Friday, July 31, 2009

Rockland and Matthew's Last Blog

Ahoy it's Matt and this is the last blog of the season. Yesterday I woke up and had cereal for breakfast. Then we motored over to Belfast. I played my DS and drew a little more. Then I drove the boat for a will. Soon we arrived in Belfast and I put all the lines on the boat. The harbormaster had use running across the deck to get the fenders on the right side. Then we took the laundry up to at the top of the hill. Grandpa and I went back to the boat to and swabbed the decks. We went back to the laundry mat to check on Nana. Nana and I went back to the boat and when we were close to the docks we meet Dick Burns, a man Nana went to college with. When we all were on the boat we chatted for awhile while drinking lemonade. When Grandpa got back we went to Mr. Burns’ lovely house after getting lobsters. I went to their beach to get water for the lobsters. After having some drinks and cheese, Mr. Burns and I killed lobster in the out door boiler filled with seawater. Then I found a lucky stone and Mrs. Burns gave me a piece of sea glass. Then we ate the lobster and it was my first full lobster. Then Mr Burns gave me a marble thing and Nana and Grandpa a wooden tray with a picture of a moose on it. Then we went on a walk and someone on the dock said that jet skis were chasing the coast guard. Then we went back to the boat and there was some wackos running around on the docks. Then I went to bed after putting my laundry away. Today I woke up and we had oatmeal on the boat for breakfast. Then a family of Amish or more likely Mennonites walked along the docks. Then we left Belfast. I drove for awhile. Then got out the yellow bag of demons. Then I played my DS for awhile and drove the boat through A lobster pot field outside of Rockland. Then I put the lines on to the cleats. Someone was on our slip and they moved. I played with the marble thing. Then we went ashore to get the crate for Hoolie. After we assembled the crate we went to lunch at the Rockland Cafe. I had spaghetti and Italian sausage, mmmm. Then when we left it began to pore. We went to the Grasshopper Shop to get Dad a birthday present. When we got back to the boat out of the rain. I played my DS. Then had ice cream and soda. After that I played my DS. I called home to see when Dad had left. He left around 3 and is supposed to get here around 9 or 10 o'clock. Then I played with the marble thing and got the two marbles in the holes. See you next season, this is Matt signing off, bye. PS This was an awesome summer and hope you had fun reading the blog and Grandpa will still be blogging.

I used the quiet time in the morning to refill the water tanks. The water in Rockland has a off taste so we avoid water from there but Belfast is okay. With full tanks we started towards Rockland. There was no wind and no waves so we motored south and found a favorable current too. Altogether, we headed south at 8.5 kts and made Rockland in three hours.

The first order of business was to buy a crate for Hoolie so we can feel comfortable leaving him alone in the boat when we have to go out without him. He’s still a puppy and perhaps will settle down in the future, especially after he’s “fixed” but we needed an immediate solution for our cruise. We returned to the boat, inserted Hoolie and headed off for lunch.

Soon it started to rain lightly and so we hurried back to the boat. Not too long after that, the heavens opened up for the next four hours! We put in the rest of the enclosure for the cockpit and, safely dry, we watched the rain. We served wine and cheese using the serving tray made by Dick Burns with an outline of a moose, hence known as our moose tray. You can tell Dick is a sailor, the tray is just the right size for two and the fiddle edges keep everything on the tray. I did find a weather window for Hoolie so I didn’t have to get into full weather gear!

Matthew’s dad is due to arrive tonight to take Matthew home Saturday. We will sorely miss Matt. He’s been a big help on the boat and is learning more everyday in the running of the boat. Now Nana will have to use the motor hoist while I’m in the dink putting on the motor. We’ll have to put out all the lines and adjust the fenders ourselves. I’ll have no helper in the morning when weighing anchor. Most of all, we’ll miss having Matt around, always cheerful, always full of fun – and complaining about his “yellow bag of horror” (math homework over the summer). We’ll miss you Matt.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Belfast - A Visit with the Burns

We left Holbrook Harbor in fog but it clear enough for easy navigation as we cross the bay. We encountered a few showers but then the sun came out and it became quite warm, a new experience for us in Maine this summer. Unfortunately, there was no wind so we motored across the bay to Belfast.

Arriving in Belfast, we had a mountain of laundry to do and a hike up the hill to the Laundromat. Meanwhile, Matt and I washed the boat as Ann tended to the washers and dryers. With the cleaning done, it was time for Dick and Barb Burns to arrive. Ann had not seen Dick since they were in college together at the University of Maine. They graciously invited us to a lobster cookout at their house by the bay at Searsport. We immediately accepted of course and we were on our way to buy the live lobster at a local market.

