Preparations - Before July 2001
Sunday July 1, 2001 Newburyport
Today we left our dwelling in the happy hands of the tenants. After spending the morning cleaning like dervishes we transported the remaining piles to the boat. With plans to head the fourteen miles south to Rockport tomorrow we were the teeniest bit anxious about the vast array of stuff that needed to be stowed. After stashing enough gear so that we could see the v-berth we officially began our first night aboard. The cat was decidedly skeptical.
Monday July 2, 2001 Rockport
I began the day by packing of a huge variety of things we'll probably never use. From there I progressed to the supermarket. Roger spent the morning adjusting the rigging, bending on the sails, inflating the dinghy and giving the engine a once over. Once I returned to the boat and crammed all the newly acquired food items into their new homes we had just enough time to make the 4:30 bridge which allowed us to head out to the mouth of the Merrimack River. Needless to say we were pretty pooped.
We didn't have much wind to speak of to take us to Rockport. We ended up motoring the whole way. We arrived at the anchorage as the sun set, meeting our friends Jon and Andrea on Iona. They had arrived shortly before us. Dinner was crackers, rotten cheese (newly acquired!) and fruit. The cat noted his displeasure with our rolly anchorage by throwing up.
Tuesday July 3, 2001 Provincetown
Our goal for the day was to sail to Provincetown, or "P-town" as it's fondly known around here. The morning started off with a bit of a bump. While hauling up the anchor we managed to drift over a lobster buoy which wedged itself in the rudder. Roger was able to fish around under the boat with a boat hook and extricate the offending item, sparing someone from having to take a swim.
We arrived off of Race Point, in Provincetown by mid afternoon leaving ourselves plenty of time to slog through the advertised current which was accompanied by a fair amount of wind, both against us. Jon and Andrea, having avoided the whole lobster pot option on this tour preceded us by an hour or so. They looked no less frazzled than we did however. We all mustered the energy to go out for dinner to celebrate our long-anticipated adventure. We drank a variety of exotic drinks and made our way back to the launch and bed.
Wednesday July 4, 2001 Provincetown
Happy Fourth! My Mom, sister and brother-in-law arrived at mid-day via the Boston to P-town ferry to spend two days with us before we head further afield. Needless to say we spent the morning cleaning up from yesterday's tussle with Mother Nature and trying to find a place to put three guests and their associated belongings. We were rather pleased with the results, though not as pleased as Mom, Cath and Bill who might have found themselves sleeping in the cockpit if we failed. We all lounged around the cockpit for several hours before heading in to town to play.
After a sniff test we got permission from Mom to grill two-day-old chicken (procured from the same place as the aforementioned cheese) on the brand new bar-b-que grill. Happily we can report that there were no incidents, either grill or germ related. We watched the fireworks, which were pretty good, then all collapsed into a large heap.
Thursday July 5, 2001 Provincetown
After the flurry of activity over the last month or so, we are really appreciating these lounging sorts of days. The visiting troops headed into town once again to hang out while the ship's crew handled those things that the ship's crew handles (filling water tanks, looking in horror at the head, etc.) We all gathered in town for lunch, which was wonderful. It was one of those days when you secure a table outside and are glad when your waiter disappears (after filling your drink order) for extended periods. The sky was blue, the atmosphere festive, the people-watching funky. We separated afterwards to run an array of errands. Roger and Bill returned to the boat a bit tipsy and tattooed (happily only the temporary version). They had encountered an interesting bartender who had spent several years teaching scuba diving on Cat Island in the Bahamas. He had all sorts of good advice about southern sailing and how to drink vodka in the heat. For dinner we had some fairly impressive hot dogs cooked on the new (and viciously hot) grill. Once again, no one was injured.
Friday July 6, 2001 Provincetown
The family found their way onto the 10 a.m. ferry to Beantown. They seemed to have had a nice time. At least I'm pretty sure that's why they were all smiling as they waved goodbye. Cath and Bill gave us a wonderful going away gift, a box of wine, each labeled with a different destination, from Grand Manan to the Chesapeake to the Bahamas. Can't wait to enjoy each one and the memories.
