Nova Scotia: Flat Seas Don’t Last Forever

It was the perfect day until just after lunch when the flat seas we were motoring in became vicious obstacles as strong headwind from the east appeared without warning. So much for the forecast calling for light winds until evening, it was now time to put in a first reef quickly followed by a second then a third as the wind continued to build.

We were taking a brutal pounding considering all of us had been land based for the past few months. Both Frances and Riikka retreated to their bunks trying desperately not to be sick, while I was left with the task of figuring out if there was anywhere to hide. My body was telling me it needed to shut down and find a corner to curl up in but that wasn’t a option. Instead I began the tediously slow process of trying to read the anchorage options listed in the cruising guide, locate them on the chart and keep Snow Dragon sailing as close to the wind as possible to make headway, all of which my seasick brain was not interested in doing.

You would think that almost anywhere would look appealing at that moment but it didn’t. It seemed like all the anchorages in the immediate area where either still too far away or tide dependent and complicated to get into. I took another look at the chart and decided that Country Harbour, a large bay with several anchorage possibilities was the only realistic option we had of finding shelter before dark. Of course, all options covered in the guide were either open to the east or too far up the bay in uncharted water for us to reach before night, leaving the Snow Dragon option of inventing an anchorage as the only viable possibility if we didn’t want to spend an uncomfortable night at sea making little progress in the right direction.

The sunset, quickly draining the fog patched sky of light before we entered the bay. Aside from the dark, low lying outline of land, and the occasional car headlights shining on the road, we had no idea what our surroundings looked like as we motored towards a casually charted bight north of Drum Head.

I turned the forward looking depth sounder on, one of the new additions to Snow Dragon that Frances put on over the winter, not realizing I had no idea how to dampen the screen for night view. With the bright LED screen blinding me from being able to see the control buttons to adjust it, I decided I had to live with negotiating between the darkness ahead, the red night vision light on the normal depth sounder and the bright LED. The bottom was even and we decided to drop anchor in 10 meters without exploring further.

With the anchor firmly secure, it was time for the traditional Snow Dragon post passage breakfast and a full nights sleep. Discovering our surroundings could wait until morning.

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