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Slow Sailing
We're in the Islands!
10/27/2011, Block Island, RI

From Trip South Fall 2011
Except these islands still have 40 degree overnight temps! Yep, we've moved less miles in these past 5 days than we would move in 1 day in the camper! We were really glad to get out of Maine and it's smothering fog and dampness- it was a cold day but we pulled in to Gloucester after dark and smelled fried seafood all the way in the channel. Then the next day we booked on down to Onset, bucking the current in the Cape Cod Canal, pulled in to Onset in the dark once again and then quick dropped the dinghy in the water & hustled ashore so we could meet up with some old friends, Mark & Judy who just completed their circumnavigation. We picked their brains over so-so italian food and then they showered us with pumpkin muffins, local beer, thumb drives full of great cruising info, paper charts & enthusiasm.

The following day we tried to cram in as much as we could- got fuel & water, got milk, did laundry, went for a short walk, and then got to see some more great friends- Dan & Liz & Charlie. For some reason Onset is a big meet-up place for us. We really appreciate the effort made to get together and we both feel the same way- it is all about knowing who you care a lot about and who cares about you. That is what warms your heart. Dan's mom got up early in the morning and took this picture of us leaving Onset Bay since their house looks right out over the channel.

Then yesterday we pressed on getting an early start, hoping to reach Block Island and be ready for the next weather window to make for the Chesapeake. It turned out to be a crash & bash beat into 30+ knots and general misery. So, abort plans and head in to Newport area, pick up a free late season mooring since no other fool would be out to collect the money, then today we came over to Block on flat seas. You would've never known yesterday was so ridiculous. We finally caught up to a friend Tim on Slick from our old marina who is hoping to reach the Pacific also. We all went ashore and took a long walk on Block Island's greenways. Much of the island is Nature Conservancy land and there are lovely green trails that crisscross over it. I've been wanting to come back here for a long time. To think that the last time I went ashore here was somewhere around 1995 when we had our Cape Dory. Sailing out to this island from the Sakonnet River felt like an ocean passage!

Thursday 10/27

Happy Birthday Dad!!!!!!!!!!
I tried to post this last night but the internet connection failed. Today it was totally crappy and we hardly did anything. Now there is a storm coming Sat with 50+ kts of wind so we have to flee from here since it is too exposed. I think we'll head over to Long Island. I love this lifestyle!

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Hurry up & wait
10/19/2011, Harpswell, ME

From Trip South Fall 2011
Well we are floating again and essentially ready to go but there is a gale warning right now so we are sitting in the basin in Harpswell near the marina. It is really beautiful and yesterday we saw a loon, a seal and some pretty sea ducks near the boat. This afternoon, the rain has set in and it is supposed to blow tonight.

It feels funny (and pretty darn sad in some ways) to have put away the camper, our truck, Jon's MGB, said goodbye to our land and all of our accumulated non-boat possessions, plus goodbyes to family- AGAIN as we embark on yet another southbound trip.

You might think we'd be relaxing now but there are always plenty of last minute projects & new issues to deal with as we try to start using each system after 5 months of sitting. After having what felt like a honeymoon this summer traveling around in the camper, we find ourselves weary of the hassle & expense that goes with getting ready to go cruising- especially up here in New England. Everything from seemingly endless rain & fog that made it impossible to get a decent finish on our mast paint to having to pay ridiculous prices for boating equipment to the increasing tug of family and simpler pleasures makes it hard to keep the focus. More than ever, this choice that we have made costs a bundle. In this economy, this is a rich man's sport! We are well aware of the price of what we're doing and hope it will unfold to be what we hope it will be. Getting on our way to Vero Beach would be a nice start! We will keep to our motto of as long as we're having fun... we'll keep going. But I guess we can't start that just yet as we're not going yet!

Yesterday, we finished putting the sails on, installed a new windex at the top of the mast since we broke the old one off by accident when the mast was down, ran the generator for the first time since replacing the exhaust hose and had to get back in there and re-tighten the hose clamps, ordered up a new Yanmar engine that we plan to install in Florida in late November (oh goodie, more projects), continued to mess with the wiring on our SSB to get get less interference, filled & polished our fuel, changed filters and wrestled with other little projects. I took a nice run and since we have excellent free internet here, we blobbed out with the heat blasting & watched a movie last night. Today we worked together on getting our new wind generator going and it is now making us power, we rebuilt the head sink to make it safer and drain properly and then we took a long walk ashore.

So that is where things stand right now. Can't wait to get south.

10/21 Looks like we have a window for tomorrow. Yahoo!

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The fun is done (for now)
09/13/2011, Harpswell, ME

Well, it is back to boat projects and we wonder if that camping trip really happened......
We had a nice but quick visit in Vermont with both of our respective parents and then we headed right for the boat to start getting it ready. It feels overwhelming and the camper so simplistic. The boat, with all of it's complex systems and the need to go over every part of it very carefully before setting out on our planned trip, seems like it will take a lifetime, not the couple of weeks that we would like it to take. While the weather has been beautiful so far, we know all too well that the fog & cold will set in soon and then the later it gets, the more miserable a trip we'll have leaving here. So it is a big push right now.

Anyway, that's the update. Will restart this blog once we get rolling sometime in October.

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09/13/2011 | John
Hi Guys
Welcome home. It's a lot of work but it will be so worth it! Hopefully we'll see you before you head south.


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