Onward’s Cruise Journal 2013
Cruise to New England

Friends: Verizon Wireless Network in N & NE Penobscot Bay SUCKS! My apologies for inability to update this log or get & respond to email.

Updated: 1 September 2013

August 2013

1 August 13; Thursday; Boothbay Harbor

  • I went ashore this morning to pick up the priority mail package from Kathy that has the replacement throttle for the outboard. This part has been chasing me around the country and the shipment costs have now probably been 2 x the item cost. It turns out one of the two mega-yachts at the pier got a lot of mail and my package went aboard to them yesterday. I guess after opening it they didn't need an outboard throttle lever because they sent it back to the marina office.
  • I Ventured in to the pier and met the Burkes and the Eickes and headed off to visit a local artist in stained glass. The studio looked a bit like the Beverly Hillbillies house but the glass work was beautiful. I wandered over to the shop where they make the pieces and I got to watch one being assembled. They use copper foil to wrap the edges of the glass pieces and then they spray with an organic liquid flux that then allows the solder (60:40) to flow over the copper and hold the pieces together. Neat. I couldn't get away without buying two small pieces.
  • We then headed N to stop at the Edgecomb Pottery (www.edgecombpotters.com). I have visited here on previous trips yet was impressed with the beauty of the unusual glazes the owners have developed to produce deep and vibrant colors with a crystalline surface. They also represent some 350 other artists in all kinds of media including sculpture and jewelry. The result is one of the most eclectic and beautiful collections I have seen. I got captured into buying some beautiful earrings for future presents.
  • Shopping done we continued N to stop at the Damariscotta where we had lunch at a pub at the edge of town. They had a delightful selection of craft beers and I had a delicious caesar salad with haddock. Delish.
  • We pressed on to visit the Maine state park at Colonial Pemaquid. This site located just SE across the Johns River from Poorhouse Cove where we spent last weekend has been occupied since the early 1600s as a fishing camp / processing station. It has a beautiful harbor with 360º protection. The museum has one of the richest collections of artifacts I have ever seen in my visits to various historical sites. The area was a crossroads of several cultures and was apparently well-off enough to own nice things. A reconstructed segment of the colonial forts provides a beautiful vista of the area. Well worth the visit.
  • It was back to Damariscotta where I had a pick-me-up cappuccino while browsing through the book store. We had a light dinner at a local restaurant before heading off to the Boothbay Playhouse. There we saw a delightful musical "Once Upon an Island" with a young and energetic cast that was quite good. It was a perfect end to our day of exploration. I said farewell to John and Vivian who are heading S tomorrow and thanked them for the exploration they had enabled.
  • When I started the outboard, I found it would not throttle down to low rpm. However I was able to get it in gear and head out to Onward as rain began. When I approached Onward, I could not get the outboard to throttle back or shift out of gear! This was a bit startling in the pitch black night. I got down off the seat onto the deck just to be sure a sudden turn didn't throw me off. I had to circle Onward a couple of times to figure out what to do. I eventually came up from the stern and killed the engine by over choking it and then coasted up to the stern in the calm water. My judgement was off by 6' and I had to row the last bit. My guess is that the throttle butterfly shaft is still sticking -- just enough so the spring that is to cause it to throttle back is not able to do its job. I thought of trying to unstick it while I was moving but was afraid of hitting something while moving and working on the throttle at the same time. A priority job for tomorrow.

2 August 13; Friday; Boothbay Harbor
  • I was up and about a little after 0500. It had rained a good deal of the night. I was astonished to find that the hatch over the navstation had leaked a bit and there was some water on the shelf over the desk and on the lid of my laptop. I try to make it a habit never to leave the lid open when I am not using it -- just in case. In spite of this I found some water had seeped around the edges of the cover and I found it necessary to use the hairdryer to get the moisture out completely. As soon as the rain is gone I will have to find out what is going on. This hatch has never leaked before. I haven't opened it since preparing for the approach of Sandy last year -- just to be sure water would not leak onto the computer!
  • It was a good morning to catch up on financial management and boat chores. I gave myself time off for lunch and when it was done, the sun had come out so I could do outside tasks. I installed the new shift lever on the outboard. Much easier to shift now! I also checked the carburetor problem I had last night and found that the throttle butterfly valve shaft was not turning as smoothly as it should and this was causing just enough resistance that the spring that is to return it to low speed conditions could not turn it -- hence my inability to slow it down last night. I oiled the shaft and put lanocote grease on all the springs and moving linkages. It worked very smoothly. Now I'll have to see how long this fix lasts. I cleaned the gasket on the hatch over the navstation and treated it with Armor-all. Not sure if this will work.
  • I was cleaning myself up when I heard someone hail Onward. I stuck my head out and a couple in a dinghy said hello and that they liked my boat. I thanked them and then they asked if they could visit so I invited them aboard and went down to become presentable. The folks turned out to be fellow C470 owners Jodi and Gary Bratton on SV Country Dancer. I knew of them from the C470 Owners Group but had not met them. They told me their tale of having left Norfolk for Ireland on 15 June and running in to a series of offshore lows resulting in a knockdown and then rudder problems. They turned around and after repairs headed off for Maine. They were anchored in Linekin Bay nearby and came in by dingy to visit the town. We had a nice visit and made plans to spend some time together during Onward's stay in Maine.
  • My chores done I took the 2.5 gal of wast oil I had been carrying around over to the marina for disposal. Merlin had moved into the Browns slip and as I stopped by to say hello Alison, Mike and granddaughter Morgan arrived for their visit. I went into to the hardware store to look for material to seal the hypalon tubes where they have become slightly porous due to abrasion and while I got there just at closing they helped me out and I bought something that I put on to try.
  • By this time the beautiful sunny Maine day was deteriorating as a thunderstorm went by just to the N. After the bit of rain for it I joined the Merlins and guests at the Boothbay Lobster Deck. I had a nice large lobster and it was good. However, I may stick to lobster rolls from here on out: good eating, no work or mess.

