Thursday, September 10, 2015

Heading home down the south coast

                                      Leaving St. John's Harbour at dawn 

We are on our way back to Sydney, NS and are on a mission, no time for sight seeing. Leaving St. John's Harbour we sailed pass Cape Spear, the most easterly point in North America.  It was neat to sail past after standing there last year and wondering if we would ever be by this way again! The next day we sailed past Cape Race which is considered the bottom of the Avalon Penninsula and turned the corner to head west. We have had enough wind to sail most days but unfortunately it seems like it is always on our nose. That means we have to tack back and forth going about 1 and 1/2 times the distance we would need to if we went in a straight line. We have been sailing until we have about 10 miles to go and then getting tired, we turn on the motor and motor sail in a straighter line to our destination. 
                     Cape Spear the most easterly point in North America

When we left Trespassey we had an overnighter in order to reach a safe port which was not 20 miles out of our way.  The winds were once again on our nose and kept picking up all day.  By nightfall we were down to a double reefed main and the staysail. We were still making headway but the waves were over 3 meters and the boat was taking a pounding. We hove to,with just the main up and the tiller hard over and just slowly went backwards. After a couple of hours of this I put a little foresail up and started sailing again.  Barry was very unhappy and so was the main, it protested by letting go on a seam just above the second reef.  (The stitching on the main is very weak due to UV damage, we need to get it re stitched.) We reefed down again to the third reef and once again started to slowly go backwards. The wind abated about 0400 and we were sailing again.  At 0900 hours we had the full genoa, staysail and triple reefed main up and were making good time in the bright sunshine. At 1100 hours we were motoring to make landfall before dark and we took the main down and off of it's foot and started sewing.  
This morning, which is the next day we woke at 0330 and decided to motor 20 nm as the wind was on our nose, to the next anchorage to wait out a coming gale.  30 knots are predicted with gust to 40, YIKES but not until noon so we are counting on the accuracy of the forecast and making a run for it.   We decided to motor the distance because that would leave us with about 180nm to go to Sydney and there are NE and SE winds predicted for the days following the gale so we should have the wind behind us for a couple of days. Send us your best wishes for following seas!!

We are using " The Cruising Guide of Nfld." published by Members of the Cruising Club of America and it has been very "helpful.
Ports or Anchorages

Fermeuse Harbour  46*58' N X 52*56' W
Tied to the dock at the harbour west of Sheep's Head.
Electricity and garbage disposal available at dock, no water, no charge, came in late, left early. 
No info. on services in town. 
Great protection lots of water going into the dock. 

Trespassey  46*44' N X 53*22' W
Anchored in 5m. of water in NW arm. Put out 50 m. of chain. Good holding
Picked up a log on the anchor. 
Dock available but very open to W and SW winds 
No info. on services easy entrance into harbour. 

Little St. Lawrence  46*55' N X 55*21' W
Anchored in 4m. of water. Good holding, Hurricane hole, great protection all around. 
Services available in town I km. away by road. 
Very friendly locals. 

Lamaline   46*51.4' N  X 55*48.3' W
Tied up at the wharf. Very protected dock.
Follow the buoys and watch your charts going in, we saw 2.8 m on the depth finder at low tide. 
There is a floating dock with adequate water to tie up. 
Water, tap on building to left of pier, electricity, garbage disposal available, no charge
Fuel, groceries available about 1km. away, 2 offers of rides 
Walking trails on Allan Island with views of St. Pierre, great stop.