Ten months we’ve been here on the East Coast. Ten almost eleven! Not even a full year. Not even a full compliment of four seasons. There are days when it seems we’ve been here forever, it feels that comfortable, and days when it feels as though we just moved in. Another month has flown by…so much so that two birthday notices flashed across my screen and I actually thought the computer had gone crazy. Why was I being notified of August birthdays when it was still July? I should have a notice that says ‘it’s August you fool’!
We continue enjoying a fairly active social life here by the sea with almost weekly invites. Francois has found himself a fun group of guys who brunch bi-weekly at a local golf club. They call themselves the Romeo’s…an acronym…not really sure of the meaning…maybe Retired Old Men Eating Out…or something like that. There’s also a yoga group that meets weekly ‘just down the road’. I can’t quite count myself as a regular but maybe once the ‘busy’ stops or at least slows down and the beautiful summer weather fades away I’ll feel more motivated.
It’s been another mixed bag of a month with more house projects. I’ve secured a company to replace our roof. We knew when we purchased last October that the roof would need replacing within three years so decided to proceed sooner than later…just in case…and before we start seeing any obvious signs of damage.
Francois has begun construction of our Crow’s Nest…a combination she-shed/he-shed/storage/green house. Yes, I know. That’s a lot of activity for one little edifice but thanks to our time spent aboard R.E.D. we’ve become very adept at space economy. There are some who actually live full time in less space and to put things in perspective, it will be just half the foot print of R.E.D. by the Sea, weighing it at 12’ x 13’. It’ll be a fun project for the fall and winter months.
I’ve found a local contractor to do the concrete pour for the base of the shed now that Francois has completed constructing the formwork.
You know there’s never a shortage of expert opinions and advice or offered help no matter how we might think we have everything under control and for this project, we’ve heard it all.
There was an old tree, partly on our property, but mostly on our neighbour’s land whose branch could pose a future risk to our little shed so with permission, Francois cut her down…the roof-crashing menacing part…just in case.
The Limb That Was
August was also our annual ‘cousins weekend’ when fourteen of us got together in three cabins at Falls Lake for three days of fun and family time.
More guests from away have decided to visit our little paradise by the sea. Even though our 24’x26’ abode has just one main bedroom and one guest room we’ve managed to fit in an overflow of bodies without too much trouble.
For a future road trip we purchased a tent. Two people…two person tent…right? Not according to the-soldier-who-camped for a living. So I present you with our latest acquisition. The tent that could house a village. Eight-person…referred to as Papa’s Bouncy Castle. But we’ll be so comfortable, he said.
The weekend in question, our place was bursting at the seams with nine over-night guests. It turned out to be one of the best times to date at R.E.D. by the Sea with tent pitching, hanging with good friends, grandbaby sitting, a super delicious fish dinner and home fries with individual cheesy omelettes for breakfast all cooked by our friend Tim.
Two Guys and a Tent
Holy cow! Can this guy cook!
One day during the visit, he picked apples from one of our trees and while Francois prepared the fruit he whipped up some very flakey pastry for a delicious apple pie. We all agreed it was the best we had eaten.
Having out of town guests means we get to play tourist, visiting popular sites near our own back yard.
Even for those who would rather follow the road less travelled, a stop to Peggy’s Cove is a must…and standing in line at Dee Dee’s for ice cream is not optional.
Where Tourists Gather
We have no trouble at all finding an excuse to drive along the shore to visit Lunenburg with its colourful buildings, UNESCO status and shops selling local treasures.
And we were lucky to be able to see the magnificent Bluenose II, in port for the day.
The four hour deep sea fishing trip we took was as much a treat for us as it was for our friends.
Dinner (photo cred: Beth Burlingame)
And amongst the four of us, we caught a bucket full. Mostly cod and mackeral which the second mate filleted for us.
Second Mate at Work
We brought home our bounty from the sea in two large bags…the cod we devoured…easily feeding our nine guests, and the mackeral I prepared for the freezer…15 packages with four filets each. Not too shabby for a few hours of off-shore fun.
Where Problems are Solved
Evenings, this month especially, we spent sitting outside in front of our fireplace, sipping and chatting into the wee hours.
Speaking of sipping, I’ve abandoned the meal delivery service replacing it with buying our food from local markets and farm co-op services but I found this cool online wine and whiskey delivery service. The monthly choices are curated by five sommeliers and so far we’ve been quite happy with their selection.
Birthdays come and go without much notice for us but when the Wildling arrives early in the morning on Francois’ big day with a bouquet of confetti-filled balloons for his Papa, we have to take notice. The heart-warming thoughtful gesture will have us picking confetti out of the floor boards for months to come. Like the gift that keeps on giving long after the special day has passed.
So there you have it…all caught up with our antics for another month. Looking ahead to October, it could be another wild ride of activities…more guests expected …and…you may even read about how we actually took a vacation. That’s right! Vacation. Not to be confused with Stay-cation.
A couple of years ago I posted on social media about creating an existance as free as possible from stress, devoid of financial worries, one that embraces simplicity. A life from which we didn’t feel the need to escape. So when we started to plan this trip, instead of being excited about getting away, it became one of those head scratching moments when we wondered why. Why go away at all? Then the lights came on and we realized we had reached our goal.
We will vacate regardless because in part, it’ll be a vacation with an important purpose…
…and it involves R.E.D. …
Check back with us next month for an update.
