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Moving North of the Ice Wall

July 4, 2019

9 years since Sage left Canada and here we are back north of the Ice Wall!

We made the jump across the Gulf of Maine deciding no longer was it in the books that we hold back waiting for warmer weather – it was now or never.

The crossing was one of the slowest in Sage’s history. Dogged by cells bringing rain and lightening and, taking away the little wind we had, left us bouncing around with slatting sails. Making the best of it and avoiding the closer-than-comfort lightening strikes we eventually sighted Cape Sable. Wow, we are gobsmacked – Sage is back in Canada.

And this is summer sailing on the east coast of Canada!

Our first Port of call was Shelburne, a clearance port for Canadian Border Services Agency(CBSA). Located approx 7 miles up an inlet it proves to be a great refuge for a tiny but extremely friendly Shelburne Yacht Club. With an approximately 50 metre dock there’s lots of space for visiting boats. Instead of anchoring we chose to tie up to the dock and take the power option so we could plug in the heater! Although the trip from Provincetown was only 2 overnights we’re tired, cold, wet and anxious for a little comfort – Florida is even sounding great at this point!

But Shelburne is very quaint. Low on services but high on friendliness it only takes a couple of hours wandering around to get our bearings. Of course, true to the east coast of Canada much of the 2 hours is taken up chatting with pedestrians, shopkeepers and any poor soul we ask directions to. We quickly get the lay of the land, are shocked by the prices of properties advertised in the real estate windows and enamoured by the architecture.

Beautifully maintained buildings dating back to the late 1700s

Like many small towns in North America the biggest impact to downtown is the tiny plaza and Sobey’s grocery store that was allowed to be built 1.5km from the main street. I bemoan the loss of foot traffic that would have helped downtown Shelburne to thrive. Out at the plaza cars come and go in a constant stream but the downtown has closed up shops, quiet sidewalks and a dirth of shoppers.

Art shops/galleries abound

One advantage of an abandoned downtown are the spaces left free allowing artists and craftspeople to rent spaces as workshops or display areas. The downtown is far more interesting than the local plaza with Sobey’s and the Dollar Store.

The inlet, anchorage and yacht club

The yacht club is quite the hive of activity. Unfortunately the yacht club suffered a fire which meant the club is now a trailer in the parking lot until the damage is repaired and they get to move back to their original building.

Shelburne Yacht Club

Most of the damage was a result of smoke so the club should be back into their building soon. In the meantime people gather outside for afternoon drinks when the sun shines, have regular sailing races on Thursday and manage to get the launch out for training runs.

Obviously the bowman is not impressed by his fellow crew members!

It’s a great place to connect with the history. The town dates back to the late 1700s when there were 17,000 people living here after the American war off independence.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. July 4, 2019 09:46

    Welcome home!

  2. July 4, 2019 14:34

    Shelburne looks like a lovely little village.
    We missed it on our trek through the maritimes. Too bad!
    Annie B.

  3. Michelle permalink
    July 5, 2019 02:55

    Hello my salor friends around the planet ! Will we have a chance to see again ? Hope so. are you planing to come to France ? All the best Michelle

  4. Jim Heflin permalink
    July 5, 2019 13:17

    Wow … Nine Years Before The Mast ! That’s what can happen when these hobbyist enthusiasms get out of hand. Splendidly heroic picture of your noble mug … it’s going up on my mantle right between the portraits of FDR and Jesus Christ, and slightly higher than both.

  5. Toby permalink
    July 7, 2019 07:12

    You made it home – congratulations to you both! Very nice pics. Will you ever get used to these cold climates again? Thanks for all the lovely postcards which adorn our kitchen wall!

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