It’s strange. I have never had any interest in recreational fishing. When other voyagers talk about the cool gear they have that always hooks a fish on an ocean passage and how good the catch was to eat, all I can think of is the mess on deck. It’s not that I don’t like to [...]
The fog lifts as we steam between the islands in the approaches to Rose Blanche, the east end of the road from Port-aux-Basques, and the west end of our cruise of the Newfoundland South Coast. The village curves around a number of little coves, its brightly coloured houses separated by meandering lanes, picturesque proof that [...]
Tucked in among the many rocks and islands enclosing Burgeo, the Burgeo Marine Service Centre takes a bit of tricky navigation to access but once in the welcome is warm. June, the harbourmaster, greets us enthusiastically and shares her plans on how to make the marina more attractive for visitors. The next member of our [...]
As we have a ‘hankering for an anchoring’ after all the time we have spent alongside in various communities, we decide to check out Deadman’s Cove, near the entrance of La Hune Bay, one of the numerous steep-walled fjords that pierce the southwest coast of Newfoundland. With light winds and sunshine forecast for the next [...]
Herman Fudge, self-proclaimed welcome wagon and traffic control for McCallum, a nonroad-served village nestled in among a group of islands at the mouth of Hermitage Bay, stands on the floating dock and waves us in. Grabbing the springline, he holds it while I get ashore. Before wandering off he points out the store near the [...]
Thank god for Marjorie! Our laundry was taking over the boat—in more ways than one—and so finding a laundromat was the driving force behind our decision to come to Hermitage, a road-served, larger community than the outports we’ve been fortunate enough to visit over the last while. So learning that a laundromat is not one [...]
During our rushed trip along this coast 13 years ago, we rode out a gale laced into the snug anchorage at Piccaire, Hermitage Bay. While waiting for the gale to pass, we hiked across the small peninsula that separates Piccaire, the site of a long ago community, and Gaultois. The trail was hard to find [...]
My quads have finally stopped screaming every time I go downhill, but it took three days for them to recover from ‘The Epic’. That’s what John and I are calling the nostalgic hike we took to the lighthouse that guards the west entrance to the narrow fjord that cradles Francois.
The island community of Ramea glistens in the sunshine as we pull up to the wharf in Ship Cove. As we adjust the lines, Brian, the harbourmaster, appears and welcomes us in. After making sure we are comfortable, he settles in for a chat. It sure is good to see the sun, John offers. Brian [...]
A sense of déjà vu hangs over Morgan’s Cloud as we once again steam out of a harbour, right into thick fog and swell. John’s daughter and son-in-law, who have reverted to drug mode, are stretched out on the cockpit seats, this time draped with the camouflage-decorated tarp from our hiking emergency kit to protect [...]
Once again we’re off into the fog that has closed in, right up to the wharf this time. Our next stop is Grand Bruit, only 12 miles from LaPoile, so the youngsters decide to forgo drugs, especially since the first five miles of the trip is in the shelter of LaPoile Bay. This is probably [...]
As we steam out of Channel-Port-aux-Basques the fog closes in. As is our habit when underway in limited visibility, John and I between us work the radar and plotter to differentiate between the myriad rocks and a potential fishing boat hidden among them. The fog swirls around us, lightening up sometimes, then closing in again, [...]
If you look closely at a paper chart of the south coast of Newfoundland surveyed in the 1940s, you will see little black squares indicating houses in virtually every crook and cranny of this convoluted coastline, with symbols for churches and post offices dotted about. And on the ordinance survey maps the line with intermittent [...]
There really is nothing more wonderful in the voyaging life than sharing a place you love with those you love, even though it was foggy for almost the entire ten days of my daughter and son-in-law’s visit.
In Canada we have ice hockey. And then there is street hockey, for those times with no ice. But in the Newfoundland outport of La Poile, where there are no streets or roads, they have wharf hockey.
Amazing the difference twelve hours can make here in Newfoundland. Also amazing how many more sailboats there are than 20 years ago, when we first came this way. It is great to see that other voyagers have discovered this wonderful place. Oh yes, and happy Canada Day to all.
John and I just returned from a challenging Arctic cruise, one of many we’ve undertaken over the last 20 years. On all our previous voyages, we’ve only ever seen the back end of one bear running away from us…we were on the boat, steaming out of an anchorage in Northern Spitsbergen.
We were tied up alongside a fishery wharf in northern Newfoundland when the roar of powerful engines brought us tumbling up from below to see two seine boats attached stern to stern by a thick line and both at full throttle.
I first sailed to Labrador back in 1993, but even that visit was part of a cruise that included circumnavigating Newfoundland, which is enough all by itself for one summer.
[Written August 27] I believe it was the explorer Cartier who christened Labrador “The Land God Gave to Cain”. Obviously he was no fan of Labrador’s barren mountains and often gale lashed and fog surrounded shores.
Over the last 20 years I have sailed north toward Newfoundland from Maine or Nova Scotia more years than not and I thought I knew how to get it done:
Well here we are, back at Billings Diesel & Marine, Morgan’s Cloud’s “home” boatyard in Stonington, Maine—1000 nm, 5 overnights, and 21 days since leaving Charleston [I wrote this on April 21st]. We really thought that, after all the work we did on the boat over the winter, we’d be able to sail directly to [...]
We left our winter berth at Charleston, South Carolina on 1st April—probably an appropriate day, given where we are bound this summer—and headed north using our accustomed way of transiting the east coast of this continent: A series of one or two night offshore passages interspersed with a few days off to enjoy the stops. [...]
Over the years we have been privileged to visit some truly wonderful anchorages in remote places like Greenland, Svalbard and Labrador. But you don’t have to travel to the high latitudes to discover a real gem.
Basecamp for Morgan’s Cloud is a cabin and mooring about 7 minutes’ drive from Lunenburg, a UNESCO heritage site, where we go regularly for groceries, the mail, the gym, etc. But we never take the time to wander around the town—our visits to Lunenburg are all about chores and errands.
We are finally out of the boat yard after the re-power and so I thought I would celebrate with a Photo Short.
We have sailed the coast of Labrador many times and appreciate its rugged scenery, beautiful light, and isolation. So when the government of Canada decided to make the northern part a federal park, we were thrilled. But now that we can’t visit the Torngat Mountains National Park, we aren’t so thrilled anymore.
I have long been meaning to do a full photo essay on Stonington, Maine, home of Billings Diesel and Marine, where Phyllis and I have spent so much of the last five years. First during the “Interminable Refit” and now while replacing Morgan’s Cloud’s engine.
In a departure from our normal habit of cruising the North, we spent the last seven weeks on a leisurely voyage from Maine—where we spent much of the summer—to the Bahamas. (Phyllis wrote about the first part of the trip here.)
Two weeks ago Phyllis and I went lobstering with some friends out of Clarks Harbour on Nova Scotia’s Cape Sable Island. (Not to be confused with Sable Island, which lies to the northeast and further offshore.)