Adventures of Adirondack

Adventures of Adirondack

Friday, November 30, 2012

Our Town

Well, it's been a quiet time in Stillwater, our home town. The bridge to Wisconsin is closed for repairs and the Holiday Snowflake lights are lining Main Street.

I came home the end of October from Wilmington, NC, just before Sandy hit the area. I hosted the table full of Unitarians at the St Joan of Arc Cabaret. We had won a table at last year's event and sold seats at the White Bear UU Church auction. It was a grand night of music and we UUs fit right in with the liberal Catholics at St Joan's.

The next day, I went to church and the second reading was from the third act of "Our Town," by Thornton Wilder. I drove to Eau Claire afterwards to see David and was listening to "The Prairie Home Companion" on the radio. One bit was a take-off on "Our Town" with a Jimmy Stewart Narrator hitting on a Marilyn Monroe Emily. David is a Theater Tech major at UW-Eau Claire and one class this fall was in lighting. He worked on the lighting for the fall play, so I went to see the last performance of - "Our Town." Quite the Our Town Day.

In November, I flew to Vermont for my Dad's 90th birthday celebration. We vigiled in the morning and had a lovely afternoon open house with good visits from friends and neighbors. The next day, Joanna made yummy gingerbread for treats after Quaker Meeting and we had a good dinner at the Waybury Inn across the street from Riverbarn, where Dad shares the house with Winslow and family. It was wonderful to have Linda there from California and to have time with Dad, Win and his family. Wren, the Vermont Wonder Baby, has grown into an amazing, delightful 10 year old with a love of books (a genetic Colwell trait) and a great sense of humor.

After getting back to Minnesota, I have had time to clean the house - 5 months away, 3 of which the condo was occupied by two young men, left the place with a need for some thorough clean-up. But I also had time to see friends, take walks, knit, read, and enjoy washing up without worrying about using up the water supply. It is lovely to take a shower and not turn off the water while soaping up!

Holly, the cat, is back at home after spending time with our upstairs neighbor. Sadly, Tigger, David's cat who was in foster care in Eau Claire, developed liver failure and had to be put down. He was a great cat and we'll miss him.

Jeff arrived home safe and sound on November 19th. We were so lucky to have two good friends help him move Adirondack from Wilmington down to Jacksonville, Florida. It made his trip so much safer and more fun and allowed me to come home without leaving him in the lurch. Adirondack is now tucked in at a marina till we return to Florida on January 4th and continue the adventure.

The boys were both here for Thanksgiving. We made a turkey and all the fixings and had great left-overs. We saw many of the Janacek clan the next day up at Bruce and Joan's cabin on Lake Shamineau. David headed back to school, but Adam finished his fall trimester and is home till January. After a few very quiet weeks by myself, it is great to have the energy of the Captain and one of the Able Seamen here. Sally

Friday, November 23, 2012

We're HOME! For a while...

Sally came back from Wilmington, NC while I was on the hard waiting out the hurricane. This turned out to be a very good piece of timing, as we had scheduled our repairs there exactly when Sandy came roaring through. Adirondack was up on stands in the yard, about 25 miles from the action. All I ended up with was a lot of wind, rain and leaves all over the boat. Not too shabby.

I then ended up going down the ICW with Greg and Bob, two friends who graciously helped me move to Jacksonville. It is possible to pilot him alone, but it's somewhat nervewracking to stay in the center of a ditch that is sometimes very shallow. It was a great run.

Adirondack is now parked in Lamb's yacht Center, a cheap place in Jacksonville, FL where he will be safe and have a few very minor modifications which were brought out in the survey we had to have for the insurance company. We will be back on board on Jan. 4 when we plan to head south to catch up with Dennis and Mary somewhere in the Bahamas. And because no blog is truly complete without a photo, here's some gannets we saw on Ille de Bonaventure this summer. There were a lot more.

So nice to be back in Minnesota. The temperature dropped from 60 degrees at noon yesterday to 21 this morning with a wind chill right around 0. So nice to be back in Minnesota. Our friends in Ft. Lauderdale called yesterday to tell us it's 80 and sunny. So nice to be back in Minnesota. Capt. Jeff

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Across the North Atlantic!

