Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Maine Ho

The weather let up after an extra day anchored in Stonington Harbor and we headed north-east to Newport, RI. This is clearly the sailing capital of RI. The long, wide harbor entrance is filled with sailboats tacking back and forth. It seems to be a badge of courage to do all your motion under sail. The anchorage in Newport was jam packed, as it turned out to the be the weekend of the Newport Folk Festival. The same one where Bob Dylan and Joan Baez famously played in 1963. The friendly harbor patrol told us of the alternate anchorage further into the harbor that was empty and secure.

newportIMG_2733 Bob and Joan were not around to play for us this year. We hung at the local outdoor bar and listened to the Honky Tonk Knights – great bass player who doubled as the band’s Johnny Cash.
Next morning we sailed through Buzzard’s Bay (someone should write a song about this place) and spent the night in the pretty bay at Onset, MA. Next morning we waited for the tide to change and headed north through the Cape Code Canal. This is the short cut that cuts straight through the Cape Code peninsula separating it from mainland Mass., saving the long trip around the end of Cape Cod.  The canal was built in 1909 and is about 7 miles long.
capecodIMG_2737 We had a 20 minute delay getting through the canal. This is the canal patrol boat stopping us from going any closer to the railroad bridge which was lowering to let a train pass.
We left the north end of the canal for an overnight sail to Penobscot Bay in Maine. We had on and off winds, getting in about 50% night sailing versus motoring. I like staring at charts as I’m on watch offshore. Its always interesting to see what you are traveling over. The charts in areas that are not too deep often name the underwater mountains and structures: Lyndonia Canyon, Oceanographers Canyon, Little Georges, Cultivator Shoal, Cashes Ledge, Fippennies Ledge.
You can tell you are getting close to Maine when you start seeing the lobster pot floats. There are some 3 million pots in the water along the Maine coast. It makes the crab pots of the Chesapeake look scarce.
penobscotIMG_2747 Tenants Harbor entrance, where we anchored. The lighthouse was made famous by Andrew Wyeth.
And as a painting
And why does one actually travel to Maine? Lobster, of course. $3.00 a pound for the small ones off the buying dock after hours. That’s the soft shell price. Hard shells are more like $6/lb. Her’s a demonstration on how to measure a Maine lobster by the owner of the Cod End Seafood Shack, whose family has been lobstering here for generations.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Mystic Seaport

We made it as far as Stonington, CT. This is a good anchorage just past the Mystic River, where the Mystic Seaport museum is located. Its gotten cold and rainy. What a contrast to the 95* plus it was while we were in NYC. The trip up the Long Island Sound was mostly light air motoring.
lisIMG_0314  We did get in a spinnaker run when the current was with us.
The weather closed in on us in the late afternoon
And Becky on Kokomo caught some lightning shots. I’m OK with the lightning once we get into the bay, get anchored, go below and I get to hide my head under a pillow.
Building the masts and bow sprit(on left) for the Captain W. Morgan whaling ship out of Pacific Northwest Douglas Fir
The rain should be over by tomorrow and we’ll continue heading up the coast to Maine.

Friday, July 19, 2013

NYC Heat Wave

We rode into the city on the LIRR – Long Island Railroad, for a 40 minute trip to Penn Station in Manhattan. I felt almost like a real commuter. The temperature this week has been in the mid to high 90*F. Pretty oppressive in the city environment. With all the choices of places to go that might be air conditioned, like museums, we decided to go to the World Trade Center Memorial. We jumped online and got tickets for free ($2 service charge) that got us in a few hours.
The main memorial is two large viewing pools located at the base of the old twin towers. Around the edge of the pools is a low wall with the names of the people who died in the attack inscribed. I’ve been to a number of memorials around the world. Some that I really didn’t think would be much, but turned out to be very moving – like the Vietnam Memorial in DC or Dachau in Munich. Others, like some of the WWII memorials just seem to be a pat on the back for military glory and the winner. I had pretty high expectations for the WTC memorial. Not wanting to seem like an insensitive jerk, but it didn’t do much for me. As Denny pointed out, the names along the wall are lost as you you look into the big pool and lean on the wall. The museum building is built, but not open yet, so there are no artifacts or pictures or even notes on the back story. Not that I don’t know the story, but the pools seem to come at you without context. Just one man's opinion, maybe it’ll be more moving when the memorial is completed.
nycDSCN0479 The new tower on the WTC site.
The view of an Irish Pub from Denny, Becky and Larry’s eyes.
Good question.
It was so hot in the City that they cancelled King Kong’s afternoon climb of the Empire State Building