They have a lovely house with a great view of the harbor and also a perfect setting for a lobster cookout. Although Matthew has eaten lobster many times, this was the first time he actually had a whole lobster that he had to shell and eat by himself. He did fine and he reported that it tasted great, a comment that Ann and I will second! There is just nothing like fresh lobster, especially the hard shell kind with the shell packed with meat. Matt put got the lobsters out of the bag and did the transfer into the boiling water. Dick cut the rubber bands off first so the rubber wouldn't color the taste. Blueberry crisp was the dessert and there is none better!

After the meal we had a walk and Matt felt so strong that he lifted an anchor to show off! (see photo!) What a wonderful day!

Belfast - A Visit with the Burns

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Back to Holbrook Harbor - A Sail Through Fog

Ahoy it's Matt. Today I got up and curled up on the settee. Then we had pancakes for breakfast. I had 6 minis and 1 regular pancake. Then I cleaned the anchor which had mud, rocks, and shells on it. Then we left Pickering Island to go to Holbrook. Then I pulled the jib out. We sailed through the fog. I sailed for 10-20 minutes. Then we tacked the sails and I pulled it to port side (left). I drew for the rest of the way. We had tuna fish sandwiches for lunch. Then I drew for the rest of the afternoon. I drew Nana and it came out pretty good. Then we went ashore to run the dog around. We went back to the boat and I drew some more. Write to you tomorrow.

We awoke to a world of fog. The windjammer that anchored nearby was really noisy in the morning. The guests on board were enlisted to help pull the sails up to loud “Heave Hos”. They disappeared in the fog shortly thereafter. I guess if you go on a windjammer cruise, you’re expected to help with the crew duties.

Ann made pancakes with blueberry syrup and after a trip ashore for dog duty, we weighed anchor and set out. With our radar and GPS chartplotter, finding our way was no problem. We had enough wind to make progress and after awhile, the wind picked up enough for Matthew to sail all by himself. He’s learning the feel of the boat and shortly will take his turn at the wheel on a regular basis.

Ann called New York and heard of an approaching storm which is supposed to reach us tonight although the winds and rain predicted are quite mild compared to home. We can withstand winds from any direction in our harbor tonight so we’re not worried. Thursday we’re headed for Belfast at a dock for a day to fill our water tanks and get some provisions. We should be able to sail over if the forecast holds.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Pickering Island with a Windjammer

Ahoy it's Matt. Today I woke up and I snuggled up on the settee. Then we had more porridge for breakfast. Then I did my work in the yellow bag of death in painful ways. Then we set sail for Pickering Island. I played my DS for awhile. Then I piloted the boat while it was sailing. Then we had peanut butter and cracker lunch. I watched a movie because I was tired of playing my DS. We got here around 2:00. Then I helped Grandpa put preservative on the teak. Then we had a dink ride around Porpoise Point but no porpoises. Then we went ashore and I found a seagull eating area, ew. Then we headed back to the boat and I made a thing of Layered Nachos. Then I played my DS. Write to you tomorrow.
PS The recipe for the Layered Nachos
1 put down thin layer of nachos
2 add salsa and cheese of choos
3 repeat twice or three times

Today Matthew sailed Fleetwing for the first time alone! We had a 10 kt wind which was very steady and we were in a part of Penobscot Bay without lobster buoys. With those advantages, we let Matt sail by himself. As for the weather, it was terrific for a change. We were in shirtsleeves, full sun, temps in the 70’s and the steady wind I mentioned at 10 kts or so. We sailed all the way. We had the bay to ourselves, where were the other boats? There’s a lot fewer boats than last year. We’re at Pickering Island tonight and there’s only one other boat, a windjammer. Last year there were a half dozen. Several times we’ve been the only boat in an anchorage and there’s seldom more than two or three. Of course, the weather so far hasn’t been anything to write home about but the locals don’t seem to mind. I guess, compared to wintertime up here, it’s heaven.

We’ve been watching a DVD of Jacques Pepin, “More Fast Food My Way” and Matt has also been an avid watcher. He even watched back episodes that we had seen but he missed to “catch up” to us. We were surprised that he would be interested. He came up with his recipe for Layered Nachos by himself, he was quite proud of it – and it was good. Nana puts all the nachos down at once and pours the salsa and cheese over the top, Matt “layered” the ingredients.

One of the pleasures of sailing in Penobscot Bay are seeing all the windjammers up close and we take lots of pictures. They are beautiful ships!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Castine Again - More Fog and Rain

Ahoy it's Matt. Today I got up and played my DS. Then when Nana and Grandpa returned from shore we had breakfast. It was a cheese, egg,saucage, and baggel sandwich mmmm. Then I did some work in the yelow bag of evil things from heck. Then I had lunch, a bowl of mac & cheese. Then we went ashore and we had a walk. We got movies at a rental store. Then we came back and watched one of the movies, “The Worlds Fastest Indian”.(Ed Note: That’s about a guy who drove an Indian motorcycle to a world’s record.). Then I played my DS. Write to you tomorrow dinner is on the way. PS We stayed in Castine because of all the fog.

