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"Egret" N4674 - Scott and Mary Flanders

Ed. note: On February 10, 2011, Scott and Mary Flanders, on board their Nordhavn 46, Egret, arrived in the Canary Islands. In doing so, Egret became the eighth Nordhavn to circumnavigate the globe. It had been four years, five months since the couple departed Gran Canaria, intent on seeing as much of the earth as possible, although not necessarily with an end goal to circle the globe. Voyage of Egret documents the Flanders’ entire trip, an endless adventure that has put them in touch with the most fabulous places and interesting people. Much route planning and forecasting was required in order to get to some of their ports of call. But the days of detailed planning are over…for now. “Egret” is now back in Fort Lauderdale, the place the couple called home for so many years, and, ironically, the starting point of their world wide cruising escapade that began with the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally in 2004. They currently travel hither and yon, sometimes by boat, sometimes not. Here, the latest update from the Flanders as they keep us continually apprised.

Position: 44 38.28N 063 36.64W On anchor, North West Arm, Halifax, Nova Scotia

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August 26, 2011

Hello mis amigos, Egret made the long trek this morning from Baddeck to Orangedale. Orangedale is the smaller sister (pop 150) to the nearby town of Whycocomagh (pop 400). Nearby is by road because to reach Orangedale by water from Whycocomagh it is a trip back north then winding your way thru islands and channels to Odale. There is a narrow entrance channel to the small round bay. The shallowest we saw was 8.2 feet (2.6m), however egretthe bottom is soft and with keel cooling we have No Fear. TK dropped in 9.2' and we churned mud setting the anchor. Down with the dink and off to a wharf where we met Billy Martin throwing a stick in the water for his dog. Billy asked where we came from and we said Baddeck. Then he asked where before and we said Sydney. That isn't the answer he was looking for and he asked again and we said Italy. A little light went on and he smiled and said he has never been outside Cape Breton Island and there is no reason too. Billy is probably late 40's just guessing and lives in a bungalow just over there and he pointed.

Next we met Bruce at the local one pump gas station, grocery store, meat market, hardware store, furniture store, auto parts store, liquor store, fishing tackle store and ice cream shop. So we talked a egretbit and snapped a few pics. We wanted to buy something for his time so put three bars of Canterbury chocolate on the counter along with $10 Canadian. He pushed the money back and said it was on him. We insisted we pay and did but couldn't get over the generosity of the store keeper. Then it was off to the local train station/museum for a look and afternoon tea. Well the tea deal is done but the museum was great with all the original stuff from years ago including a Morse code sending deal and very early phone and so on. After walking around the museum we asked the young man where we could get a cup of coffee. He said Whycocomagh. There is no retail place in Orangedale but the general store. Cool.

egretSo back to the dink and an extensive shoreline dinghy cruise. Mary spotted a couple bald eagles and kingfishers. Later a group of Canadian geese popped in for a visit. The bottom was littered with sand oysters but along the way were signs saying Lease 1211 so I guess the bottom has an oyster lease and we left them alone. Back to Egret and later a Canadian sailboat pulled in and it was social hour once again. They are new boaters but not new travelers having traveled extensively by cruise ship and air. The boat is for their short summer season in Bras D'Or Lake and didn't hear of any plans to venture outside the lake.

This has nothing to do with Egret's current cruising, however I was just reading something I wrote in the past and had called Egret, m/y Egret. Let me explain. In the past we always referred to Egret as m/v Egret - motor vessel Egret. While in the Mediterranean we said motor vessel Egret on the VHF and were promptly and loudly told "you are a motor yacht, not a motor vessel"!! We were a bit intimidated by this outburst from a professional seaman on the VHF and from that time until today we refer to ourselves as m/y Egret. The AIS lists ships as m/v, s/v or f/v (sailing or fishing). For what it's worth.

Early the next morning Billy Miller was out on the dock throwing a stick for his dog, then it was over to the Canadian's boat for tea. Back aboard, leaving Orangedale was a lengthy affair. First the chain was a ball of mud that took a while to rinse then the anchor didn't want to turn loose. So we ran over it which usually works, but didn't. Then it was a circle deal and that broke the suction and up TK came along with the most tenacious mud in Egret's travels. Mary worked for what seemed a half hour to pick and shove the mud off the plate. The mud laughed at the salt water wash down hose. Finally it was clean but Egret had been under way for some time while MS cleaned.

egretNext it was backtracking thru the narrow passage between islands, around the corner and sorta south to Isle Madame and the village of D' Escousse passing thru St Peters Canal and a lock. The narrow strip of land between Bras D'Or Lake and access to the Atlantic had been a portage for the local Mi'kmaq Indians for thousands of years then again for French Canadian merchants who portaged their ships across to Bras D'Or Lake and back. Work on the canal began in 1854 and was completed in 1869. It took those 15 years to pick and blast their way thru a solid granite hill for the 800 meter passage (850yd). Going thru the lock was a simple affair with little wind and no current. We followed an American sailboat into the lock and side tied for the 20 or so minutes for both sets of double gates to open and close. While docked a young lady took Egret's boat information and gave us a short history of the lock and canal. Both the lockmaster and young lady commented on Egret's oversize inflatable fenders.

egretApproaching D'Escousse there was an extra set of red and green entrance buoys that didn't show on C-Map charting so we followed those instead of the chart and were glad we did after seeing bottom inside at low tide. Tides here are about 2m or 6+'. TK dropped in 17' and we sent out 100' of chain (5.3m - 31m). The cruising guide said the Pearl restaurant down the street had good food so down went the dink and to the dock we went. There were a gang of guys at the dock so we chatted a while and asked about the Pearl. It was closed but Claire's on the waterfront 75' away has good food. Claire's is a fast food serve thru the window with bench seating outside deal. We ordered seafood chowder and fish cakes. The chowder was very good with shrimp, haddock, scallops and even a bit of lobster in a creamy white sauce. The fish cakes were boiled haddock mixed in mashed potato pattys. Not so good. We met Al and his daughter Katlin. Katlin was a sweetie working on new front teeth. Al worked a hard sell to have us stay an extra day to attend a charity pig roast on the other side of the island. We declined then he threw in a local yacht club burgee the next morning if we stayed but we do need to get going so declined. We told Katlin the story about attending a Tongan Feast on Nuitoputopou (sp) - New Potatoes - in Tonga and how they buried pigs, yams and other stuff in the sand over coals layered with more sand over palm fronds and such. After dinner we walked the road in both directions and what a beautiful little village it is. We met some Americans from Mass who have been summering here for years. I believe because of the inexpensive second home pricing there are a number of foreigners with summer homes scattered thru this area and Cape Breton. Another thing we learned is Isle Madame's population is half what it was. Many locals are working the 'oil patch' in Alberta making exceptional wages. Of the group of guys we met earlier, Al told us he and most of them returned to I' M. after time in Alberta feathering their nest. Later before leaving we left a donation with Claire for the hospital's pig roast.

This morning (Sat) raising anchor we had to run over the anchor once again and do the circle deal but once free the mud wasn't like the day before and came off easily. Egret is under way now for the Nova Scotian mainland and are currently crossing Chedabucto Bay. Mary just emptied the holding tank here in deep water we have been using since Sydney. Bras D'Or Lake is a no discharge zone. All marinas in Bras D'Or Lake have pump outs but Egret has the capacity so we did not go to the dock. We do our best to leave a clean wake, literally and figuratively. More to follow.

Once at the mainland we chose a twisty inland passage thru the rocks to one of two anchorages. It is calm, less than 6 knots of wind, overcast and the temps are in the low 70'sF. The Naiad's have been centered since leaving Sydney and all is well.

OK, we picked an anchorage. One anchorage had a small village and one was remote. We chose remote Port Howe. It was a no brainer winding Egret's way in between rocks, hidden rocks and so on because of the excellent C Map charting. Charting wasn't perfect but close enough. One thing we will say, this is day hop cruising Only. NO fooling around at night. There are anchorages every couple miles and no reason to take a chance. Canadian Coast Guard broadcasts weather continually on VHF 21. I'm not sure of its overall accuracy but it is a good indicator and when their forecasts include fog in the late afternoons, that has been spot on. Port Howe has several choices to anchor but we choose the westerly cove and anchored between two small islands. TK dropped in 39' and sent out 200' of chain (12m - 62m) with no wind forecast. The breeze was puffing to 16 knots on entering then died to 2-3 knots between the islands and in the lee of the low hills and trees. The smell of fir trees was super strong. The water was like glass. Down went the dink and off dinghy exploring the low tide shoreline. We took the cameras in case we saw a critter but when we found mussels we returned to Egret to leave the cameras and lashed a small bait net to a bamboo pole we picked off the beach in Ponza, Italy. So we scooped while Mary was on the oars. The mussels were on a shallow heavy grit bottom exposed to the sun. We found them in just a couple places because it was mainly deep but were easily able to dip a partial bucket.

egretBack to Egret for cocktails in the flybridge. The sunset was spectacular. First we refilled the bucket with water and sprinkled in some oatmeal as we were told by another cruiser back in Maine a few years back. This supposingly cleans out the sand from inside the mussel. It was so still you could hear the offshore whistle buoys moaning away. You could hear fish farts if you were still. Any splash from a fish or bird call sounded loud. Then the fog moved in, first to the north then eventually to the south blotting out the sun. When it rolled over Egret it was time to head back inside. Fog is not a usual thing back in Florida so it still is a thrill to watch it develop. There were also no mosquitoes that night. Perhaps they can't fly in fog, who knows?

0800 Sunday morning Egret departed Port Howe. We had to make the decision to stay or move before the forecast weather moves in from the south Sunday night. We need to keep moving so we chose to move up the St Mary's River to the head of the river. At the head is Sherbrooke Village, a Canadian (smaller) version of Williamsburg in Virginia. So if weather keeps Egret still for a couple days, this seems like a good idea. The only downside is the river is quite shallow so we'll see if Egret can make her way to the top. Currently Egret is running the offshore bell buoys for a quick transit. More to follow.

It didn't work out. We arrived near the mouth of St Mary's River mid afternoon at high falling so moved over to Spanish Ship Bay inside Liscomb Harbour, a bit farther south. The guide said it was a remote anchorage with no boats. If we "stumble through some thickets to the road.......you will find a general store". Well, the bay is surrounded by holiday homes and the road is exposed for a few hundred yards. We are the only boat on anchor because why would someone come here with all the nearby remote anchorages like Port Howe? We'll see what happens in the morning but we didn't bother lowering the dink.

Next morning. Split at first light and took the inshore route winding in and out of islands, rocks and shoals. Many of the buoys have been removed, however by staying in deeper water and not cutting corners the shallowest we saw was 40' (12.5m) and usually it was 50' plus. Egret ended up in Horse's Head Harbour which is a tiny harbour with a few local boats on moorings and protected by a fishhook shaped type spit. I guess if you have enough rum it may appear to be a horse's head. We are dying to get off the boat and do a bit of beach walking but there are noisy families of terns nesting on the spit behind the boat so we won't disturb them.

Port Howe was such a jewel we shouldn't have left after a single overnight. However, this is how we learn and on our way back and forth in the future Port Howe will get more time. We'll probably hit one more 'remote' anchorage before Halifax then in Halifax hit the bricks to a grocery store for fresh veggies and bread.

OK, this is more like it. Twenty one nm SW is Pope's Harbour, similar to Port Howe and is remote with no vacation homes and a pristine shoreline. As soon as the anchor was down (19' - 125' of chain - 6m - 39m), so went the dink and off we went for a bit of shoreline exploring. The bay is somewhat large with different coves along the sides. This morning we rode around the sunny side at mid tide and egretreturned for lunch and a few minutes nap chores. Then off in the afternoon for the now sunny side. We landed on a small island with a rocky shore and fir trees on top. We did a bit of hiking along the steep shoreside rocks to a cap at one end and sat for a while. Later a number of ocean kayaks came thru from an open water training mission. The instructor said she had never landed on Iron Tree Island (I guess that is where we were) so we said we were the first ones to land ever and claimed it for ourselves. She said OK. I don't know what we would do with the island but freeze 10 months a year waiting for the 2 good months. Its not good odds so we gave it back. The wind has been a steady 15-18 knots, is shirt sleeve warm in the sun and hopefully later this evening will keep the bugs away. I believe we will stay one more day then hop over to Halifax, about 42nm.

