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Chebeague Island/Handy Boat Yard

We left Freeport on beautiful day, making a very short trip south to Great Chebeague Island. We stayed on the east side of the island this time. Four years ago we anchored on the western side. The Chebeague Island Boat Yard was small, quiet and very enjoyable. They had a great store called the Niblic that sold beautiful gifts, wine, and sandwiches and baked goods. The moorings were just put in so they were clean and only cost $25 a night. What a bargain. Crows Island was east of us, with people camping on the small-uninhabited island.

We took a long walk to the Chebeague Island Inn, a beautiful place built in 1880 that overlooks Casco Bay and a golf course. We had a cocktail on the lovely veranda then headed back to check on Troy. He was anxious to get out and enjoy the sunshine. We were preparing dinner when the seal showed up off our starboard side. We thought we had lost him in Freeport, but there he was.

We woke early, dropped the mooring and headed around the southern part of the island and over to Handy Boat Yard. Handy has a very large mooring field and is next door to the Portland Yacht Club, which also has a lot of boats and it was very busy. We were lucky to get a mooring right in front of the docks, I was afraid they were going to put us way out in the bay. George took a cab to pick up his truck and hit the marine store (our horn does not work so he ordered a new one). I spend the day cleaning and packing, while Troy never moved from under his beach towel up on the fly bridge. He finally woke when George returned.

Handy has a great restaurant and bar so we headed in to enjoy happy hour. After we returned to Wildflower we were up on the fly bridge grilling a pizza, when the seal showed up again off the side of the boat. I just know that it has to be the same seal; same color and size.

Friday morning Troy had his first ride in a launch. We are always at a dock when he gets on and off the boat, but this time I had to take him in his carrier on the Handy Boat launch. Needless to say, he was scared and jumping around, trying to get out. But he survived and slept all the way home. The ordeal must have worn him out as he has been sleeping since we returned home, only getting up occasionally to eat. We head back to the boat on Monday and head to Boothbay.

2015 Maine Cruise
06/28/2015 | Chris P.
Cathy, you need to give the seal a name and write a children's book about Troy and his seal friend!!
06/29/2015 | Randy B
Cathy, have you and George ever tried Active Captain? There a website, a new iOS app and integration with various Nav software. The creators are currently on their boat in Maine, from what I understand. There are marina and service reviews as well as a social media aspect where you can see where your boating friends are located.

Sounds like a great trip so far! Enjoy!

We are now in Freeport Maine, home of L.L. Bean. The trip over from Sebasco was ideal; calm seas, no wind and a beautiful sunny day. We even spotted our seal off the side of the boat most of the way here. We are staying at Strouts Point Wharf for two nights and then Brewers for two nights. They are both in the Harraseeket River, which we felt would give us good shelter in the upcoming bad weather. We are on the docks at both places, so we will have to keep a close eye on Troy, he does try and jump off the boat onto the docks when you are not looking.

Shortly after we arrived on Saturday, they had a boat parade in the harbor to celebrate Freeport Heritage Day. We were at the end of the dock, so we had a front row seat. They had about 30 boats, and it was led by one of the oldest lobster boats in Maine. There is a lobster shack next door, where we had our first lobster rolls on our Maine trip.

Sunday was a washout, good day to do nothing but stay on the boat and relax. We watched Pulp Fiction, a movie I have not seen in many years, what a strange movie. We did spot the seal today off the port side of Wildflower.

Monday we moved up river to Brewers. When backing into our slip, the bow thruster picked up a clump of seaweed and made it difficult for George to turn the boat, but he dock hands got us in safely. We have met some nice people on this dock; they all stop by to see Troy. He has been entertaining everyone, sitting on the back looking so handsome.

We called a cab and headed into Freeport to spend the day. We considered walking, but it would have taken over an hour and there were no sidewalks. Other than one quick shower, it was a beautiful day. I could spend hours just in L.L. Bean alone. They also have a great market a few blocks out of town so at the end of our day; we went there to stock up on fruit, veggies and beer (we were completely out). After a short cab ride back to the boat, we spent a beautiful evening hanging out on the docks. Troy was tempted to jump off the boat, but George was on cat duty and when he said no, troy listened and get off the railing. He does think its fun to sit in the dinghy now.

