Halifax has marked a milestone in this trip in a way I never expected. Being the first city we've visited since Portland, Maine, it was already noted in our minds as a logistical waypoint, and a natural spot to pull into for a couple of days to replenish supplies and visit with some friends.
What was unexpected was the mental shift we experienced in reaching Halifax. For the first time in this trip, we were on familiar ground. Of course, normally we don't come into Halifax by water, so that was new and different. But now we were in a very comfortable environment. We had no real plans on how long we were going to stay in Halifax, with almost two weeks before having to be home again. But in the end we stayed six nights, more than either of us expected we would.
Although we didn't really discuss it much, the layover just kind of lengthened into almost a week. We had reasons, of course, with friends to visit and weather that didn't really seem ideal for further voyaging. But, under the surface was the acknowledgement that the trip was entering a new phase, where getting home was just a few days away, and more importantly, the feeling was becoming more of a boat delivery and less of an adventure.
When we finally knew it was time to leave, Michelle's brother Angus came to join us for the rest of the trip. We didn't have a definite destination in mind when we left Halifax. We simply planned to sail for a few hours, then pull into one of the numerous coves or harbours and anchor for the night. However, with three people now to share the load, we decided to go straight to Port Hawkesbury, a 180 nautical mile trip.
So, now my shift on watch is ending in less than an hour. I'm sitting behind the wheel, where I can scan the horizon and enjoy the sight of the moon, now half-hidden behind a passing cloud. I check the chart plotter to ensure we're still on coure, and adjust the autopilot a degree or two if needed. A look at the radar confirms that we are the only boat out here. Then a couple sentences of typing, followed by a repeat of the whole routine.
I'm certainly experiencing mixed feelings tonight, now that we have left Halifax behind and are on the way home, combined with the solitude of a night cruise. I sure hope we have many further adventures with My Obsession in the days and years to come, but I can't help but feel a little sad that this one has the end in sight.
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