The individual stops we write about don't mean much to you geographically unless you plan to cruise here someday and have maps or even electronic charts to follow Egret's course heading toward the U.S. These stops and what we write about are sort of a primer to coastal cruising. One thing to consider is Egret arrived in Sydney late in the usual cruising season. Normally early July you can hit Nova Scotia. It will still be a bit foggy and cool but you can really start getting a flavor of the country. The first trip Egret landed in Shelbourne, N.S. mid July and spend a couple days there before moving slowly along toward Halifax. Nova Scotia has a large number of festivals the last week of July to mid August. The first year we attended the Mahon Bay Wooden Boat Festival in the town of Mahon Bay (south of Halifax) and was one of the highlights of the entire N.S. cruise (last week of July). It was the people we met that made it so special. Egret opened the doors to these folks. If you were going to cruise Nova Scotia just one time ever I would start in Lunenburg, move to Mahon bay and visit Mahon Bay (the village) and Chester (in Mahon Bay), move to Halifax and pick up guests if any are coming, stop in Pope's Harbour and Port Howe then move into Bras D'Or Lake, make your headquarters in Baddeck and cruise the different remote bays from there and return south quickly at the end of the season. Lunenburg to Newport is about 280nm or less than two days run in good weather. If you hop to Maine it is even shorter but then again early season there will be fog. We think it is better to be at sea.

egretBack to Pope's Harbour. This is what Pope's Harbour looks like on C Map charting. Dinghy exploring in P's H. is lotsa fun, particularly at low tide. The water is clear so you can see all the critters on the bottom, kelp and different plants and grasses. The shoreline is rocky with exposed smooth rocks and a stunted fir forest inland. So you land the dink in an area with egretlittle surge and let it bang away on the rocks - its no biggie and zero damage. So we explored and putzed ashore for hours then back to Egret for a bit of maintenance. Now we'll include 3 pictures from dinghy exploring. The pictures themselves aren't that special. What is that special is we took the time to See what we took a egretpicture of. When was the last time you had Time to See? The first is simply folded rock from an upheaval eons ago. The next is the forest floor. The last is a picture of someone's left over dinner laying on interesting rock. In the meantime we were getting e-mail whiffs of egrethurricane Irene so we fired off e-mails to OMNI Bob and friends with internet access. Bob wrote three e-mails back nearly immediately with projections. Initially we planned to backtrack into Bras D'Or Lake to eliminate any sea action but in the end decided to head to Halifax, up the NW arm where Egret anchored before.

So let's talk about what to do in a hurricane. We will just tell of Egret's experiences and won't cross into the 'what if' category because it is arguable and we don't argue. Prior to arriving in the Deep South (Ushuaia, Argentina) Egret's only real weather on anchor was in Turkey during a two day 50+ knot sustained blow. By chance this is the exact time we lost Egret's main anchor and chain in the same blow because of a dumb attack on my part. (long story - doesn't matter) We retreated to a sand bar we saw earlier to anchor. Egret has two 50' (15.6m) lengths of 3/8" (11mm) chain stored under the engine. Each piece weighs 75lbs (34kg) and is all I can manage getting out of the engine room. We coupled those together along with 250' (78m) of 10,000lb test Sampson braided nylon and put Egret's giantus Fortress aluminum - Danforth type - anchor and buried it with lotsa engine in the sand bank. We also put out a stern anchor by dinghy to keep from swinging because a Fortress/Danforth is good in sand or mud but Does Not turn well. In my opinion they are only good in a straight pull and for that do a super job. We sat for those two days on anchor watch with Mary or I in the pilothouse 24 hours a day with the drag alarm set on the plotter/gps/bottom machine. We had the shallow draft alarm set tight as well as the deep alarm and GPS drag alarm. (Larger generator boats (gen's running 24/7) would be wise to set a radar zone alarm as well) No problem in Turkey and when the blow stopped we got a diver and recovered the anchor and chain.

In Ushuaia, Argentina harbor we had two major sustained blows. The first was two days with 60+ sustained gusting to over 70. TK was buried half way to China after 2 days. Egret was the only boat on anchor, the rest were on moorings. The nominal depth was 27' and we had 275' of chain out (9m x 86m) and 5 snubbers. The entire town and Antarctic charter boat fleet was watching Egret. She didn't drag an inch. After the blow the finest compliment to TK was a Frenchman who came over and wanted to take a template off TK to have a smaller version made for their boat. The second blow caught Egret on the windward side of the dock. The winds were similar but lasted a very long night. I won't get into the tide issue but will say you DO NOT want to be caught on the windward side of a dock in a blow like this. In wind like this if the fenders collapse or there are any issues at all you Can Not get off the dock. Don't thing you can spring off the dock because you Can Not. The pressure is unbelievable. Few boats have Egret's oversize fenders and even two of the large hole thru the middle fenders had the inner cores ripped out. The fetch across the bay was less than a half mile and waves were breaking against Egret's side and heavy water was going over the boat. Egret survived that with just some gel coat damage from the dock pilings. Gel coat is easy to repair. In fact, on Egret's way south we will have her gel coat touched up by my former boat building company partner farther in the Carolinas. A 40' or sloop on the dock ahead of Egret had its toe rail obliterated, serious glass work, stanchions ripped out and so on. It was ugly. They didn't have fenders for the job.

There was a third incident involving hurricanes and that happened before Egret left the U.S. She was in the Chesapeake. In the end it was a non event with 46 knots max but there is a lesson to pass along. We looked at a chart of the Chesapeake and chose the northern most river on the NE side. There is a 9' hole between two headlands. We set 4 anchors and had 4 lines ashore to each side. Egret pushed thru well over a foot of mud to get in (4.5' depth) and left in 11'. There is no tide, it was all storm water. The lessons were, first it was fresh water and reasonably close to help. Second if the worse happened and Egret drug her anchors she would end up in soft mud. With the other pumps turned off and keel cooling we could literally dredge our way out. (We have a bit of experience with dredging having run aground here and there in the early years) The biggest lesson was it took a full day to get set up. I would have guessed a couple hours. It took a half day to retrieve all the gear.

Where Egret will be in Halifax has mud banks in case of the worst. There is also help nearby. And if the hurricane by chance was more than a category 1 or 2, we would get a room leaving Egret as best we could with 4 heavy anchors set and shorelines. Egret's anchors are: TK, 50kg - 110lb Bugul type, 34kg - 75lb same, 40kg - 88lb Delta, FX 37 Fortress. Egret's shorelines are: 3 - 3/4" 320' (19mm x 100m) polypropylene lines, 2 - 3/4" x 300' (19mm x 94m) three lay nylon lines from the parachute anchor and one 5/8" x 250' 10,000lb test Samson braided nylon (that can be used with anchors or as a shoreline). In addition we carry numerous short lengths of 3/8" chain for wrapping rough tie off's or rocks. Plus lotsa docklines that can be coupled for shoreline duty. One recurring theme running thru VofE since the early days is safety. We do not take chances. Chicken of the sea comes to mind.

One other thing that deserves mention is anchors. We find the far majority of boats have anchors for their locale, mainly day anchoring or perhaps occasional overnight during settled cruising season weather. A good example was last night. A salty 38' sloop anchored somewhat near Egret. They finally got the anchor set on the third attempt. The holding in Pope Harbour is very good in heavy mud with no weed. TK hooked up instantly and we had to circle this morning to get him up. So they have a girl anchor. Girl anchors have no place on a cruising boat that is going to cruise. Today's modern anchors are So much better than the long term accepted norm it isn't even close. Understand anchoring safety is in Your Hands. Boat manufacturers generally put on the smallest (cheapest to them) anchor they can get away with and usually the same with the chain and windlass size. Particularly if you are ordering a new build do your research for anchors, chain and windlass. This is one time bigger Is better.

Back to cruising. Egret had a comfortable trip outside the buoys to Halifax. Nearing the approach we called Halifax Traffic on VHF 12 and asked permission to enter the harbor and proceed to the North West arm. Permission granted, monitor VHF 12 until you are at your destination. OK. All harbor movement is monitored by Halifax Traffic. Everyone calls Traffic including locals, local tour boats and even Canadian warship 332 entering the harbor. The warship reported at each turning mark as instructed. There is a reason for the tight control. In December, 1917, during WWI, ammunition carrier Mont Blanc collided with Imo, a Belgian relief ship due to human error. A fire started on Mont Blanc and the crew abandoned ship rowing for the upwind shore. Drifting to town the blast incinerated Mont Blanc, more than 1.900 were killed ashore and 9,000 wounded. Almost the entire northern end of Halifax was leveled. The barrel of one of Mont Blanc's guns was found 5 kilometers away - 3 miles. It was the largest non nuclear blast in history. Relief efforts were immediate and money flowed from as far away as New Zealand "but most Haligonians remember the U.S. state of Massachusetts which donated $750,000 and instantly sent an army of volunteers and doctors to help in the recovery. To this day Halifax sends a Christmas tree to the city of Boston as a token of appreciation."

Once in NW Arm we took our time heading up the river like arm weaving in and out of local sailboats and fleets of kids in dinghys and day boats. Mary spotted a N46 at the first yacht club. We turned around and pulled up behind but no one was home. It was the next to last N46 built, Resolution, formerly owned by Andy Lund who took her across the Atlantic and later cruised Scandinavia. So we went anchored at the head of the arm in 30' and dropped 135' of chain (9.4 - 42m). Down went the dink, we putzed for a bit then took a dinghy ride back up to Resolution and met owners Terry and Christine. Terry and crew brought Resolution back across on her own bottom.* We chatted a bit, helped Terry with battery charging info and then were taken to the local supermarket for important supplies like beer. We were OUT of Beer........gasp. Tomorrow they will drive to a nearby park, call on VHF 68 and we will pick them up for coffee aboard Egret. So starts Egret's social life in Halifax. OMNI Bob has been keeping up with a constant stream of Irene info and it appears Nova Scotia is more or less in the clear but we really feel for those who are not.

*Four N46's have crossed the Atlantic twice I know of: Kanaloa - same owners, Resolution - two owners, World Odd at Sea once - formerly Miss Texas once, and Egret........3 times. There could be others I don't know about. Of this group only Kanaloa has crossed the Pacific more than once, 3 times so far and the first N to cross the same ocean three times. Kanaloa also crossed the Indian Ocean twice.

For the last picture we will leave you with this. Egret's dinghy anchor for Holding is a 5lb Manson Supreme with 3' (1m) of 3/8" (11mm) chain. This is Egret's rocky shore and hooking in trees or bushes anchor Not for holding. As you can see it needed a little help. So we did. INSERT PICTURE 7450 HERE.

So there you have it, a bit of coastal cruising, hurricane info and Halifax history. Ciao.

To: Captain Scott - M/Y EGRET
Fm: O.M.N.I./USA www.oceanmarinenav.com Tel: 1-302-284-3268
1515UTC 26 AUG 2011

The latest advisory on Hurricane Irene. Thought you may be interested. Should expect Tropical Storm force winds there too, Less of a chance of Hurricane Force, but winds will slowly shift SSE-SW to W

At 1500UTC Hurricane Irene was located near 30.7N 77.3W with max sustained winds of 90kt and gusts to 110kt near the center. Gale force winds extend outward 250nm NE, 200nm SE, 130nm SW and 175nm NW of the center. Present motion is toward the NNW (360/deg) at 12kt. Based on air craft visits, Hrcn Irene as weakened just a bit. There is still a small window of opportunity for strengthening before reaching eastern N/Carolina. After that point, weakening is expected to be gradual and upper level shear and colder water impact Irene.

Forecast 27/0000UTC 32.2N 77.1W. Max winds 90kt, G/110kt. Gales outward 250nm east, 130nm SW and 160nm NW of the center.
Forecast 27/1200UTC 34.4N 76.6W. Max winds 90kt, G/110kt. Gales outward 250nm east, 130nm SW and 160nm NW of the center.
Forecast 28/1200UTC 39.5N 74.1W. Max winds 75kt, G/90kt. Gales outward 270nm east, 140nm SW and 120nm NW of the center.
Outlook 29/1800UTC 47.5N 68.6W. Max winds 55kt, G/65kt Gales outward 270nm, 140nm SW and 100nm NW of the center.
Outlook 30/1200UTC 55.5N 57.0W. Max winds 40kt, G/50kt near the center - Inland, extra-tropical

Looking back, Hurricane Irene is following in a similar pattern as did Hurricane Gloria did in Sept 1985. Generation of Gloria was further to the east and
moved slowly, steadily WNW-NW then ultimately turned toward the N then NNE after passing the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Gloria continued to move
NNE across western Long Island.