Well, it didn't really feel like the North Atlantic, but that's what it says on the charts and it's an exciting title, so that's what I used. We left our anchorage at the Kilkenny River early this morning to catch the tide out because the nine foot tides create quite the flow. We anchored there just off the Intracoastal Waterway because we had gone far enough already. It's kind of stressful zigzagging back and forth through these creeks and rivers in the tidal currents and shallow water. We are constantly hearing about boats running aground and have to watch so that we don't join them. Bob looks at the iPad with its software and I look at my chartplotter and the daymarks as we try to figure it all out so far so good. And we got through Hells Gate, the worst spot in the ICW yesterday on a minus tide, quite the accomplishment.

So today we started to cruise down the ICW with the same itinerary in mind and came to an inlet, where the waterway joins the ocean and we turn back inland. On a whim, I checked the forecast for the outside (the North Atlantic Ocean side) and found it to be much better than it was yesterday. We turned outside, thinking we would try it out and chicken right back inside if we didn't like it. Well, we did as we encountered one foot swells which got smaller as we trundled south about 29 miles to the inlet to St. Simon. We saved lots of time, fuel and it was so relaxing, compared to the inside. All we had to watch for was a few other boats. I even made a hot lunch!

So tonight we are anchored behind St. Simon in a quiet spot and will hit Brunswick tomorrow for laundry, food, fuel and some walking. This is a photo of Adirondack back at that fancy South Carolina Yacht Club we stayed at. This fancy area had to be entered through a lock and was surrounded by homes, all cost over $1M, I'm sure. I'm sure everyone there shared our politics.

And here's the view from Bob, my navigator and able crewmember. Remember if his version differs from mine, always go with mine!
 Capt. Jeff

Day 7 anchored outside St. Simons Island, GA.

We spent last night, Day 6, anchored in Kilkenny Creek between the ICW and the Kilkenny Marina. A nice calm river in the middle of nowhere - really, this part of GA is lightly populated. We had hoped to dine at the only restaurant in town but it is only open Wednesday to Sunday - Not a major metropolitan area.

We talked to a couple of shrimpers as we passed by in the dinghy - shrimping was bad and they were hoping for a change in the wind (?). Then a stop ashore to get some extra oil for Adirondack. We met 2 more of the locals - have you seen the movie "Deliverance?" I don't mean to be unkind but communication was difficult and I thought about that "...squealing like a pig" scene.

Adirondack was due for an oil change (every 300 hours whether it needs it or not) and 2 (countem 2) new filters. A large diesel engine lies just below the salon deck. Just enough room to crawl around on your hands,knees then put you in traction. Jeff fit perfectly, but he needs to get large shoehorn. So, 5 gallons of used oil came out and 5 gallons of fresh oil went in...very carefully.

We took off early this morning continuing on the ICW until we reached Sapelo Sound where the ICW passes the Atlantic ocean. The weather forecast was good so We agreed to leave the ICW, for awhile, to make better time, save a little gas, and most of all, take a break from the constant navigation needed to keep from going aground in the shallow passages of the ICW. This was the first time in the ocean since Charleston and probably our only opportunity before Jacksonville.

We were surprised to find it so shallow and had to go to the 3 mile limit to get to safer waters.
The sea was gentle - Rolling along with easy swells for the 30 miles it took to reach the south end of St. Simon Island. Fishing trawlers, pelicans, dolphins and sunshine. Set a straight course, watch for deadheads, then listen to classic rock on a Sirius channel. You could also have been seasick for 30 miles.

Tomorrow, Day 8, it's a short trip to Brunswick, GA where we'll gas up, take out the trash, do the laundry and the town.

Storing good memories,


Sunday, November 11, 2012


This isn't our boat, but one that was parked right next to us at the spot we picked up our crab pot.

Tonight we are moored at the Westin in Savannah, just across the river from the expensive side, so we have to take a free ferry over there for the sights and sounds of one of the great southern cities. Last night we were at the Windmill Marina on Hilton Head Island, which turned out to be even more snazzy than it sounds. We were able to use our Bayfield Yacht Club membership (and it really doesn't seem much like a yacht club compared the the South Carolina Yacht Club we stayed at!) to get a very cheap rate. The place had a set of locks to enter it so the poor yachties don't have to deal with the tides.