3 August 13; Saturday; Boothbay Harbor to Linekin Bay
  • The morning promised a partly sunny day with a bit of fog -- but by 0800 a rain front began to move through. I took the time to do more work on the laptop. I dropped the mooring about 1100 and went in to fill Onward's water tanks before heading out of the harbor. By this time the sky had cleared and a "Maine day" had developed with wind SW at 10 - 12 kts; a perfect day for a daysail. I called Ed to see if they were interested in a day sail for lunch as I remembered how hard it was to get Onward out of its slip to do so when Elena had Mom & Dad aboard in Baltimore last fall. When they agreed I circled back to pick them up from the face dock. We had a pleasant 2-hr sail around the outer bay. Morgan, Ed & Tina's 18-mo old granddaughter is fascinated with buttons and immediately set about trying to reprogram my instrument displays.
  • After dropping off my guests I made the short trip into Linekin Bay where I anchored for the night and enjoyed a quiet evening of reading.

4 August 13; Sunday; Linekin Bay
  • Another archetypical Maine day. Great! I used the quite and the warm to work on boat tasks I can't do while moving around.
  • The first order of business was to swap out the genoa sheet cars. After watching Tina and Alison struggling with making the genoa sheets run free yesterday, I took a closer look and found that the genoa sheets have gotten a bit fuzzy with use -- just enough so that they no longer run smoothly through the undersized blocks. When I bought the genoa track blocks with ball-bearing slides that can be moved under load, I erred in selecting too small a width block. The original genoa sheets ran ok but not completely freely. The new genoa sheets that I installed a year or so ago ran the same way but after use the cover is just a bit fuzzy and that has caused the friction with the cheeks of the blocks to be too high and the lines do not run freely. So today I swapped them out for the original non-ball bearing cars and disassembled the control lines that are not needed. I will clean up these Garhauer cars and put them up for sale and buy cars with the winder blocks.
  • I disassembled the windlass and installed the new rode sensor magnet. I used filled epoxy to seal it in place and then went around screw holes in the fiberglass that have accumulated over the years.
  • I decided to put the sewing machine to work and as I began a warm-up project, I found that it was dropping stitches again. BAAAH. Another troubleshooting session is needed.
  • In late afternoon a rain squall came though. Winds and rain were moderate but the clouds of the front were spectacular! The sun returned before setting and I enjoyed a quiet night.

5 August 13; Monday; Linekin Bay to Maple Juice Cove
  • I weighted anchor at 0800 on another beautiful morning. Winds were ~ 10 kts from the WSW so I put up the genoa as I headed S down Linekin Bay and into Fisherman Passage. There I found the wind good enough to sail under genoa alone and I sat back and enjoyed. Then I notice the boat SOG display read 13.8. That got my attention. Why was it so high? First I looked for a strong current through the passage and saw no evidence of it. Then I looked for a fishing trawler that might have snagged me with its net and be towing me -- no boats around. Then I looked closer at the display and saw the units were km / hr vs knots (nm/hr). My little guest person, Morgan, who likes to push any buttons she can teach must have somehow reprogrammed the display. It took me a while to find the instructions and then reprogram it back.
  • I sailed the whole way from Fisherman Passage to Maple Juice Cove on the St. George River where fellow Corinthian and good friend Wally Savory has his home. Using genoa alone, I made 5 to 7 kts SOG the who;e way on a sparkling day. Nice to have an all-sail day!
  • In spite of the river being cock-a-block with lobster floats, the trip was easy - much easier than the last time I went up this river in a building NE squall. I carefully threaded my way into the NE corner of Maple Juice Cove where the Savory manse is located. Again the Onward mooring wind picked up but I was able to pick up Wally's guest mooring on the second try.
  • Wally soon came out in his rowing dinghy and we made plans for the day. While he went to move his motor skiff to the pier to free up the mooring for Merlin, I cleaned up the Captain and then Ventured ashore for some adventure. Wally offered the use of his washing machine so once I had it loaded up, we set off in his new toy. Wally, the clever man he is has the knack (innate skill) to fall into good deals. In this case it was a 1994 Mercedes 500 sports convertible, fire-engine red, with only 29,000 miles on it! Nice.
  • Sooo we took a ride as Wally had set two missions: get a fresh-baked blueberry pie for dinner and fresh flowers for Onward's flower vase. We found a great homemade blueberry pie at the local general store / gas station along with a basket of fresh Maine blueberries. Then it was off to a market farm where we found no fresh cut flowers but some great fresh vegetables. Then it was home by the scenic route. There is a lot of empty land in Maine and a lot of it on then water. The upper reaches of the St. George River are beautiful.
  • Then I discovered hat the Olsen House made famous by the paintings of Andrew Wyeth was next to Wally's property. So he took me off to see it. Then he said I had to pose on the front lawn in one of the famous Christina poses. He demonstrated - and I caught this; then it was my turn. Then one of the Olsen family drove by and Wally casually says Hello to his neighbor.

