I had forgotten how much I really enjoyed Halifax until on June 24th we sailed down the peninsula on which the city sits, and many memories of my four years of university there came flooding back to me. I had often wandered the waterfront while living there and thought of how much I would like to be on a sailboat out in the harbour. I left in 2008, and so six years later finally got to sail in. We had a gorgeous day, great wind and the city is easy to enter. We were welcomed at the Nova Scotia Maritime Museum of the Atlantic dock by Eamonn, their resident shipwright and spent our first night right downtown. Such a friendly man he let us use his phone to figure out buying new batteries for our house bank as the old ones were on the fringe.
We were able to shower that evening thanks to Ethan’s cousin Sean, who was kind enough to let three dirty sailors know where the key was when he wasn’t home. We had the chance to visit Sean’s recently opened Local Source Market a couple of days later where we enjoy some wine, beer and tapas on a rainy day.
We celebrated our arrival in Halifax with a farewell supper with Ethan joined by his friend Geoff. We had a nice time sipping Ethan’s recently purchased Iron Works rum from Lunenburg in the cockpit late into the night though worried about Ethan and Geoff making it home… Turns our Geoff forgot he didn’t drink rum until the next morning…
The hospitality of strangers, or friends of friends continued to astound us with meeting Jim Bissell and Beth Lusby, parents of my Ottawa high school friend Liam. Jim & Beth, cruisers, spend summers in Halifax and the other half of the year down in the Caribbean on their boat Madcap. Beth keeps a blog of their adventures, which you can read about here. Jim was a lifesaver and drove us up to Napa to get the previously mentioned batteries, each weighing 68 lbs. We then enjoyed a great supper (and did laundry!) at their nice Halifax home. Having cruised many of the areas we’re going they were a wealth of information and leant us charts we had neglected to buy. We were however a little disappointed they didn’t take us to the strip bar, as we hear happened with some visiting Norwegian cruisers!
The city of Halifax itself is small and it is easy to walk just about everywhere you would need to go. After a convenient first night on the waterfront dock, we decided to save our money (Halifax fees are $1.75/ft) and move to anchor, free of charge, in the Northwest Arm on the other side of Halifax. This very deep, long cove was a nice break from my worries of being at a dock in a city center. We were further from most amenities but it enabled me to pass by Dalhousie and visit my geology professor, Anne-Marie Ryan, who was luckily in when we came by. Our third day in Halifax was our first real rainy downpour. We found some pubs to hide in and met up with my cousin Jen who drove down from Wolfville for supper.
Friday, the weather was beautiful and we were able to get provisioned in the morning for our Saturday departure. In the afternoon we got out sailing with the previously mentioned Sean, his father, Dave, and my geology classmate & friend Tyler, his wife Fiona and their adorable 3 year old (equipped with her princess life jacket). It was great to get out with, and make new, friends, hopefully we will again when we come through at the end of our trip.