We ceded control of the mooring and headed out to Long Point for a more economical patch of water. After repeated attempts to anchor along a tricky ridge we declared success and took a nap. The rest of the day involved low key chore kind of stuff and was topped off with pasta for dinner. Yum!
Saturday July 7, 2001 Provincetown
Lest you think we're never going to leave here, rest assured, plans are afoot. We decided several days before leaving Newburyport that our first week out would involve a great deal of what we refer to as "bobbing". Bobbing, as you might guess involves a lot of nothing much. We wanted to slow the pace down a bit and we think it's working.
Saturday was spent on a variety of chores. Roger changed the valves in the inflatable dinghy to stop a couple of pesky leaks. The outboard engine was serviced with only the tiniest mess involving lower unit gear lube oil. We went for a walk on the beach adjacent to the anchorage and met several very friendly dogs. All in all a fine day.
Sunday July 8, 2001 Provincetown
We had planned to leave for Cataumet this morning but the forecast was pretty bleak. 20kts of wind from the SW, which is precisely the direction we need to go. The trip involves transiting the Cape Cod Canal, on west flowing current. Shooting out of the Canal on a westbound current into Buzzards Bay with a SW wind is not something you really want to do. So here we are again.
We did take advantage of the somewhat bleak day by investigating the inner workings of our head. It is, to me at least, a somewhat mysterious place with a somewhat threatening presence. We found nothing in particular wrong with it but I'm still a bit suspect.
After the adventure with the head Roger went on to make a great deal of sense out of the debris we had stashed in the quarterberth. It had adopted the appearance of a garage over the past week or so and we knew it had to be remedied. A productive day.
Monday July 9, 2001 Cataumet
Today we motored across Cape Cod Bay from Provincetown, at the north end of the Cape, to the Cape Cod Canal, which is at the southwest terminus of the Cape. We proceeded westward through the Canal with the current, arriving in Buzzard's Bay by early afternoon. There was NO wind in Cape Cod Bay and LOTS of wind in Buzzard's Bay. We were able to sail the remaining miles to our destination of Bassett's Island, which is a barrier island outside of Cataumet. The south and southwest side of Cape Cod can have very different weather patterns from the other areas of the Cape. The water is warmer, the tidal range is much smaller than the north side and as previously noted the winds can be completely different. As a kid growing up on the Outer Cape (north side) it intrigued me that people from away would always comment on how nice and warm the Cape was. They must have been talking about the Upper Cape (south side)...
The entrance to Cataumet via the south end of Bassett's Island requires a good bit of attention. The Channel is narrow, shallow and windy. When you draw 6'2" (or slightly more when loaded) this makes for an exciting end to a day. We managed to maintain forward motion and anchored behind Basset's in 12 feet of water. With only a 4-foot tidal range here (as opposed to the 9' range that we're used to) we felt pretty comfortable. We went for a swim (water temp. 74!) and a walk on the beach and finished the day with sun showers. All in all no complaints.
Tuesday July 10, 2001 Cataumet
Today we stayed put. We worked on a variety of chores including an oil change and a scrub of the waterline. The NOAA folks were forecasting localized (our locale) thunderstorms with damaging winds and hail, etc. We decided it would be a good opportunity to test our skill at putting out two anchors. After much hemming and hawing we deployed the twosome and watched how they worked together. We made several adjustments and waited for the wind to arrive. Fortunately the forecasted wind never appeared so we don't know how our anchor setup would have worked. We did however get the thunder, lightening and rain, which were predicted. Kitty and I stayed up for the show.