6 August 13; Tuesday; Maple Juice Cove to Somesville
  • It promised to be a nice day for making the long passage to Mt. Desert Island. At 0630 I called Wally to see if he was available to have coffee aboard Merlin. He soon rowed out and I joined the group aboard Merlin. About 0830 we said our farewells and Onward and Merlin headed E. It was a beautiful day but without wind so it was a motor trip. Most of the passage was across the outer mouth of the Penobscot so there were actually a few places where we could move pot-float-free. Nice.
  • At 1700, Onward entered Northeast Harbor and talked to the Harbormaster who thought he might have space for us. The space available was too cramped for me to maneuver Onward into with a 15-kt crosswind that had picked up. So, we left and headed up Somes Sound to Somesville where I anchored near Ariel and Merlin picked up an unused private mooring. I quickly cleaned up, had a quick dinner and then headed ashore with the Merlins where we met the Ariels and walked to the Acadia Repertoire Theater to see "Unnecessary Farce". It was a great farce with one of the characters being a killer Scotsman who would get upset and turn beet red as he went into a brogue as thick as a plank. A pleasant end to a long day.

7August 13; Wednesday; Somesville to Northeast Harbor
  • It was another picture-perfect Maine morning: crisp, clear, sunny, dry. Wally called to invite us back on the way south and while I was talking to him two seals began swimming nearby. By the time I was done with the call they had moved off so my "Seals for Elena" video shooting will have to wait.
  • At 0900 I weighted anchor and headed off to Northeast Harbor to secure a mooring as boats began to depart before the 1100 checkout time. Luck was with us and Onward and Merlin were assigned to float 336 over near Asticou -- seems this is the one I always end up on. Once settled, I launched Venture and brought it around to the S end of the float where Ed and I hauled it up so I could work on patching the new leaks I found. I was preparing to start work when the Merlins announced they were going ashore to go hiking. I intended to stay and work on Venture but a reconsideration of the beautiful weather convinced me to go hiking instead.
  • We packed lunches and headed ashore to check in and then take the bus to Bubble Pond. There we hiked up to the top of N Bubble. My legs aren't quite used to the climbing so I was a bit slow on. The trail offered a number of intermediate stops with beautiful vistas that I enjoyed. At the top of N Bubble, we stopped and had lunch and a needed by my legs rest. Then we were off to S Bubble. I am a firm believer in the principle of "Conservation of Elevation Contour Lines" while hiking so it hurt to give up the altitude my legs had paid for only for the promise of buying it back to get to the summit of S Bubble. I made it which kind of amazed me; maybe because my quads were numb by this time. The vistas from the summit of S Bubble were even better. Tina insisted on taking a photo of me next to the summit sign to send to Laura so she could collect her fee for exercising me.
  • On the way down, I got a boost of energy and by the time we hit the lake-side trail, I was in the lead. The old cart horse heading for the barn syndrome. At Jordan Pond House, there was still a > 45 min wait to get an outside table so we headed for the bus back to town instead of getting our popover muffins and tea. We will be back to do that!. After walking around town and doing some shopping we headed back to the boats. We had made dinner plans with the Ariels and the Sails Calls for 2015. As soon as I got aboard Onward, I needed a nap so I got down to my sleep suit and climbed into bed about 1800. After what seemed to be only an hour, I got up and showered. As I was toweling off Tina called over that we needed to be ashore in 10 min. -- somehow I'd lost an hour. Ah well.
  • We met the Ariels at the landing and walked to the Watermark Restaurant where Brian and Marge were waiting. We had a good dinner and a lot of convivial talk including comparing our reading lists. When we got back to the dinghy pier, I learned as I was pulling Merlin's dinghy in so we could board that I was providing the venue for tomorrow night's dinner with the same cast as tonights. Laureen would bring a pot roast and the rest we would figure out. What are friends for if not to plan their meals aboard your boat???

