We left St Johns harbor to move Tioga to the Royal Newfoundland Yacht Club where she will berth until the next crew arrives to sail to Ireland.
We cleared the gut, raised the sails and the freight train left the station. We spotted a few whales and dolphins. The dolphins were playing off in the distance, but provided a great floor show for the crew.
The new crew, Lisa and Steve, earned their stripes. Rounding the point we picked up a close hauled azimuth, heeling with a rail in the water, and screaming along the very impressive coast. Lisa handled the helm as if she was an olympic sailing champion, with the Captain easing the sheets to spill the wind though the gusts. Reaching the tip of Cape St Francis, Steve took the helm and earned his diploma with the tell tales glued to the sheet. At 80 degrees and 7 to 10 knots of wind it was a beautiful sunny day for sailing in Conception Bay and the crew basked in all its glory. All the while Peter was sewing the Gennaker sock, even sacrificing a clean pair of skivies for a makeshift patch. Dan took the helm so we could launch Moby for one last flight as we neared Kelly Island.
We entered the channel to the Royal Newfoundland Yacht Club as the sun began to drop. We stopped at the fuel dock to check in and fuel up. The diesel fill-up was an honor system where you filled up and provided the waitress with your liters for payment. We were provided a tie up at the Commodores slip.
The crew dined at the club with mixed reviews on the Poutines – french fries with gravy and cheese curds. We settled in for much needed sleep.
We awoke for clean up day – where the out going crew scrubs down the boat to prepare for the incoming crew. Steve had laundry duty, Lisa detailed the galley and Dan disinfected the head. Captain Philip and Peter did small repairs. Once the boat was ship shape, we moved the boat to a another slip before heading into town.
We did some site seeing and shopping before stopping in for a cold beverage. Next stop was a local brewery and pizza. The George Street festival was in full swing and the crew stopped in to hear some Canadian Rock. We headed back to Tioga for Jiffy Pop and a final toast to a great adventure.
It was not without a fair bit of sadness that this crew was preparing to bid adieu to Tioga, Captain Philip, and each other. We had spent the past 10 days together as a team, facing fog, fog, and more fog. We were blessed with skill and leadership of Captain Philip, and a crew, some experienced and others with a willingness to learn. Bluewater sailing is one of those things, if we had to explain it, you wouldn’t understand.
Those on board sometimes hope for divine intervention, but all we have is each other. We make a silent promise that I will risk my life to save yours and vise versa. To the next crew of Tioga, we wish you fair winds, safe passage, and godspeed.
Wow thats deep!