Friday, February 17, 2012

Carter's Beach, Queen's County


for those of us who live in Western Nova Scotia, the accuracy of the official weather forecasts has been a source of irritation for decades. A common saying is " ..... they'll starve you, scare you, or drown you" Though it is one of the worlds busiest fishing grounds, there is no weather radar   coverage of any sort on areas Lurcher, Browns Bank, or Georges Bank. There are two sites that help, , and They both gave forecasts for a week or more, while the Environment Canada one gives three days max, which is not a lot for a slow sailboat

Port Latour- this is an extract from the book, try as I might the formatting is not the same

Both wharves have been upgraded in the last few years and there is plenty of water if your draft is six feet or less. The bottom of this bay is fine, white sand, and the water is beautifully clear ( though usually only 12 degrees Celsius). There are some small sand beaches.

Port LaTour was one of the earliest sites of European occupation, being settled by Claude De LaTour in 1610 or thereabouts. Claude was quite a character, wheeling and dealing between the French and the English in the interminable wars of the seventeenth century. He was French, but Protestant and not politically correct. Claude's wife, Marie, came to a sticky end after a particularly nasty siege ( in a place near Saint John, New Brunswick) between her companions and another dastardly Frenchman, seignior d'Aulnay. There is a monument to his settlement about half a mile to the south of the lower wharf. This is a peaceful little glade, but there is now no trace of the original buildings, though the site has never been excavated, and the basements may be under the turf.

Cape Negro

Chart 4241

There is also to the north, a passage between John's Island to the west, and Blanche to the east, to the village of Cape Negro ( which is nowhere near the Cape). It looks quite intimidating on the chart, but I'm told by the owner of the fish plant that it is very pretty. The latest chart would seem to imply this is buoyed, but I wouldn't overly rely on their presence


The Salvages

Chart 4241

To the east of Port LaTour lies Blanche Island and The Salvages, as nasty a mess of rocks as you are likely to see anywhere.

They are steep to on the southern end, but as the surf can be heard easily, at the anchorage at Cape Negro island, three miles away, and the spray flies this distance also, I don't recommend too close an approach. Negro Harbour can be entered from the west, through the western entrance on the chart, but it is full of unmarked rocks, and the look of them from outside will deter all but the most foolhardy. I don't recall a lot of the local fishermen using it much, for that matter. There is a lighthouse on the biggest rock, now unmanned, which must be like a submarine in the winter. It has a loud fog signal, three blasts every minute, which can be easily heard for miles.

20 years ago, one of my medical colleagues, a bird watching pediatrician, came across a large, seemingly uninhabited motor boat with a Quebec port of call on its stern tied up on the old wharf on the east side of Blanche Island in March. She innocently thought it was probably on its way south. I thought it was probably up to other things. Eventually the RCMP banged on the hull, woke up the dreamy crew, and seized one of the biggest drug hauls ever found in western Nova Scotia. No-one here had ever heard of the Hell's Angels then, but they soon learnt. There seems these days to be about one big drug bust of this type a year in the province, but the RCMP say they only intercept 10% of the traffic. It is possible you may come across such activity. In such a case, I suggest a discrete retreat, as these fellows are not renowned for genteel conversation over afternoon tea. If you want to contact the RCMP afterwards, don't do it on the VHF or any sort of wireless phone.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

bleeding diesels

our friend Laura describes the difficulty of getting air out of the fuel lines, especially if its rough. She doesn't mention crawling over a hot engine, but this is also a consideration on any of the size boats I sail. I have found something that helps. I read it somewhere, so its not my idea. Coming back from the bahamas, 1000 miles from home, my fuel tank sprang a leak, and I had to improvise with a plastic outboard tank. This came with the bulb and the line, and when I got home and installed a real tank, I kept it. Now, if  I need to bleed the system, I just crank open the top bleed thing on the fuel filter, and squeeze the bulb until clean fuel comes out. The little lift pump on the engine isn't up to much,and using it takes forever. I can reach the bulb from the engine, so now bleeding the lines is 2 minutes max and I don't need help. Not sure how the gasoline designed bulb and fuel line will last using diesel, but it put there in spring 2009 and still looks all right. things only cost $15 or so, so wouldn't be a major expense to replace it

Saturday, February 11, 2012

how to get book

The CD of the book is now available. Unfortunately, the sites I had distributing it , with the exception of the Shelburne Harbour Yacht Club, did not work out so it is now available only at the club ( in person) and by mail.
To order a book, send me an E-mail at You can also use snail mail to Peter Loveridge RR#1 Glenwood, Nova Scotia, B0W 1W0 Canada
Cost is now $65 which includes all the mailing and packaging, please send to the above address, assuming our currencies are within 10% of each other, Us and Canadian are at par
As it is produced in small quantities, I try to update it regularly, though my day job sometimes gets in the way.
If you have any information which I have missed, please send me an E-mail. Any contributions will be gratefully acknowledged.