Once again we got into full rain gear (see photo) for the morning dog relief. The rain was coming down in buckets but it stopped on our way back to the boat. By the way, have you ever seen a dinghy dock that wasn’t chocker block full of dinghies? No matter how big the dinghy dock, it’s always full to the brim, it’s one of those truths of nature and it was no different at Castine.

Castine had a number of free WiFi connections but they were barely accessible from the boat but could be easily accessed on land. One of these days I’ll get a WiFi antenna but for now I’m just using the antenna in my laptop, a Levono S10 netbook.

We found a local store that had 50 or so DVD for rent and so on a foggy day, we rented two at $3/each. We once again walked around town, it’s a small town! The fog is supposed to clear tomorrow and we’ll head for Pickering Island, probably.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Ahoy it's Matt. Today I woke up and played my DS. Then we had scrambled eggs for breakfast with toast. Then when the fog lifted we left for Castine. I cleaned the anchor when we left Holbrook. I played my DS the 20 minutes here. Then it started to rain so I drew for awhile. Then when it stopped raining we went ashore. We had lunch at
Dennett's Warf and I had a burger with fries. Then we went to the store for provisions. Then we went back to the boat to find one of the pillows torn apart. Hoolie had taken the pillow that had a small hole in it and made it a big hole, then ripped it apart. The up side is we were going to replace it. Then we went back ashore and got an ice cream container. Then we got cones at an ice cream place. I had a large chocolate and vanilla twist. Then we went back to the boat and it started to rain again. I played my DS and cuddled up with Nana. Write to you tomorrow, bye. PS we only got a two-hour break from the rain.

We awoke to a world of fog and more of the same in the forecast. With that we decided to pick up a mooring at Castine and explore the town. The crew was getting somewhat discouraged with all the rain and bad weather so we treated ourselves to lunch at Dennett’s Wharf. Ann and I had a clam roll which turned out to be a plate piled high with clams and a small bun buried at the bottom of the pile of clams, out of sight. We still have to get used to the serving sizes in Maine, always huge. It’s a good thing we didn’t get the clam dinner, it would have been much too much.

Castine is the home of the Maine Maritime Academy and their training ship, the ”State of Maine”. We had hoped to take a tour of the ship but it was discontinued this year, perhaps a budget item that got cut. We turned our attention to the museum but it closed at 5:00 pm and it was 4:45 when we discovered that. We thought we could stay another day and then see it but read that it isn’t open on Mondays!

As Matt mentioned, Hoolie misbehaved again by tearing up a pillow while alone in the boat when we had lunch. Fortunately, the pillow was already ripped and we had planned on throwing it away anyway. Hoolie needs more work on being left alone in the boat.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Holbrook Harbor - We Run Afoul of a Line

Ahoy it's Matt. Today I woke up and played my DS. Then we had porridge for breakfast. Then I played my DS. Then after we had left I came up top. Then the trouble started. We were sailing through a sea of lobster pots and we got a line stuck on the rudder. We sailed on to Billings Cove and anchored .and called a diver to help. I watched a movie wall we waited for it to arrive. He rafted and the driver chatted with us. Then he went in and got it off. We left and I continued to watch movies for the rest of the way. Then we arrived and a windjammer came in and anchored along with the trimaran and four other sail boats that were already here. Write to you tomorrow dinner is on the way in Holbrook Harbor.
We were sailing along through a sea of lobster pots when we picked up a line that jammed into the space between the rudder and the boat hull. We could still steer but not very well, the wheel was very stiff. We decided to anchor in Billings Cove and try to get the line off but was unsuccessful. I finally called a nearby marina and they sent a diver over and he removed the line in about 1 minute. Oh well, we did have a nice sail. It was sunny and warm for a change in contrast to yesterday when it rained all day and most of the night.

We are now snug in Holbrook Harbor and there's nary a ripple, we'll sleep well tonight. Saw a nice sunset for a change.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Pickering Cove to Weather the Storm

Ahoy it's Matt. Today I woke up and played my DS until everyone was back on the boat. Then we had ham and cheese omelet mmmm. Then we watched a movie. After that we had lunch and it was tomato soup with nachos mmmm. Then we watched Erogon. During the movie I complained about how close it is to Lord of the Rings. Then I drew for the rest of the time. Write to you tomorrow. PS it was poring all day with short breaks. (Ed. Note: One of Matt's drawings is shown)

Today was the day to weather the storm. We had not realize that today’s storm was the remnant of a tropical depression. We found a good hidey hole in Pickering Cove with good protection and settled in to weather the high winds and rain. However, the winds only topped out at 25 or so but it did rain all day long. Regardless of the pouring rain, Hoolie still needed to get ashore so Ann and I donned our full rain gear but Hoolie only had his fur although it’s remarkably water repellant. We returned dry but Hoolie had to be toweled off a lot.

Ann did some cheering up with a breakfast ham and cheese omelet followed up by a roast chicken for the evening meal. In between we read our books and watched movies. We’re working our way through a second viewing of Prehistoric Park, a special by the Discovery channel that is a must see if you like dinosaurs. It’s modeled after jungle safaris that capture wild animals except the animals they capture lived millions of years ago. They use a time machine as a device to travel to the animals’ habitats. It’s very well done.
The storm has passed now and we hope to travel back into Penobscot Bay for the rest of Matthew’s stay with us. He’ll be 12 on August 1 and his dad will pick him up for the trip back in Rockland.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Pickering Cove - Awaiting a Storm

Ahoy, it's Matt. Today I woke up and read. Then we went ashore and we went to the library whie Nana walked the dog. Then we went back to the boat and had toast for breakfast. Then we left North East Harbor. On the way I read and we went wing on wing. I read for the rest of the way. Then when we arrived and I drew for a while and then went for a dink ride. I climbed on rocks and then when we got back to the boat after I climbed all over the rocks. Then I played my DS for a while and then I cleaned the head because it was dirty. Write to you tomorrow.

According to the weather report from NOAA and Grib, there’s a storm due for Friday. The gusts are predicted to top out at 25 kts with lots of rain. We didn’t want to stay another day at Northeast even though it would have offered excellent protection so we headed east to Pickering Cove which is protected from the east pretty well. If the storm appears as predicted, we’ll stay over at Pickering Cove on Friday and head towards Penobscot Bay on Saturday.

The cove has a number of islands that are suitable for Hoolie relief which is a plus for any anchorage. It’s about 10 feet at low which allows for good scope on the anchor and as all anchorages in Maine, the bottom is mud, excellent holding. I brought with me an educational DVD on astronomy which I’m trying to interest the crew with but that may be doubtful, we’ll see. Other than that we have lots of books to read for a stormy day. The storm is due to peak in the morning; hope we can get Hoolie ashore.
In taking Hoolie ashore, we don’t worry about securing the dink since we just lash Hoolie to the dinghy painter and he’s the anchor! You just have to watch for the “Hoolie whip” as he runs at full speed on his extended lease. If you’re in the way, he’ll wrap it around your ankles, several times even, mud, sand, etc.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Northeast Harbor - Exploring

Ahoy it's Matt. Today I woke up and read in my book. Then we had oatmeal for breakfast. Then I worked in the evil yellow bag of pains. Then we went ashore and Grandpa and I went to a library. Then we meet Nana at The Docksider Restaurant. I had a massive double cheese beggar and a mound of French fries and a appetizer of calamari. Then we went back on the boat. Then we returned to shore with Hoolie and Nana walked the dog while we went around town. We went back to the boat and Grandpa and I went back to return a broken box thing. Then when we were coming back I got a ice cream cone. Then we went to get fuel for the dink. We came back and I read for the rest of the time. Write to you tomorrow.

We awoke to dense fog and a drizzle so we decided to stay another day since tomorrow is supposed to be sunny (Ha!, if you believe that!) We went exploring with Nana touring the shops while Matt and I visited the library. Matt read in the young adult section while I blogged. The library in Northeast Harbor is new and very nice and comes with a high speed, free WiFi server, better than Southwest Harbor. If you sign up for WiFi at the town hall, it’s $5/day but with a five minute walk to the library, it’s free. We wound up at the restaurant halfway up the hill towards town and had an excellent lunch. Ann and I just had a haddock sandwich but Matthew had a huge double cheeseburger, what an appetite!

Coming back to the boat we found that Hoolie had been naughty and pooped in the salon on the floor, bad dog! It’s the first time he’s done that and we’ll have to see how he does in the future. We can’t always take him with us. We headed off again for fuel for the dink and then settled in for our evening wine at 5:00, watching the harbor activities and the setting sun, nice!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Northeast Harbor - Internet At Last but Lots of Rain

Ahoy it's Matt. Today I woke up and had pancakes for breakfast mmmm. Then I drew for a while. Then we left Round Island to go to North East Harbor. Then I continued to draw in my booklet. Then I read in the cockpit for the rest of the trip. Then when we got here I drew for a long time (Ed. Note: Matthew is taking drawing lessons from Ann) and then we went ashore. Then we went to the grocery store to get more supplies. Then we got back to the boat I got the laptop out and we watched a movie. When we were done I watch another movie. Write to you tomorrow. (Ed. Note: Matt enjoys his calls home)

It looked like from the forecast that the weather was going to turn cool and rainy for the next few days so we headed for Northeast Harbor in Mt Desert. We always liked Northeast Harbor and there’re lots of things for a kid to do. First off we had to make a resupply trip to the local market followed by a trip by me to the library which had a free WiFi connection. At last I’m caught up. It looks like the only place I’ll have internet coverage is this harbor, Southwest and then the next place is back in Penobscot Bay, groan…

The market did have fresh fish and Ann bought some for dinner. One of the joys of cruising is having a great meal after relaxing with wine in the cockpit. Ann has become a fan of Jacques Pepin and his way of cooking quick and delicious meals. All of his recipes for an appetizer, main dish and dessert and be completed in 30 minutes, perfect for a boat. He was featured most recently on the Create channel for ½ hour sessions on recipes out of his book, “Fast Food My Way”. He once was the personal cook for the president of France. For tonight Ann prepared fillet of sole with mushroom sauce. For vegetables we had Spanish yellow rice and fresh yellow squash. Dessert was skillet apple charlotte. There was not a crumb left of anything. Matt and I finished off what Ann didn’t serve with the first helpings. With that we didn’t care what happened outside, we had a great time eating.

Unfortunately, as I write this it’s pouring outside, a real gully washer. We heard on the weather summary that Maine is way ahead of their normal rainfall amount for July (surprise, surprise…) We’re probably ahead in New York too. If this weather continues, we’ll stay over in Northeast Harbor another day before heading back west. The boat in the photo was with us in Rockland at the same marina. There are lots of big boats here, Northeast Harbor is one of the premiere harbors of Maine.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Great Sail to Round Island

Ahoy it’s Matt. Today I woke up when the dink was leaving. We had sourdough toast. Then I went swimming and it was 61 degrees. I was diving very good. I was even able to climb into the dink. Then we went ashore and had a picnic. I climbed on rocks and we left after we came back ashore. Then we saw seals basking in the sun. Then we sailed to Billings Diesel and on the way we saw a cruise ship. Then we crept going to Round Island. I drew the whole way. Then I attempted to jump off the swim platform but my foot caught on the swim ladder oowwwwwwwwww. (Ed. Note to Matt’s mom, foot okay, just very sore) Write to you tomorrow.PS the water in Round Island is 60 degrees

It was another perfect Maine day. So after Matthew went for a swim, Ann put together a picnic lunch and we dinked ashore to the nearest island. We sat on a granite ledge next to a pine forest and savored the view of the ospreys, pine scent and watched Matt do one of his favorite things, climbing rocks! The wind picked up in the afternoon to around 10kts so we headed for Billings Diesel at Stonington for fuel and a refill of water. The route to Round Island is right through the densest of the lobster pots since Stonington is a stronghold of lobster fishermen. Perhaps in other areas of Maine the pots are not as thick but in this stretch, the appeared as dense as ever. We anchored at our favorite spot and watched the sunset, what a day!
Once again I had no internet connection, oh well, hope everyone is patient. Spot still works for finding where we’re at even when the internet doesn’t

Sunday, July 19, 2009

To Seal Bay - A Glorious Sail!

Ahoy it’s Matt. Today I woke up and read in my book and we had danishes. Then I pumped the dink out. Then I read in my book. Then we left Rockland and headed for Seal Bay. I read for the whole day. On the way out of the break water we put up the sails and sailed the whole way. We saw two windjammers and a ferry. On the way through the last stretch of the sail we saw two ospreys. Then when we got here I went swimming. The water was 61 degrees berrrrr for you. Then I read for the rest of the afternoon. Write to you tomorrow. PS I finished the book and there are 381 pages and I read it in three days.

Today was one of those days that you live for in Maine. The wind was out of the southwest at 10 to 15 kts, the sky was blue, the sun was warm and the seas were flat. Our destination was Seal Bay. Coming from Rockland, the sail was a glorious broad reach until entering the Fox Island Thorofare, the narrow stretch of water between North Haven and Vinal Haven islands just east of Rockland. Through this passage you get to dodge lobster pots, other boats and moored boats while adjusting your sails due to a variable wind direction due to surrounding land, quite fun. As we approached the thorofare, a windjammer out of Rockland gradually overtook us with a full set of sails flying, what a sight! A second windjammer approached as we headed out of the Thorofare, just beautiful.

