10/24/2011, Newport, R.I.
Maine's grip finally loosened enough for an early Saturday 6am departure from BoothBay.... after the 1st 20 hours we were definitely glad we waited for a bit calmer seas, as the 4-7ft we experienced was plenty bumpy enough and the winds while only about 15mph was just about 20 degrees off our nose, so motor sailing was the only option. BUT I'm happy to say that by the 10:00pm hour when Rob went down for his "4 hour sleep" we could turn the motor off. We needed the engine on again for about an hour then when I went down, we could once again SAIL!!! We arrived just at dawn about 6am at the entrance of the Canal, as we were able to maintain 6knts instead of our planned 5 knots. We needed to wait until the 7:00 at slack tide in the canal to make our way thru with only a couple of dense fog banks to contend with...fortunately traffic was only behind us, with no boats coming toward us! We arrived in Newport about 4pm Sunday night, pretty much motor sailing the whole way, as it was a welcomed "FLAT CALM" water with probably 5 knots of wind!
Alas, today (Monday) the preparation begins....1st on the list...turn the boat around, in between the dock fingers, so we would be stern in, making it easier to deal with the dinghy and access for electric. Then on to many boat chores, new watermaker pump ordered, liferaft repacking scheduled, new insurance preparations, washing the boat down (lots of salt buildup) stowing the dingy on deck for the passage and meeting Becky Dorrie & Ross & Lisa Harris (from Hupper Island) for dinner tonight! Would you believe I actually scrapped some of the peeling "Cetol" from the toe rails in a few spare minutes! Rob even needed to get reacquainted with his 'huka" system! A line wrapped on the prop while turning the boat and no diver hanging around. The water was actually much warmer than in Maine and definitely clearer and the good news is he untangled the wrap and all is FINE...phew! Needless to say day 1 of dock life is done and we learned a few things, remembered a few more things we had forgotten, got some of the chores checked off the list and ended the day in the cockpit for happy hour with friends! Welcome back Rob & Jan...we are cruisers once again!!!! (Terri & Lyman & sans cles...we miss you)
10/21/2011, Booth Bay Harbor, ME
I can hardly believe we are still awaiting our weather window to the Cape Cod Canal! It IS tougher leaving Maine, than we thought!!! We knew that once we lost the window on Monday, that Tuesday afternoon, Wednesday into Thursday would be not so pretty, but while Thursday brought calmer waters here in the harbor the fog rolled, it was pretty misty and raw and by about 3pm the winds picked back up and we were pretty much rocking and rolling all night. Forecasted Friday winds (on NOAA and SSB reports) were still showing SW 15-20 Gusts to 25 and seas 8-10ft...diminishing to 7-9 ft. In my opinion...NOT MUCH OF AN IMPROVEMENT! We decided to just hang in there, do a few "deferred boat chores", walked up town (kind of deserted this time of year) and picked up some Chinese Take- out for dinner and went back to Triple Stars to watch a double feature of National Treasure...just like the old days!!! Saturday the winds are predicted out of the W and 10-15 with seas 3-5...and improving over the day and into Sunday. Ahhhhh, that sounds much better! Today...Friday, while the skies are sunny even the harbor is still pretty rocky and winds are steadily in the upper teens...of course from the SW!
Leaving Saturday, 1st light and with favorable winds and not so steep seas, we should make our 5 knots and make it to the mouth of the Canal on Sunday, early afternoon. Already have a slip waiting for us at the Sandwich Marina and since the Canal tide would be totally against us in the afternoon we will head thru on Monday morning and get into Newport sometime late day.
10/18/2011, Booth Bay Harbor, Maine
It's TUESDAY...after 3 days of weather delays, the winds FINALLY died down last night and the seas, while a little high (5-8ft) this was our weather window to drop that tether to mooring #2398 and head SW to Boston, then on to Newport after the rain storm predicted for New England Wednesday pm & Thursday...
We finally left P.C. under sunny, skies, 56 degrees, waving a teary yet excited adios to John & Jane D, we were pleased with only 1-2ft swells but breezy winds...where you ask? ...yep...18-20 mph on our nose...but the "iron jenny" was humming. Once we got out of Hupper Island eye shot, the seas picked up to be pretty lumpy and we were going only about 2.5 knots!!!!! It almost felt like the Hupper Spirit wasn't quite ready for us to leave. We took the sails in (main was already reefed) as straight on the nose, they really weren't helping... It took us almost 2 hours just to get to Monhegan as the seas were now easily 6-8ft with an occasional BIG one that just slapped us right on the port side of the nose! Getting past the red can by Monhegan, Rob was increasingly concerned of the smoky exhaust and thought...hmmm bad impeller, as well as the line holding the boom slipped and it "bounced" on the solar panel...so we secured the boom to deal with it at a later time. After about an hour, we decided to head to Booth Bay, as our speed was still only holding at 2.5 knots...HALF OF WHAT WE HAD PLANNED...and needed to get to Boston by noon on Wed, before the really heavy rain was forecasted.
We arrived here at Booth Bay about 2:15, an hour and a half longer than it normally would have taken...BUMPY! Miracle worker and cracker jack mechanic, Captain Rob, discovered a HUGE blockage in the intake thru hull, which took care of the engine issue, he put a better knot in the tie off for the boom, so that should be fine and the alternator, well now it's working!!! Unfortunately it is now 4:15 and NO WAY are we leaving tonight, and by Thursday noon it "should be blowing like stink" (in the words of the Island Packet Yacht sales owner here, whom we had met at the Rockland boat shows and a rendezvous back in 2009. SO we will sit here for yet another weather window...with any luck it will be Friday?!?!?! So NO BOSTON... and it's 20 hours (at 5 knots) just to the mouth of the Canal from here.
We have now poured ourselves a cold one and will have our soup for dinner and turn in early tonight, we are both beat.