Better late than never!
17 October 2020
Although our plan was to stay in Maine and enjoy the typical beautiful Fall until mid October, an early cold snap with nighttime temperatures in the 30s motivated us to try and leave earlier. When we saw a good weather opportunity starting on Saturday the 4th, we scrambled to get ready and left late in the afternoon. Not even a half hour from home Cay Paraiso's "overheat" alarm went on and we crept slowly back home. Thankfully Mike was there to help us in, as the sky was pitch black and we have no lights on the dock.
The current in the Back River is very strong, often containing lots of seaweed and other debris. Dave unclogged one of the thru hulls and that problem was solved. Then there was an issue with the starter and, by the time it was sorted out and fixed, travel conditions weren't favorable anymore.
We finally got going again on Sunday the 12th. The trip out the Sheepscot River and down the coast of Maine was very pleasant but the sea state progressively got worse starting below Portsmouth, NH. By the tine we were adjacent to Gloucester, MA, we decided we couldn't take another 8 hours of it and bailed. We went into the Southeastern Harbor and, unsuccessful at getting a grab with the anchor, we took one of the many unoccupied moorings.
Dave discovered the next morning that the alternator hadn't been charging the batteries the entire way down and they were so low that the boat wouldn't even start. He spent the entire day and next morning troubleshooting and when he ran out of ideas we started calling for help. Despite Gloucester being one of the biggest fishing harbors on the East Coast with resources galore, we had great difficulty finding someone to help us. Columbus Day weekend starts the mad rush here to haul boats and there were neither mechanics nor marina space available. A last ditch phone call to the harbormaster led us to a guy named Donny at Gloucester Railways Marine, a shipyard for the fishing fleet. He went out of his way to accommodate us despite not really being set up for cruisers. He took the time to call his connections in the harbor and was able to identify and fix the problem. When conditions still weren't good for us to leave, he made space for us on his dock amongst the fishing boats, and welcomed us to stay through the weekend. What a guy...
Being right in the middle of a working shipyard gave us the opportunity to watch the hauling of the big fishing vessel "Linda" by marine railway. This process involves floating the boat onto a huge wooden carriage that has been submerged and is then pulled by a huge chain. (See my photos in the gallery). Gloucester Marine Railways is the oldest continuously operating railways in the U.S, having operated since before the Civil War.
We plan to leave at daybreak tomorrow with the intention of stopping for the night somewhere past the Cape Cod Canal. It looks like we may have several good days. It's getting cool but our new full enclosure is making a huge difference!