8 August 13; Thursday; Northeast Harbor
  • With rain due about 1000, I was out on the float working on patching Venture. I prepared the three areas needing patches (soon Venture's bow section will be all patches) and cut the patches; then the rains came half an hour early. I should have done this yesterday instead of playing but...
  • I got the Chef to prepare dough for dinner rolls for tonight. With the overcast, rain, and chill I am looking forward to baking for the warmth. After lunch I went into town with the Merlins to do a bit of shopping for things I didn't know I needed -- not much this time.
  • I wrapped myself up in a blanket to read and ended up napping. I tend to look forward to rainy days because it forces me to stay aboard giving me the opportunity to work on all those things I need to do but don't because I'd rather play with my friends. However, when it is a COLD rainy day, all I want to do is nap. Sic Fugit good intentions.
  • I woke in time to clean up Onward a bit in preparation for my guests to arrive; a hot cup of tea helped a lot. I baked 8 dinner rolls and a sheet of focaccia. This helped warm up the interior.
  • My guests arrived around 1810 -- about 10 minutes "late" (by definition, cruisers are never late for anything because we abhor schedules and deadlines). When it is hot, I'm not big on clothes when aboard so I am usually scrambling around to get dressed when guests arrive "on time". But today with me fully swathed in jeans, turtleneck, fleece, sox all afternoon they are "late" - go figure.
  • Laureen prepared a beef stew in her pressure cooker and brought it aboard to cook for dinner. Marge & Brian brought a salad and cocktail snacks and Tina baked a berry crumble. Shortly after arriving, everyone went over to visit my floating dock mate, Merlin for a bit. We had cocktail hour in the salon because it was too chilly in the cockpit. I got out my electronic keyboard and Brian regaled us with his piano playing. I appointed him Cruise Piano Player to Onward.
  • Marge also worked for IBM so I asked her for good Bill Kimbell stories.
  • The stew was done in only 25 min in the pressure cooker. Impressive. If I knew where to store it I might buy one after seeing it work. The salad was quickly inhaled. The stew was just perfect. The crumble came with vanilla ice cream and was another hit. If the empty red wine bottles are a measure, we had a great time. To wrap up the evening, we cured the Sails Call's Farkle virginity problem by using the set of lobster dice I bought in Boothbay Harbor.

9 August 13; Friday; Northeast Harbor
  • Another cold, rainy, overcast, foggy day dawned -- the other side of summer in Maine. I couldn't start the genset yesterday -- probably because I ran the mid-ship tank dry on Wednesday. Even though I installed a fuel back-flow valve in the line, the genset has become more sensitive to being left unused for more than a day. It shares the same fuel source as the Yanmar so I will install another back-flow valve where the genset fuel supply line T's into the Yanmar line to see if the problem is being caused by the engine sucking the genset line dry.
  • There was nothing for it but to bleed the genset injectors again. Of course to do that there was a major job of moving stuff off the forward berth so I could get to the genset. It is a good thing I have more patient in the morning before I'm fully awake. Well, I did it and still could not get the Fischer-Panda to start. I ran its battery down in the process so now I will need to carefully jump start it.

10 August 13; Saturday; Northeast Harbor

11 August 13; Sunday; Northeast Harbor to Roque Island Harbor
  • Onward & Merlin departed the floating dock at 0600 and headed out toward Roque Island: "Down East". It was a sunny morning with a bit of a following wind -- just enough to make traveling E difficult with the sun-glint off the water. Things weren't too bad until Schoodic Island where the combination of sun angle, small wind chop, and lobster pot density made the transit E nerve wracking. It was almost impossible to pick up the LPF until they were almost too close to steer around. The water was > 100' deep so they were all floats + toggles. On five separate occasions, I managed to motor between the float and toggle and ended up snagging the floats and pot on the keel. The first indication is a 1.5 to 2 kt drop in boat speed. I then put the engine in neutral and executed a tight 360º turn which allows the toggle & float to spin off the winged keel. On one of the occasions it appeared that I'd snagged 2 or 3 pots at one time. What a pain!
  • With winds too light to sail and calm seas it was an easy motor trip to Roque Island. There we entered the central harbor through the passage between A and Halifax Islands. This harbor essentially a large lagoon ringed about 270º by islands with only the NE quadrant open. It is a remarkable sight with a long crescent beach of sand on the W side that ends on the NE side in a sheer escarpment of rocks. It made me wonder what geological processes resulted in such an amazing configuration. I anchored at the SW corner of the crescent beach just inside a hook of land that provided added protection from sea swells that made it into the lagoon.
  • Roque Island is private. It is owned and managed by the Roque Island Gardner Family Homestead Corporation for the benefit of the extended family. Visitors are limited to staying on the beach.
  • After lunch, I launched Venture and fetched the Merlins who were anchored nearby. We explored the lagoon starting with the "Thoroughfare" -- the passage between Roque Island and Sprue Island that gives access to the W shore of Roque. There were a number of small coves that would form secluded anchorages. On the W end of the passage we saw a pier for the island residents. We then followed the crescent beach around to the E along the base of the sheer rock walls. Very spectacular with fir trees clinging to crevices. Our inspection done we beached Venture and went for a walk. I have a lot of experience in beaching Venture and have never had a problem with it staying where I put it when I bring it above the waves on a falling tide. Here, periodic rogue waves would come in and refloat it enough for it to slide down the steep slope of the hard sandy beach so it kept itself in the wave zone. The waves were < 1' so while it needed watching, it wasn't a real problem.