 

Irene is expected to weaken once it reaches the eastern N/Carolina coast. The difference with Irene when compared to Gloria is that Irene should catch a
slightly bigger portion of eastern N/Carolina and may not turn too much toward the NNE prior to making a second landfall on Long Island.
We still anticpate Gale force winds with gusts to Hurricane Force and Storm Surges of 5-10ft along the coast of Rhode Island. Storm surges of 5-10ft are
also expected along the New England coast with the highest surges along the coast of Maine. You should expect at least Tropical storm force conditions tolast 18hrs and could last as much as 24hrs

B/Rgds, Bob/OMNI

 

 

 

Position: 46 01.38N 60 47.08W Maskell Harbour, Bras D'Or Lake, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia

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August 17, 2011

Hello mis amigos, Egret is under way heading west thru St Patrick's Channel having left Baddeck early this morning. Well, not that early. It is a sunny day and the low rolling hills and summer homes along the way are a thing of great beauty. St Patrick's Channel is the western most channel in the multi fingered Bras D'Or Lake. Baddeck seems to be the focal point of all activity within the Lake itself. Yesterday evening we had a local stop by in a cute small trawler and said his trawler was featured by Sally Lee Brown 4 years ago in Passagemaker Magazine. He said because of Passagemaker and Latitudes and Attitudes Magazine (sail mag) that Baddeck has seen an influx of cruisers from down south. Hopefully in Egret's little way we can send a few folks to this pristine, nearly empty cruising ground. Locals tell us that when an anchorage has 3 boats it is packed. A bit different from Down East U.S.

At the end of today's whopping 19nm run is the village of Whycocomagh, population 70 according to an old cruising guide lent by a local. So this should be interesting. The other interesting thing is to see whether Egret can stay off the bottom. Canadian electronic charting is very good so we don't see any problems but we will stay in the pilothouse and keep an eye on the plotter. It is warm enough we could be in the flybridge if you know who wasn't so lazy and take the laptop up top with a remote GPS. So we'll sit here steering with a joystick winding our way in and around the various mud banks while MS is on the foredeck getting a bit of sun.

One thing of some concern is yesterday we took a quick look at internet weather - passageweather.com - and saw a tight ball of bad off the Eastern Caribbean predicted to turn north. It is somewhat rare they get tropical storms in this area because of the cold, south flowing Labrador Current but it could send large nasty seas into the mainland Nova Scotia bays we hoped to visit on the way south if it persists in heading up the east coast. After this bit of exploring we will return to Baddeck (internet access) and check on the storm.

Yesterday we heard from friends we met early 2008 in Chile. Egret was anchored in Caleta Ideal waiting on weather to cross Golfo de Penas (Gulf of Pain). It was New Years day and we woke at daybreak and saw an American sailboat anchoring not far from Egret. So we waited for them to come back to life after the overnight crossing of the Golfo getting killerated in the process. Finally we saw signs of life and went over and introduced ourselves and spent the next three days together back and forth between boats. They kept going south toward the Beagle Channel and Ushuaia, and Egret headed north then west never expecting to see each other again but you never know. Yesterday we received an e-mail from them and they are in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Small world. They are heading south from a summer cruise in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

We have said a number of times we cruisers are easily led. So we will coordinate meeting and will change plans accordingly. We have also said many times the people we meet are one of the highlights of cruising. Sure it is beautiful looking out the pilothouse glass just now but it is also a big highlight meeting others we met along the way. Now I'm going to say something in the past I felt we couldn't. By now the majority of VofE readers I would assume have been reading this drivel for a while so you know us and how we think and won't take offense to what we are going to say. This couple is very much like ourselves. Both tend to favor roads less traveled, shun the more normal cruising areas, enjoy virtually everything but most enjoy the more difficult higher latitude cruising. I don't know why both do because it certainly isn't easy but we do. Perhaps as the difficulty ratchets up so does the personal challenge and sense of adventure. So when folks like this get together it is something special. Big seas, hardships or whatever won't even be mentioned because they aren't important. It is the people like ourselves we want to hear about. How is Marlena from "Adio" doing back in Fremantle (she is very ill), we have the latest from Terra Nova, heard something about Tooluka and so on. Along with people we will share cruising information because we think much alike and those opinions will be priceless. There is one more item we should add. This group is multinational with a singular common bond and that bond is as tight as any nationalism. Adio is from Germany and both Terra Nova and Tooluka are Dutch.

Egret traveled to Whycocomagh with the dink riding on her hip a few feet out of the water. There was no wind or waves and it was easier than towing. Besides, our towing record isn't the best. Three times in our travels, twice with Egret and once with the previous boat, we managed to back over the dinghy painter and each time it was a minor drama. According to the old guide we borrowed, Whycocomagh's population was 70. These days it is 400 lucky souls to live in this pristine environment. As soon as Egret was shut down, down went the dink and off to the local dock we went. There were kids swimming and even the young teens were super friendly. Usually this age group is too cool to talk to strangers. So we walked down the highway and crossed to a local diner and nursery. By chance they have a Friday afternoon market. So in we went to see what was whipping and there was the usual selling veggies, fresh bread, a few trinkets and woodworking. There was even a young teen playing the guitar and singing. He was pretty good but he had salted the open guitar case with 5's and 10's and seemed to be shooting a bit high for the local economy.

egretNext we took the turn for Main Street following the water. Main street had a few summer homes and more year around homes along the way but just one business with much whipping. It was the local barber shop with one chair and it was about 12' square inside plus a little room off to the side. There was one in the chair and three waiting so we split.. Main Street loops up to the highway so we turned around and were walking back along the waterfront and saw a local outside sitting at his table in the sun. He waved us over and told us to "set a spell". So we did. In very fast order he told us he was 80, has been retired since 94', has a single glass of rum in the afternoon between 4:00 and 5:30 and would you like a glass of wine, beer or rum? Yes we would and yes we did. We stayed for perhaps an hour and heard the local stories and a condensed version of their stay, rebuilding the house and so on since 94. One thing that was interesting was he knew who we were (off the boat). I guess when a foreign (non local) boat arrives they pay attention and was probably watching with binoculars as we dinghied ashore.

He told one interesting story about a mink that was crossing from an offshore island to the mainland over the frozen bay during winter. He said there were two young bald eagles trying their best to have a mink dinner and the mink was doing its best not to oblige. When the eagles dove on the mink it would roll into a tight ball the eagles couldn't handle. Then it would get up and run as fast as it could until the next attack where it would roll into a ball once again. R - B, R - B, etc. The mink finally made it to land and the eagles returned to their island. He also said there is a family of 7 mink living near the property and run back and forth all the time. He keeps the doors shut because of it. He said they once had a mink get into the house and it was a mess getting it back out.

The big thing that came out of the conversation was how strong family and community is locally. We heard stories of no bake, bake sales where the ladies donate what it cost to bake their cakes instead of baking a cake then buying it themselves after no one else does so it saves the trouble of baking. He said the last sale raised $1,700 to put more windows in the local church. He indicated the church is more a house of community than a house of worship. The lady barber said the same when we returned today for a haircut. She said how she is on the board of a local parents group to start a center to educate their children pre school. So we would have to say even though it is difficult to live locally because of weather, the sense of community and quality of life is ten 10ths.

In VofE we carry on about The Life but in the Big Picture it is really a quality of life issue along with a sense of freedom and adventure using long distance power boating as the venue, just as the local's see here minus the adventure. Now we'll share a personal story. Scott Jr married a few years back. In time they had a wee one. S Jr was following in my footsteps in the marine field and making a comfortable living. His sweetie gave up a well paying job and career to raise their son so he wouldn't be raised by strangers just so they could have more Things. To carry it a bit further, recently he gave up his job, a job he loved and was good at, for an entirely new career in a new field but the main focus was to move back to his university alma mater home town, Tallahassee, Florida. It is their goal to raise their son in a less fast paced environment than South Florida. We are very proud of both of them for this commitment. So what we're saying, whether it is bake - no bake or moving or whatever, some choose quality of life over stuff. Quality of life or stuff is the single biggest decision to go boating or not. The balance is details. Details are not important. Stuff is not important. The decision is.

egretegretFriday in Whycocomagh the sun came out and never quit. 0100 Saturday morning I got up for a pit stop and looked out the portlight and saw the full moon lighting up the bay like a mirror. So up we went to check it out. It was beautiful so we used Mary's camera for a couple snaps. The chance of having a still enough night, with a full moon, with no fog in Nova Scotia is somewhat rare. We made copies of the few best and gave them to the local we mentioned. This picture was taken facing away from town. This was taken of town and Salt Mountain in the background. Cool, eh?

Today we returned to Baddeck in full sun with hardly a cloud in the sky. Mary ran the boat while I worked on this drivel. Arriving in Baddeck we saw 4 largish coastal cruiser trawlers of the same manufacturer from the U.S. One was from Washington, D.C. so they came quite a way. We didn't see the other's hailing ports. I know it is fun to travel with like boats as we did on the NAR. We all whine about the same things and understand when someone says something. We were hoping to meet the group wandering around town but didn't. As soon as the anchor was down it was off to the library and the internet to check the storm off the Eastern Caribbean. It was totally gone and the coming weather shows calms near shore for the next few days so that is as good as it gets. Then it was a last walk around town, dinner at the you know where restaurant and yes, it was OK. You might have liked it. In fact when it is Your Time and you are cruising the U.S. and Nova Scotia east coast during the summer it would be a worthwhile stop. In fact, spending the summer in Bras D'Or Lake is a great idea. It is easy sheltered cruising, guests could fly into Halifax and make their way to Baddeck and off you go. The longest run is just a few nm. And you can't beat the friendly locals.

Returning to Egret after dinner it was up to the flybridge to watch the sunset and have a splash of cheap but good enough red. There were three noisy bald eagles in the trees of the island behind the anchorage. So we watched the eagles, the boats coming and going and enjoyed every minute until the sun dropped and short sleeve shirts and shorts didn't fit in. We plan to leave Baddeck in the morning and head south to explore the delicious looking bays we see on C-Map charts.

Next morning sitting in the fog. Yup, says it all. It is fairly early and MS is still snoozing. Of course she got her first cuppa in bed. It doesn't matter when we leave. The first spot to check out is just 9nm. Tough cruising.

Later. Well, I lied. We left Baddeck with scattered light fog here and there and headed out in a roughly south direction with Mary running the boat. Looking at the charts we saw an interesting natural bay just 4nm away, not 9 nm away. It is a keyhole type bay with a sand spit guarding the entrance and enough water for Egret. Approaching we saw a number of day boats anchored in the bay and two more on moorings but soon we spotted an Aussie flag on a smallish steel sloop. We anchored in 16' and sent out 120' of chain and snubber. The bottom like Baddeck's thick mud so holding is good. Down went the dink and we went over to the Aussie boat to introduce ourselves but they were off. Then it was dinghy exploring the shoreline. We saw two fat eels in shallow water but very few fish, even small ones. Mary spotted a mink running along the shoreline trying to find a place to hide.

There is a lighthouse at the entrance with a track from the water to the lighthouse. At the water's edge is a small boathouse with a couple small boats out front and two guys inside. They waved us on so we landed the dink, pulled it up on shore and asked if we could walk to the lighthouse. So that started a super interesting conversation. The owner of the property is Dev Barker from Boston. It was Dev in the boathouse and his son Skip. So we swapped stories about the property and Egret. Of course the Egret story is old news to you but their story isn't. The bay is called Maskells Harbour these days after a Mr Maskell but originally it was called Boulaceet and Dev's farm is called Boulaceet. Three American families own 90 acres surrounding the bay. They in turn are working on placing the shoreline in a Canadian trust* so it may never be developed by their families in future generations or others.

*More and more we hear of that happening around the world. In the Dreaming department, we would like to die billionaires (we are a bit short). Not for ourselves or our family but we would like to buy tracts of land using The Nature Conservancy as a medium. One place in particular come to mind. There are others. The first would be buying as much of the lower Chilean Channels islands and bordering shoreline as the government would sell. This in turn would be given back to the Chilean government as a trust that could never be developed, logged or allowed salmoneras (salmon farms). For example, most Chilean Channels cruisers stop in Caleta Brecknock (off the Magellan) on their way north or south. CB is Exactly as Charlie M. the Vth from 1500's Spain, Magellan, Cook, the Beagle and Slocum saw it. This small bay is one of the holiest of the holy patches of remote water in the world. Of all the anchorages Egret visited this single one is the one we would most like to return. We could write volumes about Egret's scary entrance thru heavy mist and rain between narrow cliffs, hiking to the 5 hidden mountain lakes each feeding into one other before joining a single stream into the bay, and so on. There is No trace of humans anywhere. CB needs to be preserved before someone capitalizes on its history and puts up an 'intrepid eco resort' or something disgusting like that.

