St. John, Newfoundland | Last Stop Before Crossing the Atlantic
June 3, 2006:
Hi all. Al flew to Syracuse, NY on June 1. He is staying at Sally's brother Tom's camp on the Erie Canal about 5 minutes from Grandpa Fraher's house. He'll continue to have his cell phone until July 1. Mike Sikorra and Larry Carpenter drove and arrived June 2 about 8 PM. Justin flew in from Chicago to be with his Dad and help prepare the boat. Friday he and Al replaced the 8 golf cart batteries with new. (a back breaking job help from Marina fork lift was appreciated) Today they are all busy, busy. They did the bottom paint and it looks absolutely beautiful. According to Mike he did all the work and the others watched. Larry did some wiring I made a two page list so I'm sure they found plenty to keep them busy. Sally is still in MN finishing out the school year, packing up her classroom, report cards, etc... mowing lawn, trimming shrubs, cleaning closets and drawers, and storing lots of boxes. Thanks to Carol and Kari and all who planned the End of Year School party and Bon Voyage. I'm now the proud owner of my very own rigging knife! Judy Taylor is finishing up her work this week too. She's busy putting together her famous bread and soup kits and buy some hard to find items she likes to cook with. I'm glad to have another woman on board. We'll keep those men in line and well fed.
June 4, 2006
According to Al, "We have the prettiest bottom in the marina!" The boys were hard at it again today. Put in a new starting battery and wired in the new microwave. Installed European electrical plug so we can get shore power. Wired in the Navionics weather program. They had dinner with Tom and Margaret and Grandpa Fraher was there too. Brigid and Sam arrived late about 10 PM. [top]
June 5, 2006
Artemis was launched this morning and she's floating with just the mizzen mast up. We had all new rigging installed but are still waiting for two parts for the main mast rigging. The marina has been in contact with California and are tracking the parts. They promise to hand deliver the parts when they arrive. More wiring today too. Hopefully my lists are shrinking. [top]
The log of the captain of the Artemis (as written by the Justin Pribyl, a member of the shore crew.)
A Slight Backtrack....THe world Seen through Justin's Eyes
In preparation for our journey across the pond I have begun to slowly convert my fancy American paradigms into a more sensible European outlook. For example, note that in my log entry I entered the more civilized Day/Month/Year format adopted by European additionally henceforth I will abandon the uses of Feet, Yards, Miles, and Inches in favor of the Meter, Kilometer, and Centimeter. I arrived in Syracuse, NY at 3:30PM. Sally’s brother Tom Fraher, picked me up at the airport. I spent the evening in the company of Tom and his wife Margaret. Tom and I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning talking and sipping whiskey. [top]
June 2, 2006
I woke up this morning at 4:00 AM local time. While putting on my shoes and socks I managed to destroy a valued antique bed simply by sitting on it. I can’t wait to explain that one to Margaret. Tom generously lent me the use of his pickup for the week. I headed up to Sodus Point where I learned that not all of the rigging had arrived from California despite assurances that it would be here. Justin arrived at noon and after a slight detour I managed to pick him up. We then proceeded to make the trek to back Sodus Point. Upon arrive we began the arduous task of switching out the batteries. This process was made much easier due to the use of a forklift to lift the batteries up and down from the deck of the Artemis which was still in dry storage. We completed this task in just under 4 hours and then made the trek to Tom’s Camp. Upon arrival we discovered that the camp was locked and we were unable to get in. Justin and I sat down at the canal and enjoyed a couple of beers waiting for Tom to arrive. Ultimately Tom arrived and we discovered that the garage was not actually locked after Justin showed his superhuman strength and lifted the door. We consumed a few more beverages with Tom before he had to head home. Our faithful crew, Larry Carpenter and Mike Sikorria, arrived around 9:00 EST. We discussed shop and Larry played a couple of tunes until lights out. [top]
June 3, 2006