12 August 13; Monday; Roque Island Harbor to Winter Harbor
  • Merlin and Onward were underway at 0600 following our path back W on a calm and sunny morning. With the sun behind and no wind chop, seeing the LPF was easy and I had no problems avoiding them. We decided to put into Winter Harbor and arrived about noon. The Winter Harbor Yacht Club said they had two moorings available but they were in use until after lunch; so, we anchored, had lunch, and waited until the moorings were freed up about 1400.
  • Once moored, we took the launch in to pay our fees and look around the neat clubhouse. They serve lunch each day but were done by the time we came ashore. We then went on a walk of the peninsula. The area was purchased by a number of people from the Philadelphia area in the 1890s and development begun on a summer "cottage" community with a yacht club with tennis, golf, and swimming facilities. It looks like less than half of the original plan was built out with moderately large homes in the "cottage style". We were able to take a nick hike down by the shore overlooking the W and Frenchmans Bay.
  • We returned to the boats and I launched Venture for a trip into town. Winter Harbor has three "fingers" pointing N. The Yacht Club is in the W finger; the middle finger has the town pier and many lobster boats; the more open and shallower E finger has the ferry pier. We went into the town pier and walked NE into town. We found a "real" town -- one where there is a good mix of year-around residents, summer folks, and tourism. In our travels we came across Fishermans Inn where we stopped to have an early bird dinner.

13 August 13; Tuesday; Winter Harbor
  • When I first looked out about 0600 it was mostly clear with a bit of fog. By 0700 the fog was so dense we decided to stay. I had been in touch with Fenner Milton and made plans to go into Seal Harbor tonight and pick up a couple of yacht club moorings. I then was informed they only had one mooring available to take a 40'+ boat so that meant Merlin would have to go elsewhere so I nixed the idea.
  • We Ventured into town in the dense fog and walked to the bus stop where we had planned to pick up the LL Bean Island Explorer bus for a tour of the Schoodic peninsula. I stopped in the general store while Tina & Ed checked out the bus route. At 1055 we learned the bus wouldn't come to this stop but was scheduled to leave the ferry terminal at 1100. I started a quick walk to see if we could catch it. It must have left early because I never saw it and it was gone from the ferry pier where some bikers had seen it a few minutes earlier. Ah well, we wouldn't have seen much in the fog.

14 August 13; Wednesday; Winter Harbor to Northeast Harbor
  • We took a leisurely departure about 0800 and headed for Northeast Harbor. The fog was heavy with little more than a boat length of visibility for most of the trip. Onward snared a float and toggle and I had to spin it off. We arrived at the harbor just before 1000 and were able to snag moorings as folks departed. Onward got assigned mooring float 300 located just off the Morris Yachts pier and equipped with a fresh water bib. I was worn out from the piloting through the floats and toggles so I spent the rest of the day aboard reading and relaxing. We found both Sails Call and Over Budget in the harbor.

15 August 13; Thursday; Northeast Harbor
  • It was nice to be greeted with a sunny morning! Sails Call came by to say farewell and then when the mouth of the harbor fogged in they went back to the mooring they had just vacated.
  • In the afternoon we took the dinghy over to Acitou and visited the Thuya Gardens. The flowers were as beautiful as always. This is one of my favorite spots to visit because of its beauty and peacefulness.
  • Over Budget hosted dinner for Sails Call, Merlin and Onward. Tina and Ed brought about half the food to help out. Nice guests! We had a fine time and somehow 3 pork loin roasts managed to disappear.

16 August 13; Friday; Northeast Harbor to Blue Hill Harbor

17 August 13; Saturday; Blue Hill Harbor to Devil & Bold Islands
  • Once Onward was anchored, it was time for social planning. I invited the Ariels and the Merlins over for cocktails and then we expanded that into dinner. I decided to make pasta sauce. I started with sautéing some pork with garlic then added vegetables: scallions, green and yellow squash, green peppers, shallots and later browned meatballs and, of course, red wine. At 1800 the Ariels arrived with a beautiful caesar salad and wines and the Merlins followed with baked hors d'ouevres and the blueberry crumble pie. Needless to say the cocktail and dinner went well and we topped off the evening with Farkle. Laureen took the lead immediately and never gave it up while the rest of us had amazingly poor luck. I don't think I have ever experienced a game with as many Farkles.

18 August 13; Sunday; Devil & Bold Islands
  • Another sunny day. Hooray! I spent the morning doing some boat tasks. I turned the main sheet around end for end because it had gotten chafed on the boom brake near the boom end. I also began to replace the double-sheave turning block at the base of the mast for a single sheave block -- but had to stop because I couldn't loosen the set screw to undo the line from the in-mast worm. I applied PB Blaster and rigged a lashing to hold the old block to the new in case I needed to use the furler in an emergency.
  • Around noon we headed off in 3 dinghies to Stonington to walk around after we had lunch.

19 August 13; Monday; Devil & Bold Islands to Wooden Boat School to Castine
  • Ed assisted while I went up the mast to fix the wind machine. I took the covering off the wire splices and found that the positive wire in the bundle had gotten corroded and broken -- probably when I had added a wire tie to hold the bundle in place when I install the new wand. Nice to have a working wind machine!
  • We weighed anchor at 0945 and headed out across Jerico Bay to the Wooden Boat School on Egemoggin Reach. We picked up moorings and went ashore to visit the school and gift shop as well as wander a bit.
  • We then headed W along the Reach and were able to sail with apparent winds of 22 to 8 kts. As I hadn't finished rejigging the furling line for the main I sailed with genoa alone and when it came time to tack around the corner to Castine, I turned on the engine.
  • Onward picked up a big mooring at Eatons that Merlin arranged for and then Merlin sailed in to raft up. We went ashore for dinner and then to attend the steel drum band concert by "Flash in the Pan" on the waterfront. What a delightful and good group! There were a lot of people with more energy and coordination than I out there hopping around for the entire concert. Wow.

