The crew from Nova Scotia to Newfoundland

Here are some pictures of our crew that made it from Halifax via St Pierre to Newfoundland.

Dan MacMackin
Lisa Mogan-O’Keefe
Peter Barba
Philip Kersten
Steve Roberts

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A Royal Thank You, and on our way!

A jovial night in the cockpit with both crews and then we turned in. There was a snoring contest between Dan and John, with Dan conceding to John for rhythm and loudness. Dan still took the prize for originality.

We awoke early and decided to go to the Halifax Maritime Museum. There was a large section devoted to the Titanic disaster and another on the Halifax explosion. We were short on time but enjoyed as much as we could.

We headed back to Tioga and did the final preparations to leave Halifax. After a quick good bye – Doug left for the airport. We filled water tanks, stowed the sails and prepared our bunks before heading to the fuel dock. Once fueled up we said good bye to John who would hang at the club before going to the airport.

We left the dock at 1:30 and headed out of the harbor to the open ocean. A huge Royal thanks to the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron for their hospitality. A beautiful club with excellent services.

We motored out of the harbor and raised the sails. We were doing about 6.5 knots and let Lisa and Steve get comfortable with the helm. We had a comfortable sail for most of the afternoon and when the wind dropped we raised the newly repaired bright yellow Gennaker with the paws. Thanks again Bob!

A lone whale was spotted, about 5 feet of its back as it broke the surface about 80 yards off the port side. It would have been a good time to launch Moby, but with Doug flying home, the Captain needed to train a new catcher. We feasted on Dan’s Chicken Korma and rice. The prepared salad went uneaten, something about the Captain thinking vegetables from a can was not real food – but it would taste good in a life raft. We sailed along to a beautiful sunset behind us. Let the night watches begin. Lisa and Steve got some last minute instructions from the Captain.

We are expecting a starlit night with only a few whispy clouds in the sky. The temps are dropping a bit but still not cold enough to really need to bundle up.

Crew Change

The crew woke to partly cloudy skies. The slip at the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron (RNSYS) proved to be very comfortable with little motion. Doug and Peter made coffee and headed to the club patio to relax. John prepared another great breakfast of fruit salad and french toast.

John, Doug and Peter headed to the pool for a swim. Peter phoned home to wish his mom a happy birthday. At about 2 the new crew arrived – Lisa, Steve and the infamous “ Uncle Dan”.

Tioga was fully loaded with the extra crew and all the extra gear – bags and sails filled the foredeck. The joint crew settled in for a midday meal of rice and tropical chicken curry.

The repaired gennaker arrived and Doug, Lisa, and Steve set to work on replacing the repaired sail with the old one in the sock. Philip, John and Dan were working on the windlass which when tested did not work. After voltage readings, jumper wires, and much discussion, a simple wrap of a hammer, suggested by Peter, brought the windlass back to life.

Jim, a friend of Bob, who gifted the yellow gennaker with the paws to Tioga, stopped by to say hello. He generously offered to take us to the grocery store to pick up a few last minute perishable items for the next leg. We only needed a few items since Dan did an outstanding job supplying Tioga prior to leaving Nahant – including enough fruit cups to supply the 10,000 dorys built by Sydney Mahaney.

Jim joined us for drinks on the patio then departed for home. The crew ordered dinner and enjoyed the peaceful beauty of the Harbor. The outbound crew remembering the great sail and the inbound crew contemplating the the cold, wet, and scary days to come.

Peter was able to obtain a burgee from the RNSYS to be displayed in the Nahant Dory Club. Captain Philip checked the online iceberg reports – it looked like only one iceberg left – hoping to get there just as it shrinks down to a cube to add to a fresh gin and tonic.

The inbound crew began to settle in as the outbound crew packed their gear for the trip home. We were relaxing together telling funny stories.

One of the best things about these crew changes is the relating of past stories and the laughter.

As the blog is written Doug is assembling a voodoo like doll of Sydney which will become a mascot for Tioga, joining the kalachakra seeds and the jar of F@#&$%* olives as good luck charms for Tioga. With this crew we need all the luck we can get.

Leaving Lunenburg — the Royal Treatment — No wasted time

We left picturesque Lunenburg Harbor at 5:30 PM and motored out of the sound to the open ocean. We set sails and headed north to our next stop – Halifax. It was raining hard and the wind was not great, but we were moving.

Peter took the helm and Doug trimmed the sails as the wind clocked around to a good direction as it increased. Tioga moved into freight train mode. John came up to relieve Doug as we approached a difficult channel between the mainland and an island. At 2:30am the decision was made to wake the captain to assist due to the difficulty in determining the channel markers. As the captain came up someone flipped a switch and the wind was gone. We motored though the first section of the channel, then the wind picked up and we were back to sailing. In 10 hours we covered the distance needed and as dawn was breaking picked up a mooring in Halifax harbor.

We awoke sometime later and moved the boat to a slip at the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron, the 2nd oldest Royal Yacht Squadron in the world. Pretty fancy place with very welcoming staff , a swimming pool for children and another for adults.

It was raining so we set up the fly over the cockpit as John prepared fresh fruit salad, pancakes, and bacon – again, we eat pretty good on Tioga.

We watched the youth sailing program, reminding us of the Nahant sailing program – with happy young sailors, broken dollies, flat tires, and beat up boats. I guess being at a Royal Yacht club doesn’t change that dynamic. What matters are the kids are out on the water learning to sail and having fun.

John and Philip took advantage of the heated pool ant went for a swim. We showered and took a nap to replenish our energy. We called a cab and headed into town. Our taxi driver was a little less than helpful on what sites we should see. The captain suggested a few places and the drivers response showed a lack of appreciation of his hometown attractions. We ended up at the Citadel – unfortunately it was closed for a special event so we headed to the Waterfront Walk. Once there, we found many references to the “ Great Halifax Explosion”! In 1917 a French munitions ship and another ship collided in a narrow section of the harbor. A fire caused the munitions ship to explode creating the largest man made explosion in history until the nuclear bomb. Due to the narrowness of the area it concentrated the blast destroying neighborhoods and killing more than 2000 people on shore. Massachusetts sent help immediately, including a group of Doctors from Harvard. As a thank you, every year Halifax sends a gift of a giant Christmas tree to the city of Boston.

We were hungry and looking for some Nova Scotia oysters and fish. The daily special happened to be a 60oz T-bone steak, we opted for fish – halibut and cod. Our waiter educated us on Canadian oysters – Prince Edward Island clearly had the best tasting. After dinner we stopped in and listened to a little jazz trio before heading back to Tioga for a comfortable night’s sleep