Idle Days on the Bras d'Or Lakes
Wayfarer Cruise by Jim Fraser W8328
June 8-17, 2002
part 2

Thursday, June 13.  I sailed into the village of Orangedale to stock up on provisions.  While there, I visited the railway museum and spent an hour looking at the displays of railway artifacts.  The railway line in Cape Breton is currently threatened with abandonment now that the coal mines on the island have closed. 

During the day I sailed around Denys Basin which is an attractive body of water enclosed by tree-covered hills.  After sailing back through Boom Channel, I tied Naomi to a tree in Crooked Cove and settled down for the evening.  The only sounds were cows mooing in a pasture at the cove's head.

Friday, June 14.  At dawn, I left Crooked Cove and sailed for West Bay.  The forecast called for westerlies 15-20 knots in the morning rising to 20-25 with gusts to over 30 knots in the afternoon.  I cut behind Round Island and Campbells Island and crossed the shallows under a light breeze.  Off Malagawatch Point the breeze disappeared so I rowed for a time.  Soon I had the sails up again as a gentle westerly breeze appeared and I settled back into a somnolent state.

Suddenly I was tucking a reef into a loudly flapping mainsail.  The wind gave no warning of its approach over the top of North Mountain.  Clearly defined gusts dropped down the hill-side and rushed across the surface of the lake raising a crop of white caps.  Frequently, I had to let the reefed main and working jib luff until the powerful gusts passed over.  The wind itself was a force 4-5 and there was no future beating up West Bay.  I sailed for the shelter of Little Harbour and anchored just inside the mouth of the harbour by a small gravel beach

A large two-hulled vessel made of unpainted metal and sporting an array of antenna approached Little Harbour.  From a distance it looked like some sort of RCMP or Coast Guard patrol vessel which I didn't recognize. Instinctively, I did a mental inventory of what I carried onboard.  Should anything be chucked overboard or hidden in the woods before the authorities arrived?  However, it turned out to be a private American boat which continued on to anchor at the head of Little Harbour.

Idle Days on the Bras d'Or Lakes