Friday, September 4, 2015

Yarmouth, Nova Scotia

We left our beautiful anchorage off of Cape Negro at 8 a.m. on Sept. 3 bound for Yarmouth, our last port in Canada.  We awoke to another pea soup fog but we needed to push on for the long cruise around Cape Sable and north to Yarmouth.  We are OK with fog thanks to our instruments.  But it does make for a hyper vigilant cruise.  As we rounded Cape Sable we encountered confused seas and 3 to 4 foot waves.  Thankfully, the winds were not too bad.  We took the off-shore route that kept us away from the rocky coast and we traveled about 3 miles off shore.

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Once we rounded Cape Sable, the seas calmed down but the fog remained.  We decided to do a partial inland route through a narrow three mile long passage called Schooner Passage.  Unfortunately, due to the fog we missed most of the beautiful scenery but the inside passage reduced our travel time.  We were able to glimpse a bit of the lovey coast line scenery in the few fog-clearing moments that occurred.

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Jonny and Robbie did most of the driving that day and we arrived in Yarmouth safe and sound.  Yarmouth is a town with a serious fishing industry.  We tied up at the Killam Brothers Marina, the only game in town. It was adjacent to a fish processing plant.  Evidence of that was apparent in the many fish scales that floated on the surface of the wharf.  This is the land of extreme tides – 16 to   20 feet!  You can see the tide lines  on the wall in the picture below.

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The dockmaster was very capable and helpful to us as we determined exactly when we would leave for the Bay of Fundy crossing.

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There is a huge ferry that runs overnight from Maine to Yarmouth and according to Robbie, it wasn’t even half full when he came over on it. We could feel the vibrations from the ferry in our own boat before we even saw it.

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Though Yarmouth is not as charming as Shelborne or some of the other coastal towns we’ve visited, it does have a historic center to it and our stay was quite comfortable. After arriving at about 3:15 we biked around the town and through the historic areas where there were some beautiful and well-maintained homes, many of them from the mid-1800’s.

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The more commercial streets nearer the wharf were not as impressive and clearly had seen better days.  The real commercial district was on the outskirts of town and Jonny and Robbie rode out there to do some shopping and errands.  Later on they took the dinghy across the harbor to a small beach where Robbie did his obligatory dip in the water, brave (or foolish) soul that he is!

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We had dinner the first night at a local seafood restaurant (another round of fish and chips and Canadian beer).

We used Friday to  ready the boat for the crossing, cleaning, doing small repairs, etc.  Robbie was very helpful in working with Jonny to fix a minor water leak that had been a tremendous irritation!

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In the meantime, we had company at the dock. A magnificent 100 foot yacht docked in front of us.  Lynn was busy cleaning and never even heard it pull up.  When she looked up, the yacht’s huge bow was looming over Zendo’s bow.  The ship was from New Caledonia. We met the captain and his wife and they and a crew of five were taking the yacht back to France where it was built for a bit more work.  It looked pretty perfect to us!  Later on, it left the dock to fuel up taking on over 3000 gallons of fuel, enough to make it all the way to France.

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We ate lunch at the local fish shack on the wharf, something like a food truck in a shed. It had the best reviews on Trip Advisor and the food was pretty good.  Jonny was especially pleased with his pulled pork sandwich which he hasn’t had since we left the south.

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Lynn made chicken curry in the pressure cooker for dinner and we made last minute preparations for our watch.  We would be leaving at 3 a.m. in order to catch the best tides and current and take advantage of what are predicted to be calm winds and seas. 

We’ll be sad to leave Canada which has been a truly extraordinary experience but we are looking forward to exploring Maine.  Our first stop is Northeast Harbor where we will clear customs and reconnect with Michael Goldfield and his family. 

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