The Seal Bay anchorage was practically empty. It’s a Sunday night but still one would expect to see more cruising boats but not today. Since high tide coincided with Hoolie’s nighttime relief, we decided to try a circumnavigation of Penobscot Island, one of the islands in Seal Bay. It can only be done at high tide since the path dries out at low. Along the way Ann snapped the sunset picture and we made it back to the boat before dark.
Unfortunately, I do not have an internet connection here so please forgive the late post. As we head further east, internet access becomes less of a probability. However, I’ll always write the blog daily (as will Matt) but publishing it on the web may be more sporadic.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Rockland Again - Rain and Fog and a Serenade

Ahoy its Matt. today I woke up and we had scrambled eggs. Then we decided to stay in Rockland another day. After that I read in my book. When we left the marina office we saw Hoolie in the parking lot (Ed. note: Hoolie figured out how to escape off the boat even with the side curtains installed, luckily he ran into Ann before going too far). We went to a museum to see Andrew Wyeth paintings. Then we went to the book store again and found the Rockland Cafe. Returned to find Grandpa still working on our little problem from yesterday. Then I read in my book for a long time. Then I helped Grandpa and read some more. For dinner we went to the Rockland Café and I had spaghetti and meatballs mmmm. Write to you tomorrow. PS I have read 250 pages and I got the book two days ago.

We awoke to a heavy rain and dense fog, so we said, what the heck (kid aboard...) and stayed another day. We're right next door to the Coast Guard station and they evidently have a wide selection of horns, speakers, bells, whistles, etc. Now, how do they know if they all still work? Well, the answer is they have to test them every morning, who knows, they may have stopped working overnight! So in the morning we are serenaded with the sounds of test chirps. Something like, "whamp-whamp, toooot, bing-bing, blarrre", etc. After that bit of activity,they take the Coast Guard cutter out, usually twice a day with the crew all decked out in life vests, seemed like a lot for one boat (see photo).

Ann treated us all to dinner tonight and asked around for a recommendation and we settled on the Rockland Café. We told it's where all the locals go. Upon arriving we found a line running out the door and had to wait for 15 minutes or so. It was clear that fried seafood was their specialty so Ann and I had their seafood platter, the regular size as opposed to "large" and "all you can eat" We were going to get an appetizer but the waitress advised against that based on the size of the main meal. When the plates arrived, we were glad we took her advice! The seafood was excellent. I can't say it was as good as Lenny's in Branford but it was the closest we've found so far.

Meanwhile, I finished replacing the electrical line between the AC panel and the forward head AC outlet that controlled all the starboard AC outlets - including the galley, most important. The biggest problem was stringing the AC line through the hull liner, around bends and behind the side benches. I finally got it done and everything works again.

On the way back from the diner, the fog really closed in and gave everything an eerie look as we walked the dog for his evening outing. Sunday is supposed to be clear and warm, let's hope so!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Rockland Still - Electrical Problems

Ahoy its Matt. Today I woke up and read in my book. We had scones for breakfast after Nana screwed up the boat's starboard side outlets. Then Nana and I went for a walk while Grandpa tried to fix it. When we returned I read in my book for a long time. Then Nana and I played Munchins and Nana won. I read for a long time again and got a glass of lemonade. That was it write tomorrow. PS I am on page 133 and I got the book yesterday.

Today was not a fun day. It all started in the morning when Ann turned on the microwave and electric coffee maker at the same time. It's been done in the past with no problems but today it resulted in the starboard AC sockets going out. Normally all I have to do is reset the GFI switch on that side but this time that tactic didn't work. Strange I thought, perhaps it's a bad connection so I checked all the connections at both the AC distribution box and at the AC outlet. All connections looked good, still no juice. Following that I disconnected the GFI box and measured the incoming line voltage, zero was the reading. It was 120v at the AC distribution box and the other two AC outlet circuits were working fine. It's hard to believe that the Ancor wiring between the AC box and AC outlet was at fault but that's what the readings said. There are no fuses in the circuit except for the one circuit breaker for all three AC outlets which didn't trip. With everything disconnected, I measured the resistances on the Ancor wiring and found the white wire open! With that I paid Hamilton Marine a visit and bought 100 feet of 14/2 tinned wiring and proceeded to attempt to string wiring in the boat. That's easier said than done, it didn't want to go where I wanted it to and it's still not in place. I gave up at 5:00, no fooling with happy hour! I'll try again tomorrow.

We had fog in the morning and it's rolling in again tonight. We'll leave the dock tomorrow and probably head for Seal Bay to await better weather. Meanwhile there was lots of activity at the Coast Guard station with one Coastie trying out a survival suit by swimming around in the harbor between us and the station. Hope I have better luck tomorrow.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Ahoy its Matt. Today we had French toast mmmm. Then we left Maple Juice Cove. On the way I read in my book and played my ds. Then I drove the boat for a while. I navigated around lobster pots. Then I read the rest of the way to Rockland. When we arrived Nana made some clam chowder. We went and got a Halti for Hoolie. Then Grandpa and I went to the book store and I got a great book. When we got back I read my new book. After that I watched a movie in my hide out (Ed. Matt puts up pillows and cushions as a wall in his aft cabin to shut out the light for watching a movie, a "hide out"). Then we had dinner and it was pork chops. Write to you tomorrow I got to go now.

