John and Phyllis have cruised Canada’s East Coast from the Bay of Fundy to Baffin Island for over 25 years. Here are some of their favourite places.
Cruising Notes—Canada’s East Coast
As John is wont to say, “The best cruising ground in the world runs from the Maine border to Cape Chidley, Labrador, including Newfoundland” and, after 25 years of cruising this coast, he knows what he’s talking about! Canada’s East Coast offers thousands of snug anchorages, with prevailing offshore winds, great hiking, friendly people, and a range of experiences encompassing everything from cities, to the largest tides in the world, to the remote high latitudes.
But such a plethora of anchorages can make planning a cruise a daunting prospect. These cruising notes, running from south to north, will hopefully encourage you to visit this coast and make choosing where to go a bit easier.
Table of Contents:
What makes for a perfect anchorage? Well, the east coast of Canada has perfect anchorages galore.
Crossing from Maine to Nova Scotia can be daunting, due to the big tides in the Bay of Fundy. But the rewards of entering a new cruising ground make it worthwhile. Here are a few tips on how to make the passage.
There’s more to Yarmouth than meets the eye—don’t just sail on by.
The Tusket Islands make for a challenging but rewarding cruising ground.
Cape Sable is beset by ferocious tides and uneven shoals. Throw in regular doses of dense fog and you’ll need no convincing to avoid this place in bad weather. With the right weather and timing, however, you can have a pleasant rounding, opening up the whole Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia for you to explore.
An amazing coincidence provides a small glimpse into what life was like in the day on Cape Negro Island, Nova Scotia.
Cape Negro and McNutts Islands on the Nova Scotia southwest shore offer beautiful anchorages…in the right weather conditions.
An historical and friendly town, a pristine beach, and an UNESCO World Heritage site: Nova Scotia has it all and Colin is back with his unique travel writer’s voice to tell us about cruising there.
Unmarked channels, poorly charted bays, non-road-served islands…there’s exploring to do in the LaHave Islands.
Lunenburg charms with its historic waterfront, dory races, and tasty restaurants. Oh, and it’s a UNESCO world heritage site to boot!
John presents Lunenburg in a good light—both in words and pictures.
There’s nothing quite like being in a beautiful sheltered wild anchorage within spitting distance of a major city.
Big city living aboard Morgan’s Cloud.
Deserted beaches and partridgeberries, only two of the many benefits of the aptly-named Shelter Cove.
Liscombe Lodge makes a fun stop with its mix of nature walks and hotel amenities.
When the GFS GRIB data suggested that in twelve days there would be calm seas at Sable Island, Molly and family were inspired to organize a visit to this “remote, desolate and gorgeous place”.
Colin takes us to the legendary among cruisers, idyllic and sheltered Bras d’Or Lakes of Nova Scotia.
Colin carries on with his tale of an unsurprisingly unpleasant crossing to Newfoundland with a surprisingly pleasant landfall.
Colin carries on with the story of their 2018 cruise: A nerve jangling approach, deserted anchorages, a spooky abandoned village and managing a boat mechanical problem of the type that seem to plague us all sooner or later—a tale of real cruising.
Though we’ve visited Grand Bank before and we’ve spent numerous nights tied up in Port-aux-Basques, that doesn’t mean we’ve experienced all these places have to offer!
Though road-served, Rose Blanche still has an out-of-this-world feeling.
Outports (isolated non-road served Newfoundland communities) are slowly dying as the youth move to more urban environments for work. So don’t wait too long to visit the ones that remain.
The outport of La Poile, Newfoundland—beautiful and isolated and aging.
The outport of Grand Bruit, Newfoundland—closed in 2010, it’s a beautiful and eerie waystop.
Sure, listen to local knowledge, and cruising guides can help choose a destination, but sometimes it’s better to go your own way and make up your own mind.
Burgeo, Newfoundland—bakeries, beaches, and…a canal?
The south coast of Newfoundland offers two beautiful fjord anchorages at Doctor Harbour and White Bear Bay.
Ramea, though on an island off the south coast of Newfoundland, is served by a car ferry from the road-connected town of Burgeo.
Bakeapples and fog…Newfoundland shows its true colours!
Deadman’s Cove has it all: a sheltered anchorage (in most conditions), challenging hike, stunning scenery, and a private swimming pool.
The outport of Francois has a lot to offer, including a floating dock and hiking—everything from short strolls on the boardwalk to an epic.
McCallum is another friendly Hermitage Bay village with a quirky custom.
Gaultois doesn’t see very many visiting sailboats and so the townsfolk come to the wharf to visit. Unfortunately, on this visit the weather didn’t allow Morgan’s Cloud to stay long.
A visit to Hermitage to do the laundry became a visit filled with great experiences in an unexpected treasure of a place.
An outport in Placentia Bay? Who knew!
Phyllis and John return to a magic harbour where their cruising life together began.
If you are a cruiser, the health of coastal communities will be of interest. Phyllis has some thoughts.
Phyllis shares the latest act of kindness bestowed on her and John by a Newfoundlander.
After recommending the Lewisporte Marina to a number of cruisers looking to leave their boat in Newfoundland over a winter, John and Phyllis finally get a chance to visit Lewisporte themselves…for the second time in John’s case.