Tuesday we woke to more rain, with thunder and lightening. The storm moved past us around noon, so we decided to do some laundry. Brewers has great facilities, so while we waited for the clothes to wash and dry, we headed upstairs to the lounge. They had a TV with cable, so I was able to catch some cooking shows on the Food Network. Later that evening, we had some more storms move through with heavy rain, lots of thunder and lightening, we even lost power for a few hours. We heard this morning that there was a micro burst in Freeport that knocked a tree down on some power lines.

We are leaving Freeport today, heading to Great Chebeague Island for one night, then onto Handy Boat Yard in Falmouth where we will leave the boat for a few days so we can head home. We have our truck over at relatives of Greg, George's brother in-law. We will come back to the boat on Monday and head to Boothbay.

2015 Maine Cruise
06/26/2015 | Chris
I think it's remarkable about the seal following you, and that you think it likes Troy! I love interspecies relationships - like the stories about gorillas and kittens or a dog nursing lion cubs. You'll have to let us know if the seal continues to follow your trip.
Snow Island to Sebasco Harbor

It was beautiful morning for a dinghy ride around Quahog Bay. This has to be the perfect Maine spot; we will have to come back to Snow Island again someday. The wind was picking up, so we pulled up the anchor and headed to Sebasco Harbor Resorts. It was a short ride, just down the bay and hang a left through all the ledges to the other side of Harbor Island.

Picking up the mooring in this harbor was different from any I have done in the past. The ball was just a lightweight rubber ball that I had to hoist up onto the boat to get at the pennant to wrap around the cleat on the boat. I let Denise know what to expect so she was not surprised like I was.

The wind was really picking up, glad to be on a mooring. Once on land, it was warmer and the resort was so nice. We checked in and walked around the grounds. The resort has two restaurants, a fitness center, pool, spa, golf course and many cottages and rooms. We had a drink at the bar and headed back to Wildflower where we proceeded to rock and roll all night in the heavy winds and waves. Troy was the only one who could sleep through all of it.

We woke to a gorgeous day; even Troy was out walking around the deck, licking dew off the boat and chasing bugs. We spotted the seal swimming around the boat again, poking his head up every few minutes. Troy is a seal point ragdoll cat and I think the seal likes Troy, as he has a gray face with whiskers, just like the seal.

Jack and Denise decided to head out today to Boothbay, and then onto Rockland while the weather is nice. We are staying here one more day, and then we will head to Freeport. We will meet up with them again in July up in Penobscot Bay.

We spent the afternoon walking and exploring, then a peaceful evening on board Wildflower with Troy. The harbor was very calm. We met a nice couple on the docks today. They take people out on sailing charters on their sailboat called Continga and harbor cruises on an old wooden tour boat called Ruth. We found out that they are members of the East Greenwich Yacht Club in Rhode Island. What a small world.

We are onto Freeport on Saturday. It should be a great travel day.

2015 Maine Cruise
06/22/2015 | sylvia n
Thanks for the pictures of Troy! Alyson got a kick out of him!
Portland to Snow Island
06/19/2015, Portland and Snow Island

The trip to Portland on Tuesday was a stressful one. We waited for the fog to lift and when it appeared to start doing that we dropped the mooring in Biddeford and headed to Portland. However, the fog did not lift until we made the turn into Portland Harbor. It was a good thing it did, because there was a lot of boat traffic, including big barges. Troy did not sleep much on this trip and wanted to sit in my lap. Between holding onto him, trying to see the buoys in the fog and watching the radar for other boats, it was not a great trip. We made a vow not to travel in the fog again for the rest of the summer.

We picked up a mooring at the Centerboard Yacht Club, which is across the harbor from Portland. The yacht club was really nice (new building), the people were friendly and they would pick you up at your boat and bring you over to Portland. We met up with Jack and Denise and spent some time walking around the city.

