Back to July 2001
Wednesday, August 1, 2001 Eastern Cove, Long Island, Maine
After our goodbyes and thanks to Win we headed off, planning either for Swan's Island or Eastern Cove, Long Island. For yet another time we headed down Eggemoggin Reach. It was hard to believe that we were finally off for good. The wind cooperated toward the end of the day and we were able to make Eastern Cove on Long Island. It's a big cove facing the open ocean to the northeast, so it's only suitable for overnights in settled weather with winds from the southwest. That was exactly the situation so we headed in. I think we both wanted something far more remote than Horseshoe Cove as well as a new place that we both had not been to. It was a great spot. We were alone except for the Tabor Boy, a big steel two-masted schooner, which takes students from Tabor Academy in Marion, MA, on summer adventures. It was quite surprising to see the four or five officers in khaki uniforms giving orders to the student crew with salutes and whistles. Amy and I both thought that this form of order and discipline would not be to our liking. I was especially surprised since I thought that most New England prep schools had turned away from their strict discipline of the past. Maybe not.
After a pizza feast we made plans for the next day's downwind sail (in 20-25 knots), Downeast to either Trafton or Roque Island.
Thursday, August 2, 2001 Roque Island, Maine
Awaking to an obviously windy day to come, Captain Amy suggested a reef in the main for comfort and I easily complied not wanting to re-experience last summer's overly dramatic downwind sleigh ride along the same challenging coast line. By mid-morning we were doing a steady 6-7 knots with an occasional burst to 8+ in 10-13 apparent. I was in heaven. Dry cool air, crystal clear sky, all the while roaring downwind toward some of the most enjoyable spots on the New England coast; Roque Island, Mistake Harbor and the Mud Hole.
Once we got to a steady 13 knots apparent (20+ true) of wind I took about five turns on the jib in anticipation of a nasty stretch of water off an island called Petit Manan. I'm glad we did since when we got there the water was boiling with current and confused waves and we were doing a steady 7+ knots in boatspeed. The added reefs made the ride quite comfortable. As we went by Petit Manan Light, a J-36 passed us on a very fast broad reach while we proceeded, wing and wing with a whisker pole, downwind.
The afternoon continued to be glorious and we were making such good time that we headed for Roque. At about 4:00 we were making our last approach for Roque's Double Shot entrance when we again saw the J-36. Although he had been doing a series of faster downwind tacks, it appeared that our slower but shorter approach had been as fast if not faster than his strategy. I felt rewarded in the decision to buy a whisker pole and install a mast track for it.
As we entered the Roque Archipelago, we saw a very strange sight. A 40+ foot ketch with sails fully trimmed was badly aground in the approach to Roque via the Thorofare channel. I later found out after hailing him on channel 16 and getting the Jonesport Coast Guard in response that he had gone aground that afternoon and had been taken ashore to wait for the return of high tide. I thought about taking a picture of this tragic sight but was rightly chastised by Amy for the bad Karma and bad taste for taking a picture of someone else's misfortune.
As if to reinforce Amy's warning, it took us five attempts to set the anchor in what had always been an easy and secure anchoring site! After the long sail and anchoring fiasco, we had my favorite, pasta putanesca, and a celebratory scotch for our safe arrival at the white sands of Roque Island.
Friday, August 3, 2001 Roque Island, Maine
Roque Island is a very beautiful place. The white sand beach is a mile long. The water is clear and for Maine, the rocks are few and far between. I couldn't face another day of wholesome cereal for breakfast so I made blueberry muffins. Of course it wasn't as straightforward as that. Baking isn''t my strong suit. When the recipe asked for a twelve-muffin tin and all I had was a six, I cut the recipe in half. Naturally the recipe meant the SMALL muffin kind of tin while I had the large. In the end I had to get the recipe back to its full sized state. Needless to say breakfast took a while. The boats we shared the anchorage with last night all left pretty early and we were planning on staying, so we moved the boat over to a particularly scenic spot at the western end of the beach.
It was another great day weather-wise so we headed out for a walk on the beach. By the time we reached the eastern end of the shore we were starting to feel the heat. Despite the eye-opening temperature of the water (55 degrees) we took the plunge, leaving all outerwear on the beach. As you might guess it was a brief swim... On our walk back to the boat several powerboats arrived decked out with every manner of water toy. They had managed to raft up and set five anchors within 30 yards of us by the time we returned. It wouldn't have done any good to suggest to them that they were a bit too close so we headed off to anchor yet again. After sun showers and an unsuccessful fishing jaunt by Roger we grilled Keilbasa for dinner and planned our trip north to Cutler.
Saturday, August 4, 2001 Cutler, Maine
We awoke to a rather hazy day. Not foggy, mind you, but hazy. Maine is well known for it's prodigious fog but thus far this year we have been pretty lucky. We had a short day planned, only 18 miles or so. The current, which is something you really need to pay close attention to as you head into the Bay of Fundy, suggested that we get started at around 10 a.m. Much to our horror we ran out of water during our morning cleanup. We planned on filling up at Cutler anyway so it wasn't a huge crisis. There was no wind so we motored the whole trip, arriving at 1 p.m. in Cutler.
SURPRISE! Nobody sells water in Cutler anymore. The local "convenience" store closed early today and won't be open tomorrow. We delved into the Taft Guide to find an alternative. It seems that the nearest place to get water is in Eastport, ME., about 30 miles away. It wasn't on our itinerary, but it has now been added. We did manage to purchase a couple of lobsters for dinner so we weren't suffering. Despite our water situation we enjoyed Cutler. Nice walking and locals who like to play their guitars outside.
Sunday, August 5, 2001 Cutler, Maine
Fogged in! I guess I shouldn't have made the "lucky with fog" comment yesterday. We decided to stay on our Gatorade diet and wait till tomorrow to see if it clears. If it doesn't clear tomorrow we go in the fog. I should mention that we don't have radar so fog makes for some particularly intense navigation. The boat next to us was heading south after having visited Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Their boat, Volant, is a neat looking steel boat designed by Ted Brewer. They are based in Ft. Lauderdale and plan to be back there by late October. It's possible that we may run into them again. We also met a retiree who lives on the shores of the Saint John River. Buddy was in Cutler on a friend's boat and came over to point out some of the River's high points for our trip. He keeps a Cape Dory 33 at the Martinon Yacht Club on Grand Bay and said we were welcome to stop by if we were in the area. A very friendly guy with a twinkle in his eye.
