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Old 27-02-2021, 06:36   #1
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West Coast of Cape Breton Island

Does anyone have suggestions of harbours to visit on the west coast of Cape Breton? Are there inlets to be avoided in a small sailing boat in certain conditions? Thanks in advance; any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 27-02-2021, 07:11   #2
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Re: West Coast of Cape Breton Island

Cape Breton Island's Cruising Information Resource


https://cruisingclub.org/book/nsguide


https://ca.binnacle.com/p11330/Insid...duct_info.html
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Old 27-02-2021, 08:04   #3
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Re: West Coast of Cape Breton Island

Excellent resources. Thank you. Where is your home port in Nova Scotia?
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Old 28-02-2021, 03:31   #4
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Re: West Coast of Cape Breton Island

Merigomish Harbour, NS, the white boat (dot) in the centre of this Google map
https://goo.gl/maps/j9QTaXPuhrevTeEo8


Though I will be moving to the Grand Lake, NB area.
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Old 28-02-2021, 11:07   #5
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Re: West Coast of Cape Breton Island

Here's the major harbours, south to north:

Mabou - stay on the north side of channel on the way in. I like to go all the way up to the floating docks by the village, although there are lots of places to anchor. Red Shoe pub is a short walk, as is grocery store. There are amazing hiking trails between mabou coal mines and inverness.

Port Hood is an option, although I've never stopped there myself. Same with Inverness but draft may be sketchy.

Cheticamp is awesome, tie up at lighthouse wharf if it is available. several restaurants within walking distance plus hardware and grocery.

Pleasant Bay is also worthwhile.

You should be able to get into the harbours in any weather in which you'd comfortably sail in a small sailing boat. But they all get relatively shallow on the way in, so you might have challenges in a major onshore blow in any of them.
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Old 28-02-2021, 19:50   #6
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Re: West Coast of Cape Breton Island

Thank you for that advice. Thatís just what I was looking for. The charts show shallow waters in most of those inlets, and I can imagine breakers if the wind were against tide. What strength of tidal currents is usual along that coast? Iím planning to bring my trailer sailor from the Great Lakes to Cape Breton some time if COVID-19 gets under control.
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Old 28-02-2021, 19:51   #7
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Re: West Coast of Cape Breton Island

Quote:
Originally Posted by KrazySailing View Post
Merigomish Harbour, NS, the white boat (dot) in the centre of this Google map
https://goo.gl/maps/j9QTaXPuhrevTeEo8


Though I will be moving to the Grand Lake, NB area.
Found it! Thanks.
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Old 01-03-2021, 12:38   #8
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Re: West Coast of Cape Breton Island

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Bairstow View Post
Thank you for that advice. Thatís just what I was looking for. The charts show shallow waters in most of those inlets, and I can imagine breakers if the wind were against tide. What strength of tidal currents is usual along that coast? Iím planning to bring my trailer sailor from the Great Lakes to Cape Breton some time if COVID-19 gets under control.
Yeah it's definitely possible to get something messy with a big northwest wind on a falling tide. But in the summer, the wind is mostly south west. I've been over that side of the island many times, and i haven't had an issue with that. i'd watch out for a strong northwest gale which wouldnt be common in the summer. I imagine you'd have no problem whatsoever on 8 out of 10 days or better in july / August and early Sept.

Also, avoid the Suete winds on the west side. Suete is local Acadian for south east. this happens when there is high pressure over the gulf, and warm low pressure air pushing in from the atlantic, forcing a blast of air down from the highlands in a southeasterly direction. No worries about seas as it is offshore, but the gusts can be exceptional. My wife and i got caught in one about 7 years ago, in our hunter 33 monohull that we had at the time. We had sailed around the top of the island, warm and heavy overcast on the northeast side, and saw clear sky to the west once we came around money point. We took the sails down and motored from Cape St lawrence south into cheticamp. The wind was strong enough to give us a heel angle in excess of 20 degrees on bare poles, and when the biggest gust hit the water things would white out from salt water. not really dangerous but quite the wind. They are fairly predicable and thus to be avoided but not to be worried about. You probably don't want to be in a trailer sailer in a Suete


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Old 01-03-2021, 14:39   #9
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Re: West Coast of Cape Breton Island

Thanks again! I had heard of les suetes; it is good to know how to avoid them.
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Old 01-03-2021, 14:41   #10
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Re: West Coast of Cape Breton Island

And thanks for your comments about weather in August/September, as that is likely when I would make this trip.
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Old 01-03-2021, 16:31   #11
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Re: West Coast of Cape Breton Island

You are very welcome, hope you manage to get here, and have a wonderful trip. The scenery, sailing, and people are wonderful.
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