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Updates to Nova Scotia Cruising Guide

CCA Cruising Guide to Nova Scotia

Updates to 2022 Edition

June 2024


Page 4 Web links

  • The Government of Canada is notorious for changing URLs and leaving dead links behind. The link to CHS chart and publication dealers on page 4 no longer works but if you type “CHS chart dealers” into your favourite search engine it should take you to the right place. The other links in the Guide still appear to work but a key word search strategy may be a helpful alternative to typing the URL.


Page 5 Buoyage

  • Experience indicates that the small inshore spar buoys on the charts are sometimes not there at all, out of position, or so small as to be invisible until you are right beside them. Don’t let that dissuade you from exploring the smaller passages but don’t become complacent or over-reliant on the charted marks.


Page 10 Customs entry ports

  • The use of ArriveCan is no longer mandatory, but you still must contact the Canada Border Security Agency (“CBSA”) promptly on arrival in Canada by calling 1-888-226-7277. Do not go ashore until you have been issued a report number.


  • With the passing of Covid restrictions, the port of entry list has been reinstated as follows:

New Brunswick:

                Campobello: Head Harbour Wharf, Welshpool Wharf, 

                Deer Island:  Leonardville Wharf

                Grand Manan: North Head Wharf

                St. Andrews:  St. Andrews Town Wharf, 

                Saint John Harbour: Market Slip

                Saint John River:  Royal Kennebeccasis Yacht Club

Nova Scotia:

                Digby: Digby Marina, Digby Fisherman’s Wharf

Yarmouth: Killam Brothers Wharf, Yarmouth Marginal Wharf, Lobster Rock Wharf

                Shelburne: Shelburne Harbour Yacht Club

                Lockeport: White Gull Restaurant and Marina

Liverpool:  Brooklyn Marina

                Lunenburg: Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic 

Mahone Bay: Lunenburg Yacht Club (note that LYC is in Princes Inlet, Mahone Bay, not in Lunenburg Harbour)

St. Margaret’s Bay: Shining Waters Marina

Halifax: Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron, Armdale Yacht Club, Halifax Waterfront Marina (Waterfront Development Corporation) Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Dartmouth Yacht Club, Bedford Basin Yacht Club

                Port Bickerton: Government Wharf

Canso: Canso Pier

St. Peters:  St. Peters Lion’s Club Marina

Sydney:  Sydney Marine Terminals

Louisbourg: Louisbourg Pier



Page 11 Covid-19 restrictions

  • Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted.


Page 74: Lockeport Harbour, White Gull Restaurant and Marina

  • The White Gull is not planning to put its floats in the water for 2024 but say that there is room for one “decent sized” sailboat to tie up in front of the restaurant. Call them to check, but you should probably plan to tie up at the public wharf. Anchoring is not permitted in the breakwater enclosed harbour.


Page 76 Little Port L’Hebert

  • After a long period with no new reports, we received two about Little Port L’Hebert in 2023:


  • Sandy Andrews: As the weather forecast called for a 25kn SW’ly and having read the old guide we decided to check this out.  Entry was easy, if slightly nerve wracking, and the charts are accurate.  Protection from the SW was excellent as was the holding (sand over heavy mud) and the scenery.  Unfortunately, there was a groundswell from the east which, despite the reefs and rocks outside, created a level of surge which was unpleasant.  Had we drawn less, say 4 1/2 ft, we might have been able to tuck closer into the southerly beach and gotten out of the worst of the surge. 


  • Angus & Bridget Handasyde Dick, s/v Swaraj:  We anchored in Petite Port L’Hebert last night. Wind SW 10kts and swell was from S. Very sheltered. We anchored just inside the entrance and there was a bit of popple. Ideally we would have been further in but there were two yachts already in situ, both anchored on rope. It was clear the depths per Navionics was pessimistic and the cove is deeper than indicated. Holding was on shingle as we could hear the chain grumbling occasionally.


Page 77 Port L’Hebert

  • Sandy Andrews, 2023: Entry following the buoyed channel was easy. It does involve a tight turn at Lighthouse Point as the channel is narrow there.  We never saw less that 15 ft on the fathometer.  The government wharf has very recently been rebuilt and enlarged compared to what was on our chart.  It did look feasible to tie up to the long outer face, but it was quite exposed and would have involved frequent complicated docking line adjustments to cope with the changing tide directions and wind. Instead, we gingerly entered, took a sharp right and tied up alongside one of the handful of idle lobster boats in 13 ft. of water.  Here we comfortably rode out a SW blow.  Looking out into the river, significant wind against tide action was apparent so I imagine that the Guide’s warning about breaking waves at the river entrance is accurate.  There is nothing nearby that we found in the ways of stores and such. Walking (when the rain stopped) on the local roads was pleasant until the mosquitos became unbearable. 


