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The Artful Dodger II

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.

Friday, July 9, 2010

St. Lawrence to Lawn (her view)

St. Lawrence is a busy fishing port with a busy fish processing plant. Seagull heaven. We were able to tie up to another fishing boat, which the guys said was not going anywhere for awhile. They have nice showers there and laundry facilites.
We attempted to leave here the next day, the Captain's plan was to go right to Baddeck from here; however when we tried going around the cape there were huge waves ( 20 to 30 feet high and there was one which we seemed to just keep climbing) and a nasty on the nose wind. We decided to turn back and wait another day. Even the crab fishermen were waiting for better seas.

St. Brides to St. Lawrence (her view)

Well we finally made it to St. Brides after a bit of a detour into St. Mary's Bay. We arrived just before dark and tied up to a fishing boat. Beautiful cliffs all around but too tired to take pictures.

The next morning the fisherman helped us turn the boat so we could get out (the harbor was pretty crowded) and set out to cross Placentia Bay. Upon leaving we got the Newfoundland nod from the fisherman who helped us out.

Crossing Placentia Bay was beautiful, wall to wall sunshine (and calm seas) as Maurice would say. If we had checked the weather we might have kept going but instead we headed for St. Lawrence to take a break.