-E.B. White

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"A rolling stone gathers no moss"

And that's what we have been doing lately.  Everyday we wake up and it's the "Groundhog Day" movie all over again.  Sunrise, make coffee, anchor up and let's roll - no moss gathering here. Oh, by the way,  Izzy is taking interviews for landlubbing owners.

Backtracking a bit - the famous Montauk Lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse in New York State.  This is not my pic - we never got close enough to take one.  Also, the next pic is from Block Island -  you never know what prize you might find when you pull up your anchor.

Hooked on the anchor fluke - a barnacle encrusted clamming device.

  On Long Island Sound - we saw the submarine coming towards us so we went wide to his port. However, they were trying to contact the sailboat that was in their path. Just makes us chuckle picturing the sailboats reaction when they finally look out and see the sub coming  towards them.  

Sunrise at Port Jefferson, NY anchorage.  A good  day yesterday on the sound - made a gazillion miles, well  80 plus miles, but on this boat that's a gazillion.  I am at the stage of the trip where I am not keeping very good logs and not taking many pictures -  but will try to find something interesting to post.

Ok, so this one deserves a second post - it is still one of my favorites. Stepping Stones Lighthouse - Long Island Sound.

Timing our ride thru Hell Gate - record breaking 13.6 mph with a continued 10mph ride on the East River. Whisking us swiftly to our anchorage at Sandy Hook, NJ.  Turns out in hindsight - we were lucky to get out of the city.  Harbor control shut down all traffic around the battery because President Obama was in town.

Sunset at Atlantic Highlands anchorage - Sandy Hook, NJ
Next run will be along the Jersey coast to Barnegat -  looks like we will have a few more days of good weather, so making the best of it. 

Barnegat anchorage - sunrise on the fleet.


Anhinga - with it's wings spread out to dry. Lucky us, looks like another good day for travel - so off we go.  Todays travels should get us to Cape May, NJ 

Just after sunset - Cape May, NJ.  It's all calm and quiet now, but a half hour ago a parade of at least 75 sportfish boats passed thru this channel returning from a fishing tournament.  It is a no wake zone, but you know how that goes, some boats feel they are exempt from the rules.

Another, I just don't get it moment.  Sometime in the night this guy showed up and decided he liked our anchoring spot the best. Then I hear all kinds of shouting outside, causing Izzy to start barking in her big, I have to protect the boat bark, and look out to see the Coast Guard performing marching drills just off the back of our boat.

Today is the dreaded run up the Deleware Bay, thru the C & D Canal and onto the Chesapeake.  Much better than our previous Deleware Bay adventure - so I will cut it some slack. It was on my top 10 least favorite crossing list.  Storms hit us just as we were anchoring on the Chesapeake in Veazey Cove on the Bohemia River.  

Beautiful scenery on Deleware Bay.  This is about as good as it gets - not alot to see.

The downside of operating the R.A.I.N. Watermaker - you need to have it in place before the rain starts or else....

this happens - rule #1 - always be prepared!

I have also posted this picture before, but another one of my favorite lighthouses -  Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse - Annapolis, MD.

Look who we found on the Chesapeake - yup, Big Run and Broulee back together again.  Bob & Sharon have decided to make the run to Atlantic Yacht Basin with us - they are starting their trek south.  We are currently in Deltaville and hiking over to meet up with Rick and Pam on M/V Tourist (summering on the Chesapeake) to catch up on news/gossip from Legacy Harbor Marina in Ft. Myers.  Nice to have a day off  - no boat travel.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

You know you're a plugger if.....

your watermaker looks like this. I know, eat your heart out, these are the no-voltage models, Rain-Watermaker 1 and Rain-Watermaker 2, variable gph models. 

Unit on right is Rain-Watermaker 1, to be utilized with moderate rainfall. Unit 2 comes into play with the BIG rains. Together the gallons per hour can be amazing (with a little help from the skies). Ok, thinking we'll call them R.A.I.N. Watermakers (Rapid Aqua Intake Now) patent pending.

     Collecting water from the top deck  - really good idea to let the rain wash the debris from the deck prior to positioning the tubing into the tanks inlets (wash away that nasty spider poop and other "stuff"). Or have it already hooked up in anticipation of the rain and let it run overboard a bit.

