Onward’s Cruise Journal 2016
New England Cruise

Updated: 5 Sep 16

August 2016

1Aug 16; Monday; Brooklin / Wooden Boat School to Blue Hill

2 Aug 16; Tuesday; Blue Hill to Somes Sound
  • I was up at 0500 and ready to make a service call (Onward Marine Services) to Foxfire where Wally and crew had been having power problems on the cruise. The electrical setup had batteries for starting, windlass, house 1, and house 2; and complex interconnection system for charging. It seems the problem was a weak house battery 1 that was bringing down the system voltage. It was being compensated by the charging battery combiner system transferring power from the starting and windlass batteries until their voltage dropped and turned off the combiner leaving only the weak house battery which could provide little power. Switching the weak battery out of the system provided a workable system until all the batteries could be replaced as they were >8 years old. I also showed Wally how to turn on his inverter that had never been used since he bought the boat.
  • After 0900 we followed the parade of boats out of the harbor and around the N end of Long Island before heading S for Bass passage. NW of Greening Island we anchored to dress ship and await the arrival of the Windjammer fleet. This is the 100th anniversary of the National Parks and Acadia Park. A passage of 4 Windjammers up Somes Sound had been arranged and the Corinthian Cruise fleet was to lead the parade. After 1400 the Corinthian fleet began the parade up the sound. There was a good SE wind so the windjammers were moving fast and it took a bit to get out ahead of them. The E side of the sound was lined with cars and people to view the parade. As the lead Corinthian boat got to the head of the bay, the entire fleet did a 180 to port to come into the wind and allow the windjammers to pass by.

3 Aug 16; Wednesday; Somes Sound
  • A gorgeous clear sunny day appeared with the sunrise.
  • Crazy Daves barbecue

4 Aug 16; Thursday; Somes Sound to Flanders Bay
  • Somesville picnic
  • Ables lobster house.

5 Aug 16; Friday; Flanders Bay to Northeast Harbor
  • Dinghy rowing contest
  • Limerick contest
  • Pizza night!

6 Aug 16; Saturday; Northeast Harbor

7 Aug 16; Sunday; Northeast Harbor

8 Aug 16; Monday; Northeast Harbor

9 Aug 16; Tuesday; Northeast Harbor to Isle au Haut

10 Aug 16; Wednesday; Isle au Haut

11 Aug 16; Thursday; Isle au Haut to Stonington

12 Aug 16; Friday; Stonington to Southwest Harbor

13 Aug 16; Saturday; Southwest Harbor to Frenchboro

14 Aug 16; Sunday; Frenchboro to Belfast
  • Fog to Belfast
  • Picked up Burkes at 2330

15 Aug 16; Monday; Belfast to Butter I
  • Used car to retrovision
  • Sailed most of way to Butter Island.
  • Anchored off bight on SW coast

16 Aug 16; Tuesday; Butter I to Rockport
  • Went ashore at 0900; HT
  • Hiked to Little Mountain
  • 1100 for Pulpit Harbor; anchored for lunch
  • Moved to Rockport mooring
  • Dinner at 18 Union
  • Rainstorm

17 Aug 16; Wednesday; Rockport to Seal Bay
  • Northhaven visit
  • Peggy's experiment
  • Wolf Hall

18 Aug 16; Thursday; Seal Bay to Castine
  • Lunch at
  • Adix
  • Castine walk & dinner

19 Aug 16; Friday; Castine to Belfast

20 Aug 16; Saturday; Belfast

21 Aug 16; Sunday; Belfast

22 Aug 16; Monday; Belfast

23 Aug 16; Tuesday; Belfast

24 Aug 16; Wednesday; Belfast

25 Aug 16; Thursday; Belfast

26 Aug 16; Friday; Belfast to Rockland
  • I Ventured in to the FSS office to pay the yard bill which came out to be within 4% of my estimate; not bad but not cheap. That done, I fetched Peggy and we walked up the hill to check out the local Farmers Market. As usual, there were many things we didn't know we needed like, cheese, brownie, scone, blueberry pie, pottery cappuccino cups…. On return to the harbor we brought Onward in to fill water tanks and then were underway by 1100. Ariel and Summersault had left earlier for Castine.

