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Coasting along Nova Scotia

1645 hours Sunday September 26, 2010
Sailing with all sail (including top gallant and studding sail) on a broad reach toward Cape Sable…the west end of Nova Scotia…on a breeze from the east-southeast.

The plan to remain anchored for Saturday seems to be working. We are now making our way toward Boston at around 7 knots without having to resort to motoring and we are doing so in favorable and moderate wind conditions with all sail set…a first for the newly reformed crew of Pride.

I am not sure if I had mentioned or not…but come August to September in any given year of sailing it is common for Pride crew that start at the end of February to move on after about six months aboard. This year we will have experienced three quarters crew rotation by mid-October. Right now we have rotated 50%. Due to the geography of this time period of significant crew rotation, many of the new crew have been aboard for several weeks and not had the experience of sailing with some of the sails…or have not reset some of the more commonly set sails like the mainsail…since they boarded or for several weeks after their first experience setting them. The St. Lawrence River and Canal System and in-port festivals do not lend to going sailing…hence new crew can be aboard for several weeks without having the chance to rub off their newness through lack of frequent experience with sail handling. But each time there is experience with sail handling, the newness rapidly disappears. With any decent good fortune with weather between now and mid October’s arrival home to Baltimore, this reformed crew of Pride ought to be in pretty good professional state.

The outlook for the remaining sail to Boston suggests favorable wind til mid next week, followed by contrary winds for a short while. How and where we deal with the contrary winds from the west remains a mystery for now…short of a broad strategic concept. Specifically, sail wide around the west end of Cape Sable and as the wind veers from south to southwest mid next week (hopefully we are midway across the Gulf of Maine) then turn with the veering wind and sail over toward the New England coast till either the wind continues to veer to west or north of west or Pride runs out of room, then tack to the south-southwest and sail “up” to Boston, maybe close along the New England shore. We shall see what we shall see.

What do we do when anchored for two nights and a day with no access to shore? Well…lot’s of little things. Clean, mend, organize, sort, teach & train…relax, eat and sleep. But something special can occur as well. Our little sister privateer Lynx was anchored with us. Last evening an invitation to Pride‘s company to visit after supper for tea and coffee was extended by Lynx. Two American privateers based on the 1812 War Chesapeake Bay model resting in a snug harbor in Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia waiting out a change in the weather is a pretty unique thing these modern days. This was noted by a local that sent an email to Pride‘s office and it was forwarded on to Pride…it included a phone number…I called it to share my thanks for an enthusiastic welcome from ashore. The woman that answered was most appreciative of my call and explained she too had schooner history…remembered being sent into a small boat to clean the sides…just like what she was seeing happening at Pride anchored out in front of her home.

That is what can happen when anchored for two nights and a day with no access to shore.

Jan C. Miles, Captain aboard Pride of Baltimore II