Here is a blog entry from Bob Meyenburg, my latest crew guy. Disregard anything he says that conflicts with anything I say in my blog.

Day 5, 120 miles from Charleston, SC traveling south on the Intercoastal Waterway (ICW). Jeff and I are docked in front of the Westin hotel on the Savannah river across from downtown Savannah, Ga. 

We had a fine day touring the historic district in a trolley car bus driven by our guide Rueben - a very funny guy. A little overcast today and light rain but no big deal. Savannah is a great tourist town with a busy waterfront and a free ferry to take us back across when we were ready. Chocolate chip ice cream and pizza. Live it up fat boy!

We left Charleston on Day 2 and went 50+ miles anchoring off the ICW near the mouth of the Bull River. A sunny day, although it was cool, the night on the boat was calm and uneventful, that is, until morning. We were distracted just long enough after pulling up the anchor and drifted towards shore and caught a "crab pot" around the prop. This is not good as it has a tendency to strangle your forward motion. Har Har. Jeff thought he might have to don his diving gear and cut the Adirondack free. I volunteered to watch the boat. Fortunately the new line cutter just installed on the shaft (?) did the job. Jeff was quite relieved.

Day 3 we spent anchored ( for free) outside the marina in Beaufort, SC. We took the dinghy into town and did some touring in their historic district in a one-eyed horse drawn carriage. 26 year old Charlotte was our driver and guide. Seems the horse had cancer in his 3rd eyelid and survived and now pulls tourists 2-3 days a week. Beaufort is a very pleasant community. We crossed the river to find a restaurant we heard of and met some marina people who shared their beer right off with Jeff, who couldn't say enough about southern hospitality. Seems they were California transplants though - HA. Then we went to the Filling Station (bar) and had a 10 dollar steak meal.

Day 4 we left Beaufort for Hilton Head Island. A real special place noted for boating and golfing. We passed Parris Island where young Marines to be train. So, Jeff starts calling marinas and gets a reciprocity deal with the South Carolina Yacht Club. This marina had a lock we had to pass through, the inside of the marina is protected from tides and weather, so this is a pretty big deal. So we tie up right in front of like...a dockside mansion. If all the boats in this marina were sold and applied to the national debt we could tell the Chinese to take a hike. The MAN at the lobby door reminded Jeff to remove his hat (can't take him anyplace). 

So, Day 5 we arrive in Savannah, GA. What a wonderful place to include on a vacation in the south.

I have to mention that the ICW is near but a safe distance from the ocean. It is salt water, dolphins, cormorants, pelicans, and huge marshlands ranging out from shore. The elite build large beautiful homes on shore with walkways and docks that stretch out extremely long distances to reach the ICW. Like I could build one too if Susan and I sold our house to finance it. Of course we would have live in a tent on the beach. HA.

Tomorrow we'll leave Savannah and continue our trip to  Jacksonville, FL. The plan is to return before Thanksgiving, around Nov. 18-20.

Avast ye landlubbers,


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Crew Change

We got to Charleston just after a violent thunderstorm and before more rain. Greg and i spent the night at anchor in a place called Whiteside Creek, just a few miles NE of Charleston. A bunch of bad stuff showed up on the radar and we appeared to be right in the zone. Many of us picture an anchorage as a protected spot, hiding in the trees sheltered from the wind. Well, this was sort of like being anchored out in the middle of an airport and we were definitely the tallest items in sight. It boomed and crackled and was bad enough to call Sally and have her check up on us, but really wasn't that bad.

We then pulled in to Charleston, one of the world's best boating cities. Greg and I did the Maritime Museum which features an aircraft carrier, destroyer and a submarine. Talk about a serious commitment to war. I just wonder if we could have health care someday instaed of battleships. Oh, well.

On the 7th, Greg flew out and Bob Meyenburg flew in. We pulled out of town the next day in terrific, but a little cold, weather and headed for Beaufort, SC, another of our favorites. We anchored along the way in Bull River and found that Sally and the boys and I had anchored in that very spot in 2007. Except that time we didn't back into a crab pot and wrap it around the prop like we did this time. Our new line cutter did its job. I was not looking forward to scuba diving in the murky, fast current.

