Log and Pictures – starting October 2010

Saturday, February 19,2011

What one crew member thought of crewing on EvenSong from Rimouski to St. Barb.

Sunday, January 23,2011

I’ve added some pictures of EvenSong under sail near Nain taken by Richard on the sailboat Issuma.

Click here for pictures of EvenSong under sail north of Nain Labrador, late July 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

I am back at home and lazy; that’s the reasons I have not been updating the blog..
I had to be home for a wedding and decided, that due to all the winds we have been having to leave EvenSong at the Marine Center in Port Sanders, Newfoundland. She is now sitting in the yard for the winter.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Installed the Simrad autpilot. The autopilot will let me sit back and relax, at least in light winds.
Hope to leave tomorrow, but depends upon on the 3 a.m. forecast. It’s 60 miles to the next harbour and that’s a long day for me.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Still in Port Saunders, waiting out wind and waves. Did very little today, first haircut in 4 months. Had supper with Pekka and Riitta.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The wind had been getting stronger since last night. The winds are from the SW and a are creating waves up the bay and it getting rough tied to the travel lift wharf. I moved to the inside of the Public Warf, clam as a bathtub.
A boat from Finland arrive this evening from the NW passage. http://www.sarema.fi/. They left the west coast in June and came via the Nortwest Passage. She is sailed by a couple, he, Pietra (Peter) is about my age. They left the west coast in June and came via the Nortwest Passage. This is the about the same time as I have come from Rimouski to Nain and to Port Saunders! They sail around the clock and do not anchor each night. Pietra (Peter) advised nothing but headwinds. They left Red Bay, Labrador with a forecast for good winds so they could arrive here before the strong SW. However they had a lot of headwinds and arrived here in 30 knots of wind. The Strait of Bell Isle is rough in strong SW winds.

It’s interesting how I’m greeted by fishermen at the wharf. They call me “young fellow” and skipper. Must think I’m old! Maybe be the white beard. Plus most people upon hearing I am sailing by myself say “you must be brave”! And this is from fisherman who fish in the Labrador Sea and up to Greenland in 65 foot boats!

Click here for pictures of September 16 to 24th: Caribou Island, Lighthouse Camp Islands, the Henley Harbour abandonded settlement, Lance aux Loup and Point Amour Lighthouse. Sorry for so many pictures on one page, I’m at the Port Saunders Public Library and it closes shortly, so it’s all or some!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

8 A.M. Air temperature 6 degrees C, water temperature 7 degrees C.
It is a good day to sail south, West and N winds, but I need a day off after yesterday. Unfortunately, this mean I will have to stay in Port Saunders for 3 days as strong SW winds are forecast for Monday and Tuesday.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Sailed from St. Barb, but was only making 1.8 to 2.5 knots and it’s 55 miles plus to Port aux Choix. So I motored and took the advice of a Lance aux Loup fisherman who advised me to skip Port Aux Choix and go to Port Saunders. Port aux Choix is at the end of a bay that is open to the North. When I left Port aux Choix I would have to backtrack 4 miles (would take me at least an hour); so to avoid this backtracking I went to Port Saunders, just 5 miles down the coast and only 1 mile inland. I used the Marine Service Center travel lift wharf for the night.

Friday, September 24, 2010

7 A.M. Air temperature 1 degrees C, water temperature 4 degrees C.
Forecast is NW 20, good for a crossing to Newfoundland. It took me 2 hours last night and an hour today to get EvenSong back together. I had taken the sails, cockpit vinyl cover and vinyl windshield off to reduce windage during the 45 knot winds. The more items on deck the more the wind can push the boat against the wharf.
EvenSong has two black marks on her starboard (right) side where she rubbed against the big tires on the wharf. The Tires (Michelin) are good for fishing boats, but not so nice smeared on the side of a yacht. But the alternative may have been worse, scratches from the wharf.
The sail startef off great; 7 knots and relatively calm inside Lance Aux Loup cover. The coast from West St. Modeste to Blanc Sabon is high cliffs with breaks for the bays of Lance Aux Clair, Forteau, Lance Aux Lopu and Lance Aux Diable. However outside the waves and swells were 2 to 3 meters. Sea sick seas. I5 was rough but I was malking excellent time; 7 to 8 knots and 9 and 10 at one time. There are fewer harbours on the west coast of Newfoundland and few islands. Most bays are too shallow to be of any use. It is sometimes 70 miles between harbours/anchorages. So I was willing to put up with the rough crossing in order to make the 55 miles to Port Aux Choix in 6 to 7 hours.


