Onward’s Cruise Journal 2012
New England Cruise

Updated: 2 August 2012

July 2012

1 Jul 12; Sunday; Atlantic City to Manhasset Bay

  • Onward weighed anchor at 0530 and headed out. The wind and sea were absolutely calm. Another sailing vessel departed just ahead and I managed to catch up and pass it just off Brigantine Inlet. It was Pacific Pacer, the New Zealand sloop that had anchored next to Onward in Back Creek and came over to talk. I had given them information about the harbor and how to get their laundry done. I tried to raise them on the VHF a couple of times but was unsuccessful.
  • By 0815, I'd managed to cook a nice vegetable omelette wrap (using just egg whites, of course) and then did the dishes and cleaned up the galley. That done, I decided to work on my laptop. Over the last two days, I was told by three different friends there was a problem with my websites. I had been too busy to check them out over the last several days but today with the good cellular internet service available along the NJ shore, I did and found out there was a problem with my hosting company. I was able to get to my account and figure out what the issue was and fix it. Hopefully all will be back to normal later today.
  • By Brigantine Inlet, I set the genoa to make use of what little W breeze there was. I had a favorable current so SOG remained > 7 kts. As Onward approached Barnagatt Bay, I began to look seriously at skipping Atlantic Highlands and heading directly for Manhasset Bay -- something that could only be done with favorable currents. I checked and the current would be with me if I got to Hell Gate by 1900 which looked doable.
  • About 15 nm S of Sandy Hook, the wind picked up to 15 kts from the WSW and Onward surged ahead I also upped rpm to 3000 so as not to miss the current just for a slight delay. By the time Onward got to Sandy Hook channel she was making > 9 kts and accelerated as she went through NY harbor doing a minimum of 10 kts. Three cruise ships went by on the way to sea. I saw a 4th was at the cruise ship terminal in Brooklyn and as I approached I had to cross her bow to turn N up the East R. As I crossed her bow, she seemed nearer and I noticed the water roiling from her side thrusters: She had just set sail and was headed my way!. I was going > 10 kts, too fast to stop. There was not yet enough room to make a sharp turn to starboard and go up her port side. So, there was nothing to do but to bear away to the W and rush across her bows then turn sharply N up the river. I'm sure I provided a lot of entertainment for the folks lining the rails of the balconies of their suites as the huge Queen Mary 2 passed majestically by and I heaved a sigh of relief.
  • Onward continued to accelerate up the East R at Roosevelt I hitting > 11 kts. At the Hell Gate, she hit 12.7 knots! The roiling water was interesting to look at but didn't have much effect on Onward until we were just N of Hell Gate when the cross currents rocked her ~20º to port and starboard for a few seconds. Then it was calm and the sleighride was over. The rest of the trip to Manhasset Bay was quiet and Onward was anchored in its usual spot at the NW corner of the MBYC mooring field by 1930. For years, I had always looked at the option of going directly up the E River to Long Island Sound without the stop at Sandy Hook but conditions had never before made it possible and I always opted to layover. It was neat to do this and I was very fortunate to catch the tidal currents in my favor.
  • As I was approaching Manhasset Bay, Slip and Harriet said they would be over to get me from the town mooring they were on nearby and we would go off to dinner. So as soon as Onward was secure, I took a blissful shower. We dinghied into the town pier and then walked to a local barbecue restaurant where the beer was great and cold and the barbecue was excellent. I wasn't back aboard long until I was out for the night after a long and eventful day with a great outcome.

2 Jul 12; Monday; Manhasset Bay to ??
  • I took Harriet's advice and slept in until 0600 -- it was nice getting up in the middle of the afternoon for a change. I took Venture and headed in to the MBYC pier, and as I usually do when the engine hasn't been run in a while, I ran it flat our which actually leaves much less wake than when I go at a much slower pace. As I throttled back as I approached the pier, I looked up and saw a harbor patrol boat coming at me flat out and lights blinking with two patrolmen in it. I started to explain about the engine and no wake when I quickly noticed the "I've heard this BS all before" look and I remembered I was in NY. So I gave them the real facts and said "I was stupid, I don't know what I was thinking." And, to my surprise, they said OK, don't let it happen again. So, I breathed a deep sigh and putted into the pier to meet Mike Yorke. I forgot that Onward is now in New England when there is are so many different marine patrol organizations. Time to cool it!
  • Mike Yorke met me and we headed of to Louie's Deli for breakfast which has become a sort of tradition with us. Mike told me more about his brother back in the UK who has recently taken delivery of an amphibious auto that he drives about the Thames for the Henley crowd to enjoy. He is an extremely clever and energetic entrepreneur and invents all sorts of clever and off-the-wall things; enough to earn him the "UK's most eccentric" title a few years back. I'd really like to meet him one of these days.


