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The Artful Dodger II

Tuesday, December 14, 2010



This is apic of Karin and a Military Priest, he gave us our blessings

Mic and Bee's Hannah

sign we saw posted in a door window

a gathering of vessels heading south

Karin in front of a battleship
We have seen many things on our way south and some are so quick one has no chance to take a picture but, sometimes pictures can't really capture what you see other than sharing it with the person you are with. This has been the case with so many of our moment sights. As we will be heading over to Dinner Key in the morning, and then leaving the next morning for the Bahamas we will try a little hard for some more pictures. The last few days have been cold and windy, with some winds around 40 to 50 miles er hour, the temperatures around the teens the mornings, Fahrenheit teens.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

We made it

We Made it

Well we made it finally, after almost 7 months since we left ST John's Newfoundland we are here and at anchor in Miami, waiting for our weather window which looks will be the weekend of Dec the 11th. Its been a very long trip, with a lot of exciting moments, along with many fellow boaters heading south. Everyone always shares where they are off too and we now have settled with the comment that we are just heading to our next port. When we left Shelburne there were 5 boats and as we have been cruising along we have lost a few and gain a few. With arrival in Miami we are here with just one boat we left with from Shelburne, and that is Firecrest. We've experienced everything from winds, waves, currents and bridges. I would say that the most hardest thing was the speed boats, there are a lot of considerate once but just as many jerks. If the USA is in trouble financially we sure didn't see it, there are homes and boats which deify logic. This country must exist on credit.

Karin and I have talked about where we are going and when we might go back home, Karin's thoughts are she is where she wants to be and enjoys the weather and seeing the sights. Right now Karin has gone window shopping while I sit and update our blog since from about three months ago. Internet access has been there but not very good connections , while every time I start an update I loose my connection and then have to start over.

I find now too that I have to been at peace with myself and learning to enjoy things around me. I would like to pass along a thought and not sure how some will view it but, there once was a point in my past life where I was very religious, this trip has found me reflecting on those times, as well ask my dear Lord to keep us save, and as time has past I've been able to see he hasn't just protected us but shown us how to do it. On that subject will leave it there for now and possibly share later some of the times.

I know Christmas is just around the door, and here it does not seem real. no snow and things which represent Christmas to the both of us, but there are boat parades instead of street parades. Over the next few days before our departure we will refit with stores clean the boat and ready ourselves for our crossing.

I will to try and be a little more diligent in keeping the blog updated.

With that I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. With special thoughts going out to My mom, Karin's mom and father as well Rose with also remembering Stephane her brother, Karin's two kids Shawn and Jessica, My brothers Eric, Carl with thoughts of Sam and yes we will get a pirate's flag and send you a picture, Richard, my sisters Lily and my special sister Caroline. There are many friends who we think of at this time and wish which we could see but you know whom you all are and we wish you all the best of the season with our Love and God's blessing

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Patric, Karin and Butch

Friday, October 15, 2010

Shelburne to Cape May

So we finally left Shelburne after much discussion on which way we would go. We agreed on going down the east coast and left with three other boats to Rockland, Maine. This trip started out okay but ended up with high winds, fog, lobster pots, and darkness. This trip took us 48 hours.

In Rockland we checked in with customs with no problems and we have slowly been making our way down the coast, going through New York City and we are now in Cape May waiting out some windy weather.

Friday, September 10, 2010

New Friends

While we have been waiting for friends to arrive here in Shelburne we have been graced with making some new friends. Shelburne is a spot for boats heading south and into Canada where they all seem to arrive before their trip continues. Once our friends of Mic and Bee show up and I've got his boat fixed we will then be ready to continue our trip south. We have spent more time here than we had planned but then we have long since put away the schedule and doing things as they come.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Search for sailing adventure

These fellows are some great Newfoundlanders. I'm bad with names and once someone gives me their name I forget it, but one fellow here is Dave Fong

This here is Dave's new boat a Baba, I think that is how it's spelled. Dave is part owner of the Quidi Vidi Brewery where we had been tied to for four years. It's great to see he has finally got his new boat and she is a beauty. One of the other chaps, the blond fellow, said to me he was in politics but is now retired. Liberal I think he said.

