A tranquil day on the Strait of Canso
After diligently tuning “Celtic Kiss” for a day of light air sailing, I quietly slipped beyond the safe confines of Pirate Harbour and pointed the bow for the tranquil shores of Cape Breton Island and a little known archipelago in Inhabitants Bay.
Though sailing solo, I was not wanting for company as a school of dolphins came by to visit. Most of the dolphins were either as large or larger than my 16ft open sailboat “Celtic Kiss” and my presence did not deter the more inquisitive ones from coming right up beside the boat to inspect me, the intruder.
A short time later I found myself abeam of Bear Head at the edge of Cape Breton when a light breeze filled the colourful sails of “Celtic Kiss”. Upon reaching C 16 I altered course toward the archipelago and left mainland Canada in my wake.
The warm refreshing breeze gently caress the sails while the hull slips through Inhabitants Bay toward Rabbit Island. The original plan was to beach on the Island and go for a hike but opted to enjoy the steady breeze and the swells of the North Atlantic. Thus a circumnavigation of the uninhabited island became my new motive. The Cruising Guide of Nova Scotia states
“ Stretching between Rabbit Island and the mainland, cruisers may negotiate Cary Passage during slack tide on a northwesterly course between two rock outcrops. ...While soundings continually indicated a minimum of 2.5-3.7 metres (8-12ft) the channel is extremely narrow with submerged rocks on both sides. Discretion is advised.”
In order to accomplish this I hugged the island until the very narrow Cary Passage came into view. Upon transiting the passage a southeast breeze gracefully carried me on a three-mile leg to buoy C11 when my enchantment with the openness of Chedabucto Bay became too overwhelming to ignore. This course soon brought “Celtic Kiss” beyond the safe waters of the Strait of Canso and far into the mouth of Chedabucto Bay.