29 August 2013 | Newburyport, MA
July 1, 2013-07-09
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JIM AND GLENN
July 9, 2013
Back on board. Left Annapolis in mid-June and headed to Tewksbury, MA and stayed with Brian’s mom for a week helping her out with chores and such – she appreciated it. Got to see our children, our grandson and friends. It was great seeing everyone and being able to spend time with them. While there, Brian worked on re-screening our hatches and making new hand rails that were missing from the topside.
Headed out to NY and stayed with my sister, Lisa and her family for a few nights and helped with some prepping for the reunion. My parents knew about the reunion part, but didn’t realize the extent of the get together. Lisa had tracked down our mom’s remaining high school graduates and all were able to attend plus there were old friends and acquaintances and cousins that we haven’t seen in years. The 80th birthday/60th anniversary/reunion was a big hit even though we had a couple of torrential downpours during it. Tons of great food, of course and plenty of leftovers, so no cooking during the week we stayed with my parents.
Brian spent part of the week finishing up the woodwork for the boat. Took my parents out and about: toured antique tugboats at the locks in Waterford, took them for a ride to Lake Champlain to visit one of my dad’s brothers who was unable to attend the celebration; checked out a few antique shops, ice cream establishments, any errands they needed done and housework and weeding; took them to Five Guys (they had never been) and they enjoyed those hamburgers. The weather was rather oppressive the whole week – even with thunderstorms every afternoon, it didn’t abate the heat - we were thankful for my parents’ pool. Sad to leave, but…..
Left my parents’ house on the 8th about 7:30 a.m. and arrived in Annapolis about 4 p.m. Met with Chris from Portside Marine to go over the job done on the shaft and some more issues they discovered, but that’s finally done. Tomorrow Chris will replace our decrepit water muffler. Marine Tech out of Hilton Head is still refusing to foot the bill for their blunders, so still fighting that. Today we have numerous small jobs that we will work on plus grocery shopping, return the rental and then leave tomorrow morning heading north.
Reading: Lauren: House by Dean Koontz, Prey by Michael Chrighton, started Chrighton’s The Great Train Robbery, but couldn’t get into it – will most likely try again.
Also read several others – just can’t remember them as I left them behind for someone else to read. Currently reading Sandra Brown’s Unspeakable which will get finished today
Brian finished Dante’s Inferno and is currently reading a lengthy book called An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa by Rick Atkinson
July 10, 2013
HAPPY BIRTHDAY EVAN, ANNIE and JEFF (always in our thoughts)
Left Bert Jabin’s Boat Yard in Annapolis and motored around the point to downtown Annapolis. Was sprinkling but got off the boat anyways and decided to take a tour of Annapolis Academy – wonderful tour – the facility and all that it encompasses covers 338 acres. Impressive! The sun came out along with the humidity. We stopped and enjoyed a buffet lunch at one of the two eating establishments open to the public on the grounds – took our time and enjoyed the a/c. From there, Brian and I enjoyed a leisurely stroll through the downtown; window shopping and checking out the various artists exhibited. Back on board late afternoon – watched sailboats coming in from a race and then parading their boats around the harbor – hopefully some of my pics came out half- way decent. Just as the last boat came in, the winds picked up, the sky turned black and it started pouring. We turned on our instruments and the wind speed reached 37.5 knots. The storm didn’t last too long. Played a dominoes game of Mexican Train – Brian beat me again at this game, but this time only by a few points.