27 Aug 16; Saturday; Rockland
  • We had a lazy morning and went into town ago 1000 to visit the Farnsworth Museum
  • After lunch, Peggy went window shopping while I made the requisite visit to Hamilton Marine. I almost had the store to my self. A mark of how long I've lived aboard Onward is that I find there is so little I need to buy these days. I did replenish the shaft-zincs I put on during the haul.

28 Aug 16; Sunday; Rockland to Tenants Harbor
  • We weighed anchor at 0800 and caught the beginning of the ebb as we began our retrograde to Southern New England waters. It was a sunny and calm day so I took Peggy on the scenic route S inside Monroe and Sheep Island down Muscle Ridge Channel. It was a fast and easy motor trip in the calm wind and seas. We arrived off Tenants Harbor at ~1000 and Peggy said she would like to visit it. So we headed in and looked for a mooring. The Corinthian mooring alleged to be off the A-frame structure (part of a pier) on the S shore eluded me as before. We had trouble trying to locate the rental moorings. Then we realized the bright yellow lobster trap buoys were actually marking Cod End rental moorings. As we circled around, I noticed a couple working on furling their in-boom main and saw their hailing port was Annapolis. So I yelled a hello and they confirmed the yellow floats were for rental moorings. After Peggy's flawless-as-always pickup, I called Gene Reil, the Corinthian Port Captain, to say hello. He told me he actually lives closer to Port Clyde and has a mooring for his boat on the St. George R. He knew nothing of the "Corinthian mooring". He suggested trying out the Happy Clam restaurant and pub where they had a German food selection.
  • Ed and Molly from PrimeTime came over to say hello. They have a cottage on the water just W of the public pier that they use in the summers when they are away from their waterfront home on Back Creek in Annapolis — so we were neighbors of a sort. They invited us over for drinks and then to go to Luke's for lobster rolls for dinner.
  • Peggy and I Ventured in to the wharf at what was Cod End. It closed a couple of years ago and the owner rents it out to Luke's Restaurant and bar. We walked E along the main road and passed the general store on the way to the Happy Clam. There, sure enough, we found a menu with a number of German dishes on offer. One was schnitzel — and I couldn't pass it up. Peggy had their lobster bisque / stew which turned out to be full of lobster. The schnitzel was quite good and went down well with a couple of beers. We then walked around a bit and visited the general store on our way home to Onward where we relaxed for the afternoon from out exposing efforts. I was napping in the cockpit and heard a tapping noise that made we wonder what Peggy was doing below. Peggy heard the sound and came out to see what I was doing and saw nothing but me napping. The tapping continued and finally we heard a woman's voice. It was the sister of the man who owns Cods End and she now collects the mooring fees. We told her we had enquired of people in town but had gotten no info on how to pay the fee. We gave her the $25 and she rowed off. Soon after a local boat sailed in and said we were too close to their mooring and asked us to move; so we moved to another open mooring ~ 100 yes away in the crowded harbor.
  • We Ventured in at 1700 to the pier at Molly & Ed's home. They had been renting summer homes in the area for several years before deciding to look for one to buy. They came across this small cottage with a pier and snapped it up. Waterfront property regs limited them to adding only 30% in area or volume. The did an amazing job of creating a bright and open environment with a feeling of spaciousness in the limited footprint. Of course the view of the harbor is breathtaking. After an enjoyable drinks hour where we learned that Ed and Molly were very accomplished members of the Annapolis sailboat racing community, we headed over to Luke's for a very nice lobster roll dinner.
  • One of the wonderful things about this lifestyle that continues to amaze me is how a chance "Hello!" leads to making new friends and having great times.

29 Aug 16; Monday; Tenants Harbor to Maple Juice Cove
  • At 0700 we dropped the mooring and headed out into about 10 kts of SSW wind and 3'+ swells. Once we turned the corner to begin going up the St. George R, we were able to sail under genoa alone in about 15 kts of wind. However in less than 30 min, the wind died and we motored up the river constantly dodging the ubiquitous lobster pot buoys.
  • In Maple Juice Cove we found our guest mooring waiting and we were all settled by 1000. Within 30 min the wind switched to the NW and built up to 25 - 30 kts where it remained for most of the day. We had intended to go ashore for a walk but decided to just hunker down. I don't know what it was but for some reason I was completely unmotivated to to anything. So I napped and read.
  • In mid afternoon I made a cappuccino for me and that finally perked me up. and I manage to accomplish some trivial tasks. Peggy was merrily busy all day much to my envy.
  • At 1730 we Ventured ashore and found it calm. The big pines to the NW of his house totally knocked down the wind! We had a delightful time with Wally and his daughter, Caroline and husband John and their children Chartlet and Haven. A Maine neighbor of Wally's joined us as well as Sam Short, a college student from Scotland who had been Haven's camp counselor and now doing some sightseeing before heading home. Following cocktails on the deck in the calm air we had a boiled lobster dinner with corn topped off by our blueberry pie and ice cream. It was a perfect way to cap off what has been a magical summer in Maine.

