A day chilling and a day sailing

Saxon Blue's Blog
Harvey Jones and Andrea Stokes
Sat 11 Sep 2010 23:22
44:56.953N 62:04.322W Saturday night

It was Andrea and my anniversary yesterday so I was up so late that I was too tired to write the blog. When I say late, it was actually 10pm when I went to bed but I was too knackered to talk, let along write.

We decided to stay where we were yesterday as we were all tired and the wind was forecast to be directly ahead of us all day if we headed down to Halifax. Instead, Kali and Magnus serviced the engine and generator so that's two big jobs that don't need to be done later. I spent some time working out what jobs need to be done on Saxon Blue when we get to the USA and preparing a list of warranty work that needs to get done - not that there's much after such a lot of sailing. We had our lunch at Claire's cafe on the quay and I spent a long time chatting to her once we'd finished. She's Isle Madame born and bred and told me all about the history and current affairs of the place. It was originally settled by Accadian French people who left France to avoid the English. They were then kicked out of Isle Madame by the same English and went off to settle other bits of America. They can't all have left, though, as there is still a strong French influence on the island. We discussed whether Quebec is going to leave Canada (not as they can't afford to) and how much tax they pay (about 50% but they get a lot of services).

All the time we were chatting, we were looking out at the harbour. It's so peaceful with its backdrop of pine covered islands. A Bald Eagle came in to land on the shore and spent a long time just sitting watching. They fly overhead all the time. The Cormorants dive and surface, gulping unfortunate fish. A stunning place.

Andrea had found a local art gallery in the morning but didn't have any cash so I went up there to get some cards. It was in the lady artist's front room and, when I went in, they mistook me for their neighbour which caused much confusion - as I said to them, the neighbour must be a very handsome chap. They were really friendly and told me about their lives on the island and the seven White Tailed Deer that they'd seen in their garden that morning.

Andrea had spent all day in the Yacht Club working on her computer so we used their phone to ring the restaurant where we wanted to go for dinner. They could fit us in but there were no taxis to get there so they arranged to pick us up from the quay and deliver us to the other side of the island for dinner. At 6:15, the waitress from the restaurant turned up and we set off. It was lovely to spend the evening just the two of us chatting on and I think Kali and Magnus enjoyed their evening off in the Yacht Club as well. The same waitress then took us back to our harbour, chatting all the way and telling us that we were a good excuse for her to leave work early and go to see her sister.

I just managed to stagger off to bed before falling asleep, aided by the fact that I'd eaten rather too much pie for dinner. We all needed an early night, though, as we wanted to get off at 0700 this morning to start our trip South to Halifax. In the event, we were so efficient that we got off slightly early into the wispy fog. We had to navigate our way around the island before we could really get into the trip but, once out in the open sea, we got going well. There was a lot of swell left over from the last few days and hardly any wind so it was a bit uncomfortable although the sea was flat enough for us to see what I took to be some dolphins leaping near the boat. There was something odd about them, though, and Magnus pointed out that their tails were on the wrong way. They weren't dolphins atall, they were massive Tuna. They had silver topsides and white underneath and were leaping completely clear of the water with their tails still driving. They were so strong and fast - really impressive - and it made me wonder how they manage to get enough oxygen out of the water to power along like that. They must have enormous gills and massive appetites.

Soon after lunch, we passed through a narrow band of rain and the wind immediately rose and veered so we could sail. The sea got up as well so Kali and I had an exhilerating afternoon sailing at about 9 knots in 25 to 30 knots of breeze. There was spray everywhere, particularly when we headed in towards the coast to find a place to anchor for the night. The first couple of places we looked at were too open and we ended up doing our own survey between some islands in a couple of meters of water before finding a lovely little spot which should see us comfortably through the night - so long as the wind doesn't veer too much more. It's about 8pm now and I'm absolutely exhausted after a full day on the water so I don't think it will be too long before I'm back in bed. We should get to Halifax tomorrow so I'm looking forward to that - it's been our destination for a long time now.


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