Onward’s Cruise Journal 2013
Cruise to New England

Updated: 1 August 2013

A Note to Regular Readers:
My apologies: while on my 7-week sojourn to LA for Grandpa duty, my life-rhythm got mis-adjusted a few of the many casualties were my attention to email and this journal. I will catch up… Be patient, please.

July 2013

1 July 13; Monday; Oyster Bay to Sag Harbor

  • We were underway before 0800 to use the tide to speed our way E along the N shore of Long Island. Not much to see here once past Port Jefferson. Lots of cliffs and waterfront for large homes but still quite empty. We motorsailed with light SSW winds and made it to Plum I Gut by about 1630. Some rain storms blew past and we had a fast motorsail across Gardiner Bay to the entrance to Sag Harbor's channel. We were passed by two > 100' motor yachts and when we got to the Sag Harbour we found anther 6 to 8 behind the breakwater.
  • We anchored E of the Breakwaters in about 10-14' just outside the moorings. There were a number of very large yachts anchored in this large basin. Once settled, I began to make

2 July 13; Tuesday; Sag Harbor to Block Island
  • We went into town to explore. We went in through the break in the E breakwater and discovered that the town has a public dinghy dock at the E end of the harbor near the breakwater on the W dock of the Breakwater Yacht Club. After tying up on the outer float, we walked into town and stopped in at the Harbormaster Office to check. They confirmed that we'd tied up at the right place. I like to stop in at the Harbormaster Office in New England harbors to say hello and get local knowledge as well as establish a friendly relationship with these key people.
  • At about 1300 we weighed anchor and headed E to Block Island.
  • I called the Block Island Harbormaster to check what time it was permissible to pick up private moorings for the night. Answer 1500. However they said they were all reserve for the July 4th holiday. However the anchorage was "empty" by their standards. Well it still had a lot of boats in it when we arrived but we had no problem finding a place to anchor. We anchored at ~ 1800 in ~ 35' just inside Great Salt Pond on the E side. It was a quiet night -- much enjoyed by all.

3 July 13; Wednesday; Block Island to Greenwich Bay
  • At 0800 we weighed anchor and headed for Point Judith. There was a bit of wind that enabled motorsailing across Block Island Sound and up the West Passage of Narragansett Bay. The journey brought back the memories of my first passage here in June 2007 when it was all so new and strange. Now the NE environs are familiar friends -- a pleasant, confident feeling.
  • We entered Greenwich Bay and Onward anchored off of Godard Park about 1200 while Merlin continued in to pick up a mooring at the East Greenwich Yacht Club. I arranged for a pickup to get a rental car at 1400. The Merlins met me ashore and we went off the get the car.
  • I learned that the Ariels and the Summersaults were in Newport so I called and made plans for dinner. We drove over to Aquidneck Island and walked around Newport for a while until 1830 when we took the launch out to Ariel for cocktails. It was good to see Miles an Laureen again as we had last been together in the Bahamas. After a nice dinner ashore we drove back to East Greenwich.

4 July 13; Thursday; Greenwich Bay
  • Today is my late brother Bob's birthday. I miss him a great deal and feel so cheated that I did not get to spend time with him in my retirement. Every year my five nieces and nephews have a memorial commemorative picnic to celebrate him and their family. So the Merlins and I headed out to do a bit of shopping and then went on to my niece Linda's and her husband Leo's beautiful home. There I got to see my sister and her husband Andy who, last year at this time, was undergoing a kidney transplant. It was wonderful to see him doing well. What a pleasant time basking in the warmth of my large family. I had great fun poking at my five older great nephews about sailing to Maine with me. Of the five, only Michael likes being on the water. Makes me wonder where I got my affinity from.
  • It was a really warm day and I took advantage of Linda's pool to cool down. In doing so, I got to play in the water with my three youngest great nephews. Great fun.
  • As in any gathering of an Italian family, food and beverages were in great supply and we had a fine time. Great to be home.

5 July 13; Friday; Greenwich Bay
  • If yesterday was hot, today was hotter. We spent the cooler morning doing chores on our respective boats. My niece Linda called to invite me over to spend the afternoon swimming. By noon that seemed like a great idea so we drove out and spent a very pleasant, cool and relaxing afternoon lounging in and by her pool. In the evening we took Linda and Leo our to dinner to cap a very nice day.

6 July 13; Saturday; Greenwich Bay
  • I spent the morning working on the windlass and anchor chain. In Annapolis I had spray painted with white pain a 1-ft section of chain at the end of each 10-ft section. As I started using it, I found that I had not marked the segments at 60' to 80' so I took the opportunity to do that today.
  • My Maxwell AA150 chain counter which had worked well after installing it last fall started giving me erroneous readings as I came up the ICW. Today I decided to do the regular cleaning and lubing of the capstan and use this opportunity to check out the counter operation. The top of the sensor unit had minor scratches in it caused by grit getting trapped between it and the gypsy. When I took off the gypsy I found that the magnet that the sensor uses to pick up revolutions of the gypsy was corroded away to rust. I couldn't recall where the extra magnet for the sensor was stored so I used a stack of some small magnets as a temporary replacement. Unfortunately, this did not seem to fix the problem. In the meantime, I found and put a hold on a replacement sensor unit just in case I have to replace it.
  • By the time the windlass was back together and I'd cleaned up, it was so warm that the Merlins called and suggested heading off for a walk in the air-conditioned splendor of a mall. So I quickly showered and headed in to meet them. We stopped for some Mexican food and then went to Providence Place Mall where we found it packed.

7 July 13; Sunday; Greenwich Bay
  • The Merlins dropped me off at church and then drove off to explore RI. I met Kathy and Andy for Mass. And then we had one of our "traditional" Sunday mornings: Mass, Panera for breakfast, shopping at BJ's. Back at Kathy's house I helped them get the patio furniture out of the storage shed and cleaned up for the season. I was so hot and sweaty from the yard work that I had to put everything I was wearing into the wash. After a lazy afternoon, we went out to dinner before they dropped me back at EGYC.

8 July 13; Monday; Greenwich Bay
  • A sunny day dawned promising to be another hot one. I spent a good deal of the day transferring files from the crashed disc to the new portable drive. I then got new photo recovery software to go through the problematic disc and recover the image files. There were so many files to go through the software worked most of the day on the task and eventually recovered > 150,000 image files. Wow. Many of these are duplicates that i will now need to weed out. But, at least I seem to have most if not all the photos I had before the library got corrupted.

9 July 13; Tuesday; Greenwich Bay
  • This morning was another of not getting much accomplished other than finding that iPhoto works fine with my recovered photos. All 150,000 of them!
  • After a nice shower I Ventured ashore to meet the Merlins and then drove over to Bristol RI to visit the Herreshoff Museum. Along the way we drove through Colt Parks (one for the town and one for the state) that were a bequest of Samuel Colt of the "Colt 45" fame.
  • We spent > 3 hours touring the museum and observing the results of the genius of John B and Nathaniel Herreshoff.
  • When the museum closed at 1700 we headed off to do some shopping and then drove out to tour Jamestown and Beavertail Light. It is always interesting to see these points of land from the shore side after having sailed past them. Our quick tour done, we headed for Dave and Jennine Sisicki's home at the N end of Conanicut I. There we drank beer and wine with Dave while he sucked a couple of dozen littleneck clams. His brother Mark was there as well and, given his love of food preparation, Dave turned over dinner preparation to him. About the time we began eating the littlenecks, Jennine and their two daughters, Faith and Grace, joined us. The meal was superb and Mark set the bar for a "drop by dinner" so high that I will never get close: tender halibut over risotto with grilled vegetables and a fresh cherry and berries in cream sauce for desert! Of course, we did our best to help dave out with his overstocked wine cellar. A great time was had by all. Another example of the joys of relationships established while cruising. I did my best to entice Dave to bring the family up to Maine for a few days getaway aboard Onward.

10 July 13; Wednesday; Greenwich Bay
  • I must have had a really good time last night -- even better than I remembered. I got up at 0530 and about 0630 while having coffee and an almond biscotti for breakfast, the idea of a nap was irresistible so I succumbed. At 1030 I was rudely awakened by the Merlins who wanted to plan fetching their carburetor. Well, I didn't get much done on my task list but I did try out the new magnets I bought yesterday in the gypsy with no good result. I then checked the wiring at the indicator unit and found no problem there. Baah. Looks like I'll need a new sensor unit and its magnet.
  • We drove over to Portsmouth to get the Honda outboard carburetor and stopped along the way to have a tasty seafood lunch at a little waterside place on Jamestown's harbor. We fetched the carburetor and then headed over to Jamestown Distributors who are located near the Herreshoff Museum to pick up the replacement chain counter sensor I had on order. Then we ran a few more errands before returning to EGYC where we Ventured out to Merlin where Ed and Tina plied me with a delicious steak dinner before we watched the first segment of the Showtime series "The Borgias". And what a lovely group of folks they were.

11 July 13; Thursday; Greenwich Bay
  • A heavily overcast morning promised more rain and it delivered. I managed to keep myself on task to get some boat stuff organizing done.
  • Before the rain arrived, I ran in and got Ed so he could get the new carburetor which had been left in the car. While he fetched that, I used the tools that I'd brought along to fix the dinghy tie-off bar on the EGYC dinghy dock. It has two ~15' sections that telescope together but as there is insufficient friction at this joint and nothing to hold them together, the two bars keep sliding apart and will dump the line of an unsuspecting dinghy owner. So today I drilled and through bolted the junction so the bar can no longer come apart.
  • Ed also fetched my laundry which had been riding around in the trunk since the 4th of July because I didn't want to risk moving it aboard Onward in the dark on the many intervening nights.
  • Aboard Onward, I hooked up the new chain counter sensor to the display unit and checked how it counted by flashing the new magnet past it. This led me to plan to try checking out the old sensor with the new magnet before I did anything else.
  • Just after lunch the Merlins came over and manned the electric winch and safety lines so I could go up the mast to fix my wind indicators. Once I got up there it took me 15 min to untangle the line I'd brought up to retrieve the tool bag.
  • I was able to easily take off the wind transducer wand as I'd done a good job protecting the contacts from corrosion last time I replaced it.
  • The windex was bent and broken and as I tried to lower it to the deck it flew away to a burial at sea. The plastic base stripped away from the internal SS bolt head so I couldn't unscrew it to install the new one. I had to use a screwdriver as a chisel and a pliers as a hammer to split off the plastic so I could get a wrench on the SS bolt. I then installed the new base. By this time a rain squall had moved in so I returned to the deck.
  • An inspection of the wind transducer found that the entire sensing core of the wind direction transducer had been carried away -- not just the easily replaced "feather" BAAAH! Now I will have to install a whole new wand. I should have ordered it just in case but I wasn't clever enough to do that.
  • When the squall past I headed back up the mast to reinstall the wand so I could still get use of the anemometer component until I got a new wand. The windex installation went quickly and I was soon able to return to the deck.
  • I don't mind going up the mast at all as the height and motion doesn't bother me. The boson chair and its "interface" with the Rocchio family jewels is another matter. As I have to work at the very top of the mast, the lifting line is pulled tight against the sheave. This with the design of the Harken boson chair tilts me forward so too much pressure is put where I prefer it not to me. This time, I found an unused soft fleece-like boat washing mitt and used this as a jewel cushion. This helped a good deal but the experience was still unpleasant. What were these guys thinking when they made a design that is so male-anatomy unfriendly?
  • The Merlins went off exploring ashore while I took a nap to recover from my mast-top efforts.
  • At 1745 I Ventured ashore with two gallon ziplock bags of Onward pizza dough and met the Merlins to drive out to Bill and Kiran Kimbell's home. When we arrived I put the dough out to "rest" and we all asked for a glass of water. This caused Bill to talk about his leaky cold water drinking system in the refrigerator and joked about us not having time to fix it. Well, with that gauntlet cast, Ed and I went to work on the problem. We found how the water line got into the door, verified that the leak wasn't coming from the front and then went looking for the remote solenoid valve Ed suggested was in the back. Since I seem to do bi-annual repairs to my sister's refrigerator water system during my visits to RI, I went diving to look for the valve and quickly found it and the leak. I was able to remove the connector, cut off a 3/8" section of damaged plastic line, and reinstall it. Problem fixed.
  • We then went into the party phase and over beer and with the help of Bill, Kiran, Ed, and Tina, I built two pizzas. Bill and Kiran kept worrying if there was going to be enough. When they were done we settled down to a great meal with lots of good wine and good talk. There was still essentially a whole pizza still to be eaten when we left to return to EGYC.

12 July 13; Friday; Greenwich Bay
  • In the evening, I walked over to join Bill and Kiran at an outdoor bar in the old Post Office where there was a piano player. I got to meet some of their friends as well as enjoy pleasant piano music over drinks an dinner. The Merlins joined us a bit later.

13 July 13; Saturday; Greenwich Bay

14 July 13; Sunday; Greenwich Bay to Cuttyhunk I
  • Somehow, I was never quite able to get myself fully in gear to get the miscellaneous gear put away during the last week. So, at 0500 I was fully engaged in stowing and organizing stuff to be ready to get underway again. As I raised the anchor, I found that the recalcitrant chain counter seemed to be counting normally. Go figure….???
  • Onward and Merlin were underway at 0700 under haze and cloudy skies. We took the East passage down Narragansett Bay. As we passed the NE end of Cannanicut I (Jamestown) Merlin headed closer to shore to take a look at the Siwicki's Sabre 38, Ava, as she peacefully bobbed at her mooring. Once past Newport where we again saw our friend Salut at anchor, the wind picked up a bit and the day became partly cloudy. We got to watch several 12-meter yachts playing off of Beavertail as we turned E and headed up Buzzard's Bay.
  • We sailed for a bit until the wind died to the point where the short trip to Cuittyhunk I became a 6-hr journey. We then motorsailed to the island were we found > 30 masts showing in the inner harbor. Because it looked so crowded inside, we decided to pick up moorings on the outside. At this time, the essentially non-existent wind decided to pipe up at 15 - 18 kts from the SW. I again failed to take the time to prep the foredeck for mooring pickup. I guess this was a combination of hubris, being tired, and laziness along with just being busy at the helm. The wind direction was steady so in spite of it I was able to lay Onward's bow right agains the upright mooring pennant. I grabbed the boathook and the Grab-N-Go hook and scampered to the bow. The pennant was well within arms length but I decided to hook it with the Grab-N-Go only to find out the hooks closure flap spring was too strong and it wouldn't allow me to hook the pennant because it was so easily moved. By the time I discovered this, the pennant was out of reach by hand so I grabbed it with the boat hook. The wind was too strong and I couldn't pull it back to the bow. So I made another pass but the wind blew me off. On the 3rd pass I again laid the bow against the pennant and was able to grab it and put a line through it. It took a lot of effort against he wind to finally get it moored with my bridle. That amazing gadget that allows you to hook an eye and then pull a line through it at the same time is starting to look really attractive to me!
  • We went ashore in Merlin's dinghy as Ed again enjoyed smooth operation at low rpms. It was hot and humid on shore and the wind that had piped up to make mooring a challenge disappeared. We took a long walk down to the Fishing Club and then to the beach NW of the harbor. Ed and Tina bought some swordfish chunks to cook for dinner and I enjoyed a hot "stuffy" at the pier.
  • I had to turn down the Merlins invitation to dinner because I was beat -- between the early rise to prep Onward to travel followed by a long day, the mooring mess, and then the walk. I had enough energy to get back to Onward and make an Onward toddy which I only drank a bit of before falling sound asleep in the cockpit. Just after sunset I awoke to warm up some angel hair pasta for dinner. After a peaceful dinner I was soon asleep.

15 July 13; Monday; Cuttyhunk to Edgartown
  • The Merlins fetched me at 0800 and we headed in and walked out to the Fishing Camp where we enjoyed one of their wonderful breakfasts on the porch. We then took a walk back to the highest point of the island with its beautiful vista. On the way back I dragged Tina into the library. Since she is a retired librarian media specialist, I've taken on the mission of seeing that she gets to go into all the libraries we pass. She reciprocates by dragging (without our protesting) Ed and I into every bookstore we pass. A good tradeoff.
  • The visit to the library solved a mystery that had always bothered me here. The road up to the highpoint is the only road on the island which is mostly paved with concrete and is bordered on both sides by really nice cut and mortared stone walls. The librarian told me that it was built to lead toward a large home that was to be built on the high point but for some reason she did not know was never built. During WW II this spot was used for a spotting bunker which is still there. The island's water supply cistern is also underground there.
  • Our walk completed we returned to the boats and dropped the moorings about 1100 and were on our way to Edgardown on Martha's Vineyard.
  • There was no wind so we motored all the way in calm seas and not much boat traffic. As we rounded the point at Oak Bluffs, we found our buddy, Salut, anchored off the strand at Edgartown. The weather was too calm for the Harbormaster to open up Lake Katama for anchoring so we anchored off the strand in about 20'.
  • After getting settled and cleaned up a bit, we headed into town for a walk. It was very hot and humid so our walk included several stoops in air conditioned stores. Tina did G2 at the visitors center to see what we should do tomorrow. After a pretty good walk around we headed back to the harbor where we ended up at the Harbor Shack - the same place Joseph and I had dinner on my first visit here in 2007.

16 July 13; Tuesday; Edgartown
  • We were ashore by 0915 to seek out a place to have a cappuccino before we went on a walking tour of town. I'll need to talk with Ed: since he is responsible for my new addiction to cappuccino, he should take more responsibility for funding it -- if not that the he at least should buy that $200 compact expresso machine that would fit nicely in Merlin's galley…
  • Our walking tour host was a former roofer who turned tour bus driver then decided he liked the sort of folks who were interested in walking tours. We had a nice wander through Edgartown and heard a familiar story: colonial farming and port town grown rich in the whaling era only to fall into the pits post Civil War only to be reborn after WW II as a summer resort and vacation destination. The rivalry between Oak Bluffs and Edgartown over tourism was interesting to hear about. They've managed to keep the modern era at bay -- but not as well as Nantucket has. All in all a very pleasant place to visit.
  • I brought along pieces of calzone for out lunch and we ate in a pleasant shady park. The we wandered off to the Cape Cod Museum for the afternoon. While there, we learned of a lecture to be given that evening about the 6-masted schooner era and we decided to attend. We had a pleasant walk around town with a pause for an afternoon cappuccino before going back to the museum for the lecture.
  • The speaker was a local marine biologist who had a fascination with finding old ship wrecks. So he related the short-lived era of the six-masted schooners that ran to about 300; length and could be handled by only 11 crew for transporting bulk cargos along the eastern seaboard, principally coal between Norfolk and Portland. Only 10 were built and 3 of those were wrecked near Marthas Vineyard and Cape Cod. All due to a combination of bad weather and poor knowledge of their location relative to wrecks and shoals. We learned of the speakers mystery hunt that finally located the wrecks. At the end of the talk there was a reception and it turned out that Tina, Ed, I and the speaker were the principal attendees.

17 July 13; Wednesday; Edgartown to Provincetown
  • I talked the Merlins into a reasonably early start to get a moderate positive current through Woods Hole and then have it with us all the way through the Cape Cod Canal. So we weighed anchor at 0730. The passage through Woods Hole was uneventful -- no mega-yacht going up on the rocks as in my previous passage. It was a bit of a sleigh ride traveling with the current. I again thanked the gods for the chart plotter where the route was fairly clear. I shudder at the thought of doing this for the first time with only paper charts as there are so many visual navigation aids they are confusing (as the mega-yacht had found).
  • We entered the Canal at 1100 with almost no wind and caught the current for a fast ride through emerging about 1300. As we approached the E end we were greeted with ~ 10 - 15 kt winds from the SW so we were able to have a pleasant sale across Cape Cod bay to Provincetown. As we approached the hook, we were greeted by the tall ship Kalmer Nichol from Delaware decorated with its delightful bright blue colors and intriguing carvings of the heads of many who were involved in its creation.
  • We picked up moorings at Flyers. Again the dying wind picked up to > 18 kts as Onward approached the mooring. I had to use > 1500 rpm just to hold station! On the second try I snagged the pennant.
  • A quick shower and I was off with the Merlins on the launch to explore town. The launch, we were told, would stop running at 2000 so that gave us < 3 hours ashore! BAAAH! We first walked to the Stop & Shop to get some essentials and then we walked into the hub of activity along the waterfront. The streets seemed quite. We didnt have enough time to walk toward the center of town where there are a lot of neat art galleries but we did stop at Bubulas for beers and ended up having a light dinner. Their "authentic Jamaican kitchen" did a wonderful jerk chicken that I had with caesar salad. As we walked back to the launch pier, we found the once empty streets full of men, early to late middle-aged men. There were few younger men in the throng and most were bare-chested with lots of tats. We never found out what started the mass flow of men heading in the opposite direction from us. This was the Provincetown "scene", I guess, which the younger generation apparently doesn't feel the need for.

