Onward’s Cruise Journal 2018
US East Coast Cruise

Updated: 20 Juiy 2018

July 2018

1 July 18; Sunday; Block Island

2 July 18; Monday; Block Island to Greenwich Bay

3 July 18; Tuesday; Greenwich Bay

4 July 18; Wednesday; Greenwich Bay
  • A lovely morning at anchor. Peggy decided to make a Pizza Gena to take to the annual Rocchio Family cookout — like she made for the Corinthians cruise. She had it prepared and ready to go in the oven when she called me because there was something wrong with the oven door. I found that the right door hinge had detached from the door. The spring that held it closed was also not working. I managed to get it reconnected but when I closed the door the alignment was off. I tried to adjust the alignment only to render the whole door so it would not remain in the closed position.
  • There was nothing to do but to MacGyver a fix: I drilled a hole in the side trim of the oven to insert a screw to hold the SS L-bracket I fabricated to hold the door closed. This worked fine and a fine product was produced.
  • Kathy and Andy fetched us and we went off to the cookout at my great-nephew Nicholas' home. The torch for the Annual Rocchio 4th of July gathering had now been passed to the next generation

5 July 18; Thursday; Greenwich Bay

6 July 18; Friday; Greenwich Bay

7 July 18; Saturday; Greenwich Bay

8 July 18; Sunday; Greenwich Bay to Dutch Harbor

9 July 18; Monday; Dutch Harbor to Gloucester
  • A beautiful morning with light SW winds. I weighed anchor at ~0530 and headed East to Maine.

10 July 18; Tuesday; Gloucester

11 July 18; Wednesday; Gloucester

12 July 18; Thursday; Gloucester

13 July 18; Friday; Gloucester to Isle of Shoals

14 July 18; Saturday; Isle of Shoals to Portsmouth
  • The weather cooled overnight and the morning was crisp and cool. In spite of all the sleep yesterday, we still slept late. About 1000 I took Venture on a tour of the harbor area. I learned that Star Island Company has a new policy: no tenders ashore on weekends; visitors must use their launch; call on VHF-09. I headed back to Onward and then Peggy and I called the launch and went ashore. We did a hike around the island and again found gulls raising their chick on the S shore rocks. Our exercise done, we headed back to Onward and were underway by 1130.
  • The trip to Portsmouth was only ~ 1hr. We picked up mooring 140 in front of the Portsmouth Yacht Club. After cleaning up a bit we took the launch ashore and grabbed an Uber to Portsmouth. We started off with a nice lunch before taking a walking / shopping tour of downtown. Peggy had passed by many times on I95 but had never been in the city. It was a delightful day for it. After Ubering back we grabbed a bottle of wine and headed across the harbor to have cocktails with Dan and Morrison aboard C470-117 Optimistic. Dan reminded me that it had been six years almost to the day that I last visited with them. Dan's bank is doing well and he hopes to be able to wander off to the Bahamas in a future winter..

15 July 18; Sunday; Portsmouth to South Freeport
  • We dropped the mooring and headed out at ~0600. This is one departure where I needed Peggy at the helm and a good bit of power to safely move away from the mooring in the strong current. We hadn't made plans and I thought of heading directly to Boothbay Harbor — but Peggy decided we needed to do some shopping in South Freeport. I took the Broad Reach approach from the ocean and once we were past the marker buoy the density of lobster floats really increased. Thankfully they are single floats.
  • The Brewer's launch led us to our mooring at the N end of the harbor, just shy of the Canadian border, it seemed. Brewers sold most of its stable of marinas to Safe Harbor Marinas. However they kept the one in S Freeport and also bought Strouts Point Marina next door. We had stayed on one of their moorings last visit. The good news is that all of Brewer's moorings are now bright yellow. We were too tired to go ashore so we spent a quiet evening aboard.
  • I checked the water leak and found that it had increased and there was ~ 2" of water in the engine pan. Baaah! After dinner, I decided to start tracing the leak. I had to empty the cabinet and remove the portside access panel. Inspection seemed to show the leak was coming from the cover of the water pump. I gave up at that point.

16 July 18; Monday; South Freeport
  • In the morning, I took off the water pump cover and found that the o-ring had not been fully seated in its race so a section had been pinched outside it when the cover was fastened on. I hoped this was the problem — but it was strange that it had not leaked in the first 4-5 months after I mis-installed it. I cleaned all the sealing surfaces and installed a new seal. This was one of the times when I couldn't get the seal and lid to stay in place long enough to get a 3rd screw in place. Peggy finally managed to get her hand in from the front of the engine to hold them in place so I could finish the job.
  • Unfortunately, when I tested the system, the leak was still there. Now it appeared to be coming from the water hose at the outlet of theater pump. Of course, this is a specially formed hose that needs to be ordered from Yanmar. At this point I gave up for the day.
  • After degreasing myself in the shower, we Ventured in to Brewers. We found no more landing space for dinghies than in former years. After checking in, I enquired about a piece of 1" exhaust hose. They sent me to the shop where they gave me an 18" length of scrap hose. I was also able to buy a 1" OD brass pipe nipple to use to join the hoses. I also found the oil filters I'd been searching for since Annapolis.
  • We took a cab into town and spent the afternoon shopping. I decided I needed a good high-tech waterproof jacket as so many of the cheaper ones had failed me.
  • After returning to Onward, I again tackled the leak. I took off the output hose and cut ~ 1" off of it that I assumed was damaged. I then attached a new section of hose and spliced it using the brass nipple to the remains of the original hose. A test showed that the leak was still there!
  • In frustration, I began to remove the hose from the pump without closing the through hull valve. As I slid the hose back - but not fully off, I was startled to se an arc of water come out of the area between hose and pump body. I quickly took photos and video of it because I couldn't believe my eyes. The whole problem of leaking and mysterious deposits of salt crystals was apparently due to a pinhole leak in the pump body that must have pissed is different directions. BAAAAH!
  • I was happy to finally trace down the source of the leak but daunted at the possibility of needing to replace the pump body which requires the front port engine mount to be removed to get at the bolts!!! At this point I gave up and had a stiff drink.
  • I shared the photo with Ed Burke and he agreed that the best thing to try was apply an external patch. At this time I crashed for the night.

