My little spaceship has been good to me. After a few days of fog and friends on Mount Desert Island, I headed east again, so good it was to be on the move again. Made it to magical Roque Island that night. A run in the morning on the Great Beach before heading into uncharted territory!
On the way east, I passed The Brothers islands. I tried to keep going, but one of the beauties of sailing alone is that I can do what I want and so I headed my inner call to go explore the island. I turned, motor on, sails down and tied up to the mooring there in about 5 minutes. I rowed in and had a little run around. I love these tiny islands, especially those with a little dwelling like this one had, for scientific research. Magical islands full of boyhood adventures.
Then back to the boat, set sail again past the Cutler Navy Base where they have the huge antenna array to communicate with submarines, to the town of Cutler. Got to Cutler an hour before sunset and while there was no place to anchor despite the guidebook saying otherwise, I was invited to raft up with another sailboat. There was another boat rafted on his other side, so it made three yachts rafted together among huge lobster and other fishing boats. They were two Canadians and we had a good time sharing stories and local knowledge of our countries' cruising areas.
I took a run around Cutler before the sun went down and it was a pleasant little place. I felt I had gone back in time a bit, as I often do in these small Maine communities.
The next day, I made sure I left early so I would have the flooding current with me. Up this far north, it is apparently foolish to try to sail against the tide. So I left in the fog and drizzle, hoping things would clear later on. It eventually did though for a while I could not see any land. I sailed up the west side of Grand Manan as I hoisted the Canadian flag for the first time on the starboard spreaders. The wind had picked up and by that point I was screaming around the northern head at more than 7 knots steady, reefed, sailing through strange and strong currents thinking, so this is Canadian sailing!
I made my way to North Head but when I got there in the 20+ knots of wind, there was scarcely enough room. There did not look like much room to maneuver so I motored back and forth again and again trying to see if I could make it, it seemed like I'd have one chance. Eventually as I got closer, I found a little more room than I had initially seen and slowly, but with enough momentum to keep steerage, I made it into the harbor, with its 22 foot tides. I found a lobster boat to tied up to, as is the custom here, secured the engine and went below for some fist pumps and a sit down. So psyched to have made it to Canada and Grand Manan Island! The whole trip, I'd wondered would I really make it? Or would something turn me back to the west...so I was so happy to have persevered into the unknown to explore some new territory and a country I'd never sailed to. It would be dark soon but I felt like Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin having gotten to the moon yet their moonwalk wasn't for another few hours, if I call remember correctly. They were ready to explore so they asked and were approved for a schedule change. I didn't have endless daylight on my side, since I wasn't on the moon so I'd have to wait for the next day to go beyond the harbor. Canada, hot dang!