Now the most technical part of filling both tanks at the same time, route the hoses, set the funnels (one in each inlet), install the filters (Bounty sheets or coffee filters) and let the rain do its thing (pour down). This was a really good rain, 190 gallons! Our Spectra 12 volt DC unit produces 6 gph. This was a really good rain! The timing was pretty nifty too as we were down to 110 gallons and some long Spectra runs (31 hours). Now if we could just schedule rain fall.    

What to do on a rainy day in Maine?

Cruise ship Independence arriving in port with it's 100 or so passengers.  Watching the Captain maneuvering the ship entertained us for a bit.  

Then it did a 180 in front of us and then slid in sideways at the dock between a mega yacht and a sailboat. Amazing to watch with only inches to spare.  We then got out our yellow rain slickers and headed into town in search of breakfast.  Just a suggestion, do Boothbay in the the rain - less people out and about.  Found a great breakfast place called the Bridge Street Cafe - famous for their Blueberry Buckle - also serving up a big breakfast at a reasonable price.  

We knew it would finally happen - when Broulee turned with the current - our at anchor flopper-stopper almost hooked us some lobster dinner.  Although lobster pots are everywhere, lets guess a million of them out there (but who's counting, just check some of the past pictures) - we managed to snag one passing between the pot and its toggle (sometimes tough to figure out which toggle goes to which pot), and fortunately it slide right off the stabilizer and showed up bobbing intact behind the boat. (whew)

Burnt Island Lighthouse and Horn

Leaving Boothbay, Friday the 17th at 7:30 am - Carina was in the next bay over from us -Linekin Bay, we are both heading to an anchorage at Biddeford Pool (still in Maine).      

The Cuckholds Light and Horn, Boothbay Harbor - the most photographed lighthouse in Maine.  Built in 1907 it is still (thanks to donations) in use till this day.

Anchored at Biddeford Pool and Happy Hour on Carina - they are on a beeline for their homeport of Marion, MA  - we have a good weather window so we will be traveling together (as we appear to be on a beeline).  We had hoped to stop and see our friends, Wayne & Carol in Portsmouth, but they will understand you need to take the good weather opportunities when you can.  Yes, we hate to admit it, but we are once again on a "schedule".  Want  to be in Great Bridge, VA before Sept. 5th due to a railroad bridge closure.

Up early for a 5:30 am departure - next stop Gloucester, MA (bye, bye Maine).  We (Carina and Broulee) have mutual friends that summer in Gloucester, so a get together for dinner at the local Italian restaurant was arranged.  Good to see Martin & Betsy Basch (Molly Blossom - Krogen 42) and catch up on their travels. 

Sneaking out of Gloucester Harbor at 0-dark-thirty.  Today we will do 80+ miles  - to Carina's homeport of Marion, MA. and a pass through the Cape Cod Canal. The weather, wind and waves cooperated, making the run to the Canal smooth and uneventful. Well, at least until entering the Canal on a Sunday (supposedly a no-wake zone). We don't have a picture, but a large cruiser followed closely by a large sportfish going east against the current in the Canal created dangerous 6-7 foot steep swell waves making it crazy for many boats, including us, heading west. Lesson of the day, (everyday is a learning experience) don't travel the Canal on a Sunday afternoon!    

  Sunrise leaving Gloucester - looks like a good day at sea. 

Again no picture, but Marion, MA is a wonderful, quiet town and anchorage. Beautiful, well maintain old town homes and a favorite mooring location for many locals. Carina arranged for us to take a friends mooring (they are still in Maine). It was our last night with Jules and Carol as they are home and we have miles to go. By the way, Jules and Carol are those rare people you meet, bond easily with, hold a wealth of boating knowledge and we hope the next meeting isn't too far away. Thank you Jules and Carol.

