SPRINGING FORWARD

SPRINGING FORWARD


My goodness gracious this month went fast!  Time for a little update from the crew because aside from some fun things that have happened this month, we have some very good news to share with you (inserting my happy dance here)

Family Visit

First off, we had family from Quebec visit for a few days and are very proud to say we managed well hosting five extra people without any fatalities.  Not to say this will be a common occurance.  It was tight but cozy.  We gave up our rather large bedroom (sleeping bags and blow up mattresses installed) to take over our guest room (tiny tiny).  The biggest revelation was that when we expanded the single day bed to make room for the two of us we realized it actually converts to a kingly sized bed.  Yay! for any extra-tall guests.

Peggy’s Cove

Day trips were a fun way to play tourist.  Walks to Gramma Beach, Peggy’s Cove for a romp on the rocks and a ferry ride from Dartmouth across Halifax Harbour for some touring of our big home village.

Halifax Skyline

This month has been wicked for storms.  Three nor’easters blew through within a five day period.  Predictable power outage for sure but just once for a few hours for us and it was back on in time for our morning coffee.

Nor’easter #3

We’re thinking that if this wind direction keeps up much longer we may loose our big (about 40 feet we figure) evergreen.  With every storm she leans more and more to the south-west.  Luckily when she goes there is no danger of harming anything and with the loss, our view of the sea will improve.

Our Evergreen

The last nor’easter brought snow and a decent pile of it too.  First real dump of the white stuff since December.  Beware the Ides of March indeed! It slightly eroded our faith in Shubenacadie Sam and Lucy the Lobster who predicted an early spring but this couldn’t last long.  Could it?

Nor’easter #4

It’s what we lovingly called our nor’Easter.  Our planned Easter egg hunt may be a bit tricky  but you know what they say?  If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.

Halifax Burger Week

We’ve been taking in some of the local activites too.  The Saltbox Brewery’s Irish St. Patrick’s Day brunch was delicious and it gave us a chance to try out a couple of pints of their Jeezus Murphy Irish Red.  The second gathering of South Shore Naturalists hosted the program coordinator from Canada Bird Studies who spoke about the endangered Piping Plover.  And of course why wouldn’t we support Feed Nova Scotia with a meal from one of the 125 participating restaurants for Halifax Burger Week….especially after filing our first Nova Scotia tax returns, we felt like a little celebrating was in order.

Garden Plan

Every week or so there are small improvements here and there.  Francois continues his outdoor garden purge of unwanted plants. We’ve started to see new growth pushing through the sun-warmed earth….that was until the latest storm which brought a healthy snow covering.  Poor things.  I’m playing permaculturalist to draft a rough plan for this year’s vegetable garden. Three more birdfeeders have been hung.  Our favourite duck couple, Harold and Maude have started to come back to Duck Pond more consistently to dine and hopefully nest. 

Inside, undercounter lights make cooking up deliciousness in my galley much more enjoyable.  Sunshades for all of our main floor windows have been ordered.  Privacy is not an issue but when the sun shines…especially through our south-facing windows…it can be quite blinding.  We also took advantage of the provincial government’s power-saving initiative and ordered installation of a heat pump.  

So here’s the big news that has put a little extra ‘spring’ in our step these days.  No, not because of the general fine weather.  No, not because of a very generous tax return from jumping provinces.  And not because we are still very much in love with our life by the sea….although all of the above is true.  

Remember the last time you checked in with us and we told you we had decided not to splash R.E.D. this year? When you have an extra minute you can read about it here.

Well!!!! Let me tell you about our latest brush with Eastern hospitality, generosity and all ‘round niceness.  We saw a sign down the road advertising landscaping and earth moving services.  

Our New Best Friend

We called the guy, Johnny was his name, to ask for a quote on making a few changes so we could reposition the boat, fill in a few low spots and add some gravel to the driveway. He promised to drop by after work, around supper time he said to see what we needed.  And he did.  And it happened to be my birthday.  Super nice guy.  Told us what was needed.  Gave us a responable price for the work.  And then he casually asked…wait for it… if we needed a place for the boat this summer. Let me repeat that..do we need a place for the boat this summer?  It seems he owns a dock finger at the village marina just down the road (six kilometres to be precise).  We had checked out that place last summer but were told all spaces were privately owned and the only way we could use the place was if someone wanted to either sell or rent to us and that was unlikely.  Well it so happens that Johnny sold his boat.  He told us it could be ours for the summer if we wanted. Happy happy HAPPY birthday to me!

Hubbard’s Cove

So many ideas for the summer now spinning around in our heads.  Thinking…cycling to the Hubbard’s Farmers’ Market next to the marina (when it opens for the season of course).  Picking up a few weekend supplies, then continuing on down the road to spend some quality time on our little water chalet.  And since it’s that much closer to the mouth of St. Margaret’s Bay we will be that much closer to new sailing grounds yet to be discovered. 

See what I mean?

happy dance!

SPRING PREP: MY Engine Maintenance

SPRING PREP: MY Engine Maintenance

 

..OUR boat…

…HIS trailer…

…MY engine…

We have a lot of fun joking

about this rather fair division of ownership.

 

Francois can’t take the boat on the water without my permission.

And I can’t take the boat anywhere on land without his permission.

 

So today to make MY engine ready for the season

we performed one of the

3 year/300 hours maintenance procedures…

 

…the gear…
 

…upper drain screw removed.

 

 

…lower drain screw removed.

 

 

 

 

…and a lot of yucky crap came pouring out.
How’s that for technical jargon?
 
 
 

Gear case lubricant replacement pumped back in.

 
 
…and just in time!
 
 
…thunder clouds rolled in…
 
 
 
…and the rains came…
 
 

 

…thankful for that little breath of air while we waited out the storm.
 
 
 
 

 

 

PATIENCE

PATIENCE

A visit to R.E.D. for a little more boat work
and the club grounds are starting to look more like Spring.
We are encouraged…
…barbecues are ready for some action…

 

…and picnic tables ready for the crowds…
I don’t think we are too unlike most boaters
who by the time winter coats are no longer needed,
are impatient for the season to begin.
We moan about the cold that seems to hang in the air far too long.
We get so excited about one day of warm weather
and think that this is the way it will be from now until next fall.
We tend to forget that the transition from spring to summer is a slow
and gentle process, a constant tug of give and take.
I looked back at our season last year
and was surprised at how different it was then…
(if you click the links below you can see for yourself)
…around this same time last year there was still ice on the lake
and the water levels were much higher.
…and by mid-May this is what we faced.

…now, at least for the moment, the grounds are dry,
and in the next few weeks these docks will be back in the water…
…and we’ll be there, ready,
just a few feet out,
back on dock 64.