) and met up with David and Joy for an hour then went to bed – we were pretty tired!

Here are some pictures of the osprey nest and of Woods Island. Notice the captain having a nap!

July 9

July 9

 

That’s all the news for today. I am writing this while we are underway – going to Borden Carleton and anchoring. We should be in Summerside tomorrow sometime.

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2014 in Sailing in the Northumberland Strait

 

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July 7th and 8th – Souris

We might be leaving tomorrow as the weather looks good. Today, Dennis worked on the generator with no luck. He had to order a pump and the man is going to Charlottetown today and will drop it off tonight. After several hours of working on it, he gave up and decided to became a spectator for another boat’s mast operation. Kim, the lady at the top of the mast, had to go and fix something. Yesterday, she was at the top for well over an hour but was unsuccessful. Dennis then gave it a try but he too was unsuccessful. So today, Kim tried again and I think she was able to fix whatever needed fixing.

These pictures are of Kim at the top of the mast and Dennis and John at the bottom shouting their opinions about how the mast should be fixed. Hudson, the dog, was not amused.

Souris - July 8

 

I forgot to mention that the other day, our friend Dale arrived. Dennis had met him in Quebec City last year. We met him again in Rimouski. Dale is on the Tranquillium and is travelling with his friends Dennis and Jean. I think he is staying here for the summer.

Souris - July 8

That’s all the excitement for today! I think we’re going swimming now.

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2014 in Sailing in the Northumberland Strait

 

July 6th – Souris

So, we survived the storm – Tropical Storm Arthur. It was really windy here in Souris and the power kept going flickering on and off for a while, but we were pretty safe behind the break wall. The wind did change direction though at about 5:00 am so things got a little rough in the marina for a while. But, since we were up, it was ok. Souris did not get much damage but Charlottetown sure did! Three boats sank and judging from the pictures, it looks like there is not much left of the yacht club.

Yesterday, while it was still sunny and nice, we went to the Cardigan car show. It was quite interesting but because of the hurricane, there apparently weren’t as many cars as in previous years. Here is a collage of some cars. Included in the collage is the result of the high winds – I hope that someone wasn’t in it! Dennis is posing beside a car that is identical to one that he used to own. The orange car is his friend David’s.

car show

Today, we basically cleaned up from the storm. There wasn’t too much to do – just cleaned the red PEI sand off of the boat.

The highlight of the day though, was the Village Feast. It is a non profit children’s charity that supports children around the world as well as helping the local food bank. Chef Michael Smith is a big part of it and of course, we had to get his picture with Dennis in his favourite shirt.

The whole event is organized by volunteers and there must have been over 1000 people there. You could get either a lobster dinner, steak dinner or both. I had the lobster and Dennis had the steak – both were excellent!

Part of raising funds for the local food bank at the dinner is an honorary Islander citizenship for $100. Twelve people signed up and were initiated on the stage complete with a potato sack, Anne hat and various tasks including shucking an oyster and peeling a potato. Here are some pictures of the event.

Village Feast

Tomorrow, we do some work on the boat (I am not sure what Captain Bligh has in store) and probably go for a bike ride now that the winds are back to normal!

 

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2014 in Sailing in the Northumberland Strait

 

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Hurricane Arthur – July 5th – Souris Marina

I have uploaded the video of the boat going into the water. It is not quite as exciting as an episode of Gilligan’s Island but if you want to watch it, click on this link. I also have all of our videos stored on our YouTube channel. It’s not too organized but you’ll find all of our videos there.
The first hurricane of the season has arrived. We are in the middle of it now. It came up from North Carolina and has been pounding the Maritimes since yesterday. PEI has not gotten the worst of it – New Brunswick seems to have been hit really hard and lots of places are without power. I guess the worst of it should arrive around 9:00 pm (of course – just as it gets dark!). We are well protected here behind the break wall so it will just be a noisy night.

I made a video this afternoon of the storm. I will post more stuff tomorrow.

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2014 in Sailing in the Northumberland Strait

 

July 4th – Charlottetown, July 5th – Souris

Yesterday (July 4th), we decided to go to Charlottetown by car. It only took about an hour to get there unlike when we travel by boat which usually takes several days! We did a bit of shopping and then went down to the waterfront. Charlottetown is really celebrating the 150th Charlottetown Conference. There is a pavilion right on the waterfront and all sorts of things to see. What really surprised us though were the free concerts. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday during the summer, there will be concerts – Natalie McMaster played last night, Serena Ryder is playing next week, Burton Cummings, The Sheepdogs. We must have looked a bit confused – we were trying to pay to get into the pavilion and when the security guard talked to us about this, we were really surprised about the free concerts. We would like to take the boat there for the Burton Cummings concert on July 24th but we will see. Here is a link with the information.

