Friday, March 23, 2012

praise where it is due

The early spring has rekindled thoughts of summer cruising ( though I work on my little tub, outside, all winter, western Nova Scotia being a lot warmer in winter than most places in New England). I don't accept advertisements in my book and I don't ask for any sort of discount, in fact I try to avoid saying who I am when I get boat related services. I fell sometimes however, I would like to thank people and organisations that have given me exceptional sevice, and today I'd like to thank the Brewer Marina in South Freeport Maine. We arrived there in July 2009 in parlous condition. We had a huge leak from the sterntube, close to 15 gallons a minute, and had been pumping like madmen to keep the old girl afloat for the best part of 5 hours. We were immediately hauled out of the water, propped up and we got fixed up. The bill was very, very, reasonable, the manager, John, and the staff treated us like royalty. Bob, the chief engineer explained to me that most small  Hurth gearboxes were installed with the wrong handedness propellor ( it should be RH, not the LH that came with the engine) and that was why they were so unreliable. I was very grateful to them as when we got there it had been quite an ordeal, and I'd like to recommend the place

cruising to Nova Scotia this season

we appear to be having an early spring, so I'd like to point out some of the advantages we have which make the trip worthwhile. Some of these things are what we don't have. Three years ago I made a trip in my little tub from Nova Scotia, down the US east coast, to the Bahamas and back. We were away for a few days short of a year, and I got some valuable insight into cruising in America. We can't do much about our high coasts and taxation ( those of a conservartive bent, like myself, don't like it either) but here are som of the things you might be pleasantly surprised about
Lobster pots
      There will be none in the water after May 31 west of Halifax, and after June 30 east of Halifax. The infamous toggle buoys are never used here, most pots are set in multiples ( up to 20) with a single buoy at the end of each string. Everyone uses sinking rope. You won't have to carefully pick your way into a harbour and its easy travelling at night.There is also very little acrimony between commercial fishermen and pleasure boaters, which certainly isn't the case everywhere in the US.
       There are no "poop police" in Nova Scotia/ There are a couple of "no discharge " areas but this is never enforced. We all know municipal discharges, even in no discharge zones, are orders of magnitude greater than anything from boats. In addition, there is only one agency responsible for security, the RCMP. Local police forces' jurisdiction end at the high water mark. The customs, and our version of homeland security all delegate enforcement duties to the RCMP. Once you have registered with the customs, you don't have to bother calling anyone to say where you are. You are more likely to be boarded than decades ago, but  the officers are invariably polite. The coastguard are strictly a search and rescue organisation and do not conduct random boardings
Derelict boats
    You will not find any anchorages cluttered up with derelict hulks
Crowded anchorages
    There are very few. You will always be able to find room somewhere, you will never be charged for  anchoring to your own gear, and no-one will tell you to move on, there being no restrictions on youy length of stay at anchor. Municipalities have no jurisdiction on any tidal waterway and cannot restrict anchoring.