Father’s choice on Father’s Day, so of course we went to the Rope Loft on Chester’s Front Harbour.
We didn’t dock and dine this time, but you can do that, and berth your boat for the night too, if you’re lucky.
If the walls could talk, they would have many nautical yarns to tell. The old oak timberframe building dates back to the privateer ship Teazer, as it was built with remnants of the famous ship after she burned and sank in Mahone Bay in 1813.
But there’s no salt pork and hardtack on the menu. The Rope Loft Burger is the best around. One of our fathers was very pleased with his sirloin tip roast with baby potatoes and Yorkshire pudding which, he declared, was almost as good as his own. That’s high praise! The mothers enjoyed Baked Salmon and Seafood Marinara respectively.
A walk around the Village completed our lovely Father’s Day outing.
When the weather is warm enough, you can sit on the deck and watch the activity on the Front Harbour.
The restaurant is a busy place during Race Week. Last year, the Tanzer 22 class was headquartered at the Rope Loft.
Check out the Rope Loft website for a bit of history and some pictures – and of course the menu!
We were delighted to try out Chester’s new public washrooms on our Father’s Day excursion. Our tester approved the facilities, which are next to the Lido Pool on Parade Square, between the public wharf and Chester Yacht Club. They look like they are accessible for wheelchair users too.
Congratulations to the Village of Chester for making life a lot easier for visitors and locals alike.
The wooden gaff-rigged sloop was on its way from Lunenburg to Mahone Bay. But the cable used to raise the centerboard had broken. So the sailor ran her up on Bachman’s Beach, on Second Peninsula, hoping to fix her at low tide.
The team of draft horses was in training, as usual, and was pulling a sledge. Their driver brings them down to the beach to cool off. We’d met them before, a couple of years ago, on this beach.
The hull of the sloop was built by David Westergard from a half-model he’d found. (Westergard is currently building a couple of schooners at the Dory Shop in Lunenburg.) Only after he’d built it did he learn that it was a particular Pubnico type of fishing vessel that was often fitted with a make-or-break engine. The sailor (whose name escaped me; add a comment if you read this) had rigged the boat himself and was bringing it to Mahone Bay for the schooner races.
“Are the schooner races part of Chester Race Week?” I asked, naively.
“Not at all.”
“Do the schooners eschew Chester Race Week?”
“Fiberglass Race Week!”
Right. The folks who perpetuate the skills of wooden boat building live in a different universe from the carbon fiber and kevlar world of the most serious racers. But they sail the same waters.
And so do we, on short overnight cruises in our 32-year-old fiberglass sailboat, not belonging to one group or the other, but glad to admire both, from a respectful distance.