But not on my boat.
I came into Armadale Yacht Club in Halifax, Nova
Scotia after a night at sea. You have to
tie up somewhere.
There had been plenty of wind forecast for the
night, so again 3 reefs were put in and the storm jib hoisted before
dark. As the wind had not arrived, I rolled out half the genoa
as well. I had come out of St Peter's after a second quiet night there and
run round Madame Island and Canso Cape. That put us on the long SE
shore of Nova Scotia. The wind was blowing off the shore so the closer in I
was, the smaller the waves.
Though the afternoon I tucked up into the bays and
bore away round the headlands, with smooth water in a good
strong breeze. In the dark and trying to sleep that seemed too exciting,
so after reefing I headed further out to sea. Sleep and rocks
are a bad combination.
I got into Halifax at 4pm the following day,
tied up, asked where I could moor, moved 2 berths along, paid for the night and
had a shower. By this time I must have chatted to perhaps a dozen different
people and felt no embarrassment in wandering into the bar for a quiet
drink. I was invited out on a boat for a race the following afternoon. As the
owner was not there, I sort of accepted but the following morning round at the
local shop I was offered a lift back to the yacht club with my bag of food
by an Irish doctor, the owner. He had been told of
me and repeated the invitation, so I turned up.
A fun race, not serious racing and on a big
competitive boat but with a very scratch crew. The sailmaker was
the "Olympic standard" helmsman and four more of the crew
obviously raced regularly, but the other half dozen of us were wives and
hangers on . The wives were banished to the cabin for the start and
the beat out of the long bay. The start was nearly catastrophic as the
genoa would not unroll, but we unrolled it manually, round the jammed roller and
were eventually off sailing.
The long beat out was all in sunshine, round the
top mark and back through a narrow passage which had figured in the previous
night's discussion. If we were on line there might be enough water, off
line and we would be firmly aground. Our boat's keel might be too deep, or
the channel might have silted up.
The excitement when we got to the critical
stretch, were the two smaller yachts we were overtaking . With the
wind astern there was no way to slow down, but the second one tucked in tight to
one side to let us keep in the centre of the channel. We all got
After that the helmsman got out his guitar
and with beers and rum and the bits of food people had brought, the run back, in
ever dropping winds, was much more party than yacht race. Proper Canadian Irish yacht racing. The helmsman was a
good guitarist who has played at the Cavern Club in Liverpool.