Captains Log – August 3, 2016. Shelburne to West Head (Cape Sable)

Stardate 94192.78

Shelburne, NS, Boats anchored in the mist this morning.
Shelburne, NS, Boats anchored in the mist this morning.

Passage: Shelburne – Round Bay – Daniel’s Head Beach – West Head
Air    16.3 -> 22C
Water    66.9F
Wind    4kn NE
Pressure  102kPa rising
Tide – High 9:42 @ 1.9m        Low 15:39 @ 0.4m
Light Fog
T.O.D.    Shelburne 6:56



Today we are planning on making a couple of stops at Round Bay and Daniel’s Head beaches along the way if conditions are good. They are both exposed directly to the Atlantic, so it may not be ideal to anchor out.

Just after Waypoint 8 south of McNutts Island we saw a pod of porpoises traveling south. They are quite small at about 3ft. and don’t seem to be too curious about us. We hear from the locals that dolphins are more interested in checking out the boats. Hopefully we will see some of them along our travels as well.

As we approached WP9 to turn in to Round Bay I noticed that the water temp out here is only 55F! The kids weren’t too interested in swimming in that and the shoreline looked quite rocky, so we decided to bypass WP10-11 and continue along the coast.

At 11:18 we crossed WP16 just south of West Baccaro and reassessed the water temperature situation. 61F still isn’t warm enough apparently and the swells we are in are 8-10ft, so anchoring is most likely out of the questions anyway. On we go, bypassing WP17-19, heading for the WP20 on the eastern tip of Cape Sable Island. The charts show that it gets quite turbulent here and should be avoided in high winds. We try not to travel in high winds anyway, so we will see how it goes. There was a strange building out on one of the smaller islands. I haven’t been able to find out what it is yet. If anyone knows let me know.


WP20-22 Rounding the southern shores of Cape Sable we stayed a good 5-10 km off shore as there are a lot of rocks and shoals in closer to land. As we rounded the south to south west side of the island it did get noticeably rougher and more turbulent in spots where the seafloor changed drastically. We had the wind to our back all day so it wasn’t terribly uncomfortable. We did bob around quite a bit though.  Around 13:30 a larger motor yacht cruised by us at 15-20 knots as we bobbed around in the chop. We waved, flashed our tips and carried on.

By the time we reached WP23 west of Cape Sable Is. the water had calmed down as we were now sheltered from the wind and following seas.

WP25 15:01 we entered the channel into Lower Clark’s Harbour. It was near low tide, so much of the private warfs looked to be on land. We stopped briefly in one of the bays in Clark’s Harbour and dropped anchor. There was one private wharf beside the anchorage, but rather than anchor out we decided to head around the corner to West Head Harbour. As we approached we saw the 135ft motor yacht, that had passed us earlier, tied up to the wharf.


We initially tied up behind this vessel on the outside of the wharf, but the giant tires were going to crush us as the tide went up, so we moved inside the harbour and tied up to one of the fishing boats. It is their off season so we didn’t have to worry about blocking them in.

off we went to explore…


of course they spot the ice cream sign! Cool lobster cage chair.
some local artwork

It’s interesting walking around the shipyards and getting a closer look at some of these amazing boats.




the one on the left is a new vessel, almost twice the size of the older boats!


new hull ready for trimming…
evening view from the wharf


Tomorrow we head for Yarmouth before making our way across the big bay!

Chow for now!


Author: Doug Law

A technology professional currently taking a three month sabbatical, doing the Down East Loop, aboard a 36 foot Express Cruiser, with his family.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *