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Captain Log ID: 1072
Title: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Boat Name(Id): BlueJacket ( 58)
Sailor Name(Id): Geoff Schultz ( 306)
Geo Region: Canada:Nova Scotia
Date of Occurance: 2008-09-08
Latitude: N 44º   38.04'
Longitude: W 63º   37.86'
Sender (if email-in): wcz5101@NO_SPAM
Earlier log from "BlueJacket":  1071
Newer log from "BlueJacket":  1073
        Page visited 721 times since created         Edit This Log

Ahoy from Halifax, Nova Scotia!

AYC Mooring FieldWe arrived here on Friday after finally getting a weather window which allowed us to move down the coast. We really wanted to get here as the remains of hurricane Hanna were due to arrive and we needed to get a repair done to the jib. We had a rolling trip down the coast as we had 6-8' swells on the side and wind on the nose. But hey, we made it.

We had tried to get into the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron (RNSYS) marina, but they couldn't guarantee a slip and said that they would put us on a mooring ball if no slips were available. Just what I want with a tropical storm approaching... I checked the charts and saw that the Armdale Yacht Club (AYC) was a couple of miles further down the bay and had much better protection. I called them and they said "no problem" with getting a slip. As we passed the RNSYS we were surprised at how exposed it was to the ocean and we were thrilled to see that the AYC was tucked into a nice cove with 150' hills surrounding it. After picking up fuel we selected a slip on their largest dock and carefully secured BlueJacket.

We were quite surprised at how few boats at the marina were taking this storm seriously. Virtually no one took down any canvas or sails or ever added extra lines. Their comment was that this was a hurricane hole. I hope that they were right, but we doubled up lines and took down everything that was relatively easy. We also found out that the last large hurricane that struck the area wiped out the RNSYS mooring field and that their docks were destroyed. I was glad that we were where we were.

53' TidesWe wanted to explore the area and after making a lot of calls, I finally found an available car at Budget at the amazing price of $28/day! On Saturday we headed towards the Bay of Fundy as I've always wanted to see it. The Bay of Fundy has the worlds largest recorded tides which get up to 53 feet! The tides on this day were only 42 feet, but that's sufficiently amazing to me. As we later found out, with tides that high, the water drains completely away from the shoreline and into the middle of the bay, leaving miles of dry land. Boats which tie to docks here have to make sure that they're tilted towards the dock so that they end up resting against the dock instead of falling over! Yikes, this is not a place for BlueJacket! Speaking of tilting, the entire coastline of Nova Scotia tilts slightly when the bay fills with the 14 BILLION tons of water that flows in. Wow!

An interesting phenomenon which occurs due to these incredible tides is the tidal bore. A tidal bore occurs when the incoming tide encounters an out flowing river which causes standing waves to be generated. Several tidal bore rafting companies are located on the Shubenacadie river which flows into the Bay of Fundy. These are basically white water rafting excursions which last for several hours. Unfortunately Sue couldn't do it due to her surgery and I didn't have a set of clothes to change into when it was over. However, I would strongly suggest this to anyone who is in the area, it as looks really cool.

Bay of FundyWe proceeded to the head of the Bay of Fundy because years ago I had read about the incoming tide generates a wave that you can't out run as it comes into the bay. Not knowing how long it would take to reach the head of the bay, we arrived there at the time of the tidal bore in Maitland, which was at 3:20 on Saturday. Well, it's a long way from Maitland to the head and at 5 PM it still hadn't reached the head, so we headed back to the boat. Afterwards I noted that the best place to observe the tidal bore is where on the old bridge which overlooks the Shubenacadie river.

On Sunday tropical storm Hanna was forecast to blow through. The forecasts was for Hanna to pass offshore, producing 45 kt winds. At AYC we saw gusts to 22 kts, but nothing more. We went down to RNSYS to visit Sea Myth and the boats on moorings were rolling in the swell that was coming in, but nothing major. As we were visiting, the skies started to clear, the winds shifted to the W and it became apparent that Hanna had passed by. Later the TV weather showed that Hanna had passed along the Bay of Fundy, deluging the bay area with rain, but sparing the Atlantic coastline from the high winds.

Peggy's CoveThe forecast for Monday was for clear skies, but big seas, so we (and everyone else) decided to stay in port. We kept the car for an additional day and headed to Peggy's Cove, which is known as one of the most photogenic villages in Nova Scotia. We had a great time exploring the area and I think that I got a lot of nice photos and video. You can find photos albums of:

and video of this entire area at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v3DZBEOrdtcGd0

Tomorrow we're headed 43 miles down the coast to Lunenburg, which should be a nice trip if the winds die and the seas lie down. We need to keep moving...

-- Geoff & Sue

For the cruiser: AYC provides much better protection than RNSYS if there's a storm coming. Neither is close to anything and a car is very helpful if you need to go shopping or want to eat out. You can take a bus, but nothing is close by. Dockage at both marinas is $1.50/ft. AYC has mooring balls available for $20/night for less than 20 tons and $25/night for greater than 20 tons. AYC doesn't have any laundry facilities and the nearest laundry is over 3 miles away.