Friday, June 17, 2011

Preparing for the Crossing

We've now made it to Northeast Harbor, Maine, on Mount Desert Island. We've decided that this will be our point of departure for Canada. So, this morning, we have been putting away the US cruising guides and pulling the Canada charts and guides from their storage places.

At 6 knots, we are looking at about 30 hours from here to Shelburne, where we've decided to make our Canadian landfall. We have been watching the weather closely, and it looks like we have a weather window opening on Sunday and Monday. Although the plans are subject to last-minute adjustments from updated weather forecasts, we plan to set out at first light Sunday morning.

Today we were looking at tidal charts. Because we are crossing so close to the Bay of Fundy, there will be significant currents we have to account for. During the crossing of the Gulf of Maine, the currents will be more side-on, first in one direction then in the other. These do not affect us much, but simply mean we have to adjust our heading slightly to compensate.

However, once we hit the south-west tip of NS, it is a different story. The current will be in the same direction we are travelling, so we will want to have the current at our stern and not on our bow. Fortunately, the times work with us, and the tides will be cooperating with us by the time we are in the area.

As for weather forecasts, we have been monitorin both the US NOAA and Environment Canada marine forecasts, as well as the site Our biggest concern has been trying to avoid heavy fog, which is very common in this area at this time of year. Fortunately, we have the flexibility to wait here until there is a clear window opening.

When we reach Canada, we have to deal with customs. Since we are actually importing the boat, our agent has made all the necessary arrangements with a broker, so hopefully there should be no problems.

This will be the first time either of us have made an overnight passage, so there are a few nervous moments. However, one of the reasons we came this far north in the US was to minimize the time of the crossing. Often, people jump to NS from Cape Cod, which involves 2 or 3 nights. Since there is just the two of us, we wanted just one overnight before hitting land again.

Besides, the cruise up the Maine coast has been fabulous. It is a beautiful area, and I want to bring the boat back here someday to cruise more extensively.
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  1. Nail biting time!!!! I know I will be waking up in the middle of the night knowing you are in the middle of the water!!!!!!.....Who else but ....Mom.

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