In the last blog, Jay described our trip to Summerside. We arrived in Summerside on a low tide, and I held my breath as we entered the marina, but we had 2.5 feet to spare under our 5 foot 11 keel. Just enough to make me very nervous.
We were met on the dock by an attendant who helped with our lines and handed us a welcome package, which included information on the Silver Fox Curling and Yacht Club, and Summerside itself. The Silver Fox Curling and Yacht Club is a non-profit community complex, managed and owned by its members with 6 sheets of curling ice, a fully equipped marina, banquet and meeting facility, a restaurant, lounge and entertainment centre.
The marina has everything you could ask for - a visitor lounge for the marina has big comfy couches, internet access, washer and dryer, and even an ironing board. One of our first stops was to the shower, as after a choppy ride from Charlottetown, we were covered in salt. The showers are wheelchair accessible. Everything is clean and well-kept.
We received a friendly welcome from some fellow sailors in neighbouring boats, and it wasn't long before we were chatting away. Thursday nights at the Silver Fox, they offer barbecued checken or steak from the grill, and an all you can eat salad bar with a variety of delicious, homemade salads. We were invited to join a group of local sailors and had a great evening with good food, good conversation, and warm friendship. We were made to feel right at home, and have never before as a visiting boater have we had a welcome like we experienced in Summerside.
The Silver Fox is located right downtown in Summerside, directly behind Spinnaker's Landing and the Harbourfront Jubilee Theatre. It is adjacent to a small shopping mall, which has a grocery store and a liquor store. Tim Horton's, open 24 hours, is located across the street for a caffeine fix.
On this sailing trip, we've been brought back to St Peter's Bay several times for work, and on Friday morning we had to return to deal with a few things at the Turret Bell, including a radio interview with CBC Island Morning. My sister helped shuttle us to Charlottetown to pick up our car, and we spent the day back home. On Friday and Saturday evenings, the Silver Fox has live music, but by the time we got back, we were too tired to enjoy it, and we climbed into our bunk.
Saturday morning, although we had planned to leave for Shediac, brought inclement weather, with a few rain showers, risk of thunderstorms, and forecast winds gusting to 30 knots. We decided to stay put in Summerside and take in the beginning of the Summerside Lobster Carnival, which was starting that day. On Saturday mornings, there is also a farmer's market from 9am until 1pm at the Holman Building downtown. We had breakfast and browsed the stalls, and resolved to come back again in the future. The Lobster Carnival parade started at 1pm. We found ourselves a position on the parade route. The streets were packed with people, and we enjoyed the excitement of children and adults alike as we watched the colourful floats, antique cars, and Summerside's Olympian Heather Moyse proudly wearing her gold medal and waving to the crowd.
After the parade, we headed back to Spinnaker's Landing, but as soon as the skies opened into a downpour, we fled to the boat, where we listened to live music from the bandshell through the open companionway hatch. Sunday morning, there was no wind and loads of rain, so we decided to close up the boat for the day and head to Fredericton to meet the newest addition to our family - our newborn niece. We returned late Monday afternoon, made dinner aboard, and readied the boat for an early morning departure. We capped off the evening in the cockpit of a neighbouring boat, sharing wine and stories with several new friends. As I went to bed that night, I was eagerly anticipating our first forray into New Brunswick waters the following day. As I waited for sleep to claim me, I reflected upon the warm welcome we had received in Summerside. Thank you and we hope to see you again soon.