Wednesday July 11, 2001 Scituate
We left Cataumet at 10 a.m. to catch the eastbound current in the Canal for our trip back north. Once again t-storms were in the forecast. About halfway through the Canal the skies opened up. It was wrath of God sort of rain. Happily the thunder, etc. wasn't as threatening as last night. After exiting the Canal and managing to avoid a large barge and a variety of other craft in the near zero visibility I went below to dry off and put on more foul weather gear. By the time I returned to the cockpit the sun was out in all its glory and I looked slightly insane. Our destination of Scituate was only about twenty miles north of the Canal so once we mopped up from the rain we were able to have a fairly pleasant sail. Roger was able to use the new whisker pole for the first time. He was unhappy with the length of the track and made plans to rectify the situation.
We arrived in Scituate at around 4:30 and picked up a mooring. We are trying to be good by anchoring as much as possible but Scituate is a pretty crowded place and we thought better of it. We were having a few beers in the cockpit, looking at all the nifty boats floating in the glassy harbor when what should we see but two small sailboats limping in having seen some nasty weather. One was dismasted, the other had sails strewn about its deck and the crew all in life preservers. They had apparently been caught by one of those localized thunderstorms that will put a damper on ones day. Pepperoni and crackers for dinner.
My first note since the preparation entries. Just as Amy waited for the spirit to move her to make her first entries, this morning is the first time that I found the urge to seek out the PC and connect back to friends and family. After a week plus of wonderful bobbing at Provincetown and Cataumet, short sails and motoring, we are now enjoying one of those all too infrequent perfect New England sails...10-12 knots, 90 degrees apparent, calm seas and glorious blue sky with a temp. in the 70's. Doesn't get much better. We are heading from Scituate to Newburyport about 50 miles or so and the forecast calls for a full day of dry northwest/west air perhaps building to 20 knots by the time we turn Cape Ann for home.
Thursday July 12, 2001 On Route to Newburyport
For the first week or so I was inflicted by my usual need to obtain some degree of control and equilibrium with my new environment and it's many systems and idiosyncrasies. I'm more or less there at this point and I suppose that this state combined with the wonderful sail has brought me to the log.
I am thrilled with some of the new additions to the boat including the performance of the new high output alternator, its regulator, the new batteries and the battery monitor. Using refrigeration all day long as well as the usual instruments and lighting, we seem to be consuming about 40 amps per day which has allowed us to go several days without charging our batteries and still having plenty of cushion in our 360 amp house battery bank. Now, for the first time that I have an accurate understanding of our power consumption, I can certainly see the merits of a wind generator, with one of the more modern and quiet varieties we could be almost self-sufficient with hardly any use of the alternator. That would be very nice.
The full bimini is fantastic. I don't think I could live without one again. Cool from the hot sun and dry from the rain. The extra protection allows us much more lounging time in the cockpit when it gets breezy, cool, or rainy. A great addition, which most importantly provides more protection for Amy's skin. The only down side is that we swing a bit more at anchor and also lose some boat speed.
I won't bore anyone with the other usual litany of chores and projects other than to say that we are keeping very busy and have a million things to do in Newburyport while we lay over for a day or so before we meet Nick Haines and others for our overnight to Ragged Island (one of our favorite places about 20 miles off the coast from Mt. Desert). Check in later.
We arrived back in Newburyport at about 5 p.m. The trip from Scituate provided us with a wide array of sailing conditions. From perfect to windless to 32 knots. It certainly made the day interesting. We passed Boston and Salem by noon and rounded Cape Ann by 1 p.m. As is the usual these days the t-storms were lurking in the afternoon. As we aimed the boat for home the telltale cloud formations arrived on the scene. We were pretty well prepared. There was no debris laying about the cabin and we had time to get the sails organized before the hammer dropped. We got new sails last year and what a difference they have made in the way the boat handles in rugged weather. She is so much easier to handle. We spent the last ten miles or so picking our way home but very happy with the boat's performance.
Sail handlers note...while Captain Amy flew along at up to 10.6 knots on a course of about 40-50 degrees apparent during the gusty period mentioned above, I found that 5 furls in the 130 jib and a full main with traveler fully released gave us surprising control, little weather helm and just about 20 degrees of heel. Not bad considering the Ericson's tenderness. I wish we could have seen how we performed with a reef or two in the main as well. Oh well plenty of time for that. Maine, here we come!
