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Sailing to Lunenburg

After Hurricane Bill passed through Burgeo, the captain decided to wait an extra day in port before getting underway again. Swells were still reported to be big outside and we could see waves crashing at the end of the cove, so we would let the seas settle a bit. In the morning, all hands worked to downrig the extra gear put in place for the hurricane. All the extra gaskets came off the sail, extra hawsers in, extra chafe gear off and rerigging some of the hayards. The starboard watch took the deck in the afternoon, and the port watch enjoyed one more afternoon exploring Burgeo.

On Tuesday morning it was time to get underway and sail for Lunenburg. We had a bright clear morning with modest west winds. With an audience of people from Burgeo, we sailed off the dock. First we used the main lower tops’ls with the yards squared to push the ship in astern and away from the wharf, then set a heads’l to help to turn the bow around. Once we were turned, we set more sail and slipped quietly through the channel in Short Reach and away from Burgeo.

We sailed during the day on Tuesday, then took in sails at dusk and turned on the main engine. Keeping an eye on the weather, we wanted to get across the Cabot Strait to the coast of Cape Breton Island so that we could anchor on Wednesday night when a low pressure system with a good bit of wind was due to pass through. We continued under motor on Wednesday, with some lumpy seas (and some of the crew not feeling very well) until we reached Morien Bay in Cape Breton where we anchored for the night. The wind was up to Force 8, but the port anchor dug in and held well with two shots of chain out.

Thursday morning’s wake-up came early, with all hands called at 0530 to get underway by 0600. The wind had laid down overnight and changed direction. The crew heaved up the port anchor and got it properly stowed, and we were underway again, bound for Lunenburg.

Because we’re always watching the weather, we knew about Tropical Storm Danny, brewing off the Bahamas and headed for Cape Hatteras and forecast to head in the direction of Nova Scotia on the weekend. The latest predictions have it making landfall just east of Yarmouth late Saturday evening, on a path up the middle of Nova Scotia. This means strong SE winds for Lunenburg, which can cause a lot of swell in the harbour.

Danny, this latest tropical storm, has us wanting to be tied up safely in port again, so we’re paddling hard to get to Lunenburg on Friday night or Saturday morning. We’d like to be in and securely tied up well before we start to feel the effects of this pesky Danny.

While we all have weather on our minds, Lunenburg also marks the completion of a voyage and a homecoming. Having this summer sailed around Nova Scotia, Cape Breton Island, Prince Edward Island, to Newfoundland this sailing into Lunenburg marks the true finale of this 20,000 mile Voyage of the Atlantic. As we motor-sail up the coast, thoughts of the crew turn towards flights home and returning to regular life, or, for some, a fall season in Lunenburg filled with evenings at the Grand Banker, warm fires in the woodstove at the Dory Shop and Wednesday night small boat races while working on down-rigging the ship.

leaving Burgeo under sail, photo by Ollie Campbell (25)
leaving Burgeo under sail, photo by Ollie Campbell (45)
leaving Burgeo under sail, photo by Ollie Campbell (7)

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