To bring this blog up to date (nearly), we ran from Marion (8/20/12) to Block Island, again with great seas. Forecasts were also great for an over-night to Cape May, but while the Captain loves offshore cruising, forecasts have been known to change for us, so its inside passage on Long Island Sound and the Hudson to Sandy Hook (we're not in that much of a hurry). Posting this at anchor in Port Jefferson Harbor, Long Island after an 83 mile day (good currents, 11 knots through Plum Island Gut and for the next 10 miles west!) Now calculating the tides and ride through Hells Gate on New York's East River, the Battery and on to Sandy Hook. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Cruisers don't have plans, just intentions

Seems the norm here, this time of year, is fog - we planned to leave Sommes Harbor on Sunday, but looked like fog would not get us anywhere further (Carina left, but only made it to Southwest Harbor a hop skip from here).  We were hoping to leave the harbor on a sunny day so we could see the mountains along the fjord, but looks like this will partially happen,  so we will take what we can get, so on Monday we leave  - Carina from Southwest Harbor, Broulee from Sommes - heading for Rockland. 

Fog still lifting from the anchorage (hey at least we can see the trees).

Just a boat in the anchorage that looked like fun.

We are calling this fog lifting - we have not seen these hills for days.  Although we are still hearing Security, Security calls on the radio - we are all confident it will lift.

Ok, so several things in this picture.  Fog is lifting to the top of the 600 ft mountain - sun is starting to shine on the hundreds of lobster pots and then.....

as we round the point, back in the thick of it. Carina was at least an hour ahead of us so not much help in the what might be heading directly at us category, but everyone was constantly optimistic about possibilities of fog letting up - LIARS.  

You could never take your eyes off of the water (lobster pots), the radar (other boats) the course (where the hell are we?) and listening to the constant security, security on the radio of boats heading somewhere, possibly in your direction..  Rick was continuously  saying, ok we have a target, 3/4 mile out - he's getting closer, wait he's going to the port side, no wait he's now in front of us, we pretty much knew it was a lobster boat - they zig zag alot.  This target in the picture above is pretty much a given, it doesn't move.  Again, just showing you visibility, is only about a boat length away.

  When we got back to Stonington the fog had lifted - Goose Rock Lighthouse/Horn.

Passing thru Stonington Harbor - looks like we are heading back into fog. 

 We could hear a loud fog horn as we were approaching Rockland - just as the fog was lifting this car ferry appeared on our starboard side - whew, that was a close one.  We know he knew where we were, and we knew he was huge and close -   but, we are sure he was probably just laughing - hah, watch this, I am going to scare the crap out of this little boat - and, yes he did!  

Schooner as we are approaching Rockland.  Yes and the fog has lifted, finally.

 Rockland Lighthouse - looks like we will be here a few days, Rick will be working on the generator and another Krogen, Dawn Treader is in the harbor, so it looks like another Krogen Rendezvous, Warning Happy Hour ahead. 

Sunset from our Rockland anchorage - I know, pitiful. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Broken toe and bad haircuts

We have been on the boat for over a month now and really starting to miss the grandkids and the gym, I broke my toe and have cut my own bangs (the last two are not very pretty).  Really still loving Maine, but Sommes Sound, Mt. Desert  is probably as far "downeast" as we will go.  Formulating plans as to where we will leave the boat mid-September, while we go back home for a couple of months - the most likely spot would be Atlantic Yacht Basin in Great Bridge, VA - so we are looking at, at least three more weeks of travel on the boat.  We are not done with Maine yet, just setting our sights on the barn.  Rick discovered a leak in the generator heat exchanger, so a new one has been ordered and should be in Rockland, Maine at Landings Marina on Monday afternoon.  Next stop Rockland, Maine (Sunday morning, waiting for fog to lift).  

On Monday the 6th, we motored to Seal Cove anchorage and snooped around with the dinghy in all the coves - lots of pretty pink granite ledges and LOTS of seals.  

  Tuesday morning, up early with plans for breakfast in Stonington before we anchor at Deer Isle in Hells Half Acre.  Sunrise at Seal Cove.

Better yet, sunrise on a Krogen (Carina) in Seal Cove.