18 July 13; Thursday; Provincetown to Isle of Shoals
  • We were off at 0700 to see how far E we could get. Winds were light but we did a bit of motorsailing across the empty stretch of water. In all my travels with Onward, I've yet to see a whale and this transit of their northeast habitat was no different.
  • With thunderstorms building over Portsmouth, we put into Isle of Shoals. I took a shortcut heading NE through the slot between the island with the lighthouse and Star Island. All of the big white mooring balls were occupied; there were a few other blue barrel moorings labeled PYC Only that I was hesitant to pick up. I picked up a disc mooring labeled Christina without difficulty in the calm water. Merlin came in and picked up another disc mooring just off my port bow.

19 July 13; Friday; Isle of Shoals to Peaks Island, Casco Bay
  • At 0700 I fetched Ed & Tina to help me go up the mast to install the new wind transducer wand. I was well organized and we have this down so it was a quick trip. I installed the new transducer after putting a protective grease coating on the plug contacts. We checked its operation and it was fine. I then put some wire ties on the extra wire up there for the connection to the masthead light. I also put some watertight tape on the splice to the wind transducer that I had to install when the first wand died. When I returned to the deck, I was astounded to find that the wind transducer was no longer working. I must have damaged a wire splice when I put the waterproof overwrap on and the wire ties. BAAAAAH!
  • I was too upset to go up again so I took the Merlins home and then we dropped the moorings and left for Casco Bay.
  • There was a little SSE-SSW wind so it was motorsailing E. I decided to use the quite time to work on this journal only to find that the writing I had done yesterday had all disappeared when the battery power suddenly dived. I guess its time for a new battery or a new laptop.
  • The density of lobster pot floats at depths of >150' was amazing as Onward approached Portland. Travel from here on will require constant vigilance. There is still no consistency in the way the floats are set up. Some have "toggles" some do not. There is no color coordination that allows one to determine which toggle goes with which float in crowded patches. One slight improvement is that many are now using a main float that has a 3 - 4' section of 1" PVC tubing passing though. There is often , ~ 30 - 40%, a flag attached to the above float segment. The below float segment helps get the line to the pot down deeper and out of the way -- in theory.. But as Merlin found yesterday they often have a whole hank of extra line fastened to the main line just beneath the float.
  • Merlin led the way into Portland channel and toward our destination at Peaks Island. I was following behind and doing due diligence looking for pots. Just after turning NW into the main channel at the outer buoys, Onward experienced a > 1.5 kt drop in SOG. I didn't hear anything other than the change in engine sound, and as had followed behind Merlin and not seen any floats I assumed it was due to a cross current. After a bit, the speed almost returned to normal -- but not quite.
  • Merlin arranged for moorings at Peaks Island Marina and as we approached, the wind which had been ~ 10 kts from the SW piped up to > 20 kts -- the Onward-in-the-mooring-field effect. Merlin picked up the mooring without incident only to later find a pot float nearby.
  • I was initially thinking of anchoring but was a bit reluctant due to the channel traffic and my lack of local knowledge. So I decided to take a mooring. For reasons I won't go into, I was not as clear headed as I needed to be. The wind was kind enough to die down to ~ 15 kts but it shifted to the W. This made the approach to the mooring a challenge and put Onward's stern close to a lee shore. Ed radioed the distance between Onward's bow and the mooring so I was able to lay up against it. I was under pressure to get the pickup done quickly due to the lee shore. For some reason, it took much longer that normal to lock the steering wheel so I could go forward. So I was a bit in a rush to get on deck before Onward got blown away from the mooring. This time I had been clever enough to have the foredeck prepared with the boat hook and the Grab-N-Go system (backup).
  • As I stepped hurriedly out of the cockpit my left foot slipped sideways to the toe rail and I fell forward. Being in a hurry, I had not grabbed the dodger strut as I always do in climbing out. So, when I fell forward my fall was broken by my right arm as all my weight impacted on the strut with the tendon and muscle just above the elbow. The pain was so intense I almost blacked out. The lee shore brought out my adrenaline and I forced myself to the bow where luckily the mooring and painters were just off the starboard bow as planned. I was able to use the boathook to get the painter aboard and on a cleat before the intensity of pain in my right arm overcame me for a while.
  • I eventually made my way back to the cockpit and just lay down hoping the pain would ebb. Fortunately it seemed to be a sever impact injury without the hint of anything broken. The Merlins got to watch the show and launched their dinghy to come over and check things out. By the time they arrived, the pain had become manageable but my right arm remained useless. As they tied up to the starboard mid-ship cleat, they noticed a pot float peeking out of the water from under the hull.
  • I managed to rouse myself and got out a dock line that Tina slipped around the bottom of the float and then they tried to pull it forward with the dinghy. This didn't work we just tied off the dock line to the cleat and I went back to just trying to recover.

20 July 13; Saturday; Peaks Island / Portland
  • I was awoken at midnight by the pain in my arm but, thankfully, a couple of acetominaphen managed to ameliorate it enough to go back to sleep. When I awoke at 0500 it was much better with reduced pain and increased range of motion. Good!
  • During the night I kept having snippets of dreams about how to untangle the pot float. When I had had my morning coffee and breakfast, I set out to try to free Onward of the parasitic float. I tied a 35' dock line to the line that Tina had gotten around the float and then led it forward around the bow and to the windlass. Fun with < 1 1/4 arms. I couldn't pull it forward so deduced that it must be wrapped around the keel the other way. So I took the Grab-N-Go hook and its > 50' of line and led it from the port mid-ship cleat around the stern to the line on the float. I then took the loop of heavy chain I keep in case I need a kellet or need to pull out a stuck anchor and used it to sink the hook line under the rudder. At this time Ed dinghied over and helped with this operation. That done, I was easily able to pull the float around the back of the keel and to my surprise, discovered that there was one of those floats with a pipe through it attached. The pot had broken (my guess) or been cut free. What a relief to get that problem solved.
  • We dinghied ashore and took the 0945 ferry over to Portland. There the first order of business was to feed the cappuccino addiction Ed is responsible for inducing in me. Master-planner, Tina, then led some research on what we should do. We first walk up the hill to the NE to visit the Portland Observatory -- a marine spotting tower from the 1800's used to inform ship owners when their ships were approaching at sea so that cargo handling arrangements could be made.