20 August 13; Tuesday; Castine to Holbruck I
  • First job of the morning was getting the pepper biscotti in the oven. Next was trying to download email. I haven't been able to do this in > 6 days because of the atrocious performance of the Verizon Wireless "Extended" network in the North and North-East sections of Penobscot Bay. The Merlins have had much better performance from the ATT Network which apparently was upgraded on 1 August. Mail is coming in slowly at the data rate of 1bit to 20 kbits /sec. Data services in the Bahamas is much better!
  • The Ariels and Merlins showed me no mercy on a hike to the summit of the state park.
  • After a much needed nap once back aboard, I invited the folks over for cocktails and bananagram. The hungry Merlins had already eaten but the Ariels brought over a pork loin that we grilled and Laureen gave me a lesson in cooking polenta. Delish. After a couple of games of bananagrams, all decided they like Farkle better.

21 August 13; Wednesday; Holbruck I to Belfast
  • Ed came over and helped me get the genset going again. Symptoms seem to be pointing to a weak battery that isn't turning it over as rapidly as needed to get a start.
  • Dropped mooring at 1000 and motored across the calm waters to Belfast. Picked up mooring 95 from Front Street Shipyard.
  • Merlins showed up in the late afternoon and we went over to Youngs Lobster Pond for dinner. I had a tasty grilled haddock.

22 August 13; Thursday; Belfast to Baltimore
  • A morning of preparing and packing for trip to Kristen's Wedding. At 1230 the Merlins picked me up in the dinghy and we went ashore to Front Street Shipyard to pick up their courtesy car.
  • I found the portable charger I had ordered from Amazon waiting for me. This is essentially a large (10, 000 mAhr) rechargeable battery and charger circuit that can be used to recharge an iPhone or iPad several times. I can now travel, hike, etc without running out of power for my electronic toys.
  • The Merlins then drove me to Bangor to catch my flight. There was a severe thunderstorm cluster around Philadelphia and my flight through there to Baltimore was delayed for several hours. By the time I got to the hotel it was after midnight and my travel time from boat to hotel was 12 hours. The good news was I had a great room on the 22nd floor of the Marriott Inner Harbor looking out over the Inner Harbor -- a spectacular view.

23 August 13; Friday; Baltimore
  • I met Kathy and Andy at the local Panera (where else with those two?) and we had breakfast together. Then I headed off to find somewhere to get my hair cut. I found a barbershop on the 18th floor of the Transamerica tower with a harbor view. The old-time barber was great to chat with and did a fairly good job of cleaning up the mess that is me. I walked back to the hotel and stopped at Whole Foods to pick up lunch and some Prosecco.
  • I picked Laura, Kurlen, Joseph and Ariana up at BWI and took them to the hotel. After a short rest, we all ended up at Flemmings Steakhouse for their great happy hour. While Laura and Kurlen went off to the rehearsal dinner with Kristen and Joseph and Ariana went off to see local friends, I met with my nieces Susan and Linda and their mom, MaryAnn for dinner at Flemmings. What great fun to be able to spend quality time with family . We returned to the hotel and were serenaded to sleep -- sort of -- by a concert at the Pier 6 Pavillion by Styx and REO Speedwaggon. I could see and hear the action from my hotel room.

24 August 13; Saturday; Baltimore
  • While Laura caught up on sleep, Kurlen and I took a walk to Fells Point for breakfast together while Joe went out to do Yoga. He has become a real Yoga enthusiast. He can now do head and hand stands and walk on his hands. Impressive.
  • I drove the five of us off to Timmonium for the wedding service. We left early due to concerns for road delays but they didn't obtain so we had enough time to stop for lunch. I found a diner and it made a great sight, the five of us all dressed for the wedding and sitting at the diner counter eating lunch.
  • The wedding ceremony was beautiful and my sister looked as gorgeous as her daughter. Even Andy cleaned up well. We returned to the hotel and took the shuttle to the reception at the waterfront museum. This is in an old warehouse building that we used to admire for its interesting structure with rounded corners on an old pier. The whole area is transformed now into a beehive of office buildings. Needless to say, surrounded by so many loved ones and on such a joyous occasion I had a blast. Kristen and Jameson really were relaxed and made a great embarkment on their new life together.

25 August 13; Sunday; Baltimore to Belfast
  • After packing, I headed down to the restaurant for the breakfast brunch where I got to spend more time with my children and family before heading off to BWI for my 1230 flight. The return trip was on time and uneventful -- the best kind of trip. I had to get a cab back from the airport to Belfast where the dock attendant left a 20' work skiff for me to use to get out to Onward. I managed to get all my stuff aboard and then crashed for the night. In my absence the Merlins had cruised to Winter Harbor.

