Gone Sailing

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Three weeks ago we sailed away from our cottage in Nova Scotia where we had spent most of the summer while Morgan’s Cloud went round and round her mooring and we did boat chores in an effort to tie up the loose ends left over from our refit.

As we left the inlet bound west for Maine and a six week shake down cruise of the outer Bay of Fundy, a little voice in my head was saying “It has been so long since we were out there cruising, I wonder if I still like it? What if I miss long showers, flush toilets and the Internet? What if I get bored? What if I have forgotten how to cruise?” A horrible little voice calling into question the worth of thousands of hours of refit work over three winters.

But you know what? Cruising feels good. Damned good. Even better than I remembered. I’m having fun in so many ways: The joy of sailing a great boat and tweaking the rig to get the best out of her. Talking to interesting people like the offshore tuna/swordfish fishermen—think The Hungry Ocean and The Perfect Storm—and the retired lifeboat coxswain that we met at Clarks Harbour at the southwest corner of Nova Scotia. A fast overnight sail when the old teamwork between Phyllis and I came back. Walks on incredible deserted beaches at Cape Sable and Roque Island. Dinners with friends in our snug cabin. Nights spent at anchor in sheltered rock bound coves. Visits to offshore islands like Matinicus and Isle au Haut. Hikes on paths and bushwhacking through woods. Trying to capture it all by taking 1500 photographs.

I love this stuff.

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John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for 25 years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 20 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

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