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.


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.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Getting a Grip!

To finish off the fiberglass work we needed to paint the non-skid areas of the deck. Kiwi-Grip is a product that paints on and is fairly easy for do it yourselfers. The most important thing is a nice clean tape job.....Ed is an expert at this!

After cleaning and taping we put a tarp over the areas to be painted. We needed the paint to stay dry (rain seems to pop up out of nowhere around here). Also the tarp shaded the area from the HOT sun. The temps were in the 90s and we had high humidity. Believe it or not the humidity was very helpful, slowing down the drying time for the paint. You trowel the paint on, roll it and remove the tape.....and repeat.

Looks really nice!

So the paint is on, the deck hardware replaced, it's time to move north to cooler weather.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Making Progress!

Well, we didn't make our one month deadline; not surprised.
But we did make progress. It took me almost 3 weeks to sand and scrape the bottom of all the loose paint in prep for new paint.

When that was finally done, in 90 d heat, we rolled on 2 to 4 coats of bottom paint. We hope to get 3 to 4 years out of this paint job.

Also took the opportunity to change some old thru hull valves.

Shiny new bronze!

We also added a line cutter to the propshaft for our trip thru the lobsta-pot minefields of Maine.

Chris did an outstanding job of cleaning and waxing the hull. One complete cleaner treatment and 2 coats of paste wax, by hand. 2 weeks of working on a scaffold.

With all that done, we finally got back in the water.

Soooo nice! No more 12' climb up and down. And that was for working, taking breaks, eating, and...every bathroom trip day and night plus showers! Top it off with no A/C in 90 degree heat. Yea, we're definitely happy to be back in the water!
We still have to repaint all the nonskid on the decks and of course rain is predicted all week. We'll also have to reinstall the jib tracks pluss some new rigging hardware.
But we're still confident in getting to Maine this summer.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Living on the Hard

Do they call it living on the hard because your boat is hauled from the water and placed on hard ground? Maybe it's because it is a hard life? Scaling a 12 foot ladder to get on and off the boat and living with dust from boat bottoms being sanded. Systems that work while in the water, don't work while on land. For us it is the air conditioner and toilets (no way for a pump-out here). Our neighbors refrigiration System won't work without seawater! Either way, we're doing it. This place is a good place for it. Cool at night, very friendly and knowledgeable staff, decent restrooms, scaffolding available for waxing the topsides, a pool (who has time for that?), and bike riding to stores and restaurants.

The first step is a doozy!

A long climb home.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

On The Hard

Arrived Oriental NC last Sunday and hauled out Monday to do more work.

We'll be climbing a 12' ladder every day, all day, up and down, for several weeks!

We're having some fiberglass repairs done while here. This yard has a great rep for doing this sort of thing. They got started right away even tho they are quite busy.

Hope to get everything done by the end of the month...stay tuned, we'll see!