|Shades of Gray, Patches of Green|
Whales, tides, rain, fog—even a little sunshine. They’re all part of a Nova Scotia cruise.
Written & Photographed by Capt. Ken Kreisler — August 2002
Off to the north, mare's tails march across the sky. Perhaps a weather change is coming to Maine from somewhere in northern Canada, brought on by a wind that swept in over the top of the world. But it will have little affect on us. At our present speed it will be only about an hour until we're safe in Southwest Harbor.
The thin outline of Mount Desert Island begins to show itself. Big, puffy, fair-weather clouds appear on the horizon. To the east now, the mare's tails gallop out to sea.
The gentle, rolling swell we had on the crossing from Shelburne, Nova Scotia, has given way to a glassy calm. Here and there a ripple of wind scallops the surface. I watch a pair of Downeast dragger boats work in tandem off to the south, a trail of birds following behind as the nets work the fish up. I know all too well what's happening on deck. And for a moment, with the hum of the engines and a well-designed hull slicing through the water at 25 knots, I am pulled back to the days when I worked my own Downeaster and moments like this one when everything seemed to be just right. When a good day's work produced a good catch and sky, wind, sea, and boat were all one.
Eric Roos and I, along with Marnie Wright and my wife Linda and daughter Samantha, are returning from a voyage to Nova Scotia aboard a Hinckley Talaria 44. (Roos, Hinckley's sales director, and Wright, who is the publicist for the company, were instrumental in setting up the trip.)
We had departed Southwest Harbor, home to Hinckley, five days earlier in the afternoon under sunny skies and a mild wind, cutting across Frenchman Bay and into the Atlantic. We left the beautiful, rocky Maine coastline, dotted with eagles' nests and carpeted with thick evergreen forests, for the almost 100-mile run across the open ocean to Yarmouth, our port of entry into Canada.
The ocean was kind and the crossing uneventful. By the time the coast of Nova Scotia appeared on the radar screen, the sky had gone overcast and a gray haze settled in, turning the once-dark-blue water to slate. We picked up the lighthouse at Chebogue Point, passed Sand Beach, and entered the harbor for Yarmouth. We docked at low tide, and I noticed that the ramp to the quay was angled at what looked like 45 degrees. In six hours the water would rise some 19 feet.
Yarmouth, established in the mid-18th century, was a prosperous and vital shipping community for almost a century. Its success was built on wood, wind, and sail, and the town thrived until 1873, when steam-powered ships proved more economical. Remnants of Yarmouth's colorful past are seen in the Victorian architecture of the many stately homes that dot the surrounding area as well as the collection of artifacts and historical documents found at the County Museum. But it was late in the day, and we decided to grab a meal ashore at a local pub and settle in for the night. Come break of dawn we would make for the Bay of Fundy and the town of Digby.
This article originally appeared in the June 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.