Portland Marine Observatory

  • Portland "Pirate Personal":

Scurvy-free Buccaneer seeks well-rigged Wench for sharing grog, long walks on the plank, and quiet nights in the booty hatch. Must occasionally help raise the main mast and polish the cannon balls. (Hornswaggling will not be tolerated.) Hmm.., maybe I can adapt this for Onward's crew call…

  • We then took a long walk to the W to check out the Children's Museum. It was a hot and humid day that made walking a bit of a chore. Along the way, we got a historical / architectural tour of sorts. For a rather small and out of the way city, Portland has a good deal of interesting and varied architectural styles. At one point there was a small central square with a monument and around it were arranged several sets of up and down stairs about 10 stairs high and 4' wide arranged about the monument. I watched 4 women slowly circumnavigate the statue by climbing up and down the steps. Three were clad in plain gray sack-like dresses and another was clad in a similar dress in black. And they did this in the heat and sun! No idea why they were doing it.
  • We took the 1930 ferry back to Peaks Island and returned to our boats for an early night.

21 July 13; Sunday; Peaks Island to Snow Island
  • The good news is I almost have a right arm this morning. While the bruise has blamed, the pain has decreased substantially and the range of motion is almost normal. Praise God!
  • About 0830 we went ashore to deposit trash and go for a walk. We circumnavigated the N half of the island before crossing back to the marina. For being the most populated island in Casco Bay with some 1600 year-round residents and > 10000 at peak summer times, there is large about of empty land on the island. Once clear cut like most of the land in Maine, it is slowly returning to a costal forrest. Our walk done we did a bit of shopping at the local grocery where the "ATM Pizza" sign had intrigued me.
  • We departed the marina at ~ 1100 and motored around the S end and out to the ocean before tuning E and the NE to travel up to Snows Island. The high density of lobster pot floats (LPF) required constant vigilance and thus gave me little time to relax. There was a light SW wind and while Merlin set its genoa, Onward remained under bare poles to give my right arm further rest. At some point along the trip, I noticed that the wind speed and direction instrument was again operating. No idea what's going on there.
  • We anchored in ~ 20' in the middle of a 9' tide in the basin S of Snow Island in Quahog Bay. Once settled, I put some of the Sam Adams Seasonal Larger cans I'd discovered at the little grocery into the cooler. Then I had a cold beer, read a bit and took a delicious nap. The Merlins went off exploring in their dinghy while I rested. I fell soundly asleep for ~ 2 hours. I'm beginning to worry a bit about how tired I am getting in the afternoons. Perhaps this is just a result of the stress of my arm injury….
  • The Merlins visited a couple of other boats that came into the anchorage while I napped. One of them was from the UK; Ruffian; a 34-footer with Iain & Fiona Lewis aboard. They invited us over for cocktails at 1830 where we met guests J.W. and Jinny Eads from Over Budget. We had a fine time as the conversations roamed widely until the mosquitos put an end to it. I had invited the Merlins over to share the rotisserie chicken I bought this morning at the "ATM Pizza" place but we decided we'd noshed enough. I went back to reading Dorthy Sayers and was soon asleep.

22 July 13; Monday; Snow I
  • This morning my right arm is almost normal but the bruise is still painful and the range of motion is still limited -- but it is better than yesterday morning as I wasn't woken up with pain during the night. The trick will be to begin to use it bun not overuse it.
  • I made a batch of pepper biscotti dough to bake tomorrow morning. Then I actually managed to get myself to work on the Sisyphusian task of bringing order to the forward part of Onward. The Ruffians came over to visit and I showed Iain the gasket making paste I carry for emergencies as his outboard seems to have had a hard time with gasohol.
  • Ed called and volunteered to come over and assist me get Venture up on the foredeck and fix the leak in the bow tube. We used the spinnaker halyard to lift it on deck with the bow toward the mast so we could work. The first order of business was to get an existing patch off to get at the leak hiding underneath. In the process of doing this I was in an awkward position and managed to puncture the tube anew with the small tool I was using to help remove the old patch. Once the old patch was off we prepared a larger are surrounding the two leaks so that there would be a large area of new patch material around the wounds. The dremmel tool with a ogive-shaped grinding stone is great for doing this. That done, we cut patches to fit the areas and then I used the new 2-part glue I'd bought in RI. This seemed to go on very nicely and we had no problem getting the new patches in place. We then used rollers to make sure the contact was firm.
  • This task done, Ed returned to Merlin and I made myself lunch. I rewarded myself (i.e., was just plain lazy) and took the afternoon off to finish the Dorothy Sayers mystery.
  • I had a nice chat with Laura today and heard she survived her first trek to take Elena to nursery school with Kian along. He got to meet lots of the other parents and teachers at the school and Elena got to play big sister. She started off the conversation by asking me about my arm. I was a bit surprised because I have been kidding her that as one of the people I had started writing this journal for it seemed she seldom read it. I guess I will have to amend this belief now.
  • The Merlins invited me over for dinner so I took along the rotisserie chicken we were going to have last night which I had vacuum bagged and frozen. While we were below having cocktails, the Over Budgets came by to say hello. Ed invited them aboard. As they had already had dinner, we ate our dinner (Tina sautéed the chicken in olive oil, garlic, and rosemary along with freshly sautéed squash and herbs) and talked. After the Over Budgets departed, I watched another episode of The Borgias with Ed and TIna.

23 July 13; Tuesday; Snow I
  • My arm continues to improve although I still cannot fully extend it without pain. But progress seems to be reasonable.
  • Just before 0500 it began to rain and the intensity picked up to a deluge. We considered moving but then realized everyplace looks the same in heavy rain so we declared a lazy day in place. I got busy early on baking pepper biscotti while I worked on miscellaneous boat chores. By 1030, the baking was done and I could not resist the idea of crawling back into a warm bed for an hour while it poured outside.
  • After lunch, I was feeling energetic so I invited the Merlins and the Over Budgets over for a spaghetti and meatballs dinner. This motivated me to organize and stow the mess of boat stuff that has occupied the forward berth since Annapolis. It is amazing how much larger and neater the interior looks with all that stowed!
  • I managed to get Venture relaunched from the foredeck by myself.
  • At 1830 my guests arrived. Tina baked some hot hors d'oeuvres. Delish! We had a grand time over drinks and dinner and the bon homie lasted until the first wave of mosquitos hit which forced us to disperse. I put in the companionway screen and sprayed around the screens with Cutter repellant. I then climbed into bed to read. I was surprised by the number of mosquitos that managed to find my lair. The good thing was that they were attracted to the light of the iPad and when they got close, I could shine the iPad on the overhead fiberglass which was still warm from the heat of the day. The skeeters are attracted to this and I can then easily eliminate them.
  • I awoke to a rainy morning. The first order of the day was to get a bath of pepper biscotti into the oven then catch up on writing and financial tasks. By 1100 we decided it was no use moving in the rain so we would depart for Boothbay Harbor from here in the morning. I couldn't resist the idea of taking a late-morning nap while it poured outside. Delish!
  • I had a great phone call from my son Joseph today. Talking with him always gives me a boost and I come away feeling a bit more saner -- this in spite of the fact that I get a lecture from him on my need to do more cardio exercise and improve my diet.
  • Last night I put some air in the dinghy with the 12-V air pump and this morning it seemed to hold better but not perfectly. When I went out on deck to pull the drain plug to get rid of all the rainwater in it, I used the hand pump to bring it up to usable inflation pressure. I discovered Ed had set the valve to deflate mode so only the poorly sealed outer cap of the valve was holding the pressure -- likely the reason why it hadn't held pressure as well as I expected. We'll see later when it is splashed.

