Monday, July 30, 2007


JULY 29, 2007

Tomorrow Peter & Dave fly in. As it turned out, the 70% chance of rain had disappeared and it was a bright sunny day. So we spent the day walking around the city doing shopping and back at the marina doing chores. We were on our way for our second trip to the grocery store when a neighbor offered to give us a lift tomorrow morning. It did not take long for us to take her up on this generous offer since we were probably going to have to make several more trips on foot.


JULY 28, 2007

Rain, fog, and thunderstorms are predicted for the next three or four days so we decided to go in to Portland a day early. When we awoke we were surrounded by "pea soup' fog --- could not even see the other boats anchored around us. With three GPS units and all our senses on high alert we set out in the fog for Portland. As usual when we entered the harbor the fog partially burned off so we were able to see the forts at the entrance and all the traffic moving about.

South Port Marina is a very crowded marina with mostly large live aboard yachts. Our slip looked much too small from a distance for this inexperienced skipper and his clumsy boat to enter. But with much luck we made it in without scratching any of the other shiny boats. Within an hour of getting in the thunder storms moved in --- boy, we sure timed that right.

The first thing we did was call Peter & Dave and let them know that we had arrived and were waiting for them.

12.1 NM


JULY 27, 2007

Today we decided to keep Richmond Island as our home base since it is such a nice and semi-remote harbor and yet so close to Portland. We had lots of free time so we decided to go out for our first really fun sail (no destination - just sailed around a few islands and back).
It was great to not hear and smell Mr Perkins (our engine) rumbling away for a change. Calm water, cool temperatures, and moderate winds --- now this is sailing in Maine.

21.6 NM


JULY 26, 2007

After slipping our mooring line we headed "East" again (the coast of Maine runs more East than North so they call it going "Down East"). Today we saw many schools of very large fish feeding on the surface. They looked a little like tuna but we are not sure what they were. We dug out our fishing poles and trolled through several schools with a variety of lures but did not have any hits. We saw our first Guillemots (very small black and white water birds that have bright red feet). We decided to anchor behind Richmond Island because it provides protection from the prevailing southwest wind and is only seven miles South of Portland.

We arrived late in the afternoon but there was still one lobster man working in his small boat. Lobster men usually call it quits in the early afternoon so they can get their catch to market. We went straight for him and purchased our first four Maine lobster. As we tried to go over an anchor we found our transmission would not shift gears. Ultimately frustrated all we could do was laugh since we have had so many problems thus far this trip. However, it was a simple fix (that I could even do) and soon we were back in working order.
To celebrate our arrival in Maine and the fact that we were close the Portland on time we steamed the lobster and feasted on all four of them while drinking wine and watching the sunset.

41.7 NM


JULY 25, 2007

After hauling our anchors today we set out across the calm Cape Cod and Massachusettes Bays. We were in the middle of a Right Whale Sanctuary and within no time we were seeing whales all over the place. They were not close enough to get a good picture or to be able to clearly identify them, however, we could easily see them blowing, rolling, and diving. We also saw more small seals (it must be pup season).
We continued towards Isles of Shoals (our first anchorage in Maine). By the way "Shoals" is derived from an old Norwegian word for schools of fish (especially cod fish). Isles of Shoals is a group of private islands not far from the coast so it tends to be a popular anchorage (especially on the weekends). We managed to pick up the last mooring available (and it was the middle of the week). Anchor holding is poor so everyone just picks up an unused mooring.
Now this is Maine: a tiny rock lined harbor; many boats moored close together; lots of activity; wharfs and floating docks, wooden buildings on shore; lobster pots throughout the harbor; light houses in distance; and the sounds of bell and horn bouys.

67 NM

Sunday, July 29, 2007


JULY 24, 2007

Our new regulator arrived on time and Eric our repair tech. surprised us by coming in to work unexpectedly and he double checked our installation and made sure there were no other problems. New Bedford has a very interesting breakwater across the mouth of the bay. You enter and leave via a small opening that has a large gates that are closed when a storm (such as a hurricane) approaches.
So off we went --- bound for Provincetown via the Cape Cod Canal. The Cape Cod Canal is another waterway about which a lot has been written regarding both natural and man made problems.
However, even though the tide was not perfect for us we went through without any complications or difficulty. We crossed Cape Cod Bay and anchored in Provincetown harbor. Provincetown is easily identified from a distance by the Pilgrim Monument.