July 12, 2013
Left Annapolis 8:45 (late for us) yesterday – we’re watching the weather – it was cloudy and drizzly, but we decided to head out and see how far we got. We got further along than we had anticipated as they skies cleared, though, again, so muggy. No wind to speak of and what there was, was on the nose, so we motored all day. Made it to the C&D Canal (Chesapeake and Delaware); passed a freighter going the opposite direction – they are just huge and it never seems like there’s enough room for you and them in the channel – my stomach was in knots til I realized we were ok – thankfully the channel is deep out beyond the buoy markers, so if I had to, I could have given the freighter a wider berth. We motored only two miles in to the first fixed bridge and found the one and only place for boats to anchor when traveling through the canal. Started heading into the mouth of the anchorage when we ran aground – the charts show 10 feet of water at low tide. Apparently with all of the heavy traffic of freighters, the bottom shoals up in places. We were able plow through it and anchored among four other boats. Don’t you know, right where we ran aground, there was a restaurant at the water’s edge (it figures), so they were entertained for a bit. Watched as another boat coming in and did the same thing. Talked to the people next to us and he gave us advise of which side of the mouth was best to enter and exit – duly noted for when we leave. While anchoring, Brian discovered a problem with the roller for our Rocna Anchor – this is the anchor we always use – a heavy duty anchor. The nut on the end of the bolt apparently had worked itself loose and fallen off. Thankfully, the bolt did not work itself loose or we would have lost that along with the roller the anchor chain rides up and down on. Our backup anchor was already rigged, so we anchored with that. We are in a nice little hidey hole – so shouldn’t have to worry about any current dragging us about. Just another job for Brian.
Raining today – we may still head out later and travel the rest of the canal – another 12 miles and then hole up in an anchorage beyond it as we would not make it to Cape May before dark. Keeping busy with housework (always), updating the blog, etc. Maybe even a rematch of the Mexican Train.
Lauren: Dan Brown – Deception Point
Brian: Kurt Vonnegut – The Sirens of Titan
July 14, 2013
It’s 8:15 a.m. Just getting over a miserable migraine (are migraines anything but???). Well Brian and I did have that rematch of the Mexican Train game and I finally won a game – woo hoo!!! The night before we dragged three times – our Danforth Anchor just couldn’t hold in the silty mud – so we were out there in the pouring rain resetting the anchor; on the 3rd time we dragged, Brian decided to pull the Danforth and put the Rocna Anchor down – he had tied seizing wire around the bolt and that held it in place while he lowered the anchor and when he pulled it up again, thankfully it was still in place. Once we get to Cape May, we will find either a hardware store or a West Marine to replace the lost nut. Left our little anchorage and got out into the canal without running aground. The current was running with us – which is great – but we took it off autopilot because there was so much movement of the boat – back and forth, back and forth adjusting to the current. I felt more comfortable actually taking control of the helm. The next issue was hoping we wouldn’t see any freighters – it’s a bit scary watching one of them come at you in a channel. We lucked out and didn’t see one freighter the whole twelve miles. The trip was mostly uneventful – we saw several pods of dolphins – haven’t seen them in a while and we ran into three rain storms – the first one was accompanied by thunder and lightening, but thankfully didn’t last long and the last two were just rain and there was no gusts of winds or build up of waves with any of them.
Our original intention was to get through the canal and then drop anchor another couple of hours out as Cape May was just too far – don’t like getting in anywhere in the dark. Turned out we actually made it just outside of Cape May and anchored near a beach and dropped anchor just as it got dark. Got up in the night (always) to check on the boat – to see if we had drifted, etc. The first time I checked, we were good; the second time I could hear the lapping of the waves on the shore, so I knew which way we were facing and I swear I could hear dolphins – wish I could have seen them – never get tired of watching them.
Today we will motor around to Cape May – should take us about an hour and half.
July 16, 2013
Well, we didn’t stop in Cape May; truly disappointing as I’ve wanted to visit this area for many a year, but things happen, so we are booking it North. Just outside of Atlantic City, Brian saw about a 9 foot Great White jump clear out of the water. We heard that they are the only shark to do this – to check to see what’s around – scary!!! We also saw two good-sized sea turtles. Sailed and motor sailed all day, through the night and all the next day to New Harbor (Block Island) – 22 hours. I’ve decided that if we can get away with traveling overnights, I’m all for it; just way too stressful for me. I always seem to get sick which means I don’t eat hardly a thing for all those hours and I just can’t sleep when I’m suppose to – always frazzled to the point, that I just don’t want to be on the boat. We traveled through several large fishing vessels – they were spread out a long ways. It’s not like we intentionally plotted our course to end up in the middle of their fishing grounds. One of them kept going back and forth in front of us – Brian kept adjusting his course to stay out of the vessel’s way and when we got closer, the fishing vessel did an about face and almost hit us. Brian repeatedly tried several times to hail the captain on the VHF, but no response.
