10 October 2018 | Pungo River, NC
13 September 2018 | Galesville, MD
30 August 2018 | Shelburn, NS
23 August 2018 | Louse Harbor, Nova Scotia
13 August 2018 | North Bay Newfoundland
02 August 2018 | Shelburn, NS
21 July 2018 | Seal Bay, Vinalhaven, Maine
08 July 2018 | Gloucester, Mass
25 June 2018 | Cape May, NJ
07 April 2018 | Palm Beach
02 April 2018 | Palm Beach
19 March 2018 | Florida Straits
15 March 2018 | Grand Cayman
04 March 2018 | Georgetown, Grand Cayman
28 February 2018 | Caribbean Sea
25 February 2018 | Linton Bay
01 February 2018 | San Blas, Panama
15 January 2018 | Yansalidup, San Blas, Kuna Yala, Panama
24 December 2017 | Cartagena, Columbia
Boat Shows, Gams and Storms, Oh My
10 October 2018 | Pungo River, NC
Well Florence turned out to be a non-event for us, although terrible for the poor folks in the Carolinas. We sat out a little wind and rain in a favorite hidey hole and did well. Since we had the boat all secured, we decided to rent a car and go to Cleveland to see Molly's Mom and had a nice visit with her and Molly's brother and sister-in-law, Mike and Laurie. Then back to the boat and after a few boat chores we visited a few old favorite spots, St. Michael's, the Wye River and Harness Creek. We spent some time wandering around Annapolis and spent a day visiting the Naval Academy, always a favorite. As always, we are constantly looking at boats, and Annapolis is the place to do it. Although we are always looking, we haven't found one that checks all the boxes like Allegria. We attended the Whitby- Brewer Gam, a get together for owners of these fine boats. Although not as well attended this year as usual, it was a lot of fun. Then we went to the Annapolis Boat Show, supposedly, the largest. One day we looked used boats and the next day we went to the main show and saw a few new boats, checked on some new equipment and bought a few things. We saw some beautiful new boats, but with the prices being what they are, not our cup of tea. After the show, we left Annapolis and bounced down the bay with our usual stops at Solomon's and Deltaville. We had been watching the weather that has become Michael for a while, but thought it unlikely to affect us, but on the way from Deltaville down to Great Bridge we heard it was likely to come right at us. We sat at Great Bridge deciding what to do, either head back up into the bay and find a hideout or continue on down into North Carolina and find a hideout there. Well, we decided to press on, so we fueled up a Great Bridge and headed down the way, across the Albemarle Sound yesterday and now we are in the headwaters of the Pungo River in a protected spot with three anchors out and the boat all battened down for the storm. We are currently in the early stages with 25-30 knot winds and expecting 40-50 later tonight. A bit of good news is that the last report we heard had the storm moving a bit north of the original track and further away from us. Unfortunately we don't have any phone service here so we can't get weather info as easily and I also can't post this as usual. I'll post it by radio and add pictures later. Fingers crossed everyone. I'll post a short update tomorrow or Saturday to let you know how things turned out.
Well, we made out fine. We saw winds of 50 knots and it knocked us around a bit but everything is OK. We spent 2 hours this morning digging the anchors out, they were so buried in the mud. We decided to move down the way a bit to Belhaven and now we have to put the sails back on and store the anchors and line away. At least we have internet now and maybe we can get ashore to celebrate with a dinner out. By the way, the picture is the graph of the pressure drop as Michael came calling.
Back to the US
13 September 2018 | Galesville, MD
We got an early start and let go of the mooring before dawn. It was light by the time we cleared the mouth of the bay and we headed west to clear Cape Sable at the tip of Nova Scotia. We enjoyed a fair tide that helped us along cleared the islands before noon. Despite the fore cast the wind was light so we were motor sailing along. Even on the track to Cape Cod we experienced a lot of current going into and out of the Bay of Fundy. There were many upwellings and eddies which made the sea surface rough for the first 24 hours. The wind filled in a bit and we were able to sail for a good bit until we closed in on the cape and the wind died. We hit the Cape Cod Canal at around 5 AM and had a fair tide so in we went and by the time we were at Onset the sun was up and we pulled in for a rest.
I called the number we usually use for checking in with Customs and Immigration and found out that it now only works for Florida. The guy I spoke with also told me that we must use the ROAM ap now for check in. I downloaded the ap and went through the process, but found that it doesn’t work north of the Chesapeake at this time. So I found another number to call and got in touch with a local officer and after a lot of wrangling finally got cleared in. It seems that with all the changes going on in the clearance procedures, no one knows what is going on. Hopefully as time goes on and the new procedures get fully implemented the process will be much easier.