OK, so here is the story of the bay quoted from the Cruising Guide to the Nova Scotia Coast, Charles A. Westropp, Editor, ISBN 0-9635668-3-0 "The guide has been in existence for 53 years and its contributors are sailors, seamen and cruising folks. Each piece of information was written by them." (so make a note, eh?)

Egretised by YT. "Mr Maskell, after whom Maskell's Harbour was called by people in the area, owned a house and forge near the shore. Early one winter morning, Mr M. went out in his nightshirt and cap to get some firewood, slipped on the frozen snow and crashed and burned down the steep slope all the way to shore. Fortunately M didn't get trashed on the decent but was chilling fast. Because of the ice he couldn't climb back up the slope so was basically screwed and had to find another way home before his stuff froze. So M. decided to walk the shore toward Gillis Point Lighthouse and get help from the lighthouse keeper dude. When lighthouse dude (LD) saw this apparition coming he locked his seven daughters in the lighthouse before offering assistance. He did, Mr M. got home a bit shaken and cool but made it he did."

In the small world department, Maskells Harbour was where the Cruising Club of America was founded in 1922, not far from Egret's anchorage in the lee of the sand spit. Next year CCA is having their 90'th anniversary cruise to Maskells Harbour. Dev said they expect between 60 and 70 boats and around 250 people. I wrote cruising buddys Milt and Judy Baker from N47 Bluewater who are CCA members and told them Egret was anchored in the harbor and about meeting Dev. M&J plan to be here next year for the anniversary get together and also said Dev was one of the participants in the CCA cruise to the Abacos last year. Small world.

When we returned to Egret the Aussies were raising sail heading back to Baddeck but will return. It turns out their sloop is steel he built himself - Iron Bark II - and are the most intrepid of nearly all high latitude sailors. They overwintered in the ice in both the Arctic and Antarctic, plus, plus. We would love to hear their stories and hopefully Iron Bark will return before Egret leaves. Dev said they are heading to Trinidad for $1.50 a bottle rum and a bottom job then will return next year, I assume for the CCA anniversary rendezvous. Iron Bark II has received one of the highest awards for cruising, the Blue Water Medal. Pretty cool.

As the locals said, the harbour emptied before sundown except for one small trawler. It left this morning (Monday) just after daybreak. It is so quite and peaceful you can't believe it. We can hear every bird, the seagulls and ducks are leaving big wakes in the slick water AND the 4 (four) pieces of Real Canadian Maple Bacon is nearly ready along with Aunt Jemima pancakes. The coffee is still hot and life is Very Good. It is Monday morning. What are you doing today?
Today was catch up day for Egret. We took apart and greased the windlass, replaced the masthead light bulb with a LED plug in, took apart and greased the two sailboat winches on the transom cap rail and Mary is doing her stainless. It is a little overcast and is barely tee shirt and shorts weather. So we are putzing in peace in a beautiful setting.

Well it was peaceful until a sailboat came in towing a large dink. No problem except they picked up one of two moorings in the anchorage, both behind Egret. Well, she is definitely a screamer. They could probably hear her back in Baddeck. It wasn't just screaming directions to pick up the mooring, it was not nice screaming. Then he got in his two cents worth, then she and so on. Finally they got hooked up and settled down and were probably a bit embarrassed. Almost always in an anchorage like this with just two boats we would go over later and invite them to Egret for coffee or whatever. I think we'll pass with this couple as a small protest. It is easier picking up a mooring with a powerboat vs sail simply because we can see better. A simple set of hand signals worked out before hand would have been so much easier and quieter and easier on each other. Now they have to live with their embarrassment and each other.

egretLate afternoon before dark MS and I were walking along the spit protecting the small bay being children and looking for treasures on the river rock shoreline having a good time. We came across this local sunning itself. egret Mary walked toward the end and I saw a lady swimming at the entrance to the spit so walked over to talk to her. Then a yellow lab came up and started barking like I was going to be dinner but its tail was threatening to break off it was so busy wagging back and forth. Masie with an American sloop. So I picked up a stick and threw it into the water and we were its new best friend. Then up came the puppy black lab and it got its stick as well so we played a bit. Later we met the swimmer, Diana, one of the three property owners. We talked and she is super nice. She invited Mary and I up to the house the next day for coffee.

In the distance we could see three sailboats under sail in the dying wind tacking for the harbor. The first to give up sail is a classic American sloop we have yet to meet. The second was a knock your eyes out beautiful what appeared to be motorsailor. It had a raised cabin trunk and higher pilothouse aft and was sorta bluff bowed. Also, it had a heavy wood mast that was shorter than a normal rig for this size boat. It turns out to be a Nova Scotia built replica of Joshua Slocum's Spray, known these days as a Slocum. Its timbers and planking are an exact replica of the Spray. egret Talking later with the admiral who swam ashore to the spit (she must be Mad for swimming in the frigid water but is what local's have and what they do) she said the bulwarks are raised a bit from the Spray and the house and interior are their own design. Looking closely you can see she is rough built, just as the Spray had been, but she is still a beautiful rugged boat any real sailor would be happy to own. They cruise when they can and have been as far south as Cuba.

The third boat entering the anchorage was the Iron Bark II returning after their trip to Baddeck. "Barkie" drifted in slowly under full sail including the topsl'. It was magazine cover beautiful with her sails barely filled just ghosting along making sweeping tacks into the bay. One tack took them near the lighthouse with Dev and Skip standing in their boathouse and of course Mary and I snapped away with the cameras. egret. Barkie is the first gaff rigged topsl' sloop we have seen under way and what a treat. On the way back to Egret we dinghied by and were invited aboard for a rum n'. So we did. We traded boat stories and had a great visit then returned to Egret with Trevor and Annie for cheap but good enough red. We even shared our best cheap red from the Azores. So the stories flowed until well past dinner time and neither wanted to quit. With folks like this we can talk about subjects most don't have much experience. We told Trevor about the ice cave we discovered in Estero Coloane in the Chilean Channels and he knew exactly where the glacier was but had not see the cave. However, when we described how it had a chimney at the top shining blues and purples into the cave he knew exactly what we were describing because of his years in the ice. To share enthusiasm and the beauty with someone who understands is a rare treat.

Trevor told us about the tricks of wintering over frozen in the ice, how to pick the spot and so on. It was fascinating. (Not on Egret's agenda even though he said we could do it even in fiberglass and why.) He also said how cruising the Labrador coast is so special then we talked about Greenland. Here is something we'll pass along about Greenland. Cruising Greenland is not conventional wisdom. Normally you would cruise from south - warmer - to north and return. However, early season Greenland has ice sweeping down the east coast, around Cape Farvel, and to the north. The north flowing ice stops below Nuuk (Nook) so the trick is to land as far north as you wish - Trevor recommended Disco Bay (Disko Bugt) - then cruise south. By the end of the season the ice may be gone. If so you can cruise the inland waterways south of Nuuk and if not, return to Newfoundland or Nova Scotia. Cool, eh?

Mary and Annie talked about everything but boats. Annie lives part time in Nelson, South Island, New Zealand aboard her own small sailboat. So they chatted the evening away as well. One thing Annie said we must do is go to the Wearable Arts Show in Wellington (North Island). The WOW museum is in Nelson. It has a car collection on display as well as a few of the wearable art costumes. It is difficult to describe but if you google Wearable Arts, New Zealand you will probably come up with a website. Visiting the museum you get a short film on previous displays as well as a few shown on stage by mannequins. The costumes are wild beyond imagination. This is something we will want to do during our time in NZ this winter (summer in NZ).

Next day. Trevor and Annie are salty sea dogs and smart ones at that. The Egret crew is a bit slow. They visited Egret last night when it was calm and a beautiful evening. When they left they invited us over today for morning tea. Of course they knew it was going to be raining like crazy so they would be nice and cozy in their warm boat and the Egret crew will have to bail out the dink and dress in rubber clothes for the trip over. This picture is of Iron Bark II's interior with Annie in the background. egret Oh well, it is how we learn, eh?

While having tea the Slocum boat was leaving and stopped by to say goodbye. We had taken a few pictures of their boat but left them aboard Egret. I ran back and retrieved the CD while they drifted. This ended in a drift party that lasted 45 minutes. They are super nice folks and their boat is built like, well like Slocum's. Some of the planking and ribs are exposed down below and we can see how she was built. The mechanical windlass on the foredeck came from Alexander Graham Bell's old schooner that was eventually salvaged. (Al B. had a summer home in Baddeck and is a big local attraction.) The egretchain came from a wreck in the Falklands and he had Lunenburg Foundries cast chain wheels to match the chain. I could go on and on but it was a fascinating boat.

egretSo tea it was then back to Egret for boat chores. Later we 4 boaters were invited to the 1800's home of the woman we met the other daywith the 3 dogs (Diana). As a sixth person we were joined by Skip from across the bay. It was another late night and the stories flowed. It is days like this that are egretnever forgotten. I believe if most folks look objectively back at any given year for highlights there will be relatively few. I believewe cruisersbump the average a bit.

Today Egret heads back to Baddeck and internet egretto fire these pictures into space, go to theWednesday market and will leave in the morning for somewhere south. It has been a memorable week. We'll leave you with this local. Ciao.

 

 

 

Position: N46 05.90N 60 44.68W Baddeck, Bras D'Or Lake, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada

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August 11, 2011

Hello mis amigos, today is a special day. Ten years and 10,803.7 engine hours ago today (August 6th, 2011), Mary and I took delivery of Egret in Bimini, Bahamas. The Reverend Doctor Pinder stamped the paperwork and received his 200 U.S.P in cash and a chicken in payment. We wrote the final check to PAE and Egret was ours. The delivery crew left by seaplane and Mary and left for the rest of our lives. Currently Egret is in Sydney, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia and will leave in the morning for the Bird Islands just offshore and on to Bras D'Or Lake.

We will make a simple statement that encompasses these past ten years. You can't possibly, possibly imagine what Mary and I have seen, done and the people we met. VofE is the very tip of the iceberg. End of statement. Let your imagination fill in the blanks or better yet, do it yourself. You can if you will. We can't help any more.

A quick wrap up of boat chores included changing the oil in the man, derigging the paravanes getting ready for the Cruising Life, more Rain X on the pilothouse glass, and general clean up. Egret is docked at the Royal Cape Breton Yacht Club in Sydney. Note the typical Nova Scotian lobster boat in the foreground glowing in the first sun since arriving.

We had a techno Incident the other day. We started the gen in the morning and did two loads of laundry. During this time we were transferring fuel to clean the stbd tank. When the tilt got too much we stopped and shut down the gen. Later in the afternoon after fueling and were level once again we started the gen for the last load of laundry. It went clunk. We we tried again. Then nothing. Then it went clunk. Nothing. Wing/Gen battery voltage - 12.85V. Good/Not good. Checked the oil, it was a bit high. Not good. Pumped out some oil. It was perfect - no milky oil with water contamination. Checked the ground. A bit loose. Tighten. Clunk. After taking apart the backside of the %$#@$%^& sound shield, checked the hot wire connection to the starter. It was tight & 12.85V. Battery connections. Perfect. ^%#@$^& Off came the lid to the electrical box over the electrical end of the gen. Circuit breaker continuity*. Beep. Fuse continuity. Beep. There are 5 relays lined up in a row. The farthest one away was different. Yup, a bit high. Pushed it in with my thumb. Mary hit the start toggle. Start. %$##%^& relay. Did the last load. Had a drink. Well, OK, two. End of techno.

*First understand YT (yours truly) is an electrical cave dweller and occasional electrical wizard. However, we do know a little about tools. Having the right quality tools make all the difference keeping your little water world playing. We bought a series of el cheapo multimeters until we saw The Light and quit buying cheapo and bought a Fluke Professional multimeter. Of course all the other tools we understood were high quality. The first Fluke we bought and still use the most is model number 110. Then we had a special problem and a friend who understands sparks used his Fluke Model 336 meter with a clamp to go over wires and measure current flow. Well of course we had to have one so we did. The 336 meter has all the same functions as the 110 plus the clamp. You don't need both. If we had to do it over again we would only have the 336. The reason we use the 110 more is because it is smaller without the clamp. If you do get either also get the alligator clamp kit to slip over the probes. Many times it is nice to have another hand to hold the ground clamped while you do whatever with the positive side.

Today was another walk around Sydney day. We were walking along the older section of town residential streets looking at homes. Then down a hill we heard music and saw balloons. So we walked down to see what was whipping. Well, it was an alternative lifestyle get together. Very different. There was a tall thin guy with straight streaky hair flowing down to his halter strap. The lower part was dressed in torn net stockings and a tiny bikini bottom. Didn't see the front. Then there were these two Miss Dunken Donut finalists dressed in Very short skirts and sorta different tops wearing feathered headdresses. The skirts looked like a band, not a skirt. One had a Cape Breton tattoo on her shoulder and a few others scattered. The other had a major something tattoo on her arm among other body parts. One had enough metal stuck in her face and ears you could lift her with an electromagnet. There were others. We didn't stay.