  • After helping Mike load some provisions aboard Certa Cito in preparation for his departure in the morning with Maureen for Newport, I headed out to chat with the Moondances.
  • During the night I woke up several times thinking of all my family who will be gathering at my nephew Bob's home for the annual Rocchio 4th of July cookout in honor of his dad, my brother, Bob who was born on the 4th of July. This time of year, as I make my annual pilgrimage "home", I feel his loss most deeply -- wishing that we had been able to enjoy some time together aboard Onward.
  • During breakfast and on my way to Moondance, I finally came to the conclusion that I would take advantage of my rapid transit up the coast to make a mad dash to RI for the 4th. So, feeling a bit sad that I was not going to be able to hang around with Skip and Harriet whose company I really missed this winter, I gave them a rundown on what they should see along Long Island Sound on their way to meet me in RI. We also chatted about plans to cruise to Maine and make stops along the way.
  • I quickly returned to Onward, stowed Venture, weighed anchor and headed out with plans to get as far E as possible today depending on wind, current, weather, and me. Onward made > 8 kts until mid afternoon and the current was to remain favorable until 1800 so I set course for Fishers Island with a possible stop at Duck Island Roads anchorage if the time of arrival at Fishers Island would be too late. About 1800 when the tide turned it was obvious that Onward wouldn't make Fishers Island until after 2200 and while I have good marks and familiarity with the area and could navigate in the dark, I just didn't have that kind of energy left. So I changed course for Duck Island Roads and was anchored by 1900. Cocktail hour was declared and I read in the cockpit until dark. I cooked some chicken cutlets and then the locals must have realized Onward had arrived because they put on a great fireworks show for us. Neat.

3 Jul 12; Tuesday; Duck Island Roads to East Greenwich RI

  • After a very quiet and peaceful night, Onward was underway at 0530 on the last leg of the journey from Annapolis to RI. The weather was clear and dry so I could see more of Block Island as I approached than ever before. Turning up the West Passage into Narragansett Bay, I definitely had the feeling of returning "home". This marks my 6th annual visit. I still remember vividly the first time Onward entered these waters in 2007 with good friends Ron Draper and Ed & Tina Burke aboard. There was something very special about sailing my own boat into the waters that I'd only experienced from the shore in my youth. It is still special today.
  • On the way up the Bay, I heard Ariel on the VHF and we chatted for a bit. They were in place at Bristol ready to partake in the great 4th of July fireworks and parade they host there. I put into Greenwich Cove and picked up an East Grenwich Yacht Club mooring. Their moorings are all leased for this year but luckily Betelgeuse owned by friend Peter Hayden was out cruising so I had a mooring available until Monday. Ceili has a mooring right next core and seeing her brought back lots of great memories of the cruise S to the Bahamas with Bill and Linda last Fall.
  • After a wonderful shower, I was off in Patience, the new EGYC launch, and was soon fetched by MaryAnn and Ed and taken off to dinner at the Crows Nest restaurant in Apponaug where I had my first lobster of the season.

4 Jul 12; Wednesday; Greenwich Cove / EGYC
  • An early morning rain storm moved through clearing the skies for the rest of the day. I was ashore at 0930 and my niece Linda picked me up. We met the rest of her family at the cemetery where MaryAnn and their five children and ten grandchildren gather annually on the 4th, his birthday, for a moment of remembrance of my brother, Bob. Then we went off to have coffee together. I returned home with Linda and was assigned the bread toasting duties to go along with the bruschettta she made for the cookout.
  • The whole Rocchio clan met again at my nephew Bob's home where an afternoon of great fellowship, food and drink ensued. It is very heartwarming to see each year the progress each of my two grandnieces and eight grandnephews make each year in their life journey.

5 Jul 12; Thursday; Greenwich Cove / EGYC
  • A lazy day -- much needed. I finished installing the second of 2 T-1275 batteries into the house bank. So it is back to 4 for a total of 600 AH. I decided to use a single T-1275 for the starting battery (Battery 1). The second T-1275 I bought to replace the 8D in this bank I've decided to add to Bank 2, the house bank, to bring it up to 750 AH. I need to have some new battery cables made to do this.
  • Only a cruiser would consider doing laundry as a major accomplishment for the day. While the single washer and dryer worked on my 2 loads, I sat in the cool and read the Harry Potter book I got as a free library lone on my Kindle. I also paid a visit to the denizens of the EGYC bar and sampled the draft beers. Upon returning to Onward, I started craving pasta so I made some angel hair past for dinner.

6 Jul 12; Friday; Greenwich Cove / EGYC
  • A day spent catching up on paperwork, financial management, internet, and reading in the cockpit. Linda and Leo picked me up for dinner and we went to an Italian restaurant, Ritrovo, that I'd heard about but could not quite figure out where it was. We were met by Susan and MaryAnn and Ed. A great dinner and good time was had by all.

7 Jul 12; Saturday; Greenwich Cove
  • The morning dawned with overcast skies and the promise of a hot day. I spent a lazy day aboard working on various projects and reading. A personal energy recharge.

8 Jul 12; Sunday; Greenwich Cove / EGYC
  • Linda picked me up at 0930 and we were off for a shopping spree. She had volunteered to stand in for my sister who is still in Orlando with her husband Andy after his kidney transplant. He seems to be doing better every day. Great! When visiting Kathy in RI, I usually fit into her busy schedule and accompany her on her Sunday shopping missions. We often met our niece Linda so that's why Linda was ready to step in. We had a fun time together and I dec a lot for the economy of RI. At BJs I picked up the items that can only be gotten at the big box stores then we went to Dave's market where I topped up my fresh food stores. All the folks on the launched were impressed with the amount of stuff -- but it will carry me through several months,
  • The heat really picked up in the afternoon and it took me quite a bit of time to get everything stowed -- and of course work in the nap. I celebrated the completion of that task with cocktail hour followed by a nice steak dinner.

