BLUE PEARL UNPLUGGED

Living The Life We Imagined

24 August 2012 | West Quoddy Head, Maine
20 August 2012 | Offshore Cross Island-Bay Of Fundy
31 July 2012 | Billings Diesel, Stonington, Maine
26 July 2012 | Pulpit Harbor, Maine
23 July 2012 | Matapoisett, Massachusetts
19 July 2012 | Block Island, Rhode Island
16 July 2012 | Oxford, Maryland
04 May 2010 | Eleuthera, Bahamas
25 April 2010 | Clarencetown, Long Island, Bahamas
30 March 2010 | Nevis
28 February 2010 | Petit Tabac - Tobago Cays
20 January 2010 | Union Island, St. Vincent
12 January 2010 | Isle de Les Saintes, Guadaloupe
17 November 2009 | ST. Georges Bermuda
13 May 2009 | Stocking Island, Bahamas
20 April 2009 | Anguilla
03 April 2009 | Cherry Hill, NJ
18 March 2009 | Tyrrel Bay, Carriacou
07 March 2009 | LePhareBleu Marina, Grenada
27 February 2009 | Mt. Hartman Bay, Grenada

FUNDY ADVENTURE

24 August 2012 | West Quoddy Head, Maine
Linda/Another perfect day
As we ride the outgoing Fundy Tide back to Maine (at 10 knots SOG), I think about all the amazing natural wonders we experienced by venturing into Canadian waters.
Twenty eight foot tides, whales, dolphins, seals and anchorages so remote that it was hard to believe we got there in just a couple days from Northeast Harbor. We anchored in Letang River, just off the bay, among the ledges and islands that all dry out and connect at low tide.
Navigation is tricky, with aquaculture everywhere, especially in the fog, but Fundy Traffic keeps it all very safe, acting like air traffic control for vessels in transit on The Bay of Fundy. When you eat “farm raised salmon” it probably comes from here.
The quaint old town of St. Andrews By The Sea, rather than a “Revolutionary War” era town, is a “Loyalist” Town, with tours led by Loyalists with a point of view so different than what we get in the States, a good history lesson in tolerance.
Eastport, Maine was our stop to check back in to the U.S., with a customs office just up the hill, and a mooring in the bay. This is the home of 300 foot water depth and a tide so strong it causes whirlpools twice a day, so dependable they have names! Old Sow is just off Deer Island and is known to sink small boats that get too close.
Our New England cruise is winding down, Fall is in the air here north of the 44th parallel and we are planning the jump south after the Hoyts fly home in a few days.
A few more lobster dinners, a few more spectacular Maine anchorages and Blue Pearl will be heading south to prepare for the passages to the Caribbean.


EAST OF SCHOODIC

20 August 2012 | Offshore Cross Island-Bay Of Fundy
Linda/ 10 knots, sunny
We will be crossing the Hague Line in abouot two hours, the ocean version of the border between the US and Canada.

After many idyllic days spent in mid-coast Maine, we watched the mountains of Mount Desert fall behind us as we worked our way out Eastern Way past the Cranberry Islands, Seal Harbor and the beautiful coastline of Acadia National Park.

Our voyage now is along the most remote part of the Maine coast, scoured by the Fundy tides with almost no cruising boats and only birds, seals and occasion dolphins as our companions. The fog is thicker here, the distances greater and the effect of the highest tides in the world cannot be ignored.

The tidal range has increased to 14 feet and will be double that when we reach our farthest point at St. Andrews in New Brunswick. We plan to ride the tide as best we can to take advantage of the three knot current on the flood up the Bay.

There is definitely a feeling aboard Blue Pearl that we are on our own with no civilization nearby to offer assistance in an emergency. This is calming and disturbing at the same time, but we have been here before, we know the risks and relish the rewards. This is Downeast Maine in all its glory.

Our Maine Home

31 July 2012 | Billings Diesel, Stonington, Maine
Linda/Sunny and cool
I don't think there is a better place to grab a mooring than Deer Island Thorofare, smack in the center of Merchants Row, the most beautiful and challenging group of islands between Camden and Mount Desert Island. We are moored along the route to Acadia National Park, Northeast Harbor, Bar Harbor and all the classic harbors beyond Camden, so our view includes schooners and yachts of every size, all enjoying the wonderful Maine weather and scenery.

We spent many years here with Dark Star, our last boat, having her hauled and winterized by the experts at Billings Diesel and are very happy to get reacquainted with Harlan Billings and his great group of people.
After leaving Pulpit, our first Maine stop, our lazy cruise Downeast took us to Camden for two days of shopping (window shopping, mostly) and some badly needed exercise. We climbed Mount Battie for some great views of Penobscot Bay and a challenging descent down some very steep ledges similar to some Adirondack climbs back in LP.

Leaving Camden, Blue Pearl arrived at the very remote Barred Islands, at dead low tide to skirt the ledges with just a few feet under the keel. WELCOME TO MAINE!

We awoke to the classic Maine morning where the fog lays low, where you see just the tree tops on the many pine covered islands. With a 15 knot southerly, we tacked down Eastern Penobscot Bay through a blanket of lobster pots to arrive home to Billings Diesel, our favorite yard in all of Maine.

