Question: What’s The Best Part About An “Overnight”?

Okay, the other good thing about an overnight is Breakfast of Champions the next morning: eggs, bacon and mayo on a toasted bagel. B of C might even make overnights worthwhile!

Answer: The “over”!

Finally, after five busy weeks at Basecamp dealing with chores and medical appointments (the annual 50,000 mile check-up is getting more onerous as we get older!), we are on our way towards the south coast of Newfoundland.

Now, the only deadline we have this summer is picking up family in Port-aux-Basques on July 1st. And, since it took us a week to get from Basecamp to Port-au-Choix last year (700 miles), we figured that it should only take us a week to get from Basecamp to Port-aux-Basques this year (300 miles), what with our new slow mentality.

Except that we slipped a bit with our new slow mentality. Instead of daysailing, we took off on Sunday and pulled a 200-mile overnight to the Bras d’Or Lakes. Which is fine, and we’re very happy to be here now, except that the overnight wasn’t a lot of fun: there was a nasty left-over sea from a tropical storm offshore, there was lots of fog, John lost lunch, I was seriously squiffy, and, all in all, we really didn’t enjoy ourselves until we passed through the St. Peter Canal and entered the Lakes yesterday afternoon.

Morgan’s Cloud tied up alongside in the St. Peter Canal.

So what was that about? Why didn’t we just take a few days to daysail? Because we knew there was bad weather coming, we felt pressure from the deadline, and we fell into old habits. What we really should have done is leave a few days earlier, daysail in the lovely weather we had last week, and then pull an overnight, if we had to, once we were acclimated. Old habits die hard!

The moral of this story? We’re going to have to allow for a lot more time to make the miles if we are going to stick to the new slow program. Like a week to cover 150 miles (2 or 3 daysails and at least one whole day for exploring each place).

We’ll report on how well we manage with the new program this summer!

So how many miles a week do you plan for when cruising? Please leave a comment.

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Meet the Author


Phyllis has sailed over 40,000 offshore miles with John on their McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, most of it in the high latitudes, and has crossed the Atlantic three times. As a woman who came to sailing as an adult, she brings a fresh perspective to cruising, which has helped her communicate what they do in an approachable way, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 12 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

10 comments… add one
  • René Bornmann Jun 28, 2012, 4:40 am

    Dear Phyllis,

    The third picture really ‘hurts’

    I would love to see more pics of your trip up north!

    Thanks and best regards,


    • John Jun 28, 2012, 3:24 pm

      Hi René,

      We plan to publish these short slideshows regularly as we cruise this summer. Of course that will be dependent on internet availability.

  • richard s. Jun 28, 2012, 9:02 am

    i applaud your new go-a-bit-slower attitude…i hit that wall myself several years ago, made the same adjustment, and have never looked back knowing it was the right decision

    i just looked at your basecamp post of a couple years ago and would like to ask: you refer to your mooring as being always available, but i believe moorings are technically available for anybody to use as they, by definition, are beyond riparian property lines…somebody may set up a mooring, but i don’t believe the mooring then becomes exclusive of others who happen to want to use it for at least a while anyway…i know from experience though that skippers normally will be quite possessive of moorings they have set up, and will often make quite a scene if they find you there whether they need it or not…please advise your understanding of this…richard in tampa bay (m/v cavu’s skipper, formerly s/v sidra’s skipper)

    • John Jun 28, 2012, 4:57 pm

      Hi Richard,

      Just to clarify, in the post I was referring to the cabin at our Base Camp being always available because we did not need to rent it, not the mooring.

      We let all comers use our mooring when we are not there, although we do expect them to ask us before using it and to move promptly if we wish to use it. Not sure of any law, but that is what we see as reasonable behavior.

      • richard s. Jun 28, 2012, 5:18 pm

        fairly certain moorings legally are fair game for anybody to use within reason and providing the mooring is unoccupied…this is primarily because there is normally nothing contrary to this except possibly municipally operated moorings such as at ft myers beach and the key west city mooring field near the city marina there…i hasten to add that upon picking up an empty mooring that later brings objections from the supposed owner or his representative alongside one’s moored vessel, discretion as the better part of valor would strongly suggest just dropping the mooring for another one or dropping the hook somewhere else…when i once took exception to the objections i was then led to believe i might awaken in the morning to find myself who knows where…a consideration to keep in mind whether there are objections or not if you catch my drift…richard in tampa bay (m/v cavu’s skipper, formerly s/v sidra’s skipper)

  • Roland Jun 28, 2012, 11:49 am

    We do not really plan for how many miles we are going per week.
    As we have plenty with time we do not have to. We sail when the weather is nice. We stay if a place as long a place is interesting.

    The only schedule is when to pick up people that are sailing which us. That creates stress as you suddenly have deadlines.!

    We tell our guests that they should be prepared to stay in a Hotel for one or two nights in case we are delayed, or be prepared to adjust their travel plans. But normally we rent a car and pick them up as it is a way for us to “do something ells for a day” It is amazing how much ground you can cover which a car in 3-4 hours compared with a boat. So far it has not been a problem. Our next guest bough a railway card that give them 100 % flexibility in Europe.

  • Jenny Franklin Jun 28, 2012, 1:57 pm

    We’re going so slow we haven’t left the dock yet!!! Ready to take off today (Thursday) but have just sprung a leak – well, not really sprung, it’s probably been growing slowly ever since we launched, but our first ‘sleep’ on the boat lsitening to the bilge pump running had us searching for the cause. And it appears we have a weld problem – hopefully minor, but it necessitates hauling and getting Mathegan to come over with a mobile outfit to reweld. Oh well, any day soon ….

  • Rikki Jun 28, 2012, 3:19 pm

    So, what wonderfull places did you miss out on along the Nova Scotia coast?

    • John Jul 1, 2012, 10:00 am

      Hi Rikki,

      Well the “Eastern Shore” between Halifax and Canso is one of the most lovely cruising grounds anywhere—a gunkholer’s paradise.

  • tassio Jul 1, 2012, 8:29 pm

    Really like the thought of feng shui on anchorages!

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