It is with a heavy heart that we have said goodbye to our lovely Heart’s Desire. She’s been a part of our family for over 10 years, but is now moving on to her next chapter with the Portland Schooner Company in Portland, Maine. Hopefully many people can enjoy her on day cruises as she returns closer to her original home.
We had some really great times sailing on her, from St. Thomas to Newfoundland with most of the time spent around Martha’s Vineyard. Matt did an incredible amount of work, rebuilding the rig and the forward interior, as well as maintaining her in beautiful condition. We now have two young children, 4 and 1, and were spending more time with upkeep than enjoying the boat. While we lived on the boat for 9 summers, that has also become more arduous with work, daycare, sports, and other engagements. If we were off cruising without a schedule, or even on a dock regularly, maybe we could have made it work, but as our lives stand now it was a challenge.
As for this blog? Well, we’ll see what comes next. I might have to change the address soon…. While it was not our intention, we serendipitously acquired a new (old) wooden boat – a Sparkman & Stephens Nevin’s 40’ yawl. She has been living in Pocasset, MA on Cape Cod and needed a new owner to keep her up. Now back in Vineyard Haven we hope to enjoy sailing her with a co-owning family friends this summer.
For those who have been following along on our adventures we hope you are well! We’ll try and document more adventures soon!
Well, since returning last fall Matt and I have certainly dropped the ball with our blog. But I’m happy to say we, and the boat, are alive and well on Martha’s Vineyard for the summer. We’ve had a big year and bought a house, which we’ll write about in the future, and have a new addition to the family, a kitten named Leroy! You’ll have to come visit us at the Gloucester Schooner festival to meet him! Hope to see you there!
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. (more…)
Up, down, up, down… this was how we spent 10 hours on August 29th running downwind with the offshoots from hurricane Cristobal. It was our best day yet, and not even uncomfortable, making 74 nautical miles in just over 10 hours. (more…)
We bid farewell to Newfoundland in the early morning twilight on August 22nd, a day shy of a month since we’d arrived. We took off unsure exactly what our destination would be but we did well and with lovely weather decided to continue 75 Nmi south to Ingonish, having previously visited the protected harbour on our way north. (more…)
We are very far behind in posting about our trip, but will continue where we left off in Newfoundland around mid August. Leaving the magical fjordland and continuing our way east along the coast we entered the Bay D’Espoir. This beautiful area is a series of passages and bays that continues some way east and north becoming more and more protected the further you go. Ironically this bay is pronounced “Bay Despair” here, but it seemed like this area was one with renewed industry and perhaps more hope than despair for the time being. (more…)
In the absence of many fresh vegetables here on the south coast of Newfoundland, Matt and I have gone berry crazy! Potatoes, carrots, turnip, cabbage and onions are about all that come fresh; so we have been on a berry blitz to try and get our nutrients! (more…)
At the dock in Port-Aux-Basques a worker told us “ Newfoundlanders don’t burn, we rust.” And, despite the seemingly impenetrable layer in the sky above us we did find ourselves with a fog-burn by the end of the day, entering the minuscule opening into Burgeo harbour. (more…)
Grand Bruit or “Grand Brute” in Newfoundland speak, is a beautiful town named for the large waterfall that cascades through the center. Most places along the South Coast have french names with Anglicized pronunciations. Some places have also informally reverted to the spellings indicated on the 1790’s charts made by James Cook, who could not spell in French, on his expedition along this coast. (more…)
When we departed White Point in northern Cape Breton we were headed to Codroy, Nfld. We thought the weather sounded great, 15 to 20 knots of nice southwesterly wind. But we’re learning (the hard way) that Environment Canada is a little too conservative for their wind reports to be practical. We got up at 3:30 am, and were off by 4 am for the 75 nautical mile crossing. With only 5 knots of wind, and big rolling seas coming east from the St. Lawrence and west from the Atlantic, we were going nowhere fast. By 11 am we were only 20 miles into our trip. After some hemming-and-hawing we made our decision to head for Port-Aux-Basques, a closer destination on the south coast. (more…)
We had great wind and were having a lovely sail into Baddeck, deciding to burn by the harbour before dropping the sails. Unfortunately as we entered the only channel, between docks and a mooring field, a passing group of site-seeing kayakers were spread across the channel. They were now stopped, and taking photos of us… I’m not sure if they realize that we couldn’t just stop, and had very little room to maneuver, but luckily their guide got them moving again and all was fine. (more…)
The Bras D’or Lakes, Nova Scotia, referred to as “Canada’s Largest Inland Sea” were a pleasure to sail around. We spent almost two weeks enjoying nice weather, flat water, and the cruising life. The danger in these lakes is the phenomenon of lathargia; where days somehow don’t start until noon and sometimes you forget to go sailing… (more…)
I recently mentioned to Matt that I think the idea of fog on the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia was a hoax, a big conspiracy to keep this wonderful cruising ground all to themselves and the brave few who decided to venture up despite warnings.
Well, I definitely jinxed us because on the 16th day of the trip (July 2nd) we found out what it is all about. (more…)
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.
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. (more…)
Well our last 12 hours of sailing was an adventure. I was asked by the Lunenburg Librarian (not a sailor) if I was afraid for my life when I told her we arrived on Wednesday by sailboat… Well, I answered, not really afraid I would say… A little nervous I suppose. (more…)
After a great departure party at Gannon & Benjamin and a day of running around we were finally ready to go on Sunday June 15th. Matt dove in on Saturday to do a final cleaning of our propeller for the summer, as water is a lot warmer in Vineyard Haven than where we’re headed! (more…)
Well after the first few calm nights the last one was a rocking one. It was a gentle rock, just enough to lull you to sleep but not enough that your shoulder is rocking side to side and keeping you awake. I tend to sleep on my stomach on the boat, so I feel like I can brace myself to the bed, in case of a large wave… Apparently this isn’t how you’re supposed to sleep but I’ll worry about that when I get the back problems everyone tells me I’ll get. For now, I’ll just worry about actually being able to sleep while the boat moves. (more…)
If there is one thing that will help you reduce your load, it is moving aboard a small wooden boat. Matt and I have spent the last 4 winters (3 for me) looking after a bed & breakfast in Vineyard Haven. While we live in a relatively large house during that time, due to the nature of it being a B&B, our stuff is limited to our one room. Despite this however, it seems every winter we accumulate more stuff, that then has to fit onto our little boat. (more…)