It was so rough; how rough?
– I would look up and see a wall of water as the horizon.
– One time I looked up and saw the fin of a whale coming by. And by up I mean the whale was above me. (Note: On Sunday, I realized the fin was not of a whale but due to a distortion in the curved windshield. In the corner of the windshield a horizontal line (in this case a wave) is distorted with an upwards blip. But at the time and in the excitement the only thing I could believe was the source of this fin was a whale!)
– I had damaged the left side (port) navigation light when I docked at Salmon Blight. It’s no longer there, a wave must have torn it off. It was 8 feet above the water. Evensong was burying her nose.
– EvenSong would hit a wave in front, send up a spray as she went through the top of a wave and then drop into the trough on the other side. The spray would appear to be suspended in the air. The spray and EvenSong were falling at the same rate. Looked like weightlessness. This would have been a good video.

Plus I lacked courage (I was fearful, always am in big waves and strong winds) so I turned into St. Barb. I though it may be a rough crossing what with the leftovers from hurricane Igor so I planned to use St. Barb as an alternative port. The ferry to Labrador leaves from St. Barb. I had been feeling a little seasick off and on since I hit the rough water. I was OK until I used the GPS charplotter to determine a course to St. Barb, and then I lost all the good snack food I had this morning.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sat through Hurricane Igor. The winds were N and NW 20 to 45 knots and pushed EvenSong against the wharf. Her fenders and the tires on the wharf prevented any damage, except for rubber smears on the white hull from the tires.
I took the opportunity to visit friends in Forteau. Forteau is about 7 miles south of Lance Aux Loup.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A foggy and rough motor from Pitts Harbour to Lance Aux Clair. I had started sailing, but there was little wind. It was a long day; 8 hours of constant steering. Lance Aux would be a safer harbour with Hurricane Igor’s 45 knot winds.
Lots of wildlife today:
– Seals
– Bald Eagle on islet at the South end Of Chapeau Bay (Pitts Harbour and Stage Island are in Chapeau Bay).
– Whale
– Gannets
– Muirs
– Porposes, seven different times. Five times beside the boat; jumping in the bow wave and beside the boat. Twice I saw them jumping in the distance. Sorry no pictures, a porpoise in just on the surface doe a second and I had problems working the camera and steering. It was neat to see the colours of a porpoise underwater as it came to the surface.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Waited out the strong SW winds in Pitts Harbour. Lazeyed around and read.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Moved a mile inland to the head of Pitts Harbour as the forecast is calling for strong SW winds and the wharf on Stage Island is open to the swells from the SW. It’s warmer in Pitts harbour and less fog.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Had a good sail from S. Lewis to the wharf on Stage Island, Henley Harbour in Chapeau Bay. We stayed overnight at this wharf on our way North.
Took a couple of hours and explored the old settlement. Most houses are in ruins or on the way, but a few are still used. There’s a hole in the North wall of the church; must have removed something big like an alter!
I walked over the hill to the graveyard. This is the first one I’ve seen in one of these settlements. Most of the grave stones are of the young, teens and below of over 70!

Friday, September 17, 2010

8 A.M. Air temperature 6 degrees C, water temperature 7 degrees C.
Waiting out the gale in St. Lewis. It was calm overnight as opposed to the NW 20 to 25 called for, but as of noon, the winds have started. Forecasts on the Labrador are more for entertainment than reliable. Plus without local knowledge, it’s best to be cautious. I have learned E and NE winds being fog.

Since it’s a harbour day, I had French toast for breakfast and grilled tuna sandwich for lunch.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A.M. Air temperature degrees C, water temperature degrees C.
Sailed and motored to St. Lewis. It was quite rough, confused waves and a 1 to 2 meter swell and fog all the way. Fog in Cape Bluff harbour all the way into St. Lewis. Visibiliy was less than one half mile and all I saw of Labrador was the waves breaking on the shore. They a brighter white in the fog. The wind died about 5 miles from St. Lewis.

A mile from St. Lewis a whale came along the left side, I just saw the fin close to the bow. A few minutes later I saw a big boil on my right side.

