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Friday, August 15, 2014

Trapped

We anchored in beautiful Somes Harbor, enjoying the surrounding Acadia National Park.




A storm rolled in with predicted 15-20 knot winds. It turned into 20-30 knot winds with gusts to 40 knots! It seems the storms always come at night. 3 boats dragged anchor. We stayed up all night on anchor watch, worried about the boats nearby dragging into us. As daylight broke we discovered that a lobster pot was blown into our anchor chain and was wrapped around it. We've been doing a great job dodging them and keeping them out of our propeller. This one seemed to take it personally and came to find us. Ed had to go out in the dinghy and unravel the tangle of pot warps from our chain. It was an old, unattended pot encrusted with mussels.




Ed hauled the trap to the surface to make sure it was clear of our chain and anchor.




With help from a neighbor the trap was dragged clear of all the anchored boats.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Maine Fog

The fog comes 
on little cat feet. 

It sits looking 
over harbor and city 
on silent haunches 
and then moves on.

Carl Sandburg


Fog greeted us as the Maine coast came into sight.




We've had patchy fog throughout our trip. Today's fog is one of the thickest yet. You can barely see the dock in the background less than 100 feet away.




In the background of this photo is a 100+ foot ferry boat. His fog horn is blowing, you can hear his engine but for the longest time you could not see him. The fog cleared (a little) for me to snap this pick.




Watching for lobster pots can be a challenge.




Sometimes the fog can be really beautiful.




This bridge over the Eggemoggin Reach was completely obscured by fog. By the time I grabbed the camera it was gone. It had moved on.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Maine Tales

We are really enjoying our time here in Maine! So much to see, such great and friendly people, incredible seafood and we love the wildlife

The view of the harbor in Castine.






The quintessential Maine church




This wooden mast needs replacing




The Maritime Acadamy is working to replace it. Below is the 75 feet of good wood glued together.




The cutting begins



Maybe they will be finished if we pass through again on our way south?




The harbor seals are everywhere....but they don't like their pictures taken.





This is as close as I could get







This is usually how you see them...with the heads bobbing in the water.





Monday, July 28, 2014

Foraging

We left the nice little town of Rockland and enjoyed a beautiful sail east to the Fox Islands Thorofare to make Seal Bay on Vinalhaven Island. In the thorofare, the lobster pots were THICK. Thankfully we dodged em all. This picture doesn't really tell just how bad it was.


Seal Bay was a nice place to ride out a bit of blustery weather passing thru. It was also a great place to collect mussels. I dinghied to a rocky outcrop nearby at low tide. The commercial guys were wearing hip boots but I could stay in the dink in a foot of water and pluck all the mussels I wanted off the bottom. Collected about 40, perfect for a meal.


Took a bit of scraping of barnacles to prepare them for cooking as well as several rinses.


The final act was to turn them over to Chris and let her do her magic. Steamed in diced tomatoes, shallots, garlic and white wine. Mmmmm. Absolutely the best mussel dinner I've ever had!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Finally; north to Maine!

We had a very nice day with light wind to sail NE across Cape Cod Bay to Provincetown on the tip of the Cape. This made a good stopping point for our trek across the Gulf of Maine to Penobscot Bay. While there we watched a conservation group try to untangle a net from a small whale that made its way into the harbor. Never did hear how successful they were.






There's always schooners and tall ships sailing the popular harbors of New England.





Our trip to Penobscot Bay takes us over the Stellwagen Bank, a very popular place for several whale species. So we made sure we allowed plenty of time to whale watch. We did pretty well, found some small whales as soon as we crossed onto the bank in 60' of water. We followed several for a time but they didn't give us the 'tail' or breech so we moved on.






Later in the day, just after leaving the Bank into deeper water we found the Humpbacks! It is quite difficult to get into position to photograph them. They stay down for 5 to 15 minutes. I did manage to get one good tail shot before we decided to keep going.





Later in the day we did see one HUGE splash about a mile directly ahead. I had to be a Humpback breeching. We looked and looked but saw nothing more.

Dawn came with beautiful glassy seas. No good for sailing but certainly a comfortable ride. We'll take it!




We had one more visit from what I'm pretty sure is a whale. It just cruised along without coming up or diving. Could have been a BIG shark!





As soon as we approached the rocky Maine coastline, the welcoming committee dropped in a nice fog bank!





Seems like the fog is attracted to lobster pots. As soon as we got into the fog, we got into the pots...while still out in 185' of water. Prudently, we timed our arrival for well after dawn so we had a fighting chance of avoiding these hazards.





Pictures don't do this justice. They popped up all over. I donned my raincoat, as it was cold and damp, and stood on the bow to give Chris directions. Took us at least 2 hours to slowly approach the coastline where the fog gradually lifted. Thank God, because inside the outer rim of islands, the pots were EVERYWHERE. 2 more hours of dodge-em pots. But we could see our destination...land ho!