After a breakfast that had enough diesel fuel in it to run the Artemis’s engine the entire trip across the Atlantic we proceed to Sodus Point. Upon arrival we began what is possibly the more entertaining task on Sally’s To Do List, refinishing the bottom paint. For those of you who are not familiar with this process I will detail it below. First we had to sand the bottom of the boat to even out the rough spots. We utilized two grinders with attached to a shop vac. In theory this should have worked well, however theories don’t always play out in reality. The result is we came out of this task looking like one of those Coal Miners from old pictures. After the bottom was prepped we proceeded to put on two coats of bottom paint. Meanwhile Larry stayed out of the fray lending his talents to more skill based tasks of wiring the propane sniffer and starting to install the new microwave. Tom and Margaret treated us to a delicious spaghetti dinner with strawberries and vanilla ice cream for dessert. Soon it was time to head back to the camp to sleep off the aches and pains from our adventures in bottom paint.[top]
June 4, 2006
Utilizing my cat like reflexes and quick thinking I managed to avoid the pitfalls of the Iron Skillet despite the moral officer’s insistence that we should repeat the prior day’s culinary experience. Instead we opted for Mickie D’s and breakfast on the go. Today was spent wiring. For those who are novices to wiring on a boat we spent the day contorting ourselves into positions utilized only by boat owners and circus performers (Only we didn’t get a cash incentive.) However, by day’s end we had managed to complete several of these tasks including: wiring for the propane control and sniffer that Larry installed yesterday, the Link 2000 charger inverter controller and monitor, the Navtex antenna wiring, and most of the new European shore power intake. The moral’s officer also evaluated the crew’s moral and insisted that we head over to Tom and Margaret’s for cocktails and a wonderful chicken hot dish. We were joined by Sally’s father Tom Fraher, Sr. We all enjoyed some of Tom Jr.’s famous Manhattans. [top]
June 5, 2006
Finally the day has come to get the boat in the water. In anticipation of this momentous occasion we woke up early and headed for Sodus Point. The morning was spent prepping the boat to go in the water and wiring. We finally got the boat wet around 1:00 EST. She floated which was a good sign. Additionally we managed to get the mizzen mast up. The primary mast is still awaiting parts so it remains in the service shop. The rest of the day was spent cleaning red dust from the boat that was generated during our previous adventures in sanding the bottom paint. This evening Larry took a trip to Clyde to visit the spot where he was once stranded for 12 days awaiting access to a lock on the Erie Canal. Mike and I spent the evening on the dock at the camp drinking beer and watching the cottonwood seeds float by. Justin headed into Seneca Falls to send out pictures and the log. [top]
June 6, 2006
Today was a beautiful sunny day. Justin spent the day cleaning the side of the boat and inflating the dingy. Meanwhile, down below the adventures in wiring continued as the Microwave and wiring were completed. Larry ran the radar cable from the mizzen mast. We cleaned up early and headed back to the camp for a steak barbeque hosted by Tom and Margaret. After this delicious meal Tom took us on a ride to Lake Cayuga on his boat. It was a pleasant and warm evening and great fun was had by all. [top]
June 7, 2006
We washed out and then refilled the starboard water tanks today. We replaced the water filter at the galley sink. Mike, being Mike, disassembled the bathroom sink in the head to stop it from leaking and left it there. (As we didn’t have the washers to fix it yet.) We headed out a noon to make the long trek to West Marine. An hour and a half later we arrived and my crew fanned out to spend all of my money. We assembled most of the items on Sally’s list and decided there were a few items that we could live without given West Marine’s outrageous costs. We then hurried back to the camp to shower before going to Sally’s father’s home for dinner. Sally’s sister Brigid and her son Sam were in from Florida. [top]
June 8, 2006
Rigging day arrived with a clouds looming in the distant foreshadowing impending doom. We busied ourselves with the remains of Sally’s list. Larry finished installing the new water pump and then flushed and filled the port water tanks. Mike and Justin installed the second reef line on the Mizzen Mast and redirected the uphaul in the process. Meanwhile I continued to work on the European Power Intake. The UPS truck came and went without the rigging arriving. Then it began to rain. We finished the day stowing tools and parts before retiring to the camp for a chicken dinner on the grill.[top]
June 8, 2006
