Where in the world?

Where in the world are Mindy and Reinhart now?

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Island Hopping in the Northeast

Once again, I am posting this via email in a place with marginal
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
Titanic exhibition.

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!

Rockhopper Anchorages:
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