30 Aug 16; Tuesday; Maple Juice Cove to Gloucester
  • We dropped the mooring at 0700 only to find that the Raymarine gps did not want to lead the way as it refused to come on the network. Now adrift, I used the charts on my iPhone to navigated out of the anchorage and into the river. At that time the gps decided to join its friends on the network and we headed S. There was no wind and glassy water as we exited the river and headed SW. I looked at the possibility of heading directly for Cape Ann. It looked very doable with an ETA about midnight — not off-putting as Gloucester is a large harbor, well marked, with plenty of room to anchor and I am familiar with it. We talked about it but deferred the decision till noon.
  • The wind had begun to build from the SW in late morning but seas remained calm. About 1300, conditions still looked good with only 65 nm to go and us making > 6.5 kts. So we made a slight adjustment in heading for Cape Ann. The wind and seas continued to build but remained only 10-12 kts True. We set the mainsail with traveler full to port and this gave us another 0.5 to 1 kt of SOG. It remained an easy motorsail fro the balance of the trip. We got to watch a beautiful sunset behind the Isles of Shoals. The moon had set before the sun but it was so clear we had reasonable star light to help. I was mesmerized by two almost stationary light in the SW sky that I assume to be large satellites in geosynchronous orbits appearing a few degrees above the horizon and sparkling magically in the clear air.
  • As we approached Cape Ann light and I took over the con, Peggy pointed out that the only vessel around us was a fishing trawler off the starboard beam. After watching it for a while I saw we were on converging courses. He eventually pulled ahead and crossed the bow. As I turned to the N to round the Cape, at ~2200, I figured I was done with him but he was also bound for Gloucester and circled around to port and then crossed the bow to go into the harbor. I noticed another fishing boat was approaching the harbor and it had AIS. It turned out to to be Michael & Kristen from Gloucester that I had noticed last year as it was named for my niece and nephew. As I turned to enter the harbor, this vessel called on VHF to say that he was about to enter behind me. The trip in the dark had been fairly easy to this point. On approaching Cape Ann Peggy had take the remote and was sitting forward on the starboard seat to dodge lobster buoys in the moonless night. Once in the harbor, I headed slowly to my anchor spot using radar. All of a sudden there were returns everywhere. It was so calm I was picking up moorings, lobster floats, as well as boats. Peggy stood on the side deck and used the spotlight to light up our path so I could distinguish them. We anchored in one of my previous spots at about 2400.

31 Aug 16; Wednesday; Gloucester
  • In spite of the late night, I was up by 0630. The clear night was replaced by overcast skies. While enjoying my second cup of coffee below, I heard an engine close by and came out to find a lobster boat just off the bow as he worked on a trap. He later came by to explain that Onward was near one end of a string of eight traps marked at each end by a set of buoys. He said we should be fine but be careful raising the anchor.
  • I called the Harbormaster to get a mooring in the inner harbor and learned that there was a festival with a number of schooners participating this weekend — I forgot it was Labor Day weekend. So we had no better choice but to stay anchored where we were.
  • We spent the day aboard. I was principally focused on what TS / Hurricane Hermine was doing and trying to decide where to hide Onward from it. The uncertainty puts me in a funk and I find it hard to get on task to do something useful.
  • It was a gray day with rain threatening. In late afternoon we Ventured ashore; of course it rained only while we were in the dinghy!. We found that they are doing a major pier construction at the Harbormaster's pier. A new temporary pier has been put in and the old derelict pier on the N side has been removed. A new pier is being built at the Maritime Museum next to it.
  • We met Joan and Duncan at the Portuguese restaurant we enjoyed on our previous visit, The Azorean, and had a good time catching up on things since Peggy had bought their ski condo.