In praise of slow

With Ann’s iPhone safely back in hand, we pulled out of the Marina and headed off to join Mark. He had left a few days before, and was tied up at Knight’s Island north, swinging from the club mooring. We tied up beside him and settled in for days of much-needed R&R.

Knights is a lovely, and fairly secluded anchorage. The only negative is that it is close to Exploits Island, with its population of cottagers. This brings a small, but constant, stream of visitors as people motor around in their little boats. Only one stayed a night, and this was a large ketch from some foreign land.

While at Knights we did a little work (fibreglass repair) , and a little play . Ann got out her fancy camera and started taking a lot of Ann-shots : and then she did the dance of the seven (white) veils. . She also pulled out the old tin whistle and serenaded us with her dulcet tunes.

While refugin‘ in Knights, Mark received notice that his boat had a prospective buyer. He had decided to put it up for sale, following his return from his northern excursion. A buyer was on their way from Quebec, so Mark decided to head back into Lewisporte to meet them.

We stayed a couple more nights at Knights before moving on to Fortune Harbour up at the top of the peninsula. This is an anchorage we’ve been to many times, so knew it well. Good thing too, because a nasty squall overtook just as we were getting in. We had barely got the anchor down when we were hit with 30+ knot winds and heavy rains.

Happily, the nasty weather passed quickly, and we were gifted with a beautiful afternoon and evening.

The following day we decided to do some exploring. We got the dinghy out, and hooked up the outboard. We don’t use the engine a lot since we usually row the dinghy, but I do get it running each season. I even changed the oil before we left Lewisporte. It ran great, so it was a little surprising to have it sputter and die just as we motored out of the anchorage.

Luckily we weren’t too far from home, and the winds were light, so we just rowed around, and eventually made it back to the boat. The next day was spent trying to fix the engine. Turns out when I changed the oil, I over-filled it with new stuff. This fouled the spark plug. Ann pulled out the spare spark, and once it was swapped out, the engine ran flawlessly.

The next days we spent exploring the various nearby coves.

After a few days Mark rejoined us in Fortune Harbour. We spent the next few days reading, relaxing, dancing the veil dance, and generally just settling into life afloat.

After about a week we decided to head over to Seal Bay, heading for our favourite anchorage: Gods Pocket. It was one of those windless days, so we ended up motoring the whole way. Mark had left ahead of us, but since we were going to anchor, he let us get ahead of him.

As we headed down the bay we spotted a white dot on the water. It grew as we got closer. Yes indeed, it was an iceberg! We’d seen a few earlier in the season, but that was from land. We’d also seen a couple in the distance when coming into Fortune Harbour, but they were far out to sea. This was our closest ice approach.

We pulled into the very familiar godly anchorage, and went far back to the bottom. Just as we were getting the hook down I looked up and saw…


The bear lingered around the beach as we got the hook planted. It barely took note of us as it groused for mussels, or other critters. It visited us at least once more during our stay.

Now that we were in ‘The Pocket’

the serious relaxing could begin.

The following day we pulled out the kayaks and got them all set up for paddling. It’s no small effort to haul the kayaks out from below deck, and then to get them inflated, so we only do it when we know we’re going to stay put for some time. The gods whispered that this was the place, and the time, so out the kayaks came.

And of course, we have to mention Ann’s Sacred Rock:

Being in ‘the pocket’ lends itself to the easy life. The anchorage is incredibly secure, offering good holding, and protection from all winds. It would take a hurricane to affect us in there. So it’s the perfect place to stay, and stay, and stay… So we did.

On one memorable kayaking day we saw a bald eagle, (nearly saw) a seal, whales, and witnessed the collapse of the nearby iceberg. This last one came in the form of thunder. The berg was about 2nm away, but the sound was like a distant thunder clap. Amazing… and very glad we weren’t closer.

After nearly three weeks time was starting to drip away. Mom and Sis were visiting our area of Newfoundland, and we wanted to be back at Lewisporte to connect with them for some of their stay. We also planned to haul our boat out a few weeks earlier than normal so we could get back to Ottawa and begin our new (old) car search. Lil’ (old) Red has been a great car, but had reached its end. We needed the extra time to find a replacement — at least we thought we needed the extra time (spoiler!).