24 July 13; Wednesday; Show I to Boothbay Harbor
  • My arm continues to improve and today there was little pain and only a small reduction in my range of motion. Thank God.
  • We awoke to dense fog that hid the boats anchored nearby. So we waited around until three was at least a couple of boat-lengths of visibility so we could see the LPFs.
  • As I cleaned up the cockpit and prepared to get underway, I decided to crush some plastic recyclables and in the process slipped and in preventing myself from falling, reinsured my right arm so I now have another bruise but in a different place.
  • I found that the screen had come off the starboard deck hatch for my stateroom so that explains how the mosquitos got in last night.
  • As I put Venture up on the davits, I found that a new pinpoint leak had developed so I have yet another patch to apply. Soon Venture will be all patches. It is a good thing I bid and won on a big roll of white hypalon at the Staniel Cay Yacht Club New Years Auction a couple of years ago.
  • About 0930 the fog got thin enough to see enough to navigate and we weighed anchor and headed out. Just as Onward's anchor came up, the 130' charter yacht that came in and anchored nearby yesterday also weighed anchor and headed S. I followed at low speed, ~ 3.5 kts. We decided to take the E side of the island as we went S so that we would not have to go through the mooring field in the fog.
  • The fog held until just outside of Booth Bay. Moving at low speed and using radar, it was no problem to navigate in the fog. There were several boats that passed and I only saw them on radar. Merlin followed along but got separated several times when the fog thickened. The real challenge was staying alertly on task searching the limits of vision ahead for LPFs. Often visibility was 100 yds or less so constant vigilance was needed in order to be able to react and steer out of the way. The seas were very calm which was a help. The other good news: there were few LPFs with toggles. Onward's navigation setup with the navseat in front of the chartplotter and it perched high enough to see over the bow was a big help.
  • We reached Booth Bay and were rewarded by the disappearance of the fog. We headed over to Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club and the club steward came out in the launch to show us to our moorings. As Onward approached the mooring, it looked like there was a bright orange pickup float for the pennant. However, a boat length away, I realized it was a lobster float at the same time Ed called to warn me of the same thing. I put it into neutral so I could glide up to the mooring with Ed helping by calling out the distance. I was able to snag the pennant with the boathook on the first attempt and ended up with the LPF amidships. What a pain. I may go out in the dingy and tow it away before I leave.
  • About 1630 the Merlins picked me up in their dinghy and we went into the BHYC for cocktails. We were greeted with piano music and thought "how nice, BHYC has a piano bar". We found out it was fellow Corinthian Brian Callahan. We ended having drinks with he and his wife Marjorie. They are also members of the Annapolis Sabre Club and wee the folks Ed and Tina went over to say hello when they say their boat Sails Call on a mooring.
  • The Boothbay Chamber Music ensemble was having a cocktail hour at the BHYC and we were offered quite a selection of hors d'oeuvres. We then walked about 0.75 mi and crossed the bridge over Townsend gut to have dinner at Robertsons Pier where I had taken my crew to dinner at the start of my first Corinthian Maine Cruise. I had my first taste of lobster, lazy mans lobster already shelled and sautéed. Delish. We exercised good restraint and walked right past the ice cream store. However, when I got back to BHYC, I realized I had not yet had my fix of a Maine blueberry pie. Something to be done as soon as possible!
  • One of the joys of my retirement has been my reconnection with college friends as many of my contemporary fraternity brothers meet for a monthly dinner in East Greenwich and I have been able to attend many of them during my visits. It seems that every other year my wandering schedule and their dinner schedule overlap. This year I had to depart for Maine and could not be in RI for the annual Chi Phi Lobster Boil that I had been able to attend last year. It was tonight and I got a couple of phone calls from fraternity brothers Paul Lane, Paul Turcotte, Paul Chassey, and Pete Waddington to say hello and to raise a virtual glass with me. Neat!
25 July 13; Thursday; Boothbay Harbor
  • I worked on boat chores while the Merlins went to BHYC to to laundry. In late morning we headed ashore to explore the town a bit. It took me two tries before I found a hair salon that could give me a haircut. What a nice way to lose a couple of pounds. I caught up with the Merlins in time to have lunch. I had a caesar salad with fried oysters that was wonderful at the restaurant that specializes in oysters on the waterfront near the footbridge. We did some grandparent shopping before returning to the boats.
  • I had decided to experiment on my fellow Corinthians by making mini-pepperoni rolls. I have been looking for a warm item that I could make to take to cocktail parties. This has to be easy and quick and not require exotic components. So, this morning I made a batch of rosemary olive oil bread dough and added a tablespoon of caraway seeds to give it a rye bread flavor. It took me less than 20 minutes to make 50 bite-size pepperoni rolls and then only 25 minutes to bake them.
  • The Merlins fetched me and I took the pepperoni rolls ashore at 1700 for the Corinthians cocktail hour at BHYC. The club was also having a meet and greet for new members and in stead of the Corinthians meeting separately we became one large group. I put out the pepperoni rolls but there was such a press of people I didn't have a chance to point them out to my Corinthian friends. After a bit, the Corinthians broke off to have dinner while the others were still grazing. At the end of the night, the pepperoni rolls were gone so I guess people liked them -- I know I did and will make them in the future.
  • The current Commodore of the BHYC, Neil Newton, is a Corinthian and I got to meet him and several new-to-me Corinthians. I also got to meet up with old friends like Wally Savory, David and Margit Linforth, J Jay and Jill Mautner, Jay and Linda Kiszkiel, as well as Marge and Brian Callahan. The food was great and the bon homie even better. I am really thankful to Mike Yorke for introducing me to the Corinthians as it has become a great positive social element in my life.

