2013 Harbour Cup Race

Harbour Cup Race 2013

The third annual Harbour Cup Race was held on the evening of Wednesday, August 7, as a part of the Mussel Bed Soiree. There were a record number of six sailboats participating, doubling the entrants from 2012.

Race Start (photo by David Leyden)

The winds were very light, making it a challenging race for the skippers. Only three boats made it across the finish line. Two withdrew, and started their engines to head in, while the third ran out of time, as the two hour limit expired.

Eudaimonia near the finish line

Race results:

Owner / Boat Name/ Boat Make & Model
Position / Times

Jim Penney, Eudaimonia, Alberg 22 (Skippered by Peter Watkins)
1st place, Elapsed time 80:00 min, corrected time 62:40 min

Ralph Miller, Ralykica II, O'Day 30
2nd place, Elapsed time 88:56 min, corrected time 79:70 min

Mark O'Driscoll, Deep Cycle, Mirage 35
3rd place, Elapsed time 89:55 min, corrected time 88:65 min

Peter Haliburton, Serenity, Paceship PY23
DNF -Timed out

Steve Gill, Shelby Lynn, Challenger 24
DNF -withdrew

Terry White, Showa, Camper Nicholson 31
DNF - withdrew

Cup Presentation - Commodore Ralph Miller (L), Skipper Peter Watkins (C), Owner Jim Penney (R)


Tour de Bay 2013

During July and August of 2013, Peter Watkins and Peter Haliburton organized three outings to introduce some newish sailors to the Bay of Exploits, while also practicing their boating and navigation skills. The trips were informal, with plans changing underway depending on the weather, and ideas that came up while on the water.

The first one was a day trip held on July 19, with two boats and five people participating. The Dog House (Bayfield 25) carried the two Peters, plus Steve Gill, while Eudaimonia (Alberg 22) was sailed by Jim Penney and Lloyd Gatehouse. The route was simple, starting with a lunch stop on a LYC mooring in Western Harbour, Sivier Island. From there the group went through Shoal Tickle, around the north end of Birchy Island, and then over to another LYC mooring at Western Harbour, Knights Island for a snack. Finally, the boats travelled through Birchy Island Tickle on their way back to Lewisporte.

The second day trip took place on August 2, and comprised of three boats and four people. Jim Penney accompanied Peter Watkins aboard The Dog House, while Steve Gill and Peter Haliburton were solo aboard their own boats, Shelby Lynn (Challenger 24) and Serenity (Paceship PY23). For this excursion, the flotilla took Birchy Tickle on the way to Western Harbour, South Samson Island. After having lunch there on a LYC mooring, the boats sailed north, and took Samson Tickle over to the eastern side of the bay and picked up a borrowed mooring at Intricate Harbour for supper. The vessels headed back to Lewisporte down Sloop Run, and spent the final couple hours practicing boat handling and night navigation while enjoying some good speed in 15 knots of wind on the beam.

For the third voyage, a full weekend event was held from August 25 to 27, so that the sailors could get practice provisioning and planning longer trips. It was decided that for safety, everyone would be paired up. Peter Watkins and Steve Gill were aboard The Dog House, Jim Penney and his son Bill were on Eudaimonia, while Eric Durham and Peter Haliburton were taking Summertime (Bayfield 25) out for her first trip of the season.

Neither Eudaimonia nor Summertime had seen any trips like this for a few years, so there was lots to be done last minute to get them ready. This allowed The Dog House to get a couple hours head start. The two other boats eventually got underway, and made some good time, reefed down in the high winds. After passing through Birchy Island Tickle, they made their way among the smaller islands up to Basin Tickle, but the weather was changing. With the sails now put away, both boats motored through Hornet Gut, and emerged on the other side to face rain and a strong head wind all the way over to Exploits Islands. Progress was slow, and it was dark by the time they entered the harbour and located The Dog House on the LYC mooring.

The next morning, after a good breakfast, and with wet clothing hung around the three little boats to dry in the sun, the crews boarded the two dinghies, and scooted across the harbour for a walking tour. Taking the well worn trail, they headed north, pausing to see where bridges had once spanned the two islands, and take in the sights along the way. The first destination in Lower Harbour was the breakwater, followed by a stroll through the old cemetery on the way up to the lookout. After making their way back to the boats, and having lunch, it was time to get underway again. Jim and Bill had to get back to Lewisporte, so they headed south, while the other two boats went north through the narrows, and made a quick turn in the ocean, before returning back through Lower and Upper Harbours, turning left, and sailing through Black Island Tickle on the way to Luke’s Arm, in Cottlesville, to spend the night at anchor.

After breakfast on the hook, the boats departed for a little tour of the area, including Puzzle Harbour, the channel south of Cottle’s Island, and then across Cottle’s Bay on to Intricate Harbour for lunch. There hadn’t been much wind since Friday, but for the rest of the journey back to Lewisporte the bay was like a mirror, and the sun smiled down out of a blue sky. Once all were secured at their docks, the remaining food was carried into the clubhouse, and a delicious supper was put together from just some of what hadn’t been eaten during the weekend.