26 August 13; Monday; Belfast to Maple Juice Cove
  • I was ashore by 0730 after waiting for a rain squall to pass so I could do laundry. While the washer worked I took the courtesy car to Hannafords for reprovisioning. I got the clothes dried (mostly) and then hitched a ride back to Onward where I just put stuff below and dropped the mooring. I went in to get fuel, pump out, and water before heading S. Winds were light so it was a motor trip S and then up the St. George R to Maple Juice Cove. There the Merlins awaited me. I anchored nearby and we ate aboard our own boats before heading in to have dinner at Wally Savory's home where me met neighbors from FL, Pam and Dave. As usual, we had a great time sitting about chatting and drinking good wine and liquors.

27 August 13; Tuesday; Maple Juice Cove to Biddleford Pool
  • At 0630 we were off toward Portland. Traveling through the myriad lobster floats on this river is a challenge -- kinda like playing Tetris with a boat by attempting to avoid the cascading lines of floats. Once in costal waters things eased up and I was able to sit back a bit and relax.

28 August 13; Wednesday; Biddleford Pool to Gloucester
  • We awoke to fog but were underway at 0630. Merlin led and after exiting the anchorage announced that things were clearing. Well that sealed it. The fog then moved in denser than ever. We traveled the day never being able to see more than 100' in front of us. What joy!
  • Somewhere W of Boon Island Ledge, I saw a hugh fish dive. While its dorsal fin looked somewhat like that of a dolphin, it was too big. I had seen my first whale! After > 36,000 miles of costal and offshore sailing this was my first sighting for about 10 seconds!
  • I figured cell service would improve after I rounded Cape Elizabeth and I would then call Nancy to talk about my annual visit to her and Ed on Nantucket. After negotiating the turn in the fog, I was just getting Onward settled on the course to the breakwater when my phone rings and it was Nancy. How bout that.
  • We entered Gloucester Harbor at ~ 1630. The Harbormaster heard me when I made a VHF Securite' call to alert the boats traveling in the fog around me that I was there. He called and offered us moorings in the inner harbor where I'd staid last year. Nice. Even better the fog lifted when I got to Ten Pound Island.
  • The Merlins picked me up and we headed into town to look around. After a beer at Stone's Pub we went to Alchemy, a Tapas and Bistro Restaurant down the street for a delightful meal. Well worth going back to.

29 August 13; Thursday; Gloucester to Hadley Harbor
  • I awoke to a harbor that had no fog! Great! Weather forecasts were for NE winds at 12 to 14 kts -- perfect for a reach across Cape Cod Bay to the canal. I finally woke Ed up about 0620 and we were underway by 0645. How nice to be able to move without fog. Once past the breakwater, we set sails and enjoyed a fast reach across the Bay at > 7 kts.
  • About midday the visibility began to decrease but was still > 1 mi. Onward moved out in front of Merlin and about 1300 I was lifted out of my seat by a fog horn. Wow. Gotta get me one like that. It was the TS Kennedy on a course from Boston to the Massachusetts Maritime Academy at the W end of the canal. It passed us by and then had to sit at the mouth of the canal for tis pilot to come aboard and the tide to change.
  • As Onward approached the mouth of he canal, I watched a small catamaran get bounced around on the chop and then head off toward Plymouth. Something about it looked familiar. Then, as it passed me by, I got a call on the VHF. It was Ancient Mariner with friends Bob and Deb Lacy aboard. They live in Chatham and I met them two seasons ago in the Bahamas. They were having some fuel problems but had it in hand and didn't need my offer to assist. We agreed to talk again by phone.
  • Onward and Merlin bounced our way through the chop caused by wind and waves agains to outgoing current. While reaching over to throttle up a bit, I accidentally hit the standby button of the autopilot remote. I didn't notice until Onward made a 90º turn to starboard and headed for the rock jetty. Not an amusing thing as I had to fight to get manual control back from the autopilot after I had inadvertently put it back in auto mode. This got my juices running.
  • Once we got inside the canal it calmed down nicely and so did I. We were far enough ahead that we didn't have to contend with TS Kennedy trying to pass us. At the W end of the canal we decided to head to Hadley Harbor to spend the night. I originally was going to anchor in the outer harbor but the NE wind was pushing a bit of swell into it so Merlin suggested we move inside. There I found that the infamous USCG mooring buoys that made anchoring in the first section very tricky had been removed! Yea!!! There were two boats rafted so I chose a spot E of them that would leave room for Merlin to anchor. We then decided that it was going to be a quiet night in a very protected harbor so we decided that Merlin would raft to Onward's port side. The began the mating dance in which Onward would rotate to starboard as Merlin came in to tie up. It took 3 attempts but we got it done.
  • I was tired and cold and all I could think about was a glass of red wine and cooking the angel hair pasta and sausage I'd planned for dinner. So once Merlin was rafted up, I headed below to cook. With the meal ready for the pasta to be cooked, I decided to go put on the mooring bridle. After doing so, I noticed the wind and current had turned our raft so we were about 75' from the bows of the other raft. One of the captains was up on the bow so I called over and asked him if he was uncomfortable and if so I won;ld move. He asked me to move so Tina came aboard in case I needed a hand and Ed stayed at the helm of Merlin in case I needed him to use the engine.
  • Then it started. The windlass, even with me powering forward, would not take up more than a few feet of chain before the circuit breaker would shut it down. This is something that has almost never happened