26 July 13; Friday; Boothbay Harbor
  • A cold, overcast, rainy morning. I used it to work on this journal. After 2 hours of writing, a power supply problem caused the laptop to shut down and all my writing was gone! BAAAH! I couldn't face rewriting at this time.
  • In casting about for something to do, I realized that I needed to update my inventory of books that I read. While living in Annapolis and visiting the library a couple of times a week, I found it useful to begin a list of the books I read so that I wouldn't inadvertently reselect one to read again because some authors select such similar themed titles. As I began my cursing life, I was worried about not having enough to read aboard so I began to visit used bookstores to expand my collection. This soon grew to the point where I needed an inventory of books aboard that I would also check off as I read them. Then came the iPad. It wasn't very long until I realized that I preferred reading eBooks. It was handy that the various eReaders I use on the iPad kept a list of books -- so I grew out of using my inventories. Well, things have come almost full circle as the number of eBooks I have and have read has grown so much that I need an inventory of them. So today, to assuage my pique at losing the day's writing, I decided to busy myself by updating my inventory of books read. I started with the print books and then went on to the eBooks. I was surprised by how many eBooks I've read. The book industry should take note of my experience: even with my policy of mostly refusing to buy eBooks that are > ~$10 and preferring those < $5, I've spent orders of magnitude more $ on eBooks than I ever did on print books.
  • When the rain finally stopped, the Merlins came over to fetch me and we went into town with two missions: get some blueberry pie and do some food shopping for the next few days. Along the way, we stopped at a garden center where Onward's horticultural consultant, Tina, advised me on the purchased of a mint plant so I can make fresh Mojitos. We returned to the boats to drop off our swag.
  • We went into town and met the Sails Calls at the dinghy pier and went off to have a light dinner before going to the concert. I had a great Haddock chowder at the Chowder House - and some more blueberry pie. Then it was off to the concert at the local Opera House where the folks from Music Doing Good and the Delfayo Marsallis quartet teamed up for a great night of jazz and songs from the American Songbook. Last year the Moondances and I had stumbled on the same concert and had another great time.

27 July 13; Saturday; Boothbay Harbor to Poorhouse Cove, Johns River
  • Sun! I woke up to a day promising to be clear and sunny! Wow! Neat!
  • Sister Kathy just called. Today is the wedding shower for niece Kristen at my sister's home and there's sun for the first time in days! Early this morning I woke up feeling guilty because during the night I remembered the shower. I had assumed it was just for the "girls" -- but in the night I began to wonder if I should have planned to be there if it was a "double". It turns out I can rest with a clear conscience. At least I made a tiny contribution by helping Kathy and Andy get all the lawn & patio furniture ready.
  • We dropped the moorings about 0815 and headed out on the beautiful, crisp, clear, sunny morning in a dead calm. It was E through Fishermans Passage across Linekin Bay and then up the Johns River. It is amazing how easy it was to see the LPF in bright sunlight, calm, and no fog! We poked into Poorhouse Cove on the W shore at almost dead low in a 10' tide and went as far in as we felt comfortable before anchoring about 1045.
  • I relaxed and read a new book then had lunch and took a nap in the sun. Delish. In the afternoon, I worked on putting on a patch on the new leak I discovered in Venture's bow. The outer hypalon layer is really degraded. I believe this is in large part due to a bad batch of material used by Apex to make this boat and also due to UV degradation. I may not have more than another season out of it before having to replace it.
  • I got a call from Laura, Kurlen and Elena. Elena liked my the video I sent her and Laura tells me she talks back to me when I talk with her. Fun. This brings back great memories of the week they spent cruising Penobscot Bay with me.
  • I had a nice phone conversation with Joahna who is embarked on a new career adventure in Park City doing something that seems tailor-made for her.
  • I invited the Merlins over for a beef stew dinner. When I bought stew beef, I trimmed it and cut it into smaller pieces and vacuum banged it. Today when I thawed out the frozen package it was like the beef had just come from the store. I love that vacuum bagger. I used the fresh vegetables I bought the other day for the stew. I then took the second half of the bread dough I made for the pepperoni roll experiment and made small dinner loaves.
  • This afternoon I discovered that the Steward had neglected to water the mint plant. Water brought it back to normal and Tina harvested enough for us to make Mojitos for cocktail hour. We all enjoyed the City of Ships Cheddar cheese I bought in Boothbay Harbor. The stew and fresh bread was great. Tina made an amazing berry pie with strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. Delish. (I can't believe I let her take the small remnant home!) We capped off the evening with a game of Farkle where Tina soundly trounced Ed and I.

28 July 13; Sunday; Poorhouse Cove to Boothbay Harbor
  • My right shoulder was aching a bit during the night and woke me up a couple of times. I don't think this is connected to the injury as it has happened previously. The funny thing is that it doesn't bother me during the day but only at night and when lying down and there seems to be no position I can put it in to alleviate the pain -- go figure.
  • My right arm is about back to normal with > 95% of strength and range of motion with only a small area where it is painful. On Thursday, I noticed and the Merlins confirmed that my right forearm and upper arm is slightly swollen and a tiny bit off-color to the yellow. It also seems to be a warmer than the left. This morning I confirmed with my IR thermometer that the right arm is 3 to 5 ºF warmer than the left. Puzzling.
  • The morning which was sunny at 0530 had turned foggy by 0700 and rainy by 0830. I spent the balance of the morning changing the oil and filter on the Yanmar and the Fischer-Panda generator. I was patient and managed to do it without spilling anything. It happens sometimes. I also tensioned the fan belt.
  • For lunch I made a sandwich using the rolls I baked yesterday. They were unbelievably good. Only problem is I'll need to bake more because they are so hard to keep uneaten aboard.
  • Ed and I made plans for him to take the dinghy over so I could work on putting a patch where Venture's forward starboard tube meets the fiberglass. There is a small gap there where the joining tape has been worn off and it will scoop water into the RIB when the bow is down. However it remained too rainy to do the job.
  • The Merlins made a pork roast dinner and dragooned me into helping eat it. What's a friend to do? So I tucked in and it was Delish! We rounded out the day watching a segment of The Borgias - such sweethearts.