Monday, August 6, 2001 Harbour De Lute, New Brunswick
We were not too surprised to find that it was still foggy when we woke up. Last night we spent a lot of time planning our trip to Eastport so we were ready. We headed out "bright" and early for the thirty-mile trip. Visibility went from pea soup to slightly under a mile, and back, over and over. Our navigation proved to be pretty accurate. We popped out of the fog about a half mile from shore just west of the East Quoddy Light on Campobello Island. We managed to lose track of one mark early on, but we went on ahead and were successful with the rest. We timed the tide/current pretty well for our arrival into Passamaquoddy Bay. The Passamaquoddy River, which flows into the bay, has an incredible amount of current. Just above Eastport is one of the world's largest whirlpools, the Old Sow. (Happily we didn't have to go up that far, though it might have been interesting to see it from shore.) We found our way to the public docks in Eastport without incident. At first glance they looked a bit difficult to approach. The docks are tucked around the corner off the main shipping dock in an eddy out of the current. Once we worked our way around the corner into the eddy docking went pretty smoothly. Eastport is an interesting place. It's obviously off the beaten track but it manages to survive. The town pier has free water. There's a great marine supply store right up the hill. Everyone we met was very friendly. The postal clerk told me that Lance Armstrong had won the Tour de France again. We even saw an eagle hovering over the local fishermen at the pier. What more can you ask for?
We wanted to head over to Campobello to check in with Canadian Customs before they closed for the day so we didn't stay in Eastport for long. We managed to catch a good current over to Wilson's Beach on Campobello where Roger checked in with Customs by phone while I drove around in circles off the dock. We were pretty pooped by this point so we headed down around the corner to Harbour (we're in Canada now) De Lute. Though loaded with salmon pens and old fish weirs, this is a beautiful anchorage. It's a bit blustery in this SW wind, but the holding seems good. To celebrate our first night in Canada we make pizza for dinner.
Tuesday, August 7, 2001 Head Harbour, NB
Today was the day we were going to head for Dipper Harbour on our way towards Saint John. Dipper is just above the dreaded (by me, anyway) Pt. Lepreau. It's also the halfway point between Campobello Island and Saint John. We actually did head out for Dipper but we didn't get far. The current between Passamaquoddy Bay and the Bay of Fundy proper seems sort of nebulous. It's sort of hard to gauge from the current chart that we have. At any rate we got out into the fog, and the current was such that we didn't think we were going to make it to Dipper Harbour before the change. We turned around in the midst of a drenching thunderstorm and headed into Head Harbour, on the outside of Campobello Island, three hours after we had taken off.
Head Harbour needs to be seen to be believed. It is full of an array of hard-working fisher folks. The boats look like they have seen long hours and nasty weather. The directions in the cruising guide say to "just tie up to a local boat or one of the resident pile drivers." That's just what we did. There were floats tied to poles with several craft attached, floating every which way. It's just one of those places which seems to have stepped back in time. We talked with one of the local fishermen who said "it's a great place to retire but a hard place to make a living."
We took a walk out to the East Quoddy Lighthouse. You can't actually see it from the land side but we had already seen it from the boat so it was ok. We needed the exercise anyway. On the way back to the boat we stopped at one of the salmon pens and were given a free fish. Yahoo! Sushi for lunch and fillets for dinner. Tomorrow we make another attempt on Dipper Harbour.
Wednesday, August 8, 2001 Dipper Harbour, NB
We awoke to a sunny, CLEAR day. It was a nice change of pace. We watched as fishermen, clad in bright colored oilskins, loaded their nets in preparation for a herring-seining trip. On one boat the crew ranged in age from early teens to old men. They all had huge rugged hands and skin which was ruddy from the sun.
With the good weather the 20+-mile trip to Dipper suddenly seemed like a piece of cake. We headed out fairly early into a Bay of Fundy with a surface like glass. In the distance we could see whales spouting. When we got closer and were able to get a look at them we pulled out our guidebook and tentatively identified them as Finbacks. They weren't performing any acrobatics so there were parts of them we were unable to see but we're pretty confident that's what they were. It was great to encounter them. We passed Pt. Lepreau without a backward glance. It's a fairly benign place in good weather (if you don't count the nuclear power plant on its tip.) Shortly after rounding the point we arrived at Dipper Harbour. Its entrance is an easy one and we anchored between the breakwater and the pier. At this point on the coast the tide range is 21.9 FEET. It makes for some interesting anchoring maneuvers. Our depth sounder is still coming and going at will so we are using our lead line fairly regularly still. Low tide was at around dinnertime so we were able to see that our anchor job was successful before we went to bed. There's nothing worse than wondering where you are bobbing in the middle of the night.
After anchoring we went for a walk around the waterfront and up the hill in town. The most interesting finds on this trip were the cemeteries. Close to the harbour we found the Irish Catholic cemetery. The dates ranged from the late 1800's to current. Further up the hill we encountered the Church of England Cemetery. This cemetery was far older. The dates here were late 1700's to mid 1800's for the most part. I obviously need to buy a history of New Brunswick the next time we see a bookstore. It would be interesting to get a better idea of what it is we're seeing.
On our way back to the boat we met a fisherman rowing his skiff towards the pier. We struck up a conversation and discovered that the fellow had been a teacher/principal for 25+ years before switching careers. Like with some of our teacher friends he got tired of the bureaucracy. At first he took a sabbatical but them he found he simply couldn't go back. Even with some of the tough days he has while fishing he thinks it's still better than teaching.
Dinner tonight was one of the best so far. We asked at the pier whether anyone was selling any fish. We were directed to a scallop boat across the harbour. We headed over to encounter a half dozen men shucking scallops at an incredible speed. We were invited aboard and talked fishing for a while before leaving with a couple pounds of freshly shucked scallops. They asked us how we planned to prepare them and when they heard they would become a pasta dish I thought they would all faint away. "Flour em' and fry em'" was the consensus. I have to admit we stuck to the pasta plan and didn't regret it. They were the best scallops we've ever eaten.
THE BIG DAY
Thursday, August 9, 2001 Grand Bay, NB
Today we reached Saint John and passed through the reversing falls into the Saint John River. Have we mentioned the reversing falls? In order to pass into the Saint John River from Saint John Harbour you must pass through the (drum roll) Reversing Falls. I won't get into the details of tide, current and underwater ledges BUT suffice it to say that one passes through the reversing falls for the first time with a certain amount of trepidation. There are two twenty-minute windows per day when the reversing falls are navigable. At other times of the day the falls look like something out of a whitewater kayaker's worst nightmare.