Today, in Cape Cod Bay, we saw our first small seal. Speaking of wildlife, on July 14th, when we were leaving Deleware Bay and sailing North along the coast we saw a huge sea turtle. It was by far the biggest one I have ever seen. I had never heard of them being as far North as Deleware (I thought they were confined to warmer waters).

52.8 NM


JULY 23, 2007

After much trouble shooting it was determined that our brand new voltage regulator was faulty. So in order to expedite things we ordered a new one from California to be delivered overnight. Time is running short and we must be in Portland by July 30th to pick up Peter (Sharon's father) and David (a close friend). So more time was spent doing boat projects and enjoying the shore side showers.


JULY 22, 2007

We spent the day doing boat projects (such as installing our new stereo) and exploring the marina.


JULY 21, 2007

As it turns out New Bedford is mostly a commercial harbor. Among other things it is home of the largest commercial scallop fishing fleet in the eastern US. We are surrounded by all kinds of commercial fishing boats. Today, Walter, manager of "Evergreen", was very kind and volunteered to take us around to the ice house for some block ice and then on the the grocery store. Can you believe we got 100 pounds of block ice for eight dollars? Even though we were at a commercial marina everyone went out of their way to make us feel at home --- it just reminded us as to one of the reasons why we like boating.


JULY 20, 2007

Today we set out for the top of Buzzards Bay (just below the neck of Cape Cod). We were motoring due to the great distance we had to cover before the sun set. However, about two hours after hauling anchor we noticed that our alternator was charging at maximum voltage and we were at risk of cooking our batteries. After repeatedly evaluating our NEW alternator, voltage regulator, and battery system we could find no obvious faults so we had to shut the engine down. We proceeded to look for a fairly open bay that we could sail into easily (remember there are rocks and tidal currents everywhere). After calling our home marina we were told that if we unplugged the alternator from the regulator we could use the motor as long as the batteries had enough juice. So we sailed for a good part of the day up into Buzzards Bay and headed for New Bedford due to its easy access. Of course it is Friday so nothing will be looked at until after the weekend. We obtained dockage at a marina which promised to evaluate our electrical problems first thing Monday. It so happened that we tied up right in front of a dragger call "Evergreen" (same name as our boat).

61.8 NM


JULY 19, 2007

Due to more predicted thunders storms and very windy conditions we chose to remain at Fishers Island. Since we had been there several days the locals decided that we must be ok to socialize with.


JULY 18, 2007

The wind was supposed to switch to the Northeast in the next couple of days (which would have made it difficult to travel up Buzzards Bay) so we decided to make a run for the Bay despite fog and a predicted possiblity of thunder storms.
We were only about an hour out when we started to hear some serious thunder in the distance so we beat feet back to Fishers Island. Thunder storms on the water are our "bogerts" and we avoid them whenever possible. It is no fun sitting out in the open water under a 50 foot metal pole in the middle of a lightening storm.

18 NM


JULY 17,2007

Minimal wind today, so we motored to the East end of Long Island Sound and anchored at Fishers Island. We passed our first lobster man seen so far this trip. Otherwise the sound was fairly quiet with the exception of some ferries going back and forth between Connecticut and Long Island. Fishers Island gave us our first hint that we were getting into the waters of the Northeast (rocky shores and harbors similar to those found in Maine).

77.2 NM


JULY 16TH, 2007

Today we fueled up and made the run, with the tide, through New York City via the East River. We were dumped out into the West end of Long Island Sound. We had read about all kinds of difficulties (both natural and man made) that might be encountered during the passage, however, it all worked out very well.
We proceeded on to West Bay, on the North Shore of Long Island, where we anchored for the night.

54.2 NM

Thursday, July 19, 2007


SUNDAY, JULY 15, 2007

We headed back out into the ocean and turned North towards Sandy Hook, NJ.. We sailed for several hours (tacking downwind) with our new spinnaker. Eventually, we decided that considering the great distance we had to travel today, we snuffed the spinnaker and continued on a more direct route motoring with the assist of the main sail.