Saturday July 14, 2001 Newburyport to Ragged Island, ME
Saturday was a very hectic day taking care of all the items on our various lists. The most significant purchase was 250 feet of new anchor rode and 35 feet of anchor chain. Our night at Cataumet with the thunderstorm warning caused us to put down a second anchor and I was not thrilled with the quality of the secondary's (Danforth) rode and chain. We decided to switch the current primary rode to the secondary anchor and get new rode and chain for the primary anchor (CQR). Expensive, but well worth the security.
It was great being back at the Club again. The American Yacht Club in Newburyport is a wonderful place. It has a neat old clubhouse near the mouth of the Merrimack River and it is so pleasant to stand on the old porch and look out at the boats and the river flowing to the sea. I've only kept the boat there for three years but the members I have met have all been great. The group is quite varied, welders, lawyers, carpenters, doctors, etc., but all dedicated to boating. Blazers and white pants definitely not allowed.
Our plan was to leave the AYC late in the afternoon on Saturday for an overnight to Ragged Island. My friend Nick Haines along with two crew, on his boat, Court's Adjourned, were going to head north with us as far as Surry, ME. Nick's crew included Chris Flinchbaugh, the contractor who renovated my house on Plum Island and who has become a close friend (and who also introduced me to Amy), and Gene Permanante another AYC member. After Nick spent two hours looking for a dropped fender, finally retrieving it from the Harbormaster we were off at 6:30 p.m.
The overnight was all motoring but the temp., the clear sky, the stars and a wonderful moonrise made for a memorable trip. Amy and I split the helm duty more or less two hours on and two hours off. Milo enjoyed the night, spending all of it in the cockpit with us. We arrived at about 2 p.m. and found two of the last vacant moorings in the harbor. Ragged has no year-round inhabitants. A wealthy Maine conservationist has bought all the harborfront, renovated the piers and lobster huts, and rents the huts to about ten fishermen for seasonal use. No services are available. No tour boats arrive. Not much of anything to spoil what has become one of my favorite Maine Islands. Chris and I took our traditional skinny dip in 54 degree water at a wonderful little cove on the northeast side of the island.
Monday July 16, 2001 Ragged Island to Buckle Island
After altogether too much wine, (I'll never know how we were successfully able to grill the chicken in our condition without setting the boat on fire), we set off with light winds to the chain of pretty little islands south of Stonington on Deere Isle. Light winds were followed by fog which made for a slow sail and then a motor to an empty anchorage behind two rocky islands. Very quiet and very pretty. Our second night was equally as festive as the first and I'll never forget the sight of Chris asleep in our salon after much wine, beer and his usual celebratory cigar. Nick was the designated dinghy driver for their trip home.
Tuesday July 17 Buckle Island to Surry
Another light wind day after the fog disappeared. Our anticipated match race up Union Bay to Nick's house was a bit on the tame side. Nick was able to move along somewhat better than we were. I of course explain this away by the fact that we were below our water line with a year's worth of supplies and that I had purchased heavy weather sails for our trip which were not as effective as Nick's light air sails and larger genny...somehow I don't think Nick would buy this rationale! Maybe on our way back from New Brunswick we can have a rematch in heavier air. Nick, Gene and Chris headed back to Newburyport after leaving Nick's boat firmly secured to it's mooring in Surry.
Wednesday July 18 Surry to Orcutt Harbor
We slept for 12 hours after our two previous nights of frivolity, waking at 8 a.m. Too much food and wine, time to return to simpler fare. After filling up on diesel in Blue Hill we headed down the bay to the entrance of Eggemoggin Reach. We were aiming to make Brooksville tomorrow to see Win Burt, a good friend since high school. The Reach is a famous piece of Maine water that runs by the Wooden Boat School and the Brooklin Boat yard, two Maine institutions for sailing in general, and wooden boat building in particular. We spent the afternoon tacking up the reach with Amy at the helm and me as able sail-handler and navigator. A wonderful time was had by all.