We left Dipper Harbour in clear weather and with the required flood tide. We planned to arrive several hours before "high slack" so that we could take a walk around Saint John. We contacted Fundy Traffic (sort of like air traffic control for the Bay of Fundy) and gave them our position and ETA to Saint John. If the fog had rolled back in they would have our position on radar and would alert us to shipping traffic in our area. When there is no fog they tell you about scheduled arrivals and departures of ships and tell you to continue to listen to the VHF for any updates. Happily it remained relatively clear all the way up the coast. We entered Saint John Harbour at around 1 p.m. and had plenty of time before the 5:30 slack. Saint John is a very industrial city. On our approach we could see the Irving Oil tank farm on the point in the distance. They're great for navigation if nothing else. There are lots of giant stacks and factories and refineries lining the waterfront. Saint John is one of two non-freezing ports in Atlantic Canada so it sees a lot of ship traffic. We entered at an eerily quiet time. There wasn't a ship, boat, tug, or anything else in sight. We tied up at Market Slip and headed into town. The downtown of Saint John reminds me of both Portland, ME. and Burlington, VT. simultaneously. It's a lovely neat city with streets, which are laid out on the side of a hill. My favorite stop in the city was its Marketplace. The indoor market has apparently been around a very long time. The array of food you can buy at this place is amazing. After having no access to food shopping since Blue Hill ME, this was a sight for sore eyes. We picked up several things and headed out for a walk. You can tell this is a city with a long winter. They have "pedways" or enclosed bridges between many buildings. We had to make stops at the liquor store, the bank, and of course, Radio Shack for more electrical bits.
We arrived back at the boat with lots of time to anticipate the trip through the falls. We were distracted only briefly by the smell of burgers grilling on the deck of the Coast Guard boat across the little channel from us. At about 4:30 we saw a sailboat pass by, headed upriver. We secured stuff below and headed out. It turns out we were a bit early. It didn't take as long to get there as we thought so we cruised back and forth in the river below the falls until we saw the sailboat ahead of us pass through fifteen minutes before slack. He made it but we decided we'd wait a few more minutes before we tried. We probably would have waited till the exact time of slack except that we were being followed by a very large luxury yacht which we imagined looked a bit threatening. We gave our little yacht full throttle and headed into the falls. I must admit that at this point it looks pretty much like the Merrimac River with its swirling currents so we weren't as tense as we had been previously. We got by the lower falls without a hitch. The current is pulling at you in a way that takes control of some of your steerageway. Since Roger was at the helm I couldn't feel it, but I could sense it. The boat was traveling at between 7-8 knots and it was one heck of a ride. There is a whirlpool between the first and second falls called "the pot" which you have to avoid on your way through. This we managed to do, happily. The second falls has a bit more pull but we hung on and lived to tell about it. The funny thing about the falls is that if you live around here you think nothing of going out for a daysail or coming through the falls in the dark. I guess when you get used to it...
We were now in the River. The fog, which had arrived while we waited for our trip through the falls, disappeared behind us and in front of us was a river bounded on either side by huge hills covered with evergreens. This eventually opened up into an area called Grand Bay, which looked a bit like Lake Winnipesaukee. We headed the short distance up the Bay to the Martinon Yacht club, which we had learned about back in Cutler. We met several of the folks at this quiet club, though Buddy wasn't to be found. We spent a VERY restful night at their courtesy mooring after our VERY long day.
Friday, August 10, 2001 Colwells Creek, Saint John River, NB
We departed Martinon Yacht Club at 8 a.m. headed upriver. We experienced our first cable ferry at a town called Westfield. A cable ferry, as you might guess, runs across the river on a cable. The cable is tight in front of the ferry and it drops back to the riverbed behind the ferry. It's recommended that you call the ferry to make them aware of your presence as you approach and NEVER pass in front of a ferry. Roger and I had different opinions as to how close to get to the ferry before calling. We both managed to survive the experience and are prepared for the four more that we'll meet over the next few days.
During the day the scenery along the River changed a great deal. From towering cliffs to rolling farmland. Dairy farms, camper colonies and cottages dotted the shore along the way. Because of the small size of the Bays and Reaches along the River, there was little or no sea. In the afternoon there was a thunder and lightening storm and a good deal of rain. That sort of weather seems much less threatening in these surroundings than it does out at sea. At about 5 we anchored in a place called Colwells Creek. It's bordered by grazing land and hillsides with farmhouses. It was very pretty. We took advantage of being in warm (77 degrees!) fresh water and took swims/baths. Very nice.
(Note to Andrea D.: The only cows that I can identify are Holsteins and Holsteins these are not. There are tan ones and black ones and tan and white spotted ones. There may be a few beef cattle mixed in also. Wish you were here to consult on this matter.)
Tonight the River smelled like Lake Champlain. I'm not sure we'll be that eager to head back out into the Bay of Fundy!
Saturday, August 11, 2001 Douglas Harbour, Grand Lake, NB
Today was a pretty easy day. I started the day off by calling my sister's house in Manchester, NH, to see if my Brother had arrived from Alaska last night. Jim has lived up there for about seven years and doesn't get back east very often. We hope to meet up with him in Maine and take him out for a sail. He heads back on the 23rd so we don't have a lot of time to get back there. We start our trip back south tomorrow.
Our first stop of the day was at Gagetown. It's a neat little Riverfront spot where you can get diesel, gas and water as well as any items you might need from the convenience store. I found a bookstore and bought a book entitled "New Brunswick: A Short History" Sounds just about right. Gagetown is a pretty historic place on which I can't yet elaborate since I haven't read the book. After a walk and taking on supplies we headed on to Grand Lake. Grand Lake is known for its sailing. It is 25 miles long and as much as 6 miles wide in spots. In order to enter the Lake you must travel up the Jemseg River. It's very narrow and VERY shallow in spots. I managed to thump once on the way in. The next obstacle to the Lake is what is known locally as the bush track. It's the line of buoys through the fish wiers that takes you out into the Lake proper. It's another fairly shallow area where you definitely don't want to hug the buoys.
We were able to finish our travel day with a downwind leg from the bush track to Douglas Harbour. A nice wrap-up after motoring all day. We were headed in to an area of the Harbour called "the bedroom" to anchor when a guy on a nearby boat pointed out a mooring we could use for the night. We invited them to stop by after dinner and a swim and talked about sailing on the River and their sailing trips down to Maine. Everyone we've met over the last few weeks has been so nice and so helpful. I'm not sure we come across as this helpful to tourists we meet during our everyday lives. It's a good reminder.
For dinner we had steaks purchased at the Gagetown butcher shop. I don't know if we've had meat for dinner since Ragged Island. It was a nice treat. Tomorrow we head south.
What's That Smell??