We left early for Sodus Point today to attempt to express the urgency of our situation. The rigging had not yet arrived and we were informed that the shop in Buffalo did not open until 9:00. We spent the next hour and a half in pursuit of a tin wire connector and a small deep cycle battery to operate the scuba pump. During this fruitless endeavor we gained some interesting tidbits about the local culture. Evidently the historic inhabitants of Sodus Point are referred to as Lingers, a derogatory term arising from the consumption of the Ling fish by the poorer locals during the depression. We bared witness to one of these monstrosities that Arney’s Marine had stuffed and placed on the wall as a joke. Back at the boat we did test runs on the air conditioners, genstet, and the refrigeration, all passed with flying colors. Moral continued to sag however, due to the lack of rigging. The moral’s officer declared it was time for lunch so we grilled some New York Italian sausages with green peppers and onions, delicious. After lunch we made the decision to head back to the camp. Once back at the camp we called Obersheimer Sailor Supply to obtain the status of the rigging. We were advised that it should be ready around 2:00. Larry and Justin hopped in the car and headed for Buffalo. Meanwhile Mike and I went to Bass Pro to obtain the aforementioned battery, a gaff hook and a few fishing toys. After Bass Pro we headed to the bank to pickup some Euros and Canadian money and finally to pickup the scuba tanks. Sally arrived at 3:30 and Brigid picked her up. We all headed to Tom and Margaret’s for dinner. Justin and Larry arrived triumphantly with the rigging at 5:45, which raised moral tremendously. [top]
June 10, 2006
Sally, Al and Mike headed to Sodus Point this morning short 2 crew members. Larry was picking up his wife Judy at the airport in Buffalo and Justin was recovering from an evening out with his Cousin Michael. Mike and Al worked to rig and set the mast. After lunch Tom, Margaret and Justin arrived. Tom worked on the air conditioners while Justin helped Mike and Al with tuning the rig. Mike had to go up the mast at least 5 times to get the rigging correct. Dinner was at the camp with Mike exhibiting his infamous blackened chicken. In actuality it ended up being fairly tasty. Tom, Margaret, Tom Fraher Sr., and Elizabeth all joined the crew in celebrating the stepping of the main mast. [top]
June 11, 2006
Al awoke at 4:00 AM realizing that the drum of the roller furling was absent. As a result he woke up the camp at 6:30 AM to make the trek up to Sodus Point. After speaking with the local staff we gained entrance to the service shed. After coming the shed Mike discovered the missing part in plain site. The drum was installed, however, a new problem arose when the furling was turning the turnbuckle on the forestay. After a bit of jimmying and several more trips up the mast for Mike the problem was solved with 2 ring-dings and some bailing wire. At that juncture we were able to rig the forestay and mainsails and finish tuning the rig. Meanwhile Sally and Judy worked below to gain some semblance of order in a boat beset by 3 men all week. Dinner was at Tom Sr.’s home and Brigid cooked a delicious Pork Tenderloin. Justin departed the crew at this juncture to return to Chicago and work. [top]
June 15, 2006
We're still sitting in the upper lock Beauharnois at 1800. Oops sounds like we'll lock down in about 5 min. Well longer Another big ship waiting between locks. We saw what happen to Windoc that we saw with no wheel house being pulled by three tugs. It lost steerage up bound and hit the bridge #9 St. Louis. We talked with the tug captain inside the lock while we waited. We are now waiting in Lock 2 Lower Beauharnois at 1830. Finally locked down and out at 1910. Anchored off Ile Perrot near Village sur le lac. 45 21.45N 73 52.04W Cocktail time and Judy made yummy smelling pot roast, parsnips,carrots and mashed potatoes for dinner. Love Mom, Dad and crew
We are anchored just below the pair of locks above Montreal. Today we passed through three locks with drops of 42, 38, 42 and 42 feet. We will be in Montreal tomorrow and have two more locks to traverse before we are near sea level and soon salt water and tides. We will call into Montreal and clear customs and buy a new solenoid for the windlass.
We had an interesting discussion with the lock master of the Canadian locks. We were held up for at least a half hour in each of the two locks because they do not want to pay overtime to fully staff the locks. They will even hold up a big freighter - at a cost of thousands of dollars because they do not want to pay to fully staff the locks. The freighters can pay around $2500 per lock toll!