9 Jul 12; Monday; EGYC to Newport to EGYC
  • Soon after arising, I decided to take Onward to Newport for the day to watch the parade of Tall Ships. I was underway at 0730 and at 0900 I learned the parade wasn't going to start until 1100 so I decided to sail from Hope I to Newport under genoa alone at about 2 kts. I called Mike Yorke to say farewell and I remembered Certa Cito was heading back to Manhasset Bay today. He and Maureen invited me over for a light brunch so I motored down and anchored nearby their mooring. I had a nice visit aboard along with coffee and fruit. By 1130 Mike needed to depart so I returned to Onward and set out to watch the Tall Ships. I motored about at idle speed just outside the security zone and took photos. It was neat watching the Pride of Baltimore II fire a 2 cannon salute as it passed Ft. Adams.
  • At 1400 I headed back to EGYC where I picked up fuel - enough to fill the mid and port tanks which were dry, 85 gal. The the supply ran out before I could top off the starboard tank! I walked up to the bar to pick up my sunglasses that nephew Matt had dropped off and I ran into Chris and Bob Kozak and Linda and Bill Daley. I had a brief visit with them before removing Onward to the mooring. I quickly freshened up and returned to shore to visit with my friends but they were off to dinner. I did some more shopping -- replenishing prescription meds and rum. Nephew Matt and his girlfriend Katy fetched me and we went off for a nice dinner together.

10 Jul 12; Tuesday; EGYC to Dutch I
  • As soon as I was finished with breakfast it was time to change the oil & filter for both the engine and the genset. This time I tried some new tricks and managed to do the change without making a mess or spilling any oil. Great! Then I went into the stern locker to bestow things and I discovered a new gallon bottle of motor oil had leaked and was completely empty. The good news was that I keep my spare oil standing in a plastic bin for exactly that reason. So, while there was a mess to clean, it was easily and quickly done. After cleaning up a bit and showering I went ashore and turned in the waste oil for recycling. The I went off to get a badly needed haircut. I had decided to walk Main St. and stop at the first salon I came to and see if they could take me -- and then walk on to the next if they couldn't. At the first place, an old-time barber shop, the barber popped his head out as I walked up. So a haircut was negotiated. Once I got inside, I found the place was a complete disorder but it was too late to leave. The barber knew his stuff and listened to my suggestions for how I wanted it done and how it was best to cut it. The result was great.
  • Shorn, I had a quick lunch at Fatbelly's Pub and then headed back to Onward. I quickly got underway and went down to the end of the cove to check out Masquerade's unused mooring for depth and space. Then I put in to EGYC to fill my water tanks which I had forgotten to do yesterday. That done I headed out.. Once out of Greenwich Bay, the wind picked up to > 16 kts from the S. I was too tired to sail close hauled so I motored to the anchorage at Dutch I. After cocktail hour and a light dinner I went to sleep early. I was woken first by a call from Ron Draper with a recommendation to try the bars just up the street from the public pier next to Dutch I marina. Then Laura called talk about coming to MD in October for a 2-week stay aboard Onward in Baltimore.

11 Jul 12; Wednesday; Dutch I to Block I
  • Onward was underway by 0730 and ducked in to take a closer look at the pier Ron had described. I hadn't realized it was there and I will definitely take advantage of it in the future. The water was glassy calm and it was an uneventful trip to Block Island. I passed the BI buoy at 1000. By 1100 Onward was in Great Salt Pond looking for a rental mooring -- to no avail. So there was nothing for it but to anchor in 25'. That done, I relaxed and had some rotisserie chicken for lunch.
  • I received a hail on VHF from Maher Elmasri who told me to look off to starboard where I would see his new Hylas 56 and he invited me over to visit and get a tour of his new toy. Zafara is a beautiful maroon and looks huge. I was soon aboard to say hello of Maher and Inez and their son Merit. Maher then took me on a tour. As an MIT trained engineer he takes an engineer's meticulous approach to the engineering and design aspects of sailing. He was forced to take over the commissioning of Zafara from Hylas as they could not get it done on time and with the proper fit and finish. He actually designed and built a custom exhaust air / water separator and muffler after he explained to Hylas that their design caused extraordinarily high back pressure. He has electric furriers for the genoa and staysail as well as the roller-furling boom. A nice touch is solid SS guard rails. Zarafa has a deck salon where he had the floor raised so he and Inez could easily see out. Lots of room and beautiful interior. A beautiful boat for beautiful people. Hooray! I will miss them as part of the C470 family but will still count them as good friends.
  • While I was visiting Zarafa, Moondance came in and anchored nearby. On saying farewell to Inez and Maher, I went over to welcome the Moondancers on their first visit to Block I. After catching up for a bit and saying hello to Bailey, we headed off to town. We walked across to the harbor which was busy with ferries. Then we headed back to the Oar where we had dinner washed down by great Wachusette Blueberry Ale.