Sunday, August 12, 2001 Royal Kennebeccassis Yacht Club, Saint John, NB
Today was a fairly long day. We traveled south in one day what had taken us the two previous days to reach. A little current goes a long way! This trip was strictly motoring. In the spots where it was wide enough to sail the wind was in our faces. We passed through all of the ferries and by all the farms we had seen over the past two days. We saw many of the same boats heading downriver which we had seen heading upriver only a few days before.
We arrived at the RKYC on the Kennebecassis River at about 4 p.m. We headed in to try to find a live body to talk to about the mooring we had picked up but there wasn't an official soul in sight. We ran into another American couple trying to get the same OK for the ball they had picked up but they were having similar luck. We took their approach and simply signed our names in the Yacht Club guest book. It turns out that the fellow was the son of Henry Cabot Lodge. He and his wife had sailed their boat up from Beverly and had just arrived via Grand Manan. On our way back down the dock we noticed a beautiful Concordia yawl. Upon closer inspection we saw that it was Crocodile, a fairly famous Halifax Race contender. It's a forty-one year old boat but in 1997 it won the Halifax race. An amazing feat for a boat that old.
Roger wasn't feeling peak so I made soup for dinner. Just as we were about to eat we heard a sort of swooshing sound you might associate with a faucet left slightly on. NOT. The noise was accompanied by an unmistakable smell. We grabbed a flashlight, pulled the cushions off the main salon settee, and lifted the plywood covers off of the "storage" area and yes, you guessed it, our holding tank had sprung a leak. Needless to say we lost all interest in dinner. We took several steps, which I won't detail here. Then, with ALL hatches open we went to bed.
Monday, August 13, 2001 RKYC, Saint John, NB
This morning was "fix the holding tank" morning. It's not a particularly dangerous job. It's not a job that if done improperly will sink the boat. It's just a job you never want to have to do. Worst of all, we don't even know if the fix we used is going to work for any length of time. Replacing the tank here isn't something we really want to get into. At this point we're hoping we can nurse it back to the states. We'll see (smell?) During a break from our labors a dinghy pulled up along side. The driver wasn't dressed in any sort of official government uniform, such as the ENVIRONMENTAL POLICE for example. It was, in fact, the owner of the Concordia yawl we were drooling over the previous evening. Edgar Crocker has a summerhouse on Kennebecassis Island a few miles from the RKYC and keeps the boat here after each year's race. He's bringing her south in a couple of weeks. We had a nice visit and then headed back below to the continuing troubles.
Plumber's addendum:Our 28-gallon holding tank has developed about a five-inch fissure-like hole in one of its corners. Apparently, August 13 under full conditions and under pressure, it decided to let loose. We took apart the settee, removed all sanitation hoses in and out of the tank, and managed to pull out the tank for inspection. Of course these tasks were interspersed with rapid trips to the cockpit to gag and hold back more dramatic responses. Once we had the tank out in the open, I decided to try a "two part steel resin" recommended by Tom Neale in his Bahamas lectures. I had used fiberglass resin before on plastic with less than satisfactory results. If the recommended uses on the package are halfway true we may be able to avoid buying a new tank when we get back to NewburyportÉ somehow I doubt we will be so fortunate. In any event I cleaned up the wound, roughened it up and applied the first coat. I'm currently waiting for it to dry so I can apply the second coat. How does it smell without an open septic tank in your living room?
There's not much more to be said about this day. (Nothing anyone would appreciate getting the details on anyway.) More tomorrow.
Tuesday, August 14, 2001 Dipper Harbour, NB
We arose bright and early and reinstalled the holding tank. The stuff we used to fix the crack has dried and we're hoping it lasts till we can order a new tank, which is undoubtedly the solution to this delicate issue. Our goal today was to make it through the reversing falls, out of Saint John Harbour and south as far as Dipper Harbour. We decided that high slack at the falls was the way to go in order to get some favorable current to our destination. We arrived at the falls at about 8:45a.m. for a 9:15 slack. There was one small sailboat waiting ahead of us and a motor vessel planning to head upriver toward us when the time came. After our first experience with the falls we thought we'd wait for precisely slack before heading through. The motor vessel was the first to pass, with no difficulties, at 9:05. A second, larger sailboat headed past us and through about two minutes later. No apparent difficulties. The little sailboat however, seemed to be working fairly hard to make it through. We made our way out at exactly slack and passed the smaller sailboat with some amount of effort just beyond the upper falls. We negotiated the lower falls with no problems at all. All done with the reversing falls! If we were to head downriver on a high slack again we'd leave slightly earlier than the exact time of slack. The upper falls had been less turbulent before predicted slack. I think it's a matter of becoming familiar with what to look for instead of a particular time. When you're making only two passages though, that's a bit difficult.
We were tickled to discover that there were hazy skies instead of foggy ones as we entered Saint John Harbour. The odds of our getting hit by a ship were therefore greatly reduced. We checked in with Fundy Traffic and headed on our way. There was no wind for our first voyage back on the salty sea. We motored our way south with the swirly currents.
We were happy to see our scallop fisherman friends anchored in their "shucking" position in the entrance to Dipper Harbour. More scallops for dinner! Went for a walk and made scallops over linguine for dinner and called it a day.
Wednesday, August 15, 2001 North Head Harbour, Grand Manan, NB
We had planned to continue our southward press in anticipation of my Brother's arrival in Rockland on Monday. As we headed out of Dipper in the early morning though we were enticed by the clear weather and the distant cliffs of Grand Manan. We had included a visit to the Island in our itinerary as we were making plans in the Spring, but as sometimes (often?) happens our plans had changed. We were nervous about getting out there, getting fogged in, and missing our rendezvous in Rockland. This morning though, it looked so close that we couldn't resist. We adjusted our navigation and headed for North Head Harbour.
We arrived in the Harbour at around 1:00 p.m. There were about a dozen other cruising boats at the public moorings outside the government wharf, including the motor vessel "Pursuit" which we had seen heading up the falls the previous day and a particularly swank navy blue Hinkley. We were surprised by the amount of traffic both in the Harbour and on the streets surrounding it. We had to remind ourselves that this was where the ferryboats dropped off and picked up all the people and things that make their way to the Island. It was a bit startling nonetheless. We headed off in search of some bicycles to rent for our brief afternoon visit. Once we were mobile we rode over for a close-up of Swallowtail Light. It's one of the more dramatic Lighthouses we've seen recently. It sits high on a cliff and is secured to its perch with giant wire cables. It would take a pretty impressive storm to yank it off. Apparently there are rooms for rent in the house adjacent to the Light. I imagine it would be an impressive spot to be in any inclement weather.