29 July 13; Monday;
  • A foggy morning greeted me this morning. I also found that the patching of Venture has apparently been successful as I found it still inflated this morning. It does a man proud when he finds his dinghy firm and hard in the morning!
  • By 0830 the fog had burned off enough to depart and Onward led the parade out of the cover and down the Johns River back to Boothbay Harbor. In this area, the lobstermen use only a lobster float -- without a toggle. That, and the fact that they align with the river current parallel to Onward's direction of travel makes it relatively easy to navigate through them. I allow the autopilot to steer and usually find I need to make only + or - 10º corrections and can "aim" for long distances of travel between corrections.
  • While underway today I engaged in "fabric management": I found a bag of old shirts that I cut up into squares to use for cleaning and polishing tasks. I also found the old dodger canvas and I proceeded to cut off the zippers which were still in good shape and trim the canvas so I can use it to make storage bags. I may make a new navy blue cover for the gas grill to replace the existing tan colored cover that I found floating in a harbor a several years ago.
  • There was no wind so it was an easy motor trip over calm seas with very gentle swells back to Boothbay Harbor. Merlin engaged a mooring at Browns Wharf and Onward at the Carousel as Browns wanted an additional $15 a day for my size. I made a delicious sandwich for lunch with another of the rolls I baked and read for awhile before succumbing to a nap. Truth be told, I had a can of anesthetic with the sandwich; beer really puts me out if I am not actively moving around.
  • While the Merlins were off running errands, I decided to make another repair to Venture: the tape that seals the starboard forward tube to the fiberglass hull had worn through at the junction and this allowed water to get in when the bow was down. So, I hung a bit upside down from the port stern seat to do the repair.
  • Sister Kathy called today to say that the shower for daughter Kristen went well and they were blessed by the only sunny day in weeks. She priority mailed the replacement outboard shift lever to me so I should get it in a couple of days.
  • John and Vivian Eicke arrived at a B&B for a visit and the Merlins met them ashore while I cleaned up and then followed after in newly repaired Venture. First I went into the marina to pay the fee. I discovered that for some reason the outboard would not run above fast idle speed -- the high speed jets were just not kicking in. But it was still much better than rowing. By the time I was finished in the office, the Merlins had brought the Eikes back for cocktail hour aboard and I joined them.
  • They gave Venture a 5-min head start and then followed me in to the dinghy dock, beating me, of course, on the way to dinner. Once at the pier, I took the cover off the engine and checked the sparkpulg wires and found them OK. I then checked the throttle linkage and it looked OK at first and then I noticed the link to the butterfly plate was not connected; Ed had theorized that the butterfly was stuck and so it turned out to be. I couldn't get it unstuck so I left it to work on in the morning.
  • We went to the Boathouse Grill for dinner. They have a really nice menu including a full range of tapas. There were so many items of interest I could eat there for a week. I had a lobster tail with asparagus risotto. Delish. Rain began on my slow trip back to Onward and I was drenched by the time I got back aboard. But within minutes I was toweled dry and snugly (if lonely) warm in bed.

30 July 13; Tuesday; Boothbay Harbor
  • Another foggy morning but the weather forecast is promising sun. First item of the day was to work on Venture's outboard. The butterfly valve shaft on the carburetor was stuck solid and would not move. I applied some PB Blaster to it and after a few minutes was able to rotate it with pliers. In a bit it was back to moving free. Weird. Why should this happen after ~ 10 days of inaction? The butterfly moving free fixed the problem and the outboard was back to operating normally.
  • At 0900 John and Vivian met us at the dinghy pier with their SUV and we headed off to Hannafords for groceries. That done we schlepped them back to the boats. I invited all over for dinner tonight and I decided to bake some dinner rolls so I quickly whipped up a batch of bread dough. I packed a sandwich and headed ashore where we met to drive out to the Costal Maine Botanical Garden - that local gem.
  • While taking Venture back to Onward, I came across a fleet of Opties sailing around with ~ 6-yr olds at the helm. I went over and made a video for Elena. For the last year or so, I have been making ~ 15-second videos of me in various settings (and with various animal statues) to send to Elena and now Elena and Kian. I find this helps keep the little ones familiar with me even though we are so far apart. Laura tells me Elena talks back to me when I talk to her on the videos. Neat.
  • It was a perfect day for touring the garden and the parking lot was almost full. I think this was my fourth visit to the Garden and it gets better each time. The polished stainless steel kinetic sculpture that remains from the large exhibit I saw on my first visit still manages to capture me. As it moves with the wind and rotates along 3 different axes, it constantly looks different as it contrast with the trees and reflects the sky and clouds. Neat! Next year they are planning to build a pier in the river so it will be possible to come ashore by boat. We stopped for lunch and as I had already had my sandwich I just wanted a piece of blueberry pie. Well the last one was taken just before the waitress went to get mine. That set off a quest for blueberry pies. On the way back we stopped at Hannafords again and I managed to find a half-pie. Then as we drove back to the dinghy dock, we passed a small store that had a "Homemade Pies" sign on the sidewalk. So I ran in and found a 3-berry pie as the blueberry pies were gone. Pies in hand, I returned to Onward and my guests soon arrived for cocktails. We grilled potatoes, onions, and brussels sprouts and then chicken breasts. Ed did a fine job as drillmaster. We topped off the evening with berry pies. Delish!

31 July 13; Wednesday; Boothbay Harbor
  • A beautiful sunny morning. But last night wasn't fun as I guess I let my electrolyte balance get out of hand as I was awaken at 0100 with the beginning of very painful cramps in my right leg. I managed to get out of bed before the pain became disabling and got to the galley for a bottle of tonic water. I was able to drink this between pain spasms and luckily after a few minutes the cramps subsided. I guess I didn't drink enough water or eat enough salty food yesterday.
  • By 0630 the Steward was on task and had all the dishes washed and the galley and cockpit cleaned. Sometimes he is a gem.
  • The Merlins fetched me and we met the Eickes at the pier of MV Beautiful Day II at 0900 for a trip out to Monhegan Island. This is one of Maine's most seaward islands and site of pre-colonial fishing villages. It is noted for its rugged beauty with its E coast of sheer cliffs and headlands. Most of the island is an un occupied forest owned by a land trust. The SW corner of the "Plantation" is inhabited with many homes of summer and a few year-round inhabitants as well as a hotel, deli, general store and several art galleries.
  • I have sailed past it to the N several times but have not visited because of its limited mooring facilities in the small harbor. So today we took a pleasant ~ 1.5 hr boat ride on a clear, crisp, sunny, calm day to have a 4-hour visit. After landing at the pier, we quickly headed NE to take one of many trails over to the eastern headlands. Except for a few places where the terrain was steep and footholds a bit limited, the hiking was easy. The first headland we encountered was Whitehead and was well worth the effort to get there. We then headed N along the cliff edge encountering a series of breathtaking views. I eventually found a place with both shade and a view and we stopped to eat the sandwiches we packed in with us. After lunch we headed back W across the island on a different trail back toward the village. The Merlins and I then went up to the Museum housed in the lighthouse and light keepers house. It was interesting to see the many artifacts they have discovered that indicate human occupation going back ~ 8500 years in the islands role as an off-shore base nearer the source of swordfish and cod.
  • In the evening we went to dinner at Ports of Italy and had a fine dinner. I had thin veal wrapped around a mixture of spinach, mushrooms, and mild sausage. Delish. After dinner we headed to the Opera House for performance by Danny Beal described as Maine's Garrison Keeler, and his musician friends, . We were rewarded by a night of good down-East humor and music. Very enjoyable.