Thursday, August 13th, 2009
Summerside was hardly all work and no play. Each crew member had a couple of days off to explore the town and the beautiful countryside of Prince Edward Island. A group of our crew had tickets to a big concert on the day the ship sailed in, so they drove across the Confederation Bridge (which we had just sailed under the day before) to see AC/DC in Moncton, New Brunswick. From all reports, the concert was outstanding. More than 90,000 people attended. Wow!
Low Tide Golf Tournament
On Saturday night, the off-watch was invited to Ron Casey’s house for the 22nd annual Sand Bar golf tournament. Every year, Ron waits for a day in August when the tide is out for a long time and sets up an eight hole golf course on the sand below the high tide mark. All the equipment needed to play was provided, including clubs, balls, tees and score cards. Some of the holes were quite challenging with water hazards and obstructions from seaweed, rocks, tall grass, ridges in the sand and jellyfish. The unusual terrain of the course meant that luck was required almost as much as skill in order to get a good score. Maria won two prizes, one for top female golfer and one for coming from the farthest distance away (she’s from South Africa). The golf game was followed by a huge BBQ and corn and mussel boil, along with a bonfire. All of our crew who attended the sand bar golf were also “Spudded In”, making us honorary Prince Edward Islanders. We were each given a potato to kiss, then we had to hop across the lawn in a potato sack, kiss the potato again and drink a shot of rum if you were old enough. Official certificates were issued at the end of the ceremony and we could have our pictures taken with a guy in a potato suit.
The Silver Fox Yacht Club was our base of operations ashore. They were great about letting us relax, do laundry, take showers, lay out a sail and use their dock for skiff runs. One of the club members, Dick, had some of our crew out to sail his 35′ sloop for small vessel handling training and practice. This Yacht Club facility is pretty unusual, even unique because it’s a combination yacht club and curling club, the only one of its kind in Canada. The two seasonal uses seem to balance each other out well, with a full marina of boats in the summer and a very active curling program in the winter.
New Crew and Drills
In Summerside, we ended the second leg of this summer’s voyage around the Maritimes and began the third leg. We said goodbye to five crew members and welcomed twelve new ones on Monday. There are a few familiar faces joining us again, including Ollie from the fourth world circumnavigation, Grady and Judy from the summer of 2006, and Allison, Hayley and John who have been with us on a few different summer voyages. We also have some new folks who have never been aboard before. As people arrived on Monday, they all received orientation tours. On Tuesday morning, before we sailed from Summerside, we did a review of safety procedures and safety training for the whole crew, followed by a man overboard drill where we launched and recovered the boat and a fire drill where we ran out and charged the hoses.
We got underway late Tuesday morning, sailing off the hook and out of Summerside harbour. We’re bound for the Magdalen Islands, or Les Iles de la Madeleine as they’re called in French, which are in the middle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and part of the province of Quebec. Then onward towards Newfoundland…