As we made our way south we were slightly disappointed again by Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore. While the scenery is beautiful when you can see it, we were plagued by foggy days and strong winds from the wrong direction.
Our first mistake was pulling into Port Felix to seek refuge from nasty wind. While the entrance is marked, the charts are incorrect, making the buoys seem illogical. The buoys are placed in areas marked on the chart as being quite shallow. Worried that the buoys had moved we tried going in the “deep” channel indicated on the chart, which we quickly realized was non-existent. Perhaps the channel has changed since it was charted, or was just incorrect to begin with, but regardless it is best to follow the markers!
Near Port Felix we ended up stuck on the boat for 2 days, without much of an area to explore due to strong winds and our reluctance to row very far. The weather wasn’t pleasant and after a while we were a little stir crazy. Thank goodness for a computer screen, movies and good buttery popcorn!
When the wind let up we moved south to the pretty town of Port Bickerton. This was a lovely stop and highly recommended. Our chart separates the bay into Port Bikerton and Mouton harbour, but the locals call both protected areas Port Bickerton. A small store is a close walk to Mouton harbour, but nice hiking trails are closer to Port Bickerton, home of a coast guard station. In need of fuel we solicited the harbourmaster, who informed us they are trying to get permits to open a full service (water & fuel) operation. Since we have been trying to get fuel since leaving Newfoundland I think this is a great idea and hope the permitting goes through. Unless you stop in Canso, a little out of the way, or motor 7 miles up river to Liscombe, there is no fuel between the Bras D’or Lakes or Glace Bay to the north and Halifax to the south.
After another stop or two we made it to Halifax, and were happy to be anchored back in the Northwest arm. Being there made our trip almost feel like we had come full circle. We took care of business and made our way to the new Halifax Market, a lovely morning expedition. I could not help but notice how standing at the bus stop Matt and I were the only ones actually talking to each other. Even groups of friends together just stood there doing something on their phones. I’ll write more about this later, but the lack of personal communication or even finding someone who would look at you in the city is a bit mind boggling.
While in Halifax we were delighted to meet up with Verna & Winston, who are originally from Grand Bruit and who we had met in Rose Blanche, Newfoundland. We had a nice supper with them and enjoyed sharing the stories of our summer adventures.
We were also fortunate to anchor directly in front of the Lee family house, who were friendly and welcoming. Rick came out and offered us his dock and tea. He, his wife and son were extremely friendly and I even got a nice shower in. The night we arrived home from visiting with Winston & Verna we crossed Rick’s lawn and were invited to celebrate the autumn full moon with them. We enjoyed great Chinese food and authentic moon cakes, a laborious dessert made from lotus seed paste with an outer pastry. It was an interesting evening to explore the dichotomy of cultures we have in even a small city. From rural Newfoundlanders, who grew up in isolated communities, to a Chinese celebration where many come from cities with over 10 million inhabitants. Regardless of backgrounds however I have to say again, I am in disbelief about the friendly nature of everyone we have met along our way.