12 Jul 12; Thursday; Block I to to Cuttyhunk
  • I was up early to bake some almond biscotti. While they were baking we weighed anchor and headed out to Cuttyhunk, For the first 10 nm there was no wind but then a light SE wind picked up and helped to reduce the rolling from the gentle ocean swells. Along the way we got to listen to some VHF drama as a blue-hulled sloop in the Sound was taking on water and a USCG helo brought in a pump.
  • The inner harbor moorings were only ~ 30% occupied so we picked up a couple of moorings. Of course, I hadn't gotten the foredeck rigged and a perfect approach to the pennant which sticks up vertically helped make up for the scramble I had to do to break the new bridle loose from the toenail. Once settled, we headed in to town and took a nice walk around the E end of the island. I discovered there was a market that made deli sandwiches and Skip and Harriet joined me in ordering a delicious chicken salad wrap for lunch. We spent some time at the Historical Society's museum where I met the lovely woman who serves as the museum director each summer. Harriet and I climbed the road to the highest point that I had first visited with Tina and Ed Burke in 2008.
  • For the first time, I was able to go to the lobster dinner done on the lawn of a house near the dinghy dock. In the past it had always been the wrong day or they were out of available seats. We met two couples who originally sailed out of Annapolis although both are now in southern NE.
  • On the way back to the boats, we were flagged down by Heather, a Cape Dory 30 motor sailer owned by Bob Heidenreich out of Marion MA. Bob is a Corinthian who organized many a cruise. They will also be on the Maine cruise this year in a friend's boat. We had a brief chat before they had to go off to dinner.

13 Jul 12; Friday; Cuttyhunk to Provincetown
  • Moondance & Onward were off at 0730 headed up Buzzards Bay. We were able to motorsail on the light SW wind up the bay and through the Cape Cod Canal. Our plans were to put into Plymouth for the night. When Harriet called for moorings they did not have one to accommodate Onward. Then I suggested going to Provincetown and we changed course. The Moondancers got energetic and dug out their cruising spinnaker which looked beautiful. I sailed along under just the genoa as the wind built to > 12 kts We put into Provincetown and picked up moorings from Provincetown Marina.
  • A mutual craving for cocktails sent us ashore in the launch. Harriet and Skip immediately started using their iPhones to research bars. I'm a believer in going with the flow until I see a place that calls me in. Harriet eventually just found a place along the way and we enjoyed a couple of good drafts -- including a Saisson -- along with some appetizers. We then headed off looking for dinner and found what turned out to be an excellent dining experience along the way. I ordered a "classic" Mojito made without sugar and found it to be an exquisite drink. I now have to find a way to keep fresh mint aboard!
  • Dinner done we enjoyed walking the street and experiencing the theater of Provincetown in the summer. Along the way we found a neat kitchen stuff store and had to go in and as a result I now have a neat new olive oil mister to replace the one that just broke. The art scene in Provincetown is very vibrant. After seeing so much great art, I found I was beginning to crave painting. I've got to work on this! Having drunk enough of the scene we returned to the boats for a quiet night.

14 Jul 12; Saturday; Provincetown to Kittery / Portsmouth
  • We were off again at 0715 headed toward Cape Ann with initial goals of Gloucester or Rockport. With light SW winds to motorsail, it quickly became apparent that we could make Portsmouth well before dark in the calm seas. So we changed course and had a pleasant crossing. I made a VHF enquiry to any vessel at Isle of Shoals to see if there were any moorings. Two vessels replied and as I suspected there were none free on a Saturday evening in July. We called the Kittery Yacht Club but they could not accommodate boats of our size but they did recommend anchoring in Pepperrill Cove. It was interesting to see the depths go from >70' to ~40' and then level out at ~20' I was able to find a place on this shelf. Moondance got a mooring from the Portsmouth YC that was nearby. As i was anchoring, I noticed someone was approaching in a RIB and I expected to get harassed about where I was anchoring. To my surprise, it turned out to be Dan Morrison, the owner of Optimistic C470-117 which I looked up to find was on a mooring ~200' away! I had emailed Dan to warn him that Onward was in the area and he had been on the lookout. He came by for a quick hello before having to go off to a dinner engagement.
  • Once Onward was settled I took a blissful shower and headed over to Moondance. Harriet had prepared a barbecue pork roast that was heavenly. It was very pleasant to have a throwback to myriad similar nights where we had enjoyed dinner with each other in the Bahamas.

