46:05.98N 60:44.90 Baddeck, Cape Breton Island

Cantilena returns from North America
Des Crampton
Tue 31 May 2022 19:50

At the end of another week of boat work we feel we are approaching readiness for departure. During our first two weeks at Baddeck we were preoccupied by ‘big’ tasks like launching the boat, stepping the mast, getting the engine working and so on, whereas this past week the focus has been on a myriad of smaller tasks. We plug away all day and after dinner have a session with the master list, ticking off the jobs completed.

The radar problem hung about for some time suggesting we faced the tiresome task of pulling through a new cable. As a last ditch, we employed a specialist to replace the ethernet plug on the cable. To our relief the problem was solved. Much of the week has been taken up with work on deck - much cleaning followed by servicing and fitting of sailing hardware. Several control lines have been replaced with attendant splicing and whipping. The remaining sails have been retrieved from the shed loft space and stowed. The new life raft has been installed in its modified cradle. The dinghy has been inflated and the outboard serviced so, all ship-shape on deck. Down below, a small endoscope brought from UK facilitated inspection of the diesel fuel. We had concerns that the fuel might have developed ‘diesel bug,’ an algal growth in condensed water in the fuel which can lead to fuel line blockage. Relieved to say all looks clear so the tank has been topped up with fresh fuel. Further tasks included gearbox, coupling and stern gland checks; test bilge pumps; steering gear checks and lubrication; autohelm commissioning; install toilet service kit; commission satellite phone; pack the grab bag; spring clean the cooker; and so on – you get the idea.

Terry returned from her big shop with a pile of victuals all of which have been listed and stowed in their assigned spaces. The final domestic items have been brought down from the loft and deployed for our comfort. Water tanks are full, so we are just about there …... Over the last week I have been keeping an eye on the weather and guess what? A deep low-pressure system has parked itself off the eastern coast of Newfoundland giving rise to some three days of gale-force northerly winds in the Cabot Straight, the stretch of water between here and our first destination to the north in Newfoundland. Sea temperature is still only about six degrees so peak daytime temperature has accordingly plummeted into single figures. Just as we are itching to get away, we must now deploy that other resource important to a sailor, patience. We must bide our time in anticipation of fair winds.