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Updates to Nova Scotia Cruising Guide

The Cruising Guide to the Nova Scotia Coast

Updates to the 2020 Edition

30 March 2020

Hurricane Holes

There are many harbours and coves along the coasts of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia that provide good protection in ordinary weather and “summer gales”. However, if a really serious storm is in the forecast you may wish to give consideration one of the following spots that will provide all-around protection and secure docks or good holding ground. Page numbers refer to the harbour descriptions in the 2020 edition of the CCA Cruising Guide to Nova Scotia.

Campobello Island

Head Harbour 44o56.6N 66o55.1W: Head Harbour with its bold surrounding hills offers excellent protection in any wind direction. There is no room to anchor so rafting to fishing boats will be required. A good spot is tucked in on the east side of the inner-most wharf. Ask the fishermen for advice.

St. John River

Saint John Power Boat Club 45o16.2N 66o05.2W: This small private club, located in Marble Cove just to starboard as one enters the Saint John River through the Revering Falls, is most accommodating and provides excellent shelter. The entrance channel is narrow but well-marked. There may only be 5.5' at low water. All boats are in berths so call ahead to see if there is space (506) 642-5233.

Drury Cove 45o20.1N 66o02.3W: This cove is located about 5 miles up the Kennebecasis River from the RKYC on the south shore between Sandy Point and Torryburn Point.  It is completely sheltered in all wind directions.  Recent high-end housing development around its shores has resulted in the placement of moorings which may limit anchoring room.

Jenkins Cove 45o35.6N 65o57.5W, page 27: This cove, located on the north side of Belleisle Bay, has lots of room with shelter from all winds in good muddy bottom.  

Foshay's Creek 45o43.6N 66o04.8W: This is a narrow, heavily treed backwater in the area of Colwell's Creek at the mouth of Washadamoak Lake. The mouth of the creek is very near the wharf at Colwells' Creek.  Seven feet can be carried for almost a mile upstream. The river current runs south at less than 1 knot, stronger in the event of heavy rain upstream.

South Shore

West Head 45o43.6N 66o04.8W, page 47: West Head provides reasonable protection from wind and excellent protection from seas in a breakwater enclosed fisherman’s harbour. It will be filled with large commercial fishing vessels if a storm is forecast so you will need to call the harbormaster at 902-635-4449 to obtain permission to enter and be allocated an appropriate berth, probably rafted alongside a member  the local fleet.

Bridgewater Marina, LaHave River 44o22.3N 64o30.3W, page 62: Bridgewater Marina is in the far upper reaches of the LaHave River, about ten miles from open water. The lower stretches of the river can be windswept in gales, but this far upstream it is narrow and well protected. Call ahead to check that they have space:  902-541-0889.

Mahone Bay

Heckman’s Island 44o23.6N 64o16.7W, page 71: Anchor in one of the well protected basins inside The Narrows or Silver’s Narrows. These basins are deep in the middle so look for a suitable spot along the shore. There is lots of room.

Deep Cove 44o31.5N 64o06.1W, page 77: Anchor at the head of Deep Cove, avoiding the existing moorings. Be aware that there are probably old, lost moorings and related gear on the bottom so consider using a trip line on your anchor.

Prospect Bay

 Pig Island, 44o29.8N 63o46.8W, page 88: Anchor in the basin north of Pig Island. The holding bottom is mud and there is good all-around protection.


Except for the possibilities below, Halifax does not provide good storm protection for visiting boats. Avoid the Halifax Waterfront Marina (unless you have a very large boat), and the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron. They are too exposed to gales with a southerly component in the wind.

Armdale Yacht Club 44o38.1N 63o36.8W, page 98: The docks in the innermost basin at AYC are extremely well protected from any wind or sea but ability to accommodate visitors will be very limited. Call 902-477-4617

Dartmouth Yacht Club 44o42.0N 63o 36.7W, page 100: If they can offer you space, the robust and reasonably well protected docks at DYC may be your best bet in the Halifax region during a storm. Call 902-468-6050

Eastern Shore

Gerard Passage 44o48.4N 62o38.0W, page 118-119: Anchor in one of the two small coves on the north side of Gerard Passage.

