Celtic KissStory and Photo by Rob Dunbar

Nova Scotia's majestic coastline is often popularized by such great harbours, cove and bays that go by the name of Halifax, Peggy's and Mahone Historic place names such as Lunenburg Louisbourg, Bridgewater and of course Oak Island; home to the worlds longest running treasure hunt also dot the map. 

Our ocean playground is also home to the rugged and beautiful Eastern shore, record breaking high tides of the Bay of Fundy and the warm waters of the Northumberland Strait that is shared with New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. 

Photo Caption: Celtic Kiss at rest on Rabbit Island

Nova Scotia's jewel is none other than Cape Breton Island and its famous Bras d'or Lakes is not only a beauty to behold but is also the resting place of Alexander Graham Bell.

However, there is one body of water that is often ignored even though it is a pivotal shipping lane connecting the Atlantic Ocean to ports in Montreal and others of the Great Lakes via the St Lawrence Seaway. That being the Strait of Canso which separates mainland Nova Scotia from Cape Breton Island and is also home to the gateway of the Bras d'or Lakes.  In order to transit from the Atlantic Ocean to the Bras d'or Lakes from the south one must go through Lennnox passage in Inhabitants Bay.

Lennox passage is a beautiful corridor into the lakes and is also gated by a beautiful archipelago in Inhabitants Bay if lucky enough one may also see a supertanker anchored in the bay waiting to enter oil terminal in Strait of Canso or a pod of whales searching for food.

The archipelago is bordered by the Acadian founded island of Janvrin and is dotted by; Rabbit, Evans, Freeman and Round islands that are well protected from the harshest winds the Atlantic ocean can offer.

A family favourite in this archipelago is Rabbit Island first visited by my grandfather who I credit as the original dinghy sailor in the family in the 1920s and 30s. He used to go there with family for camping trips so for me to visit this island is like reconnecting with my past.

On this particular morning Celtic Kiss surfed on a fast broad reach down the Strait of Canso and rounded Bear Head towards Cape Breton.   A shift in wind quickly changed my port tack beam reach into an adrenaline rushing broad reach to Rabbit Island.  On approaching the island, the wind began to build prompting the need to reef the mainsail but opted not to furl the jib to further slow down my progress as I knew Would be needed in a matter of minutes to head up to a particular sandbar to land on.

With a building aft wind on my approach to the safe haven of the island my speed was increasing in an area I knew had hidden Shoals waiting to feast Kiss' fibreglass.

An Hour and a half after leaving Venus Cove, Celtic Kiss was on final approach to Rabbit Island.  Going much faster than I had wanted I swiftly pulled onto the sandbar that I had landed on 30 years’ prior with my parents and late Uncle Charlie Dunbar who introduced me to sailing I immediately noticed that over time the sandbar had eroded and is not as big or as solid as I had remembered.  On setting foot on the island for the first time in 30 years I shouted in jubilation!!

After having spent many hours walking The same paths that my grandparents once trod I returned to Celtic Kiss.  With a diminishing northerly wind Celtic Kiss was prepared for the 8 mile beat back home to Venus Cove.

Contrary to my calculations I had originally anticipated on a 3 mile beam reach from Rabbit Island to Bear Head before turning north word into the strait however soon after departing Rabbit Island The wind shifted 90° forcing me to deal with a headwind rather than a beam reach.  On reaching Bear Head the wind velocity increased and shifted back 90° to the original north wind funnelling down the strait.

Once again the increase in velocity dictated a reef in the main however I knew this would be short-lived as the land breeze would eventually die down to something more manageable.  To further complicate matters June is lobster season in this area thus my navigation not only had to deal with a 5-mile upwind leg to Venus Cove I also had to dodge lobster traps on either side of the strait which was an added headache to take full advantage of tacking upwind.

It was during this portion of my trip I remembered stories of my grandfather talking about my great uncle John.   My grandfather would be in the backyard watching my great uncle John Maguire sailing his schooner Gertrude L Maguire formally known as The famous Rumrunner, Nellie J Banks, sailing up the strait.   And here I am now almost 80 years later following my great Uncle John Maguire's footsteps. 

With about 2 miles to go to Venus Cove the wind had subsided.  My grandfather always said " when the sun goes down the wind goes down in the strait".  Once again he was right!

Switching heavy air tactics to light air tactics and 4 1/2 hours after departing Rabbit Island Celtic kiss was safely secured at the Mulgrave Marine Park at Venus Cove.

Boat Reviews

  • Prev
New at the end of 2019, the 58 Salon Express design features large windows to flood the living ...
No wonder this is one of Regal’s best-selling boats; the Regal 33 Express offers amazing ...
The newest member of Beneteau’s Gran Turismo line is the GT 36 and this yacht brings the style and ...
With a philosophy of quality and 'doing things right Ranger Tugs launches the all new R-25 at the ...
The new Beneteau Swift Trawler 41 renews the spirit of the practical seaworthy cruiser. The ...
The Canadian Yachting test crew last week had the opportunity to run the Bavaria S36 HT at St ...

CY Virtual Video Boat Tours

Virtual Boat ToursWe all love boats and nothing can break us up! So, what better way to spend our time than looking at interesting boats and going aboard in a virtual ride or tour. We have asked our friends at various dealers and manufacturers to help us assemble a one-stop online resource to experience some of the most interesting boats on the market today. Where the CY Team has done a review, we connect you to that expert viewpoint. Our Virtual Show will continue to grow so visit frequently and check it out. If you can’t go boating, you can almost experience the thrill via your screen. Not quite the same, but we hope you enjoy our fine tour collection.