Going along the St. Lawrence is a beautiful trip. We passed farming land and small villages with many beautiful churches. The main channel is dredged to a controlling depth of 27 feet. There are many areas where straying outside the channel gets into very shallow water. Lake St. Francis is big and the channel markers were hard to find on occasion. We had to strain to find the next ones.
We are anchored in about 20 feet of water not far out of the shipping channel. We get large wakes as the freighters pass by.
As we left the upper lock of a two lock pair, we passed very close to a large freighter that was upbound and waiting for us and a tug boat to come out of the lock.
Yesterday we met a freighter with its wheelhouse missing. It was being towed by three tugboats. We found out later that it had hit a bridge which we had passed through an hour or so before. The bridge was damaged and closed to road traffic but was permanently raised to freighters and sailboats until repaired. [top]
June 16, 2006
Hi all Happy Birthday to brother Patrick. We've had a hot hot sunny day today. We locked down last two locks. St. Catherine 35 ft. and St. Lambert 18 ft. locks. We had a long wait at Lambert one ship up and one down.
Stopped at Marina de pointe-aux-Trembles for diesel but none there this year so got water, pump-out, ice, beer, milk and ice cream! Just thought we should fill up. We took showers under weigh. I made scrambled eggs/ham and toast in St. Catherine Lock. We ate a late lunch about 3:00 so we'll go a little later before we stop tonight.
The river is beautiful. Lots of homes and towns. Lots of ship traffic especially near Montreal, loading and unloading. We are sailing this afternoon with mizzen and jib 6.6 kt with a 2.2 kt current. Anchoring at Baie Iles de St. Pierre was rather interesting this evening. (this procedure is described by Mike) Entering the anchorage with 2.5 kt of current and 20 kts of wind. Larry at the helm, shouting depths, Al at the bow handling chain and Mike standing by. Suddenly Larry shouts okay drop the anchor. Al yells slow down stop the boat, Larry can't hear the command over the din of the wind and Mikes laughter. Al screams louder as the chain covered in this mornings mud rushes through his hands as he tries to slow down 300' of chain from rushing by he yells for Mike to engage the clutch on the windlass. Suddenly the anchor sets and immediately stops the boat. Thank you Captain Ron!
Judy and Sally feed this crew well. (so much for losing a few) We had chicken fajitahs, roasted corn and cilantro rice, topped off strawberry shortcake ice cream.
Love Mom Dad and crew of Artemis, Judy, Larry and Mike [top]
June 17, 2006
We are on the move today, Saturday.
We had a lovely anchorage just off the main channel with wind and current (about 2 kts) in agreement. There was a refreshing breeze overnight that made for pleasant sleeping. Toward morning we heard a passing freighter rumble through and shortly felt the gentle rolling from its wake.
We weighed anchor and set out across Lac St. Pierre. It is a rather large but shallow lake. The channel is a ditch dug to accommodate the freighters and is well marked. But to stray from the channel would be to tempt fate. About mid lake we noticed an upbound freighter coming toward us. Then a minute or so later, someone noticed that a downbound was approaching as well. For a while it looked like both would meet us at the same time! That would be exciting. As it turned out, the upbound passed first then some time later the downbound went by. We were up close and personal with both of them.
We have been running under 103% jib and mizzen most of the day. We also have the motor turning. As we came to the end of the lake, we were treated to 25-30 kts of wind which made for a lively ride. We were doing close to 8 kts over the water and well over 9 over the ground.
As I write, we have just passed under the "Pont Laviolette" (bridge) and are continuing down the river approaching the Three Rivers region. If you want to lok for a town, try Sainte Angele de Laval.
We should be starting to experience tides here.
We have had a very good set of charts since we departed. But yesterday, we found that we were missing one chart. The chart plotter worked fine for that segment. However, after the current chart, the next three charts are missing. It looks like we continue to navigate the river downstream until we come back into paper chart territory. The chart plotter does a nice job though.
