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Old 08-30-2016, 07:58 AM   #1
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Down East Loop

We just completed the Down East Loop.

I kept up day-by-day blog posts on this web site.

Overall, we're both very glad we did this trip, and in some ways glad we won't have to do it again. We now know which parts we'd like to go back to and which ones we'd just as soon not.

I think the Down East Loop is more challenging than the Great Loop in a lot of ways. Much of it is very remote, and along the St. Lawrence, Gaspé and Northeast Nova Scotia, protected harbors are few and far between. Weather, currents and sea temperature are a lot less forgiving. This year that worked in our favor; while the rest of the country scorched, we had exactly two days when the temperature reached 90 F.

Another challenge is the calendar. There's so much to see, and so many places we'd like to spend more time.
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Old 08-30-2016, 08:34 AM   #2
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Congratulations! Looking forward to reading your blog. It's a trip I'm considering after the Great Loop.

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Old 08-30-2016, 09:36 AM   #3
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Congratulations and thanks for documenting your trip for others to read. It should be interesting and informative.
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Old 08-30-2016, 10:32 AM   #4
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Terrific trip, I've done about 2/3 of it piecemeal on a combination of boats over the years. Wouldn't mind doing it all in one fell swoop someday.

We Love the Maritimes! So much so we have spent several weeks up there the past two summers car/tent camping. Next on our boating bucket list is a circumnavigation of Newfoundland, which we did by car this year and is spectacular.

So you went outside around Cape Breton, or around and down through the beautiful Bras d'Or or through the Canso?
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Old 08-30-2016, 01:36 PM   #5
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Thanks for sharing, enjoyed reading it, although I wish the blog software had a feature when blog is done to place in reading from beginning to end, but that's just me.
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Old 08-30-2016, 03:08 PM   #6
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We did did the downeast loop a few years ago and really enjoyed it too.
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Old 08-30-2016, 03:13 PM   #7
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The challenge is that the ideal boat for the outside and around to the St. Lawrence is very different than the one for the Champlain and those areas. We do intend to go up and around and come down the St. Lawrence to Lake Ontario at some point but then likely to return on the same route.
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Old 08-30-2016, 04:14 PM   #8
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Absolutely enjoyed the Downeast Loop. Would love to do it again. Of course would love to be able to stretch out the calendar as we entered just behind the ice and left just as the fall weather was approaching.
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Old 08-30-2016, 04:28 PM   #9
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Absolutely enjoyed the Downeast Loop. Would love to do it again. Of course would love to be able to stretch out the calendar as we entered just behind the ice and left just as the fall weather was approaching.
That's our approach to the loop, leaving NYC just after the canals were opened on May 1 (we left on May 2) and leaving Chicago around October 10.
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Old 08-30-2016, 05:52 PM   #10
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Thanks for sharing, enjoyed reading it, although I wish the blog software had a feature when blog is done to place in reading from beginning to end, but that's just me.
It's not just you, it's a pet peeve of mine as well. I would like to see a website that could do that.

What I do (my wife calls it a "blog" but I don't") is post day by day in Microsoft Word and then copy that day's account to Facebook. At the end of the trip, I will go back and add photos, do some editing, add an epilog and eventually print it in a two column, back to back book. I also post the completed book to the Internet.

I had the first book laser printed in color at Staples and it was very nice, but $1.00 per page. I can laser print them at home back to back in black and white cheap for friends or just to remember my tips by.
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Old 08-30-2016, 07:25 PM   #11
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Thanks for sharing, enjoyed reading it, although I wish the blog software had a feature when blog is done to place in reading from beginning to end, but that's just me.

I agree. It's frustrating that none of the usual blogging software supports that.

The best work around I've come up with on Blogger is to set it up so there is only one blog entry/article per page, then a "Previous" and "Next" button at the end. Then you can go back in the archives and click on something like the beginning of our Downeast Loop trip, then just click "next" at the end of each entry and it will take you to the next chronological posting. That way you can step though in sequence without getting dizzy going back and forth.
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Old 08-30-2016, 07:25 PM   #12
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Congratulations. Look forward to reading your blog.
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Old 08-30-2016, 07:32 PM   #13
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Went and read the blog, sounds like the objective was to do it as fast as possible and explore as little as possible. Why?

Anyway, I strongly recommend heading back to the Maritimes someday and stopping to smell the roses. You missed a lot (both scenically and culturally), even in places you did stop.
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Old 08-30-2016, 08:51 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by caltexflanc View Post
So you went outside around Cape Breton, or around and down through the beautiful Bras d'Or or through the Canso?
We went through Canso, and didn't get to do Bras d'Or. That was one of the places we wished we'd had more time for.

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Thanks for sharing, enjoyed reading it, although I wish the blog software had a feature when blog is done to place in reading from beginning to end, but that's just me.
Me too. I'm working on it. There's already a link on the front page to the first post. I'll add links to the first post from each region tomorrow. Each post has a link at the bottom to the "next" one, so you can follow along sequentially once you get started.

I personally don't like applications like this that offer a one-size-fits-all solution. Normally I'd hand-code all the HTML but I figured I'd try off the shelf software for a change.