Today we are on the hook out in front of Beaufort trying to figure out what we are going to do in Hilton Head, a complicated place. Here's one of the boats that is out here with us, a boat I find that hurts my eyes.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Moving south

Tonight we're anchored right out in front of Georgetown, SC, one of my favorite stops on the ICW. We just happened along here today into a festival of sorts featuring all kinds of great foods and music. She-crab soup, BBQ, southern rice, various desserts and more. We walked the streets and thought about Sally's yarn store, but passed by them.

Last night we stayed at the Osprey Marina in Myrtle Beach. This is one of the best and friendliest places I've been at, and only $1 a foot! Sally and I remember being close to here in 2007 when a tropical storm went through.

We've had some terrific weather so far, highs on the 70's, lows in the 40's and 50's, sun every day. It's supposed to be warmer tomorrow but starting to look like rain for when we get to Charleston.

Saturday, October 27, 2012


First, the Dismal Swamp, a really nifty stretch from Virginia to North Carolina, a route surveyed by George Washington a while ago with a lock at each end. It's a fairly narrow and shallow corridor that many boats can't take due to their height or draft. We had a great time, stopping at the visitor's center for the night. We just can't pass up a free dock. We met some great new friends and pushed off the next day on our southward journey.

We crossed Albermarle Sound early, as this is one of those places on the Intracoastal that can get really mean with the wrong wind. We anchored out in Dowry Creek, a great dark spot to watch the anticipated meteor showers that were supposed to light up the night. I got up at 0400 and can attest the night stayed pretty dark. We got to Oriental, the Sailing Capitol of North Carolina just in time to secure a spot on the free city dock. We made some new trawler friends there on "Clover" and went to Morehead City, where we tied up next to a restaurant ($25 if you eat there. What a bargain.) and waited for Dave and Lisa on Ke 'Ola Kai to roll in. They are 70' tall and too deep to go inside and have to go outside.

We were starting to get some serious reports of a hurricane brewing in the Caribbean, not good for any boat, especially a little one like ours. Back in 2007 when we came this way we had a tropical storm go by us while we were tied up inside next to a restaurant. It sunk four 60' custom aluminum bluewater sailboats. The Coast Guard saved everyone on three of them, but there wasn't a trace of "Flying Colors" or her crew. This is serious stuff and we started to plan for it.

We had already planned to get hauled out and get the bottom repaired after our little running aground incident in Ontario. We also needed a new survey for insurance and new batteries. Thank goodness that grounding stuff is never going to happen again, right? We made reservations to have the work done way up the Cape Fear River in Wilmington, NC and started up there. We turned off the Intracoastal and proceeded upriver with the tide and promptly ran hard aground, right in the middle of our prescribed channel in two feet of water where all the charts, guidebooks and other sources of this information said there was EIGHT feet of water. As we sat there we watched the locals roar around us on the other side of the greens, where the chart said it was two feet deep. A short time later after we availed ourselves of our towing insurance (the first time ever, really) we were back in business. The tow guy said all the tourists run aground there, but I'm sure he tells that to everyone he tows.

The next day we got hauled out and finally got a good look at what happened when we drove up on that rock in the Trent-Severn Waterway. Actually, not much. It was very difficult to see anything other than scraped bottom paint, but there was apparently some damage to the gelcoat. This is one tough boat. We also got all the batteries replaced, new packing in the stuffing box, the marine survey for the insurance company, a line cutter to take care of any crab or lobster pots we miss and all the anodes checked. We're going to get the valves adjusted, put another filter on the dinghy motor and replace an antenna. And then we are all done working on the boat, forever. Nothing else will ever break or need fixing from now on, really. That's good, because I really don't like working on boats, really.