There must have been several hundred boats in New Harbor. Finally found a decent place to drop anchor after tooling around the harbor for a bit; dropped anchor, got it set, wrote in our log book the weather conditions, engine hours, any problems or interesting sites, our position, etc. – this is done at the beginning and end of each day). We just sat down to chill out when I pointed out to Brian that the people on the boat behind us were at the bow of their boat taking pictures of our boat. We thought maybe they were looking at our arch system as we’ve gotten quite a few compliments on the structure (thank you Charlie!!), so Brian stood up to say “hello”. Well, they were not very kind – they were upset because they thought we anchored too close and that our boat was going to do a lot of swinging on it’s anchor. She was taking pics just in case we dragged anchor and hit their boat. Brian tried to reassure both of them, that one: we were over anchored and had the appropriate amount of chain out for the depth we were anchored in, our boat is heavily built and does not “swing” and also the weather was predicted to stay mild; basically no winds and being in a protected cove, there would be no major current pushing the boats about. They wanted us to move, but the only other place to anchor was in over 50 feet of water which would have meant that all of our chain had to be put out – Brian does a ration of 5 feet of chain for every foot of water depth, so…. We were very confident in our choice to anchor and that we were not going to hit anyone. Maybe they just didn’t want anyone near them. A little bit of wind did kick up and guess whose boat was swinging? Not us!
Next morning, we were still in the same place. We pulled up anchor at 5:45 and started out. We were out of the bay making our turn north, when Brian decided to wipe off a bit of sea water that was crusting up on the engine, when all of a sudden his paper towel got sucked in the air intake valve which Brian didn’t realize was just below the part of the engine he was wiping - ooooops. He immediately shut off the engine and thankfully we were not near anyone or anything so that we could drift about while Brian started to dismantle the new engine to see if he could get the paper towel out. It came out in one piece from the air intake compartment – whew. Like we needed another headache. On our way again. Got to sail for a bit, but the winds didn’t last so we motor sailed and then just motored. Saw a few freighters up close, but none in the Cape Cod Canal as we traveled through; anchored in Plymouth Harbor. Tomorrow should be a fairly short travel day to Salem, MA.
Reading: Lauren: Finished Dan Brown’s Deception Point and Jay Bonansinga’s Perfect Victim; starting the trilogy The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
Brian: Deception Point and Sole Survivor by Dean Koontz
Arrived and stayed in Salem, MA for almost a week. Got some jobs done on the boat. Brian replaced two winches that worked, but are not compatible for our boat. We walked about Salem a few times and also took the train into Boston for a day. Got to visit Brian’s mom and our kids.
July 22, 2013
Motored sailed to Isle of Shoals. We saw either a young or small whale. Also saw a huge seal with a large flounder (we think) in it’s mouth flapping it around in the water. Picked up a mooring ball.
Next morning we were fogged in and then it rained all day, so we stayed put.
July 24, 2013
Left Isle of Shoals 6 a.m. heading to Portland – weather looked promising. Half hour out and we hit fog. Re-programmed our navigational equipment so that half the screen was radar, so that we could tell if we would be traveling near any fishing vessels. Our visibility for four hours was about a half mile plus peeling our eyes out for lobster buoys created a bit of tension. About 10 a.m. the fog lifted – yeah – and made traveling a bit more comfortable. We dropped anchor on the back side of Cliff Island – looks like a large area for anchoring, but between outcrops of rock in the bay, there is not room for very many boats. Thankfully, we were the only transient boat – there were a couple of other boats, but on private moorings and in shallower areas. The anchorage was a bit rolly, but very quiet. We dropped out dinghy and went looking for mussels. It’s been quite a few years since we’ve been in this anchorage, but the last time we found tons of mussels, so we were really looking forward to collecting a few. We found exactly one – thousands of opened ones – must be either sea gulls or maybe seals??? Disappointing to say the least, but it is still nice trolling around the area in the dinghy. We did come across a headless seal floating around – guess it got too close to some fisherman’s pots.
