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October 12, 2015 Geography, Sailing, York River

High Tides, Few Guns

The tides on the York River have been higher lately from a week-long storm and the passing of Hurricane Joaquin. There simply hasn’t been a low tide in ten days. We’re talking 3 to 4 feet range. On this day, we sailed from the high tides of Canada to its strict gun laws.

“We saw tides of 17 feet,” said Mike McPherson as he took his wife Andrea and two young children sailing near Williamsburg. We love boating, and when we were in Nova Scotia we went out on a whale watch. From there we saw the Bay of Fundy on the water. When we left, fishing boats were sitting on the mud. When we came back a few hours later they were floating in the water. The best place to see the tide is Hopewell Rocks in New Brunswick. Low tide can last for an hour, and we worked in the sand to dig out a fishing buoy. We used a shovel and found a string of buoys tangled in rope.

“There are no hotels out there, only B&Bs. The villages are ghost town because so many people have left because the fishing industry is dying.”

Somehow we veered off into a discussion of guns and how Donald Trump would encourage everyone to be armed, especially at school. Andrea is an Emergency Room nurse, so naturally I asked her about gunshot wounds.

“No, we don’t see many of those. Canada has very strict gun laws. The paperwork is extensive for the background check. They interview you for a permit and they come to the house to check the lockbox you have for the gun. Hunters have to carry trigger locks and if they’re stopped by police those locks had better be in the ‘on’ position on the rifle. Guns are also very expensive to buy, even on the black market. Families have heirloom guns and rifles that are passed down to the children, and some of them may not be registered. But the result is that we have very few shootings. So yes, it’s rare to see a gunshot wound in the ER.”

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