Sunday, 16 August 2015

2015 NDB Good Old Boat Regatta

The Cruising Club of Notre Dame Bay (CCNDB), in association with Good Old Boat magazine, held a regatta on the weekend of August 14-16, 2015. The original plan was to sail from the Lewisporte marina to a waterside restaurant in Hillgrade over Friday and Saturday. That route was modified after I suggested some alternatives during the final planning meeting. My suggestion was to spread the trip over Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday to make it more manageable for the smaller and slower boats, and also for people who had to work on Friday.

A possible itinerary.

The itinerary became Lewisporte to Western Harbour, South Samson Island on Friday, where all boats should be able to make it in before dark. As early as possible on Saturday morning, the flotilla would continue on to Hillgrade, with an ETA of between 1300 and 1400. There everyone would gather for a meal at the restaurant. After that there were several options, but the general plan was to start heading back, with an overnight in Moreton's Harbour. On Sunday the fleet could meet up in Western Harbour, Sivier Island, before completing the final leg to Lewisporte.

Serenity, Berdel, Timeless, Windrifter, PersuadeHer, Second Chance, & Dreamweaver.
Showa & Summertime.

As is usually the case with these things, it was difficult to get confirmation on who would be attending, and exactly what the finer details of the event would be. On Friday evening the boats in attendance on the LYC moorings were: Serenity (Paceship PY23), Berdel (Glen-L 30), Timeless (Moody 376), Windrifter (Mirage 27), PersuadeHer (Hunter 31), Second Chance (Bayliner 3788), Dreamweaver (Classic 40), Summertime (Bayfield 25), and Showa (Camper Nicholson 31). Each mooring group did their own socializing, but there was some dinghy shuttling between them.

Windrifter, Timeless, Berdel & Serenity.

On Saturday morning, a check of the weather forecasts had everyone reevaluating. There were to be stronger winds than had been previously indicated, with the possibility of showers, which would make the voyage somewhat uncomfortable, especially for the less hardy boaters. There was no hard rule that the flotilla must stay together, so while most decided to stay put, Summertime, Showa, and Timeless decided to carry on, and would meet up with Longwinded (Bayfield 36) underway. They had spent the night at Exploits Islands.

Summertime heading off.
Showa getting underway.

Timeless was the largest boat in our mooring group, and had been one of the first to arrive at South Samson. This meant that they were the vessel we were all rafted off of. Before they could be let go, all the rest of us had to hook up to the mooring, and ready lines to reattach to each other. I used my dinghy to feed the lines through the mooring eye, and and generally supervise the procedure. This meant, however, that I didn't get any pictures of Timeless leaving. Not long after hitting open water, Jim, aboard Summertime, reported back over the radio, that even well reefed down he was able to maintain hull speed. Their passage would be fast, but rough.

Blaine working on making Timeless ready.

This left six boats on the moorings. We had considered making the approximately hour long sail over to Exploits Islands, but eventually decided against it. Even though it was very protected from the winds in the harbour, it was still choppy most of the day. During the calmer periods people would row or motor around a bit in their dinghies. I had to go ashore several times a day with the dog, so I was getting lots of exercise.

From 9 boats to 6.
Windrifter owners Mike and Arlene.
Berdel owners Bert and Delcie.
Lucy the Sailor Dog.

One of the bad things about Western Harbour, South Samson is the lack of cell phone signal. It is weak and intermittent. Roxanne's phone was the most consistent, so she was our contact with the outside world. Via texting, we learned that Joanne and Steve Gill were going to sail out to join us aboard Shelby Lynn (Challenger 24). It was an unpleasant trip for them, but they arrived safely around lunchtime. Again, we had 4 boats on our mooring.

Relaxing after supper.

During one of my trips ashore with the dog, I gathered up some firewood so that we could have a beach bonfire in the evening. Members of our mooring group paddled over just before dark to get things going, and some people from the other mooring came shortly after sundown. Unfortunately, high tide happened at the same time, and made our seating area rather damp. After the fire, with wet feet, we rowed back to our boats, while enjoying the bioluminescence in the water from our paddles.

A fire on the "beach".
Shelby Lynn, Windrifter, Berdel, & Serenity.

The forecast for Sunday called for reasonable weather in the morning, but with winds increasing throughout the day, and the possibility of rain showers. With that in mind, 3 of the boats on our mooring decided to have an early breakfast and get moving. The others would follow later, as they were ready.

Berdel motoring back to Lewisporte.

Even though the weekend did not go exactly as planned, the event itself was a success. The first Good Old Boat Regatta in Notre Dame Bay brought together various types and sizes of boats to explore and enjoy our waters. We are looking forward to doing it again next summer.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Cruising with Troubadour

One of the things I like to do is take new sailors, and any unfamiliar with the Bay of Exploits, around to the various harbours, coves, and anchorages. This summer is the first for Tracey and Brad as sailors, and with their Nash 26, Troubadour.

For the weekend of August 8/9, we decided to do an overnight trip to Knight's Island. They would travel together aboard their boat, while I led the way solo aboard Serenity. With wind and tide generally in your favour, this is about a 2 hour run. On this day the wind was not of much help, and not being in a huge rush, it took us about 6.

Since I reached Western Harbour first, it was a great opportunity to practice picking up a mooring ball while alone on the boat. That went well in the calm conditions. Tracey and Brad soon joined me, and we went about making some supper. Somewhat tired after the time underway, we all turned in not too long after dark.

The next morning I awoke at about my usual time, and went about making myself some breakfast. Even after I was cleaned up and ready to get, there was still no sign of life on the neighbouring boat. Not wanting to disturb them, I disconnected the lines, and let go of the mooring. It was then that Brad poked his head up through the companionway to our shared plans and say goodbye. They would be another couple of hours. 

Clearing the harbour at about 0800, I was greeted by a grey and fog covered world. My boat has no radar or chartplotter, so I mostly rely on chart and compass for navigation. There is an old handheld GPSr, which I have had since 1998, that can hold a few waypoints and routes, but it needs to be setup again. I suppose I could also use the navigation software in my smart phone, if I needed to. Anyway, I always have a chart close at hand. For the first hour I also kept a close eye on all my safe compass headings.

Eventually, the fog lifted, and the world got a little brighter. It was a rather pleasant motorsail back to Lewisporte, and nice getting some use out of my sailboat. Along the way, a few short phone videos were combined into one covering the trip. You can find that here or on my YouTube channel.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

A Sail with Shelby Lynn

July 2015 in Newfoundland was one of the coldest and wettest in decades, so there were few opportunities to do much outside all month. August 1, on the other hand, was much more like a normal summer's day, and seemed to herald a change in the weather for the better. Lost sailing time had to be made up!

Shelby Lynn with Steve and Mike.

There was not a lot of wind, so both Serenity and Shelby Lynn were motorsailed. Bert came along with me, while Mike accompanied Steve. Our initial plan was to visit Western Harbour of Knights Island, but with our progress being so slow, it was decided to divert back through Birchy Tickle and make our stopover Western Harbour of Sivier Island. The important thing was to not be too late returning to Lewisporte, since the women were in the clubhouse preparing supper.

Bert at the helm of Serenity.

On a mooring at Sivier Island we had a little break and a lunch.

Various methods of avoiding the camera.

I made another attempt to do some videos. This time there is some narration. Here is heading out...

And here is coming back...

Room for improvement.