All for now. [top]
Evening June 17, 2006
We are at the marina downtown Quebec City. We arrived about 7 PM Saturday June 17. What a ride. Great day motor sailing between 8.4 - 9.0 most of the day. Then as we moved in closer to Quebec speeds picked up with current and ebbing tide to 10 -12 kts. We went under the bridges of Quebec going 11.9! Whee! Who needs Valleyfair! This is a spectacular city as seen from the water so far. We are right downtown. We locked into the marina so there's no tide to contend with in the marina. We look up onto the Old City. We plan to spend the day sightseeing, grocery shopping and laundry. Probably won't leave until Monday.
Love Sally Al and crew [top]
Evening June 19, 2006
We are now anchored off Ile Aux Coudres on the St. Lawrence. This is perhaps 50 miles below Quebec City.
We departed at 11:45 with a high tide. The first couple of hours involved adverse current so we didn't make much speed. But as the day went on the tide changed and the current gave a boost.
We had gusty wind and the Coast Guard came on the radio with warnings of a squall line. We got some rain and watched a couple of thunder storms slide of behind us. We got gusts of 25 to 30 apparent from behind, so adding boat speed, the gusts approached 40 kts. The boat handled very well under jib and jigger.
Later, the winds died down and we had to start the motor to get to this anchorage. It is lovely!
We also had an exercise in tide and current prediction. We had spotted a likely anchorage on the chart but had to look at the state of the tide upon arrival and of the currents upon departure. So, we got in about 2000 and had dinner. We will have to depart about 0030 to get favorable currents. From now on until we get well into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, we will have to travel with the tidal currents.
The scenery has changed since Quebec City. It is now quite hilly and wooded with only an occasional settlement. The island we are next to has a couple of villages and a small harbor. We draw 6.5 feet which makes getting into most small harbors problematic. [top]
June 20, 2006
We left our anchorage Ile aux Coudres about 12:20 AM Tues. June 20. Mike and Al went on watch so I made them coffee and a treat bag and went back to bed. What a wild ride to start with wind and current were in conflict. So it wasn't a very restful sleep. Quieted down near daylight. I made Mike and Larry bacon and eggs about 6:30 and we were traveling 7.8 SOG by 7:30 we were down to 4.3. We arrived at Saguenay River 8:30 and saw our first seal. Within a half an hour we were surrounded by beluga whales. Woke Mike up. We played in the eddies that would twirl us around in circles as we watched the whales feed on krill. We saw minke whales too. It was so spectacular to be surrounded like that. We headed up the river for a while. Very picturesque, fjords like Norway. Went back to the marina at Tadoussac and tied up to take a walk. We visited the Whale museum but no tour. Dad bought a whale book. Oldest chapel in North America. We left with the tide about 1300. We were told to w atch for blue whales in about ten miles.
June 21, 2006
Hi all we traveled through the night. Larry and Judy took the first watch. It was quiet for them. They saw a beautiful rainbow and lots of city lights. Al and I got up at 0100 and it was misting. I put on my new one piece Viking suit. Al said I was as cute as a bugs ear but many may think otherwise. The one piece suits are great! Warm, dry and easier to get in and out of. It was cold and wet. Mike got up at 0330 so Al went down and I followed at 0400. Unfortunately we got more our into the opening of the St. Lawrence and picked up good old Lake Superior sailing and weather. We had 5-6' waves off the port beam and on and off winds. A very lumpy day, everyone on board feeling tired and a little funky. It quieted for awhile around 1100 so Judy and I made homemade chicken soup. We just keep throwing things in including last night's leftover Bow tie Chicken. Turned lumpy again by 1230 so the afternoon was as yucky as the morning. Mike and I saw a puffin fly over the boat. We saw several whales spouting off in the distance but none up close like yesterday. We are stopping in a fishing village on Gaspe Peninsula called, Saint Louis. We're looking forward to showers and a walk on shore.
