Nova Scotia

In the last installment we were in foggy Dover… We never saw it but in the varying fogginess we were able to patch together a general feel for the place – seemed like a nice place. It was foggy on the way out too, but not as bad as on the way in – so the passage through the cut was easy peasy!

We sailed in fog the entire way to Halifax – fortunately only about 25 miles away – because it was cold… The guide book warns of all the ship traffic in and out of the busy port and there are shipping lanes right into the entrance to the harbor – taking up most of the space. Not knowing if they were strict about their shipping lanes like the Europeans (boats like us have to travel perpendicularly across the lanes) or if they were lax like the Americans who basically see the shipping lanes as pretty pink lines on the chart as far as I can make out. Anyway, I call up the harbor traffic control to let them know we’re approaching – we still can’t see more than a few boat lengths in front of us – and they responded in some kind of unintelligible English (I think). I was so taken aback by my lack of understanding that I froze and didn’t answer. Instead we made a plan to squeeze up the edge of the lanes in the narrow space left – so that we didn’t have to bother anyone. Turned out all this angst was for naught – just as we were approaching the harbor main entrance, the fog lifted and the temperature went from 62F to 76F over the course of 30 minutes. The new found visibility revealed not a ship in sight – we were clearly not in a Rotterdam like area! Difficult to know what all the fuss was about since during our whole time in Halifax, the Harbor Traffic Control basically told everyone that called them that there was either no traffic or perhaps a single ship entering or leaving… Seems the guide book needs a revision!

We arrived at Halifax and completely unlike us, we took a slip – right downtown next to the HMCN Sackville – a WWII U-Boat seeking Corvett. Not only did we take a slip, but when we arrived, there was a plaque placed on the dock identifying Toodle-oo! as the recipient of the reservation!

Being downtown was fun – the first vacation Laurie and I had taken together was to Nova Scotia and we had a riotous time at the Split Crow pub listening to and singling along with a great Irish band – so shortly after we docked, we found our way to the Split Crow which had hardly changed a bit in the ensuing 15 years – but we were too early for the band!

The main reason we took a slip was to attempt to equalize the batteries – for which we needed to be connected to dockside electric. We duly connected up and set about equalizing – a 6 hour process… except in our case it would be rather longer than that – since the equalizing wasn’t happening. I managed to contact Magnevolt – the manufacturer of our charger who offered all sorts of seemingly helpful suggestions – the most outlandish being to fool the whole system by dunking the thermostat safety control into a glass of ice water – which we duly did – to no avail – the thing just won’t do it. Either our battery bank is too large for the 100A charger to handle of the brand new charger is defunct… (If anyone out there has a clue that might help, I’m all ears!)

We were up in Halifax for the start of the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron’s rally to the Bras d’Or lakes in Cape Breton that OCC Port Officer John Van-S had invited us to attend. The only problem was that there didn’t seem to be much of a plan for the cruise, so we didn’t know when to start. We finally got a clue that some boats were leaving in the morning, others were leaving a couple of days later due to the weather (weather? what weather??? We were clueless)… anyway we decided we had to leave in the morning as we had a cocktail reservation at John Van-S’s waterfront property in Jeddore – so we left about 2 hours after all the other boats had left The Squadron.

We had a marvelous sail to Jeddore, the wind was 10 – 15 knots on the beam, the seas flat and for the most part, the fog stayed away. Jeddore is 4 or 5 miles up a river/estuary and to get to John’s you have to take a turn to a different waterway and follow tiny little markers – all rather hairy and I’d certainly prefer not to have to navigate these in fog…

We arrived at Johns just behind the fleet – 4 other boats and watched the quirky anchoring dance that it appears they enter into each and every time… While one boat gets positioned, the others mill around in circles – fast circles – until everyone is landed…

It was good to meet some new faces at John and Heather’s lovely house and we knew it would be an interesting cruise we had embarked upon…


Internet still too weak to add photos…

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