But back to Sandy, the hurricane, serious stuff, like I said. Down on the coast they are expecting 50 - 70 mph wind, lots of rain and big waves. We elected to stay up on the stands here in the marina parking lot, quite a ways from all the action. I have a rental car, power, water, restrooms, internet, TV and a cat to sit on my lap whenever I leave the boat. Sally went back to Minnesota, though. She's going to a concert tonight, one of David's plays tomorrow and will try to generate some income. I'm going home before Thanksgiving having successfully gotten two great buddies to help me get Adirondack to Jacksonville, where he will wait for us until after the New Year. And then we are off to the Bahamas. Capt. Jeff

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Eight Bells and All's Well

We went to the Annapolis Boat Show last weekend - boat heaven for Capt. Jeff. It is the biggest, in-water boat show in the nation and was very impressive for the number and variety of boats there to explore and all the stuff that goes along with boating. I found my new favorite phone app: a ship's clock free app from Weems & Plath! Now my pocket chimes bells marking each 4 hour span with from one to eight bells. It can even be set to be quiet at night (unlike our clock at home)! It makes me smile every half hour.

We left Annapolis and made it almost all the way down the bay, stopping in Solomons, Maryland, for a much needed marina stop for laundry and groceries. The dock was full of big Krogan trawlers; they had just had a rendezvous at the marina and many were still hanging out there. One of the boats was from Afton, MN - just down the road from our home in Stillwater. At another dock nearby was a sailboat from LaPointe, WI, just across from our home port of Bayfield in the Apostle Islands. The Midwest was well represented.

Laundry was done and all electric items were charged up. The weather report was for a lot of wind and waves, so we stayed put the next day and I had a delightful birthday day: beautiful sunny weather, a great maritime museum, delicious lunch of oysters and some knitting time with my Nova Scotia yarn.

Our oil mishap kept us in Solomons an extra day - which turned out to be a good thing. Our friends on Ke 'Ola Kai came in and reported it was a day of waves and pouring rain as they crossed the Chesapeake, not the kind of day we like to travel in. We were able to clean the engine room, do more laundry (of all our oil spattered clothes) and have dinner with Lisa and Dave! We traveled with them the next day to Deltaville, Virginia to a lovely anchorage. Yesterday we finished the Chesapeake, making it all the way to Norfolk.

This morning we left and headed up the Elizabeth River and into the Dismal Swamp. George Washington helped survey this long ditch, dug by hand to drain a swampy area. We locked through at 11 AM with 13 other boats and had a slow quiet passage 18 miles to the visitor center near the middle. We are tied up at the dock tonight with 8 more boats and will leave early tomorrow to the lock on the southern end then continue down a river to Elizabeth City, North Carolina, where we have our absentee ballots to pick up.

Now we are trying to make time going south so that I can get back to MN and then to Vermont and Jeff can have the boat worked on (the keel repaired and batteries replaced). The weather looks good to make some distances in the next week. Sally

More Boats

We left Solomons in a small craft warning, but the winds were supposed to be behind us and we had the advice (Go!) from Dave and Lisa Ke 'Ola Kai, whom we trust implicitly for their opinions in these matters. So after they tested the waters, we followed them out and had a pretty decent run, except for some turbulence at the confluence of the Potomac, but that only lasted for a while. We pulled in to Deltaville, a quiet little spot with all kinds of anchorages. Sally and I were scouting the place out in the dinghy when we found a place that sells ETHANOL-FREE GASOLINE!!!!!! You can't imagine my excitement! I should have taken a photo of the attendant, but I'm sure he wouldn't have wanted me to be around anything flammable had I acted out like that. We haven't found ethanol-free gasoline since Canada, where they are too smart to put this poison in their gas. Apparently the farm lobbyists haven't bought all their legislators, yet.

And if that isn't enough to just jump up and down about, IT'S BEEN THREE DAYS SINCE I HAD TO PUMP UP THE DINGHY!!!! I'm sure I've whined about this before, as I'm not one to suffer in silence about something as important as this. It's been leaking a year and I finally found the hole and patched it. Once again, life is truly worth living.

So today we left Deltaville early to try to catch some of the favorable southbound tide to the mouth of the Chesapeake, but that wasn't to be, although it was dead, flat calm, sunny and a gorgeous day to travel. Sally picked today to test our our electrically heated motorcycle vests, my brilliant replacement for a flybridge enclosure. $160 for the vests vs. $6000 for an enclosure. They aren't perfect, but they help. Can you just see Sally wearing a Harley Davidson vest?

