It’s a Brand New Day! September 10, 2012

Back out to sea, Brian and I are making our way south!! Yes, seriously this time. We had a wonderful week with Darren, Katie, & Annika. We had a good catch-up visit with Brian & Amanda. And we nearly pulled an all-nighter with Sunny, Berkley, & Kaya.

There weren’t idle hands during our land time, although we could have achieved some installations had Obma not visited Portsmouth and shut down Prescott Park and Peirce Island on Friday. Sheesh…the feds just can’t get enough of interrupting our lives! Brian made good use of Darren’s garage and made shelves (to be installed) for the engine room. Brian also made good use of Katie’s sewing machine and finished mosquito netting and ratchet straps to tie down the kayaks (tie downs to be installed on deck). Now you must be thinking that I just played with Annika, but I was able to piece together a knitting project…long awaited and yes, still nearly done! Of course I made good use of the washer and dryer too.

On the way to Portsmouth, our new genoa halyard broke – well not the halyard but the snap shackle on the halyard. The spring came out of the snap shackle so it was not snapping or holding onto anything. We were able to get a replacement spring from Defender that arrived just in the knick of time on Saturday morning. Brian installed the fan for the composting toilet (also a replacement that had been living at Sunny’s house). The fan is buzzing away and we hope it will extend our solids tank usage. We’re pleased thus far to have already gotten one month’s use per bucket prior to emptying. Brian has added an electric trolling motor (also had been living at Sunny’s house) to the stern pulpit to be used for the dinghy. We’re hoping the battery for it will find a new home on the engine room shelf once installed. Brian’s hoping that the motor will result in my not saying “I hate the dinghy” at every use!

We’re on the search for round hawse pipes to replace our deteriorating bronze pipes. Brian has done much researching, and we shopped around some boatbuilders in Portsmouth, and we called the Westsail Guru, Bud Taplin. Our hawse pipes leak when we take on waves and of course they are the two forward which leak directly onto my side of the v-berth. After two wet sheet incidents and much more sailing this has become a priority. Round hawse pipes aren’t made anymore, and to have them special order cast in bronze or stainless is uber pricy! Brian is just about ready to use any material after Bud Taplin’s response “if you find them, let me know where.” We’re thinking out of the box on this one…including looking at stainless automobile exhausts…but trying to not find a quick fix that would result in a mess. Keep you posted!

Our travels started beautifully today as we left Gosport Harbor at 6:00am. We sailed through a pod of dolphins and spotted several Finback whales. And that was just this morning! We have a 15-20knt wind from the north to push us through 6-10ft seas down the coast to Mystic, CT.

Tide Pools at Otter Cliffs July 3, 2012

Our morning in Southwest Harbor got off to a slow start…thank you, gin fizz. (Actually, we were TIRED and having a few beers the night before was the perfect combo for sleeping late.) We had breakfast in the cockpit at our guest mooring. The harbormaster paid us a visit. Our entire plan for the day was to get groceries. After checking the wind, weather, and reviewing Active Captain reviews, we also decided to move Rode Trip back to the anchorage that we scouted last night and do some exploring via dinghy to find a good landing ashore.

We anchored at the Mill Dam anchorage, just north of Southwest Harbor. We found good holding and no crowds. Once Rode Trip was settled, we took the dinghy ashore and beached near the Mill Dam just below the tennis courts of the Causeway Club. This area is affected by tides so we brought the dinghy as far up as we could to avoid it being cast away at high tide. We walked across the dam and took a footbridge across to South Causeway Road which led us into town.

Brian and I had plans to meet Ryan and Jocelyn to explore tide pools this afternoon. Once ashore we had about 45mins to waste, so we took in the sights of Southwest Harbor town. This, as it turns out, took only about 10mins…but we did find ourselves in West Marine and were able to finally get a rod holder so that Brian can do some trolling.

Ryan and Jocelyn took us to a fabulous restaurant, Eat-A-Pita, en-route to Otter Cliffs. So delicious! Brian and I shared a chicken curry pita complete with all the veggies and extra curry dressing. MMMMM!

We arrived at Otter Cliffs and met with Mr. & Mrs. Haley to explore the tide pools during the final hour of low tide. This was a very successful venture! We found hermit crabs, sea urchins, sea stars, and green crabs.

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The boys had big sticks for poking critters…so you can imagine they were very curious! Brian and Ryan fished out a huge starfish and huge green crab from a deep, small tide pool. Brave boys!

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More amazing sights were seen along the drive back to Southwest Harbor, including a man with a very thick, black toupee. Yes, not only was it clearly visible as a toupee from our car but it also clearly matched the thick, black hair of the large dog this man was walking.

We had the privilege of using Ryan’s car for grocery shopping while he and Jocelyn joined the Haleys for dinner. Many thanks! This significantly eased the transport of the restocking that was necessary. We walked and dinghy-ed our groceries to Rode Trip, then brought the car back to Southwest Harbor. We caught a beautiful moon-rise on our way back ashore. I love seeing Rode Trip with her anchor light lit because it looks like she has her own little star above.

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Since it was late in the evening, we decided to have dinner in town. We found Sips and thoroughly enjoyed our experience there. From the beginning our drinks were tasty; a sailor’s martini (rum, orange juice, lime juice, and crystalized ginger) and Scottish stout. Our meals were scrumptious; chilled blueberry soup and an apple chèvre salad and duck sausage risotto with butternut squash and zucchini. Ryan and Jocelyn shared they also had a delicious dinner when the stopped by to retrieve the car keys.

We had an unexpected adventure on our walk back to Rode Trip. The tide was high when we approached the footbridge. So high, in fact, that water was rushing over sections of the footbridge and Mill Dam. Brian attributed some of this rushing water the the full moon, which by the way was beautiful and lit our entire walk until this point. We lit up our headlamps to investigate a bit further. The water was ankle deep and there was a cable/railing across most of the path. We moved out slowly across the bridge and continued over the dam. And then…the cable/railing ended! What kind of planning is that!?! I guess picking up that huge green crab had Brian still feeling brave. He walked across the un-cabled section of the dam and around the beach to the dinghy. Thank goodness the dinghy was still there! Brian rowed over to this damsel in distress and I was able to board the dinghy from the highest part of the dam. We paddled back under the full moon.

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