Friday, November 4, 2016
Thursday, September 1, 2016
We have been anchored in a calm and wildlife rich spot near the Claremont Hotel in Southwest Harbor. A majority of the Acadia National Park is on Mt. Desert Island and there is so much to do here. We can hike breathtaking coastland or magnificent woodlands, bike miles of pleasant carriage roads, and browse the museums and shops of the park and the quaint coastal towns. We aren’t quite as connected up here as we were just a few miles south - we don’t have wifi or TV at anchor, and we don’t have predictable cell service at the boat or even in town. So, at the moment we are sitting in Southwest Harbor’s charming library, where the wifi is free and plentiful.
|A foggy morning race|
|You are right Denise, once you start looking, owls ARE everywhere!|
|Echo Lake and Somes Sound behind it were formed by glaciers|
|A carriage road bridge|
|We really appreciate the beautiful gardens.|
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Internet connection, and I am not able to upload any photos.
We are still recovering from our whirlwind July. We spent just a few
days surrounded by the luxury of Newport. We left reluctantly, but
promised ourselves we'd drop back by on our way south; however, we've
been saying that about almost everywhere we go, so it is becoming
clear that we'll run out of summer too early this season. On our way
up to Gloucester we picked up a mooring at Bassetts Island, MA. We
stopped here back in 2006 on our way north and we were happy to find
out there are still free yacht club moorings available to folks who
are waiting for a favorable current through the Cape Cod Canal. We
were off the mooring at 3am for that favorable current and arrived in
Gloucester later that day to hurriedly prepare Rockhopper for hauling
out and ourselves for a road trip to NC and CO.
The 3-week road trip gave us a lot of much needed quality time with
family and friends. I was thrilled that we managed to see so many
folks, but as usual there is never quite enough time for everyone.
Hopefully, some folks will get a chance to visit us on the water in
the next year. We certainly need to pay back the generosity and
hospitality so many have shown us! We had so much fun that we didn't
get a bit homesick for Rockhopper, but we were both happy to see her
when we pulled back in the parking lot at Brown's.
We spent another week back at Brown's, feeling like we were also
spending time with old friends. We did our part for the US economy
with all the work we had done while at Brown's, and it was becoming
clear that we needed to head out of there before doing any more damage
to the sailing kitty. We left Gloucester for a short sail up to
Rockport MA, and then made our way to the Isle of Shoals on the New
Hampshire/Maine border on Christy and Steve's advice. Upon entering
the harbor a nearby sailor told us to feel free to pick up a yacht
club mooring. There are nice hikes, awkwardly cute baby gulls, and
lots of activity going on with the summer-camp style conference
center. I can't believe we had never managed to visit before, and now
we have a new convenient stop for north or southbound travel.
I haven't been in the mood for a big multi-day passage, so we have
been hopping our way north and east up the coast. We stopped in
peaceful Seal Cove off Richmond Island for a couple of quiet days on
the boat. We were ready for a little city life, so we picked up a
mooring in Portland, ME for a couple of nights. It was a welcome
change to be back in a town after a few remote anchorages. We bought
fish from the waterfront market and found an excellent bakery (the
kind of bakery with actual bread instead of cakes and pastries). We
browsed the isles of a giant marine chandlery and purchased our
Canadian courtesy flag. We were excited to go to the Portland Science
Center, even though it turned out to be a highly priced Vegas-style
We sailed over to Jewell Island in the Casco Bay. We loved Jewell
Island back in 2006 and it is just as wonderful as we remembered. We
stayed for days and there were always a few boats in Cocktail Cove,
and a high turnover, as they came in for lunch stops or for an
overnight gathering. There were also lots of paddlers and campers.
The island is part of the Maine Island Trail, and it is a former WWII
fortification, which makes for a lot of unique hiking opportunities on
this tiny island. We met the park caretaker one day and he invited us
over to his cabin, which was a former homestead of the family who
owned and farmed Jewell before it was a park. He is only there
Thursday through Monday during the summer, and he has been restoring
the cabin and it's garden as well as taking care of all of the
campsites, trails, and former military installments on the islands.
It is such a calm anchorage and I'm sure we'll be back.
We sailed up to Tenants Harbor and anchored in nearby Long Cove. I
was hoping for a charming little town to wander around. It ended up
being a little more residential than we had anticipated, but there was
still an ice cream shop and a general store for some freshies. Long
Cove itself is a lovely anchorage, but the first night was interrupted
at 4:30am with a raucous lobsterman making sure the anchored pleasure
boats were up as early as he was. It was interesting though, watching
the dozens of lobster boats heading out before dawn. We left Tenants
Harbor and sailed through the islands of Penobscot Bay (and thousands
of lobster traps) to an archipelago south of Stonington, Me.
One thing I haven't mentioned is the weather and the flies. The
weather has been all over the place, sunny, rainy, hot, cool, clear,
and foggy. When we are closer to the mainland, it can be quite warm as
the highs have gotten up into the 90s in the Portland area. Even on
those days, if we are sailing to an outer island, it can be
dramatically cooler, especially in wind or fog. The 65-degree sea
temperatures really affect the air temperature when we are sailing.
We still haven't had much of a mosquito problem, but we did start
getting flies as soon as we hit Maine. We heard about the flies up
here when we were sailing 10 years ago, but we never really
experienced them. This year is different and we find ourselves
battling flies about every other day. Thank goodness for our window
screens and screen doors which keep us sane when the flies descend.