After all that (3-4 hours of fooling around) I was too tired to do anything else so we went to sleep and the next day headed out for Block Island. We got an early start to beat the wind but it was up before us, so we beat our brains out getting over there, but did make it in one piece. The place was still crowded from Labor Day so we anchored right before sundown and were up and out early the next day.
We headed over to Greenport NY on the northern peninsula of eastern Long Island, an area we have always wanted to explore. We also had friends, Diane and JP, who were there as well. We had a nice visit and dinner and strolled the town a bit, sightseeing. This area is close to Sag Harbor and it is a place where all the beautiful people spend their summers, so we fit right in.
We were up early again the next day to catch a fair tide through Plum Gut and into Long Island Sound. Then it was west to Port Jefferson and a visit with Lisa. It was good to see her again, although she is very busy finishing her dissertation for her PhD in Art History. We had been watching hurricane Florence and it was fore cast to head toward the US east coast and looked as though the New England area might be a target. The last place I would want to be in a hurricane is New York and the weather was such that we needed to leave or be stuck there until after Florence did her thing. So, with heavy hearts, we bid Lisa goodbye and headed early up the sound and through the city, then down the NY harbor and past Sandy Hook. We had a fast sail south and found ourselves off Cape May and rounding it at sunrise. We had a reach up the Delaware Bay in 25- 30 knots of breeze and hit the C&D Canal at the end of the flood and got through in record time. The weather was rapidly deteriorating as we pulled into the Bohemia River and got anchored, back in the Chesapeake. We sat the next day as the weather was blowing and raining. Then, the day following, we had a nice sail down passed Baltimore to Harness Creek near Annapolis. By now it had become evident the Florence was, in fact, heading towards the Carolinas and could mess with us in the Chesapeake Bay. Now I was really aggravated after leaving Lisa and sailing all the way down here to get in the way of a hurricane. We made plans to get the boat secured in a place we know and enjoyed a couple of days walking around Annapolis, getting groceries, and boat parts. Today we moved to Galesville and pickup a mooring, but now it seems the storm is playing with us again and plans to take a southerly turn so we will hopefully not get any weather. Since we are on a mooring and we have time we are now planning to rent a car and run over to Cleveland to visit Molly’s Mom, who we haven’t seen in a couple of years.
We’ll see how the weather develops over the next couple of days and then go. When we return, we plan to knock around the Chesapeake a bit and then go to our Whitby Owners Gam and then the Annapolis Boat Show.
Down the coast
30 August 2018 | Shelburn, NS
We got an early start out of Louse, headed for Liscomb Harbor. The wind is light in the morning, but as the sea breeze builds, it gets vigorous, and right out of the SW. That seems to be the rule most of the time here and you must be resigned to taking small jumps to the west or larger ones overnight. We did that last time and wanted to see more anchorages this time. We didn’t get to Liscomb in time and wound up banging into 25 knots before it was done, but get there we did.
After a peaceful night, we had another early start to Shelter Cove, a beautiful place we had visited last time in the fog. We were looking forward to seeing it in the clear this time. We weren’t disappointed, although the place looked very different in the clear. There were seals and osprey to entertain us and we had another peaceful night.
Another early start had us off to the Mahone Bay area and we wound up in Terence Basin and Grover Cove for the night. Entering this basin requires passage of a narrow natural passage which was very cool and it opens into a basin and cove which is gorgeous.
The next day we were off to Lunenburg and spent a couple of days revisiting the place, one of our favorite places in the world. The anchorage was much more crowded than last time but the town was as we remembered, with multicolored buildings and the ambiance of a seafaring community. We enjoyed walking the streets and soaking up the vibe. We had a great fish dinner with ice cream cones to top it off.
We have a travel window coming to head back to Cape Cod , so we were off at 12 AM to get to Shelburn before the wind came up. We wound up banging into it for a while but got in without problems and fueled up and got our groceries. Now we are prepped to head back to the Cape tomorrow morning, about a 48 hour run. We have a good wind behind us for a change, so it should be a good ride.
I put a lot of photos in the gallery for your viewing pleasure, so enjoy.