I took some pictures of the pavilion, the sand sculptures and of course of us being goofy tourists. Included in the second picture is Dennis with his old navy buddy and his Joy. They moved from Halifax to Montegue, PEI. David (nicknamed Zipper) was in the navy with Dennis many years ago. He and  Joy moved to the island in June. They bought, as David describes it, a small blue house with a big red barn. He was right! David loves fixing cars and has a beautiful orange Mustang in the yard. We are supposed to go to the car show today but because of the weather, we may just hang around the boat.

Charlottetown 2014 Charlottetown 2014 Charlottetown 2014

 

Today, we are waiting for Hurricane Arthur to land. The winds are starting to pick up but no rain yet. The marina has all sorts of extra lines on the docks and we do too. The wind is from the south-east which is a good direction because the break wall will take most of the pounding. Here is a collage of the scene at 9:00 – not too bad yet!

Souris July 5

Well, that is all the news for now. Maybe more later after the storm. We are thinking that it might be a good time to go and look for sea glass (after the storm, that is – not during!)

By the way, so far we have travelled 0.65 kilometres by boat – from the storage area to the water. We will eventually leave Souris – maybe Tuesday or Wednesday. Dennis says the winds will be good for a sail to Pictou!

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2014 in Sailing in the Northumberland Strait

 

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July 3rd – Souris, PEI

Since the boat is now in the water, we were able to finish a lot of work, so today was kind of a slacker day. Only a few hours of boat chores! 🙂 We still have stuff to do but we can take our time as we aren’t going to be going anywhere until after Hurricane Arthur which is supposed to arrive on Saturday evening.

Louise LaBrech, the lady who fixed the canvas work on the dodger/bimini did a great job! So, now all the pieces are back and we are able to put the whole thing together. The dodger/bimini is really important in all kinds of weather – it protects us from wind, rain and sun.

So, today I drove down to the beach. Tomorrow, weather permitting, we will go again and look for sea glass. Down at the beach, there is a great boardwalk as well as a few little fishing shack stores. These are new and are really pretty – one of them sells sea glass jewellery.

Anyway, the entire boardwalk is totally accessible for wheelchairs – you can even take your wheelchair below the wall and get onto the beach (although, I’m not sure if I would do that, but it can be done!). The other neat thing about the beach is the outside shower – it is used for cleaning off the salt water and for cleaning your feet. What a great idea!

Here are a few pictures of the Souris beach.

Souris Beach

 

Souris Beach

Souris Beach

 

That’s about it for today. We’ve moved closer into the harbour in order to be prepared for the storm. Much closer to everything too!

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2014 in Sailing in the Northumberland Strait

 

July 2nd – the Split Crow goes in the water

We totally enjoyed the fireworks last night – considering Souris is a town of about 1300 people, they sure put on a good show! We were very impressed with the quality of the fireworks.

Today was the big day – moving day, I guess! We were scheduled to have the boat dropped in the water at 11:00 but because it was supposed to get windy later on, Peter (the man who is responsible for running the travel lift) suggested that we start a bit early. So, he quickly drove over to the boatyard with the travel lift and proceeded to bring the boat down to the water.

Here’s the video of the Split Crow moving down from the parking lot to the water. I’m entering the movie in Cannes next year.

Here’s a picture of it when he was picking it up.

Split Crow - travel lift

 

He took the boat all the way down to the wharf. It is about 0.65 of a kilometre (I measured it on my bike). He was an excellent driver and really knew how to manoeuvre the travel lift. I took some videos of the procedure and will post that at a later date once I edit them to a reasonable length.

Here’s another picture of the boat on its way.

travel lift

 

A few people came to watch and Tom made himself useful by hopping on the boat once it was in the water. I thought that this was pretty funny because of course I was busy videoing the whole thing and forgot about getting on the boat. I had to share this picture of Tom waving goodbye!

travel lift

He and Dennis brought the boat over and here is a picture that Glen and Jo took from Parry Sound. They were watching the entire show on the web cam. Pretty neat!

Docking the boat

Dennis is in green and I am the one with the red top. If you are interested in seeing the harbour in Souris, just click on this link: http://www.sourisharbourauthority.com/harbour-cam/

That’s all the excitement for the day!

 

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

 

July 1st – Happy Canada Day from Souris, PEI!