After leaving we met an older lady walking in the same direction. She asked what was whipping down the street. So we told her. I thought she was going to break her lips they were so slammed shut and she was trying to whisper between the cracks like a ventriloquist or something. Kinda cute.

We did meet one normal local fisherman that had just nabbed a snack.

At the cruise ship terminal next to the YC is the world's biggest fiddle. It is 17m (54.4') tall, made of painted steel and weighs eight tons. Another bit of Sydney history gleaned from the different displays is Spanish fishermen have been coming to Sydney each summer during the 1500's on. When the French came later they named the deep bay with Sydney at the bottom La Baie des Espagnols or Spanish Bay. In 1785 Loyalists fleeing New York State after the American Revolution became the first residents of the community with promises of free provisions for three years. However, the strongest local origin today is Scottish. If you enjoy the pipes there are Gaelic festivals around the Cape during the first week of August.

We had a fun incident the evening before Egret left Sydney. Near dark Mary and I were having a taste of cheap but good enough Italian red when Mary looked out the salon window and there was a couple with the man waving like crazy. In the small world department, just that day he read the recent Passagemaker Magazine article* from Egret and was telling his new in life sweetie about this couple who sold their stuff and Did The Deal literally as they were walking down the hill and then, and then, there was Egret sitting at the dock. So we invited them aboard, talked a bit (actually more like twisted their minds as it is our duty) and gave them a boat tour and a touch of cheap but good enough red. They were thrilled and left with 'you can do it too' and little white fiberglass ships dancing in their heads. He is restoring a Nova Scotian lobster boat in Baddeck, Egret's next stop. Nice folks.

*The PMM article was written enroute to and in the Canary Islands (on her way to the Mediterranean). The chance of Egret sitting in Sydney was somewhat remote.

Egret left early Sunday morning for Bras D'Or Lake. We were lucky enough to ride the last of the fall almost to the entrance of Sydney Bay. Then it was a short jog west to the entrance to the Lake with the Naiad's centered. Imagine that? We fought the tide for a while, particularly at the place the locals call The Gut. Once clear and in deeper water the speed was reasonable. A local lobster boat was entering the canal at the same time as Egret. Note the light fog. Bras D'Or Lake is a multi fingered salt water lake with an entrance at the north and south. The southern entrance has a lock to balance the water heights. More on the lock later when Egret exits B D' L. The first quick stop was Otter Island. No otters. Then we remembered locals saying just up the way at the town of Baddeck was race week for local sailboats. Now Egret is under way for Baddeck. We will arrive before dark and go from there.

Later. Egret arrived in Baddeck near dark. It was chilly, foggy and misting. Ashore tents were set up and there was plenty of loud music, power drinking and testosterone flowing at wellie boot height. Post race get togethers are the same whether sailboat racing, automobile racing or whatever racing. Only the venue changes, not the parties. We stayed aboard, Mary cooked a giantus steak and we chilled while the others worked on headaches.

Baddeck, next day. It is a rainy day and we are staying aboard while the kids race different sailboat classes in foulies so let's stir the pot for a little excitement and make a statement. Sailboat racing around the buoys is an oxymoron. Sailboat - racing. Yea, right. 2 - 8 knots isn't racing, it is putting in your boring time screaming at the crew until the marks where you unite and delight in screaming at your competitors. Of course some competitors don't get that privilege like this father and son team. It would be like racing full displacement long distance powerboats around a course. The only fun would be leaning on your competitors in the turns about 6 fenders deep screaming right of way, hate and blind rage. Then after of course at the post 'race' party it would be hugs and backslapping and stories and measuring like every race venue anywhere in the world.

Much later. It is still raining so let's tell a story that doesn't have anything to do with long distance cruising except friendship. BC, before cruising, my fishing buddy and I were fishing the Marquesas Islands, about 25nm west of Key West, Florida Keys. We take turns on the 'stick' (push pole) and the casting deck up forward*. The deal is, each gets a turn on the foredeck. If the person on the foredeck catches a fish, Or misses a cast they are on the stick and the other fishes. Well my buddy missed a fish so I was on the bow. We were permit fishing. A permit is a turbo'd and supercharged flats fish. He was fishing spin and I was using a bait caster which is more difficult. However, we were fishing with small live crabs for bait and he is super good and can cast a crab and have it enter the water almost silently. When I cast a baitcaster it is a lob deal and enters the water like a brick. In shallow water permit are super spooky. So there are 3 perm's feeding competitively and I lob the crab into the middle and they split. So my buddy starts whining about my cast but a second later one returns and eats the crab. I set up and we are off to the races. However, a baitcaster doesn't have the line capacity of a spinning reel and within a few seconds I could see gold thru the line (all the line was nearly gone and I could see the spool), so I turned and asked When he was going to pole after the fish. He said "it'll turn". Near the end of the line, out of desperation I thumbed the spool and either the line would break or it would turn or stall the fish. It turned and I caught the fish.

A year or two later he was fishing with Mary and I during the winter in Islamorada (Florida Keys). On cold windy days at high tide there is a dark mud spot in the lee of the mangroves that hold bonefish. They lay in the mud to warm. The problem is it is a half mile pole to the spot and the same exiting. These are the only fish on the flats and it is a one cast deal so it is a big commitment. Mary is on the bow and he is standing behind her and I am on the stick. So we finally get there, the bonefish are laid up and Mary misses her cast. My buddy didn't and hooked up. He is fishing 4lb test for some reason and with 4lb you can't put much pressure on the fish so the fish is dumping the reel. He turns and says "are you going to chase the fish or what!!!????." I said "it'll turn" and I didn't care if the fish dumped the reel or not. It was His Turn in the no helpee barrel. It did, he caught the fish. He and I couldn't quit giggling. Great fun, great friends.

*A flats boat is mainly used as a shallow water sight fishing boat. The boats typically draw less than a foot of water. The engine gets trimmed out of the water and the person on 'the stick' stands on a raised platform over the engine. The 'stick' is a 21' carbon fiber push pole with a fork on one end for soft bottoms and a point on the other for hard bottoms or rock. Using the push pole the poler* pushes the boat along slowly looking for fish. The angler stands on the foredeck and between the angler and the person on the platform you literally see the fish to cast to. Flats fishing is a challenging and exciting way to catch fish. Flats fishing with a fly rod is considered the ultimate challenge.

*There is a simple trick to poling. If you don't know this you will pole in circles like most of us when we started. Place the foot of the pole behind the boat the direction and angle you want the bow to go. Simple.

Why did this particular story pop up? After the Ft Lauderdale Boat Show the end of October, Egret will head for the Marquesas for a few weeks of flats boat fishing and exploring. We already have friends coming to visit by flats boats, they raft off and stay aboard for a few days fishing and playing. So you can see it is not always about knocking out the miles. It is all good.

Back to Baddeck. The weather improved and we spent a couple days exploring both streets of town, eating lotsa chowder and today even had a Free coffee refill for the first time in 7 years except for trips back to the U.S. Think about that. And this morning Mary fixed Aunt Jemima pancakes instead of the pretenders bought elsewhere. Of course we had to have real Canadian maple syrup and real Canadian maple cured bacon. We bought lotsa Real Canadian Maple Cured Bacon in Sydney. The first time Mary fixed it she gave me 2 pieces. I told the wench if she ever gave me 2 pieces of Canadian Maple Cured Bacon again she was going to have Botox Lips like you know who. Of course that frightened her to death and the next time YT got 4 pieces. That was more like it. The summer flowers are out so we have to include a flower picture.

Egret is anchored far away from the mooring field in case weather blows thru and we swing. We dropped in 29' (9m) and sent out 135' of chain (42m). Holding is good in thick mud. There is a friendly lighthouse just off the stbd side that flashes green. The other day is was gray and misty then the sun came out for just a flash and shone on the water but didn't light up anything else. I was in the pilothouse working on this drivel and snapped this picture. It was so gray the only color was the red at the top of the lighthouse and that showed very little color. So we made this photo a cool black and white.

Baddeck has a Wednesday market during the summer. Today we stopped by for fresh veggies, a couple loaves of specialty local bread, local jam, and even a replacement sugar bowl that broke when Egret got laid over a bit by a giantus single wave from nowhere. Small things like the sugar bowl we tend to buy from local folks who made it from where ever we happen to be. Not everything like sugar bowls match but they all mean something to ourselves and of course that is all that matters. The 'fish truck' was there and a local favorite by looking at the line. Mary bought local halibut for tonight's dinner.

Tomorrow will be Egret's last day in Baddeck before she moves on to the remote anchorages around the lake. The local library has internet so we'll fire this VofE into space with the last photographs for a while. Checking Egret's Yahoo mail we received an e-mail from N68 Migration who is circumnavigating Newfoundland this summer. That is a Way Cool adventure. No coastal cruising weenies on that boat. Can you imagine visiting the abandoned 'out villages' - only accessable by boat - inside the coastal fjords? When the cod industry collapsed so did their entire village economies and they had to move on. Locals here tell us when the sun comes out in Newfoundland the scenery is spectacular. So much to see, so little time.

We can't leave without showing tomorrow night's dinner spot. It is an old white frame house turned restaurant. As the sign says it is owned by lobster fishers and mussel farmers. Oh ho hum, it might be OK. Ciao.

 

 

Position: 46 08.39N 60 11.83W Royal Cape Breton Yacht Club, Sidney, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia.

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August 5, 2011

Hello mis amigos, Egret arrived at the RCBYC Wednesday evening at 2200 local (0100 GMT - Thursday). Egret has been away from North America since May 16th, 2004. It is nice to return. It is also nice to return to the Friendliest Folks you can imagine. This is Egret's second time in Nova Scotia and most likely will not be the last.

Previously we heard the Sydney Coast Guard giving weather information so when we closed with the coast we gave them a buzz on VHF 16 asking directions to the YC. The super nice fellow called a YC member and they said to take any berth. Most of the local sailors are away in Bras D'Or Lake at a sailboat race. The entrance river/channel to Sydney is over 10nm to the YC so we were sweating dark but in the end no problem in the twilighty light. The YC is a Small rectangle with Small floating docks for Small boats and two spots large enough for Egret to berth. The largest (1) boat in the marina is about 38'. So we docked, MS got the lines adjusted and we shut down the happy little Lugger for the first time in less than a day*.

We called Canadian Border Patrol Agency to tell them of our arrival. They said Customs would arrive at Egret within a half hour. When two young Customs ladies showed up they had enough stuff attached to their belt Over their flack jackets to take on the Taliban by themselves. They were nice, professional and it didn't take long to get cleared in and the passports stamped.

*Yup, less than a day. We had a minor incident. For you non techno types this next bit will be painful because this is so important we will describe what we know or think we know in detail. Any N40 owners should be on full alert here as well as anyone with gravity feed tanks.

The engine started racing then dying, racing, dying, etc. This happened once before and we documented that a few times in VofE over the years but the thumbnail version is we had algae globs in the port tank from laying with the port side against the Florida sun while liveaboards. One and half years later in rough water the engine started racing, dying, etc when the algae blocked the tank drain. I jumped in the engine room and opened the valve for the second tank and all went back to normal. We cleaned the tanks once back on a dock and that was the end of it for the next 8 years.

When the engine started racing I jumped in the engine room and opened the valves to the stbd tank. It took longer than it should to get the valves open and the engine died. Mary shut down the boat, Naiad's, autopilot, fuel transfer pump, radars, etc. This is important. When the engine starts racing this means one Racor is dry and the engine has sucked the line from the dry Racor dry. If you open the second Racor it will drain past the discharge port and it too will be dry and now you have No filters and No fuel to the engine. If you can't get a second valve open it is better to first turn off the stabilizers and autopilot then shut down the engine before it dies completely. The next step is to fill the day tank from the opposite tank, open the dry Racor and fill it with the 1 gal/4ltr jerry jug in the engine room for Racor refill after changing elements. Then bleed the secondary filter by turning the screw on the side until the bubbles stop and clean fuel is coming out. THEN refill the Racor a second time. Hit the key and the engine should start. If not, rebleed the secondary filter, refill the Racor and hit it again. It took these two times for us and the engine started, coughed, and ran like the happy little Lugger it is. This WAS NOT an engine problem but a fuel delivery problem. Had this not happened close to shore we could have kept transferring fuel from the port (questionable) tank to the stbd tank via the fuel transfer/circ pump Racor. In Egret's case we just ran the rest of the way on the stbd tank.

