Captains Log – August 6, 2016. Yarmouth to West Port

Stardate 94200.99

Passage: Yarmouth to West Port
Air    15C
Water    67.2F
Wind    8kn S
Pressure  100.8kPa
Tide – Low 7:44        High 14:03
Light Fog
T.O.D.    Yarmouth 7:35

Our original plan was to head directly to Bar Harbour from Yarmouth, but it looks like we would have to hang out in Yarmouth for a week to get a good weather window. So on to plan B! Screenshot_20160806-181307After staying in Yarmouth for a couple of nights to take in the sights, today we will take a slightly longer more scenic route to get to Bar Harbour via West Port and Grand Manan Island over a couple of days.

There’s not too much light pollution in Yarmouth so I got a photo of Jupiter over a setting moon last night. You can just make out the entire shadow side of the moon.

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Today they were calling for higher winds than we typically like to travel in but because they will be tail winds and going with the tide, I decided it probably wouldn’t be too rough for us and it turned out to be fine.

We left Yarmouth at low tide with light fog that seemed to clear in front of us as we headed out the channel. 20160806_073802

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When the sun is behind us we can sometimes see these rings in the fog

There’s a big cat. that crosses back and forth between Yarmouth and Portland daily. This monster comes in around 9pm and heads out around 9am. It sits so high in the water, that I’m sure we could take our boat under it.20160806_073641

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On the way out it was a bit rough for the first 20-30 minutes while we were traveling south around the point, but once we turned to the north it was quite pleasant. Leaving Yarmouth at low tide allowed us to run at 800 rpm and still hit as high as 9.2 knots getting a 3 knot speed increase from the tide.

The book says to plan on reaching West Port at slack tide due to the currents in the channel. IMG_8869

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We were about a half hour early and you could definitely see and feel the current at that point even though it had settled down quite a bit. It wasn’t a problem for our boat, but a sail boat with a small prop would probably have a difficult time in the channel.

We entered the harbour after passing by a couple of the salmon farms in the bay and tied up to one of the fishing vessels. We are triple parked for the night!20160806_130007

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Time to explore! We jumped off the boat and went looking for the harbour master. Looks like a bit of weather blew through here at some point!20160806_130003

First stop was one of the local whale tour buildings across the street. They have several whale tours here each day with tons of sightings, which means tomorrow we may get to see whales again!

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humpback whale carvings look awesome!

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Down the street from the harbour is a small gas station, gift shop, cafe and small restaurant with you guessed it… Ice Cream! I may need to get my cholesterol checked after this trip. Diesel is relatively cheap here at 87 cents per litre. Unfortunately the hose from the gas station won’t reach 500 meters to the boat! TL talked with one of the locals while we got ice cream and they had mentioned that there was a nice sand beach not too far away. ‘Just got down to that house with the blue roof and hang a left.’ She said…20160806_134208

So off we went! As we approached to house with the blue roof, there was a small hand made sign that said ‘Beach’ with an arrow on it. We turned at the sign and continued down a narrow dirt road. At first there were a few houses, so we continued on. After about 500 meters, the houses stopped and the winding road continued, with the odd dirt driveway heading off into the bush. About 2km down the road the scenery hadn’t changed much and we still couldn’t see the end. Ryanna was playing Pokemon GO on my phone and she said ‘The road looks really long on here.’ So I figured I’d run ahead and see just how far this mystical beach is.

4km down the road I arrived at the beach! 20160806_142002A few cars were already parked and there was another one coming up the road… with the rest of the family in it! Cool, I won’t have to run back and forth 3 times. We hiked around the shoreline watching the seals, looking for interesting beach paraphernalia and taking pictures. Luckily it wasn’t a super hot day. If anything it was a bit chilly with the wind blowing in from the cool ocean.20160806_150737

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After a couple of hours exploring the coastline it was getting late in the afternoon, so we started the trek back to the boat. Although we are building the threshold for distance with Spencer and the dog, 8km is getting a bit far for them to walk, so we ended up carrying Mini-Wheat the last little bit. We stopped for burgers at the little restaurant on the way. They were awesome homemade specimens indeed!

Once back at the boat, the Harbour Master came by for the $25 dock fee and a couple of local fisherman pulled in beside us to tie up for the night. We chatted with them for a few moments and learned that they feed the fish in the farm out on the bay. 800k of them actually! There are 8 large enclosures on the water with 100k salmon in each one. They buy them from a hatchery and then raise them for 18 months until they are large enough to sell to market.

That’s about it for today. It’s 20:30, the fog is starting to roll in and we are almost at low tide.20160806_203117

Hopefully tomorrow we will see a whale or two on our next passage to Grand Manan Island.

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.

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