Ever had tuna quiche? My dear friend is trying every trick in the book to get me to like tuna in ways other than between two pieces of bread. Not too bad. Even had some for breakfast as we sat in this lovely anchorage, composed this entry and watched osprey dive for their own breakfasts and seals splash about for theirs as well.
It's off to catch up with Win, do laundry and buy some charts for New Brunswick.
Thursday, July 19, 2001 Brooksville, Maine
We spent a leisurely morning in Orcutt Harbor preparing for the 2-mile jaunt to Horseshoe Cove where we planned to meet up with our friend Win. The entrance to Horseshoe Cove is privately marked and it helps to have someone with good eyesight aboard to find it. Once inside the entrance you must pay close attention to the directions provided in Taft's guide lest you run afoul of any number of rock ledges, which are among Maine's beauties. We picked up a mooring (there is not really anyplace to anchor), said goodbye to the cat and headed ashore.
Win and his dog, Jake, met us at the dock and proceeded to squire us around in fine style. After the traditional presentation of a bag of trash to the host we hit a variety of critical stops such as the post office and Buck's Harbor Market where the always-friendly folks provided us with some yummy subs and dinner provisions. We had a fine afternoon catching up with Win and Jake at their house at the head of the Cove. The spot is secluded and wonderful with a southwest breeze that will send you into dreamland. The house was built in the early 70's by back-to-the-land sort of folks. There is some lovely woodworking and a beautiful two-story outhouse, which is graced with a stained glass window. Jake, the laundry-stealing dog, provided the only excitement of the day. During last year's visit there was a tragedy involving a pair of Roger's underwear. This year we were prepared. The target of Jake's desire today were a fine pair of multicolored fleece socks (mine). He was caught red-handed before he was able to inflict much damage. After a great dinner of grilled swordfish we called it a day.
Friday, July 20, 2001 WoodenBoat School
Today found Win in the roll of Chauffeur. He drove us into Ellsworth to pick up an array of Canadian charts from Chase & Leavitt. We bought a Canadian courtesy flag at another establishment. We spent some quality time at Napa Auto Parts, the True Value and the grocery store. We even let Win run one errand. We loaded all the newly acquired stuff onto the boat and headed out of Horseshoe cove at 4 p.m.
Saturday, July 21, 2001 WoodenBoat School
Our depth sounder has been behaving in a questionable manner since our overnight to Maine last week. The depth alarm annunciator has been squealing for no apparent reason. The folks who made the device, which is admittedly pretty old, claim that it doesn't like voltage over 13 amps. Naturally the new noise coincides with the recent addition of the high output alternator. Who knew? Yesterday, after leaving Horseshoe Cove, the sounder displayed nothing but 18.8 feet. This is, we are told, the number it displays when it has officially expired. After a call to the ever-trusty people at Voyageur Electronics in Essex, MA, we devised a plan for the replacement of the defunct unit. At a civilized hour this Saturday a.m. we gave a call to Win and announced our return. He seemed reasonably calm.
It looks like the next several days are going to be boat chore oriented while we solve the depth sounder issue. More later.
July 22-24, 2001 Brooksville, Maine
We've been holed up since Saturday waiting to determine the best course of action to fix our depth sounder. We are trying to avoid a haul-out which is both costly and time consuming. We would have to wait until at least Thursday's early tide at Win's boatyard to get pulled. Today, Tuesday I went ahead and ordered both a new display unit as well as a new transducer. The plan is to first connect the new display to the old transducer with a patch kit to comply with its 16 year old and discontinued connector. If this works we are off probably Wednesday PM after the unit arrives from California. If this doesn't work we will have to haul the boat to replace the transducer with the new one, ugh! This episode reminds me that I become quite discontent when I am not in control of things. I know this is hardly a surprise to those that know me but it's always helpful to be able to recognize your less glowing traits. Amy even made me a special pizza to cheer me up. I've got to work on this a bit since it's unlikely that I will be in control of a whole lot over the next year.