Time has been moving here, it's been almost two weeks and during that time have got a lot done, with painting and varnishing. Seems the next big job on my hands will be cleaning the hull on the outside. Still we're not sure as to which route we are going to take whether the east coast of the U S or to Bermuda. We've been spending the time going for walks all over and just relaxing, although we are both itching to be off and to warmer weather.

Sleepless in Shelburne

Well here we are in Shelburne, not really sleepless but getting restless for sure. This is about as far south as we can go without leaving for the States or Bermuda which is a decision that is still up in the air due to the Hurricane season. Shelburne was recommended to us by a number of people including Mic and Bee, who told us we should call on Yola and Forbes of Windward Flutes , who (because they are in love with Mic and Bee), have let us use their shower and laundry facilites.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

From Lahave River to Lockport

LiverPool to Port Mouton to LockPort

here we are tied to a fishing boat in Port Mouton

This is a group of small boats someone has built and has them floating in Lockport, one is of the Titantic as it hit the iceberg

Karin at Crescent beach

Well we stayed longer than Friday as the weather was still hanging around. Our departure the next morning on Saturday was early as we had a small window to move over to Lockport as the forecast suggested afternoon winds of gusts to 30 knots. As we were entering the channel we saw a big sandy beach on our port side. Once we were able to get around and into Lockport harbour we tied up to a floating dock. Being it was still early in the day we went for a small walk looking for showers and internet, this took us over to Crescent beach. Once back on the boat and dinner out of the way we went again for another walk this time around a pond and back to the beach, we didn't find much here, but were hoping with heading to Shelburne tomorrow that would be a different situation.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Moving Along

Atrful just off Dave and Mary Fran's and the boat house at anchor.

This one of the many sunsets we have been enjoying as we head on our way

S/V Evening Star

Horse pulls at the Bridgewater fair

Horses waiting for their turn at the heavy weight pulls

The Boat House just off where we were anchored for 10 days

Dave, Mary Fran, and Hector

Hector on dock patrol

and here is my better have resting after such hard work

Since our return of our failed attempt to head to the Azores we have been busy. We spent our first night back in Sandy Cove then moved on over to Chester for a day to see what would be our plan. We settled on heading on over to the Lehave river and see some people that Mic and Bee said we should call on, Dave, Mary Fran, and Hector, at the boat house. Once we arrived and I went ashore I thought I was looking for three people but just two person and their dog Hector. The LeHave river has a rust colour to it caused by the source of the river. Once settled just off the boat house and with great people like Dave and Mary Fran we set about getting things fixed. Firstly the auto pilot and GPS. It took a week of calls to Raymarine and leaving message on machines, and with the help of the receptionist, to finally get someone to hear my end and do something. The next trick which we felt would be to just have it delivered and pick up, this too turned into an ordeal as it seems the company DHL have very poor service and don't like going where there is construction. It took them 4 days to deliver the package after they had received it in Halifax. All the while this was going on I was repairing the out board 2 1/2 Yamaha it had carburation problems. During our 10 day stay with Dave and Fran we were invited to the Lunenburg yacht club for their Friday night free dinner, it was mussels with ceasar salad, followed with large chocolate cookies for dessert, it was a real great feast.

It was just as we were just about ready to head on that the Bridgewater fair was starting so we decided to head on to the dock in Bridgewater to take in the fair. Must say this was a true country fair there were more animal barns, with horses of all sizes, oxen, sheep, pigs and every fowl bird of the barn yard you could think of then there were rides or games. The horse pulls were very impressive, but the one attraction of which we got the greatest kick out of was the teams made up from the spectators who were to catch a yearling and put a rope halter on. One fellow tried to grap the yearling by the neck and put him to the ground NOT, what a sight it was and hillarous as well, in the end a young girl and older chap were the winners.

The next morning after the fair we headed out to drop the hook at the entrance of the Lahave river just past the famous Lehave backery. A point I wish to pass along here is that ever since we purchased our wifi antenna, we have been able to enjoy Internet service every where picking up signals which are up to 5 miles away.