Had it have been rough, it was about 1.5m - 5' seas and not bad, we would have started the wing and headed up sea until we got sorted. Caution, until the day tank is full For Sure you shouldn't start the wing and run it dry as well unless you have a newer boat with a day tank for the wing with its own fuel supply.

Egret's fuel system is a one of a kind for N46's. We specified the day tank from an N40 be installed with gravity feed tanks. Egret's two 500 U.S. Gallon tanks have two outlets at the bottom, one in service to the day tank and the other valved off with a plug in the valve. The N40 day tank had a couple extra inlets already plumbed with valves and plugged off. Because of the first incident we added a second two tank fill to the day tank by adding a flare male tee (two flare fittings across the top of the tee and a male pipe fitting at the base of the tee). Then we ran hose from the second valve on each tank to either side of the tee. We normally keep these closed. The drains on the inside of the tanks have a heavy mesh stainless steel screen over each outlet. Having screens over the outlets can be argued forever by the experts but with a low consumption engine like Egret's I believe they are an asset and will leave them on rather than take a chance on contaminating the lines.

Yesterday afternoon Mary and I cleaned the tank and found sand type debris and a fair amount (1/2 a thimble full). (When algae breaks up it becomes sandy) I found one piece of algae about the size of a quarter/5 EU coin. I don't have the slightest clue where it came from because we cleaned the tank fairly recently. Perhaps that covered the screen or it was cumulative debris built up on the intake screen. I was thinking it was a paper towel that got in the tank from the Baja filter hose where we keep paper towels plugging the ends and missed one during refueling from jerry jugs or the fuel bladders. First I disconnected the hose where it goes into the day tank and hooked up the Jabsco pump and discharged into a jerry jug. Then I hit the switch and I promise anything that was on that screen and in the lines came screaming out. We filled the 6 gal jerry jug in a nanosecond. Then put that back together and swept the tank for 10 minutes or so sending the fuel back thru the Baja filter into the tank. I think tomorrow I will clean the stbd tank just for the heck of it and see what happens.

The paragraph above is what I wrote to a friend telling him of the incident. As I am writing this we are transferring fuel from the stbd tank to the port tank. When the fuel is low we will clean that tank as well. The bottom line is we don't know for sure what happened but have the two ideas we mentioned. We opened both inspection plates on top of the tanks and checked each thoroughly with a flashlight. Gibraltar fuel is clear so we could see well. We do know it was isolated to the port tank because we ran the balance of the trip on the stbd tank with no incidents.

OK, that was the incident and what we did as a fix and think we know what the problem was. We will run with both tank valves (per side we are drawing from) open vs just one valve from now on. The chance of something clogging both valves has to be Very, Very remote. In addition to the keeping the tanks spotless lesson, the fuel system refill - secondary bleeding lesson there is one more Important thing to know. Of course the first order of business is to get underway. Usually you can figure ways to keep going by using a single tank to feed the main Racor and transferring fuel. Once docked or anchored you Must be able to fix the issue if you are in a remote place without help. We have described the Jabsco water puppy pump a number of times, how we used a 25' 14-2 wire with a circuit breaker for a switch and it has a 5/8" - 6' intake/discharge hose. The next step is to have the proper fittings to be able to do what we did. Between PVC fittings, Whale type water system fittings, bronze pipe fittings, valves and flare/hose barb fittings, we must have something well over 200 in inventory. The cumulative value of these fittings is probably over $1,000 U.S.P. It doesn't matter. You Must be able to fix any plumbing fuel problem yourselves. Plumbing is easy and doesn't require any skill or special tools other than the usual. A pair of channel lock pliers, 12" crescent wrench and a 3/4" - 7/8" open wrench will fix most everything except smaller pipe fittings and the usual assortment of U.S. or metric hand wrenches will fit those. The very best water pump pliers are made by Knipex, the 12" size with the mechanical locks, not the push button adjustment. We have a 12" and 7" pair and use them constantly.

Here is a second isolated incident* that required fittings. While coming south aboard N62 Autumn Wind pre NAR, we developed a fuel leak when the canister for the Flo Scan fuel system meter started leaking. There were no spare canisters aboard. Fortunately we were in the Intracoastal Waterway. When docked for the evening, and after much trouble managed to come up with a 1/2" flare union from a local store to bypass the leaking canister. N's fuel system fittings are 1/2" flare. Once in FLL, Autumn Wind got a couple spare canisters and installed one. If you happened to watch the NAR video, early on you saw Autumn Wind with a massive fuel leak problem. The new canister split and was dumping fuel big time. I had ty wrapped the flare union next to the canister in case it ever happened again so no one would be searching for the fitting. It just took a minute to disconnect the fittings from either side of the canister and couple them together using the flare union. (It turned out to be a return valve turned the wrong way) So you can see here how critical it is to have fittings to fix Anything. Most of Egret's fittings have been gone to help other cruisers in remote places, not for our own consumption. They should have had the spares as should any boater who travels any distance, to remote places, including simple places like the Bahamas, Pacific North West or even the Med where supplies aren't at hand in most places.

*We copy very few people direct with VofE. Two of the three who have boats wrote back and told of Their time when the engine quit. One was a dirty tank issue and the other was a valve turned the wrong way issue. So 3 of 4 have had incidents (including Egret) and all three were up and running within a couple minutes.

Back to Egret. We had our champagne. The big push from Italy was over. There was No noise, no motion, no nothing. So now starts the Easy Life for the Egret crew. Yup, coastal cruising, Intracoastal Weenies, Bahamas/Florida Keys fishermen once again and simple stuff for a while. We are smoking hot to replace Egret's CIB, catamaran ice breaker dinghy, with a small flats fishing boat. We have friends working hard on that now. We'll know soon and when we do we'll give you the details.

Sydney is charming beyond charming. The YC is near the older downtown section. It is a two street town with most shops along the streets. The oldest building in town is the Anglican Church from 1785. First order of business was breakfast in town and with recommendations from Jenny at the YC we found the Maple Leaf restaurant where the locals hang out. Back to Egret for the work we mentioned then last night was Lobster Night. Just across the street from the YC is the Governors House, literally a house from one of the founding officials turned into a charming restaurant. Lobster season ended July 27th but they still had a few in a tank so we did two of those along with local beer and desert. We were full fuel when we headed back to Egret. Today is laundry day, clean the tank day, get fuel* day, and explore later day.

*Egret arrived with 140 gallons - 530ltr of fuel and we have 300g/1140ltr coming. There will be No fuel shortage on the way to Newport.

The YC has no shore power so we will stay for a bit then will head out when weather allows. Our original plans were to cruise Bras D'Or Lake then south but after reading the Lonely Planet we see most of the interesting places are along the east coast so we will backtrack for a few miles and coast hop along Cape Breton Island until the hop over to mainland Nova Scotia then south.

So there you have it. Arrival, a bit of techno and plans for a while. Ciao.

 

 

 

Wednesday Position: 45 56.96N 58 25.45WW

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August 3, 2011

Speed: 7.1 knots
Average Speed past 24 hours: 7.0
Wind: 11.5 knots NE
Seas: .5 - 1.0 NE
Nautical Miles made good: 167.5
Distance to Sydney Harbor: 75.2nm
Fuel remaining: 170 U.S. Gallons
All statistics are 1200 GMT.

Good day mis amigos, it is late Monday afternoon. It has been calm all day and Egret has been flying. Shed of current and 2.5 tons of fuel makes a big difference. We had an interesting item from nature pop up. About 6 Wilson's storm petrels were doing their wave dance just off the stbd side. Very cool. We had one hit the side of the boat the other day and drop to the walkway along the side. When they do they can't fly out. I rescued it, held it on the cap rail for a bit to recover then turned it loose. It flew and danced and flew and danced like it was the happiest day of its life and it probably was. We have seen these amazing little birds in virtually every ocean, particularly where there is more wind. They have been entertaining mariners at sea since the first ship left shore. You will find them well offshore, they don't look like a sea bird but a bird you would find in a park, except for their feet and salt exuding nostril on top of their beak. Most sea birds have super efficient body shapes and use the wind currents to dip and soar so they don't use energy. A Wilson's storm petrel has the body shape of a rock when dancing but flying have sea bird shapes but short wingspans so they fly with total energy and do not soar. However, what sets them aside and makes them so special at sea is their wave dance. When there is enough wind they will spread their wings like a parachute facing into the wind and hover just over the water in a ballet of wings and oversize webbed feet dancing over the waves. Their feet make tiny ringlets as they hop here and there, up over wave tops into the next trough and so on. You could watch them for hours If they would stay put but they are here and gone in a few seconds. Sometimes when they are in small groups like this group they tend to stay longer and work the bow of the boat as tiny critters rise to the top to escape the boat.

Wee hours Tuesday morning. The calm continues and Egret's speed climbed into the low 7 knot range. It is so calm we did an accurate fuel check and found we didn't have quite the fuel we thought but will still arrive with a healthy reserve and would have landed in Lunenburg with no problem including a reasonable reserve. However, 800nm ago strangled by current it was not a certain deal so we diverted and I'm glad we did. This route makes more sense anyway traveling in one direction from north to south. Last night on watch we did a preliminary route to Halifax where we will refuel for the 2 day trip to Newport calculating how much fuel we needed in Sydney to make it to Halifax. Included in those miles was 25 days of generator burn but thinking about it now, those numbers would be way less because most stops will be for just a day or two then Egret will be moving on so the main will handle most of the charging duties. Even exaggerating the course to Halifax it is only 290nm. So we have a month to go about 290nm. Not bad. Egret will arrive in Newport mid Sept. We have until the end of October to arrive in Ft Lauderdale for the boat show. Not bad once again.

It is 0500 Tuesday morning, pitch black, super calm with no wind, my mind is wandering and hit upon something interesting. It is hard to believe 6 weeks ago, Egret was anchored in Gaeta*, Italy, fairly deep in the Mediterranean looking at things like this. Included in those six weeks were 2 days in Gibraltar for provisioning and fuel and a week in Horta, Faial, Azores. And now in less than two days Egret will be back in North America. Pretty amazing isn't it? Now think about This. Eleven months ago almost to the day, Egret was departing Fremantle, Western Australia. That is even more amazing. Even having done it we can't quite comprehend.

*Along the waterfront in old town Gaeta, Italy is a bronze plaque to a local that is embossed: Giovonni Caboto - Navigotore, Scoperto de Canada 1497. John Cabot, Navigator, Discoverer (?) of Canada 1497. Egret is entering Cabot Strait. Small world, eh? Giovonni Caboto was sailing around Newfoundland under the flag of Henry VII of England. He discovered the natural harbor of what we know today as St Johns, Newfoundland. St Johns is the closest harbor to Europe and the offshore Newfoundland Banks were teaming with fish. Settlement of St Johns started in the 1520's supported by the fishing industry.

Another thing that comes to mind is the absolutedurability, dependability and versatility of these little white fiberglass ships. Can you imagine if any of the famous explorers like Giovonni Caboto over the years could return and see just what has happened during their time away? Every one of those folks lived with one foot in the terror pot because they didn't know where they were most of the time if barely ever, if they were ever going to see home again and for hundreds or thousands of years, even what time it was. Egret has 4 gps's installed, one in a box and one in the ditch bag that at any time of day or night gives her position accurately to within a few yards/meters. Oh, I almost forgot, she has two small apricot size GPS receivers that plug into any one of a number of laptops aboard with navigation software that also gives the same information. She has two radio's installed, each with a separate control and mike, one in a box and three hand helds that at any time can talk to people they can't see. She has a satellite phone that 24/7/365 anywhere in the world can dial a number and speak to whomever you wish, And send and receive electronic mail. Egret has a black box that magically steers the boat, automatically figuring set and drift and steering a straight course, 24 hours a day with no hands. Radar picks up land or ships over the horizon, day or night. Her happy little Lugger has propelled Egret evenly thru wind or no wind for 10,760.8 engine hours and has never missed a beat. Her crew is a mom and pop couple. No galley slaves, no pressed sailors, no professional seamen, just two retired folks having the time of their lives. She has shared the Exact Anchorages as Charlie C. the Vth. from 1500's Spain, Magellan, Cook and Slocum.

What is also amazing that if you are fortunate enough to live in a free society, work hard, smart and save, you too can enjoy the same as the Egret crew or any one of the thousands of crews circling the world today. I don't think there has ever been a time in history where common folks have the opportunity to explore as safely and comfortably as we do today with our electronic aids to navigation and reliable equipment.

OK, back to Sea Stories.