We had dinner aboard Seaquill that evening. Denise had picked up fresh cod, and it was delicious. We made plans to leave around 9:00 the next day for Snow Island.

We headed into in Portland Wednesday morning to top off the fuel tank, pump out and fill the water tanks. It was a great travel day, calm seas and sunny. It only took us three hours to get to Snow Island. Troy did sleep on this trip; in fact he had no desire to get up when we arrived. We set the anchor in a beautiful section east of Snow Island, which is located up Quahog Bay. There were many small islands all around us. We were surprised when the tide went out (there are 10 foot tide swings here), that there were many ledges that appeared all around us. This has to be one of the most beautiful places we have taken the boat to. There were houses off in the distance, but none where we were. It was so peaceful.

We had Jack and Denise over for dinner up on the fly bridge and watched a breath-taking sunset. Troy was very sociable and enjoyed having company. The next morning we took the two dinghies out for a morning cruise to check out the rest of the bay. It is so stunning here; I wish we were staying longer. But they are predicting some high winds so we are going to make our way to Sebasco Harbor Resorts and pick up a mooring.

We have had a seal with a gray nose around our boat since we left Biddeford. George is convinced that it is the same seal that we also had around the boat in Portland, then again at Snow Island. He either likes our boat, or the fuzzy four legged animal he sees on the swim platform.

2015 Maine Cruise
06/20/2015 | sylvia nowlan
Cathy, I'm impressed with your balancing on that paddle board! Love hearing about your adventures. More pictures of that beautiful Troy, please!
Isle of Shoals
06/15/2015, Isle of Shoals

The long voyage to the Isle of Shoals took about 7 hours, with fairly calm seas. It was such a long leg that even Troy did not sleep the whole way. He woke with a couple hours left to the trip and sat in my lap for a time and on the dashboard. He got restless, so I built him a little shelter out of pillows and he crawled in and stayed there until we arrived at our destination. He is such a good boat cat.

The Isle of Shoals is a great place to visit by boat, with a sheltered harbor and beautiful scenery. Some of the islands are in New Hampshire and some in Maine. There are many islands including Star Island that has a large hotel called the Oceanic Hotel and also Smuttynose Island where the murders took place back in 1873. Some believe that an innocent man was hanged for the murders when in fact it was the surviving women who actually killed her sister and sister in-law. But other accounts do point to the man that was convicted.

It was a beautiful day and there were many boats moored in the harbor. But by evening, most boats left and it was only Wildflower and one other boat there for the night.

We woke to rain, but fairly calm seas so we headed to Portsmouth Yacht Club to fuel up and fill the water tank. We made the decision to continue on to Biddeford Pool Yacht Club as planned, despite the bad weather. Our fly bridge is enclosed so once on our way, we stayed dry. Troy has decided that the pillow tent is better than he usual beach towel, so I had to do that again to get him to sleep. The worst part of the trip was dodging all those lobster trap buoys, there are so many of them out there.

We reached our destination around 1:30. George tried to log onto his iPad and proceeded to spend the next hour or more on the phone with Verizon customer service. He finally got his cellular data fixed after help from three people on the phone. After that was fixed we started the generator and it shut itself down due to sea grass clogging the hose leading to the generator strainer. That took another hour to fix. This was not how we planned to spend our afternoon. But we are now relaxing with an evening cocktail with Troy fast asleep under his blanket. It does not get much better than this.

Tomorrow we head to Casco Bay, weather permitting.

2015 Maine Cruise
06/25/2015 | Joanie
Hi Cathy and George and Captain Troy
Just finished reading your blog and thank you very
much for including us in your adventurous trip. Stay
safe and enjoy!! Love Joanie and Bill

Our extra day in Sandwich gave the insurance company time to send someone out to look at the damage on the boat (they didn't want to have to chase us up the coast of Maine). George took him out in the dinghy so he could take pictures. The claim will be processed, but we will not have the work done until the fall when we return to Rhode Island. I'm glad this did not affect our trip to Maine, which would not have been a good way to start our summer.

