NOVEMBER 2ND, 2008
Today we are homeward bound via the intrastate highway system. It takes us approximately 15 hours to make the trip back to Florida.
I will attempt to summarize some of our information from the trip for the benefit of others who may be considering such adventures.
We covered 3,222.2 nautical miles this summer. We went as far north as Baddeck, Nova Scotia (on the Bras D'Or Lakes) and as far south as Fishing Bay, Virginia (on the Chesapeake). Originally we had hoped to sail the south coast of Newfoundland but we soon realized that we did not have enough time to do that. We found that as one goes further afield, with a limited time schedule, you suffer a significant drop in the percentage of time that you are able to sail. Often you find yourself motoring, in light air conditions, in order to cover the required distance each day. This is one of our biggest complaints. Either we need to retire or else not venture so far.
The summer time trip north, from the Chesapeake to Maine, is nearly always a long, hot, windless, motorboat trip. All one wants to do is to get there.
When visiting Nova Scotia and further, large distances are covered requiring much time and significant allowances for weather and other complications.
The coast of Nova Scotia is not sheltered like Maine. It is the open ocean where many currents and weather systems interact. This makes life rather interesting at times.
Unlike Maine you have to often stay well off the coast of Nova Scotia due to the prevalence of rocks and ledges scattered about. This often limits ones appreciation of the coast itself.
The coastal economy of Canada is in the basement since the fishing industry has all but evaporated.
We have never met nicer people than those that we encountered while visiting the Canadian coast!!!! I have read this fact several times but I can not reiterate it enough.
Yacht clubs in Canada tend to be casual, inexpensive places frequented by avid, experienced sailors who are very outgoing, unassuming, pleasant, and helpful. The clubs usually have complete facilities, including internet, and they are also the best place to obtain diesel fuel.
VHF weather reporting in Canada is adequate but not as well organized as in the U.S. and two to three days is the maximum that they will predict for.
No fresh meats, fresh produce, cigarettes, or significant amounts of alcohol may be transported back and forth between Canada and the U.S..
We experienced rather relaxed U.S. border protection services, however, the Canadians were more thorough and one is likely to be stopped by their coastal patrol boats somewhere along the way. On the other hand, the Canadians were very pleasant and apologetic when they were inconveniencing us.
During the summer there is no lobstering in Canada. That means no buoys to worry about.
On the whole the weather is better in Maine and Maine is also more picturesque and protected.
In both Canada and Maine, both sailors and businesses begin the winterization process as of October 1st.
In both Maine and Canada the water is very cold. You will have difficulties if in it for much more than ten minutes. Therefore survival suits are inexpensive insurance for emergency situations and wetsuits are recommended although not absolutely necessary for diving to cut pot wraps off your propeller shaft.
Engine repair facilities are available nearly everywhere.
Sail repair facilities are harder to find in Canada.
Routine towing services are not available in Canada.
In many areas the tides and currents must be taken into consideration.
During the return trip from Maine in the fall you tend to have more wind.
One must motor through both the C & D Canal and the Cape Cod Canal.
South of Maine if you wish to stay in most village harbors you are required to take a mooring or slip at significant expense. This is not true in Maine and Canada.
Most village harbors in Maine and Canada have town dinghy docks which give the sailor free access to the shore.
Passing through New York City, via the East River, at night is a wonderful experience.
Most people dread the trip along the New Jersey shore, however, IF you are patient and time things right, it can be a wonderful sail.
The Chesapeake Bay is a wonderful area to sail, however, access to the shore is often limited by private property and towns with no public dinghy docks. Being couped up on the boat for long periods is our second biggest complaint. So, in the future we are going the concentrate our travels in areas where there are limited restrictions on shore access.
The number of full time cruisers out there doing the "snowbird" migration each year is truly amazing. In the fall you often often surrounded by countless boats making their way south.
Next summer we plan to concentrate our sailing along the coast of Maine and do extensive exploring and hiking along the way.
If you are interested in our experiences and have specific questions you may contact us at advnturunlimitd at yahoo dot com.
We would like to thank everyone who helped make our trip a success including those who enriched our experience along the way. Hopefully we will see more of you next year.
Reminder: This blog is presented in reverse order (the most recent posting is first). Also, all photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.