So we packed away our kayaks , offered our blessings to The Pocket , and hauled up anchor so we could begin the journey back to the marina. Our anchor had been holding both boats for the entire time, it was deeply dug into the bottom. It took over an hour to pull it up. And along the way we found a few other critters had started to call our anchor rode home. This included a starfish, and lots of jelly fish tentacles — yuck!

We left on a favourable west wind, which gave us a nice broad reach towards our destination. We were having such a good sail that we bypassed Fortune Harbour, and pushed on into Bay of Exploits. Unfortunately, as we rounded south into the bay, a nasty squall line caught up to us . The skies opened up, the winds piped up and the rains came down.

Luckily we didn’t have to go too far before getting into our anchorage at Samson Island. We grabbed a club mooring and settled in for the night. The next morning Mark headed back to the marina, while we lingered for one more day. Endings are so hard…

The following day was lovely, with a light northerly wind. This gave us an easy sail back home. We lingered for hours, but eventually got going. It was a great way to end the sailing season.

It was a lovely final sail; light steady winds, moving us along at 3-4knots. It was so easy, we let Fred helm for a while 😂. Mark was at the dock, ready to catch our lines. And the expert crew even remembered to put the fenders down this year. A good ending to another fun sailing season.

What was not so good was the state of our car. Old Red started up fine, but the battery was soon dying. No amount of reving helped, as it seemed to in the past. Checking the alternator, I soon figured out it was dead. With the help of Brian at the yard, we soon has a new one on order. And with a little begging, I managed to secure a date for the local garage to install it. We had to wait about a week, but it could have been a lot worse.

Happily, the car was a minor downer. The real fun was not done yet. Mom & Sis had arrived at their nearby BnB a few days earlier, so we planned a little day trip. Kathy drove in and we spent the day motoring (there was no wind) out to Knight’s Island. As an added bonus, on the way back we became peripherally involved in a boat rescue. A small powerboat lost its engine, and had to be towed away from the rocks and back home. We offered to assist, but luckily our help was not needed.

Later, we went over to their BnB to spend a few days being tourists with Mom/Sis. Our car was still on the fritz, awaiting a new alternator, but Mark, ever-the-sweetie, lent us his. What are we going to do if he sells his boat — we’ll be lost!

Sadly, we soon had to get back to boat chores. Haulout was coming soon, as was our already-booked ferry date. And there’s always so much to do to get the boat out of the water, and ready for winter.

Little treasures guarding the boat

Finally all the tasks were done. We headed off in our rattly, noisy little red car. After making an all-too-short stop in Corner Brook to spend time with friends Byron & Paula, we boarded the ferry and sailed back to “Canada.”

It was an easy overnight ferry ride, and I managed to get some sleep. Ann — not so much. Luckily, we had a short drive to our friends Chet & Margie in Truro, NS. Old Red almost made it without mishap, but just as we were getting into the city Ann heard a new, bad sound.

We spent a couple of relaxing nights with C&M and all their many cats . The next day Chet drove another friend to Halifax for a medical appointment, so Margie took us on a short trip down to a park on the Fundy shore. We spent one more night with them before beginning our final push to Ottawa.

Lil’ Red got us back to Ottawa without further… losses. It was great to get back ‘home,’ although it now meant we had to get serious about car shopping. We’d begun the search from Lewisporte, and Ann had already spotted what seemed like the perfect car: A much newer (2013) Honda Fit. Low KMs, and seemingly in good shape. But these kinds of cars don’t last long, so we were surprised to still find it listed by the time we got looking.

Long story short, we looked at three other cars, drove one other, then tested this new (old) Fit. It was the perfect FIT. So we swap Lil’ Red for Lil’ Black.

One thought on “In praise of slow

  • September 26, 2023 at 16:19

    Those rocks in God’s Pocket are beautiful!! What a lovely area — no wonder you like spending time there


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