30 August 13; Friday; Hadley Harbor to Nantucket
  • I was up about 0500 to get ready to attack the windlass problem. By 0600 I had checked all the wire connections for the windlass and found them clean and tight. As a precaution I tightened the nuts on all the studs to be sure. I then went up on the foredeck and took the chain off the windlass gypsy so it could run freely. The I tested it and it ran normally in both directions! Weird.
  • Ed came over at 0600 and after providing a cup of coffee he volunteered to check the voltages at the windlass while I went up and operated the switches. The voltages were good; > 12 V. I then took a deck line and wound it about the capstan to see if a load made any difference -- and it didn't; it ran well in both directions. The Ed did something below and the windlass would turn normally in the deploy direction but was badly laboring in the intake direction. WTF was giving on??? It turns out he had seen the motor and gear housing unit move when I put the load on it -- so he wiggled it some more and it had become difficult to turn in the intake direction. The he wiggled it some more and it worked fine in both directions. It turned out that there are 4 hex-socket screws that hold the gear housing top and bottom assemblies together and these screws had become badly loosened. This allowed the motor and gear housing to get cocked when under intake load which hugely increased the load on the motor causing it to pop the circuit breaker.
  • Ed torqued the screws and the windlass returned to normal operation. What a relief! I would have probably headed for RI instead of Nantucket if I had to do more difficult repairs to the windlass. Of all the equipment on Onward, the windlass and the chartplotter / navigation electronics / autopilot are the things that must work to allow me to do what I do.
  • Merlin then cast off and headed out of the harbor toward Newport where they were hoping an early arrival and bad weather would make it possible to get a mooring for the Labor Day Weekend. I gave them the Lat/Long of my "secret" anchor spot just in case.
  • Once Merlin departed, I decided to use today to move to Nantucket where I could settle down for a few days of "rest" before Nancy and Ed arrived on the 3rd. So, I put enough stuff away to be able to travel and then I weighed anchor. What a joy for the windlass to return to its usual mode of operation! I departed Hadley at 0730 and had an uneventful if slow trip through Woods Hole agains a 2.5 kt current.
  • The trip was easy down Nantucket Sound. The wind was light from the SW and I motorsailed for a bit before it died. It came back at ~ 15 kts just as I round the last waypoint and headed into Nantucket Harbor - not a time to sail. When I got in, I found more mega yachts than ever hanging out -- but the anchorage was fairly empty of visitors. I got to anchor closer in to town than I had ever managed before. I guess all the rain they had over the last week kept people away.
  • Once anchored, I had a hot lunch and a glass of wine. Then I took an afternoon nap. Delish! I am looking forward to several days of not moving to recharge my personal batteries.
  • I managed to get Onward straightened up a bit and then read for a while and had cocktail hour in the cockpit after the sun came out. I had intended to make a stew for dinner but as soon as I came below I fell into a very deep sleep and woke up after 2100 in time to climb in bed.

31 August 13; Saturday; Nantucket
  • I awoke at 0530 with the pre-dawn light showing. It is amazing to me how much energy I have in the morning. Especially after being able to relax and rest yesterday afternoon. I made breakfast and while I ate, I whipped up a batch of dough for Onward Almond Biscotti. While they baked I whipped up a batch of bread dough and then started catching up on boat chores and "life-chores". The latter include such things as taking care of financial matters, mail, email, planning etc. These are things I never have energy to do when I am constantly moving Onward. This is especially true when I'm cruising with friends on another boat. When I'm done moving Onward, all I want to do is relax and play with my friends. What happened to all that task-oriented drive that made me run for so many years?
  • I was looking forward to seeing Donna Martino who I had met during my visit to Isle of Hope GA last fall. She had a home on Nantucket and had planned to move there to live. I learned today she had changed her mind about living here year round and was not in residence.
  • I got a note from Bill Kimbell that I'd missed seeing him and Dave Siwicki as they sailed through Woods Hole on Ava a few hours before Onward got to Hadley. Another case of so close but no cigar...
  • I intended to clean up and go ashore at 1400 and launched Venture in preparation. Soon thereafter, the winds picked up to ~ 20 kts and the partially sunny skies became heavily overcast. So I bagged the idea of going in and opted to read a new mystery I downloaded yesterday. At about 1700 I got sufficiently motivated to make a pasta sauce based stew with the ground beef I bought in Belfast. While it was simmering I took the part of the ground beef I'd set aside and turned it into hamburger patties using my italian meatball recipe that makes tasty and juicy hamburgers. This time I experimented with one of the small square plastic containers to form the hamburgers as I try to find the right size to be able to make one burger - not to thick, not to thin -- that will make a filling meal of a single burger in a fresh-baked roll.
  • The stew was Delish! I continued to read and climbed in bed about 2100. An hour later I got a call from Bob and Deb Lacey from Ancient Mariner. We had a good time catching up. They have not cruised the last two years. Bob is having too much fun running his sign shop which does exceptionally well when he is at the helm. He is an amazing artist and gets orders from Europe and the US for carved sign boards for yachts and high-end businesses. Neat! Unfortunately I will not have time to visit them in Chatham this year. They tell me to "leave the great white sharks in the harbor alone and they won't bother you" -- very reassuring. I will remember that when I try to visit next year.