The flies and the temperatures aren't a problem today though. I am
typing away in a 72-degree boat, and we have a fly-free cockpit since
the wind is raging outside of our anchorage off Hell's Half Acre
(seriously, that's the name). Tomorrow we are headed for Mt. Desert
Island, and the perfect balance of quiet anchorages, long trails,
charming towns, stocked grocery stores, libraries with wifi, and a
great transportation system!
41°28.775N 071°19.673W; Newport, RI Anchorage; 25-28Jun16
41°40.985N 070°38.244W; Bassett's Island mooring (Cape Cod Canal, MA); 29Jun16
42°36.747N 070°39.013W; Brown's Yacht Yard, Gloucester, MA; 30Jun-02Aug16
42°39.655N 070°37.152W; Rockport, MA; 03Aug16
42°58.716N 070°36.637W; Isle of Shoals mooring (NH/ME border); 04-05Aug16
43°32.981N 070°14.135W; Richmond Island (Seal Cove), ME; 06-07Aug16
43°39.706N 070°14.443W; Portland Yacht Services mooring, ME; 08-09Aug16
43°41.274N 070°05.459W; Jewell Island, ME; 10-13Aug16
43°58.264N 069°11.383W; Tenants Harbor (Long Cove), ME; 14-15Aug16
44°09.032N 068°37.473W; Camp Island and Hell's Half Acre, ME; 16-17Aug16
Monday, June 27, 2016
|Rockhopper in passage mode|
Monday, June 20, 2016
How quickly can I type? Please forgive any errors. Our engine is already running and we are getting ready to leave St. George's soon headed for Newport, RI. I just figured out that our wifi isn't strong enough to update the blog from the website, so I will be updating via email without any photos for links.
We have been watching the weather closely since early June to make our trip to the northeast US, but it has been really hard to predict. This past year has been much harder for us to get a weather window going anywhere than it was back in 2007, or maybe we were just lucky then. It has given us time to do a lot of other things we hadn't had a chance for, like a very interesting visit to the folks up at Bermuda Radio, who are the Bermuda Coast Guard and port control for the island.
We weren't quite ready to leave when a window popped up one morning about a week ago. Lots of folks headed out that morning, and we decided to pull up into one of their spots at the dock, so we could more easily get the boat ready for passage and be ready to leave on a moment's notice. We stayed in SSB radio contact with two of the vessels and were very glad we didn't leave with them. The weather turned out to be horrible and they both had miserable trips. We were glad we were waiting a couple of days, that turned into waiting 3 then 4 then 8 days. Now there is a big group of us heading to the US, about half the group is going to the Chesapeake, and many of us are heading to Newport.
We were only planning on spending 2 nights on the wharf, and now we've spent 8 nights. That is a pretty luxurious splurge for us. We didn't have power or water here, but being able to hop off the boat whenever you want is pretty nice. We were also able to get wifi often and check all of the offshore weather support services available to us. Not surprisingly, the weather directly in Bermuda has also been a little squally this past week, and if we had stayed on anchor we might have been stuck on the boat several of those days to avoid a wet bumpy dinghy ride.
The other positive thing about being on the wharf was being able to greet and meet the sailors coming from the Chespeake in the Annapolis-Bermuda race. It has been wonderful for us to socialize with other boats and we are meeting folks that we'll probably get to see again during the boat show. We were all huddled around computers every morning in the dock master's office checking out the weather. We might also be keeping in radio contact with them during the passage.
Now the boats from the Newport-Bermuda race are just arriving, and we'll be passing some of them while we leave. One of the boats, Comanche, broke the Newport-Bermuda speed record by completing their trip in under 35 hours. The other boats will be taking at least 70 hours, and we will take ~120 hours.
We'll have the spot tracker on as usual if you want to see where we are click the link in the sidebar. If you want to check out the whole fleet of boats arriving and departing Bermuda today check out an AIS tracking website like Marine Traffic. We should be showing up in Newport by Saturday evening. Our weather window is good, but spirited, so we might even arrive a day early.
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
Saturday, May 7, 2016
|The view from Colombier|
|Rockhopper on a mooring in Anse du Colombier|
|This is the ominous weather system we are avoiding.|
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
|Les Voiles de Saint-Barth, Day 2 start|
|During the race, a few different classes represented|
|The Bottom, Saba|
|Rockhopper in the line of fire at Oranje Baai|
|Reinhart in The Quill, Statia|
|Mindy at the top of The Ladder, Saba|
Tuesday, April 5, 2016
We arrived in St. Martin after a long overnight motor into the wind and waves. We anchored in Simpson Bay, outside of the lagoon and decided to hang out there until Seana arrived. We had some pretty posh neighbors with Eclipse, a 163-meter giga-yacht, which is too large to make it through the bridge into the lagoon. However, the conditions were getting windier and windier and the anchorage, although protected, started getting pretty rolly. The day of Seana’s arrival came with the crushing news that her trip would have to be postponed. It was a sad day for us, but we decided to move into the lagoon for a gentler anchorage.
|Eclipse (super-yacht or mega-yacht or giga-yacht?)|
|Sailing Yachts inside the Lagoon|
|Gustavia's inner harbor|
Monday, March 14, 2016
|The Virgin Gorda Baths|
|Rockhopper at Anchor|
|Secret Harbor...maybe it really is a secret!|