In the waters surrounding the point are several fish weirs. We watched as fishermen came to harvest these weirs. They were accompanied by scientists from the local Marine Biological Station. The scientists dove into the fisherman's nets to pull the porpoises out and free them outside of the weir area. On this particular day they also encountered a fairly large shark. They were able to rescue the six porpoises but I'm not so sure about the shark.
We continued our ride with a trip towards Northern Head, which is the northern most part of the Island. Roger was just recovering from some sort of flu and boy if that road wasn't all uphill. We called it quits at the top of a hill, somewhat premature of our destination. What a great downhill glide we had! It got us almost all the way home.
We returned our bikes and headed back to the boat. If we were to make another trip to Grand Manan we would definitely try to see some of the less frequented sections of the Island including Seal Cove on the southeast corner of the Island. We pulled out the first of four little bottles of champagne that my Sister had given to us. Each is labeled with a destination. This one was labeled "Northern Maine". We were happy to have made it that far and more. Tomorrow we head back into the States.
Thursday, August 16, 2001 Roque Island, Maine
It should come as no surprise to anyone that we awoke to a very foggy Grand Manan morning. We saw what we termed a "fogbow", which is much like a rainbow but not quite. We took it as a good omen and plotted our course out of the Harbour. We managed to get around Swallowtail Light without seeing even a suggestion of its outline. It was at this point that we heard one of the Island ferries heading out of the Harbour in our general direction. Needless to say we were on the radio pretty quick to make sure the ferry saw us on their radar. Happily they were aware of us and had every intention on letting us go free. The fog lifted ever so briefly and we were able to see the cliffs of Ashburton Head. Once we rounded Northern Head Light and proceeded on our heading for Cutler the fog settled back in for the duration. We pulled out the egg timer and set it at two minute intervals at which time we'd give Mr. Fog Horn one long blast. It took us a can and a half of freon to get to Cutler.
We stopped in Cutler only long enough to clear customs and headed back out into what was by then just haze. We were aiming for either Roque Island or Mistake Harbor for the night. We saw the blue Hinkley from Grand Manan ahead of us, heading in the same general direction and Roger naturally considered us to be racing. The unfortunate Hinkley stayed on their outbound tack too long and we were able to pull ahead. By now the wind had picked up to a steady 18-25 knots. We had a double reefed main and full jib deployed, which the boat seemed to like. Roger was enjoying himself immensely. We left the Libby Islands close to starboard and set our sights on Roque. The Hinkley chose a more circuitous approach to the Island and we beat them in. Alas, it wasn't the Hinkley's day as they also managed to catch a lobster pot on the way in to the anchorage. Another long day in store for tomorrow.
Friday, August 17, 2001 Little Cranberry Island, Maine
We took off early with Little Cranberry Island, some 45 miles away, as our destination. The forecast wasn't terrific. A dank morning with steadily increasing winds throughout the day, ending with possible showers/thundershowers. Uck. With the double reef still in the main I headed us out through the Double Shot Island pass away from Roque and turned south. Seas were big and rolly and the boat was bashing about. An hour out of Roque we were thinking it would be nice to make the short distance to Mistake Harbor. Strangely enough the wind died down from its 18-25 speed to almost nothing and we started the engine. We were making almost no headway bashing into the seas and it was looking like the day would be a definite slog. Then the wind picked up again. The day followed this pattern pretty much throughout. Roger took the helm and watched for pots from the leeward side. I sat up high and shouted pot warnings from the windward side. It was a day you could get particularly sick of the whole lobster pot thing. Amazingly enough we covered the distance to Little Cranberry and were tucked in by 5:30. The rains came just as we finished anchoring. Nice. We were in bed soon after.
Saturday, August 18, 2001 Carver Cove, Fox Islands Thorofare, Maine
We awoke to fog and no wind. Today was a shorter day so we decided to wait out the fog a bit. At about 10:00a.m. the fog eased somewhat and we started the engine and began our rather circuitous day. If you were a white water paddler you might term today's work to be somewhat "technical". Lots of rocks in the way. Our goal was to finish the day at Carver Cove at the eastern entrance to the Fox Islands Thorofare. In order to get there we had to pass down the Western Way, along with one hundred other boats, turn the corner and cross the southern end of Blue Hill Bay, go through Casco Passage, across Jericho Bay and through the Deer Island Thorofare, by Stonington then across Isle Au Haut Bay. Lots of buoy watching involved. To top it all off, the wind picked up but from the direction.
Except for some questionable tuna sandwiches the day turned out pretty well. The fog cleared completely, it was sunny and pleasant and we hit nothing. The Deer Island Thorofare was particularly pretty. The Islands there are composed of beautiful smooth pink granite. It's really neat to see. We didn't stop at Stonington, but it's a very appealing place from a "stone's throw" away.
For our final crossing of the day we got some wind in our favor. There were gentle rollers headed up Isle Au Haut bay, 13-18 knots of wind and just generally nice sailing conditions. It was a fine way to end the day. Carver Cove is a fairly wide-open spot, but great in the prevailing SW wind. We spent a quiet evening listening to Prairie Home Companion and watching the sun set.
Sunday, August 19, 2001 Rockland, Maine
Rockland or Bust! No fog, no wind. We motored through the Fox Islands Thorofare on our way to the southern end of Penobscot Bay. About halfway through the Thorofare we encountered the round the world racing catamaran "Team Adventure". It's a huge and beautiful boat with a BIG, BIIIGGGG BOOBOO. We're told (probably fourth hand) that she hit something while doing about 30 knots. Her port bow is pretty much dangling by a thread. Happily she is equipped with watertight bulkheads so she didn't sink.
Wind was not in our favor, once again, and we motored the final six miles into Rockland. We picked up a mooring at the Municipal dock and sat briefly to reflect on our accomplishment. Saint John, New Brunswick to Rockland, Maine in five days. Not bad considering the currents and the weather involved. Unfortunately we had to press on to greater things...our laundry was threatening to mutiny.
After laundry, showers and dinner out we headed back to the boat to prepare for our visitors who arrive tomorrow.
Monday, August 20, 2001 Rockland, Maine
Today is the first really consistently crappy day we have had in weeks. It is, of course, because we have guests coming. We started the day early by dropping off several rolls of film at Rite Aid, then walked to the supermarket. We managed to get back to the boat and get organized before the troops arrived. Our visitors included my Brother, who is visiting from Alaska, my Mother and old family sailing friends, the Walshes. When I was a kid my family and the Walshes owned a 30 foot catamaran together. Four adults and six children would go cruising on this thing. I'm not sure now how we did it. It was nice to catch up with everyone.
Now that we have met our deadline we can continue our trip south in a more leisurely fashion. Whew!