I wasn’t smart enough yesterday to go for a bike ride early in the morning and had quite the workout in the blazing sun at noon hour. Today, I went for a great ride very early and was back by 8:15 – just in time to do boat chores. 🙂 I took some nice pictures this morning of Souris and the surrounding area. The picture of the tombstone was in a little park in West Souris where the Acadians settled in 1800 or so.

Souris

Souris Scenes

Souris Scenes

After my bike ride, I helped Dennis polish the boat. Usually I don’t do any of that because I always had to work but now I have no excuse! After polishing, I had to sand the water line and then I had to polish the other side of the boat. Then, I continued with the inside cleaning. The whole thing was exhausting! I was thinking that I should maybe go back to work just until the boat is ready to go in the water. 🙂

Speaking of the boat going in the water, tomorrow is the big day! Hopefully everything will go right and then we’ll be down at the dock enjoying cool ocean breeze – that is after all the boat chores are done. I had no idea how much work there was! I just thought – well, actually, I never really thought about it. Dennis just did everything. Hmm…

Good news about the bimini. Eric Gallant’s sister is going to sew up the holes and even in almost the same colour! We were worried about this because it would not be fun to be out on the water with no protection from the sun or rain. So, we will pick it up tomorrow.

We went downtown this afternoon and checked out the Canada Day celebrations. Everyone was having a lot of fun! We are looking forward to the fireworks tonight. Of course, they don’t start until 10:00, so I hope I can stay awake! As I said earlier, I am exhausted from all the boat chores and there are more chores tomorrow. 🙂

That’s it for today!

 

August 18th and 19th – Pictou to Souris

So, we had a good time in Pictou, Nova Scotia. It is a very pretty town and we were able to meet up with our friends Sharon and Jim who are travelling to the Caribbean on their sailboat. They left Kenosha, Wisconsin (near Chicago) in mid June and they expect to be gone for two years. They are travelling with three cats and while they were in Summerside, one of the cats went missing and it took three hours of scouring the marina (many people helped look, including Guy LaFleur, who was on his boat!). Finally, Sharon went back to the boat as she was very upset and could hear the cat meowing. I guess one of the cupboard doors was left open and the cat climbed in and then kept going down further and further into the boat.
Anyway, it all worked out but I am sure it must have been a very unpleasant experience to lose your cat in a strange place.
Here are a couple of pictures – the first one is of Jim and Sharon and the second one is of Dennis and Jim – they are quite the pair!

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While we were in Pictou, we had a bit of a disaster at the marina. We were sleeping and suddenly could hear a polite but insistent knock on our boat. It was Jim and he had unplugged the power from our boat as well as his because one of the electrical panels on one dock over had started on fire! The firetrucks arrived and doused it but it could have burned down the whole marina – yikes! I guess Sharon heard all sorts of snapping and crackling and told Jim to unplug the boat from the electrical panel (we had already had some trouble with it earlier) and then he saw the fire. The whole marina was shut down then – no power for anyone which was probably a good idea.

On Sunday, we parted ways and hope to see Jim and Sharon (with all three cats!) in the Bahamas…

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We had a good sail from Pictou to Souris – it was lots of fun! The wind actually went in the right direction for the entire day and varied between 15 and 20 (which is perfect for me) and we made good time, much faster than if we motored. It was a good way to end the summer. It would have been perfect had we seen a few dolphins and whales jumping by the bow of the boat, but it was not to be. I had to settle for a gigantic horsefly hitching a ride, some seagulls and a few gannets doing their dive bombings. On the crossing over from Pictou, I listened to an excellent podcast from CBC Ideas – The Mortal Sea. It is about the collapse of the fishing industry and if you have an extra hour, it is definitely worth listening to.

Here is a little video we made – it features Dennis on the guitar.

Once we arrived in Souris, we met up with a guy on a homemade boat from Duluth, Minnesota. He and he wife were going to the Caribbean. Here is a picture of the boat (the man made it himself).

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We are now getting the boat ready to pulled on shore. I would recommend Souris as a good place to keep a boat here in the winter. The rates are good and the staff is very friendly and knowledgeable. They also have a webcam and so now Dennis can watch the boat all winter…
Here’s the link to the webcam – you might be able to see us! Souris Harbour Cam
Check out the picture below – I have red circled us.

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I will be coming home on Wednesday – Eric, the marina manager, is lending us his "rig" so that Dennis can drive me to the Charlottetown Airport. The boat is coming out of the water on Thursday (weather permitting) so hopefully Dennis will be home on Sunday.

That's all the news for today!

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2013 in Sailing in the Northumberland Strait