Come Sunday morning we headed on out to our next anchorage at Port Medway harbour. We have decided to make short hops on down the coast so we can explore at each anchorage. This stop brought a visit to a very small spot but one could get a near four scoop of ice cream on a cone for 1.99, great buy. With us on the hook I was very excited to have another boat show up and drop the hook. After they were settled I headed on over to say hello, which followed a get together with both Karin and I on their yacht. The couple of Fran and Dean had just made their way up from Maine with their new to them sail boat Evening Star 36ft Bristol. It was very interesting to find out that they were from Ontario and from my old neck of the woods Georgian bay area. It seems they were on their way to Lunenburg to meet with their son and daughter who had brought out their car from Ontario. I learned they planned on leaving their boat in the Lunenburg area for the winter then return and see some of the coast before they took their sail boat back home either the follow year or next.

Up early in the morning found me waving good bye to Evening Star and it's crew, just before we gathered ourselves together to head on over to our next ancjorage Liverpool. With another short hop it was not to bad but as usaul we had the wind and waves on our nose. Once in Liverpool we check it out but found nothing there for stopping so headed over to Herring Cove and Brooklyn Marine. With watching the weather we could see in a few days there was going to be some bad weather so after one night on a mooring ball the decision was to make for Port Mouton the next day and wait out the weather. After our morning showers and readying to get on our way we were to learn that a sailboat had been towed in during the night due to loss of their engine. S/V Northern Symphony with mom dad and two daughters who were on their way south via the east coast route with stops in Maine and on, found themselves now sorting out their problems with the engine. I offered to help but it seems the father knows what the problem is and was sorting it out.

Once again moving on to our next port we were with the wind straight on our nose. Venturing into the Port Mouton harbour we were to learn that, that was all it was, was a port for boats, the nearest store was 4 klms away, of which we walked to. Here we have decided to stay until at least Friday while we wait for the storm warnings to pass, and get some more things off our list of jobs to do. Just to comment on the list it always seems there is something to do or one learns that there is a better way to do something or store something, as so it is with these things that keeps a list always growing.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

We're Back

Well we had set out and once off shore everything was working real good then the problem with auto pilot surfaced again, no GPS fix and other issues, knowing it would be impossible to hand steer we decided to return and sort out the issues once and for all. When we logged in the next evening with Herb, he said that, was a good thing as he would have told us to turn around away and head for Halifax, seemed the weather had made a big change which would have put us in gale conditions. So now we sit figure out the auto pilot, and sort out our future sailing plans.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Leaving for the Azores

Well the time has arrived for us to depart for the Azores. We will be pushing off with in the next 12 hours. There is a favourable weather window according to Herb. We would like very much to thank everyone who has helped us over the past two months since we left Newfoundland. The list is many and wish to mention a few here hope I don't miss any, Randy tour operator of DJ Tours in St. John's NFLD, Steve senior and Steve junior Wiseman, Maurice&Bernie Arsenault,Hedly$Karen Adams,John Lane and his wife,Dave Rees of Quidi Vidi Brewery, John Cox of Lawn, Greg Organ and his son for towing us in when we got caught in a fishing net in Neil's Harbour, and Stanley Simms the diver who removed the net from around our prop. In Baddeck, was great to have help from Mic and Bee, on Hanna, Robbin and Jackie on Blackthorne. Once in Halifax we where helped greatly by CMC and their techs to fix our audo pilot. The yard crew from Armdale yacht club, we wish you all the best Wayne and smooth recovery you are in our prayers. Neil Hughes who help sort out our SSB, which when we had Atlantic Electronics look at it they had all the stories from sun spots to ground plain when in fact all that was wrong was our frequencies were off slightly and we needed to turn up our power or out put of wattage, thanks Neil. We alos wish to thank Al Mosher and MicheleStevens, for the sail we had using your mooring ball, repairing our sails and great moral support for both of us thanks Al, and hope and wish for you that you too will be on your way to the Azores.

I think that covers everyone except we forgot to thank, Mark MacNeil for his help with understanding weather, Laural Cooper, and last but not least our home club member who now has relocated to Armdale from Ottawa Jeff Nelson.