It was another day of motoring in light winds to reach Rockland for a dock. We passed Owl's Head lighthouse which we usually don't see due to fog but today was fog free. The lobster pots were thick when we passed by Tenants Harbor but they still weren't as numerous as last year. We wanted to stop by Rockland to buy a Halti for Hoolie. It's like a halter used on a horse but it's for a dog. There was a pet store in Rockland that had all sizes. Hoolie wasn't too enthused at first and he's still not comfortable with it but it sure stopped the constant pulling.

From here on out we just plan on sailing, we're in no particular rush to get anywhere and it's a great area for lazy sailing. We'll look at the wind direction tomorrow morning and chose our anchorage.
PS, our dock is right behind the Coast Guard station, good thing we have our inspection sticker from Family Day.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ahoy its Matt. Today I woke up and had oatmeal. Then we left Boothbay to go to Maple Juice Cove. When we left I read the whole way. In between reading I had lunch. When we arrived I went swimming in water 63 degrees. Then when I was swimming I had a swimming lesson and swam without my life jacket for the first time in water 10 or more feet taller than me. Then we had fudge mmmm. Then I read some more. Then I played my DS. Afterwords I set up for a movie. Write to you tomorrow. PS I can start the dink again and have for the past three days

We had a lazy morning, the best kind on a cruise. We finally got off the mooring at 9:00 and headed for Maple Juice Cove after breakfast in the cockpit, warmed by the rising sun. We had a wonderful sail with winds out of the northwest of 10 to 15 kts. In the direction we were headed, it was a broad reach all the way. I noticed that the number of lobster buoys were definitely less than last year, perhaps 1/2 the number. That's not to say there weren't a lot which required a lot of dodging but still less than before.

Our anchorage is completely protected from all swells and waves. It's only 10 feet at low tide so we don't require much scope and we're as calm as being on land. The surrounding countryside is just beautiful, typical Maine scenery - green pine trees, white houses (but not very many), blue skies and birds to watch. We also saw our first porpoise today swimming around in our cove. We found a spot for Hoolie at a nearby deserted island and he romped around for awhile. I grilled fillet mignon on the back of the boat and Ann baked chocolate brownies for dessert, great! Just a perfect Maine day. We're off to Rockland tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Last Day at Boothbay

Ahoy its Matt. Today I woke up and read in my book and had a omelet mmmm. Then we did the wash. Then I worked in the yellow bag of the devil. Then we made beds and put away clothing. Afterwords we had lunch at Kalers and I had a awesome chicken wrap. Then we walked around town. Then I played my DS. Write to you tomorrow. (Ed. Matt had a double dip ice cream cone after he wrote the blog!)
It was a beautiful day for touring town, sunny and warm, well it was above 70 anyway. Doing laundry took most of the morning. There were about half a dozen sailboats that were on their way east and most of them took a mooring at Tugboat Inn in order to use their excellent laundry facilities. The fact of cruising is that you've got to wash clothes once in awhile and finding a convenient marina makes everything easier.

Boothbay is a great place for finding good buys on sweatshirts and all kinds of outerwear. A typical sweatshirt will cost $10 to $20. A cap with Boothbay logo for $5 to $10. A mooring is only $26. It's a fun place with lots to do and good places to eat. Today we returned to Kalers, a local seafood restaurant that's been in business for years and offers good, reasonably priced meals.

Today I found a free internet connection that can be accessed all over the harbor offered by Rocktide Inn. The connection does not require any passwords and XP has no trouble connecting to it. It's one of the choices that come up when a search is done for wireless connections in XP.

Tomorrow we're headed for Maple Juice Cove, the home of Andrew Wyeth's "Christina's World" house. Once in the harbor you can see it off the back of the boat. Neat.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Boothbay - Home of Beautiful Ships

Ahoy it's Matt. Today I woke up and had cereal. We left Jewell Island and I read for most of the way. When I was done reading we had peanut butter with crackers. When we arrived and I got the mooring on the first try. Then we went and had lobster rolls, mmmm. Then we went to town and got a choke collar for Hoolie but it didn't work. Then we went to the fudge factory. Then we came back and had some fudge. Write to you tomorrow

Well the crew spent a restful night, no rocking which was a great relief for all, including the captain. Off we headed for Booth bay and a mooring for the next two days. We wanted some time to explore Boothbay and especially to get lobster rolls across the bay, great treat. I offered to finish off any of the roll that Matthew couldn't eat but he declined. He made the same offer to Nana but she declined also!

We tried walking Hoolie in the crowd but he was impossible, always pulling with all his might. At home and not in crowds he was fine but with all the distractions, it was hopeless. With that we decided to get a Halite, they are specially made for dogs that are similar to the halter used on horses. With it a dog can't pull with its shoulders, it puts the pull on the dog's nose area which has no strength, it turns the head instead - just like on a horse. We found a store in Rockland that carries them and we'll be there on Thursday.