What a month this has been! A mixed bag indeed!
It’s been easy (maybe too easy) to combine a lot of activites into each day, making for a rather busy life.
St. Margaret’s Bay
We continue to explore our sailing ground as much as we can. Since there are SO many projects in the works it’s good to know we are just a five minute drive away from R.E.D., although there are times when I really miss living in her twenty-six feet with her teeny tiny galley, and manual pump sink and no head room for Francois, lying in bed at night with the forward hatch open, looking at the stars, and that first cup of coffee sitting on the misty moisty cockpit watching the sunrise,
A Wildling Day
Visitors from near and far, big, small and in between have come and gone making the last thirty-one days fly by at warp speed.
Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo
We’ve breakfasted, caféed, dined out, enjoyed special concerts and events with new friends and old.
Duck pond continues to be the place for new feathered families – we’ve counted three rafts of ducklings so far. And these three girls, who join each day for breakfast, seemed to have adopted us as well.
Our weekly market day is always fun where we can find unique treasures from local artisans like this bit of garden bling now hanging in one of our apple trees. And while I’m on the subject of trees, we’ve discovered at least three other apples trees, a cherry, pear, and quince tree as well.
Fresh produce too from our market visits. It makes me feel good knowing we’re supporting local businesses. Recently I added a fisherman from the other end of the province to my list of suppliers. He just delivered ten pounds of fresh haddock. Do you know how much ten pounds is? I sure didn’t! We’ll be eating fish for a while…but it is so fresh and so good!
Other than a whole lot of gardening, we haven’t done a lot to change the look of RED by the Sea…just some patio lights to pretty her up after dark…
…and how about this red door? Still two more entry doors to paint but I love the splash of colour every time we come home.
For our guest visits we did some sprucing up of our master bedroom adding some framed photos and new linens.
Little proud moment here…when we went to pick up the photo prints for the bedroom, Atlantic Photo had chosen this one as their ‘photo of the day’ including a beautiful enlargement. Yay!…but honestly, it’s really hard to mess up a picture of the beautiful picturesque Peggy’s Cove.
Be Our Guest
I have to say the highlight of the month was our Happy Hour….a sort of house warming. One neighbour we met has contact with most of the surrounding folks so I enlisted her help to pass the word. And did she ever pass the word. I had a call from a neighbour earlier in the day offering her driveway for parking. I mentioned that I had no idea if anyone was coming and she said “oh, their coming all right!”
…and come they did! Some we had already met. Some we had crossed paths with on walks. Some we had never seen before wandering up our little grassy lane way.
Happy Hour turned into very happy hours, eating, drinking, swapping stories, warming our little RED by the Sea like never before and making us feel so very welcome.
…all three of us.
Now you’re all caught up. Must go. We have another project in the works. Be back soon with more news from the crew of R.E.D.
Finally! a post about R.E.D. Not about RED by the Sea. Not about beaches, pretty scenery or gardens or guests. Just R.E.D. This is after all a blog called sailingred.com isn’t it?
Yes our lives have changed considerably since moving to the east coast. Our past life basically revolved around boating during spring/summer and part of fall with the rest of the year holed up in our little condo planning our next adventure and dreaming about being back on the boat the following year. Even our social life was primarily boat-centred.
Here, living in the country, our lives have become much more diversified. Yes, there is yard work needed but we have inherited lovely three-season perennial gardens which are pretty much self-sustaining from the previous owner. We enjoy a thriving social life thanks to wonderful neighbours.
…but hey! I said this post is all about R.E.D. didn’t I?
We’ve created the perfect place for her during the winter months with space for Francois’ Crow’s Nest and extra parking for guests (you can read all about that heavy machinery and stuff by clicking here)
After a very quick ‘putting to bed’ last fall she really needed a good cleaning inside and out but that’s all done now with her usual two coats of wax and belly painted with a new layer of anti-fouling.
Hubbards Cove. Photo cred. Marinas.com
Her new home during boating season is a well protected cove just six minutes from RED by the Sea and quick access to St Margaret’s Bay and beyond (more about how we almost didn’t launch this year here).
The ramp access at the marina makes it super easy to launch with more than enough water depth even at low tide.
Most of the rigging was done at home first so that once we arrived we just needed to fix the lines and step the mast.
Back ‘Yard’ View
Our finger is located on the inside with port docking (yay! my favourite orientation) with an awesome view off the bow of another little ten-boat marina across the cove.
The Boat Yard
The yard is small but well maintained by a volunteer base and at the top of the road is the best little cafe serving fresh pastries and breakfast paninnis.
As I mentioned above, our boating lives have changed and it feels really good. No longer do we have to drive forever in nasty traffic to spend time with her. Six minutes and we’re there. It feels like our lives are in better balance. Time at home. Time with friends. Time to enjoy visitors. Time to explore. Time on the water whenever we choose. There are still at least two big adventures in the planning and this year we’ll be venturing out beyond St. Margaret’s Bay with new charts in hand and can’t wait to sail along the coast this fall (Nova Scotia’s very best season) to catch all the changing colours.
It feels so good to be back on the water. To feel the movement of the sea under R.E.D.’s belly. To move our bodies in ways that have been dormant for the past few months. To watch as all the boat bruises appear after a day of frisky sailing. To breath in the salt air and smell the sea. There’s nothing quite like it in the whole wide world.
Good to be Back