Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sydney, Nova Scotia

I came into Sydney yesterday morning. That was not the plan. I intended to spend the night in Louisberg, NS. When I arrived around midnight I could not make any sense out of my sight picture and my chart. It appears that they have moved the buoys. This is not unusual as when local conditions change the buoys are changed to keep one safe. In fact as I learned on the Alligator River exit you always follow the buoys, not the chart if you don't want to run aground. I made three approaches to the Louisberg Harbor. It is not a friendly place with rocky shores on either side. After the third attempt I realized that I was not willing to go in any further without daylight. The moon had come up but it was only a half moon in clouds so I didn't get enough light from it either. It was a very quiet night so I considered just dropping the hook. Unfortunately the bottom drops away quite quickly. I was already freaked out by the rocks so even though my radar told me I was well offshore. I decided to just press on.

The problem with pressing on was that my choices were either Canso, another not so friendly port, or to continue on to Glace Bay or Sydney. This added considerable distance to the trip but meant that I would arrive in daylight. Glace Bay has no apparent services based on my charts so I continued on to Sydney. It is a long deep port with a very open entrance channel. In fact there is both commercial traffic and a deep water ferry that runs over to Newfoundland.

Of course the wind was on the nose the entire time. This was primarily because it was very light and the motion of the boat created lots of apparent wind. It was only on passing Glace Bay that I was able to get any drive from the sails. Of course I ran low on fuel. This required me to transfer fuel from the jugs I keep on deck into the fuel tanks.

I anchored out last night as both marinas in town did not have an obvious place to tie up. I decided not to launch the dinghy as I am planning to head for Newfoundland this morning. I did find the Dobson fuel dock but was concerned about getting into it as there was a large fishing boat tied up at one end and rocks at the other. This morning I approached it rigged from the port side (I normally use the starboard as that is the location of the fuel tank fill.) I pulled up alongside the fishing boat and then backed down into the fuel dock only to find that there was adequate room. I went to the marina office. They informed me that the bartenders had the keys to the fuel dock and I would have to wait until dinner for fuel. Of course that was two people being misunderstood in the same language. Dinner in Nova Scotia (and the rest of the civilized world) is what we colonials call "lunch." So I am now waiting at the dock.

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