At the entrance to the cove, appropriately named Seal Cove - we found them sunning on a rock ledge at low tide (unfortunately not a very good pic - into the sun).
Carina attempting to anchor in Stonington Harbor - turned out not to be a good idea, so we moved on, to our anchorage for the evening, Deer Isle at Hells Half Acre.  Adorable town, Rick and I took the dinghy back to Stonington for some lunch and to check out the sights.

This is the way to get to shore in the "olden days" - the people with the oars are actually paying the other two people in the for an aft - for the joy of  paddling them to shore - I want that job.
and more of the harbor - as you can see we are at low tide, either climb a ladder or find a floating dock and use the ramp.
Again, another beautiful anchorage.

Then on our way back from Izzy's walk on the island - we ran into a lobsterman checking his traps - 6 lobsters for $15.00 can not believe it.  See Izzys wet head - yes we have a wet black lab onboard, again and  now some stinky lobster.
We selected a couple for dinner and started the lobster pot boiling.

Winner, Winner Lobster Dinner.

Heading to Southwest Harbor on Mt. Desert -the lighthouse at Bass Head Harbor.

Izzy and Rick returning from a potty run in Southwest Harbor.  Notice that brown spot on the front -  that is from our low tide issue at Block Island - we kept trying to pull the dinghy back to the water - one big pull almost landed us in the drink - when the handle separated from the boat.  We have since purchased a repair kit and hope to get the handle re-attached ( I guess more for aesthetic reasons, certainly not for pulling  a five hundred pound dinghy across 10 feet of rock)  -  after 11 years,  it's still a learning experience.

Approaching Southwest Harbor - Mt. Desert in the background.

and more lobster - I know it's a sin to say this, but getting tired of lobster - dying for a good Midwestern ,
Beef Angus steak.

The view from our back deck - Southwest Harbor, Mt. Desert

Carriage House behind the big house - I totally have this on the list of projects for when we get home.

and then more fog.

You can actually see it rolling over the hills back into the harbor.  So now I have frizzy hair with a bad bang cut - nice.

Too clean and pretty for lobstering, although it appears to be a working boat.

  While waiting for the fog to lift, we hopped the free shuttle bus, Island Explorer and went to Bar Harbor.  The buses do the entire island, including Acadia National Park in hopes of eliminating car traffic and exhaust. They run on propane.  It features nine bus routes linking towns, hotels, inns and campgrounds.

.Main drag, Bar Harbor  looking down at the water front.

The flowers are beautiful - it must be all the fog.  

More of Bar Harbor - we searched out an ice cream shop that was mentioned on the TV show "The View". Mt. Desert Ice Cream was selected as being one of the top five ice cream makers in the nation.  In need of his daily ice cream fix, Rick decided to see if it was true.  Tuff job, but someone has to do it.

The town has two locations, one is on Main Street (where President Obama had his coconut cone) and the second is on Firefly Lane where Mr. Smith had his nutella and coffee and yes, it was too die for.

Then some exercise was needed - so we hoped on the bus and visited Asticou Gardens.

and another Smoke Bush.

Sommesville on Sommes Sound.  In 1761 Abraham Sommes started the first permanent settlement on Mt. Desert.  The Historical Society is on the sight of the original homestead.  In it's heyday, seven mills, five shipyards and four blacksmith shops crowded the little town.  It is now just a peaceful, pretty town.  We anchored in Sommes Harbor - Sommes Sound - technically this is the only fjord on the Eastern Atlantic Seaboard, nothing like the fjords of Norway, but still very pretty. Hoping to get some pictures when we motor back down, but foggy again today and not looking good for pics.

Garden in Sommesville - looking out over harbor.

Rain and more fog on Saturday - we caught the bus into Bar Harbor and then picked up a connecting bus to Sand Beach and then hiked to Thunder Hole. Perfect thing to do on a rainy foggy day - NOT!

Shoreline between Sand Beach and Thunder Hole.

Thunder Hole - not blowing.
and this is about as good as it got for us - about five feet high.
This would be a perfect 10 day - I borrowed this pic, just to show you what it should look like - water shooting above ground out of the hole.

and looks like Izzy kept herself busy while we were gone.

Last night - fog falling down the mountain.  Sommes Harbor - Mt. Desert.  Captain Rick on Good Forturne - this would be a "pinch me moment".