The forecast is for NE 20 to 25 knots tonight going to NE 35 in the morning. An 18 foot speedboat was tied in the inside L of the wharf which is the safest spot for me. I remembered that Roy, who had taken Clovis fishing when were here on our way North, lived just up the hill. I walked up to Roy’s. He remembered Clovis. I asked him if he knew who owned the boat. It was his and he would be happy to move it. He and his sone came down and gave me a hand. That why the sigh on the fish plant at the wharf says “The best Wharf in Coastal Labrador”.
After dark I walked around and found two stores open. One has baked goods so I will be back there! Also bought a treat, a Turtle ice cream bar. Ice cream is the only food I have missed.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Motored all day as I am headed South and the winds from the South. I took inside passages to avoid the swells outside. Not only to the waves and swells make for a rough day, but they slow the boat down.
I motored past The Punchbowl where we stayed on our way North, through Frenchman’s Run and then through Deer Pass (Squash Run) to the open Labrador Sea and then 4 miles down the coast to Cape Bluff Harbour.

Just before the entrance to Deer Passage there was a bunch of sea gulls in the air in front of the boat. I was wondering if they were circling a hunting whale. Gulls circle overhead searching for any pieces of fish the whale has damaged or killed and come to the surface. But said, naw, probably I just scared then from the water. But then I saw a whale fin, on the left side of the bow, pass under the bow and my line of sight. It was less than 15 feet in front of the boat! A few minutes later it surfaced, showed its back and dove, all 50 feet from me. I could see the water running off it’s back! Sorry no pictures; hard to sail and be a camerman!

Deer Passage is a very beautiful inside route; a same and different Labrador. The same with the rocks and moss, different with trees, both spruce and birch. Also easy motoring, no swells, waves or fog. The fog started when I exited form the islands at the end of Deer Pass and stayed with me into Cape Bluff harbour. This was the first fog in over a month.
Cape Bluff Harbour is about 2 miles West inland with two sheltered coves, one to the North and one to the South. I anchored in the North cove and had a peaceful night, no surges or waves. My only company was a loon. It is just over the hill from Triangle Harbour.

Click here for pictures of 20100915 Deer Passage (Squash Run)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Motored as the wind was against me and I want to make time to a safe harbour as there is another gale coming. Took
Make it to Salmon Bight, it more commonly called Black Tickle. Black Tickle is over the point from Salmon Bight and the wharfs and community is in Salmon Bight.
A friendly place. On fisherman stopped by as I was in the outer bay taking down the sails and chatted. He advised the best place to tie-up was inside the two wharfs. Another fellow Dave met me at the wharf and helped me to tie-up. He then took my diesel just to the filling station located 200 feet away. Save me a lot of lugging.
Spend a restless night; winds were from the South and they created a surge in the wharfs. Plus the Sought win was pushing the boat against the wharf. The surge was moving the boat back and forth along the wharf six feet at a time. That’s a lot of pressure on the boat and fenders. I tightened the lines and adjusted them every few hours to reduce the effects of the surge.

With stronger winds forecast in two days time, I did not want to stay there for another night.

I took a walk around the community. It’s got three stores and I bought a few groceries, including a treat , an ice cream sandwich..

This is an ATV community. More ATVs than cars or trucks as there’s no road into the community. The coastal boat comes once a week. There’s no water service to the houses, so you see people going on their ATVs with pails of water from the pump house. The water is a little tea coloured as it from a boggy lake. Not many gravel streams of spring in coastal Labrador.

Click here for pictures of 20100913 Black Tickle

Monday, September 13, 2010

Took a rest day. I got up as usual and prepared the boat for a day’s sail, but I found I was exhausted. Lingering effects of that cold/flu I got from Jeremy.

I went ashore to Little Grady Island to explore the abandoned summer fishing houses. The “houses are typically 15 feet by 20 feet of one level. I was desperate for reading material, all I found were romance novels.
Saw a female Marsh Hawk hunting, she was swooping low over the hill sand grasslands. I identifier her by the bnads on the tail and a white rump. The hawk is way North of it’s normal range according to my thirty year old bird book . A sign of global warming?

Later I went ashore to Grady Island and walked over to the whaling factory. It was a warm day, I wore just a light shirt. Nothing left but steel frame for a roof, boilers and tanks.

The area of and around the whaling factory is relatively flat and is now a grassy meadow. Just when you think you have seen all of Labrador’s possible environment there another!

There was a lake above the site, but the wind was too cool for me to take a bath.

On my way back to the boat I saw the hawk again, swooping an hunting in the hills.

