A lack of good wifi and a rush of traveling days has kept me from blogging. That’s my excuse! We’ve had great weather for making tracks for Maine. Not much sailing–mostly motoring with calm seas and no storms!
We left Mystic for Block Island to meet up with Joe (Onward.) Upon arriving there, we scanned the crowded harbor and realized that getting a town mooring was not going to happen so we dropped the anchor in about 30ft of water and put out most of our chain. There was plenty of room even with hundreds of boats around–it’s quite a scene.
We went ashore with Joe and walked about 1 1/2 miles to town. I have to say that I wasn’t very impressed with Block Island. The tourist crowd scene didn’t do much for me. I’ll hold off making a final judgement since we didn’t really spend enough time seeing the island to appreciate its charms. We enjoyed a nice dinner at The Oar before heading back to our boats.
The next day we traveled to Cuttyhunk which is just east of Martha’s Vineyard. What a neat place! The harbor has a tight grid of moorings, each of which has a tall pole with a ring to easily attach a short line. I wish all moorings were that easy. We wandered around the island enjoying the charm and talking to friendly locals. Let’s see, should we cook or sign up for the lobster dinner?? It didn’t take long for us to decide. Our first lobster dinner was a winner!
The next day we traveled through the Cape Cod canal and across the bay to Provincetown at the very tip of Cape Cod. Strong winds behind us and the tide against us made for steep waves and a slow trip approaching the canal. Once inside the canal, it’s very wide with nice bike trails along each side. When we reached the other side calm seas and a following wind encouraged us to dig out the spinnaker from the bottom of our stern locker. We hadn’t flown it since sailing south along the coast of Eleuthera over 2 years ago but managed to get it up without a hitch. (I still offer many thanks to Jim Oneal who showed us how to fly it!)
At some point in the trip we noticed that the wind was picking up. Good thing we decided to bring in the spinnaker when we did. It was already challenging! Coming into Provincetown harbor and picking up a mooring in high winds and a crowded mooring field was also a bit of a challenge. The marina has a free launch service so we hailed them and went into town.
We haven’t visited Provincetown for 30 years. It’s changed a bit although our visit was in late September not on a Friday in the height of the summer season. What a fun and festive place! It reminded me a lot of Bourbon Street. We quickly found a nice beer garden for refreshments. Later, we had a delicious meal at the Patio . The drinks, food and service were excellent.
Our next stop was Portsmouth, NH. We picked up a mooring from the Portsmouth Yacht Club which was actually on the Maine side of the river near Kittery. It was a long, exhausting trip. Even though we’re really doing much all day, the constant movement of the boat makes me really tired.
The next stop was South Freeport Maine where we settled in for 2 nights. As we approached the shoreline we quickly learned about dodging lobster floats–they’re everywhere! They have no concept of a float free channel here.
We knew we were arriving late in the day so we asked for our mooring assignments over the phone. Actually, Joe got the mooring numbers when he called. We don’t know who messed up but we wandered around the mooring field for a long time looking for a mooring ball numbered 207. I don’t think it exists! We ended up grabbing 206 which turned out to be fine with them. There was no rhyme or reason to the numbering scheme or location of the balls. Plus, the numbers were painted on the top which made it impossible to see with binoculars!
I was tired and grumpy but our dinner at the Haraseeket Lobster place next to the marina helped improve my mood. They had the best lobster roll and home-made desserts!
We spent the next day shopping in Freeport. What a hardship! Visiting the LL Bean mothership is a real experience. Back at the marina we settled in to do some laundry. They only had one washer/dryer so it took a while. My goal is to find someplace with at least 2 machines–cuts the time in half!
We were watching the weather reports to see what might happen with a strong cold front approaching. After discussing options with Joe we decided to head for Boothbay Harbor. Leaving early in the morning, we managed to get the mooring pennant caught under our keel. I looked behind to see the mooring ball dragging under water–yikes! Skip put us in neutral and we eventually drifted off.
We had our first fog experience on the trip to Boothbay. Most people would say we were overdue. The radar worked fine as well as the fog horn on the radio loud-speaker. It’s very helpful to have the radar display overlayed on the chart plotter. We also saw seals for the first time. At first they look like lobster floats but then you notice their little whiskered faces peering up at you. They’re adorable!
Arriving in Boothbay Harbor, we filled up with fuel and water and picked up a mooring. It’s a lovely harbor with lots of tour boat and lobster boat traffic. The town is full of touristy stuff but still fun to walk around. Dinner at McSeagull’s was decent–fresh fish and home made desserts. Skip happened to spot a flyer announcing a jazz concert at the opera house. We bought tickets to see Delfeayo Marsalis tonight – brother of Wynton and Branford.
This morning (Wednesday) we slept in–yay! The storms passed over last night leaving clear blue skies. We had a big breakfast in town before catching a taxi to visit the Maine Botanical Gardens. Joe highly recommended it and he didn’t lead us astray. We thoroughly enjoyed it. The gardens are beautifully arranged and landscaped with delightful sculpture mixed in. I took lots of photos…
We’re not sure what our next stop will be. Our general plan is to make it up to the Mt. Desert Island and Acadia National Park area to hang out for a few days before heading to Penobscot Bay. It’s mostly all new to us and we’re glad to have our friend Joe along as the tour guide.