Quote:
Originally Posted by caltexflanc View Post
Went and read the blog, sounds like the objective was to do it as fast as possible and explore as little as possible. Why?

Anyway, I strongly recommend heading back to the Maritimes someday and stopping to smell the roses. You missed a lot (both scenically and culturally), even in places you did stop.
We started early, and it still took 90 days. After the beating we took along Northeastern Nova Scotia, I didn't want to be coming down the rest of the Nova Scotia and Maine coasts too far into September. Sailors love the strong Northeast and Northwest winds that time of year. Not so much in a trawler with soft chines, no sails and not much of a keel.

We skipped a lot of the Maine coast at the end, because we'd done it before and we wanted to spend what's left of the summer with friends and family back home.

In some ways, it was more like a delivery and less like a vacation. Now that we've done it, and know our capabilities and limitations, we're thinking our next trip might be more destination and less journey.

We have done Newfoundland by car (and ferry) in the past. This year had me thinking that the Gaspésie would be a great "loop" to do by car, with a camper, or especially by motorcycle.

The Maritimes are fantastic places to explore, however you get there.
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Old 08-30-2016, 10:24 PM   #15
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WesK - instead of using Word, look into OneNote...can do pages or one continuous page ..can add photos at will
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Old 08-31-2016, 10:17 AM   #16
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It's not just you, it's a pet peeve of mine as well. I would like to see a website that could do that.

What I do (my wife calls it a "blog" but I don't") is post day by day in Microsoft Word and then copy that day's account to Facebook. At the end of the trip, I will go back and add photos, do some editing, add an epilog and eventually print it in a two column, back to back book. I also post the completed book to the Internet.

I had the first book laser printed in color at Staples and it was very nice, but $1.00 per page. I can laser print them at home back to back in black and white cheap for friends or just to remember my tips by.
Why not make an e-book? That's cheap to do and can be marketed if you like. Imagine having a little extra fuel money from amazon every month...

If you want to know how, let me know.

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Old 10-13-2016, 05:46 PM   #17
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Ready to go

So my wife and I just purchased a boat to do the great loop, in researching the trip I came across the down east loop and want to do it. My only concern is the sea conditions between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. I want to stop in St. Pierre. I have an Albin 37 which has a very rounded chine and not a real ocean going vessel. Is it hard to get a two or three day weather window in this area?
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Old 10-13-2016, 06:33 PM   #18
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So my wife and I just purchased a boat to do the great loop, in researching the trip I came across the down east loop and want to do it. My only concern is the sea conditions between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. I want to stop in St. Pierre. I have an Albin 37 which has a very rounded chine and not a real ocean going vessel. Is it hard to get a two or three day weather window in this area?
What is your cruising speed capability? There are many versions of the down east loop and even a demi-loop as I've seen it called. Most boats doing that loop, the size of yours, would take the Northumberland Strait to St. Georges Bay and then through the Strait of Canso. The typical path you're talking about has you crossing about 60 nm from the Magdalen Islands to Newfoundland and a little over 150 nm back from St. Pierre. Windows depend a lot on season and year, but crossing back the way you got there is always an option too, island hopping. Then you would come through the Strait of Canso. I guess I'd have to ask also what conditions are you comfortable in with the Albin. What they consider fairly benign in that area may be more than you like to deal with. Just looking today, things are nice near St. Pierre with 1 meter building as high as 2 tonight and that's got no warning attached. On the other hand as you get close to Nova Scotia there is a warning and it's 2 to 3 meters tomorrow with 30 knot winds. But this is fall and you'd be out of there by now.

I've just looked at that trip but never done it. I'm sure someone who has will jump in.
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Old 10-13-2016, 07:49 PM   #19
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What is your cruising speed capability? There are many versions of the down east loop and even a demi-loop as I've seen it called. Most boats doing that loop, the size of yours, would take the Northumberland Strait to St. Georges Bay and then through the Strait of Canso. The typical path you're talking about has you crossing about 60 nm from the Magdalen Islands to Newfoundland and a little over 150 nm back from St. Pierre. Windows depend a lot on season and year, but crossing back the way you got there is always an option too, island hopping. Then you would come through the Strait of Canso. I guess I'd have to ask also what conditions are you comfortable in with the Albin. What they consider fairly benign in that area may be more than you like to deal with. Just looking today, things are nice near St. Pierre with 1 meter building as high as 2 tonight and that's got no warning attached. On the other hand as you get close to Nova Scotia there is a warning and it's 2 to 3 meters tomorrow with 30 knot winds. But this is fall and you'd be out of there by now.

I've just looked at that trip but never done it. I'm sure someone who has will jump in.
I grew up in Alaska and spent most of my young life boating in those waters, my wife is very good on the water as long as she trusts the boat. We just bought this boat so we are still learning it's capabilities. As you know, sea state depends as much, or more, on frequency as wave height. Albin says the boat will do 14 Kn wide open, it travels nicely at 9.5-10.
I have considered adding para vanes before a trip like this... I will have to see how bad the roll is.
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Old 10-13-2016, 09:02 PM   #20
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Greetings,
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