Saturday, June 08, 2013

Back to Sailing

[Kyle]For about a week or so, the forecasts had been saying we would have a day of strong tailwinds for our next long westward leg. I was really looking forward to that, but a couple of days before we set off, they all changed their minds. The new forecast was for 15kt direct headwinds. Ugh…

I made a plan for two, or even three contingency stops along the way in the event that we just couldn’t fight our way very far down the coast. Decent anchorages that aren’t way inland are few and far between on this stretch. Our first possible stop was the anchorage at Petit Manan, where we had stopped eastbound.

We tacked our way past the lighthouse just after noon, making it barely feasible that we could make it across Frenchman’s Bay by nightfall. If it didn’t look like we could make it, we could always turn and make the fast downwind run to Petit Manan before it got dark. The ride wasn’t bad at all and we were doing a better angle to windward than I had anticipated. We developed a strategy of tacking up the various bays along the way as far as we could. This gave us close up views of the coast and islands, and kept us where the seas were flatter, giving us more speed and a more comfortable ride.

As we passed between Schoodic Point and Schoodic Island into Frenchman’s Bay, the wind shifted slightly to the north, allowing us to sail close-hauled directly toward our anchorage on the southern side of Little Cranberry Island, dramatically improving our speed to the destination. I was greatly relieved. The next day would not need to be a long slog. Instead, we only had a short way to go, allowing us the time to sail as long as it took without worrying about running out of daylight. We even had enough time to get settled in by dark, allowing us to enjoy sunset over nightcaps in the cockpit.

A calm start as we leave through Roque Island Thorofare and head west. Trees and rocks change too as we head west.

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