Horse’s Head Harbour 44o52.9N 62o24.8W, page 128: this little basin on the southwest side of Beaver Harbour provides all around protection in a thick mud bottom.

Liscomb 45o00.5N 62o06.0W page 133: Anchor in the river south of Liscombe Lodge. There is excellent protection from wind and sea but the river current may become strong if there is prolonged heavy rain inland.

Yankee Cove 45o13.9N 61o09.6W page 143: The entrance is slightly tricky (refer to the Guide) but once inside there is good holding ground and protection from seas. However, the surrounding hills are low and the anchorage may be windswept. In a serious storm you will probably be better off in the Bras d’or Lakes. 

Bras d’Or Lakes

St Peter’s Inlet, page 162: There are at least two spots where you can anchor with good holding ground and excellent protection: North of Beaver Island 45o40.7N 60o50.6W and in Cape George Harbour 45o43.6N 60o49.1W.

Orangedale 45o54.1N 61o05.2W, page 173: Anchor in the cove off the public wharf or tie up at the wharf with permission from the nearby convenience store.

Washabuck River 46o01.9N 60o51.5W, page 177: Deep Cove provides excellent protection on the east side of the river. If it is a bit crowded, good protection is available further upstream as well.

Big Harbour 46o08.7N 60o38.5W, page 186: Work your way up the narrow channel to anchor in Surprise Cove. Consider putting lines ashore to the base of the cliff.

26 March 2020

Drones: Transport Canada regulations require that all drones bigger than 250 grams be registered and marked with the registration number. Drone pilots must carry a valid drone pilot certificate which can be obtained by completing an online examination. Detailed requirements can be found by Googling “Canadian Drone Regulations” or at :  https://www.tc.gc.ca/en/services/aviation/drone-safety/flying-drone-safely-legally.html.

2 March 2020

Pages 13 and 123: The Whale Sanctuary Project www.whalesanctuaryproject.org has settled on Port Hilford, at the head of Indian Harbour, an open bay between the mouth of the St. Mary’s River and Port Bickerton at roughly 45o05N and 61o49W, as the location for a sanctuary for orcas and beluga whales who are being retired from entertainment facilities or have been rescued from the ocean and need rehabilitation or permanent care. The sanctuary would consist of one or more netted pens about 40 hectares in size that would eventually hold between six and eight whales for the remainder of their natural lives. The local community appears to be enthusiastic about this proposal but funding and permits remain to be put in place and the whales in need of care need to be located and moved.

24 February 2020

Page 4: Correct Bluewater Books & Charts phone numbers to read: 1-954-763-6533 and 1-800-942-2583

Page 5: Under Publications add

Nova Scotia Boating Guide https://issuu.com/waterfrontdevelopment/docs/boating_guide_2016_web, also available in paper from Develop Nova Scotia https://developns.ca/

Nova Scotia Tourism https://www.novascotia.com/travel-info/getting-here/sea/boating-nova-scotia

Page 11 Cell phone service:  Milt Baker advises that a masthead cellular antenna, heavy-duty LMR400 cabling, and a powerful cellular booster can significantly extend range.  A tech-savvy friend who cruised with us last summer in Nova Scotia had just such a rig and reported routinely receiving great cellular signals up to 12 miles from the shore-based antennas.  He was almost never without usable cell service/data along the coast of Nova Scotia and through the Bras d’Or Lakes. 

Page 76 East River: The boatyard at East River is under new ownership as East River Shipyard. I addition to services noted in the Guide, they have fuel, a chandlery with basic supplies on hand and orders delivered with one day turn around, transport to local grocery, liquor and hardware stores, and engine, electrical, fiberglass and painting services. They can offer tax exempt services (labour and materials) to American clients who stay for winter refits. Contact them at www.eastrivershipyard.ca, admin@eastrivershipyard.ca 902-299-3511.