July 25, 2013
Made an appointment at Gowan’s working marina in Portland to have our final inspection done on our new engine. There’s been quite a bit of vibration again with it – don’t think that is normal. The marina is definitely a working marina – lots of fishing vessels – large and small. There was only one other sail boat here getting serviced. There will be no charge for us to be on the dock since they will be servicing the engine AND we are steps away from downtown Portland.
The mechanic stopped by at 7:45 the next morning – wow! After starting their inspection, they noticed some issue yet again with the install. Will this never end???? The mechanic could not adjust the height of the engine to realign the shaft (it was vibrating more than it should have been). As the mechanic says, “It was vibrating the peanut butter right off the bread.” The mechanic that installed the engine (Marine Tech) had made the aluminum mounts the wrong size, hence the engine cannot be adjusted up or down. The mechanic also found that the original installer had reversed the rear and front engine mounts. One of the studs on the engine mount had sheared off, SO, yet again, we are sitting here waiting for new aluminum mounts. On the upside, we do not have to pay dockage fees and there are tons of restaurants and shops to peruse.
July 27, 2013
Today, Brian installed new chalks at the bow of the boat – these chalks are used to guide any lines used to tie up at the dock – there were none previously on board. I did a major cleaning inside the boat and then worked on polishing and waxing the stainless steel on our arch system – worked up quite a sweat. Today was our first good weather day in several days. Tomorrow it will be in the 60’s and rainy – I think the week is supposed to be cool and rainy.
August 2, 2013
The engine job is done and we took the boat out for a trial run – there is now a minute vibration with the shaft and all looks good. We discovered that the original installer did not register the engine as they should have when the job was initially done, so Yanmar did not have any records on file for us – that would have been the start of our warranty period. Took care of that. I’m sure Marine Tech of Hilton Head is just going to be thrilled with the bill they get for the latest work that was done because of their muck up and Yanmar won’t cover the cost of one of the engine mounts that broke (it was installed on the wrong end of the engine and with all the vibration that was going on, it broke) because it was “an install problem”. The weather is messy today, so unless it clears up this afternoon, we have permission to spend the night. Good time to catch up on the blog.
Brian: Finished Jay Bonansinga’s Perfect Victim and almost done with Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown (an Indian history of the American West)
Brian has his scuba diving license from way back so he’s brushing up on that through PADI doing online study session and testing.
August 3, 2013
Weather looked like it was going to clear yesterday, so after lunch we left Gowen’s Marina; stopped at the next dock and filled up with diesel. It’s definitely a diesel dock heavily used by the fishing vessels. The dock hand said that when some of these boats fill up their bill is between $30,000 and $40,000 for diesel and ice. On top of that, there is maintenance of the boat, insurance, employees, etc. You wonder how they can make a living? We motored out and once we were beyond the harbor we cut the engine and hoisted our main and head sails and had a nice sail all the way to within a half hour of our anchorage. I was so excited to actually spot two loons and one of them was singing out his call; I just love that sound. I actually really love listening to birds that make that mournful sound – owls, loons, morning doves, etc.
We picked up a mooring ball several miles short of our intended stop; Sebasco Bay. We had stopped here years ago when we had Evan with us on a sailing trip; it was his 16th birthday. I remember a dinner/play we had attended. We had also signed up for a kayak trip; the day we were scheduled to do that, it was pouring – the rain was coming down at a slant, wind blowing and rather chilly, but we were game and our guide was pleasantly surprised that we still wanted to go out. I recall that we all had a wonderful time! This time, we just spent the night and left mid-morning towards Boothbay Harbor. Found a place to anchor and took our dinghy in and walked about town.
August 8, 2013
Left Boothbay after spending a day and a half . From there we sailed to Tenant’s Harbor (actually Long Cove off of Tenant’s). It was a cold sail – raw and windy and it’s August in Maine….. and so, so many lobster buoys to navigate around. Last time we were in this area, there were no mooring fields, no lobster buoys to contend with and even on land there were many more houses. Spent one night here anchored and then onto Rockland.
Spent a couple of days here – lots of walking – laundry, groceries, home depot… Walked around town a few times – again so built up from our last visit.
At the moment we are on a mooring ball in Camden – Cait and Bobby are coming for the weekend – yeah!!! Again, so crowded – it’s all mooring fields – we were hoping to anchor – and mooring balls are not cheap – geesh!!! Brian’s on land checking us in while I cleaned up lunch dishes and readied the boat for Cait and Bobby.
