Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Aboard Taniwha - Part 5: Rolling around to St. John's, Newfoundland

We left St. Pierre in fog, set sail in fog, and the fog persisted until 24 hours later, when, on the same tack, we were out in the Atlantic Ocean, well clear of Newfoundland's south-west corner. Having thought it would take two days to sail to St. John's, we were happy to find ourselves approaching it fast, and gybed around to head straight for it. After the gybe manoeuvre, I went down to my bunk for a rest, and awoke an hour or two later to find the boat bouncing around a lot, with frying pans and buckets bouncing around inside. The waves had got rather large, so I went up on deck to help steer while Nick and Michelle pulled in the headsail.

The waves were steep, and about 6 to 8 feet high, and we were having to steer along them to make our course, which made for a rather bouncy ride.

After a while, a squally rain shower approached us to add to the challenge.

The sea changed somewhat after we had passed below a huge twisting horizontal cloud and were heading towards the lighthouses on Cape Spear, North America's most easterly point.

Heading around the point into St. John's Bay, the wind and sea settled down considerably.

We took down the sails and as we motored across St. John's Bay towards the dramatic cliffs marking the entrance to the harbour, a warm moist wind blew down off the land, scented with the freshness of pine forests, and bathing us in a welcoming Canadian warmth.

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