30th July

Forward starboard watch

Today was the continuation of West Fest Tall Ships at Cornerbrook, Newfoundland.

Open ship saw a lot of general public of Cornerbrook visiting us. We completed some more of our sail training, we were given shore leave and some explored Captain Cook’s monument which was 2 miles away by taxi. There were fabulous views of the Humber “fjord” and woodland mountains. 250 years ago over the course of 6 years James Cook produced accurate triangulated surveys of the whole coast of Newfoundland. What a fantastic person from Whitby.

Some of FS watch including our esteemed watch leader were adopted by the natives in the screeching ceremony, which involved kissing the cod whilst wearing a sou’wester and downing a tot of best Jamaican rum, declaring “long may your big jib draw”. The day ended with the engineers punch with the neighbours off Boudoin (built in 1921) which was alongside us joining us on the bridge. Music and fireworks on the quayside with the lovely locals ended a good day.

 31st July

The day started with hands aloft quickly followed by open ship with random assisted climbs and wheelchairs aloft in sunshine and a brisk onshore breeze. Stores arrived just before open ship and real bacon was noted even if it was streaky bacon. Hurrah. More shore leave and raiding of Tim Hurtons (famous Canadian doughnut chain).

Louise saved a whole chocolate custard donut for the midnight to 4am watch. Lord Nelson left the quay and the white smoke of the paper mill with the help of the pilot boat to tug us of the quayside around 19.00 with Europa following, we then motored along the Humber in the evening sunshine.

1st August

Midnight – 4am watch started with a moonlit night with full sails but zero wind and speed over ground. We handed the spanker under Rowans expert direction and braced the yards and gained 4 knots in a purposeful direction. Shooting stars and then to bed.

Forward Starboard watch Jim, Sue, Louise, Simon, Alistair, Peter, Mattie, and Bella.

2nd August

Burgeo, Newfoundland

Today we dropped anchor outside of the beautiful port town of Burgeo, home to around 1,200 people. Burgeo boasts a post office, museum and 3 restaurants. It was once a fishing town; it is now mostly a retirement community as the fish processing plant shut down in the 90’s.

After getting most of the voyage crew ashore using the ships outboard boat to get into port, we were greeted by the local port authority, and curious residents who helpfully pointed us in the direction of a restaurant. Twenty five of us made our way to the closest restaurant. We strolled through the hilly village; little homes perched on bedrock and wild flowers galore, to arrive at “Angela’s Seaside restaurant”. We trickled in over a 15 minute period. You can imagine we were soon overwhelming the one waitress and 2 cooks. So we did what came naturally and pitched in… some of us had just come of mess duty and were primed. Colin and Bridget went into the kitchen and asked how they could help, handing out drinks, food, cutlery, Marie-Josee started taking orders for the Non-Lord Nelson patrons. We even got compliments from them.

The group then split up and walked around the town, some went to the lookout point 300 feet high, where we could admire a 360 degree view including the Lord Nelson. Lush green interspersed with granite and vivid blue coves and channels. The other group hitched a ride to the lovely half-moon beach. Wild strawberries and blue green waters, and warm sun greeted us. We swam, explored and relaxed.

Some went back to the ship for dinner and some stayed ashore to add to the local economy.

All in all a wonderful detour on our voyage to Sydney on Cape Breton Island

Aft Starboard watch

4th August

After dinner we weighed anchor and bid farewell to Burgeo after a very relaxing day ashore. To lose a few calories we set the sails. There was a beautiful sunset over the village and as we left the shelter of the shore a whale and several Atlantic White Sided Dolphins came close by to bid us a safe passage or was it to chase us away from their fish supplies. Fred ‘the fish’ had lines out and Dave caught a dab, and Colin a codling but alas Fred’s fish escaped. However he was allowed to share in the catch for breakfast.

The watch for the 2nd was completed with a starry sky and balmy weather, so waterproofs and wellies not required.

We were woken up to the greeting of another beautiful sunny day. The winds were light all day but we enjoyed a day of sailing with occasional sightings of dolphins.

Captain Richard gave us a talk on then sailing theory of tacking and wearing and just to make sure we understood it, we put the manoeuvres into practice on the overnight watches, as we drew nearer to Sydney on Cape Breton Island. Otherwise we would have arrived too early. Another starry night and the occasional vessel to spot in the dark.

After another hearty breakfast it was time to wear of a few more calories as we had all hands on deck to hand the sails (take them all in). In preparation for arrival into Sydney, where we moored up in the morning alongside a pontoon.

In the afternoon, some went to explore the town of Sydney, whilst others of us were showing visitors around the ship during open ship. A lot of people were very keen to come on board the ship and enquire where we came from.

Sadly our voyage is now complete.

Aft Port watch.