Here is another sea tale we'll pass along. As you know, at sea we have lotsa time. During that time a number of things wander thru the grey cells. So we jot a few down. Once cruising a different group of visual thoughts start popping up. So we jot those down. When all this comes together we have the next VofE.

We talk about Egret a lot so let's talk about someone else. It is a small world and we will get to that in a minute but first we'll tell a sea tale because Egret is at sea and we have lotsa time. With Egret docked in Hobart, Tasmania, Cape Horn veterans Dick and Gail aboard N57 Ice Dancer II popped in for a visit. ID II landed on the Australian east coast from the South Pacific and shot down to Tassie. At the same time, Swedish friends Bjorn and Anika aboard S/V Lindisfarn stopped by as well by the same route except they left from North Island, New Zealand. Lindisfarn also did the Patagonia deal and we have met here and there since. So Lindisfarn and ID II met. Dick aboard ID II is an excellent photographer so one evening while we were together we did one these 'you show me yours, and I'll show you mine' deals. Dick is a pretty competitive guy and I know looks at Egret's photo's and of course we look at theirs as well. So he knows we don't have a fisheye lens. So he whips out this wild and crazy fisheye lens and even lets me hold it. A fisheye lens looks like half an eyeball with a deal to attach it to the camera. Fisheye photograph's as you know are waaay abstract and distorted. So anyway, recently when we had internet access I was sneaking thru ID II's site on the n.com deal and came across this way cool wild and crazy picture they took of their flopperstopper in clear water. So of course I had to try so while in Ponza (Italy) up on the boat deck we went with our widest lens and after some time and effort ended up in failure. OK, so he won.

Back to Hobart. In the meantime ID II leaves Tassie to cross the Tasman (Sea) to Bluff, at the southern tip of South Island, NZ. (Understand this is high latitudes and a Big Deal) Well they almost made Bluff when a giantus blow came thru and ID II had to go hold station behind Stewart Island until it blew thru. Lindisfarn in the meantime made the same crossing later and they got mushed in the marina in Bluff. (If you had not guessed the last two sentences were much understated. Both instances required a lot of seamanship including in the marina.) Both were on their way to Alaska. Lindisfarn was going to head up past Japan to the Aleutians. Swedes don't do sweat so they retreated to NZ for the season then headed to Hawaii. ID II was smart and when they left NZ they went straight to Hawaii. A month or so ago both met in Hawaii and both headed straight north to Adak in the Aleutians. Both arrived safely and are now cruising the Way North. So here is where the small world department kicks in. N62's Grey Pearl and Seabird and N68 San Souci were in Adak a year or two ago on their way west then south on the Sushi Run. So here you have these boats that met before on the opposite ends of the world and are now together again and others who are now elsewhere had passed thru as well. Of the other three, one is in Turkey and two are in Malaysia. And a week from today (7-28), Egret will be in Nova Scotia. Small world indeed.

OK, back to Egret. One thing we should mention before you know who forgets is fuel. While in Gibraltar or perhaps the Canary Islands we mentioned how we used Egret's Jabsco Water Puppy rubber impeller pump to clean the tanks by putting the intake hose along the bottom seam and sucking up any debris from the collection point, thru the Baja filter draining back into the tank. This we did. Egret departed Gibraltar with two new 2 micron Racor filter elements. We changed the first yesterday afternoon at 4" of vacuum. It was not dirty. When we switched the valve to the opposite filter the vacuum only dropped 1" of vacuum to 3". The tanks are low and the Lugger fuel lift pump is working harder so more vacuum. Two micron elements add a bit of restriction vs 10 micron. Lugger recommends 10 micron Racor filter elements but Egret has always run 2 micron. Egret is an anomaly in the fact we very rarely run higher rpm's most owners do as a norm, plus we rarely have low tanks because of her type of usage. Egret's Walbro fuel circulation pump runs 24/7 when under way and I can't remember the last time we changed it's 10 micron element prior to leaving Gibraltar where we did change it even though it was filtering well with no pump slowdown. So what we are saying, if you keep the tanks clean it has been our experience pumped fuel from anywhere in Egret's travels has been clean. Argentine fuel is inherently dirty but not with debris. It may be very high sulfur content but this is speculation on my part. While burning Argentine fuel, Racor element changes were a regular event. Argentine fuel also wiped out the main and generator injectors but it was a small price to pay. We had spares. We would do it again.

The dolphins are back. Egret had dolphins exiting the Med all the way to the Azores, departing the Azores until a sorta dead spot in the middle and now approaching the coast starting about 700nm out they are back. Small sea birds are increasing in numbers as well. Yesterday afternoon we had two small whales just off the stbd side crossing to port. They were Very close and Egret ran directly over the boil one made as it sounded. It all happened so fast we didn't really get a good look and did not see them resurface. A Canadian surveillance plane just called a ship and asked they switch to VHF 06. I suspect they have Egret on radar as well and may stop back later for a chat. Whoops, 3 more whales. Still don't know what kind.

Today is Wednesday at 0625 GMT. What time it is local we don't know for sure. It is still very dark and won't start the first hint of light until 0730. Egret has never been this far north in her travels (almost 46 degrees N. just now). Dusk is a lingering light deal and sunrise it the same. The stbd (green) running light is out. Fortunately there is almost no shipping, its foggy so no ship will be close enough to see the lights anyway. At least we hope and will do everything to make it so. We removed the original expensive bulb gobbling lights and replaced them with a pair of new at the time la di da Perko LED running lights. They were a dismal failure and after a couple sets they became a little home for the sea creatures. So these days Egret has tried and true, never breakee Perko 955 running lights that take a simple #71 cartridge bulb. The bulb is easy to change with one screw removing the housing and lens. It is still calm so after daylight it will be the day's chore.

Now here is the good news. Egret is the lightest she has ever been at sea and is loving it. Speed sometimes hits 7.7 knots at 1525 rpm. Just now the average speed since noon yesterday is 7.1 knots but she is ticking off 7.5 - 7.6 regularly. If she can maintain 7.1 knots, Egret should be at the dock by around 2300 tonight AND it is still a bit twilightly at 2300 (GMT). Is that cool or what??? Just guessing what will happen is somehow she will get docked in the tiny yacht club. The first order of business will be call the Canadian Border Services Agency to clear. The second will be a champagne celebration. Tomorrow morning we will drag out the BFYC (Big Fat Yellow Cord) Egret hasn't used since 2004. It is stored in the forward stateroom behind the drawers on the stbd side against the hull.

The 220V cord we bought in Horta, Azores during the NAR will take its place. That cord is a simple 25m - 80' * sorta heavy 3 wire but much lighter than U.S. 30 amp shore power cable. The wire size is a little heavier than U.S. 14-3. Electrical cable in Europe is measured by the mm and I can't give you the exact size except to say it is the next size heavier that most boats Egret's size use. On one end is a Hubbell 6/4 240V end fitting that fit's Egret's electrical inlet and the other is the small 3 pin European plug. In Europe, Egret mainly used the small 3 pin blue and white plug and occasionally the larger 3 pin plug. In Chile, the South Pacific, New Zealand and Australia she mostly used the small 3 pin plug and South Africa the plugs were more like a heavy household plug. All plugs everywhere are available locally and instead of using a handful of adapters we simply rewired the plug we needed. Being the electrical wizard we are we didn't take chances on crossing wires so wrote in magic marker on each plug terminal what color goes where (brown, blue, green/yellow).

*If you are going to Europe don't buy less than 25m. Usually you don't need much cable length but more than seldom the extra length is a must. We cut Egret's cable to make it easier to handle but in the end spliced it back together and left it together.

Half an hour later. After gloating about Egret's speed and dealing with a large boat/ship without AIS we checked the speed and she is down to 6.6 - 6.7 knots with the tide swing. So now we wait for the next tide to rocket away and hopefully maintain a 7.1 knot average.

I wrote a couple paragraphs back, Egret has never been this far north at 46 degrees. Here an interesting comparison. Forty six degrees north and forty six degrees south are so different in weather you just can't imagine. The winter temperatures here are frightening cold with the air chilled by the continent whereas in the Deep South it is cold but a maritime cold with little snow except at altitude. I'm sure winter storms here are ferocious but in the Deep South you can have shrieking storms any day of the year arriving from the W or SW. This said, I believe it is safer year round in the Deep South because of the Channels protection than the Way North with a real chance to freeze your stuff.

Already we are looking at the Canadian Lonely Planet for interesting places to go and see in Cape Breton Island. We bought this Lonely Planet and all LP's between Florida and Alaska including Alaska in early 2003. Included with LP's were the appropriate cruising guides as well. We never made it. Up popped the NAR and the rest is history. Everything is still on board except the Alaska LP we gave an Aussie couple we met in Nelson, NZ who were on their way north past Japan and so on in a converted/rebuilt Ozzie cray fishing boat built in 1956.

This VofE posting was sent in as soon as the statistics at the top were posted. Sighting the first land in 10+ days will come up in a few hours.......if the fog lifts. Visability right now is 1/4nm. Docking will be in less than 12 hours. Exciting isn't it? Friday's VofE will have Egret's first impresson of Sydney and Cape Breton, Nova Scotia as well as trip statistics. Ciao.

 

 

 

August 1

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August 1, 2011
Date: August 1, 2011
Saturday Position: 42 07.96N 46 11.58W
Speed: 5.78 knots
Average speed past 24 hours: 6.0 knots
Wind 20.8 knots SW
Seas: Currently SW 1.5 - 2m
Nautical Miles made good: 143.8

Sunday Position: 42 27.11N 49 11.68W
Speed: 5.2 knots
Average speed past 24 hours: 5.6 knots
Wind: 21.4 knots SW
Seas: 2 - 3m SW
Nautical Miles made good: 135.6

Monday Position: 42 57.49N 52 09.89W
Speed: 6.4 knots
Average speed past 24 hours: 5.8 knots
Wind: 8.3 knots NNW
Seas: 2m geltle swells SW/W
Nautical Miles made good: 138.5
All statistics are 1200 GMT.

Distance to Sydney Harbor: 396.8nm
Fuel: 320 U.S. Gallons
Est fuel reserve on arrival: 180 U.S. Gallons

Hello mis amigos. OK, here's the deal. It is noon GMT Sunday. The fuel crunch is over. After sending the last VofE with fuel worries, cruising buddy Braun from N62 Grey Pearl did a quick analysis of potential bail out fueling ports closer than St Johns, Newfoundland. Braun came up with the island of St Pierre, south of the Newfoundland mainland. I checked it out on C-Map and it looked like the Real Deal. The big thing Braun did was get me off my lazy butt because it wasn't near crunch time and I hadn't spent any time looking at anything but big name locations. So I did what I should have done in the first place and there it was. The town of Sydney on the northern end of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia appeared a likely spot and is near the northern entrance to the Bras D'Or Lake. Bras D'Or Lake is a multi fingered inland lake within Cape Breton Island with an entrance/exit at the north and south. The next step was a check in World Cruising Destinations* by Jimmy Cornell to get the phone number for Canadian Border Services Agency (001 905 679 2073. A call to CBSA from the Iridium phone got us in touch with a nice young lady who phoned the Cape Breton region office of CBSA to find the procedure. We were told to dock at the Royal Cape Breton Yacht Club and call the main number for CBSA. OK, then. We did our plotting and it saves well over 100nm from Lunenburg AND we had planned to land in Lunenburg and cruise north then back south. This way we will cruise from north to south and see even more. We did a quick check of the Canada Lonely Planet for Sydney and it is kinda a sad story. Sydney was built on coal and the mines are closed. It appears it has a bit of lobster fishing and tourism keeping it going.

*Two must have books if you plan to do more than coastal cruise are World Cruising Routes and World Cruising Destinations, both by Jimmie Cornell. It would be a rare occurrence for a long distance cruiser to not have both aboard.

What gave the Egret crew a bit of breathing room and a big psychological lift was a 20 hour period with a 6.2 knot average. The last 4 hours of increased current brought the average down to 6.0 knots but still a credible day's run considering the past. OMNI Bob has been on top of this every day. With his latest report there was no current information so I send back a whine asking what the deal was. Below is Bob's reply and my reply to him.

(Bob) The current direction should set more toward the ENE (from more from WSW) the further west you travel. However the overall current tends to range closer to 0.7-0.8kt. Once you get north of the front tomorrow night, I gotta believe you should gain some speed. As far as influence from the Gulf Stream, that has ended, now it is the overall seasonal current and aside from the direction it approaches you, no real difference. Hopefully have the current not so much on the head will help improve the speed.

Bob, Wrong answer. The right answer is; Yes, there will be No More current after Sunday night and it will be calm and you will fly all the way into Sydney and you will ride the tide into the channel and there will be dockage when you arrive in Daylight and customs will let you clear in with a phone call. So let's work on that. S.