Tuesday, August 21, 2001 Rockland, Maine
Today was a day with no real agenda. It was our first in a while. To celebrate we made jersey eggs for breakfast. You poke a hole in the middle of a piece of bread, throw it in the fry pan, drop an egg in the hole and, voila! Breakfast! I think they might also be known as "egg in a basket", but I could be wrong. At any rate we suddenly had time on our hands. I spent the morning catching up on some log entries while Roger read his book about Clara Barton. All in all a fairly nifty morning compared to some we have had lately.
We headed into Rockland in the afternoon and spent about an hour on the computer at the Chamber of Commerce (nice folks). We then went to the P.O. to mail some stuff. We found a place to buy new lures for the company fisherman (Roger lost his last lure in the cockpit of a nearby boat while we were anchored in Dipper Harbour) We also found a spot for me to buy some fabric to create some possibly cool mobiles as gifts. After all this exertion we felt compelled to stop at the local Mexican joint to quaff some frozen margueritas before making our way back to the vessel.
While on the Internet we found the phone number for the folks who made our holding tank some fifteen years ago. When we spoke to them they said that the designers of our boat insisted on the particular design of our tank, though the manufacturers said it wasn't a great idea. It turns out that of the 80 tanks built in this shape we are the 61st owners to suffer this catastrophic failure. Great. They are going to ship us a new one momentarily and life will be glorious once again.
Wednesday, August 22, 2001 Warren Island, Islesboro, Maine
We had several thoughts about where we might want to end up today. The weather, as usual, decided us. FOG. One of our thoughts had involved sailing up to Camden and climbing Mt. Battie. As of 1:00 p.m. the fog had not cleared so we decided that instead of climbing to the top of a mountain to see nothing, we would head instead to Warren Island, off the West Side of Islesboro Island, and see nothing with far less effort. We headed in to the Landings Marina to get fuel and water before heading back into the "wilderness". The attendant saw our bill for 16 gallons of fuel and sighed. He apparently has a powerboat, which gulps 25 gallons of fuel per hour. Argh!
We made our way out into the fog at about 1:30 p.m. for our 15 mile trip. We had to make a brief pit stop while Roger extricated his new lure from the clutches of a lobster buoy, but otherwise we were making fairly good progress through the murk. When we were about two thirds of the way to our destination a small, decrepit motorboat approached us from the stern. There were three men aboard who wanted to know if we were headed towards the mainland. When we said no, they asked if we knew which way the mainland was. We determined that they wanted to go to Camden so we gave them a compass heading (they claimed to have a compass) and sent them on their way. They didn't follow the heading we gave them and were soon lost in the mists. Ordinarily I would have been somewhat concerned, but I gotta say I was somewhat relieved. These guys looked like some of the folks I used to dance with at punk rock parties when I was in college. These were not guys who looked at home behind the wheel of a boat. In fact, we began speculating that perhaps they had escaped quite recently from the state prison in Thomaston, which is just around the corner of the Bay. We haven't been keeping very close track of local news, so if we should have alerted someone please let us know.
We arrived at Warren Island with no further incident. As we strained in the fog to see our last mark a beautiful schooner came out of the fog and lead us to our destination. A perfect way to end a foggy Maine day.
Thursday, August 23, 2001 Castine, Maine
We awoke to a basically fog-free morning, which was pretty neat. We didn't have far to travel today so we headed ashore for a walk around Warren Island. Warren Island is a state park, donated by the town of Islesboro some years ago. It's a beautiful little spot with several tent sites and views of the Camden Hills. We met two young boys on the dock as we departed. They explained that they were fishing for crabs but had yet to catch any. I suggested that perhaps crabs were rather clever but they said no, that they were dumb... So why were they crabless??
We headed out from Warren at about eleven headed towards Castine. There wasn't any wind so we were under power. Roger attempted to troll again but hooked seaweed within minutes of leaving the harbor. We rounded the top of Islesboro and were approaching Castine by 1:30. The wind picked up so we unfurled the jib and were doing about 6 knots when we hooked another hunk of seaweed. This trolling stuff is tough business.
We picked up a mooring at the Castine Yacht Club and headed in for a walk around the historic town. Lots of things happened here, though I don't think I could sum them up in any concise way. There were several forts located here over the years. The "town" changed hands about a half dozen times between the French, Americans, British and the Dutch. Loyalists floated their houses from here to St. Andrews N.B. when things weren't looking so good for their side. It's a very nice place to walk around, though a very different walk from the one we had taken just this morning.
After frozen margueritas and several rounds of trivial pursuit at Dennett's Wharf we headed back to the boat for pasta and red sauce.
Friday, August 24, 2001 Pulpit Harbor, North Haven Island, Maine
We took off from Castine after a fairly leisurely morning, headed for Pulpit Harbor, only 12 miles away. In hindsight we should have sailed right on past Pulpit and headed around the corner to our next destination. The sailing was beautiful and Pulpit was crowded. Instead, we dropped the anchor and went ashore for a walk. According to the cruising guide there was a place to dispose of trash at the town landing. We bundled up the little offering we had brought from the boat and proceeded down the dock. A helpful local told us that the town no longer collected trash from this location, so we proceeded back to the dinghy and left our refuse there and headed out, once again, on our walk.
We followed a pretty, quiet road towards the northwestern tip of the Island. I was startled briefly by a dead snake on the side of the road. It doesn't matter if they're dead or alive, they still startle me. After a while it struck us that there weren't all that many houses on this road. The reason, it would seem, is that we were walking on the road to the dump. If we had only known! We could have killed two birds with one stone.
On the bright side, we did harvest enough raspberries to make some (somewhat crunchy) muffins.
Saturday, August 25, 2001 Head Harbor, Isle Au Haut, Maine
We generally try not to backtrack, but Isle Au Haut is a special spot and we hadn't stopped here on our way north. We left Pulpit at about 8:30 with a pretty nice breeze. We planned to go up around the northwestern end of North Haven and back down Penobscot Bay and Isle Au Haut Bay. Unfortunately, as soon as we had the sails set, the wind died. Motoring commenced. Four hours later we entered Head Harbor, Isle Au Haut. We were a bit chilly but happy, with not another boat in sight. One section of Isle Au Haut has been designated as part of Acadia National Park. Most people are familiar with the Park as it exists on Mt. Desert Island but not this "satellite". In order to camp on the Island you must procure a "special use permit" in advance from the National Park Service. The beauty of being a sailor is that you can simply come on your boat.
We packed up some water, a bedraggled trail map, sunblock, etc., and to shore we went. The trails on the Island are beautiful. Mosses, towering trees, marshes and hidden coves. We thought about hiking to the top of Duck Mt. but we didn't have the energy. We found a particularly scenic spot about half way there and squandered the rest of the afternoon staring out to sea.
