Skip JayR - I've lived in Nova Scotia
all my life (Cape Breton, and I have family
on the 'South Shore' which is what locals call the coast between Halifax
and Yarmouth). Here's some perspective:
- most people take their boats out in the winter, because of ice (harbours in cape breton freeze up, not so much on the south shore) and weather
(Nor-seaters (cold core
cylonic storms that blow up the coast) and winter gales, often with heavy snow and freezing rain). But I see the occasional boat left in the water, so it can be done.
- Shelburne is a beautiful little community. So is Yarmouth, Liverpool, Bridgewater, Mahone Bay, and a bunch of other even smaller communities along that coast.
- Don't confuse what they call a 'Yacht Club' in a small Nova Scotia village, with what you would consider a yacht club in an urban area. They are a collection of people of all ranges of incomes and backgrounds who come together to cooperate to create a facility to support their love of boating
. Completely unpretentious. You'll find them inclusive, warm and welcoming, and helpful. (I've stayed in Shelburne twice, they were awesome.) Just call or email
the club if you want to know anything specific.
- you are right about the bay of fundy, it's beautiful and unique but a tough place to stay due to the tides.
- The south shore (and eastern shore which is halifax
to Canso, for that matter) have an enourmous number of beautiful and unspoiled harbours, inlets, and islands. But in the summer, the water stays cold and fog
is common (just like Maine), and if you go outside, you are on the rough tough north atlantic.
- If you keep going ENE to the Bras D'or lakes, you'll find warm water that is essentially fog
free. Likewise once you cross through the strait of canso into the Southern Gulf of St Lawrence and Northumberland strait. But the winter is harder there too. So if you winter in the South, you might want to consider cruising in the warmer areas in the summer.
- You will find plenty of Germans in Nova Scotia, most attracted by the low population density (relative to Germany
, but NS is actually Canada's second most densely populated province, beleive it or not) and cheap
unspoiled land. They are well accepted, although often considered odd because many, in the locals' view, buy 'worthless land' then build fences around it and act somewhat reclusive. (The lunenburg area was settled by Germans around 1750 and you'll see lots of influences such as family
names and tancook island sauerkraut)
you'll have to deal with the federal government
to get appropriate visa etc. Immigration Dept is slow and hopelessly bureaucratic (but you're german so you can probably deal with them better than we can
Moorings: for the most part, we just put them wherever we want, unless you are in a busier harbour in which case they are regulated by a local harbourmaster
: you have to have a 'pleasure craft operator certificate'. Started by the Canadian Coast Gaurd to raise revenue through fees
when a previous government cut their budget
(seriuosly, that's true!). Just basic navigation
, you can take a course and write a test online. Not sure if foreigners are exempt.
: Never heard of such a thing, can't imagine there is any such thing in our laws. Once you're here, you;ll uhderstand why. The population density is so low compared that liveaboards are extrememly unlikely to bother anyone at all, let alone enough to fund a political party to pass a law. In fact, people tend to like each other. You'll really notice this when you go ashore - sometimes it can be tough to go anywhere because everyone seems to want to have a conversation and hear your story.