Page 84-86 Lahave Islands: False Lahave, Dublin Bay and Folly Channel

  •  The buoyage has been changed in this area and the old paper charts and even the new electronic charts may not accurately reflect the current situation. The changes are:

    • several new buoys in the narrow passage between False Lahave and Dublin Bay

    • new buoys to that clearly mark the channel through Dublin Bay 

    • new north cardinal buoys at each end of Folly Channel (pass on the north side of both).


  • Update from Sandy Andrews, 2022: We poked into Crooked Channel hoping to find a nice place to drop the hook because it looked so beautiful on the chart.  Once in we discovered that the channels and buoys bore no resemblance to what was on the chart.  It was high tide which made it hard to visually figure out what was what (but probably kept us from grounding as we explored) so we exited and went around to Moser Island.


We anchored on the north shore of Moser Island about halfway along in 20 feet of water.  No surge, great heavy mud bottom and lovely scenery.  Wonderful quiet and bugless night.  I think this anchorage is deserving of a more favorable review than currently in the guide.  But maybe my opinion was prejudiced by its being the only evening in weeks without rain, fog or clouds!


We also went the short distance up-river up to Lahave Bakery. The Guide should make it clear that the dock and moorings are available for overnight rental.  There was plenty of water at the dock for our nearly 7 ft draft and the frozen scallop pie we bought for later consumption was fantastic!




Page 89 Lunenburg

  • Zwicker Wharf is now managed by the renamed Build Nova Scotia Lunenburg under the name Lunenburg Waterfront Marina. Contact them at The phone number is unchanged at 902-521-3012 and the website is . Toilets and showers are available at the head of the pier and water and power on the dock.

  • The old Lunenburg marine railway operation has been brought back to life by the owners of East River Shipyard (page 105) as Lunenburg Shipyard Ltd phone 902-930-2155. They have a travel lift to haul small and medium sized boats, marine railways with capacity to 600 tons or more, and full service and repair capacity for any sized vessel.

  • Lunenburg Shipyard has also taken over the old foundry property at the head of the harbour. A multi-year redevelopment program is in the works, but as of June 2024 they have installed new floating docks with fuel pumps, thus filling a major gap in Lunenburg yachting services. Call ahead to 902-930-2155.


Page 94 Mahone Islands Conservation Association

  • In an effort to control the proliferation of private moorings that encumber some favorite coves, MICA has partnered with the Municipality of Lunenburg to lay six public moorings for day use at Covey and Backman’s islands (pg 98), Bella Island (pg 100) and Mason’s Island (pg 100). Go to for more detail about this program.


Page 98 Mahone Bay Town

  • The public wharf has been upgraded with substantial floats along its face and sides and another finger near the dinghy dock that can accommodate several sizeable yachts.


Page 118 Smelt Cove and Dan Blain’s Cove

  • Update from Wilson Fitt: In the summer of 2022, the closely spaced red and green pair of buoys showing the way into the channel extending up east side of Privateer Island were in place, but the others were missing. The way in was still quite straightforward but caution and an attentive watch are required. Stay close to the east shore of Privateer Island (west side of the channel). The mid channel rock shown on the Guide chartlet between the northeastern shore of Privateer Island and the point of the mainland is covered at half tide but very real. The channel leading around the corner to Dan Blain’s Cove is narrow but deep. 


Page 121 Rogues Roost

  • The bottom in the northern basin of the Roost appears to be hard, fissured rock, much like the surrounding shoreline, and several people report having their anchors rattle over the bottom before fetching up hard in a crack between the rocks. They had very difficult times recovering the anchors and suggest that a trip line would be a prudent precaution. The bottom in the southern basin is mud, and there has been no reported difficulty with anchor retrieval.


Page 131 Halifax Waterfront Marina


Page 166 Liscomb

  • Update from Wilson Fitt, 2022: Very strong afternoon southwesterly gusts can be experienced in the mouth and lower reaches of the Liscomb River even when the wind outside is a relatively moderate. 