We pulled into Norfolk and saw hardly any warships compared to other times we've been here. I guess they have better places to be. We pulled into a marina and Sally walked over the the Apple doctor to get a cord fixed, so she is truly complete and has no excuse to not be blogging twice a day.

Today we are going down the Dismal Swamp, a canal surveyed through the woods and swamps by George Washington. It's beautiful, narrow, shallow and quite the adventure. There will be photos. Capt. Jeff

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Good, the Bad and the UGLY

As we were trundling south towards the warmth of Florida and the Bahamas, we discussed our itinerary with Dave and Lisa Ke 'Ola Kai. I like to use people's boat names instead of last names as they are more important. They told us the Annapolis Sailboat Show was over and that the corresponding Powerboat Show was to be held the next weekend. Wow! The biggest powerboat show in the whole US!! And we were just a few miles away! It was preordained by the boat gods for sure. We just had to attend.

We pulled into Spa Creek, tied up to a mooring ball and started to tour Annapolis, a pretty cool town. I found out I could use my impressive West Marine credentials (a business card) to attend the VIP part on Thursday and got in three hours of serous study before Sally and I went together on Friday. It was quite the show, with lots of trawlers to tour, many booths with knowledgeable experts, seminars, new products and more. We were in heaven, and so enthralled with the place we didn't take a single picture. We really didn't find anything there we really wanted to take home, except maybe that 40' $500,000 Greenline Hybrid, that is.

We left and moved down to Solomons, Maryland, a beautiful cruising town on the western shore of Chesapeake Bay. This is serious sailboat country with all kinds of boats out there enjoying no wind and a beautiful day. So what's bad and ugly? Well a routine maintenance issue turned against us. I've always done all the oil changing on the boat, after watching someone else do it the first time and paying $140 (and furnishing the oil and filters I might add!). And it's really not that hard. This time it was only a filter change, which isn't much of a project. Easy, anyone can do it, no problem....

We fired up the motor to go and Sally yelled that the oil alarm was going. I told her to turn off the engine, knowing way down deep just what I was about to face in the engine room. The gasket on that filter had failed to seat properly, causing the oil pump to squirt out three gallons of oil all over the engine room in those few seconds! There are about eight separate bilge areas on the boat and three of them were completely contaminated with used motor oil. What an awful mess. We pumped it out as best we could and sopped up the rest with special oil absorbing pads and paper towels. It was pretty much what we really wanted to do. So we are still in Solomons. Capt. Jeff

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Bye Bye Lobsters - Hello Crabs!

We are working our way down the East Coast. The water is getting warmer, so the lobster pots are disappearing, but are being replaced by crab pots (which look a lot the same). At Cape May, the southern tip of New Jersey, we had a great afternoon exploring a nature preserve then riding bikes along the Wildwood boardwalk. Most of the boardwalk stores were closed and the many amusement parks along the way were silent. It must be a crowded, noisy place in the summer!

For supper, we ate blue claw crabs at the restaurant at the marina. A tray of crabs was placed in front of us and luckily a woman at the next table saw our confusion (and Jeff's raising of a wooden hammer to hit one) and gave us an inservice on crab consumption. You hold the legs on one side and use a thumb to pry off the carapace, break the body in half, shake out the green stuff, then break apart the base of the legs to get out the meat. The hammer is used only on the claws. By the end of the tray, we had the technique down and were complimented by our instructor that there wasn't much meat in the bowl of discarded shells. Sally

Not always Pina Coladas

So the other day we were pulling away from Chesapeake City, a cute little spot in the middle of the C & D Canal that connects Delaware Bay and Chesapeake Bay. We anchored there after a bouncy passage up the Delaware after spending some time with Bill and Laura, two nice folks on a cute red American Tug that we met there. A few miles down the road the engine started to starve, a symptom of a clogged fuel filter. Now this engine (recently named "Felix," after my father) has two sets of fuel filters, the primary one that is easily replaceable, and a secondary one that's not. Those who remember our last scuffle with the fuel filter issue will recall that I have lots of experience in replacing the primaries. I knew it was the secondary, mounted on the engine and requiring more sophisticated tactics.