August 18, 2013
Well, Cait and Bobby came to spend a weekend with us in Camden, tho the evening they arrived, it was pouring, cold and the swells in the harbor were rocking all boats. Bobby started feeling uncomfortable within a few minutes. He felt it would be wise to get a room at an Inn. Next day, we met them for breakfast on land, stopped at a pharmacy for Bobby and then walked around town for a bit for the meds to kick in before heading back out to the boat. This time, he did just fine. The swells were finally down, no rain, but the wind was up which made for a great sailing day. Bobby was game, so off we went for about an hours sail – both Cait and Bobby enjoyed it.
Brian and I left Camden and motor-sailed to Swan Island; the winds were really flukey; up then down all day long and from different directions. Saw a few seals and ton and tons of lobster buoys to navigate around. Nice quiet bay – three other boats came in to bay to anchor – nice quiet night.
Arrived in Bar Harbor on the 12th and anchored outside of the mooring field among lobster buoys – kind of hard to anchor among these buoys and not expect your boat to rub against them; anchored next to Gary and Jodi and their dog, Reo from Country Dancer. Jody is a three-time world country dance champion – impressive! Our boat got rocked quite a bit between the lobster boats and tour boats going in and out all day, but hey – anchoring is free!! While in Camden we perused the downtown; did the three mile walk around Jordan Pond and then stopped at Jordan’s Restaurant for their famous popovers and a cup of chowder – perfect for such a grey and damp day. We also walked a tiny portion of the 45 miles of historic carriage roads that are open for biking, walking and equestrian use. Mt. Desert (pronounced Dessert) Island offers free use of their shuttle busses to connect the park with surrounding communities and we took advantage of them. It would have been nice to have more time to spend here to explore all the hiking trails, etc.
Left Bar Harbor this morning and did a ten-hour motor-sail (wind mostly on the nose) to anchor in Tenant’s Harbor. It was cold, overcast and damp – not a great day to travel on the water especially when our cockpit is open to the elements – brrrr!!!! We did notice that when we looked up towards the sun, it was surrounded what looked like to be a huge soiled cloud-like disc which in turn was completed surrounded by a rainbow – pretty neat – could only see if it you were wearing sunglasses. From here we will do another long day to Portland and spend at least a full day there before heading to Provincetown.
Reading: Lauren and Brian: J.F. Freedman’s Above the Law & Lauran Paine’s Open Range (we’ve seen the movie starting Robert Duval and Kevin Costner)
Lauren: Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon, Castaways of the Flying Dutchman and also The Angels Command both by Brian Jacques
Brian: Jack Higgins’ The Killing Field, Vince Flynn’s Kill Shot
August 20, 2013
Anchored in Portland Harbor and after dinner sat out on our life raft at the bow of the boat and watched all the comings and goings of lobster boats, tour boats, tiny rental sail boats, etc. Almost a full moon – so bright!
Someone interested in our Yamaha 6/hp outboard that we’ve been trying to get rid of for quite a while, so we will pick it up from the consignment shop here in Portland and bring it back to Mass for pickup. Took a walk about town and stopped at Hamilton Marine. Nice big marine store and much less expensive than West Marine. Picked up new lines for our dinghy davit (actually they were remnants, so an even better deal!). Once back on board, Brian changed these lines out while I did a load of bucket laundry – nice sunny, breezy, warm day for hanging out laundry.
Dinners: Have gotten away from writing our meals down, though, hard to believe, people really like to read about what we eat.
Chicken thighs in red wine sauce - Basically, sautéed chopped bacon with onions, mushrooms and garlic – brown chicken skin side down – add wine and chicken broth – cover and simmer
Cheeseburgers – used the left over mushroom mixture from above to top the burgers along with chopped jalapenos, etc.