15 Jul 12; Sunday; Kittery to South Freeport
  • It was a very quite night in the anchorage and I was amazed at the lack of current when, just across the river at Portsmouth YC it rips! At 0800 I Ventured over to Optimistic and had coffee with Dan and his wife Pam. Dan gave me a tour and, as always when one looks at a sistership, one gets some new ideas. He too has replaced his manual heads for Raritan electric versions but he used another model that think will be better for the forward head so I plan to check this out. He has also installed some neat electronics that allows him to monitor boat systems on his iPad and to do this remotely. More toys I'll have to check out.
  • I returned to Onward and Pam and Dan joined me -- so they could see a really hard-working C470. After more show and tell, it was time for Onward to depart as Moondance had started N about a half hour earlier. The day was forecast to be settled and we wanted to take this opportunity to get to Casco before a minor front came through. So I could not take Dan and Pam up on the opportunity to have a lobster dinner. They are planning to head E later in the month so we'll find someway to get together then or on my return to S NE.
  • For most of the trip E the wind was on the nose. Just SW of Cape Elizabeth it came around to the NNE enough to make deploying the Genoa worthwhile. We took the more direct Broad Sound route N to Harraseeket R and the Moondancers got introduced to high-density lobster floats -- still nothing like that to come in Penobscot where the infamous "float and toggles" lie.
  • It was after 1800 when we pulled into the anchorage and Brewers was closed so we had to search for out moorings. it was difficult job to find them as they seemed to be almost randomly distributed among the private moorings. We were looking for 207 and 208 but could only find 206 and 208. Once moored, we quickly went into the lobster shack and got our fix of lobster rolls/
  • I found a missed phone call from my sister and immediately was concerned that Andy was having problems with his kidney transplant. As it turns out, it was good news, Kathy's oldest child, daughter Kristen had just called to say her boyfriend Jamison had proposed and she accepted. Neat, my two nieces who are about the same age are now both engaged!

16 Jul 12; Monday; South Freeport
  • It was a quiet night marked by a couple of hours of very heavy rain between 0230 and 0430. At 0930, the Moondancers fetched me and we headed into Brewers. It turns out I had gotten the mooring numbers correctly, 207 and 208, but we couldn't find 207. They said it was there but even today we could not find it.
  • We took a cab into town and it turned out to be the same guy I'd met in 2010 who was just starting his cab business. As I do wherever I stop, I asked him how the economy was doing and he said it was doing fine. There was lots of activity in town in the stores and very few empty stores considering all the new retail space added since my first visit. Our cabbie talked about wanting to expand his business but can't because of lack of qualified people.
  • I did my best to help the local economy and did a good bit of shopping at LL Bean. And yes, my son, I had "Onward" embroidered on the new shirts I bought -- just so you'd have something to grouse about :)
  • We had good beers and a delightful lunch under the shade of umbrellas at Azur a restaurant on Main St. On return to Onward it was time for a nap. Then I cleaned up the cockpit a bit -- it is amazing how dirty it can get just sailing up the coast. Skip & Harriet came over for cocktails and snacks as we didn't need dinner after that great lunch. We made some cruising plans for the next few days.

17 Jul 12; Tuesday; South Freeport to Boothbay
  • At 0100, I was awake so I decided to work on my Macbook for a bit to catch up on this journal and begin building a database of places Onward has spent a night anchored or in a mooring along the coast. There have now been so many of them I can't keep them all in my head.
  • On looking at my email, I found a short note from my son sharing a new song he wrote over the weekend. Wow! It was his first recording of it and he just used his iPhone and it is great. A song about memories of good times as a teen with his friends. Neat!
  • The Moondances were up early so we got underway about 0615. It was a beautiful, soft morning with glassy seas. The fleet of lobster boats was out in force. Weather reports kept vacillating about severe weather due to a passing cold front so we decided to put into Boothbay in stead of Maple Juice Cove. Fog set in once we were out of Casco Bay and it was time to get used to sailing Onward from the radar -- reawakening skills not used for a bit.

18 Jul 12; Wednesday; Boothbay
  • Miles came over for a short visit before Ariel departed for Penobscot Bay. I picked up the Moondances and we headed in to the Blue Moon Cafe for a tasty breakfast on the deck - another "Boothbay Tradition". That important mission accomplished, we called a cab and headed out to the Costal Maine Botanical Gardens. Every time I visit this lovely place, it is more beautiful than ever. We spent a leisurely 4-5 hours exploring the beauty. Each time I am impressed with how well the designers have worked with the natural land to make the every segment of the gardens look like it just grew that way. Wonderful.
  • On the suggestion of two of the women operating the gift shop, we asked our cab driver to stop by the East Boothbay General Store where we picked up some great sandwiches for lunch. I also bought a fresh loaf of garlic bread and a cranberry scone. We returned to the harbor and had lunch aboard Moondance. I went into town to do some hardware shopping. By this time the temperature was sweltering and I returned to Onward to take a nice cool afternoon nap in the cockpit. My peaceful nap was punctuated by the comings and goings of the several tour boats operating here.
  • In the evening we headed in to town to attend a concert by Delfaeyo Marsalis and his band performing some "Speakeasy Era Jazz". What a wonderful experience. We sat on the balcony level of the opera house that was built in 1896 and has superb acoustics and an intimate feeling. There was a bar too. Delfaeyo plays the trombone and the group included jazz piano, base, drums, tenor sax, and trumpet. All were great! Stumbling on fun things like this concert is one of the joys of cruising. By the time we left the concert, the temperature dropped as cool weather gently moved into the area. A good sleeping night ensued.

