The final leg of the Canadian summer started in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. This was the forth time Andy & Mia have been up there, twice on Isbjorn and once on Arcturus. Lunenburg is such a sweet little town with everything a sailor could want. The trip south was fairly uneventful with some upwind sailing towards the end before we entered the Delaware Bay and sailed back home to Annapolis
We've officially been headed enough now that the Chesapeake Bay is out of the question. In Lunenburg, we plotted two routes on the chart, for each scenario, and had always kept the Delaware option in our back pocket. I had a hunch that south was key in this leg, so we kept going that way and I'm glad we did.
0900 Wednesday August 10. We're sailing again, close-reaching on the port tack now, careful to stay south of our rhumb line in anticipation of a SW'ly shift as we approach the Chesapeake. It's beautifully warm outside now. The sun is strong enough to require the bimini again, but it's not the humid, stifling heat of the Bay. Yet. We're far offshore, 155 miles SSE of Nantucket and 275 miles E of Cape May, 10,000 feet of ocean under our keel.
Hey all, friend of the crew Rory Finneren writing. I was pleasantly surprised when Andy contacted me yesterday via his YellowBrick from offshore. He asked if I could post blogs during this passage since Liz, who would normally do so, is currently onboard. Recently having returned home to Taiwan after my own 5500 nm offshore voyage from Tahiti to Alaska, I'm happy to help. Here is the latest from Andy & the crew of Isbjorn, homeward bound to Annapolis from the cool fog of Nova Scotia.
After a fun and relaxing week up in St. John's, Newfoundland, David and Dough arrived a few days early to explore the town before departing south towards Lunenburg. Dan, our 3rd crew, sailed with us up from Lunenburg and stayed onboard during the stop over in St. John's. As we departed, the fog rolled in pretty quickly and we had a nice cruise down to St. Pierre, arriving early in the morning in thick fog. St. Pierre really surprised us and the crew, amazing food, great hiking and the deserts people just could dream of.
We last left off after a magical ‘recce’ past mythical Sable Island. While the scenery was dramatic and the mood aboard Isbjorn at perhaps an all-time high, the actual sailing left much to be desired. We’d been motoring for almost 24 hours through a very flat calm and very heavy fog. That all changed after our visit to Sable.
Isbjorn makes a fog-bound entrance into the tiny French outpost of St. Pierre & Miquelon. The crew finds lots of brie and wine ashore, and the battered hull of Oman Sail, the MOD70 trimaran that capsized in the recent Quebec-St. Malo trans-Atlantic race. It was the foggiest passage of Andy & Mia's career.
Finally, around midday, with 40 or so miles to go, the weather changed for good. The fog lifted and stayed lifted and the first chink in the low layer of clouds opened up suddenly to reveal a blue sky filled with the puffy cumulous so common with the onset of fair weather. Almost as suddenly a westerly breeze tickled the water and immediately filled in at a gusty 15 knots, propelling Isbjorn along the coastline at nearly hull speed in the flat, sheltered water along the cliffs.
Capt. Andy joined Isbjorn after his appendicitis surgery a week earlier in Newport. A great sail out of Lunenburg, the wind kept building as we sailed along the coast of Nova Scotia. To avoid a big low between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland we jumped in to Lewisbourg for a day. 20 hrs later we were out again, some frustrating light wind sailing through fog until we rounded Cape Race. The fog lifted, the wind picked up and can not say other that a spectacular sail up the coast. Dozens of humpback whales, dolphins and puffins all around the boat and we didn't drop the sails until we were in the cut to St. Johns!
The rain poured down this morning. Lightning struck in the distance and the thunder rolled on and on through the fog, a deep groaning like a distant freight train, at once a little frightening, but more so overwhelmingly beautiful. We're rounding Cape Race as I write, only a few miles offshore, though we don't yet have land in sight. Birds surround the boat, swooping and diving and swimming.
Well that was the right decision. Sitting out Friday in Louisboug seemed such a tough call while we were still at sea. When I wrote that last blog post about our diversion, the weather was perfect - Isbjorn was broad reaching in 15-20 knots of wind from the SW and a gentle swell lifted the boat as it glided past.
The first trip for the summer and the start of our sailing up to Canada started in Annapolis. We had a great departure and sail up the Chesapeake and was out in the open ocean before we knew it. Th trip took an unexpected turn though when Andy started to feel stomach pain and the crew diverted to Newport. Andy had a quick appendicitis surgery and stayed ashore to fly up and meet the crew in Lunenburg. Andy's dad Dennis came up and captained Isbjorn up to Lunenburg, Canada.
Andy gets appendicitis on Isbjorn's Leg 6, from Annapolis to Lunenburg. They were 90 miles south of Newport when the symptoms got bad enough to warrant a diversion. Here's the story of what happened onboard, how the surgery went, where the business stands and how Andy made it back onto the boat only 12 hours after entering the hospital. This will post as a podcast on Tuesday July 12.