As we said, it is Sunday and the weather is starting. The wind is not bad at all, not much over 20 knots and usually under, the seas have picked up to fairly good size but not eye poppers and are reasonably well spaced. So the little lady is climbing hills, getting an occasional pop and rock job and it isn't that bad. Her speed is in the 5.5 knot range, occasionally down to 5.0 after a pop and as high as 5.7 if we are left alone for a bit. As Bob said, when Egret is able to turn more north of west the wind and current should be kinder. The problem just now is the Tail of the Newfoundland Grand Banks. We are staying in 3000m or more of water. The shelf's first rise is to 2000m then quickly in a series of steps to around 75m. This means the westerlies that have been blowing for a couple days most likely have water stuffing up over the top and we don't want to see what it is like. As soon as we can Egret will make the turn to the waypoint off the entrance to Sydney, about another 16 degrees north of her present course to Lunenburg.

The weather is supposed to increase thru the day and into this evening so I'll probably write a whine later about that and may even throw in my usual girl boat warning if the weather is bad enough. In the meantime we'll add this little magazinish type article deal I wrote a few days ago. So enjoy, it's not too painful and there is some good information.

You know, VofE isn't free. It comes at a price, sorta like a head tax. The price you pay isn't in Pesos, Euros, Dollars, Kroner or anything linked to the gold standard. The price is your peace of mind knowing Out there someone is doing The Deal living The Life and you aren't. So in your competitive type A minds there you sit in your office, at home or where ever you happen to be that isn't Out and you fantasize and wonder what It would be like. For the majority, fantasize and wonder will be all you will ever do because you are stuck in a Rut so deep you think there is no escape, or worse yet.....gasp.....don't care. Yea I know, you have Reasons. Lame. Heard them all before. Yea I know, you are Different. Sure. Well, OK.

So let's look at a few Reasons if you are a Rut Boy or Rut Girl.

Pesos. Go brokerage, go smaller, go coastal, go sail, it's all good, just Go.

Aging parents. TELL them what Your plans are, TELL them you love them and TELL them you will see them as often as you can but these are Your Years and need to Go. They may whine up front but will respect your decision and of course will tell their friends; MY son/daughter the Boater is in xxxxxxxxx. And so on.

The key word here: TELL, don't Ask. It is easier to get forgiveness than permission. Don't think your parents are different. They are just people like you, only a generation older. They will get over it, just like someday your kids will Tell you their plans and you may not agree. Their/your choices will be: Get Over It and be supportive......Pout.

Children. When the youngest leaves for university, You are free. Don't think they are any different than you. They have their own minds and can't Wait to escape, just like you at their age. And if you aren't there to hold their hand if they have a hiccup, oh well, I guess they will just have to figure it out instead of mommy and daddy doing it for them. Besides, you always a phone call away. No problem.

House. What will we do with the house? It is just a House. That's all. Figure out what is best for you. We are talking about Your Lives. A house is just a house. Get it?

Pets. Take them with you. So what if they scratch the floor of your precious, or shed, or whatever? We're talking about Your Lives and this isn't a rehearsal. Carpet, throw rug, sweep, dinghy them ashore, do whatever because it is no big deal. Pets also open a lot of doors. Pets, like Boat Kids are a magnet for other cruisers. And Boat Kids, Skippy or Fluffy get treated better aboard than they ever did ashore because you don't have shoreside distractions and have Time for the first time in your lives.

However there is Hope. The fall boat shows are just around the corner. Boat shows group boats so you can look at a range of different types of boats but more importantly, check out the boats You are already Dreaming about. Another advantage of fall shows is, well it is fall. In the brokerage market, owners have most likely cruised their last summer season in the boat and are ready to move on. They know winter is coming, sales slow down, dockage doesn't stop and Its Time. So deals can be had. Fall shows still leave a bit of season left for initial shake down cruising before winter, unless you happen to buy on the U.S. east coast then you can head to the Bahamas for the winter. And Bahamas cruising during the winter is great. You can fish, swim, dinghy explore, or anything you wish. You may also have children, parents or guests fly into Nassau or Marsh Harbour and stay a bit. Take the Nassau folks 30nm to Norman's Cay and let them explore the low tide white sand flats and pick up sand dollars to their hearts content. Take the Marsh Harbour guests 12nm to Hope Town and let them wander the 1800's Loyalist's streets and eat conch fritters and drink Kalix (Clicks) beer on the waterfront. Its wonderful.

And of course, fall shows groups the builders. They are all (always) hungry so again, deals can be had on new builds, particularly in this market.

We only know about the U.S. East Coast fall shows. We will attend two this year. The first show is Newport, Rhode Island around mid September. Second is the Annapolis Powerboat Show, mid October in Annapolis, Maryland, and the third is the Biggie, Ft Lauderdale, the end of October. We will make the Newport and Ft Lauderdale shows. Even after all these years of first being my vocation and now cruising we still can't get enough.

Now let's say you are a foreign buyer. You are soooo lucky. The U.S.Peso is in the dumps so with whatever spare coins you may have you can steal whatever you wish. As a foreign buyer here is something you may not know. You do not have to pay sales tax in the U.S. There are several scenarios and we'll mention what we know. There may be other options but we'll give you a phone number and e-mail address to find out.

When Egret arrived in the U.S. she came in from Taiwan under a TIB - Temporary Import Bond. We intended to register her outside the U.S. to save Florida Sales Tax, and later registered her in the British Virgin Islands under a corporate shield (Trident Trust - Road Harbour, Tortola, BVI). It is 100% legal and we did it with Maritime Attorneys that specialize in just this. (Alley - Maas, Ft Lauderdale) It cost $10,000 at the time which was tons less than sales tax. It costs $900 per year to maintain the corporation.

A foreign buyer can also own a boat in the U.S. and keep it duty free and tax free using a TIB. However, you may not use it for cruising but may commission, upgrade or do whatever to the boat awaiting shipping to where ever or simply holding it until you obtain a cruising permit. The TIB is how foreign registered mega yachts are able to stay in the U.S. and have work done. Also, TIB's are used by foreign registered vessels to enter the U.S. for boat show's for example. If a foreign registered boat, like Egret, wants to cruise in the U.S. they must get a cruising permit, as we do. No problem. In the past Egret's cruising permits were good for a year, the only stipulation being she had to leave the country once a year then apply for another year. Oh well, I guess we'll have to go to the Bahamas or Nova Scotia. This may have changed but we will find out in September and will pass it along.

The Yacht Agent that handles N's imports and nearly all TIB imports into Florida and perhaps farther afield is a third generation Miami, Florida company. We know the principals personally and they are first, first class. Howard S. Reeder, Inc. 001 305 371-8431 www.howardsreederinc.com
So there you have it. If you are a Rut Boy or Rut Girl we had a few suggestions how to climb out of the boring, predictable Other Life. If you are a foreign buyer this gives you a head start on your own dreams.

You know, I wrote the letters TIB a few days ago on a notepad to eventually pass the Temporary Import Bond information along. Those 3 letters morphed into this novel. So if you have already Done the Deal and are Doers, I'm sorry for droning on. If you haven't Done the Deal and Believe we are droning on, back to the Rut with ye because you must be Different and have Reasons.

OK, back to Egret. At the top we listed Saturday, Sunday and today's (Mon) stats. They speak for themselves except I will throw in a couple interesting items. The Sunday weather was quite honestly less then we thought. The waves were the height OMNI Bob predicted, the wind was the same but overall it didn't seem to be any big deal. There was lotsa salt in the air, we bounced but we could still function without much trouble, Mary still popped out 3 great meals and all was well. Well, sorta well except........ Here's the deal. Of course it was night, the sky hovered just above the antennas, it was blacker n' black, and we were doing OK with a rock job every few minutes but not that big of a deal (about 30 degrees). It was about 0130 Monday morning, I was on watch and MS was in her little snuggle bed. Usually when a RBG comes roaring in with white foam on top of a monster wave to give Egret a broadside, there is a bit of warning. You can Hear it coming. Not last night except for the briefest instant. I was sitting on the pilothouse settee with my back against the port side, legs on the seat just sorta daydreaming. There was an instant of warning noise then the little lady got the rock job of her travels. I have no idea how far she was laid over. During daylight we have seen 40 degrees here and there on the inclinometer but that was chump change compared to this deal. When you have been at sea for a while you Know how to secure things. You know to put safety straps on he laptops, put small items in baskets sitting on top of no slip mat and Put Things Away. Well, Everything came sliding, falling and crashing down. MS went from Sweet Dreams to standing on her feet with her face planted against the wall across from the bed and arms up like a SWAT team take down. From Sweet Dreams to H..... S..... in less than a second. That was cool.

The laundry basket went flying for the first time ever, the forward stateroom storage on the port side emptied for the first time ever and the galley stuff that Does Not Move ended up on the floor. Yup, sugar bowl broken. Our little special sugar bowl we bought in Portugal on a road trip with the Envoy and Rover crews. At least the gift from friends olive oil container didn't break. Olive oil and raw brown sugar would be an interesting mix. So MS who was Not a sleepy head got busy with galley clean up and I started on the pilothouse clean up. Of course in back of both minds was; when is the Next One coming?

We could speculate what happened but obviously there was some reason a single wave that was Very different from the rest came to be. Egret was south of the Grand Banks but just crossing a small tail piece that went from 3000m to 1500m. It was a quick crossing across the projection and then she would have been back in deep water. Perhaps there was some wall or some deal underwater that caused this wave. I don't really have a clue. What we did was to turn nearly due west and move the seas from just forward of the beam to more forward giving the bow a chance to climb across the waves on a greater angle. We ran that course all night then turned this morning (Mon) to the long stretch toward Sydney. This is the longest leg with a routing waypoint north of some very broken bottom that could be problematic in weather. The next waypoint is off the entrance to Sydney harbor.

OK, here is the girl boat warning we said may be coming. Egret has 3.33 tons of lead ballast in the keel. She is Designed and Engineered to be at sea and deal with at sea conditions, and Built for at sea conditions. She got knocked waaaay down and stayed down for more than a few seconds and popped back up. This was a first and hopefully a last. An unballasted girl boat, or a poorly engineered or built ballasted girl boat, not designed Specifically to go to sea and deal with Freak at sea conditions would have had a Very Hard Time with the major rock job. For what it's worth.

Just as forecast, the weather started laying down in the later early morning hours. Also just as forecast, once we moved the current off the bow she took off running in the low 6 knot range. Now it is 0940 on a gray rainy day, the seas are swells with a little wind chop but that will be going away as the wind drops. The wind is now down to 10.5 knots. At times last night there were gusts to 36 knots.

The only other thing of interest was a ship leaving Montreal on its way to Port Sudan, Egypt. The AIS popped on a 9nm and showed a CPA of 2.68nm and the ship would be passing in front of Egret. OK. One thing you learn to do, AND write it down, is to watch the ship's course to see if they are holding course, turning or whatever. You write it down because when things get tight and you are trying to remember the ships course you may or not be correct. In any case the CPA was reducing and I could see the ship was going from a comfortable CPA to being closer as it kept turning slowly toward Egret. When the CPA reduced to .8nm and they were 2nm away I could see a couple more degrees of turn toward Egret so I popped off autopilot and steered 20 degrees to stbd. All I can think of is this turkey lips was bored and wanted to take a closer look. After the ship was relatively close the ships name appeared on the AIS, I called on the VHF by ship's name and asked if they had a copy. I wanted the ship to know I know who they are. We switched channels and the watch stander asked in a Eastern European accent if we were a fishing boat. I said no, we were a small private vessel 15 days enroute from Gibraltar. (Of course this isn't true except it Is true in the fuel range/days at sea sense) Silence. Then he asked how many days fuel we carried and I replied 20 which is less than reality but I was caught by the question. So that was it and we went our ways but didn't appreciate his curiosity.

OMNI Bob has forecast improving weather all the way into Sydney so from here on it should be easy. The downside of Egret's increased speed is she will arrive at nighttime early Thursday morning with no changes. Being August and at this relatively high latitude the days are long with a lengthy evening twilight. Sydney harbor is a well charted, simple entrance. C-Map charts show just one marina in Sydney and a couple small dock areas and one has to be the yacht club. The docks should be lit so we will enter at night if that is the case. We found in the past Canadian charting is very accurate and this harbor having been a commercial port during the coal boom days the charting should be spot on. We'll see.

The next VofE will come from Sydney and Egret's return to North America. Ciao.

 


Ed. Note - The glossary of Egretism terms will be posted on the Captain's Log home page for easy reference.

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