Love Sally, Al and crew [top]
June 22, 2006
Hi all, (Log 1230) Well no shower but a very restful night after a lumpy day yesterday. We tied up at Mont-Louis, a scenic little fishing village at the public wharf. There were ten fishing boats rafted together and we just added to the group. We ate dinner and some went a shore. About 8:30 we had a beautiful sunset reflecting over the village. The fisherman started preparing to go to sea so we moved off the wharf to get out of their way. We anchored across the bay by the east wharf. We slept well. Mike was up at 0400 to get us under weigh. Then the rest of the crew went back to bed and banked another 3 hours of sleep. It's a beautiful, sunny day, but cool and flat seas. Judy made hash browns, ham and spinach omelet, and toast for a late breakfast. The breakfast show of the day was whale spouting and a giant Blue Whale surfaced and did a spectacular dive for us. Our plan is to reach Gaspe today. Finally some wind at 1330 to sail. It's been mostly on the nose today. (Update to l og at 1700} Well that didn't last long. Mary and Chris we spent the next 4 hours motoring into wind and seas like on Lake Superior last summer. But winds were 25 kt not 45 kt on the nose. We finally had to turn 45 degrees to the waves to stop the boat from cavitating. We entered Baie de Gaspe at 1730. What a beautiful view of the lighthouse, high on the cliffs as we head in. (pic # 8434-8440)We have another 15 nm or so to go to Havre de Gaspe where we plan to stay until Saturday AM. Up come the sails finally we can sail for awhile. We've seen 3 whales spouting and snorting as we sail down the bay.
Love Mom Dad and crew [top]
June 24, 2006
Hi all, We spent a lovely night at anchor on Thurs. outside of Havre de Gaspe (Gaspe Harbour). It was so peaceful to watch the sunset and dream about what we might find in the crab pots placed along the sand spit and Sandy Beach. It was difficult but we did manage to keep Mike from finding out. We moved the three miles into Club Nautique Jacques Cartier Marina early Friday morning. We refueled and paid for dockage. Showers! The first order of business was a clean crew. We have a wonderful shower and plenty of water aboard Artemis. But our shower has become a storage room for the crossing and it's a major ordeal to empty it out. We walked to a shopping center not far from the marina. Judy and I went grocery shopping (full super market) while the guys scouted out the area. They arrived back just in time to help carry supplies. Next stop was a Poissonnerie (fish market). Al bought 5 fresh lobsters for our dinner and Mike proceeded to name each one, Jumpy, Burpy, Madeleine, Monsieur Pierre, and Mr. Crabby. He kept wanting to take them out to play. Finally when he started organizing lobster races in the cockpit we made him put them away. We had wireless internet in the marina but not a very good connection. Larry and Al tried to do banking and other correspondences that we are not allowed to do over the Airmail used on Artemis while under weigh. We had rain off and on all day but it cleared up into a beautiful evening. Our menu: boiled/steamed our lobsters, red potato, tossed salad, and fresh baked baguette. Making dinner was a lively event as each of Mike's friends were summoned by name and kissed good-bye. (And no, we did not hear any squealing as we tossed each one into the pot.) We washed several types of pliers from Al's tool kit to assist us in removing the delectable pieces. It was a messy but entertaining meal and we toasted my mom, "for 'twas the Twenty-third of June..." Mom's birthday, "Drink up Lads". Mike, Al, and I were up and under weigh by 0400. There was a beautiful red sunrise... Sailors take warn. We'll see. Right now it's calm, little wind at 0600. We are headed for the Port aux Basques on the South-west corner of Newfoundland, about 215 nm away.
Love Mom, Dad, Mike, Judy, and Larry. [top]
June 25, 2006
Hi all, It's Sunday and we gave Mike the day off from entertaining us. It's been a quiet uneventful passage. We left Gaspe, Ontario at 0400 Saturday morning headed for Port aux Basques 185nm away on the South-west coast of Newfoundland. Light and variable winds so motored or motor sailed, all day and evening. Judy made poached cod with saffron sauce, pea pods/zucchini, and red potato for dinner. Larry and Judy took first watch, Al and I got up at midnight. It was a beautiful, clear, starry night. A few ships passed 10-12 nm off but other than that quiet. Mike took over about 0330. He actually spotted a dead whale and motored over by it. Al saw it too, so it wasn't a Michael story. Judy made scrambled eggs and hash browns for breakfast and the fog rolled in at 0930 About 1130 we finally pulled up jib, staysail, main and mizzen, turned off the iron jib (engine) and we are maintaining 5-6 kt SOG (speed over ground). Quiet, at last. When the only sound one hears is the water splashin g the hull and the creaks of the boat it is much more relaxing and peaceful. I made salmon salad sandwiches for lunch. I'm making chicken cacciatore for supper. Our crew has no complaints in the food department, lots of variety and delicious! We docked at Port aux Basques at 1900 at the public wharf. English... the locals can talk to us. We plan to head east along the south coast of Newfoundland in the morning.