Troy and I spent a relaxing morning on the fly bridge. I been keeping close watch on him when we are on a dock, as he wants to jump off and go exploring. I've caught him peeking over the edge of the boat more than once today. Those seagulls can be very enticing.

The Marina is located at the start of the bike path that runs along Cape Cod Canal, and was a great place to take a long walk. We made it almost to the Sagamore Bridge and back.

We departed Sandwich Marina early Friday morning, fueling up as we left. Cape Cod Bay was as smooth as glass, a boaters dream. To help pass the time, I had purchased a set of American History CD's for this trip (84 lectures, 30 minutes each). I thought that listening to these would make the time go by faster and we would brush up on our history as we travel. We are only on lecture number two (The Wilderness). It is actually a history course they use in colleges, minus the quizzes and tests.

It was sunny and warm in Provincetown, a great day for walking around town. The streets we filled with tourists. The fast ferry from Boston was dropping off boat- loads of people every few hours (it went right by the back of our boat). The harbor was very calm so I decided to try out my new paddleboard. I did not venture far from the boat, but it was easier to stay standing up than I anticipated and I did not fall in. I just circled the boat so I could grab onto the side when waves came in. Not bad for my first time and next time I will actually risk going further, and maybe get George to try it out. I have visions paddling around with Troy perched on the front of the board.

Saturday brought more people to Provincetown and the streets were packed. We had lunch at the Lobster Pot, Portuguese soup and martini's at the bar. The place was busy and the bartender was very entertaining and friendly.

We did some provisioning at the farmers market; fresh veggies, berries and home make potato chips, which George could not resist. We used them in our Irish nachos for dinner. They were so good.

We are headed to the Isle of Shoals on Sunday. To get ready for this destination, we watched the movie, The Weight of Water, which is about the murders that happened on one of these islands many years ago. I enjoyed it, but it put George to sleep. They are predicting good weather tomorrow so it should be a great travel day.

2015 Maine Cruise
06/14/2015 | Jeanne Pellerin
So pleased to be part of your trip; love reading about your experiences. Sorry about that first day gouging; may that be the end of any negative happenings. Best wishes for continued smooth waters!
06/19/2015 | Andrea
I love reading about your daily experiences! And the pics are beautiful. You're so daring, Cathy, to do the paddle boarding! Looks like you guys are having a great time.

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Who: George, Cathy & Troy
Port: Edgewood YC - Cranston, RI
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TENTATIVE PORTS OF CALL: Isle of Shoals/ Wentworth by the Sea/ Cape Porpoise Hbr - Kennebunkport/ Biddeford Pool/ Great Diamond Island - Diamond Cove/ Jewel Island/ Falmouth Forside - Handy Boat/ Great Chebeague Is Inn/ Sabasco Estates - Sabasco Harbor/ The Basin/ Snow Island/ South Freeport - Harrsseeket River/ Orrs Cove - Great Island Boat Yard/ Opechee Island - Casco Passage/ Sequin Island/ Damariscove - Boothbay/ Harmon Harbor - Sheepscot River/ Five Island / Christmas Cove/ Pemaquid Harbor/ Tenants Harbor/ Duck Harbor - Isle of Haut/ Hurricane Island/ White Island/ Long Cove/ Seal Bay/ Rockland Harbor/ Perry Creek - North Haven/ Stonington/ Pulpit Harbor - Fox Island/ Rockport Harbor/ Camden Harbor/ Ames Cove/ Cradle Cove/ Warren Island / Bucks Harbor/ Tom Cod Cove/ Smith Cove/ Holbrook Island Harbor/ Castine Harbor/ Belfast/ Isle au Haut/ Frenchboro/ Swan Island/ Camp Island/ Mackerel Cove/ Buckle Harbor - Swans Island/ Campbell Island - Greenlaw Cove/ Bass Harbor/ Wooden Boat School/ Cranberry Harbor/ SW Harbor/ Northeast Harbor/ Somes Sd/ Pretty Marsh/ Winter Harbor/ Galley Cove - Bartlett Island/ Sand Cove - Winter Harbor/ Blue Hill Harbor/