As Amy mentioned we are getting a host of boat chores done and have met some great people. At Orcutt Harbor we met two couples. Steven and Audrey, on a Catalina 30,who spend all summer in Maine with Orcutt as their home base. They work in Florida during the rest of the year. Peter and Barbara, on an Ericson 34, live in Maine and cruise regularly. I had a great visit with Peter. He too took a year off at 50 and sailed, skied and got in great shape doing triathalons. He is now 60 and has a body of a man half that age and has just a wonderful attitude and cheerfulness. As if to reinforce how important it is to savor each day, his wife just finished an anguishing year battling cancer with chemo and radiation and their son has melanoma which may result in a leg amputation. As the six of us walked up a hill called John B on a crystal clear day looking over the Reach and the lower Penobscot Bay I felt truly blessed to be able to be doing what we are doing.
Last night Win, Amy and I went to listen to the Flash in the Pans Steel Band in Bucks Harbor. It was great. Big kids, little kids, old people and young. Locals and tourists, and sailors like us all dancing and wiggling to the music. The weather was beautiful. A perfect July night with the moon over head and the American flag waving briskly and proudly over a little grassy common in rural Maine. It doesn't get much better.
Win continues to be a great host. Amy thinks we should stay on the boat tonight to be with Milo who did not even come out from his hiding place once today as I did my chores for several hours.
Thursday, July 26, 2001 Brooksville, Maine
Today marks the beginning of our second week in residence (off and on) at the Winston Burt Institute of Casual Maine Living. Our host, gracious to a fault, has been spending an inordinate amount of time over the last few days discussing the approaches to building a spare bedroom in the wood shop at the top of the driveway. I'm pretty sure this was something he had planned before we arrived, though I could be wrong. As you might gather the whole depth sounder repair has taken longer than anticipated. Between finding out what parts we needed and dealing with shipping to what we now discover is "rural" Maine the days just seemed to add up. We are going to meet Cindy (Continental Shippers) in Blue Hill this morning to fetch our long awaited overnight (?!!!?) package. Once this step is successfully completed we can move on to the installation phase of the project. Who knows what lies in store for us there?
We have managed to stay fairly busy over the last few days. Another coat of paint was added to the spot on the mast where the vang will be reattached. The dorade boxes were given a coat of West System epoxy resin to try to mend some pesky drips. On a more exciting note we took Win out for a daysail on Sunday. We headed over to Horseshoe Cove from Orcutt Harbor (where we spent the night) to collect our guest. The air was fairly light at the outset but it didn't take long for it to fill in. We headed out into Penobscot Bay and aimed towards Islesboro Island. The wind was blowing S/S-W at between 15-23 knots, making for a fine outing. Mr. Burt took the helm and immediately began issuing orders to the crew. The sailing was terrific. After several hours we headed over to Butter Island, dropped the hook and had a somewhat strange lunch composed strictly of leftovers. The homeward leg was a bit of a letdown. We had hoped for a roaring downwind sail but the wind petered out and we eventually had to start the engine. We delivered our temporary Captain to the dock and headed back to Orcutt Harbor.
Thursday, part II Brooksville, Maine
The long awaited depth sounder was intercepted at the Blue Hill Hospital this morning, and transported at great speed back to Horseshoe Cove. Under the able soldering hands of Win Burt (with his eager assistant, Roger, by his side) the new unit was installed and worked… ever so briefly. Despite the round of thank you kisses the thing wasn't really fixed.
We end the day by dining and drinking three bottles of wine with our long-suffering host.
Friday, July 27 Brooksville, Maine (still)
I'm trying to keep this equipment story as brief as I can BUT it just seems to be going on a bit, and I'm sorry for that.