Harbors Revisited

26 July 2012 | Pulpit Harbor, Maine
Linda/cool cloudy with showers
With so many lovely nights at sea since we left Oxford, Maryland, our conversations turn to remembering our many cruises to Maine over the years.
A quick look at the logs of present and past boats tells us that we sailed here on Dark Star in 2007 and never on Blue Pearl.

With charts that are at least 20 years old, we discover that not much has changed here. The nature of a rocky coast, I guess. The islands here seem lost in time, sleepy, serene and changed only by the ebb and flow of the 12 foot tides. Coastal Maine is unique in its' proximity to the population centers of the East and yet happy to let nature determine its rhythm. Lobstermen still rule the waters here, while those of us on yachts are viewed with a wary eye, not always trusted in our seamanship .

The passages we undertook to get here were by far the easiest we have ever made. With the option of choosing our weather and no real schedule, our days (and nights) have been some of the most relaxed cruising we have ever done. Matapoisett through the Cape Cod Canal to Provincetown was a hot and windless affair, with some thunderstorms at the end just to make it interesting.
We spent a day in Provincetown, climbing the Pilgrim Tower and people watching with a late day departure for Maine in windless conditions. The calm ocean was the perfect background for spotting whales, sharks, dolphins and seals.

So here we are, 9 days later, "Where the mountains meet the sea", to spend the month in the premier cruising grounds of North America.

Cruising The Buzzard

23 July 2012 | Matapoisett, Massachusetts
Linda/sunny 72 degrees showers expected
With perfect New England weather, we arrived in Matapoisett, Ma. after an uneventful sail up Buzzards Bay. It about as typical a coastal town here as you can find, with historical houses, tree lined streets, even a town fair on the dock when we arrived.

Juli and Andrea drove down from Boston to spend the weekend on a short cruise to Martha’s Vineyard via Woods Hole. Edgartown seems to be lost in time as we haven’t been there in decades yet it is as charming as ever, with little streets, gift shops, ice cream stops(for Steve) and a harbor full of boats. Even the fast ferry from NYC hasn’t changed the look and feel of the offshore Massachusetts islands!
Sunday was another day of spectacular sailing, back to Matapoisett for our crew to head back to Boston and for us to get the boat ship shape, do some provisioning, check out the weather for the 200 mile passage to Maine.

Can’t wait to experience the “Lobster Glut” that we keep hearing about ;)

BLOCK ISLAND - ONLY IF YOU HAVE TO

19 July 2012 | Block Island, Rhode Island
Linda/Cool and cloudy
Lat - 41 11.5
Lon 71 34.00

Traveling north, the captain claims that a stop at Block is mandatory only if weather moves in or something breaks. We had none of either, but stopped instead to enjoy our first taste of New England before continuing on to the Cape Cod Canal and Maine. It has been more than a decade, maybe two, since we visited Block Island and it still holds all the charm of the islands off the coast of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. There are lots of boats, lots of action ashore, but worth the visit.
The trip up the Chesapeake was hot and windless, the water temperature near the C&D Canal was over 90 degrees, so it was actually good to finally reach the Delaware Bay, famously my least favorite body of water. And once there, traffic, traffic, traffic, so many ships and tugs, it felt like the waterborne version of the New Jersey Turnpike. But traffic thinned out, the tide changed and we rounded Cape May early morning for the run to Block.
A slammin’ front in the Hudson Canyon made for an interesting hour or so at dusk, brief gusts to 45 knots with a light show and deck wash thanks to Mother Nature, but all and all an uneventful trip.

Vessel Name: Blue Pearl
Vessel Make/Model: Hylas 54RS
Hailing Port: Lake Placid, NY
Crew: Steve & Linda Stelmaszyk
About: Steve is a licensed captain and longtime sailor enjoying the adventure of a lifetime aboard his fifth boat, Blue Pearl. Linda, also a licensed captain and experienced sailor, is happy to leave the security of home for unknown ports to come
Extra: We have two children, Bryan,25 and Juli, 23 and maintain our "land base" in Lake Placid, New York
Blue Pearl's Photos - (Main)
Oxford Maryland to Stonington Maine
45 Photos
Created 31 July 2012
Getting ready to go to sea, powerwashing 9 months of bottom gunk!
14 Photos
Created 16 July 2012
118 Photos
Created 4 May 2010
27 Photos
Created 25 April 2010
17 Photos
Created 19 August 2009
Sailing with Juli and Dad
95 Photos
Created 18 May 2009
Tobago Cays-Mustique
64 Photos
Created 24 March 2009
58 Photos
Created 8 March 2009
Limin' in the West Indies
55 Photos
Created 7 March 2009
St. Vincent & the grenadines
40 Photos
Created 26 February 2009
Rockin' & Rollin' in the wind all the way from Africa-uninterrupted
52 Photos
Created 20 February 2009
Antigua-Barbuda-Guadaloupe-Dominica...A new country every day
33 Photos
Created 13 February 2009
Bermuda Passage, Antigua Passage
19 Photos
Created 11 February 2009

Who: Steve & Linda Stelmaszyk
Port: Lake Placid, NY