PORT DUFFERIN TO ST. PETERS
NOVA SCOTIA CRUISE - 6
Jim Fraser's Ted Davis Trophy winning log.
|Thursday, June 15
Rather than end my passage early in Canso, I decided to continue on to Cape Breton Island. Luckily, I had brought along a chart Covering Chedabucto Bay and Isle Madame in case I couldn’t enter Canso because of foul weather and had to keep on sailing. But I shouldn’t linger any longer in Canso. The forecast called for favourable winds from the south at 10-15 knots in the morning, increasing to 15-20 in the afternoon. Friday’s weather forecast was southwest winds 20-25 knots, gusting to 35 along the coast as well as fog banks and drizzle.
|By 0530 I finished stowing the boom tent and had a simple
of coffee and cereal. Then I rowed from the marina in the windless
As I entered open water beyond Hart and Piscatiquai Islands, the low
of Isle Madame appeared beyond Chedabucto Bay. A morning land breeze
down Chedabucto Bay filled Naomi’s sails. In the short distance
to the fairway buoy, the contour lines are thick on the chart as the
drops from shoal waters to over 100 fathoms.
Chedabucto Bay is a large body of water which is subject to wind funnelling and excessive fog. During the morning, the land breeze died, only to be replaced with a steadily increasing south wind. I was pleased to make a steady passage and not worry about seeking shelter in the fishing port of Petit-de-Grat or Arichat. We passed Cerberus Rock on which the tanker Arrow tore her hull open and spilled the cargo of Bunker C in 1970, creating an environmental disaster. From the Canso fairway buoy, my mark was Creighton Shoal Buoy 9.4 miles northward. However, the buoy wasn’t in position. Instead, a string of floats for some unknown purpose, ranged along the surface in the locality.
In the lee of Creighton Island I removed the boom and sails before rowing across the lobster pot riddled passage to a narrow sand spit. Once around the spit, I’d be in a sheltered waterway which has been used for centuries by small boats travelling from Arichat into Lennox Passage. At the moment, the tidal current flowing out of the channel between the spit and the mainland, was too strong to row or sail through. Like ferrying a canoe in rapids, I lined Naomi around the point and along the inner shore of the spit in 12 to 18 inches of water. Free of the current in the narrows, I unfurled the jib and ran before a force 4 wind along the waterway.
I felt relieved. From Port Dufferin till now I had been ocean sailing. On this cruise, I had encountered a stretch of good weather as well as a mild sea state. I knew I had been fortunate. From now on though, I didn’t consider myself to be ocean sailing and looked forward to carefree pottering for a few days. I’d cruise this waterway, River Inhabitants Basin, and Lennox Passage before ending my journey in St Peters.
|The sand spit I rounded grew into a curving cobble and gravel bar which joined small coniferous-treed islets and meandered to meet Janvrin Island. The foreshore is subject to erosion and in some places only a narrow strand separates the waterway from the ocean. Behind one of the islets, I anchored Naomi and walked ahead to the Bailey bridge at Moussilliers Point. Until the tidal current subsided below the bridge, I’d leave Naomi where she floated. I strolled the wind-swept shore line, poking amongst the driftwood and broken lobster pots before returning to the lee of the beach and heating a pot of coffee.
|An hour and a half later, I lowered Naomi’s mast and rowed under the bridge and between withy decorated mud banks bordering the channel. Naomi sailed briskly under her working jib through the third tidal bottleneck at Haddock Harbour Narrows before swinging into Glasgow Harbour. Naomi made herself comfortable on the expanding mud flats as I hung clothes and sleeping bag to air and settled down for the night in this deserted cove.