Love Sally, Al, Mike, Judy and Larry [top]
June 26, 2006
Hi all, We had a nice stay at Port aux Basques. We were greeted at the wharf by 6 or so retired guys. They came to hear our story and "jaw" for a while. We were surprised to learn we had lost time over night. Our 1900 arrival time was actually 2030 Newfie time. Newfoundland has it's own time zone and it is a half hour later than Halifax, Nova Scotia which is an hour later than Eastern Time. We walked downtown for ice cream at the convenience store and to see what we could see. Dockage was 75 cents a foot and we filled our water tanks for $5. Larry and I woke up at 0630 and went for an hour walk. We took pictures and video and just enjoyed the morning. We all took two minute showers. (50 cents a minute)Our retired fan club was back at the wharf to visit again this morning and to see us off. One gentleman drove Larry and Al around town and then to the Hardware store to fill one of our propane tanks. He was retired from Canadian Steamline, a freighter company and has traveled all of the Great Lakes including Lake Superior, taking on iron ore at Duluth and Thunder Bay. He called these rainy, foggy, days the "Caplon Days" because the caplon, a smelt like fish, has a short run and he claims they bring this weather with them. Judy and I made a quick run to Coleman's grocery store. We found some favorite brand names now that we are in an English speaking country. Mike and Larry do love their Grape Nuts. Strawberries were a great price so... dessert for tonight. Al went to the fish market and came back with steelhead trout for tonight's main course. We left the wharf at 1130 our fans beeping their car horn. We had hot ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch as we motored into the misty weather. We have fog but good 3/4 nm visibility. The forecast called for SW 10-20 favorable winds for us but as usual we've only seen east winds right on the nose.
-Sally , Al , Mike Larry and Judy[top]
June 27, 2006
Hi all, We pulled into France earlier this morning, as in Ils de St. Pierre and Miquelon, these islands are the only land that belongs to France in North America. We arrived at the marina at 1100 Newfoundland time but 1130 Saint Pierre time. (3 hours ahead of MN) We turn our clocks back a half hour when we go to St. John's. Maybe I should start thinking in terms of UTC (Greenwich Mean Time or Universal time) It is a picturesque old fishing town but the industry has died out in the past 15 years. We left Port aux Basques at 1130 and we had wind or no wind on the nose. The boat slopped around all night. It was a very foggy, lumpy 24 hours (122nm) very little rest. We ate lunch at La Voilarie a nice little French restaurant above the harbor. A fuel truck came to the wharf and we took on 200 litres for $133 Euro's. Once again we are surrounded by French. Judy and I found a Poissonerie (fresh fish shop)and bought some scallops and a boulangerie (bakery) for fresh baguette. The streets are narrow and the buildings are brightly painted and close together. The street names are on the sides of the buildings. Suddenly at about 0400 kids appeared on the streets with backpacks and mothers with children in the parks. School must still be in session here. I spelled capelon wrong yesterday. I did indeed see them at the poissonerie and they are a little longer than a smelt. We plan to leave early tomorrow for St. John's, about 200 nm away we may stop half way. Feel free to email us onboard. Everyone looks forward to mail call and it's disappointing when nothing comes for me.