As we returned to the dinghy, Roger saw an elderly fellow he had met several years before. The man had retired here and was making great progress on the rehab of his old harborside home. Roger greeted him and congratulated him on the quality of the work. They both seemed pleased.
We ate leftovers and listened to the radio and generally celebrated Saturday night.
Sunday, August 26, 2001 Burnt Island, Muscongus Bay, Maine
Today really felt like we were ending the Maine portion of our trip. The portion where we had planned to leave home, go out the mouth of the Merrimac river and hang a left for two months before regrouping and heading out the Merrimac and hanging a right for ten months. At least if we had to leave the unspoiled and rural portion of the Maine coast it was only fair to have a good sailing day. It was perfect. Blue sky, dry, no fog, and winds a steady 15 - 20 with gusts to 23.
A long reach and a final beat for the last leg to Burnt Island off the coast from Port Clyde. Given that the forecast was for small craft warnings in the afternoon, we put two reefs in the main and left my favorite, Head Harbor at Isle Au Haut, until another year. The sail was great. The two reefs kept us very much under control with heeling only occasionally over 20 degrees. Toward the end of the day we took a couple turns in the jib and arrived safely and exhilarated at Burnt. The only downside to our great sail was poor Milo. As usual he slept most of the morning and came out to the cockpit after our lunch of soup and crackers. Unfortunately for Milo, I had decided to add the couple turns in the jib after lunch and when I did the usual sail flogging and general mayhem occurred. Milo freaked. Although I didn't see it, Amy sadly saw him jump below, run for the V-berth, jump onto the bunk, and literally burrow like a mouse into the covers to escape the craziness above. Oh well, he really does seem to enjoy most of his days with us, especially the extra human foods he seems to be getting, e.g., cheese, milk, fish, etc.
Although we had two sets of leftovers in the fridge, the long sail and the crisp air made us both feel like having our current favorite meal...pizza...It doesn't take much to cause excitement on a sailboat. Tomorrow it's off to Boothbay Harbor. Amy has fond memories of Boothbay from her childhood, as do many people. I hope that the more recent developments don't disappoint her. We shall see.
Monday, August 27, 2001 Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club, Boothbay, Maine
I was awakened at one point during the night by some sort of noise. When I looked out the porthole I saw across the previously empty anchorage several flashlights hard at work. At first, in my sleepy state, I thought maybe they were lobster poachers. After several minutes of concentration I realized that it was probably one of the Outward Bound boats that the cruising guide says sometimes anchor here. Sure enough, in the morning we saw one of their 30-foot open boats rowing it's way out of the anchorage into the gray and foreboding day.
Our destination for the day was Linnekin Bay. We wanted to take a walk around Boothbay, but we didn't really want to have to pick up a mooring to do it. Lewis Cove at the head of Linnekin Bay allows you to anchor and walk across a footbridge to Boothbay, so that was our plan.
The forecast was less than ideal. Showers, wind, etc. We didn't have that far to go so we donned our foul weather gear and beat our way towards our first mark. Happily this turned out to be the nastiest weather of the day. After we rounded the mark it became just a rolly, windless motor. Some forecast. The monotony was broken at one point when I spied a whale. As usual I am not sure what sort of whale it was, but it was definitely big. Roger didn't see the whale, so this is an unsubstantiated sighting.
We found our way to Lewis Cove with little difficulty. It was sort of like anchoring in suburbia after some of the places we have anchored recently. We were a bit tentative about the spot because it was deep and narrow, but we went with it. The friendly assistant harbormaster came by to give us Boothbay water bottles and a walking guide to town. Such attention.
One of the reasons we came to Boothbay was so I could fondly remember the sights and sounds of a sailing trip I took as a youth on my family's catamaran. Unfortunately I didn't recognize a thing. It was still a nice spot for an afternoon walk. When we returned to the boat we weren't all that happy with our location and re-anchoring didn't help. After much hemming and hawing we rounded the tip of Spruce Point, to the Boothbay Yacht Club and picked up the mooring we had hoped to avoid.
Tuesday, August 28, 2001 Jewell Island, Maine
We took full advantage of our stay at the Yacht Club. We got up early and brought the boat to the dock. We showered, washed the boat down (the first time since we left home) and filled our water tanks. It was a morning of luxury. Too bad we didn't have anything more glamorous to eat than corn chex.
We headed out into a windless Casco Bay aiming for Jewell Island. Jewell is a state park in Portland Harbor (sort of) with a really nice anchorage. We were the third boat to arrive. Ten more would follow. On a Tuesday night! Weekends must be hell. The Island has some nice walking trails and we found our way across to the ocean-side. The cove we explored was called the Punchbowl. It was composed of the strangest rock. I don't know much about rock so I can't really elaborate, but if you are into rock at all, Jewell is the stop for you.
We saw a boat we had seen in Horseshoe Cove at the end of July. They were headed home to Quisset, MA, after a five week trip. We talked about our trip to Saint John, where they had just returned from when we saw them last. We also discussed the Intercoastal Waterway, which they have done several times. It's nice to see people/boats you have seen before. There's a definite sense of community.
The only excitement we had at Jewell involved being bumped into by a haphazardly anchored sailboat at midnight. Happily they were a substantially smaller boat with a nifty rubber rub rail.
Wednesday, August 29, 2001 Great Chebeague Island, Maine
Today was our pilgrimage to L.L.Bean in Freeport. You can't believe the lengths we went to in order to buy a pair of shorts, a tee shirt, a set of pillowcases and an area rug. The navigation of a minefield of lobsterpots, several nasty ledges and an island called "Pound of Tea" were involved.We found the seemingly abandoned Harraseeket Yacht Club and tied up at their dock. After locating a member who gave us permission to stay there for our shopping spree, we contacted the L.L.Bean shuttle and off we went.
The town was just as we remembered it. Outlets as far as the eye could see. We managed to make it through two stores before we required lunch. We ate at the Jameson Tavern. This is the spot where papers were signed breaking Maine away from Massachusetts (a dark day.) Roger was good and ordered a Caesar salad. I was less good and ordered a taco salad. Roger had to help me finish mine and we both wound up with heartburn. Roger was doubly upset because he had talked the shuttle van driver into stopping at a convenience store so that he could buy some hamburger, which we then couldn't eat due to our indigestion. Happily the fridge is still working like a champ and Roger will get his burger fix tomorrow.