Friday arrived with new and different diagnostic suggestions which involved the nearly complete destruction of our main salon (saloon?) and nav station, and a great deal of tin foil. Wires everywhere, parts everywhere, cat in hiding. The gist of today's theory is, as you might guess, electrical in nature. The consensus seems to be that two electrical noise filters are in order, one for the high output alternator and one for the very finicky depth sounder. That is all you could possibly want to know about this day except that I made bread. It was onion bread and it was ok.
Saturday, July 28, 2001 Pickering Island, Maine
With yet another round of parts on order (not due to arrive till Tuesday) and Win headed out for a weekend sail with OTHER friends we decided to make a break from Horseshoe Cove (we were afraid people would start thinking we were squatters). Win recommended Pickering Island, which is due south several miles. Equipped with our trusty lead line we headed out. We anchored without incident in the western cove of the island. We were surprised to be joined by EIGHT other sailboats by the end of the afternoon. It probably doesn't sound like a lot of boats, but in Maine it might as well have been the fourth of July.
Sunday/Monday, July 29 & 30, 2001 Pickering Island, Maine
These two days involved a lot of chores and work type stuff. Roger replaced the track for the whisker pole with a longer one. We weather-stripped some of the ports with a neoprene-like tape. I made a fabric bag to use as a second trash "can". I lined it with a ziploc bag. Pretty impressive. The engine got its 100-hour maintenance, which was a big job. We were glad when the engine purred back to life afterwards.
On the fun side, we scavenged for mussels for dinner and went for a long walk. We found a recently cut trail, which lead across the island to a secluded beach. Roger felt the need to skinny dip. I was either not hot enough or didn't feel grungy enough to take the plunge into the 55 degree waves. The rocky beach was covered with sea urchin shells and sand dollars. Those are two items which we don't really see a lot of up here so it was neat. At some point Roger went fishing. He didn't have any luck though. I was a bit nervous because while he was fishing there were several porpoises in the vicinity and I had a vision of him catching one.
Tuesday, July 31, 2001 Brooksville, Maine
I awoke with no small degree of anticipation wondering about what the day would bring, depth sounder wise. After a relaxing breakfast we headed back to our "home port" of Horseshoe Cove and awaited Win's call on channel 72. He called us at 2:00 and we met him at the dock soon thereafter. With package in hand, he strolled down the dock with a look that to me indicated that he too hoped that this would be the last chapter in the story. After the handoff we all went our separate ways; Amy to Blue Hill to do our last provisioning for our Grand Manan/Saint John leg, Win to paint his wood shed, and me to install the filters. I dove into the chore and first installed the power filter on the depth sounder display...nada...Still confident I then read and re-read the instructions for the alternator filter. I must admit I did not like tampering with this piece of equipment and its main connections to the battery switch especially since the instructions differed somewhat from Jay's. Jay told me that I would be connecting the filter's ground to the engine mount while the instructions told me to connect the filter's ground to the alternator's ground post. Suspecting that it did not make a difference, and wanting to avoid having any problems attributed to me for not following the instruction manual (and against my usual instincts to follow Jay's advice to the tee), I went ahead and made the connection to the alternator's ground. I checked and re-checked my various connections. I made sure that the alternator belt was not being invaded in any way. I then took a deep breath, approached the starter and fired up then engine… maybe I will go to heaven after all! After waiting the 30 seconds for the alternator to begin its charging cycle and its usual interruption of the depth sounder's operation, the depth sounder stayed steady as a rock. At last we had finally found the solution. After testing and re-testing the system, making the permanent mounting of the filter to the bulkhead and cleaning up all my work with wire ties, I called Win and announced that the "Eagle had landed." Win expressed his congratulations but also told me his bad news that Jake had backed into his freshly painted walls and now was a half Golden Retriever and half green mutant.
Amy soon re-appeared with her stores. We celebrated our success with more libations than usual and began to make plans in earnest for Grand Manan and Saint John.
To August 2001