We made an early departure from our little fishing enclave and set out to cross the Bay of Chaleur and enter the province of New Brunswick. We've been in Quebec since leaving Ottawa almost exactly a month ago. Our originally planned destination was Miramichi which would have placed us in a good position to reach Charlottetown, PEI the next day, but that plan didn't last too long. Over night the wind had shifted to the NE and was kicking up a pretty uncomfortable chop, and we were completely exposed to it all across the bay. Once we hit New Brunswick, we planned to stay east and head down towards PEI, but that would leave us exposed to the weather for another 60+ miles (7-8hrs). Alternately, we could go down the inside of the Chaleur Bay for about 10 miles and cut through Shippagan Bay, then the next day follow it's channel through and out to the east coast. Decisions, decisions.
When we were still about 4 miles off the point of New Brunswick I picked up a boat ahead on the radar, and while I was fussing with getting a lock on them, we got a call from Ke'Ola Kai. They had spotted us on the Marauder's Map (AIS), and it turns out they were the boat on my radar. They were heading to the same place as us, and I told them we were planning to cut the day short and duck into Shippagan. You can enter Shippigan from the north, then exit south without causing much of a detour, but it turns out there is a lift bridge that doesn't provide enough clearance for their mast. They could go in just like us, but would then have to backtrack 10-20 miles to get back on the east shore again, so they had no choice but to forge ahead.
So we headed in while Ke'Ola Kai kept hammering away. The seas subsided a bit as we picked up some shelter, and once in the bay we found a good anchoring spot. The land here is very low - hardly more than a few sand dunes - so we still have the wind but at least no waves.
A couple of hours later we got a radio call from Ke'OlaKai who had once again picked us up on the Maurader's Map and could see us in Shippagan. They confirmed that stopping short was a good idea - seas were still bad and they had 30 miles left to go.
We hope for better weather tomorrow.....