We finally made Maine! We've had this at the top of our cruising destination list and kept coming up short. We've had much stress over the lobster pots, time to enjoy the bounty they bring!! We need to stock up on butta.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Magic Port

We have a magic port in the cockpit next to the helm.
Often, while I am at the helm, I am handed plates of food and beverages. They are magically delicious. I lead a charmed life!


Friday, July 18, 2014

Spot Tracker Update

Take a look at the new tracker link on the upper right corner of the blog. We were not happy that the track of our trips would only last so long. We are now using a new application that will keep our tracks for a whole year. Click on the words "Click Here for Spot Tracker". You can adjust the number of days/weeks/months you want to view. The little sailboat icon shows our current position.

Let me know what you think of it. You like? Any problems viewing? Is it working for you?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Eye Candy

Beautiful evening in Onset Bay. Next we go through the Cape Cod Canal into Cape Cod Bay. I can almost smell the lobsta!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Overnight to New England

The anchorage in Cape May, NJ is not the most picturesque. It is quite rolly and although it is near a marked no wake zone the NJ weekenders write thier own rules and plow through. It is a perfect stop, however, to wait out weather for our planned overnight off the Jersey and New York shore.


Look at the "super Moon" at Cape May



Weather conditions were great. We headed out at 0300 with four other sailboats. We had great conditions, calm seas, winds from the WNW swingint to SE. Not enough to sail but a good motor sail. It was a beautiful sunny day. We checked in with the flotilla every four hours and enjoyed the sunset and the moonrise.









Transiting overnight in the summer is such a pleasure. Long days and short nights make the trip fly by. It was not long before we saw the sun peeking above the horizon.




We did stop at Point Judith and anchored the second night. The marina here has great fuel prices. We delayed our departure to Newport waiting for the fog to lift. We had a very rolly but quick trip to Newport. We are looking forward to catching up to friends, Deb and Pierre, and looking at all the sailboat eye candy.


This racing boat was out practicing as we pulled into Newport.



Friday, July 11, 2014

An Adventure For All Ages

We're sitting at anchor in Cape May harbor waiting to depart to New England very early in the morning.
I hear a knock on the hull and go on deck to see what's up but I don't see anything. Then the guy in the boat next to us hollers to me and points to the waterline.


I look over the side and there is his buddy on a paddleboard holding onto my stern. He paddled over to ask a question about the local waters.
So these two young guys are sailing from Quebec to Florida on a 26' sailboat with only paddleboards to get ashore. The current was ripping quite strong and he was tired! So we chatted a few minutes while he caught his breath before paddling back.
Good to see them tackling this adventure any way they can.
We met 2 young girls on a similar sized boat while in Oriental. I wonder if they crossed paths?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Storm Season

A short trip to Chesapeake City brought us to the free town dock. This is good because you can pay to hook up electrical....and run the a/c. It was 99 degrees with no breeze, so this was important. We met up with friends that own an Endeavour 42 and waited for the storm to move in.

Waiting




Glad we tied up here. Just before the storm hit we had heavy winds, at least 40 kts. A tree on land lost a very large limb. We heard it cracking and watched it crash to the ground...sorry no pics.

Here is the storm.





From Chesapeake City we head down th C & D canal to the Delaware River and Bay. Big currents, shoals, and commercial shipping mark this leg of our trip. It was drizzling most of the day.

The Ship John Shoal Light




At the mouth of Delaware Bay going into the Cape May inlet you either go outside of the Prissy Wicks Shoal (this could take an additional 2 hours) or you go VERY close to shore, next to the beach. This is always a nail-biter. There are strong eddies and rip currents and it just feels wrong to be that close to shore.


Here is a picture of Cape May as we rounded the inside of Prissy Wicks. We got even closer to the shore than this picture shows.




Safe and sound at Cape May waiting for the next thunderstorm.


Sunset just before the storm.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

All Work and no Play

All work and no play makes Jack (and Jill) a dull boy. We didn't want to become too dull so we moved north to Chesapeake bay to play. Is all the boat work finished? NEVER, but we are moving on.

Here we are at the free dock in Great Bridge, VA. We walked to the grocery store and, quite frankly, went a little crazy buying all the items that the Oriental, NC market doesn't carry. Those small town markets have just the basics. We also stopped at DQ for a blizzard....yum.




Continuing north we traveled through Norfolk with all the Navy ships and anchored in Willoughby Bay next to the Navy base and watched all the helicopters fly.




We had a beutiful night in a secluded anchorage in the Chesapeake Bay. This is the sunset at Mill Creek. Beautiful, right?




Our friends on the Magothy, Mary and Chuck, invited us for one last visit at the dock at their house. One last? Yes! They are moving aboard their boat to prepare to cruise! We had lots of fun and used their car to run errands and saw fireworks from the house for the Fourth. Thanks again guys.


We headed south from the Magothy to St Michaels to see more fireworks on the fifth. It was a surprise to me. Ed arranged to meet for a raft-up with the newlyweds Jen and Craig. Great firewoks and spent a day exploring St Michaels....mostly from inside the pubs.








Now we are headed north again towards Maine. My family will meet us there for Labor Day.....very excited. We always see beautiful boats along the way.





And great sunsets.