I’m sat in the cockpit with my morning cup of tea. I’ll paint a picture. Ingonish is a bit like a Scottish loch. A long inlet. It’s imperative to follow the narrow, squiggly buoyed channel on entering as a spit extends out from the beach. Wooded hills on both side. Did I mention, Canada has a lot of trees. A lot of trees.
To my right I can see the top of a ski lift on Cape Smokey and two runs cut down through the trees. Not sure if that’s the extent of the ski operation. It’s not very high but skiers will come down to a smidgen above sea level. The sea usually freezes up here to some degree every winter. Although ironically we’re not really that far north. Scotland is further north for example. I don’t think Whistler or Chamonix need to be too worried about the size of the competition here. Sweet though.
Grace is sat in a deep pool. We kept nudging in last night to get out of the wind. At one time I’d have been able to easily throw a stone to the land from where we sit, but I now “throw more like a girl”, (don’t be offended by that comment), that’s a big downside of ageing and surgery to remedy several dislocations. There’s satisfaction to be had in throwing things well. I remember that.
Tomorrow we will head across the Cabot Strait channel to Newfoundland. Our summer objective. Depending where we choose to make landfall, it’s between 80 and 100 miles. We are both aware that it’s relatively easy to keep heading north here. The winds are predominantly south west, from behind. At some point we need to turn round and get south towards Boston before 8th September. That could prove to be a complete bugger. Beating into the wind is not much of joyful point of sail. So we need to make a call as to how long we spend in Canada before turning around and if some north easterly winds arrive miraculously, we need to run with them.
We met Henry, a friend of friends in Baddeck. There are a select slice of individuals who intimidate and inspire me in equal measure. I’d add his name to this list. When I use the word intimidate, I mean in the “wow, you’re bright and your brain and body are working 24/7 and my brain just doesn’t work like yours”. In our too brief time together, we talked mutual friends, him being a direct descendent from the Mayflower, travelling in Ecuador and places to visit in Newfoundland, the reason for visiting him in the first place. He’s a bright, lovely generous chap who visibly adored his grandkids. Thanks Henry. We will return your charts.