Saturday, August 10, 2013
Just to the northwest of Chockle Cap is a small island, Hobson's Island. At least it used to be there. On the chart it is supposedly 30 feet high and it used to have a little lump of red soil, looking like a small loaf of bread, with grass on the top. It has gone, presumably in one of our recent big storms and now looks like a drying reef. There is a north cardinal buoy "ME" 400 yards or so to the north. Middle Ground, to the west is now marked with a black and red isolated danger buoy "M". The shoals extend quite a way from the remains of the island and it is well to give this a wide berth.
The town of Mahone Bay has become quite organised in respect of visiting boats. The town maintains a mooring field of 50 moorings. The majority of these are rented seasonally but there is usually availability for transient boats ( I'm tied up to one while writing this). The mooring field pretty well fills up the space you might have once used to anchor, and if you want to anchor , you will have to do so outside the moorings. Renting a mooring is much to be preferred as the holding ground is poor and the mud foul. The dinghy dock has been improved and it is no longer a hazard to get ashore, it is just east of the public wharf. The marina monitors channel 68 or call 902 624 0348. On entering, there used to be a light on a little cribwork structure. Thus disappeared in a recent tropical storm and has been replaced by a flashing red buoy. You can get water at the public dock, and there is a pumpout (which may or may not be in working order) but there is no fuel.
Those of you that know this beautiful anchorage will be familiar with the little stream that runs into it. It used to come out just east of Carter's Island, which is on the west boundary of the beach. It has changed its course, and now exits to the west of the island. Approaching by dinghy, you can't see this until you are right on top of it. I think this change happened during a hurricane in 2010.
Lockeport is a pretty good place to spend a few days if the weather outside is playing up. Its not far off the beaten track, access looks difficult on the chart but unless you draw 12 feet is easy in practice. It is tempting just to anchor in the harbour, but the holding ground is poor and if you drag you'll be lucky not to go aground on some unforgiving rock. The marina on the west side , just south of the big Clearwater fish plant is inexpensive, the owner, Bruce, very helpful and diesel is cheap. The restaurant serves very good fresh fish. There are a couple of other restaurants within a block of the marina. The liquor store is just across the road from the marina. Go one block to the west and turn right, you will see a grocery store, which, for a remote place is very well stocked. Carry on past and you come to a walking trail, part of which is the old railway track, that goes round the whole town. It's about three miles and takes me a little over an hour.