It was 9:00am in Rockland and we (yes, I did let Brian take a turn at the anchor rode) hauled the anchor with some disinclination. We were truly enjoying our summer in the Penobscot Bay area and frankly, we weren’t ready to leave! But yet ahead were more summer adventures and reunions…and so we were off, heading south, with a very light wind forecast. “It’s only 100 miles…” we’d told our friend, Darren, when we called him and told him to expect us in town the following morning. Darren chuckled and reminded us, “Remember when 40 miles was a long day?” We had a good laugh about now setting out for a, “…quick overnight,” to Portsmouth, NH.
There was nothing quick about this overnight. As it turned out a bit of wind would have dramatically improved our trip. When a breeze kicked up mid-day Brian hastily hauled up the genoa, but it was just taunting us and soon it died and we were motoring once again. Can you tell how much I enjoy windless travels? Yup, this was the beautiful face that my husband viewed from the galley while peering out as he cooked our dinner. It was a long night at the tiller!
“Goodnight, Maine. Farewell!” At each two hour shift we crossed our fingers that we’d not snag a lobster pot in the darkness.
Fortunately, no lobster pots hooked our keel and we navigated safely through a fleet of fishing boats and around several passing ships. As dawn approached a fog was lifting from the New Hampshire coastline. Soon we viewed familiar sights as we approached the mouth of the Piscataqua River; the Whaleback Lighthouse was our first warm welcome.
Our timing could not have been more perfect; 22 hours after we’d departed we turned into the Piscataqua at slack tide. We motored ’round the Portsmouth Lighthouse and tucked ourselves out of the way behind the port side mooring field to make way for the USCG ship that was exiting the river. Thank you, Mike, who once again allowed us to moor Rode Trip on his mooring ball just off Pierce Island. We picked up the pennant, no problem, on our first go at it and true to Mike’s caution it was indeed “pretty fouled up.” Thank goodness I’d thought ahead to put on my sailing gloves so that I could grip the slimy pennant that was entirely encased in seaweed and topped with creepy, crawly, unidentifiable sea critters. Yuck! Brian and I set about cleaning the pennant and within minutes were moored back at our good ‘ol spot. We ate breakfast in the cockpit while enjoying the view of Portsmouth’s NEW bridge. The afternoon consisted of napping and packing as we awaited our friend, Darren, who would pick us up after work so that we could spend some quality time at Home Base.