Friday, March 23, 2012

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.


  1. Peter, old boy, I am happy to hear about the sinking lines but I must say that my most recent trip from Halifax to Shelburne has shown me that not all of the lobster fishers have gotten the message. Many have, but certainly not all of them. We came across numerous examples of fellows who seem to believe that every pot must have enough line on it to let them fish in the deepest spots and that it muct be poly to help them hook it and haul it aboard. Shudder!

  2. they don't use long strings of pots east of Shelburne so there more buoys per pot. however they will all be up by the end of the month. They get ropes round their props too, and its always a tiresome expense. Poly rope is much cheaper than the sinking type and I think that's why some of the guys still use it