Thursday, 20 August 2015

King of Lobsters

You have two ports to choose from in Shediac, that being the Shediac Yacht Club and the other being Pointe du Chen.  The people we talked to say Pointe du Chen is more popular with Captain Dan's at the wharf, the guide says PCYC is raucous and SYC was quieter.  Guess which one we picked?  Coming into Pointe du Chen, you have to stay in the channel (a boat length in width) and pull a hard right around a 10 foot wall of rock.  Being our first time we proceeded causiously hearing horns on the other side ever so often.  We found out after that this was protocol especially for power boats to alert anyone intending to exit or enter.  As we rounded the corner, there was a power boat waiting to leave so thank goodness they saw our mast and respectfully waited for our entrance.   Now we preceed to our designated birth for the evening with the Harbour Master standing waiting to receive with another Maritime welcome.  Registering for one night, the Harbour Master says most people think they are staying for one night and end up being a week or so.  We definitely had that feeling of welcome as two our three other boaters already welcomed us, one of whom was on the Board of the Nova Scotia Sailing Association.  So by the time we finished registering, it was two nights and we signed ourselves up for Wednesday night racing with our boat.  Marcel, the Harbour Master, was also quick to tell us that it's Wing Nut Night at Captain Dan's and you must sample the local attraction.  But before the wing nuts it was time to hit the beach with the tide out.  We asked if we should stay to the path, which was quit a hike or if there was a shorter distance and Marcel says, if you don't mind getting your feet wet, just walk across the bay.  So cool to be walking across this big bay and water going to your shorts.  On route, Bob discovers hermit crabs in the sandy waters and Doug makes a b line for the kite flyers.  I wandered along the beach enjoying the ripples in the sand and couldn't get over the amount of people on the beach, in the water and sitting on power boats.  Here, it's five o'clock somewere is lived to the fullest. Having completed one of our longest walks, it's time for an appee:).  But wait, Bozidar has a pocket full of live crabs tickling him and soon to be in a pot being sauteed and eaten with fresh french rolls.  So now after the freshest of fresh appees, we chill, but our chilling means barbequing ribs and druming up a tomato based pasta medley.  After dinner we head off to Captain Dan's Wing Nut Night but there are no wings.  Its the night for everyone to come out to the bar and that's on a tuesday night!  There's a $5 cover with DJ on the second floor and live band on the first floor - the place is packed.  We met a really nice guy and his friend - we will call them Louis and Jean.  Where do you come from - we are from Manitoba and the story goes on as to how we got there.  Holy shite Mr. Manitoba you guys are awesome - we are introduced to everyone in our section as Mr. Awesome Manitoba then in sees a guy with a big afro and another with a handle bar mustashe.  Hey great hair - Mr. Big Hair and Mr. Mustashio.  Needles to say the story goes on but we shouldn't bore you with the details.  The next morning we had a chat with our neighbours and Mike offers to give us a ride to a local restaurant which is next to a marine shop.  After breakfast we head over to Romeos were we meet Jackie.  She's from florida but has been coming back to help her dad run the shop for the past 8 year and her birthday is in 10 days but won't tell her how old she is!  Through making the new friend phase, we find out they store boats and we can't believe the deal she wants to give us.  We ask around and they are highly recommended.  I guess the harbour master was right because we are seriously thinking of coming back - what another great place!  Now its off to the largest Lobster in the world.  We walked 39 minutes through downtown and get sidetracked along the way to buy some supplies from another marine store (Boat House) and find ourselves in the tourist mecca of New Brunsiwck with a giant Lobster Sculpture. Bozidar has been talking about lobster for the past two days and I don't think this is what he had in mind.  After Lobster pics and getting recommdations for lunch, we set a track for a patio and fresh seafood. Afterwards, we do are groceries and fresh lobster/oyster and mixed seafood shopping and call Morris, the local taxi car.  It turns out he will also drive Doug and Bob the the Moncton Airport - the stars are aligning. After a long night before and a full day in the sun, we are back at the dock at 5:00 pm and we have an hour before Wednesday night racing.  At 6, we head up to the club for our race instuctions knowing its a 7:00 pm start. Once again the race chair is awesome - he gives us some tricks to the trade in the local area and a sheet with 31 possible courses. Crap what are we getting into with all these variations. There are channels markers, bouys, and club marks to input into gps that run from A to T.  I put in the most common ones recommended by the committee chair and we are given our PHRF rating according to the Nova Scotia Sailing Association.  Now we are off to start the race along the pier. The race course will be determined here, where the score keeper will show a number according to wind conditions.  So we see the number desplayed from the wharf and we now have to figure out the course all the while jockeying for position at the startline, watching for swimmers jumping from the pier and missing the coast guard boat at the end of the wharf.  We are in the 5 minute sequence now, the pressure is building and before you know it we are off.  We cannot believe the great start we had, but what would you think after spending a summer on the boat.  We are one with it and can sense her every move.  We are appoaching the first mark and are in first place.  Winds are very light but what we don't expect is dauling winds.   If you head to shore you get a shore breeze and if you go out, you get sea breeze.  We hit all the right puffs and make it to the Medea Mark second behind and C&C 32 and ahead of a J30.  Wow we're feeling really good about ourselves and then the wind dies to zero.  We are still going 0.7 knots due to current but no wind. There are already 5 boats calling it.  The sun has completely set and we are all sailling with running lights. We are coming to the next point and decide it's too much - we call it, happy with our performance knowing we have to traverse the narrow entrance under dark. There is tons of white light but once we are close to the rock, it gets better. Afterwards, it was steak and accessories and compliments from some sailors as to how we did that night.  

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