Click here for pictures of 20100913 Grady Island – marshhawk

Click here for pictures of 20100913 Grady Island – Whale Factory Ruins

Click here for pictures of 20100913 Grady Island – summer houses, EvenSong and lichens

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A.M. Air temperature -2 degrees C, water temperature 4 degrees C., boat 4.
Made it across Grosswater Bay, motored about one half of the way and the wind changed direction I would have had to sail into the wind which doubles the time. As it’s about a fifty mile crossing, I motored as I do not want to be looking for an anchorage in the dark. I could see the rusted tanks and boilers of an abandoned whale factory as I went into Grady Harbour. Grady Harbour is really a tickle. A tickle is a narrow opening between two islands or an island and the mainland. Grady Harbour is a tickle between Little Grady Island Little and Grady Island. Grady Harbour is about 150 feet wide and 800 feet long and the entrances are sheltered so which reduces the effects of winds and swells.

According to the Cruising Guide to Labrador:
“In 8152 it was reported there were five square rigged ships and ten schooners were based here during the summer and 135 persons spent the winter here. In the early 1900’s a Norwegian company brought to Grady huge portable building and a big “mother steamer” ( a steam ship – my note) and established a whaling factory. It wasn’t received well and they were forced to abandon the enterprise”.

As it was I went aground in Grady Harbour when I was circling around a potential anchorage site checking the swing room. The longer the length of chain I use to anchor the better the anchor holds. Swing room is the horizontal distance from the anchor to the boat. Wind and current swing the boat around the anchor, so we need enough depth of water inside this circle. Luckily the wind pushed the boat around and I was able to motor off the rocks 10 minutes later. No damage as I was only going 2 knots. An adventure at least once a day!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

8 A.M. Air temperature 3 degrees C, water temperature 4 degrees C., boat 4 degrees C.
Waited out the end of a gale in Smokey tickle.
My back is bothering me from all the pulling on lines while sailing from Makkovik to Webeck Harbour. in 15 to 20 knot winds.
Organised the charts for the hop over Grosswater bay, the entrance to Hamilton Inlet and Goose Bay. I used the Criusing Guide and Sailing directions to locate harbours and anchorages and highlight them on the charts in blue. This was I can see at a glance where the closest safe ports are.
Make a char chowder, thanks to Randy Edmunds gift of char when we were in Makkovik. A little late cooking the char, too many late nights plus the effects of my cold sapped my energy and ambitions, plus they were frozen and the bilge is 3 to 5 degrees C.

There was an eider duck nesting on the island when we were here on July 30. I see not all of the four eggs hatched, as two looked smashed.

Click here for pictures of Smokey Tickle – lichens etc.

Friday, September 10, 2010

A.M. Air temperature degrees C, water temperature degrees C.
Two inquisitive seals around. One came up 15 feet from the boat and as soon as I appeared it splashed and dove.
Just a few breezes so I sailed from anchorage. But no winds so I motored to Smokey Tickle. 45 miles in a day with the iron genny (the engines of iron and it moves the boat like a big genoa, big front sail)

Thursday, September 09, 2010

8:00 A.M. Air temperature 3 degrees C, water temperature 3 degrees C.
Tries to sail, but ended up motoring as winds were light. Stayed in Webeck Harbour; we had anchored here on Monday August 2 on the way North. I anchored in a sandy bottom in 7 meters behind the two islets in the North side of the harbour as NE winds were expected. A quiet night.
Replaced the seals on the injector pump banjo for cylinder #1. Still leaks. The problem is the banjo nut turns one way and the nut on the injector pipe turns the other. So tighten on loosens the other. I removed the oil filter to get more access (and changed the filter and engine oil), but I still have a small leak. I’ll collect the oil nightly from the engine sump and recycle it in the Sigmar cook.heat stove.

Click here for pictures of Webeck Harbour – jellyfish, sunset and hills

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Lost a day somewhere. That’s the problem, I lose track of time. No job, no TV no papers.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Rainy, low cloud, hills obscured. Randy gave us a ride to the airport. The Air Labrador Twin Otter could not land, so they went to their next stop, Postville and waited a while and tried again; too foggy. Jeremy arranged for a 4 p.m. flight, but was able to leave earlier as an escort on a medivac flight.

Earl was not the storm we expected, in hindsight, we could have sailed to Cartwright last week.

I picked up a book at the airport and read for the rest of the day.

Will be in Makkovik at least till tomorrow, winds foretasted to be 35 knots today slowing to 20 to 25 this evening.

Got an e-mail from Clovis (he crewed from St. Barb to Hopedale, he’s from France headed to U of Ottawa and having quite the experience in Labrador and Quebec.

