Lunenburg Hospitality

Lunenburg proved everything we could wish in the way of amenities: Two grocery stores, a big hardware store, Laundromat, library, free public WiFi, and plenty of dinghy dockage.

Zartman- Lunenburg, NS
Three cabins, two fishing boats, and a skinny little stretch of water provided the entire New Harbor experience.Danielle Zartman

Lunenburg proved everything we could wish in the way of amenities. Two grocery stores, a big hardware store, Laundromat, library, free public WiFi, and plenty of dinghy dockage. While I went off one day in search of propane, Danielle filled water jugs at the dinghy dock and the girls played among the launching rails and cradles of the shipyard. Not one but four people stopped to ask whether we needed anything or a ride anywhere or whether we’d like to come over for a gam. One of these, a Finnish artist named Ben, invited us to his house for showers and laundry, and took me to Bridgewater, way up the La Have river, in his car to top up our empty propane bottle.

Since it was rainy when we went for our big day ashore, we took Ganymede in to a public day dock to avoid getting soaked rowing the dinghy in. Returning hours later, we found that the wind had shifted and was blowing a rollicking fetch straight into Ganymede’s transom. It was impossible to back out against that, so we waited until further in the evening to escape to the quiet of the anchorage.

It was calm on Monday, and we spent the morning shopping and filling a few last water bottles, then I left Danielle and the girls at the library while I fooled with the self-steering vane mount. Our exploratory attempt to use it, and some subsequent research on the web had revealed that though it can be mounted off-center, it has to be in line with the axis of the boat. For the thousandth time I cursed the convention that makes builders round the transom of boats instead of making them square and plumb, the way nature intended, as I shimmed and jury-rigged to make the mount line up the way it needs. Once that was done and the girls back aboard we hove up the anchor and made for Mahone Bay.

Even though it was late in the afternoon we needed to get along, so that on Tuesday we could make it to a safe haven before a nasty-looking rain system arrived. It proved a delightful day for a sail, the wind force 3 on the stern, and we gybed leisurely around one island and another as we made for New Harbor, one of the tiniest holes we’ve even anchored in, but secure and quainter than a postcard.

It’s always a treat to sail onto the anchor, and once you make it gracefully in you usually wish more people had been watching. The whole place was deserted, though I have no doubt more people watched us motor out in the calm next morning than watched us sail in the night before. We left at earliest dawn, since the bad weather was supposed to arrive at 9:00 AM, and were snugly anchored in Prospect harbor at just that time.

The system was a little late, which gave us time to explore Pig Island by dinghy. There wasn’t much ashore but moss and rocks and rotting trees—not a single pig, to Damaris’ endless disappointment. She had meant to catch one and tame it.

Searching for the pigs on Pig Island

When a fine drizzle began in the afternoon we built a fire in the wood stove (in June!), opened portholes to get fresh air, and scrubbed the sole and bilges thoroughly. If we neglect to do this once every week or two, the boat begins to smell musty. The heat from the fire dried everything out nicely, and we went to bed feeling fresh and dry and warm, in spite of the wind that had begun to howl outside and the rain, which came pelting down in torrents. When we leave here we’ll try to get across the Halifax shipping lanes to Jeddore Harbor, the next quiet stop on our journey North and East.

We are the Zartman family: Ben & Danielle, and our three girls, Antigone, Emily and Damaris. We created this blog to chronicle our sailing adventures on Ganymede, a home-finished 31-foot gaff-rigged cutter, which has been our home since 2009, when we sailed from San Francisco, California, to the Sea of Cortez, then down along the Central American coast. Currently in Newport, Rhode Island, we plan to sail to Canada, the U.K., and beyond this summer.