We returned from our shopping trip with time left to retrace our steps out of South Freeport. We anchored for the evening at Great Chebeague Island. Chebeague is one of about fifteen islands on the Maine coast which has year round residents. We took a walk from the ferry dock to the north end of the Island. It seems to be a pretty laid back spot. It has a neat old Inn called, as you might guess, the Chebeague Inn, which has been around since the turn of the century or so. It would be a great place to spend a lazy summer weekend... if you didn't have a boat.
Thursday, August 30, 2001 Portland, Maine
We left Great Chebeague fairly early headed for Portland. We were going to meet my friends David and Peter for an afternoon sail. It's a good thing we weren't meeting for a morning sail because there was NO wind. As we putted our way down the bay towards Portland the breeze slowly built. By the time we arrived at Portland Yacht Services, where we had reserved a mooring, the wind had arrived. The mooring field is pretty exposed but the moorings themselves are heavy duty. We might roll but we're not going anywhere.
We met the guys and ate flatbread pizza for lunch (pancetta, gorgonzola, pineapple..yum) before heading out for our sailing adventure. The guys didn't actually eat all that much. I think they were nervous that they might get seasick. No such problems! We had a great sail out of Portland Harbor, around Diamond and Little Diamond Islands and back to the mooring with no sick guests. Very cool! Peter was taking pictures like a wild man with his digital camera. A very neat toy.
Our guests headed back to shore pretty early. They don't like the thought of hitting the moose, which seem to abound in their part of Maine after dark. Roger finally got his burger fix. We grilled our dinner as the sun set against the Portland skyline. It's a neat little city with a lot going on.
David & Peter Aboard
Peter doing log duty
Hello folks. Here are the first pictures from our sail with Amy and Roger, 8/30/01. The weather was perfect and it was great to spend time with Amy and Roger as we won't see them again for about a year.
Amy did most of the steering, David and Roger charted the course, and I yelled when there was a lobster trap ahead.
We passed an old fort, many island get-aways and a variety of ships and boats including tug boats, Coast Guard, lobster and fishing boats, Island Ferrys, tankers and as you can see, the Green Peace ship docked in the harbor. We saw only one seal...
The building with the flag is a yacht club on one of the islands we passed.
The sail boat was neat and clean, the cat stayed down below during the sail but came up to visit at the end when we docked. All four of us loaded into the dinghy to go back and forth from the dock - didn't leave any room for anything else.
Some facts about Maine that you may want to know: Maine has 63 light houses Population of the state is just over 1.1 million Portland, the largest city, has just over 60,000 people 2,295 square miles of inland water area More than 6,000 lakes and ponds 32,000 miles of rivers and streams The coast line is equal to the size of California's coastline, compressed into the short distance of 250 air miles Over 2000 islands are part of the coastline Cadillac Mountain is the highest point along the Atlantic coast of North America 90% of the state is forested Maine is a leader in the production of Boats and construction lumber Maine catches 90% of the nations lobster supply Other important catches include: Sardines, Salmon, Cod, Haddock and Sea Urchins Acadia National Park is considered one of the most diverse parks in the country, the park includes mountains, forest, coast line, lakes and desert
Thanks to Peter & David for the great log entry!
Friday, August 31, 2001 Cliff Island, Maine
Today was a funny day. Our destination kept changing with the weather forecasts. We treated ourselves to breakfast out. The Port Hole Restaurant is a piece of work not to be missed if you need to eat breakfast in Portland. We each ate an incredible albeit, greasy meal and headed home to the weather radio and the chart table. Our first tentative destination of the day, Stage Harbor, was scrubbed due to the forecast for SW 15-25 knots. Too far to go in a nasty wind. We thought, instead, we would pick a destination less distant but still in the right direction (SW). When we were halfway across Portland Harbor, still in the lee of South Portland, and it was already blowing 25 knots we revised our destination once again. We didn't want to stay another night in the city so decided we'd do a little downwind sail and position ourselves at an outlying island to get an early start in the a.m. The island we chose was Cliff.Roger
Cliff is a wonderful anchorage. It is every bit as pretty and isolated as Jewell but only one other boat shared it with us. We saw this same boat in Head Harbour on Campobello. At that time they said they were new to sailing and still learning the ropes to feel comfortable. Well, they are still on the steep side of the learning curve. We sat frozen in the cockpit as they steered their 42' ketch into the entrance of the anchorage across a 1-foot spot on the wrong side of a green can. Yes, that is 1 foot. Not only did they do this once, but after letting their sails flog in the 20+ knot breeze as they re-read their charts, they did a 180 and returned over the same 1-foot spot a second time before turning back to the anchorage again. We kept waiting to see the boat stop in its tracks as it hit the rock but fortunately this did not happen. They were lucky, just as we all have been, and they are still learning as we all are...
I am very impressed by Casco Bay. I was always afraid that it would be jam packed with boats and not have the natural beauty found further down the coast. It has been a wonderful surprise. Very nice places for gunkholing and very close to a great little city with plenty of fun restaurants and shopping of every kind, all in a half-funky nautical setting. I would definitely recommend Casco Bay if time did not permit a trip further east to Penobscot Bay and beyond.
Our casual last 10 days has prepared me for our return to Newburyport and more land-based activities. There are lots of projects to do and people to see before we head off for the next phase of our trip, down the East Coast to The Chesapeake, Washington, D.C., and the beginning of the dreaded ditch in Norfolk.
Sunday, September 2, 2001 Newburyport, Mass.
Roger & Amy
We left Cliff Island Saturday morning with a raging Northwest wind and every expectation that we would have an exciting sail down the coast...it lessened ...and lessened ...and lessened so that by noon we were under power. We spent the night at a little pocket in the Southern Maine coast called Stage Island Harbor. We had spent a night here over Columbus Day Weekend a few years ago and had the place to ourselves. It being Labor Day Weekend this time around, we had lots of company.
This morning we headed for home. A great sail, 15-20 knots on a beam reach all the way to the mouth of the Merrimack River... and what happened after 1500 miles of safe sailing? I cut the corner on the entrance jetty too close at low tide and we bumped along a 4.5 foot spot on the entry sand bar. How embarrassing!
We were overwhelmed by the myriad of boats coming and going into the harbor on a beautiful Labor Day weekend. What a zoo! With luck things will quiet down as Labor Day passes and New England prepares for fall. We plan to head south around the third week in September after we work on (and with any luck, finish) a variety of projects. The first task is to replace the holding tank. We will not detail this operation for you. The addition of radar and a wind generator are high on our list. Large lists of smaller tasks fill our horizon and may or may not get done.
We're going to give the log a rest while we work on getting ready for the next leg of our journey. We'll reconnect as we make our way south. Bahamas Bound!
To October 2001