Gloucester to Kittery, Maine
10 July 2013 | Badger Island Marina
Rain and Fog, bigtime
Gloucester to Kittery, Maine
July 8, 2013
We left Gloucester at first light bound for Portsmouth/ Kittery via Cape Ann. We chose to forego the canal, which would have bypassed Cape Ann and saved us three hours sea time. The seas were almost mirror flat as we sailed in the intermittent fog toward Maine’s southernmost port town. In fact, it is just across the river from Portsmouth, NH. Portsmouth is home to a Naval Base that was established in 1800. We are told the major client of the base is now submarines. Who knows? When in dock there is very little visible. The inlet follows a river into the city and in the middle is Badger Island where we docked. Not sure here whether or not the marina is in New Hampshire or Maine. Makes no difference since we either are in Maine or can hit it with a rock from this marina. So, kids, we will spend the next few days with a rent car visiting Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine inland. We are long past due for some time ashore .
So, the preliminaries are that this place was guarded by forts and that Kittery claims to the oldest town in this state. Some other things are also obvious: it is cooler the farther north we go and even more so, the fewer boats we see. We are thinking we will spend about a month visiting the island of this state. The guide says it is only 250 miles from here to the top of the state yet the coast line is much longer. Carved 12,000 years ago by the ice age, only one fifth of the shore line is beach. The remaining 4/5 th is rock. We took a slip that had a current pushing the boat into it. The current, an hour later was negligible but on our arrival, thanks to my superb planning was a bear. Once committed, we could not back down against the current. Had we waited an hour, we could have maneuvered as if there was no current at all. We managed, with the help of the dock guys, to prevent any damage which amazes us since at one point we were sideways to the current and almost so in the slip.
Having decided to rest for a bit, we rented a car to do some land trips and provision. We drove around yesterday to see the local sights. The first impression in Kittery was that the shore line is picture perfect and that a great deal of it is owned by folks with older homes. The grand castles of Long Island Sound are not to be seen in the immediate area. Lobster restaurants are everywhere. We think we will do a couple of days seeing inland stuff once we get Scurv a haircut. He is starting to look like a giant cotton ball with legs.
As is the usual case with the inlet from sea, both sides are guarded by forts, some dating back to the Revolution. The most prominent here is Ft. McClary that does date back to the Revolution. It is different than the others I have seen along the way with a large, fortified central building that housed both riflemen and cannons in granite and wood positions. Back to the slip and look eastward across the harbor and you can see Portsmouth Navy Yard that has been around since Capt. John Paul Jones lived here. It looks quiet until since there is only one Coast Guard cutter docked there. But wait! A closer look reveals that there are two submarines tied alongside the quay. Perhaps most of the clients these days are mostly submerged.