19 Jul 12; Thursday; Boothbay to Rockland
  • A beautiful sunny, clear, crisp morning dawned. We dropped our moorings at 0630 and headed E. Once past Leinekin Neck we were able to sail on about 10 - 12 kts from the N. How nice to be able to just sail! With an early start, there are many options open to us so we can relax and just sail. Nice.
  • The wind continued to build and back to the N as we entered Penobscot Bay and headed for the Mussel Ridge Channel. I decided to take this route because it is both scenic and challenging especially when sailing hard on the wind as today. The 10-12 kt winds began to be punctuated with sustained gusts to >20 kts as Onward entered the Channel. Onward loves this and just sucks up the wind and accelerates. However, the IWOB, had forgotten that he had not sailed the boat hard on the wind since leaving the Bahamas. Hence, a lot of "stuff" had managed to get located where it was not in a "port-tack friendly" position. Thus there was a cacophony as various bits fell on the floor. Nothing broken and no important item involved -- but at the end of this leg, the interior was a windrow of detritus from the forward head to the stern bulkhead in the aft stateroom. I obviously have a lot of stuff that needs to be offloaded!
  • As Onward motored upwind into Rockland, I got caught in the middle of races of a large group of Friendship gaff-rigged sloops and had quite a time dodging them and the lobster floats.
  • Until exiting the NE end of Mussel Ridge Channel, Onward had been encountering conventional single-float lobster traps. Once out of the Channel, the infamous float & toggle arrangement began. These are not bad when the traps are well separated and when traveling with or against a strong current or wind But from here on I expect it to deteriorate. Ah well, the price to pay to sail here.
  • Once anchored, I crashed for a good nap in the sun. Skip came out and fetched me and we took Bailey into town for a walk. We then finished up the evening with a delightful dinner on the patio at the Amalfi restaurant - one of my favorites here.

20 Jul 12; Friday; Rockland
  • We went ashore in the morning to visit the Farnsworth Museum. It was a delightful several hours enjoying their collection of Wyeth watercolors. After lunch we did some shopping which included a visit to Hamilton Marine were I again found more things to buy that I didn't know I needed when I went in. Amazing how that happens!
  • I made pasta sauce a la my sister Kathy and served it over chicken & these ravioli. Skip and Harriet agreed it was great. I'm coming to really love that sauce.

21 Jul 12; Saturday; Rockland to Swans I
  • The Moondances were ready to go by 0645 so we headed out of the harbor to take Fox Island Thoroughfare E. Winds were too light to do any sailing and we made great time on the route. I had initially intend to spend the night at McGlathery I where I'd stayed when Laura and Kurlen had sailed with me in 2008. We pressed on because it was so early and put in to Buckle Cove at the N end of Swans I where we were the 3rd and 4th boats to anchor. As the day wore on, I realized I'd anchored at the top of a 10' tide in 25' of water. As the tide went out I found a ridge of granite began to emerge 150' to port -- just out of swing range. Interesting.

22 Jul 12; Sunday; Swans I to NE Harbor
  • A beautiful Maine morning dawned and we weighed anchor at 0700. With the anchor aboard I turned sharply to starboard to get away from the rocks that had reappeared off to port. As I headed out, the SeaTalk network went down and I lost GPS so I had to turn around and point Onward in a safe direction long enough for me to do the network fuse pulling bit on the autopilot computer to bring the network back up -- still a deep mystery what is going on here. With Onward's ability to navigate restored, I headed toward Mt. Desert I. The SW wind came up so I decided to sail once in Blue Hill Bay and was able to do so until just before the Bass Head bar.
  • We put into NE Harbor and found a good number of empty moorings and had no problem getting a mooring float to share with Moondance. I approached #315 whose numbers could only be read with binoculars and had to do a 180 in tight quarters. Of course, the wind which had been absent to this point decided to blow 15 kts from the starboard just as I was approaching the float. Having been blown away there was nothing for it but to back up a couple of boat lengths and reproach for a nice single-handed mooring.
  • Once both boats were settled we immediately set off in Moondance's dinghy to the Asticou pier and then walked up to tour the house and gardens. I never tire of visiting this place.

23 Jul 12; Monday; NE Harbor
  • I was out on the mooring float at 0630 in the process of moving Venture up out of the water and on to the float so I could clean its bottom which had become unbelievably fouled while in the water in Back Creek Annapolis. Skip gave me a bit of help with an extra tug on the bridle at the right time and soon Venture was sitting on the float. I emptied it out and removed the motor. Then using the spare halyard, I turned it over. What a mess; a solid collection of weed that was about 3/4" long and of course dried out due to being on the davits for the trip N. I spent the next 2 hours scrubbing it by hand with a scouring pad -- the only thing that would remove the nasty weed residue.
  • By 1100 I'd had enough of the cleaning and quickly took a show and some acetaminophen before packing a lunch and heading out with the Moondances and Ariels to go hiking in Arcadia. Miles set a challenging (for us) hike via Asticou Gardens up to cedar swamp mountain crest where we had lunch and started the return back. The return route included on of the beautiful carriage roads which are engineering feats. As we returned to Asticou we headed for the Inn and found the bar open. We enjoyed a couple of beers and an interesting chat with the bar tender who was a college student from Lithuania.
  • On return to Onward, my muscles went into rebellion due to the stress of the morning scrubbing and afternoon hiking. So I veged out and read a good book on my iPad.

