Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Great Sail Today but Murphy Still Lurks

Yesterday - Monday, Ballantynes Cove.

Peter and Wayne went to town (Antigonish) to get a replacement "O" Ring. By early afternoon the "O" ring was found and installed on the boat. Weather forecast wasn't the best, so we figured that it would be best to get a good early start the next morning. Typical of a marina you get many like-mined folks with much to share. That afternoon we had a visit with Wayne B. who keeps a boat in the same pier.

We had a very fruitful discussion. Wayne had been sailing these waters for many years and gave us invaluable tips on how to sail our next leg which would be the Northumberland Strait. He advised us of the tidal currents and possible maneuvers to avoid them.

This morning, Tuesday, we cast off from the B.Cove as planned. We started out on engine power but as soon as we were clear of the breakwater we set the sails. It was a perfect North by northeast wind. It was a lovely sunny and windy morning for sailing if it wasn't for the lobster buoys. Outside of B.Cove it was like a mine field. One of us had to stand a continuous watch on the bow while pointing out the obstacles to the helmsman. Once we were several nautical miles off shore and rounded the Cape, the water cleared up of buoys.

Late morning, I noticed a relatively high speed boat motoring towards us. Peter and I mused that they might be pirates. The boat was definitely heading our way, and once close enough for identification, it was a gray coloured fisheries patrol vessel which proceeded to come along side. We hadn't been fishing and had nothing to report. I found the fisheries officers very congenial. After a chat about the sailing conditions and such, we were again left to our own devices and sailed on toward Pictou.

After lunch the wind died down, and our progress was slowing to 2 knots, so to maintain some progress we decided to motor again. Then around late afternoon we got a very good wind. We were doing 6 knots on full sail. Once in close to Pictou we decided to again motor into the harbour since it gives us better control.

So now what? The engine wouldn't start. Fuel was good, battery was good. The starter made a clicking noise and that was all. Peter phoned Wayne and tried a few things and we got it started again. It was a faulty solenoid switch for the starter.

We were still a couple of hours from the Pictou entrance so went back to sail. The wind was perfect and we made very good time. Much better than we could have done with the motor. Hoping that the solenoid problem was intermittent which they usually are we decided to go back to motoring. And again it would only click and not start. We had to "short the solenoid" to get it started. This had to be repaired now. We set into Pictou and again our most reliable friends Wayne and Carol were there to meet us at the dock. We are so fortunately to know such a kind and reliable couple. Though we are blessed with the Druhans, we were beginning to wonder if we weren't cursed by Murphy's Law. And we ran into more lobster buoys as we approached Pictou to boot.

We'll be taking out the starter and solenoid out for repair first thing tomorrow morning.

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