Trip Log – Broken belt and river sailing

A group of 10 or so dolphins joined the boat for almost half an hour playing at the bow and jumping around beside the boat as we sailed along

A group of 10 or so dolphins joined the boat for almost half an hour playing at the bow and jumping around beside the boat as we sailed along

Eastershore: Halifax to Liscomb River

With Ethan left on his own adventures in Nova Scotia, Matt and I left Halifax on June 28th, a beautiful day, and made our way approximately 40 nm north to Owls Head bay where we found good holding and dark coke coloured water.

The following day we ventured forth to Spry Harbour. The bay was beautiful but not particularly protected and dropped off quickly, so we had our first anchoring test here by doing what some consider a Medi-anchor, where we anchored off the bow as is normal, then took a stern line over to the beach and attached it to a tree, pulling the stern in to shore.

Spry bay, Nova Scotia

Spry bay, Nova Scotia

The cove was beautiful but I have never seen so many jellyfish (what I’ve previously called Lions Mane jellies but have no idea if that is correct) in one place. They were innocuous however giving us the opportunity for our first swim in Nova Scotia waters. We then explored around the little island and were back on the boat for sunset.

The following day we ventured forth to Spanish Ship Bay at the outflow of the Liscomb river. A slight crisis ensued as we entered the bay, and the engine alarms started sounding. Matt quickly checked and found the engine temperature skyrocketing above what the meter could read. Going below he opened the engine box to find the alternator belt torn to shreds… this belt also runs the water cooling system for the engine. Uh oh!

Broken alternator belt

Broken alternator belt

Luckily by this point we were in fairly shallow (18 feet) water and so dropped the hook immediately and shut down the engine before the engine was burnt out. It was hectic, but luckily Matt had an extra belt and we were good to go in about 10 minutes. Turns our a bolt holding the alternator to its bracket had completely sheared off, allowing the alternator to fall off the engine and the belt tore itself to shreds. Once fixed we motored a small distance further into the bay and spent the night in a nice protected cove.

The following day we motored 5 nm up the Liscomb River to the Liscombe Lodge (note that the Lodge puts an “e” on the end of Liscomb). The skinny river with a continuous current in one direction, wind in the opposite direction, and a tide that changed directions every 6 hours, created a challenge for anchoring. The mooring lines were pinned to the bottom by the current and so we did our first river parking by pointing the boat upstream, dropping a stern anchor then driving forward to drop off a bow anchor. This worked decently and we rotated only slightly.

Navigating the Liscombe River

Navigating the Liscombe River

At the lodge we met the friendly and helpful Chester and met another cruising couple Amy & Ken on their boat Mary T, with whom we had been hop scotching with since before Halifax. We found our way to the shuffle board court, a beautiful river walk, and ended the day with what will probably be our only hot tub of the summer. We also got a free cupcake! Happy Canada day!




  1. Bob Wastrom here! I stumbled on your adventure while researching Alden’s designs for an “R” boat project/build which we are about to begin at EM Crosby Boatworks. More on this later. I was a former partner at Pease Boatworks and subsequently former owner of Heart’s Desire. We purchased her from Frank Kane on Nantucket where she sat in disrepair,tied up at Nantucket wharf one winter. I remember scratching together the 50 g’s between the three of us with the idea of Chartering her to pay the bills etc, etc….. My family enjoyed many a voyage with fond memories that shall be cherished forever. Like you, many hours were spent putting her back in shape. Kudos for all your fine work! I saw Nat B. at the wooden boat show last week and he said you had done a masterful job. In some small way you are fulfilling one of my long time dreams. A sailing adventure to Labrador. Having competed in the Halifax race on two occasions and been turned away from Halifax on one trip by a nasty Nor’easter, Nova Scotia has a formidable coastline. Ned Crosby who is my current boss has a place on the Bra dor lakes just opposite from Badec. He will be there in August for three weeks. I’m sure he would love to show you some hospitality. I’ll send along some contact info soon. He’s an old schooner guy himself. “Defiance ” one last thing! On the Eastern shore of Newfoundland there is a little cove called “Hearts Desire”, I always dreamed of taking her there. Good luck, and safe voyaging. I’ll try to keep in touch if you don’t mind.

    Many thanks, Bob Wastrom Email.

    1. Hi there,
      Sorry for the long delay in responding but we have not spent much time on the computer recently. Great to hear from you and your history with Heart’s Desire. We’re having a great trip and are now in Newfoundland, unfortunately the cove “Heart’s Desire” is a little too far for us on this trip. We met a couple in Baddeck (I do not have their names on me) who had a boat built (rather finished) at Ned Crosby’s yard and were told he had a place up here. Jessica’s cousin Mike Mulay also worked for the other Crosby yard on Cape Cod for many years working mainly on boat interiors I believe. Driving around an old wooden schooner makes the world seem pretty small. I’ll update the History section as we had thought the boat was owned by Frank Kane then Glen Schoeder (then us). The old inspection indicated “Tris Kane,” do you know if this is the same person? We will be in touch, and will perhaps see you on the Cape or the Vineyard.

      1. Thanks for the reply. Don’t mean to interrupt your trip with small talk. Tris Kane I believe was Frank’s wife and perhaps had her name on the documentation. There was certainly some disconnect there as Frank was living on Nantucket in an apartment with his family in Eastham. Franks health may have had something to do with the demise of Heart’s Desire. As for Mike Mulay, small world! He worked for us as a subcontractor on a project several years ago, very talented guy. Tell Jessica to say hello if she is ever in touch with Mike. Here at the shop, we have guessing as to your contact in Baddeck because there were several building projects we have sent that way. One would be Steve Goldthwaite and the other would be a fellow whose first name escapes me would be Moncton.

        In any event we are all envious of your adventures and look forward to future posts. Hear the salmon fishing in Labrador is stupendous. Good luck. Bob Wastrom. Keep an eye out for the bergs.

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