My plans to retrace Captain Cook's unfinished voyage have been postponed a year while I work on the next Marine Diesel Basics book and get my new boat SV Oceandrifter ready for sea.
From Makkovik the “inside passage” north runs between hundreds of islands – what are known as “tickles” here. Every day I’ve been moved steadily northward, making between 25 – 30 miles per day, waiting out contrary winds in secluded anchorages, but keen to get as far north as possible while the settled weather of summer lasts.
Gradually the landscape has changed from low, rounded hills to higher hills covered with spruce trees. When the sun shines, this is one of the most beautiful places in the world.
The small community of Hopedale was the most southerly of the Moravian missions in Labrador and the place where Jonathan and his wife Sybilla (the captain of the voyage of 1811 that I have been celebrating) were baptised in 1786.
As soon as I dropped anchor in the harbour, a home-made plywood dinghy approached with three Inuit boys aboard. “Can we come on your boat? We’ve never been on a sailboat boat,” one of the called out. So aboard they came for a full inspection and slices of homemade ginger and raisin cake.
“Can we come back tomorrow?” They asked. So they did and assisted while I changed the engine oil and then we had tea and more cake and fruit. They asked me to stay a few more days, but the weather was settled and good days for sailing. So it was onwards north again.