The three trips had served their purpose well. All involved got to know the bay a little better, and learned how to pick up a mooring, raft several boats together, anchor for the night, tow a dinghy, plan a multi-day voyage, and practice both day and night navigation. There were also some good times and good meals along the way. With everyone intending to get their boats into the water much earlier in 2014, some trips even further from the marina are likely for next season.

Just about back home and we met up with a Bayfield 36.

Our route - travelled clockwise.

A Good Day Sailing

On Friday, August 2, 2013, before 0930, three boats went out for a day sailing. Peter (another one) and Jim were aboard a Bayfield 25, Steve was solo on his Challenger 24, and I was single-handing Serenity.

Departing Lewisporte

Jim is fairly new to sailing, and restored a 1960s era Alberg 22 after he semi-retired. This is his first season using it. Peter has been sailing about 70 years, and taught most of the sailors at our marina, as well as many in Ontario during the years he lived there. This was an informal training session for Jim. Steve has not been sailing all that long either, but he gets out on his boat fairly often, usually alone, so he is a competent sailor.

Shelby Lynn and The Dog House

This was my first long trip aboard my PY23 since 2008, and I'd made a few changes since then. I was also towing my dinghy, and that was a new experience for her. Winds were light as we departed, but I managed 3+ kts for a while. This didn't last long, however, and we had to fire up our engines to keep us moving.

We had no set plans, just to follow the wind, and be home around dark. We considered going overnight, but the forecast was calling for showers on Saturday. That will have to wait for another time.

We were sailing in the Bay of Exploits, which is contained within Notre Dame Bay, on the NE coast of the island of Newfoundland. This is where I grew up boating. The waters are fairly sheltered, with many islands, and lots of safe harbours. The Lewisporte Yacht Club has about a dozen moorings scattered around, making it convenient to stop for a meal, or a night.

The water is deep too, and you can sail right up to some cliffs. There are a few hazards, but keeping an eye to the charts will keep you in safe waters.

Sailing by Shag Cliff Island

We stopped for lunch around 1300 at Western Harbour, South Samson Island. It is a very sheltered harbour, and so popular that the LYC has 4 moorings in there. We rafted up on one. There was already a 40' sailboat on another, and a large power boat came in just before we left and took the third. I forgot to get pictures while I was in there, but did just as we exited.

Motorsailing out of Western Harbour

From this point on the wind began to fill in from the east. We tacked our way through the tickle between North and South Samson, emerging on the other side to about 10 kts. Serenity peaked at about 5 kts, with the inflatable in tow, and I was pleased with that.

We had a good time sailing across the run to Intricate Harbour. This was my first time entering this cove, and it lived up to its name. There are rocks and small islands all the way in, so you have to snake your way around. No hidden surprises, however, so if you don't see it, you are probably ok. This is where we had supper.

Rafted up for supper

We could feel the wind picking up while we were on a friend's mooring, and looked forward to a good sail back home. Steve switched to a smaller sail there, and I should have reefed either my main or my jib at that time too, as it had become quite a bit rougher than we had experienced up to now.

Intricate Harbour

After exiting Intricate Harbour at around 1900, it was a fairly straight shot back home down the main shipping channel into Lewisporte, called Sloop Run. Winds were generally on the beam most of the way, at about 15 kts. There were lots of whitecaps, and a fairly big chop building with the 5+ NM fetch across to the nearest shore. There were no pictures from here on. Handling the conditions did not allow for such distractions.

I put up the main, and decided against using the full jib, so I ran up close to shore for some shelter, and put in the reef. It was an ugly jib, but it was smaller. I need to find a better way to reef it. The unused portion at the bottom was dancing around all the way in. At least the boat was balanced, heeled over no more than 15 degrees, and was often hitting 6 kts, towing and with the outboard still in the water. I saw over 7 kts on the GPSr at times, as we caught a wave to surf.

This is where I most enjoyed the trip. It was my first time in such conditions aboard my PY23, and I was pleased how she handled it. Being the smaller boat, I could not keep up with the other two, but we were comfortable, and making good time for us. About 1/3 of the way down the winds started to drop out, and my speed went from 6 to 5, so I let her drift while I rearranged the lines to switch back to the full jib. This was also a good time to lift the engine out. We gained our knot of speed back.

By the time we were halfway down the run, daylight was diminishing. This was part of our plan, as we wanted to give the new guys some experience sailing at night. I was well behind by now, so the Bayfield came back to check on me, and also to extend their time on the water. It wasn't long before I was being pushed around by waves I couldn't see, and following the lights which guide ships into the harbour.

Our route - clockwise

Then, like a switch turned off, the wind was gone. I had to drop the outboard back into the water and motor the rest of the way in, with the stars overhead. It was close to 2330 by the time I was secured to the dock, and after midnight before the boat was put away, and I was ready to head home. I could take some more days like that...