Back to Nova Scotia
23 August 2018 | Louse Harbor, Nova Scotia
Here we are back at Louse Harbor sitting out a SW gale out in the ocean. We pulled in here yesterday in a building SW breeze and got the anchor down just before the rain started and the wind started howling. It went on all night and this morning we were in thick fog. Now the fog has cleared but the wind has stayed up, but it is supposed to settle tomorrow. Here is how we got here. We had a pleasant stay at North Bay and left to go back west and explore more of the fiords. As we left the confines of the fiord, we were ensconced in the fog once again. It was thick as we motored around the headlands and into the ocean. The waterfalls we had seen when we came over here were not to be seen today. We entered steep sided Facheux Bay, the deepest of all. The sides are over 1,000 feet high and the depths are over 1,500 feet with some spots at 2,500 feet. Entering was an eerie experience under radar and in between those imposing rock walls. The fog disappeared as we moved into the fiord and we proceeded to the anchorage in clear weather. We have found each fiord to be slightly different and this one is unique for all the caves in the walls, some big enough to drive a dinghy into. After anchoring we had a visit with some local guys who were scallop fishing, but not having much luck. After a pleasant night we headed west to Hare Bay. This fiord was our favorite the last time we were here and it did not disappoint this time either. It is considered by many to be the prettiest although many consider Recontre for that honor. Imagine waterfalls tumbling down cliff faces and indescribable beauty and you have Hare Bay. The anchorage is very protected and gorgeous. The last time we found plentiful mussel beds, but found none this year. We think the water may be too fresh up in the head of the fiords because of all the rain. After Hare, we moved to Recontre Bay to compare. It is interesting and different in that it has an old deserted out port in it and also makes a right angle turn half way up its length. It also has towering granite cliffs and a spectacular waterfall at the head of the fiord. We anchored off the old out port where many of the old homes have been restored as cabins for folks from Ramea and Burgeo. There was no one around while we were there. The out ports are small fishing villages which used to be plentiful on Newfoundland's south coast. They were only accessible by boat and the Canadian government sponsored a resettlement of most of them in the 1960s so only a few remain. We were up early the next day to move over to the Ramea Islands in the fog once again. Ramea is a small fishing village in an island group just off the coast. There is a very progressive population there, with alternative energy (Wind) supplying their energy needs. They even have some windmills producing hydrogen from seawater to use in energy production with fuel cells when there is no wind. We got a spot on the town wharf for the night and had an enjoyable walk around the island and a great dinner at the one restaurant. We had a short weather window to cross the Cabot Straight and get back to Nova Scotia so we were off early the next day. A combination of motoring and sailing overnight put us off the mouth of the Great Brad 'or, the opening into the Bra d'Or Lake, the next morning. We were a little early for the tide so we had to fight an outgoing current for a while but it was not too bad. We worked our way up the channel to Baddeck and anchored just as the rain started. The next day we spent walking the town and getting groceries. We also booked a tour to see the Cabot Trail, the road that encircles the northern peninsula of Cape Breton Island. We had thought about renting a car, but the process is somewhat protracted, since the closest rental agency is in Sydney. As it turned out the tour was much better, as we got the advantage of the driver, Caroline, sharing much of her knowledge with us and seeing things we might have missed otherwise. There are beautiful seaside cliffs and valleys and all sorts of wildlife. If you come this way don't miss it. Then it was off to St Peter's at the south end of the lake. We fueled up and got propane but were too late to get through the bridge and lock, so we tied to the wall of the canal and waited for the morning. The locks start again at 8 AM so we were off again and motor sailed over here to Louse Harbor. With the wind down tomorrow we are off to Liscomb Harbor and then points west. I have a huge back log of pictures to put up when we get internet again. Until then please be patient.
