MauiPunter

Sailing to Halifax

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This summer we are planning to sail to Halifax from Boston and am looking for recommendations for marinas we can tie up, and other tips for the area.  We are planning to spend about a week there, not counting transit time.  Thanks!

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RNSYS has moorings, and a guest dock you can use momentarily, its a reasonable walk into town from there, they used to hold Evening races through the mooring area, downwind legs were particularly impressive. 

If you have the time, the Bras d'Or lakes are well worth the additional overnight to St. Peters, going around Cape Canso. First place I ever saw whales from my boat. We went through and out to Sydney, around Cape North to Magdalenes and then back through canal at Port Hawkbury via Cheticamp. 

Lunenberg is pretty as are a few of the other harbors to the west, reminiscent of Penobscot

the Bakery at La Have is a good jumping off point for the trip back. (We did overnight to SW Harbor) 

Stay far enough offshore at Cape Sable that you don't go through the "washing machine" as the tide rips around the corner. 

Fundy fogs and tides are impressive, Radar reflector is important, AIS/Radar more so... 

 

 

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If you decide to make that last jump past Halifax on up to the Bras d'Or Lakes system here is an online guide with loads of info: http://www.cruising-cape-breton.info/

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Don't skip the Bras d'Or lakes or PEI. Visit the GOM on the way back since it's upwind. 

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RNSYS or Armdale Yacht Club, or it is possible to anchor - just south of the Armdale Yacht Club gets some anchoring visitors next to my mooring.  I'll pm you.

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You can also tie up downtown if you want.  I have done that twice.  Now sure what you need to do to clear customs.  Each time I was there it was for the Marblehead to Halifax race and they had it all set up for customs.  https://activecaptain.garmin.com/pois/45095  https://my-waterfront.ca/getting-here/marine/halifax/ Useful info is at the bottom of the link

 

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46 minutes ago, seaker said:

You can also tie up downtown if you want.  I have done that twice.  Now sure what you need to do to clear customs.  Each time I was there it was for the Marblehead to Halifax race and they had it all set up for customs.  https://activecaptain.garmin.com/pois/45095  https://my-waterfront.ca/getting-here/marine/halifax/ Useful info is at the bottom of the link

 

That was my next question.  I will have to look up what the procedures are for Halifax to clear in.  

I have decided to book dock space at Bishops Landing.  Seems like its in the middle of the action, and walkable to most things we want to d.

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My wife and I visited Halifax a few years ago, and loved it. We flew.

+1 on Lunenburg.

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If you did make it to Lunenburg I could show you around a bit if you liked.....

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Bear in mind that, once outside US waters, NOAA no longer regulates the magnetic fields that make your compass work. 

 

Just SayinB)

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3 hours ago, Cruisin Loser said:

Bear in mind that, once outside US waters, NOAA no longer regulates the magnetic fields that make your compass work. 

 

Just SayinB)

It's OK, we have magnets.

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16 hours ago, Ishmael said:

It's OK, we have magnets.

Maybe so, but we'd have to pay tariffs. 

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lol

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The marinas and yacht clubs in Halifax are around the back. There are several docks you can tie up to downtown. Some of them shittier than others (seagulls). Murphy's restaurant for example. We changed a couple of times and ended up on the pilot's dock, a little north of Bishops adn just south of the Sackville museum ship. All of them are good from the standpoint of access to town. Bishops a little closer to the cruise ship terminal if I remember. Halifax is a nice town. 

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Back in 2012 you could lie alongside the public wharf during the day and take advantage of free water, power and wifi.  At 17:00 we'd nip over to the anchorage behind McNabb's Island for a quiet night.

If you are at all interested in naval warfare,  do not miss HMCS Sackville, the last remaining WWII Flower Class Corvette. 

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When you have your dates finalized, let me know.   We live here in town and would be happy to show you around a bit.   Couple of mentions about Armdale and RNSYS.     If you need access to a full service club, Dartmouth Yacht Club is 40 minutes further up the harbour.   It's the only place in town with a travel lift if you need to get hauled for any reason and in the next week or so, the new clubhouse will open.

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On 5/29/2018 at 3:47 PM, LionessRacing said:

RNSYS has moorings, and a guest dock you can use momentarily, its a reasonable walk into town from there,

It is very much NOT. 90 minute walk to downtown

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17 minutes ago, jackolantern said:

 

It is very much NOT. 90 minute walk to downtown

Quite reasonable to me at the time. perhaps we took dinghy across the arm  or had the launch drop us. 

 

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6 minutes ago, LionessRacing said:

Quite reasonable to me at the time. perhaps we took dinghy across the arm  or had the launch drop us. 

  

8-9km isn't reasonable. 

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2 hours ago, jackolantern said:

8-9km isn't reasonable. 

I visited in 2004, and  remember walking to town, and enjoying the scenery and library especially. As I noted, I may have cut across in dinghy or with a launch, don't recall the details. A 5 mile level, paved walk at sea level is not a big deal to me even now at age 62

We walk every evening 1.5 miles at a < 18:00/mile pace and on weekends do 3.3 miles in an hour on the flat, slower on hills. 

 

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We were regularly clocking up 20,000 steps a day when cruising in the PNW, walking around and sightseeing are some of the highlights of cruising...

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1 hour ago, LionessRacing said:

I visited in 2004, and  remember walking to town, and enjoying the scenery and library especially. As I noted, I may have cut across in dinghy or with a launch, don't recall the details. A 5 mile level, paved walk at sea level is not a big deal to me even now at age 62

We walk every evening 1.5 miles at a < 18:00/mile pace and on weekends do 3.3 miles in an hour on the flat, slower on hills. 