Boothbay is the home of some beautiful boats. The Friendship Sloops are especially pretty and they abound in Maine. For us we haven't sailed very much so far, we expect to remedy that once we reach Penobscot Bay when we no longer have to make a particular destination, we can just sail. There are also larger sailing ships that use Boothbay for their home port, going out several times a day. We have a mooring that faces the center of town so we can see all the comings and goings. It's all very relaxing and enjoyable. We'll do more of the same tomorrow!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Jewell Island - Quiet and German Subs Lookout

Ahoy its Matt. Today we had eggs and ham mmmm. Then we took the dog ashore and the dink was pounded by two waves. Then we left Richmond Island for good. Then I read. I felt queasy and we broke out the sea bands. when we got here I went swimming. When we took the dog ashore Grandpa and I went to a tower on the island. When we came back I swam some more. Then we had dinner. Write to you tomorrow got to take the dog ashore. PS the water was 60.8 degrees.
The rocking didn't let up all night. We had a strong south wind (15 to 20 kts) and island provided complete shielding from the direct waves but waves don't travel in straight lines, they curve around obstacles although they do lose force. Unfortunately, the south wind pointed us south and the swells curved around to hit us from the east providing the entertainment for the night for the crew and a resolution never to come back. By morning, the seas were in full force from days of high winds and to avoid a crew mutiny, the captain decided to make for Jewell Island, a quiet anchorage not too far.

The high winds had kept the anchorage from being too populated, it's usually full from weekenders from Portland. In fact, the ones here were complaining of the rough anchorage but to us it was as calm as a lake. We took advantage of the afternoon sun to go ashore and explore. The island was used during the war as a lookout point for German subs and several abandoned, concrete lookout towers remain and are open for views. Matt and I climbed one and looked out but we both agree that we didn't see any subs. Here's a photo of our anchorage.

Ann prepared a great Mex meal in celebration of the quiet anchorage and you can see form the photo how pleased Matt was. By the way, the winds were supposed to die off around noon but, of course, they did not. It's still howling 15 kts now at 8:30, ha! However, winds are okay as long as there are no swells which is true for our location tonight! Tomorrow we're off for Boothbay.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Richmond Island - VERY ROLLY

Ahoy its me Matt. Today I woke up and slinked into the v berth. I slept until 9:30. Then I came up and had the last of the garlic bread. Then I chatted with Nana. After we arrived I watched a movie and then had lunch. Then Nana and I played cosmic wimpout and won. After that I watched a movie. Then we had dinner and took the dog ashore. I waded in the surf. Write to you tomorrow.

We are currently at anchor and rolling side to side, about 20 degrees per roll at least, constantly. We are protected from the direct impact of the waves from the island but the rollers are coming around the island and hitting us from the side. The winds are 15 to 20 kts with gusts to 26 kts, it will be a wild night. Hard to type with the boat rocking so much, more tomorrow.

Friday, July 10, 2009

On to Portsmouth and a Whale!

Ahoy it's Matt. I woke up and had cereal. Then we left for Portsmouth. Then I read my book until we saw a whale! That was 40 feet long, that's close to the length of the boat. Afterwords I played Mad Libs with Grandpa and Nana. I finished my book and played Cosmic Wimpout with Grandpa. Then when we arrived I went swimming in the pool here. We took a courtesy car to the store and we went back to the boat. Then we had sea food salad for an appetizer. Wright to you tomorrow. PS That was the first whale I've seen in the wild and last night I went to my first concert

The highlight of the day was the whale sighting. I was at the helm and the seas were very calm so any disturbance was easily visible. I noticed movement off to my right and saw a large dark object in the water. Watching it for awhile, it became clear that it was a whale - and it was big - at least compared to our boat. We were only about 4 miles off shore and a whale sighting is rare that close in. It's the first time we've seen a whale on our cruises to Maine.

I commented to Matt last night on the concert we went to that I didn't recognize the songs and neither did Matt so I figured the music was younger than me but older than Matthew (golden 90's?) Still, Matthew enjoyed his first concert and had two slices of pizza and fried dough, such fun.

Leaving Gloucester, we once again passed the twin lighthouses on the way north. I always wondered why they built two identical lighthouses so close together.

In Portsmouth, we're at the Wentworth again but we didn't get the Mercedes courtesy car this time, we got the Pontiac instead, ugh. However, it was nice to drive to a supermarket and stock up. There's a forecast for high winds later in the afternoon on Saturday so we plan on getting an early start, around 6:00 am before they set in. However, the high winds are out of the south so they will be behind us as we go north, taking a bite out of the force.