24 Jul 12; Tuesday; NE Harbor
  • At 0500 a torrential rain storm hit as my alarm went off. I shut off the alarm and went back to sleep getting my foot caught in the sheets until 0700 -- the middle of the day! By 0800 I was back on the float continuing to clean Venture. It took another couple of hours of scrubbing to get the residual weed off the bottom. I then cleaned the stains off with FSR and Bartenders Friend in gel form that Harriet had made available. I then compounded the bottom and put a coat of polish on it. I also had to spend an hour cleaning the weed off the outboard! This exercise should be a real lesson to me to get the dinghy out of the water at night when I'm in "fecund" waters. I then turned Venture over and cleaned the interior before installing new u-bolts in the stern. A lot of effort!
  • Harriet brought over a pre-made pizza crust and some fixings and I took out some pizza dough from the freezer and we made pizza. I experimented with working the dough to make a thin crust pizza and the result was quite good. The Moondances introduced a new dice game they had just bought in town and the luck of the Captain made me the winner.

25 Jul 12; Wednesday; NE Harbor
  • A bright sunny sparkling day! I did some more work on Venture then showered and headed off with the Moondances to breakfast in town. After breakfast we stopped at a store that had a wonderful kitchen section and I picked up a couple of items for the galley. Including a new large-wheel pizza cutter and a small SS pan to reheat my coffee in so that I don't melt off the handle of the coffee carafe as I have done several times before. We then stopped at the market where I picked up a few things which to my surprise came to $85 -- but there was a line and I didn't stop to question it. When back aboard Onward, I realized that the stuff I'd bought couldn't have cost even $50.
  • We picked up Laureen and headed into Bar Harbor where we had lunch and did some shopping before returning to NE Harbor. I stopped at the market whee a review of the register tape found that the register had charged me for 6 six-packs of beer instead of the one I'd bought - mystery solved.

26 Jul 12; Thursday; NE Harbor
  • I was up early and on the mooring float to work on the dinghy. First I cleaned up the outboard's mounting screws. One had gotten badly fouled and was extremely difficult to turn. Some PB Blaster helped me get it loose when I took the motor off the dinghy earlier in the week. Some WD40 and a wire brush got it nice, clean, and turning freely. I added a thin coating of the anti-seize grease I use on the windlass to protect them.
  • Next I pumped the dinghy tubes up hard and then brushed on soapy water in another attempt to find the leaks in the two tubes. I verified that the three valves did not leak and I rechecked all the seams - including the repair of the infamous hole in the bow. I found no leaking seam or patch. As a last resort, I began painting soapy water over the fabric and to my surprise quickly found both leaks. Both were associated with what looked to be minor scratches. It turned out the base of each scratch included a small puncture.
  • I then prepared the leak ares for patching. The hypalon roll that I bought for $10 at the Staniel Cay New Years Day 2011 auction came in handy again. I used the same tapered grinding stone in my Dremel as the guy who repaired the hole. The patches went on nicely using the Hypalon contact cement.
  • I also used my new 4" table saw to cut a piece of 3/4" wood composite board to make a hard -- and hopefully non-leaking cover for the dinghy cooler/seat. Perhaps what has been a wet-box will become a dry-box as I originally intended.
  • I also cleaned out the interior floor of the dinghy again. Then I restored all the gear in its locker, reinstalled the seat and then the engine -- ready for launch.
  • After a bit of a rest and a cleanup, I headed into town to checkout the hardware store -- a cruisers' must-do. After launching Venture from the float, I discovered I couldn't put the motor down because one of the lifting handles was in the wrong position. So Harriet gave me a safety line from Moondance's bow and I lifted the motor off and then reset it. That done I was off to town to buy stuff at the hardware store that I didn't know I needed when I went in -- as usual. On the way in I stopped to take a photo of a young harbor seal sunning on one of the mooring floats. I stopped at the bakery next-door where I was captured by a blueberry pie and got a deal on a half-dozen bagels too.
  • Harriet invited me over for some delicious pasta with basil, fresh tomatoes - delish! After some of my blueberry pie for dinner, they left to attend a steel band concert ashore with the Ariels while I took my very tired and sore body to bed. During the night I found that I'd strained my back a bit reseting the motor on its mount. Drat.

27 Jul 12; Friday; NE Harbor
  • More rain during the night but it stopped by 0800. After putting a lot of tools away, I went out and did some cleaning. I was pleased to find the dingy tubes still well inflated -- apparently my patching job had some good effect. It's good to have a nice virile dinghy again.
  • I used some of the On & Off gel hull cleaner I bought yesterday to remove the Chesapeake Bay mustache from Onward's bow. My first impression was that it didn't work as well as the regular liquid or as well as FSR -- and it is easier to spill than FSR.
  • That done I took a break to call to verify that Onward had mooring reservations at Camden and Belfast. Then I arranged to have the replacement glazing for the hatch in the forward stateroom to be shipped to Camden.
  • I also prepared for fun and games during the Corinthian Cruise by ordering one of the neat little cork mortars I saw when I passed through Beaufort NC in June. Let the games begin!

