Monday, December 12, 2011

Cape St. Mary's (August)

There's one place on this island that I have made many attempts to reach and this summer I finally managed to get there. Cape St. Mary's.
"Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve is one of the best and most accessible places in the world to see nesting seabirds."
 The reason we have been kept from coming here is barely visible in the above picture (left side offshore)
This place is regularly shrouded in fog and even on nice days fog quickly moves in making even walking out here somewhat difficult. Even on this day we were here only an hour and the fog bank moved in and soon visibility was reduced to only a few feet. But not before we got a few pictures...
 This ledge and walking area is 1km from the tourist Chalet and this particular spot has no railing and only warning signs regarding the cliffs which plunge hundreds of feet below. If you go here with your kids, hold their hands for everyone's piece of mind.
 Well worth the effort to reach this isolated place.

Vacations and gems (August)

I made no particular plans to travel on my vacation this year but to stay home and just put around the yard and bay. Knowing that there was a stretch of fine weather ahead, me and the missus struck out early one morning to make a run to Brigus, a town I've mentioned before and have sailed out of. However the winds were a no show and not to be denied a boat ride I struck out with the motor running.
 It's not a long distance to Brigus and with the flat water it was easy to spot the dolphins, porpoises and the scattered whale.
 After an approximate 2 hr run at 5 knots we made the point to turn into the harbor that the town is situated in.
 There's very little to call beach area around here so many of the houses along the sides had small roads that lead to the town docks.
 The wind picked up a little but since we were only a short distance from the docks and heading straight into the wind, I figured why bother.
 Other boats had already been here for some time and had secured some nice berths inside the small island that sits in the harbor.
 It's a fairly barren area with only the occasional crop of trees but the town does sit in a nice protected valley and out of the harshest winds.
 Now this is a spot to dock your boat for a time, and close to the road.
 The goal for the day besides getting to the town of Brigus by lunch time was to get to have lunch here!
The Country Corner Restaurant & Gift shop. Listed in Frommers "where to eat in Canada". Anyone who knows me at all know that I LOVE to eat and love good food. What I like so much about this place is that they have a small menu. Not many items and, no deep fried food. If that disappoints you let me finish. They do have a bunch of relatively simple local dishes with local deserts. But these dishes are to die for! I regularly have the Cod Chowder that is made right in the building (not shipped in frozen then thawed) It's thick with a creamy texture to the broth with lots of chunks of potato, cod and other veggies mixed in. Most importantly to me is the taste, no one item overpowers the chowder and they all blend well  to create a taste that I have yet encountered elsewhere on the East coast of Newfoundland. When you have this in their "Lunch Special" you also get a fresh piping hot tea biscuit, and their blueberry crisp served with blueberry ice cream and all covered in blueberry jam. Of course home made and absolutely delicious, but what topped it off literally was  what I can only describe as true blue home made blueberry jam. A simple concoction of blueberries, some sugar cooked in a pot to make jam, this then poured over the desert. No apparent additives like thickeners or freeze-dried berries. A tell tale sign of the fresh blue berries is how it quickly turns the ice-cream purple with it's natural dyes... awesome! here's a look at the pictures from their site.

Chasing dolphins (August)

Another day on the water and some decent winds to pull us along. The reefing system works well and I only have to trim some of the excess rope to clean things up. The winds were not strong, just gusty and I'm more comfortable with the sails reefed with my wife aboard so when the gusts come there are no surprises.
 This was also the time for the annual recreational food fishery and there were plenty of boats in the bay chasing the few cod.
 Along the way however we spied a pod of what I assumed were dolphins on their way in the bay. I was at the tiller spotting and my wife shot the video of them passing by.
video video
A fine day on the water and making up for the lost month of July.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Back to the Spot (August)

 We finally had summer arrive and to kick off the days of summer, Me and the missus went to our local favorite spot to relax for the day. The winds were lite and only the slight patches of cloud.

 Nothing to do but sit back and listen to the radio.

time away (Mid June)

With June weather still cool and rain the norm, I took Bill up on a fishing trip to the Gander river in central Newfoundland at a guide camp. Me and the guys were there a week just getting away and fishing, No salmon (they ran the following week) but plenty of trout.

It's nice to escape from the world for a little while and just sit and relax.
Oddly enough MP Peter Mackay (Defense Minister) thought so too when he hitched a ride on a rescue chopper from this same river in 2010. I guess he must hitch a ride on an ambulance in his own district from time to time, it being more convenient getting through that pesky traffic. You stay classy Peter.

June test run

Cabin additions made, new boom constructed and new reefing system in place. Time to try it all out.
On a not so sunny day Myself, my wife, buddies Bill and Adrian set out from the local marina and gave the Pathfinder a good test run.
 It' was fairly cold but if your dressed for the weather it's not so bad.
 We were on the water about an hour when the forecast winds arrived. It pushed from the North West at bout 20 knots with gusts at 25, but with the weight of 4 adults and a fully reefed main, it actually was fairly comfortable.

The cabin shielded us from the cold winds as we beat around the bay trying out the rigging modifications. Reefing can now be accomplished mostly by standing in the cabin with hatch slid forward and hauling the sail down to its reefing points.
A couple of hours of this was enough of a try out and we eventually turned with the wind and cruised home on a broad reach at over 7 knots, its fun to hit the 7 knot mark in my little boat.