13 August 2018 | North Bay Newfoundland
When we left Shelburne, it was bright, but once out of the harbor, we were back in the fog. We were in and out of fog banks all day and into the night as we worked our way east past Lunenburg and Halifax. As the dawn broke the next day, we were still ensconced in the fog and later we approached Liscomb Harbor, our destination for that day. We had seen several ships and boats on AIS and radar, but nothing with our eyes. We came into the harbor hearing but nit seeing the markers, but as we closed the land the fag lifted and we anchored in the sun. Later that evening the fog closed in again, but nothing kept us from a good night's sleep. In the morning we were at it again, and we moved over to Louse Harbor in a day hop again in the fog early but it cleared in the afternoon. This is one of the prettiest harbors we seen in Nova Scotia, and it's full of curious seals. We were entertained by several playing king of the mountain on a rock with room for one and several wanting to be there. From Louse, we moved on to Cape Breton and Louisbourg, site of Fort Louisbourg, an important French outpost in the 1700's. We spent a day wandering the town and catching up on email and then a day to see the fort. It is a very dramatic site as you pull into the harbor. It has been restored by the Canadian National Parks and is staffed by people dressed in the way it would have been in the old days. It is the largest historic restoration in North America and yet only 25% of it is completed. We even were able to have lunch there served as it would have been in the 1700's. This was the busiest seaport on the east coast of North America in its day and a very important French outpost. Its importance was related to the fishing industry and the salted cod that was produced and shipped back to Europe. It is said that there would be on occasion 50-100 ships in the harbor going and coming from Europe, the West Indies, and other New World ports. It was taken by the British twice and after the second time destroyed and left in ruins, thus ending Frances holds in the region. Now, thanks to Parks Canada, we can appreciate the grandeur of the place and what it must have been like to live there at that time. We spent an entire day there and really enjoyed it. We left the next day with a dubious fore cast, as a front was passing by. We have had to motor sail so much we were keen to have wind for sailing so we decided to go for it. We left Louisbourg in a clear sky and with southwesterlies at about 15 knots. The wind slowly built to 25-30 with rain and fog and it was cold. We were all reefed down and the wind vane was steering so we held on and the next morning found us approaching the south coast of Newfoundland. We could see the cliffs looming in the fog ahead and we were aiming for a fiord called La Hune Bay. As we approached we were welcomed by a whale and her calf, with the little one showing off by broaching several times and then they swam right by the boat. We entered the fiord and the wind pushed us up the channel but the seas calmed as we moved north. The tops of the cliffs were in fog but there were countless waterfalls cascading down the sides of the cliffs. It was quite a sight. The fog lifted a bit more as we proceeded up the 8 mile channel in the fiord affording an even better view. We anchored at the head of the fiord and basked in the grand scenery. After a nap, I had boat chores and had to replace the solenoid on the starter for the engine. After some time spent we managed to overcome that problem and had time to relax. Yesterday we moved further east to Bay de Espoir and up yet another fiord called North Bay. We are now the furthest east and north that Allegria has ever been. Our plan is to slowly work our way back west and explore some more of the fiords along the way. We have no internet here, so I'll post this via radio and get the pictures up the next time we have internet. It may be a while.
Jump to the Maritimes
02 August 2018 | Shelburn, NS
We moved over to Belfast and decided to take a mooring in the harbor near the town dock since the weather was going to be snotty while we were there. We had a great visit with Ann and family and got to see the grandkids. Then we headed back to Rockland to get fuel as they had the best prices we found. It has continued to be foggy most of the time with occasional clear times. We moved in the fog over to the Wooden Boat School on the Eggemoggin Reach for the night. We left there in the morning, again in the fog, and over to Mount Desert and Somes ville at the head of Somes Sound, the only true fiord in the lower 48 states. The fog had cleared in the sound and we had a nice run up to the anchorage. It is one of our favorites with a quiet setting and good connections to the Acadia Bus system. It is sponsored by LL Bean and is a free bus service throughout the park. We really enjoy hiking in the park and the bus lets us explore the entire place. We went down to Southwest Harbor to get some of the great walnut raisin bread from the Little Notch Bakery and a few things from the hardware store. The next day we rode over to Bar Harbor and rented bikes and road the carriage trails, something we’ve longed to do for years. It was a lot of fun and allows you to see the park from a different perspective.
The next day we took a hike and wound up in Northeast Harbor for lunch at the Docksider Restaurant, complete with an excellent piece of blueberry pie. On our final day we hiked to the summit of Penobscot Mountain and then down to the Jordan Pond House for a late lunch. They are famous for their popovers and I had a bowl of excellent chowder.
We came back to the boat and moved back down the sound and anchored outside of Southwest Harbor, staging for an early departure for Nova Scotia. We got an early start at daybreak, timed to catch a fair tide at Cape Sable off the southern tip of Nova Scotia. We threaded our way out the Eastern Way south of Mount Desert Island through the many Lobster pot markers. It was a clear day to start but soon we were back in the fog. We were in and out of fog banks as we headed south east and as the sun went down the fog became solid. We spent the night dodging fishing boats, motor sailing in calm seas. We rounded the cape and turned northeast toward Shelburne. It was hard to believe it was the first day of August as we had on winter gear because of the cold damp fog. As we rounded Cape Rosier, the fog lifted and we had a beautiful ride up Shelburne Bay to the town of Shelburne. We picked up a mooring at the yacht club and I went in to clear customs and immigration. As it was last time, it was a painless phone call to do the formalities and the agent was very friendly. We walked to the phone store and got a SIM card for the local cell service and although fairly expensive, we were able to get a data connection for 2 gigs, and 100 minutes of calling to the US for around a hundred bucks Canadian, hopefully enough for the time we’re here.
Our plan is to sit tomorrow and do some boat chores and wait out some weather. Then on Friday we’ll head east toward Newfoundland in a couple of big jumps. Look for some pictures in the gallery.