Shakedown cruise

We have completed our first week of sailing and are pleased to report that everything is going great.  We are currently on the dock in St. Lawrence and are looking at a few days of high winds but that’s OK as we’re not in a big rush to get anywhere. An added bonus is we have a wifi connection and I get to post on the blog!

We had a splendid send-off from our sailing buddies at RNYC, who came out and called to wish us well on our ‘year and a day’ vacation.

Sendoff from RNYC peeps
Sendoff from RNYC peeps

Thanks to all of you for the going away presents, totally unexpected but appreciated.

Jam Jams - thanks Tom and Paula!
Jam Jams – thanks Tom and Paula!
A lovely cake from our friends Gary and Ruthanne
A lovely cake from our friends Gary and Ruthanne

Al even managed to get his hair cut. Thanks Ruthanne!

Ruthanne did a great job on Al's hair
Ruthanne did a great job on Al’s hair

We chose Long Harbour, my hometown, for our Shakedown cruise for several reasons. Even though we had been sailing Ingomar since May we had not completed any real long distance in her so if any issues came out of the shakedown cruise we were close enough to St. John’s. Long Harbour is located one hour from St. John’s, making it convenient to get to and from. Also, I have family there and a vehicle was easy to find. And, we still had business in the city, so the short distance made Long Harbour an ideal stop.

But the best reason for coming here is because this is where my Mom lives and I wanted her to see my home for the next year so she would be comfortable with our plans. But of course she was anyway.

We left Long Pond early Saturday morning at 5 am. Captain Phil came along to help out on board and it was fully appreciated by the crew of S/V Ingomar.

Captain Phil
Captain Phil

The weather was half decent but as we approached Cape Spear the fog enclosed around us and the radar was called up on active duty. Our neighbours and my sister came out to send us off. We didn’t see them but they could see us.

The Norwegian flag was waved in our honour
The Norwegian flag was waved in our honour

Fortunately the fog only lasted for a couple of hours and we came into beautiful sunny weather at Ferryland. There was the most amazing fog bank hugging the coast that was difficult to capture in pics but made for a surreal image. The rest of the day was sunny with dolphins, whales and seabirds keeping us company.

Antipasto #1
Antipasto #1

If you know me then you know how important food is, and the antipasto platter is the ideal lunch for sunny days on the sea. The shrimp were from one of Al’s colleagues and they were the best I’ve ever had. Thanks Sel!

Think he's going to like the lifestyle
Think he’s going to like the lifestyle
A wall of fog like I've never seen before
A wall of fog like I’ve never seen before

We decided to pull into Port Kirwan for the night but before heading in we had to catch our dinner. Al managed to jig a few fish outside Port Kirwan. I don’t have any pics because I don’t like to watch fish being caught, but yes I do eat them, so yeah, that makes me a hypocrite!

Al fishes for our dinner outside Port Kiran
Al fishes for our dinner outside Port Kiran
Heading into Port Kirwan after a long day
Heading into Port Kirwan after a long day
Ingomar at the dock in Port Kirwan
Ingomar at the dock in Port Kirwan

We were quick to bed and started even earlier the next day with a start at 3 am. Our destination was uncertain but we were determined to make it as far as possible. The morning was incredible, warm and a crescent moon on the water. It felt amazing! And the sunrise was spectacular.

Sunrise of Day 2 was WOW
Sunrise of Day 2 was WOW

The weather did change to fog again but around noontime the sun came out and the winds came up and we had a great sailing day. Even Filbert came out for a sniff every now and then.

Filly comes up for a sniff of the sea air
Filly comes up for a sniff of the sea air

We even had to splash on sunscreen and get our summer gear on because the temps were so warm. We also put our selfie stick to good use. Thanks Stephanie!

First Selfie of the trip
First Selfie of the trip

Filbert did fairly well the first couple of days out and came up on occasion to see if we were anywhere near to land.

Filly looking more like a sailor everyday
Filly looking more like a sailor everyday

Sailing across St. Marys bay was amazing, with so many seabirds, flocks of gannets and loads of puffins. The fog cleared just as we came up the St Marys Ecological Reserve and we were able to see the thousands of seabirds nesting on the cliffs.

Cape St. Mary's
Cape St. Mary’s

We decided to pull into St. Brides rather than make our way on to Long Harbour and navigate in the dark. It was very bouncy going into the harbour but no problem tying up.

St. Brides
St. Brides

The next morning we started around 5 am and made it to Long Harbour around 11 am. Once again the weather was warm and the seas were quiet. Long Harbour is where I grew up and it was pretty exciting to sail up Placentia Bay and into the harbour where I spent my childhood.

My home in Long Harbour
My home in Long Harbour

And that’s it for now! Tune in soon for the second part of week 1.

Author: tess

A full-time adventurer, I am sailing our 37-foot Tartan with my husband and kitty, to the Caribbean from Newfoundland while documenting it on our blog, greatbigsail.com

6 thoughts on “Shakedown cruise”

    1. Hey Dave! Life is pretty good aboard S/V Ingomar and as long as there’s a wifi connection, there will be stories to share.

  1. Cool, very cool. Look forward to reading your updates. Have you mapped out your route? I’m sure your mom has a direct line to St. Christopher. 😊
    GNGB. (Good night and God Bless)

    1. Hey Betty Anne! Nice to hear from you. Ha, ha you are so right about that but she’s very comfortable with the plan, modern woman that she is.

      No real plans except to get to the Caribbean in November. Then sail around as much as we can.

      Thanks for getting in touch!

  2. Loved reading week 1, haircut, cake, fond farewell, and you were off.
    The Norwegian family was so sweet, my fav.
    Every day will be a new adventure, every port, how exciting.
    I think if you guys every day.

    1. Well thanks! Truth is we are having the best time! The funny thing about leaving is that we have come to recognize, that we have the best supports, whether it’s family or friends, and we think of you all everyday.

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