Sunday, August 10, 2014

Halifax Nova Scotia

Roving fog banks in the NW Arm Anchorage
The trip from Lunenburg started off promising, clearing the harbor under full sail, the wind soon vanished. After sailing to a standstill, the motor was turned on and remained in motorsail mode all the way into Halifax, putting the anchor down at 0230. Halifax has all the attractions of any big city, the first I have been in since Florida. It is a bike friendly town with almost all shopping within walking distance of the anchorage in the Northwest arm. Nearby is a yacht chandler, Walmart, two other grocery stores, a shopping mall and a Canadian tire store. Àlso a dive shop at the rotary that will fill scuba tanks for$7.There is bus service throughout town with bike racks on the bus. I was taken in as guest of a member of the Armdale yacht club that I talked to while on their fuel dock,allowing me use of their facilities.  Their help has been invaluable in locating what I needed in town and using their address to receive mail.
Halifax harbor from museum ship Acadia
There are numerous independent coffeehouses, bars etc nearby on the Halifax waterfront. There is much to see , but two museums stand out: the Maritime museum and the museum of Natural history.
Halifax info: I anchored in the far end of the Northwest Arm in 20'. The whole arm is very crowded with moorings, but there is room to anchor carefully. Bottom is reputed tobe soft mud but I have not dragged yet in winds up to twenty knots ona 5:1 scope.  There is also space to anchor by the Dingle. Dinghy access is either at the yacht club or at the small floating dock at the park. Tidal range is about two meters. There is a bus stop near the yacht club and at the park.
The next stop will be the Bras d'or lakes, a little over a hundred miles from Halifax. Sailing out on a clear day, i enjoyed seeing all that I missed during my middle of the night arrival. Took a good look at the other yacht club, the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron on the way. Although much closer to the ocean than Armdale, it has two shortcomings:  without a Bicycle or car, no shopping is nearby and all the boats there were rolling in the swell working its way in.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Lunenburg Nova Scotia

Historic Lunenburg harbor

Classic sail 
Lunenburg is a bit of a tourist town, but that is survival. It is a thriving waterfront town when a lot of other Canadian fishing towns declined with the fishing industry. Despite being a bit tourist oriented it is  a fascinating place to visit for anyone with an interest in schooners and other classic sailing craft. It is also homeport to the famous Bluenose II, perhaps the most famous schooner of all. The original Bluenose ended her days hauling cargo in the Caribbean and was wrecked on a reef near Ile a Vache Haiti. Number 2 was launched in 1963 when the Canadian s realized they had lost a national treasure.  It is currently finishing up a 2 year refit in Lunenburg. The Atlantic Fisheries Museum is well with a day to visit, including a visit to an old trawler and a schooner docked there and seeing firsthand the evolution of the fishing industry.
Lunenburg foundry is still in business and repaired my windlass even though it they have not made windlasses in 15 years. Also still turning out wooden blocks and other traditional rigging gear is A Dauphinee  and sons, who rebuilt all the blocks for the Bluenose refit.
Everything a sailboat may need after a passage is available here and all within walking distance. However there is no fuel available on the docks, it has to be carried from the service station in jugs. The anchorage is not as crowded as it looks, there is plenty of space outside of the moored boats. The bottom is very soft mud, so a lot of chain on the bottom is required to keep from dragging.
Next stop is Halifax for resupply and mail call.