17 July 18; Tuesday; South Freeport to Boothbay Harbor
  • I was up at 0500 to start working on the water pump repair. In the MacGyver stores I was relieved to find a tube of JB Weld steel-filled epoxy. I cleaned all around the pinhole leak area. A probe could clearly detect the slight indentation in the casting. The flaw was on the cylindrical body of the pump just to the engine side of the outflow hose nipple and just above the casting joint line. The wall was indented a bit above the joint line and the flaw was in this area. After thoroughly cleaning the surface and degreasing with Fantastic and acetone, I used emery cloth to provide a good bonding surface. Then I covered the hole and about a 3/4" diameter surround with a good layer of JB Weld. I let it set for an hour and then used the hair dryer to enhance the final cure. I found a 1" double hose barb elbow fitting to connect a short hose piece to the remnant of the original output hose. By 0900 the repair was completed.

18 July 18; Wednesday; Boothbay Harbor
  • We awoke to a gorgeous Maine day: clear, crisp, sunny, dry. In light of the trying day yesterday we had a lazy morning — not doing much at all. We headed in to pay for the mooring at 1100 and then Ventured around the harbor. We berthed Venture at the public landing on the center of the draw bridge at the E end of the harbor and went on a walking & shopping tour.
  • First we stopped for a couple of beers at the Chowder House so we could sit at the boat bar. There we met a couple two sisters visiting from Cleveland. I introduced Peggy and I as we sat next to them when one of them said she was the good sister, I simple said the other also looked like a very good sister. When we left, I discovered that this quip had resulted in the recipient buying our drinks! Pass it Forward!
  • Unfortunately there were not shows tonight at the Concert Hall. But we found nice things at several stores. The Mung Bean, as always had great things. By the time we were done with our tour it was time for our lobsta dinner at the Lobster Wharf. We each got our fill of hard-shell lobster with a 2-lb'er each — following the rule that if you are going to put that much effort into it it should be worth it. A visit here wouldn't be complete without ice-cream so we checked that off the list before heading back to Onward.

19 July 18; Thursday; Boothbay Harbor to Christmas Cove
  • We were underway by ~0730. The original plan was to head to Maple Juice Cove but when I was able to call Wally Savory it turned out he was on his way to visit his son for a couple of days. So as we ere just approaching Rutherford Island, we decided to visit Christmas Cove as I had never been there. By 0900 we had picked up one of the guest moorings run by the Coveside restaurant, bar & motel. These are big white balls with very large numbers 1 - 8 written on their sides.

20 July 18; Friday; Christmas Cove to Seal Cove
  • We had a lazy morning. For me meaning I started boat chores at 0700 vs 0500. We were blessed with the quintessential Maine summer morning: clear, crisp, sunny, dry with light winds. This is what Maine is all about (the good part).
  • At 1000, we dropped the mooring and headed out of Christmas Cove to explore the upper reaches of the Damariscotta River. It was about half-tide and ebbing as we headed N. The river appeared to be paved with lobster floats over most of the surface. Navigating would make a great video game! The good news is that they are using the single float system here so it is challenging but not cringingly so to steer a route through them.
  • At one of the most densely float-populated areas of the river, Elena called and wanted to do FaceTime to show me the campanile she had built with Kian. She had engineered bells that rang using a set of gears and a remote drive. Marvelous!
  • At 1200 we decided we had done enough sightseeing and we turned around and headed back to Seal Cove, an anchorage that had struck Peggy's fancy from the cruising guide. We entered a very narrow finger of water with its head at the S end. It was at the bottom of a 9' tide and we had ~20 - 24' up to where we anchored — just before it shallowed. Lovely, quiet. A few home could be seen hidden along the E shore made evident by their dock ramps and floats.
  • After we got the anchor set with its nice new SS shackles and swivel, it was time for lunch (Ahh, pan seared pizza) and a long nap. I still felt exhausted from the water pump leak saga. I took the afternoon off to just nap, relax, and read while Peggy knitted.

21 July 18; Saturday; Seal Cove
  • The night was very still and fog creeped in. Morning brought another perfect Maine Day. High tide was about 0700 and about -900 we took Venture to explore and search for the eponymous seals. About a half-mile further S there were another set of rocks just emerging with the ebb and we found 8 - 10 seals swimming about and sunning themselves. We were of great interest to them as we drifted by taking advantage of the photo & video op. We explored the rest of the cove coming across many nice homes tucked back in the trees and up on the ledges. Nice.

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