 

Read more about the CY Virtual Boat Tours....................

 

Beneteau Oceanis 30.1As boat builders clamber to create ever-bigger platforms for ever-more generous budgets, the entry-level cruiser has become an elusive animal. Sure, if you want to daysail, there are plenty of small open boats from which to choose, but if you want a freshly built pocket cruiser, you’re in for a long search. Enter French builder Groupe Beneteau, which identified this gap in the market and set about creating the Oceanis 30.1, an adorable little cruiser that resembles her larger siblings in all but length and price. With all she offers, it wouldn’t be a stretch to call her a mini yacht.

Read More about the Beneteau Oceanis 30.1..................

Destinations

  • Prev
On May 19, the New York State Canal Corporation today announced an updated opening schedule for the ...
If you have four hours to enjoy a fine tour of one of Canada’s most interesting waterways (let’s ...
Boom & Batten Restaurant is suspended over the water adjacent to the Songhees Walkway and ...
Provincial Boat Havens are those special places to drop anchor in British Columbia’s West Coast and ...
NW Explorations, a Bellingham, Washington-based yacht charter, brokerage, and marine services ...

DolphinsBy the Canadian Yachting Editors


Canadians are blessed in many ways and especially when it comes to boating. We enjoy some the world’s most beautiful cruising waters and many places are as sheltered as they are scenic.

British Columbia and the Pacific North West plainly have the most breath-taking scenery with the combination of the majestic ocean views and the snow-capped mountains in the distance. It’s like no place on earth when you have a Killer Whale breach beside your little fishing boat.

Read more about Canadian Cruising...........

 

Cobourg Yacht Club - 2015 Sailing instructorsKatherine Stone

Like many other harbours on Lake Ontario, Cobourg has seen its fair share of changes. Screams used to be heard from kids piled into a toboggan on wheels that went hurtling down a wooden slide into the harbour. Above it all was the bustling din from the waterfront of ship’s whistles, train engines, foghorns and thundering coal cars. It is now a rather serene place for the locals and visitors to enjoy various watercraft. Fortunately, the beautiful beach that lines the waterfront is still a star attraction for the town.

Located 95 kilometres east of Toronto and 62 kilometres east of Oshawa on the north edge of Lake Ontario, United Empire Loyalists first starting arriving in the area as early as the 1780s. The first settlement in 1798 was called Buckville, later renamed Amherst, then called Hamilton (after the township) and also nicknamed Hardscrabble. It wasn’t until 1819 that they finally settled on the name of Cobourg, which was incorporated as a town in 1837. In the late 1820s large schooners with passengers and cargo had to anchor well off shore, as there was only a landing wharf. A group of Toronto businessmen formed the Cobourg Harbour Company which built the wooden Eastern Pier from tolls charged for the use of the harbour.

Read more: Cobourg Yacht Club...

DIY & How to

  • Prev
Many boats are now on the water after a COVID-imposed hiatus – and with a shortened ‘prep’ period, ...
Wrapping your hull with marine vinyl wrap instead using traditional marine paint seems like a new ...
Boating safety is always—always—a critical consideration whenever you push off the dock, but with ...
Building on our last two editions (Sealants, and Fibreglass, respectively), Gelcoat is the next ...
After a successful R2Ak and regatta season in 2019, I felt that Pitoraq was due for a major ...
Pause for a moment and ponder this question. How much is your life and your safety at sea worth? ...
Last edition we talked about sealants to perform tasks like bedding and sealing. Other tasks like ...
Over the winter, a many-thousand pound fiberglass, wood or metal shell is held in position by only ...
Since the late 19th century, a debate has raged on the relative merits of diesel fuel over ...
This bag does more than hold your anchor and rode in one tidy little pile. After you’ve anchored ...

Andrew AlbertiIn the past two issues we have been doing an overview of the right-of-way rules. In the first, we did a review of Section A of Part 2, in the second we did a review of the definitions. This issue, we will look at Section B of Part 2, General Limitations, which is essentially limitations applying to boats that have right of way according to Section A.

GENERAL LIMITATIONS

14 AVOIDING CONTACT

A boat shall avoid contact with another boat if reasonably possible. However, a right-of-way boat or one entitled to room or mark-room

Read more about the right-of-way rules.......................

 

  

Marine Products

  • Prev
Wet decking can compromise passenger safety on boats, particularly when boarding or disembarking. ...
Anyone who has repeatedly used a rag to clean gelcoat, paint and delicate surfaces has seen the ...
The new Mercury Racing 300hp Five‑Blade CNC Cleaver propellers are designed expressly to maximize ...
Beneteau may have outdone itself with introduction of its new Gran Turismo 36, manufactured in ...
Yanmar Power Technology has announced the development of a hydrogen fuel cell system for maritime ...
Kevin Monahan is a retired Canadian Coast Guard officer with more than 20 years of experience ...
The new 2020 PORTS Georgian Bay, North Channel & Lake Huron Guide is available for purchase at ...
Professional boatbuilders don't want to have to redo a job any more than a DIYer. Many choose Life ...
Since its introduction last year, the JBL by Harman Marine BassPro 10" Powered Subwoofer (JBLMBP10) ...
After decades of perusing charts and guidebooks as part of planning a cruise, it was a totally ...