Jan 11, 2018

Little Letitte Passage Credit: G. Cairns

Long popular with New England and St. John area boaters, Passamaquoddy Bay is too often overlooked as a destination by cruisers from Nova Scotia. Once you are inside the protection of Deer Island, the Bay has a micro climate similar to that of Mahone Bay. During the summer the air and water temperature can be dramatically warmer than what you have experienced in the cold and often foggy Bay of Fundy.

Wharf WaterwayThe Bay is entered via three Passages. The main entrance, used by large vessels, is the Western Passage between Deer Island and the Maine town of Eastport. On the eastern side and used by boats headed south from the Saint John area are L’Etete passage and the Little L’Etete passage. If you are exiting via the L’Etete passage, Ship Harbour, formed by a bight just north of the channel on the eastern end of McMaster Island makes a good spot at await a favorable tide.

Saint John area yacht broker Ernest Hamilton (www.msy.ca) has been sailing the waters of the Passamaquoddy Bay for over 40 years on his immaculate ketch Glooscap II. Ernest points out three of his favorite anchorages.

“Chamcook Harbour (north of the bar). Enter around the north end of Minister's Island. It is a large harbour with some moorings. There are various lees in the harbour to provide shelter in most weather situations. It is near St. Andrews and many yachts moored here are owned by St. Andrews residents. It is quieter and more sheltered, with less current than St. Andrews Harbour.
Glooscap II at Anchor Ernest Hamilton

Digdeguash Harbour. Anchor in the middle, north of Long Island off a prominent point with a house on the west side. This is a picturesque, if open, anchorage. It is fine in reasonable sou’westerly winds, but should be avoided in strong southerlies or northerlies and the wind can funnel.

The mouth of the Magaguadavic River east of Midjik Bluff. This spot is ideal in normal summer weather with prevailing sou’westerlies. It is an interesting dinghy ride up the river to the pleasant small town of St. George.”

Sailing Passamaquoddy

 

Credit: Ernest Hamilton

Ernest also notes that St. Andrews Harbour is an open roadstead at high water which becomes a bit more settled and protected at low water. This is when the sand bars on either end of Navy Island emerge. On the ebb, there is a current that runs from west to east, on a line connecting the respective channels, which can cause a surprising slop off the government wharf and towards the east entrance if wind opposes it. The town moorings (red circles) may unfortunately be amid this. South-east winds are particularly problematic. The most settled anchorage and mooring area is to the south close to Navy Island. The town is well worth a visit and the Wharfinger will do his best to accommodate visitors.



Cruisers planning to visit the Saint John River system should make sure they leave themselves time to enjoy the unique charms of Passamaquoddy Bay.


The Marina at Blind ChannelOne of my favourite places

By Marianne Scott

Sailing north of Desolation Sound, the Discovery Islands and the Broughton Archipelago offer cruisers a bevy islands with ample anchorages. Tides cause swift currents to run through the islands’ waterways. Few marinas are found in this large, sparsely populated region but one that provides all the services boaters need and especially enjoy is Blind Channel, a marina and resort operated by the Richter family located on Mayne Passage on the east side of West Thurlow Island (50 24. 82N, 125 30. 00).

Read more about the Blind Channel Resort...

 

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Swift Trawler 47By Andy Adams

You might look at the pictures of the new Beneteau Swift Trawler 47 and think that this is not a “performance boat”, but I think it certainly is, and here is why; it can top out at 30 mph to get you from A to B quickly or to beat the weather in, so it’s pretty fast, but it can also loaf along doing 1,250 rpm making 9.3 mph and at that pace, it travels 2.4 miles on a gallon of fuel. That’s great performance in my books!

With a light displacement of almost 28,000 lbs, this is a big boat. In fact, it looks and feels more like a small ship than a big boat.

Read more about the Swift Trawler 47......

 

Beneteau Oceanis 46.1By Andy Adams and John Armstrong

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The yachting world has now recognized the Oceanis 46.1 as being just such a worthy successor. On January 19th, 2019, the Oceanis 46.1 won the highly regarded title of European Yacht of the Year in the “Family Cruiser” category.

Read More about the Oceanis 46.1......

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Sea to Sky SailingSea to Sky Sailing has just been approved as the only Royal Yachting Association (RYA) recognized training centre on the west coast of North America just in time to deliver an epic 2019 season!

“This transition from our previous International Yacht Training (IYT) certification to RYA is a huge benefit to our students as it provides them certification that is known globally as the gold standard for yacht training.  The RYA requires training centres to undergo annual inspections of their vessels, business practices and training delivery in order to maintain a strong standard and guarantee a high quality experience for students. 

Read More about Sea to Sky Sailing......

 

  

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