Love Sally, Al, Mike, Judy and Larry [top]
June 28, 2006
Hi all, We slept in this morning making sure everyone was well rested for our next overnight passage. We pulled off the wharf at Ile Saint Pierre at 0900. Our first waypoint is Cape Pine 110 nm 79 T. just east of St. Mary's Bay Newfoundland. We thought we were in for a great sailing day with SW 20. But it didn't take long and everything dropped. We've had 2-12 kt wind all day. We saw our first pair of dolphins at 1330 today. We were motor sailing so they didn't stay long. We put up the new mizzen staysail for the first time. She's easy to fly and pretty to look at. (red, white, and blue)It helped stabilize the boat in the 1-2 meter seas. We turned the engines off at about 1630 and within 20 min. two dolphins showed up to play in the surf and our bow wave. They were jumping completely out of the water, rolling and twisting, putting on a show for us? Or just enjoying themselves in the waves. It was truly the high point of our day. We are totally engulfed in gray...fog, sky, water a nd now dolphins. "A world of gray scale" as Larry put it. I made the crew bacon and pancakes for breakfast and toasted ham and cheese for lunch, an interesting feat with the boat lurching and rolling. Judy is now trying to put together a pot roast under the same conditions. We are learning how to do all our boat chores without beating ourselves up. Can't figure out how to do a group mailing other than selecting each name one by one. So keep checking the log book when you don't hear from us because I may not have selected your name that day. What a show, at 1800 a whole pod of dolphins arrived to play around the boat. At the very least ten dolphins rode the surf, diving under the boat, jumping into the waves, having a grand ole time. What fun! The five of us laughing, cheering and encouraging them in their antics! 'Tis a great day to be at sea!
Love Sally, Al, Mike, Judy, and Larry [top]
June 29, 2006
Hi all, Happy Birthday to our middle son Patrick. He is 27 today! Where do the years go. We had a good night passage in the fog, again. Larry and Judy on first watch had jib, mizzen and mizzen staysail up until 0000 (midnight). Al and I came on at 0030 We sailed for a while then at 0150 dropped the sails and motored. Al worried about the sails chafing on the rigging. 0330 a ship came up on our stern in the fog. As he drew closer, not veering off our stern, we radioed a security to identify our passage. He drew closer blowing his fog horn with no response. So we called again and asked for the vessel approaching our stern to reply. He crabbily indicated he saw us and was passing to our port. He passed within 1 nm and we never saw him in the fog. We only heard the fog horn and engines. We got Mike up at 0500 and Al and I went down 0530. After clearing Cape Race point Mike was able to put sails up again, mizzen, main and jib. He had great winds and the boat settled into a nice star board tack. The fog lifted about 0730 to a beautiful sunny day. The whales were not to be outdone by yesterday's dolphin show. Mike started spotting them as soon as the fog lifted. I woke to shouts of glee on deck at 1200. Whales lots of whales. Where to look... Several actually cleared the water and broached to get a better look at us. We continued to see whales all afternoon. Mike was diligently counting them until he ran our of fingers and toes. Two dolphins swam in to play about 1500. The wind picked up 30-40kt right on the nose as we approached Cape Spear and St. John's Harbor. We entered the entrance with 50 kts and tied up at the transient dock with it howling. At 1730, Captain Al did a superb job of docking the boat and Mike and Larry stepped gracefully and calmly ashore. So goes it...we've completed this leg of our trip. Next stop Ireland! We plan to spend a few days here getting the boat ready and provisioning. We need to check weather and then go. Love Sally, Al, Mike, Judy and Larry [top]
June 30, 2006
Hi All We had a visited on board early 0500. A teenager was looking around. Mike asked him what he needed and he took off. We spent the day working on the boat getting ready to go to sea tomorrow afternoon. We changed the oil, topped off fuel and propane, installed the lovely lee cloths that Al made, dingy deflated and stored away, bilge pumps cleaned and checked, and used charts mailed back to USA. Larry worked on the Navtex wiring and Mike worked on the weather fax. Not sure of what was accomplished everything seems to be trial and error. The manuals are not much help. Judy and I hiked to the post office and sent pictures to Patrick and the charts to Carpenter's house. They let us use their phone and we contacted 8-10 car rentals before we found a vehicle. We took cockpit showers after a very hot, sunny day in St. John's. The water takes on a Caribbean blue when the sun shines. We were able to go to Coco and Dominion grocery store for supplies, fuel and propane. Our $35 water filter on our foot pump clogged up right away so we bought a Britta pitcher to filter water. $43 for a case of beer!! We had our laundry done for us so everyone was free to make other preparations. Judy and Sally had a night off from cooking. We had Cosco broasted chicken when we got back to the boat at 2130.