Tuesday, July 16, 2013


nycIMG_2677 We left Deltaville about a week ago. Larry, from Rocinate, came along to get some East Coast sight seeing in and to give me a hand getting the boat to New York. His job was chief entertainer and fly swatter. We had a couple of day sails to Annapolis and then hung out in this great city for 4 days. Larry got to jam with Chip, a great harmonica player. (short video here We met up with friends Becky and Denny on Kokomo in Annapolis. They were up visiting family in DC. Kokomo is planning to head up to Maine with us this summer.
Then it was a long day sail up the Chesapeake and through the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. A late 1800’s canal created to shorten the distance between Philadelphia and and Baltimore by about 300 miles.
Not much to see on the trip. We ended up anchoring in Reedy Island on the Delaware Bay.
Its across from the Salem Nuke plant.
We managed to pick up a 12 foot log by wrapping our anchor chain around it at Reedy Island. It slowed down our 6:30am departure plan. Eventually we freed it and started motoring down the Delaware Bay with the remaining ebb tide.
nycIMG_2659  You can see the boat speed (SOG) on the bottom left – doing 10.2kts with the tide – nice.
The water temp in the bay was in the 80’s. As we got to the mouth of the Delaware Bay the water temp dropped to 65*F and the fog came out. Probably just some practice fog for Maine, where August is also known as Fogust. A couple of miles latter we were in the Atlantic and the water temp was mid to low 70’s – no fog. We had a good overnight sail up the the Jersey coast, past the Atlantic City casinos, showing up at Ambrose Light, the entrance to New York Harbor around 10am the next morning.
nycIMG_2669 Kokomo coming under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge heading into NYC
nycIMG_2674 Georgia did a sail-by of the Statue of Liberty and anchored in Liberty park behind the Statue.
Next day it was up at the crack of 8am and off to go travel through NY, up the East River, hitting the Hell’s Gate area at slack, then past Riker’s Island prison and into Port Washington on Long Island. I’ll hang on a mooring buoy here till Chris gets back from Zambia in a few days.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

13 Days Under the Hood and I’m Going to See My Baby Tonight

I don’t know who wrote that country song, but its been on my mind while living on the hard in the Deltaville, Virginia boat yard. Its actually been 20 days, and my baby doesn’t come home till July 18th – none of that rhymes enough for song.
deltavilleIMG_2639 New composite Jefa lower rudder bearing. Of course I managed to get it mounted about 1/16 inch lower than the last one, making the rudder install a challenge.
New white panels in the V-berth to cover the damaged teak from leaky ports.
A new step welded to the right side of the Granny Rails (rails around the mast base). This will make climbing up on the rails to deal with the mainsail much less of a circus stunt.
Shiny new bottom paint
With shiny new wax on the hull
Time in the yard is always grinding – dusty, gritty and dirty with daily climbs up and down tall, shaky ladders. It was nice to have some friends hanging in the area – Larry on Rocinate hauled his boat and was in charge of the evening guitar playing. Here’s a link to his new CD And Denny off of Kokomo stopped by on his way to Annapolis to pick up his admiral. We met both Larry and Denny in southern Pacific Mexico and cruised with them in El Salvador and Panama.
Next plan is to get to New York to pick up Chris on our way to Maine.