I spent a wonderful week in Hopedale at Mathie’s house (the girl of the radio station of Hopdale). Unfortunately I missed my friend in Quebec, cause she came back earlier. Then I met some people on the coastal boat from Hopdale to Goose bay. They gave me a lift until their home, where I stayed for 10 days. Kayaking, Canoeing, fishing, … Then some friends of them lifted me to Bergeronnes, near Tadoussac on the North coast. I’ve stayed here for another 10 days learning and working as a backer, very interesting, and very friendly.
Now I go to Quebec city, see some friends there, the to Montreal, and to Ottawa. I’m gonna send an email to Cathie’s brother, see if he’s ok to help me for few days.

Click here for pictures of Labrador Lighthouses and Waves on Rock

Click here for pictures of Rogers Harbour and Whale

Monday, September 06, 2010

Gotta get that leak in my companionway hatch fixed, water poured in when the boat bounced at the dock.

We moved to the other side of the wharf at daylight. Then when the wind veered to N in the early afternoon we moved back.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

A.M. Air temperature degrees C, water temperature degrees C.
Winds were 15 – 20 knots from the East, Hurricane Earl forecasted for N winds, 30 knots, so we stayed on the Eat side of the wharf. The wind got stronger and stayed East overnight, which caused Evensong to rub against the wharf overnight. We were up at 2 a.m., but decided it was safer to wait till daylight to move. We had 11 fenders out.

Rained all day. Jeremy walked to the airport, a half hour, uphill. Arranged for Randy Edmunds to give Jeremy a ride to the airport for 8 a.m.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Took 13 tacks to get out of Aillik Bay; wind was in the bay and light so it took us all bay to sail 20 miles Makkovik. It’s only 5 miles as the crow flies but 5 miles out Aillik Bay, across Cape Makkovik and 9 miles into Makkovik.
Made moose meat stew with canned moose meat from Dwight in Forteau; another great meal. Plus 1 meal reheated and then 2 meals of moose meat soup (added rice).

Went over to Randy Edmuds house (co-oner of Adlavik Inn and Jason’s Pride http://www.labradorabletours.com/) for a visit. Good hospitality, beer and dried char. Plus he gave us a trifffle from the Inn. We asked for spoons and ate it there. It was excellent, full of fresh fruit. Plus he gave us a frozen char.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Rather than wait in Makkovik we sailed over to Aillik Bay for the night. A quiet anchorage; not recommended if the winds strong N or NE.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

My cold is slowing me down, no energy and my nose likes to drip, especially when I cook

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

7:30 A.M. Air temperature 6 degrees C, water temperature 3 degrees C.

Looks like we will be in Malkkovik till next week. The remains of hurricane Earl is projected to pass over us with 40 to 50 knot winds. The problem is Jeremy is scheduled to fly from Cartwright on the 6th and we do not have time to get there before the strong winds. With winds like that we need a secure anchorage and the we may not have time to reach the onces between here and Cartwright before the storm hits. We plan to make a daysail to islands near here.

Why do I list the temperature of the water each day? The temperature in the boat is closer to the water’s temperatures than the airs. Plus, it alos the temperature of our ‘refrigerator”; we store the perishable foods in the bilge. The bilge is the lowest part of the boat and is underwater. So no cost and no hassle food storage. No need to find ice or run a generator to keep an icebox cold.

Made more bannock, delicious hen ho and with jam or molasses.


8 responses

2 09 2010

I think you actually wrote this blog on Wednesday September 1st (not August 31st) Love Cathie

18 09 2010
Isobel Mccrorie

Enjoying your blog – great trip in an interesting part of the world.

20 09 2010
John Ringrose

Hi- I am a member of the HOG – I don’t have a boat though but reading your log with interest – always wanted to sail in that area.

If your ever looking for crew when I get out of full time employment – hopefully next year – let me know.

Makes a change to read sailing in the northern latitudes.


28 09 2010

I really am enjoying your blog. I certainly think you are brave to do this alone.

28 09 2010


Brave, not really. Just trying to be cautious; so I will not have to be brave!


28 09 2010
Susan Murchison

Hi David. Glad to hear from you. Was getting worried with the hurricane and all. Was talking with Bobby on Sunday and telling him about your trek. He is coming home for a visit in June. Will let you know the dates. His wife Pat wants to go over to NL as part of the visit but will be doing the siteseeing by car. Good winds and good sailing as you head for the home harbor. Prayers are with you as you start your crossing.

29 09 2010


Would be good to see Bobby. I had been thinking about a trip west.
Still stuck in NL.


29 09 2010
Cheryl Denton(Tomlinson)

Quite an adventuure to say the least!! Enjoyed your comments and loved the pictures. Take care and smooth sailing. Susan sent this to me and was I ever pleased. Cheryl D.

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