Page 162 St Peter’s Inlet Beaver Narrows clearance under overhead power lines: The latest charts show clearance of 27 metres and the Sailing Directions recommend a 5 metre safety margin. This leaves 22 metres (72 feet) which is the number given in the Cruising Guide to Nova Scotia. However, in January 2020 Nova Scotia Power advised that they have done accurate surveys of the Beaver Narrows power line crossing and the safe clearance is 27.4 metres (90 feet) including allowances for temperature and sag in the lines, changes in water level, moisture in the air and an appropriate safety margin. But NSP also cautioned that other power line crossings may not have been surveyed with the same degree of accuracy and in other locations the 5-metre safety margin under the charted clearance should be respected to avoid risk of arcing.



February 2, 2020


  • OVERVIEW of harbour -- the key factor(s) that make it worthy of consideration
  • LAT/LON and local chart number
  • APPROACH to harbour identifying buoys, landmarks, ranges, any dangers that could help make a safe entry in limited visibility
  • ANCHORING/DOCKING options with details, including depths (at MLW). If a harbourmaster is in charge, please provide details and contact info. Also, the degree of protection from wind and wave action
  • FOR THE BOAT – describe facilities including water, fuel, electrical hookups
  • FOR THE CREW – showers, laundry, groceries, restaurants, museums, car rentals, taxis, etc.  Plus, nearby places of interest to visit, such as hikes or natural phenomena
  • ADVICE – any special recommendations – for or against
  • HISTORY – local stories and history of significance
  • UPDATES – anything that corrects info in the current edition of the guide.
  • SKETCH CHARTS (carefully drawn with as much detail as possible) for areas where existing charts do not exist or accurately portray the harbour’s characteristics
  • PHOTOS that:
    1. Provide useful perspective of features not obvious from existing charts, such as the location of docks or the best place to anchor
    2. Are beautiful shots that make the area and your boat look appealing

We realize that’s a lot of detail. For many harbors, only some of these factors will apply.



  • High-resolution images at 300 dpi with a minimum frame dimension of 4 x 4 inches – larger sizes preferred
  • Unadjusted/retouched images in JPEG, TIFF, or RAW file types. Others may be possible 
  • The relationship between digital image pixels and maximum print size is as follows: 600 x 900 pixels = 2 x 3 inches; 1200 x 1800 pixels = 4 x 6 inches; 2400 x 3000 pixels = 8 x 10 inches. The more pixels a photo has, the better the clarity will be when printed.
  • If an Apple user, please be certain files are JPEGs or TIFFs that are Windows and PC compatible


  • Harbor/village shots that help readers understand “the lay of the land” and water
    • Approach and entrance with important identifying marks, rocks, unusual land features or lighthouses
    • Dockage or wharves where available
    • Where to land to get ashore
    • Town or waterfront area (harbormaster’s office, fuel depot, shops, etc.)
    • Anchoring area(s) with protection from seas and winds
    • Overview shots from a high hill or drone are particularly welcome
  • Beauty shots that add to the allure of area or province depicted, all well-lit (ideally with sunrise or sunset colors)
    • Sailboats under sail or anchored in especially beautiful settings*
    • Ditto for power cruising boats.
    • Wildlife shots, including whales, seals, seabirds, etc.
    • Shoreside flora and fauna
    • Interesting people when there is a story to be told
    • Icebergs (for Newfoundland and Labrador)

       *    These shots will be considered for covers and will need to be 8 x 10 inches at 300 dpi or larger


  • All photos will be credited to the photographer owning the copyright
  • Photos submitted must be your own, or you must obtain the photographer’s written permission.


  • Via email to the respective editor for individual files or guides@cruisingclub.org
  • Upload multiple photo files to Dropbox using a public guide specific link such as:


NOTE ABOUT VIDEOGRAPHY: Video files may also be welcome under certain conditions. Please contact the CCANP Publisher at guides@cruisingclub.org

Call for Updates

Mariners: You are our greatest resource. If you are sailing these waters, you are in the best position to share timely updates based on your observations. Please send your updates to this guide to guides@cruisingclub.org.

Thank you!