Wind in the AM was 5-10. PM winds were predicted to be 10-15 with gusts to 20. So we continued on with the full main in an effort to maximize our speed. However, after a few hours we found ourselved traveling 9 knots through the water and our wind indicator was frequently registering 20 knots. This meant the wind was at least 29 knots and we still had our full main sail up (way too much sail). The seas grew rapidly and soon started to look like small hills. We found our 36ft boat surfing down swells. Exhillerating at first but soon it became no fun. Finally we were forced to take down the main and motor on. Boy that was a wild ride! At long last we rounded Sandy Hook and headed into Atlantic Highland marina.




Today we hauled anchor and motored into the Lewis Canal and replenished our diesel and ice supplies. A current that we were not aware of existed in the canal so our docking at the marina proved to be more challenging than expected. Afterwards, we went back out into the open bay and winched our dinghy up on Evergreen's coach roof for the ocean passage to Atlantic City and then on to Atlantic Highlands behind Sandy Hook, NJ.

As we were heading out into the ocean we passed a beautiful old sailing ship. Unforuntately we were too far away to identify it.

There was minimal wind so we motored to Atlantic City. We anchored in Rum Cove, just across the inlet from downtown Atlantic City. Nice view of the lights.



FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2007

Today we hauled our anchor, motored through the C&D Canal and then proceeded South on the Delaware Bay.
The C&D Canal connects the northern Chesapeake Bay to the Delaware Bay to allow the passage of both commercial and recreational craft.

The Delaware Bay has significant currents due to tidal action. We got lucky and rode the tide out sometimes pushing greater than 9 knots.
We passed a lot of commercial shipping from all around the world, several light houses, and a nuclear power plant along the way.

We ended up, well after dark, anchoring behind Cape Henlopen in Breakwater Harbor.




Today we finally got underway. This is the beginning of our four month shakedown cruise to the North border of Maine and back to the Chesapeake Bay. It will be an entirely new experience for us. Although, we are familiar with the Chesapeake and the coast of Maine everything in between is unfamiliar. Also, we are on a new larger boat than we have ever sailed before.

We had to spend three additional days at our home marina making preparations. So, as a result we are leaving about two weeks later than expected. We are expected in Portland at the end of the month to pick up additional crew so now we must make haste.

There was no wind on the Bay today so we motored North past Thomas Point Lighthouse and then under the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.
Around sunset we dropped anchor in Fairlee Bay.



Finally, after being off work for a week and a half, we are loaded to the gills and heading North.
The last week and a half has been a frantic rush to get projects done, purchase supplies and provisions, and close up the house in preparation for our departure. The planning and execution of all this has been exhausting to say the least. We have so much to take to "Evergreen" that we had to actually stay over an extra night in order to figure out how to fit it all in the truck. Solution: Sharon sits on my lap for fifteen hours. Wow, I don't know if I can last that long.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Kyra Smith

JUNE 13th, 2007

Our nine year old granddaughter, Kyra Smith, suddenly died today. We don't know why, but I guess it really does not matter.

Like a fairy, she was here one moment, filling our lives with happiness --- and then unexpectedly gone, leaving behind nothing but sadness and memories.

She lived life to its fullest and appreciated and enjoyed nearly every day. We must attempt to do the same as we struggle to move on without her.

However, we miss Kyra dearly.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Finally - We Get Our Feet Wet

JUNE 1ST, 2007

We finally got the report and the extensive refitting of our "new to us" Cape Dory 36, "Evergreen" was complete and the boat was ready to got sailing.

Of course we jumped at the idea and decided to do a long weekend on the Chesapeake Bay as a shake down for this summer/fall cruise to Maine. As luck would have it we had to spend the first couple of days in the Marina working out unexpected problems and getting accustomed to our new home on the water. Then we set out with no particular destination in mind. The weather was beautiful (not too hot and a moderate breeze).
One of the first boats we saw on the Bay was an old Skipjack with a push boat hanging from her stern. Wanting to try out our new cruising spinnaker, we sailed North with the wind as the sun decended towards the horizon. The sun disappeared and the stars came out, but we just kept going and finally ducked into a protected cove we saw on the GPS. It was not until morning that we actually figured out where we were. The following day we sailed back towards Solomons. Along the way we passed a picturesque old light house on cove point and also played tag with a tall ship heading down the bay.

Only two days of wonderful sailing, but it was worth it! We tried out lots of the new gear and gained an increased appreciation for our new vessel. Of course, the sail resulted in more "to do" lists being made in anticipation of our new getaway.