 

You must have cut across.  There aren't too many level walks in Halifax, and "best route" on google maps clocks in at almost 2 hours walking.  And Halifax is pretty much all hill.  Google maps shows elevation changes now, bottom left in the image.  Do that with small kids?  Pass.

RNSYS has lots going for it but convenient access from the shore side is not on the list.

And we have a much cooler library now.map.thumb.png.e55038cfefb29e14929a0002917cfc8f.png

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Our six year old wouldn't survive the walk.  We were going to stay at the RNSYS cause they have a REALLY nice facility but, being so far from the city we decided to dock downtown.  It will be a lot noisier, but, we will be where the action is, and easy walking around to see the sites.

Btw, we pushed our dates a week out cause we are sailing to Provincetown for fourth of July and staying through the following weekend.  I wanted to sail directly to Halifax from Ptown but work stuff came up and need to get back to Boston after the 4th.    So, we'll be there 16th through the 20th. 

Every season we push our limits and try to accomplish something new in sailing.  This will be our first multi-day passage in open water as a family.  Going to Provincetown is a little bit of open water but only for a few hours.  When we sailed to the Vineyard it was mostly coastal sailing and an overnight stay to break up the two day trip.  So, this feels like the next step on our skills list.

 

I am budgeting a three day sail from Boston, but hopefully we can beat that time if wind is in a favorable direction and speed.  Its 430 nm from Boston to Halifax.  Our boat can do 8 kts+ easily, but only on reach to broad reach, 6-8 kts in close reaching conditions.  So, I figure 6 kts is a fair average which is about 2.5 days to reach the harbor, 3 days if things are slow going, possible more if its really shiity wind.

Thanks again for everyone's posts on here.  Very helpful!   I will probably check back on here when its gets closer to get some second opinions on weather window.  

Lastly, if there are ANY  sailors who would like to join us on this passage we would love another boat or two to tag along.  Safety in numbers.  :)

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10 hours ago, MauiPunter said:

Thanks again for everyone's posts on here.  Very helpful!   I will probably check back on here when its gets closer to get some second opinions on weather window. 

Heed the tides as well. Rounding the tip of Nova Scotia, give Brazil Rock, off Cape Sable, careful consideration. If the Fundy tide is flooding, you can be stuck in that area a while if you don't leave Brazil Rock well enough to port. Here is a good description of that frustration from a past Marblehead race: http://www.oceannavigator.com/November-December-2007/The-Battle-for-Brazil-Rock/

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On 6/18/2018 at 8:29 PM, MauiPunter said:

Our six year old wouldn't survive the walk.  We were going to stay at the RNSYS cause they have a REALLY nice facility but, being so far from the city we decided to dock downtown.  It will be a lot noisier, but, we will be where the action is, and easy walking around to see the sites.

Btw, we pushed our dates a week out cause we are sailing to Provincetown for fourth of July and staying through the following weekend.  I wanted to sail directly to Halifax from Ptown but work stuff came up and need to get back to Boston after the 4th.    So, we'll be there 16th through the 20th. 

Every season we push our limits and try to accomplish something new in sailing.  This will be our first multi-day passage in open water as a family.  Going to Provincetown is a little bit of open water but only for a few hours.  When we sailed to the Vineyard it was mostly coastal sailing and an overnight stay to break up the two day trip.  So, this feels like the next step on our skills list.

 

I am budgeting a three day sail from Boston, but hopefully we can beat that time if wind is in a favorable direction and speed.  Its 430 nm from Boston to Halifax.  Our boat can do 8 kts+ easily, but only on reach to broad reach, 6-8 kts in close reaching conditions.  So, I figure 6 kts is a fair average which is about 2.5 days to reach the harbor, 3 days if things are slow going, possible more if its really shiity wind.

Thanks again for everyone's posts on here.  Very helpful!   I will probably check back on here when its gets closer to get some second opinions on weather window.  

Lastly, if there are ANY  sailors who would like to join us on this passage we would love another boat or two to tag along.  Safety in numbers.  :)

Jealousss...

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On 6/18/2018 at 8:29 PM, MauiPunter said:

Lastly, if there are ANY  sailors who would like to join us on this passage we would love another boat or two to tag along.  Safety in numbers.  :)

Hi Maui, we're in a very similar situation as you, doing a trip to Nova Scotia from Boston this summer to stretch our legs beyond single overnights (with two kids).  We can't leave before July 21st though.  We will be in P-town same time as you though, would be fun to talk.  Green Sabre 38 named Cayuga.

 

 

 

 

 

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26 minutes ago, ack said:

Hi Maui, we're in a very similar situation as you, doing a trip to Nova Scotia from Boston this summer to stretch our legs beyond single overnights (with two kids).  We can't leave before July 21st though.  We will be in P-town same time as you though, would be fun to talk.  Green Sabre 38 named Cayuga.

 

PM me your cell# and I will txt you when we arrive on the 4th.  We got a slip on E-Dock from the 4th through the 8th.  Flag  Blue Morgan Nelson-Marek 45

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On 6/6/2018 at 10:49 AM, Whinging Pom said:

Back in 2012 you could lie alongside the public wharf during the day and take advantage of free water, power and wifi.  At 17:00 we'd nip over to the anchorage behind McNabb's Island for a quiet night.

If you are at all interested in naval warfare,  do not miss HMCS Sackville, the last remaining WWII Flower Class Corvette. 

Alas, the HMCS Sackville will not be in her usual berth this summer - undergoing a major refit (deteriorating hull, I believe).  Hoped to be back for next year.

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