10 July 2015
July 04th, 2015
We arrive in Boothbay Harbour and anchor at the mouth of the Millpond. The coastline is very rocky and at the mouth of the harbour is a great lighthouse.
This harbour is full of lobster boats and lobster traps everywhere and some very large impressive yachts. The surrounding town is unique with their cedar shingles on every house.
The town is full of local artists, crafts and pottery. John can’t resist a small hand carved Puffin. We stay in town for dinner and then dingy back to the boat.
We are anchored in the perfect spot to see the most amazing fireworks display.
At times there are so many explosions creating so much smoke that you can hardly see the actual fireworks
July 05th 2015
Woke up early and haul the anchor and set out for Wood Island, Biddeford Pool Maine. We haul the sails and get Genevieve up to a steady 6 knots and hitting 7 when the wind picked up. She is still a great boat.
We anchor out again behind Wood Island in favorable conditions.
We dingy into The Biddeford Pool Yacht club and notice on the wall a picture of George W Bush and a personal letter from him thanking them for his honorary membership. The club is unique, small and quite old but prestigious.
They are friendly and willing to assist you if possible.
The island is remote with one well supplied grocery store, Hattie’s Deli and two lobster shops . We didn’t stay long and went back to the boat.
In the morning things are fine until we want to leave. It is low tide and we start out by running aground. There is less than 7 feet of water in the channel but at least its soft sand and an incoming tide. Nothing we could do but wait for the water to come and float us off. They have a dredged channel which is supposed to be 10 feet at low water but we feel that the sand has washed back in.
We left an hour and a half later.
The weather is again beautiful and the ocean is calm. We set sail for Portsmouth New Hampshire.
No wind to speak of but we are again passing lots of lobster traps. We see something unusual near one of the traps and think it’s a tire or an upside down dingy. On closer inspection we discover a leather back turtle caught up in the lobster trap lines.
He was hogtied and couldn’t move other than frantically wave his front flipper and try to keep his head above water. It was an unnerving site as he was so big and in distress.
Well can’t just stand by so we circle him and John lowers the dingy and leaves me on Genevieve to keep maneuvering through the traps.
The turtle has the rope tied around his neck four times and over his flippers and one front flipper. His head is as big as John’s and without exaggeration we figure that he is over five feet in length and four feet across his shell.
As John is untying the turtle a lobster fishing boat is on us in approx. three minutes. He may think that we are trying to steel lobster but immediately stands down when he sees what John is doing and is about to help. John gets the turtle free from strangulation but he is so powerful and John is trying to get under the float to free it but is getting caught in the lines himself. John is equipped with a knife that is not that sharp but it does the trick. The turtle breaks free but still has one piece of line and the float attached to him and he starts to dive still dragging the float. Hopefully John has cut enough rope off him that he will survive.
The leatherback is the largest of all living turtles. They grow between 1.2 and 2.8 meters (five to six feet). They are an endangered species and definitely worth the risk John took to rescue him. The average adult weighs 600 to 800 pounds.
After the rescue a sunfish is right beside us up close and personal not a very pretty fish.
Move on another few miles and a right whale breaks the surface right beside the boat.
It is an amazing day at sea.
We come into Portsmouth harbor and tie up to a mooring ball in Pepperrell Cove that is in Maine but the yacht club is in New Hampshire just across the river. The river runs 6 knots at times and there is no anchoring.
We check in at the club and have the pleasure of meeting the Club Steward Jerry Goldfarb, great first impression, the man is wonderful and represents the club well. very hospitable.
We are welcomed by members who ask us to join them for supper at a little Greek restaurant and we do.
Thank you Patti, Gordon, Dave, Donna and Sauni (sp).
We are up and at it early and meet more yacht club people and we are loving the atmosphere. We order a taxi and the driver is a volunteer fireman and we tell him about our son-in-law Greg and he gives us a tour of Portsmouth on our way to the Laundromat and the grocery store. Facilities are great. There is also a discount liquor store where we stock up on wine.
We are invited to join the membership for the Wednesday night club dinner, this week it is a French theme.
July 08, 2015
We wake up to a thumping on the hull and it is John “Bud” Myles. He owns and races Genevieve’s sister ship called Veladare. He states his boats previous names were
Surfrider and Night Train. John remembers Avanti which we think is in the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, Fury may be in Chicago and Chaterie?? We will have to contact Mark Ellis to confirm. Veladare is Genevieve’s twin with a light blue hull. The layout is a bit different inside from ours but it is the same boat built in 1976, one of the five originals designed by John Ball and Mark Ellis. We both agreed that we had to get more history on the yachts and compare notes.
We need to go and see a notary to sign papers for Kristen and we are directed by Jerry the club steward to go to a group of people that he uses. He offers to drive us and we meet the family and the dog who loves and licks us all over and John has to hold her back, she is a very cuddly retriever. The Insurance company is owned by a couple who are members of the club and they have a notary. They are all so kind and friendly. The job gets done quickly and Joe asks what are you doing next? We are headed back to the club and we are trying to find a battery charger for John’s camera. He gives us his 1961 Miata sports car convertible. We get the battery and also are able to go and tour the WW 11 submarine USS Albacore.
The USS Albacore was built in Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and served from 1953-1972 without ever carrying a weapon or going to war. Her mission was experimental.
It was used for testing control systems, dive brakes, and sonar equipment, escape mechanisms and various innovative theories. It was truly a laboratory afloat.
We toured the vessel and it was tight. I would never have been able to withstand the closeness but John seemed okay with it. He tried to fit into a top bunk for the crew and could not get in. If you did get into the bunk you would never have been able to roll over or change position. In 1989 she became a National historic Landmark.
The people we met the night before as well as a few others are the kitchen volunteers. They have been cooking and preparing for the 105 meals for over a week. We drop off a bottle of wine in the kitchen and they are pleased.
That evening we join a great table of people and indulge in this fantastic meal of French Fare.
Flaming crepe suzette was served for desert.
We took the opportunity to present OCYC’s Commodore’s centennial flag to the club to thank them for their hospitality and caring. It was presented in front of the membership to the Commodore after the dinner and pictures were taken.
There is no bar at the club and everyone drops off their bottle of whatever they want to drink and a bartender if there is an event serves it or you can serve yourself at your table. Any other time they leave the ice full you take a glass from the bar use the ice and the fountain pop is free.
They just leave their bottle there all week with their name on it and there seems to be no issues as the trust level is at a high level amongst the membership.
This was feeling a lot like our family at Point du Chene Yacht Club, Shediac , New Brunswick and we had to pull out before we settled in. We keep reminding ourselves that we have to get home by the beginning of September when our cruising permit expires.
We work on the blog and get some bills paid. Get the boat ready to move to
the next port. We visit Strawbery Banke (spelling is correct from their brochure) Museum and visit the historic houses in Portland. The houses have been restored to the original design in Puddle Duck circa 1890.
Went to a spot called Rosa’s for a beer and bar snacks. It is an Italian restaurant and bar that has been serving drinks since before proabition and food before the depression.
We head back to the yacht club for an early night so we can leave by the 7am high tide and catch the favorable outgoing tidal currents.
We are on our way to Gloucester Massachusetts a serious fishing harbor. It is here that the novel The Perfect storm by Sebastian Junger was written. It gives a view of modern Gloucester fisherman and John is reading the book while here. Tomorrow we are off to Salem and Moira is concerned she will be burned as a witch, we’ll see..