Cheesy potatoes (added roasted red peppers) and pork chops
Cut way down on the baking, but do occasionally bake cookies
Home made hummus with the last of the roasted red peppers added in – seems to be a big hit – this time we served it with a cut up baguette
Chicken salad – always cook extra chicken to use in other dishes
August 26, 2013
Our good friends, Pete and Judy came and stayed on the boat with us this past weekend here in Portsmouth. We had a wonderful time! Since they had a vehicle, we took a ride to the Kittery Trading Post and checked out a few of the outlets. We toured downtown Portsmouth, poking around in the shops; went to a Brew Pub and Pete, Judy and Brian tried a few of the beer samplers (I stuck with the Scotch); toured Strawberry Bank (flower gardens); played cards and just had a great time being with each other.
We are scheduled to have the boat pulled and dry-docked for most of September in Newburyport and we tried to get in early, but they have no slip space for us right now, unless we want to stay on the town dock, but we’ve done that before there and anyone can walk by the boat and/or sit on benches practically right on top of the boat – so really, no privacy at all. We will stay here for a few days and then anchor a mile back in Pepperell Cove before heading to Newburyport.
At the moment, we are actually at the Prescott Public Town Docks here in Portsmouth, but on an end dock, so we have some privacy. We sat out in the cockpit and listened to the musical “Annie” – the actors did a wonderful job. Tuesday evening, the Park featured The Avengers on a large screen – we were able to hear and see it from our boat.
August 29, 2013
Discovered Newburyport Harbor Master had a few mooring balls available, so we reserved one instead of heading back to Pepperell Cove to anchor out for a few days. Left Portsmouth late Wednesday morning and got off the dock unassisted and without incident – yeah!! As we were motoring out of the channel, I happened to glance to my right and about a half mile out there was a bridge. Behind the bridge, it was either smoke from a large fire or fog rolling in; it was fog. As we cleared the last buoy out of the channel, the fogged just about enveloped us. Brian put on the radar screen overlapping the chart plotter – it was a big help – actually showed us all the lobster pot buoys plus all of the fishing boats. We did fine, but there were quite a few fishing boats of all sizes plus some pleasure boats crowding the mouth of the channel getting into Newburyport. We proceeded slowly and just as we were looking for the Newburyport Harbor Mooring balls the fog started lifting – as soon as we snagged the ball (on the first try) the fogged dropped around us again.
Today, it is windy and raw. A great day for puttering. Brian has been prepping the topsides for painting. He is going to tackle this very complicated, detailed and time consuming job. He started by filling in any holes or cracks with the West System – once it’s dry, it’s then sanded down and sometimes refilled a couple of more times. He’s been on his knees for day crawling around the deck filling these holes and dings (not from us) and I went behind him today and taped over any fillings that were on corners or upright sections, so that the filler wouldn’t run out. The boat looks like it’s got a lot of boo boos – so many pieces of blue masking tape all over the boat – I should take a pic – it looks ridiculous. This poor boat was neglected in so many ways for a lot of years. One reason for doing the paint job is because Que just needs a face lift and the other reason Brian is doing it himself is because the cost for someone else to paint the boat is astronomical – really!!
It’s getting way to darn cold to be taking our showers in the cockpit, so Brian took off to find some plumbing parts and odds and ends to jimmy the faucet in the bathroom (head) so that we can shower in there – it would be way warmer though will have to figure out how to retro fit a shower curtain so there would be minimal cleanup afterwards. While he was gone, I thought it would be a great time to take inventory of our food supplies – that was fun; crawl, squatting, lifting, pulling out, putting, back (quite the workout) and then update my excel sheet. Well, Brian’s back and his trip was a complete bust.
We are scheduled to have the boat hauled out on Saturday, but we discovered there is a Riverfest scheduled here this weekend, so we rescheduled the haul out to Monday. That gives us a bit more time on the water to get things squared away for the haul out and to dinghy in to enjoy the festivities.
Dinners: Cheesy Potatoes with roasted chicken thighs and carrots
Steak tips with couscous mixed with sautéed onion, garlic and spinach
Chicken Schnitzel with left over cheesy potatoes
Judy’s sausage and peppers on rolls
Left over sausage and peppers mixed with rice
(rest of S&P will be mixed in marina sauce)
Reading: Brian finishing Dean Koontz’ Sole Survivor and lots of material on how to
paint the deck of the boat
Lauren – Ken Follet’s Fall of Giants