  • Although Liscombe Lodge is still a welcome and very well protected stopping place, local reports up to June 2024 indicate that the floating docks and other waterfront facilities are still in very poor condition. The phone number is 1-800-665-6343.


Page 168 Spanish Ship Bay

  • Update from Wilson Fitt, 2022: The buoys on the way in are further east than shown on the Navionics chart. As stated in the Guide, leave them to port when entering. The bottom in the southwestern portion provides excellent holding in heavy mud.


Page 170 Gegogan (Jegogan)

  • Update from Sandy Andrews: As of last June [2022] all the buoys marking the channel into this harbor were in place and made entry quite easy.  Depths were as advertised on the chart.  We anchored right on top of what I recall was the only sounding centered in the deep-water area in the harbor (north of Rae Island and west of the camp) - I recall it being 3 meters but it may have been more. The areas of deep water are relatively small so there is not a lot of room to maneuver.  This anchorage is completely protected - there wasn't a ripple of surge.   The land surrounding the harbor is low so I suspect it can be quite windy here but the fetches are all short. Our anchor came up encased in heavy mud (and of course our wash-down hose chose that moment to burst), so the holding is great.  It was foggy and cold when we exited the coast, but completely clear and sunny inside.  As the guide says, there is only one camp visible along the entire woody shore, so the anchorage has an isolated, close to nature feeling.  I was very enthused about this anchorage.


Page 177 Charlos Cove

  • Update from Paul Coates, 2022: There is six feet at the end face of the Charlos Cove public wharf. The wharf is in reasonable condition. There are no services of any type at the wharf but the Seawind Landing Inn is still there and cranking out good food. Locals advised the wharf in Larry’s River is bigger and better maintained.


Page 182 Louse Harbour

  • Update from Wilson Fitt, 2022: The crowd sourced soundings on Navionics provide a useful guide when entering Louse Harbour. Heading south to the anchorage shown on the chartlet in the Guide, you will cross over a very deep area that is not shown on modern CHS or Navionics charts, although it was shown on the old Admiralty charts. Keep going south toward the rocky patch (home for many seals in 2022) and anchor when the depth moderates again. 


  • Update from Charles Westropp, 2022: Contrary to the many cautions in the Guide about the narrow channel that leads to the northern anchorage, I entered here twice during 2022 without difficulty. There is a significant ledge that runs from the nameless island on the east side of the channel taking up about half of its width. The shore on the western side of the channel is steep-to and, by favouring it, I carried 12 feet all the way in at mean low water. Tuck in by the cliffs that provide good shelter from the south and west and anchor in about 18 feet with good holding. It is a delightful and private spot. This report is confirmed by others in 2023 (not that things change very much from year to year in these parts).


Page 184 Little Dover Run

  • Update from Wilson Fitt, 2022: The buoys through Little Dover Run seem to change or be out of place much of the time. During August of 2022, red spar “PS6” and north cardinal “PS” at the western entrance were barely afloat and nearly invisible at half tide. At the eastern entrance, “PP4” was missing and buoys “PP6” and “PP7” were very close together.


Page 186 Glasgow Harbour

  • Update from Sandy Andrews 2022: We decided to check this anchorage out but did not stay.  It was blowing 15kn from the SW when we entered the Andrew Passage from the west but somehow this breeze was accelerated in Glasgow Harbour to 25KN or so. While the water was calm, that was more wind than we wanted!  Additionally, the shores of the harbor are now dominated by a number of very large wind turbines which are both visually and aurally unappealing.  So off to Canso we went.


Page 190 Guysborough

  • Update from Wilson Fitt, 2022: The white tower beacon referenced in the second paragraph is white and red. Buoy “CQ4” is very close to the western (mainland) shoreline. Guysborough Marina was operating in 2022 with showers, ice and fuel available, but unfortunately the pub, the bakery and most other retail operations were permanently closed. A pleasant little craft market was operating on Saturdays in the building by the marina.


Page 192 Lennox Passage

  • The bridge across Lennox passage has 20 feet clearance when closed.


Page 203 Cape George Harbour

  • Update from Wilson Fitt, 2022: The cove behind the sandbar (“Gretchen McCurdy’s Cove”) has about 10 feet of water going in but more like 18-20 feet once inside. Setting an anchor with reasonable scope in the centre will have you swinging very close to the shore at the edges.


Page 204 Eskasoni

  • Update from Wilson Fitt, 2022: The anchorage south of Goat Island is delightful, just like being in an inland lake.




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
  • 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

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

Thank you!