Friday, November 9, 2012

September run

September had a few nice sailing days and this day was no exception. Very little to no wind but warm and sunny. Derrick brought by pictures that he took from his sailboat as we both made our way out the bay.
 A ripple on the water but virtually no wind.
 So we sit and wait for a puff of wind to come along.
 And wait.....
 Once in a while a small breeze would pass by and we would ghost along for a moment.
 Then the wind or breeze would pass and we would sit and chat and be on the look out for the next one.
 One steady breeze came upon us and we actually made a bit of progress for a little while.
 Several boats along with mine took advantage as best we could and progressed out the bay a little.
 It's a little odd to see the boat moving so fast with no apparent evidence of wind to show.
 None of us seemed to be in a great rush to be anywhere so the come and go wind was inconvenient but not a problem.
But we were not alone, as you can see further out the bay the other sailboats were getting no wind either. The day was spent doing much of this stopping and going, moments of scooting along nicely and then coming to a dead stop. At least it was easy to pour up a cup of coffee.

This is one of the few times my boat has been photographed from a different point of view. I never get to see  my boat from this perspective, Thanks Derrick. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The "Bug"

It's happened again, that affliction that strikes boat builders and sailors. The overpowering need to build another. Yeah its terrible.
This time its a pug nosed pram (if you call it that) thats been in the works for some time and last year the design was complete and several built. What resulted was a flood of requests for plans for this little/big boat code named "S.C.A.M.P."  (Small Craft Advisor Magazine Project) Designed initially by the one and only John Welsford (designed my boat) Below is a small shot I grabbed to show what it looks like. Some may not like the look of it, but I do. It reminds me of my first pram that me and my dad built and that one was a safe reliable boat, I wore the bottom off that boat.
I'm still thinking about it... If I want to build another. This one it small and won't take near the time or resources to complete. If I do buy the plans, it's likely the boat will follow. And I'll certainly put it in a blog.
too bad there were not more locals building small boats. A fleet of these in the bay would be great to see.

Below are links to the main site where there is articles on  this little boat and a forum dedicated to it.
Wooden boat web site forum discussion of SCAMP
Small Craft Advisor Magazine article
Duckworks boat building supplies link to buy plans.

Back to the islands

Again this year I traveled down to the islands in Notre Dame Bay to spend a few days sailing and relaxing on the water. The weather cooperated and the conditions were great. Just before I left for the trip though I realized I had no screen door for my Pathfinder and had to rig one up quick. I took the hatch door down into the workshop and traced the outline on a scrap of plywood. Cut it out and then cut a hole 2" in from the edge. Without waiting for approval I tore the screen out of my patio door and stapled it to the back of the frame. Cut the edges off and Violla! A screen door.
The winds were low in the first day and we just ghosted along doing a couple of knots. Nadine took pictures of the whales and shot some video, but with a small camera the whales look only like dots.
Siviers Island was our destination and this time we were sleeping on the boat. The cabin was hot and there was no reason not to sleep on the boat. The review of accommodation? Comfortable. big enough to sit up to  cook or change your cloths, space for 2 adults to lie down comfortably and if I had a thicker foam pad it would have been better, but that's for next time. The screen door and vent forward gave us cool comfort in the night without the feeling of being closed in with the cabins size. In the morning when we awoke, the tide had gone out and left us grounded for an hour or so. luckily the Pathfinder don't need alot of water to move in.
 On one of the days there I took my sister in-law out for a run. She had never sailed before but with some basic instructions she handled the tiller with ease. The winds were light so it made the lesson all the easier.
 My task, moving around the boat taking pictures but mostly lazing around up front.
 Later in the afternoon, the breeze turned into a gale and the winds hit a nice sustained 20 knots. No time for pictures, I reefed the main and with 4 adults on board for ballast, we gave the boat a good run. 7 knots on the broad reach, and wet. The waves were short and choppy and broke regularly and whipped sideways over the bow. A fun day, too bad I have no waterproof camera. Another item on the list. I hate blogging with no pictures. When I read other blogs like Steve Earley's the pictures add a lot.
When we hauled the boat up to leave a quad was used since the boat is light and the quad 4x4 very maneuverable. The in-laws house is immediately next to the shore and slipway. Doesn't get better than that.
 And not a moment too soon. I snapped this just as I was covering the boat and hooking it to the car. High winds and heavy rain for the next day but the trip was at an end. That could have been a very wet trip back.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Yes I know it's been a long time since updating, what can I say. Spent more time enjoying our great summer than taking pictures of it.  Speaking of, can the gentleman (Derrick) who took the pictures of my boat 2 weeks ago, (Holyrood bay area) please drop a note or comment on this blog.


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.
A fine day on the water and making up for the lost month of July.