As we learned yesterday much to our dismay, the Lennox Passage Bridge is broken. We can’t get under it unless it opens, and it ain’t opening any time soon. Which meant nine hours to St. Peter’s instead of seven, plus time for two locks.
We were supposed to be able to come down the Strait of Canso past Port Hawkesbury, then shoot in a straight line along the north coast of Isle Madame (which incidentally is another Acadian hot bed) to St. Peter’s. With the bridge down we’ll have to go all the way around to the south around Cape Auguet.
Oh well, let’s get at ‘em early. First up, crossing St. Georges Bay to Cape Breton and the Strait of Canso. St. George maybe was a soldier who endured torture rather than recant his Christianity or maybe never existed at all. The whole affair is rather murky, but either way he’s at least an Anglican Saint and maybe a Catholic one as well, plus England adopted him as its patron and uses what supposedly was his heraldic cross as one of its flags. All we know is that his Bay wasn’t too bad so he’s A-okay in our eyes.
However, the reports for weather on the other side of that big island we unexpectedly need to circumnavigate started getting grim. Southeast wind at 20+ knots. Not technically infinite fetch, but the closest land upwind is Morocco. That means big waves. The Canadians say 1- to 2-meters. Quick math puts 2 meters as more than 6 feet. 6 FEET! Windy confirms 4-foot waves with 3-foot swells ahead. THAT’S 7 FEET! 6- and 7- footers aren’t a problem for Misty Pearl, but they’re a huge problem for the fair-weather weenies who live aboard her. Should we bail out at the Strait of Canso Yacht Club? The unanimous vote was 4 to 0 in favor. We think Oscar snuck in a second ballot, but either way the eyes were above the nose.
Fortunately no commercial traffic was gumming up the Canso Lock so we passed right through. It wasn’t too exciting, but since it’s the first lock—out of a couple of hundred—that we floated in without hanging on to anything, we’ll share the video anyway.
We pulled in the bailout marina just as the winds picked up, making the decision look pretty smart. When we left for town, the gusts were approaching 30 knots. We almost crashed the rental car patting each other on the back.
We love seeing new things, and lifeboats ready to deploy off land are pretty novel. Why would anyone want to ditch land? Turns out they’re used for training purposes by the Nova Scotia Community College. As an aside, the NSCC almost certainly has a nickname far inferior to the Scottsdale Community College Fighting Artichokes. Most importantly, we’re tied up with extra lines and fenders.
Tomorrow we’re off to see more of Cape Breton, which always seemed like one of those mystical faraway places we’d never visit. To honor our arrival, here’s another Dave Carroll tune, this one referencing not only the Cabot Trail but also Arizona and Austin and Banff, where we hiked a few summers ago. Plus we live on a boat so we’re always home. (Dave also references Nebraska—which never has seemed mystical or far away—but we ignore that for the purposes of honoring our arrival in Cape Breton.)