We hope to make this a 15 to 18 day trip, as Artful has really gained her sea legs in that now on a good wind she can move along about 6 knots plus with 15 knots of wind, great improvement from the Ottawa river.

As for our family we will be in touch through out the trip from sea by email.

All our love to everyone

Patric, Karin and Butch.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Port aux Basques to Dingwall

Well we finally made it off the rock. We are now in Cape Breton. We sailed across the Cabot Strait with no problems until we got near St. Paul's Island were the seas began to get rough. So we decided to go to Dingwall. I had gotten nervous about crossing the Cabot Strait after reading the book "Where the wind blows", where the Strait is described as one of the roughest areas in Atlantic Canadian waters.
Dingwall is quite a pretty place and with a bit of a walk, a place to buy homemade bread. Not a place when the wind is blowing east apparently because of the shallow shoals.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Ramea Island to Rose Blanche to Port aux Basques

From Ramea we sailed to Rose Blanche for the night. A very pretty spot but we failed to take pictures.

In the morning we headed for Port aux Basques under a strong north wind. A tiny bird hitched a ride with us for short time but left probably feeling safer under his own power.

After a spectacular crash landing by the Captain into the docks (luckily he landed on some fishing nets that softened the blow) and some help from people who just happened to be standing nearby, we managed to tie up with apparently no damage.

Not so lucky for this shark who happened to be in this fisher person's nets (I think it was a lady and Pat thinks it was man) and who later became bait for lobster.

Ramea Island

We left Fortune with the intent to go to Francois, but after a long sail where it seems we kept seeing the same rock over and over again (even seagulls were passing us) we finally reached the mouth of Francois where we were met with a strong head wind and current. After a couple of hours struggle to get in we gave up and decided to head straight to Ramea.
We arrived at Ramea around 2 AM and tied up to a fishing boat. Unfortunately as we were pulling up alongside the boat our shroud caught some trap markers and snapped a few in half like matchsticks, amid cries of "My shrouds, My shrouds". The next morning that boat was gone so we never got to make amends.

There was supposed to be great showers here and people here who welcome "boat people" but I guess we were too early in the season and the Outdoor Store was still closed.

We were told we could get internet at the school and were met by fine gentleman who brought us into the computer room so we could hook up.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

St. Pierre to Fortune

Early morning run with the wind behind us, and no fog. All went well until the we got to the mouth of Fortune Bay where the waters became choppy and confused making for a long uncomfortable entry into the Harbour.
We cleared customs here with a very nice custom's officer. It was a bit of walk around the dock to the town and we had access to some pretty nice showers.
We would also like to thank Jake Weymouth for finding the name of a book I had read once after lending it to someone, never got it back, have got it now and enjoying the read. A point of interest in all the ports we visited so far they have general stores with everything in them and a real good place to wander around and check out.

Our First European Country

Finally heading to St. Pierre in confused seas with 5 to 6 ft waves. We could see St. Pierre, most of the way, until we were engulfed with fog for the first time this trip.

Upon arriving we were welcomed by many people who were there on other sailboats and by quite friendly customs people.

Just a point I wish to add to Karin's report when we were trying to find the entrance to the harbour, it was Karin who said to me what is that bouy over there, and I replied that's the channel not this one, problem caused by our interface between chart plotter and Auto pilot.
Unfortunately the day we arrived it was a holiday on the Island and everything was closed. So no french bread, cheese or cheap liquour for us. We were told you can take a taxi drive anywhere in St. Pierre for a dollar. It would have nice to stay here an extra day but the Captain seemed to have put the schedule back into play.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Lawn to St. Pierre (still her view)

Well we finally made it around Cape Chapeau Rouge, Cape Rosie, Ferryland Head and Lawn Head. Throwing out the sailing schedule we decided that was far enough for today and decided to dock at Lawn for the night.

This actually turned out to be a few nights due to the weather again. This is were we met Fred Cox who preceded to take us under his wing and show us the town.

He helped us get water and diesel and drove us everywhere, back to St. Lawrence and then off to Marystown to see the oil platform being repaired there. He even supplied us with a bottle of wine.
Thanks for everything Fred.