  • I also wrote an endorsement for John & Colleen Miller to become Corinthians. The makes 4 new members I've helped join the organization in the last 10 months. If I keep this up, do you think that perhaps they'll establish a Joe Rocchio or Onward Fleet???
  • Moondance invited the Ariels and I over for dinner. Sharing the mooring float made it possible to use both boats' gas grills to cook kosher: vegetables on one and the pork loin roast on Onward's.
  • After dinner and a Farkle game, we sat around while Miles and Laureen regaled us with their encyclopedic knowledge of good restaurants for cruisers along the Atlantic coast. Miles, having owned a baking business, has an excellent memory when it comes to food making him a real "foodie". With access to such good local knowledge, I decided to build a new webpage to this site: Ariel's List - A Gourmet's Guide.

28 Jul 12; Saturday; NE Harbor to Frenchboro

  • Well, we finally broke out! We departed the mooring float at 0915 and headed S to Long Island and its town of Frenchboro. I had another SeaTalk failure problem to make exiting the harbor interesting. But it was quickly fixed and the motor S was through glassy calm seas with gentle swells.
  • At Frenchboro, Miles came along side and boarded Onward to handle the mooring pennant pickup -- such service! Onward was settled in at 1115. I took a wonderful shower and then prepared to go ashore. Skip & Harriet fetched me in their dinghy and we headed in. It was the bottom of low tide and it was amazing to see so many of the piers in this harbor just jutting up 15 to 20+ feet above the water level. We put into Lundt's Lobster Wharf and had lunch: a wonderful lobster roll and a bowl of fish chowdah Delish.
  • Miles then led us on a hike around the harbor and the NE corner of the island. The Costal Maine Heritage Trust purchased much of the land on the island as a preserve and maintains trails. There was a beautiful vista every 10' it seemed. The trail met a rough road at a small cove on the E side of the island that was filled with cobbles -- the stones that were "harvested" and shipped all over the Atlantic coast for use as paving stones.
  • At the end of the hike I stopped in to see the island Museum. I then met up with the others for a homemade ice-cream sandwich. This is not part of my regular diet but I figured the amount of work and hiking I'd done over the last several days had earned me this fling.
  • I was in bed for a nap within 60 seconds of reboarding Onward. I woke up 2 hrs later -- at the time I'd invited folks over for cocktails. So, I got really busy. Along the way I decided to make dinner for the group: grilled canned ham, Bush's beans, fresh-baked focaccia. A grand time was had by all. Perhaps my first effort to make Mojito's helped a bit. Delish.

29 Jul 12; Sunday; Frenchboro
  • A cold rainy morning greeted the Steward as he cleaned up from last night's entertainment. When he was done, I crawled back into bed for an hour. In order to be warm enough to do anything I had to don long-sleeved Tee, jeans, sox, and a fleece.
  • Plans to move on to Blue Hill were nixed when a small low offshore decided to locate itself so it could send us rain all day. I tried to use the day to work on roundtoits. However, I've become so attuned to 75º as my temperature for normal living, I did not have much energy to be productive.
  • In late afternoon, Miles came by to drop off a piece of fresh blueberry coffeecake that Laureen had just baked. Warm from the oven it was fantastic.

  • 30 Jul 12; Monday; Frenchboro to Blue Hill
  • Moodance and Onward were underway at 0900. Ariel departed early to get a troublesome cellphone fixed.
  • It was a beautiful day for the motoring N along the E side of Blue Hill Bay. We put into the harbor just after mid-tide on the falling tide. I found an anchoring spot near where I'd anchored 2 years ago but Moondance decided to pick up a mooring from KYC. As they came over to Onward on the way into town, they ran out of gas so we took the newly virile Venture and headed in. Turns out we were too late in the tide cycle to get to the town dock so we headed back to KYC and walked the 1.6 mi into town. We had a great lunch at 66 steak house and then explored the town a bit before heading back. A sailor who has a home in the area saw us and gave us a ride the last 0.5 mi back to KYC. Once aboard, I was bushed and immediately took a nap.
31 Jul 12; Tuesday; Blue Hill to Wooden Boat Harbor
  • The morning was sunny and beautiful. We departed Blue Hill at 0830. From the anchorage it looked like there would be good sailing as soon as we were out of the harbor. However, the day turned out that the wind clocked as we turned and we had it on the nose all day. We entered the E end of Eggemoggin Reach which is as challenging for the number of crab floats as it is for the rocks. We put into the anchorage area in front of the Wooden Boat School and we found it to be nicely protected by the outlying islands. Moondance picked up a mooring but I was pleased to find that there was a huge flat sandy bottom area of ~ 20' to anchor. So I anchored nearby.
  • After lunch, the Moondances fetched me and we went off to visit the Wooden Boat School.
  • On return to Onward I decided to tackle a job I'd been putting off since the beginning of the year: replacing the pump on the forward head. I had intended to replace the whole head when I got to Annapolis but my refrigeration and battery problem got in the way. Now with a guest due, it was time to get it fixed. To my great surprise, it was much easier and cleaner to fix than I'd anticipated. I usually measure boat jobs in the pints of blood I lose -- but to my surprise I didn't even nick myself!
  • The Moondances fetched me for a dinner of chili dogs - delish. I then repaid Harriet's hospitality by beating her for the 2nd time at her new dice game.