Monday, August 15, 2011

The Kindness of Fellow Sailors

The Summerside Yacht Club is one of our favourite stops along the western part of the Northumberland Strait. The Marina has nice showers and laundry facilities and is downtown, close to a grocery store, Spinnakers Landing and other amenities. Marina staff are friendly and helpful. The other sailors and boaters are also very warm and welcoming.

In fact, it was in Sumemrside last year that we met Chick and Cheryl of Great Habit, a CS 40.  We struck up a friendship and have kept in touch all year. They have been wonderful sounding boards as we were looking for our new boat, and have always been very willing to share their knowledge and experience with us.

Chick and Cheryl were among the first people we saw when we arrived in Summerside and it was wonderful to see them again. We joined them and Dave and Halle from Shamul, a Whitby 42 from Ontario,  for the Thursday night BBQ at the Yacht Club. The next day, Glen and Kendra arrived to take us to breakfast and then they ferried me around Summerside while I took care of a few errands and Jay worked.  Upon returning to the marina, we struck up conversations with several other sailors and debated the merits of different types of boats - one of my favourite passtimes!  I had the pleasure of going aboard a Mirage 30 and an Aloha 27, both beautiful boats.  

We had intended on Saturday to go to the Summerside Farmer's Market and then to head out by mid-morning. However, at the Market we ran into friends and ended up having a wonderful 2 hour visit. By the time we returned to the Maina, it was noon. We decided to stay another day. Chick came by and offered to lend us his buffer and with some oxidization remover we were able to clean the yellow beard that had formed on My Obsession's bow after almost 1200NM of sailing.

Later that day J.P. Hawsingham, a Nor'Sea 27 from New Jersey, arrived and we met Pat and Janis. They spend several months aboard every summer and cruise. Wherever they are in the fall, they haul the boat and then launch her again in the spring and continue their trip.They had just come down the St. Lawrence River, a trip we are planning for next year.  Pat was full of advice and information on sailing the St. Lawrence and very generously gave us his charts for the area. How excited we were to get the charts!

Later that night we shared a drink with Chick and Cheryl and once again, we learned alot from both of them abut passagemaking.

Sunday morning dawned sunny and beautiful. With help from our some of our friends at the marina, we slipped My Obsession free of the dock and moved around to the fuel dock. After filling the diesel and settling the marina bill, Chick again offered some very useful advice as he showed us a technique for springing the bow out when it is being pushed on dock by the wind or current. We threw off the bow line and spring lines. We moved a fender to the stern quarter and looped the stern line to a cleat on the dock just aft of midships. While I held the stern line, Jay reversed into the dock, the fender keeping the boat off, but the bow swinging out. It worked perfectly! Waving goodbye to our friends on the dock, we set sail for Bouctouche NB, feeling grateful for the friedship, fellowship, kindness and generosity of fellow sailors.


  1. Sounds like another great sail! Where are you headed?

  2. No definite timetable, but we're going to turn around now and head back east to Cape Breton and the Bras D'Or Lakes.