Well it just so happened that my new friend Bill and I had just been discussing this very topic yesterday and he seemed to have some ideas about this. We turned around and went back to see if he really knew what he was talking about. A very short time later we were underway again! Anyone who watched this repair would say he did the whole thing, but I know he couldn't have done it without me, as I knew where the spare filters were stashed.

So down the road we went to Rock Hall, where we tied up to the free city dock. We planned to stay there a day, but got all wrapped up in another repair project. It seems our "Wirie," a miraculous invention that finds wifi miles away from anywhere, had been acting up. I had notified their tech support people, but we hadn't gotten around to implimenting their suggestion, which involved taking down the mast and tightening a connection. We also wanted to wire up the Wirie in a more permanent fashion, as it has become a real asset to our communications. So we dropped the mast and were deep into this when Bill and Laura pulled up and docked behind us. Bill then spent much of the afternoon helping us with the project, finishing just before cocktail time. And now it seems the Wirie works again! Capt. Jeff

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Circle Games - Life is a Carousel

We've completed the Downeast Circle Loop!! We anchored Monday night in a spot behind the Statue of Liberty, in the same place we spent time 5 years ago when we were cruising the Great Loop, so we've officially "crossed our wake." Now we head down the coast!

We had a wonderful time along the New England coast. After leaving Boston, we passed through the Cape Cod Canal and got to New Bedford, MA. They have a wonderful whaling museum and great old downtown. Herman Melville based a scene from Moby Dick on the Sailor's Bethel, a chapel in town.

We were turned back by high winds when we left, so spent an extra day exploring Fairhaven, the town across the river with some amazing architecture, a scrimshaw shop, a great yarn store and a huge West Marine store. We were all happy. 

With the winds and waves still big, we took the ferry to Martha's Vineyard for a day trip. The cruising guide mentioned there was the "Flying Horses" carousel in Oak Bluffs. Peg collects carousel horses and knows so much about them. She managed to arrange a visit to the closed building and a tour with the manager, Robin, who obviously    loves the carousel she cares for.

The next day, the weather gods smiled on us and we headed for Newport, RI. We rode the trolley tour and saw many of the old mansions of the upper crust rich and famous. We were windbound again the next day and walked the Cliff Walk then split up to see the boat restoration school (Jeff) and the National Museum of American Illustration (Sally and Peg). We dinghied back to the boat for lobsters - just missing the rain squall.

New London, CT was the next stop - to pick up some GPS chips for the chart plotter that we had mailed there. The marina was a bit funky and rough around the edges, but the people were great. They were having a get-together / barbeque and we were invited to dinner and good conversation.

The next day we made a long jump to Black Rock Harbor and then were able to get all the way to New York then next morning. We passed all my old places from growing up - Larchmont, New Rochelle, Pelham. Places that I had spent time on Long Island Sound on other boats and with other friends and family. Another circle.

We timed coming into the East River and Hell Gate perfectly - getting a push under the bridges and along the east side of Manhattan with views of the Empire State building and the new World Trade Center. We finally emerged into the Hudson River, crossed to the other side and the protected, free spot behind Lady Liberty.

After dropping off Peg to take the ferry across to Manhattan, we headed under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and across to Sandy Hook NJ then down the coast to Manasquam, where we come into the start of the protected, calm Intracoastal Waterway that will take us South. Sally

Safe in Beach Haven

Another interesting day that started out from a quiet anchorage just off the Manasquan Inlet to New Jersey, south of New York City. We ran from an incredible spot behind the Statue of Liberty to Manasquan, outside in the Atlantic Ocean. It wasn't fun, three to four foot waves on the beam until we got to the inlet, which didn't look too tough until we got into it. For the second time in our boating experience on Adirondack, I "gave it all she's got" to get through that outgoing current. We were happy to get on the other side and into Glimmer Glass, a quiet anchorage near there.

We woke to serious fog, and proceeded south in it, using radar and the foghorn. We saw one other boat. We also almost ran into a great big marker in the fog, but we don't want to talk about that today.  Right now we are tied up to the dock in a marina, here because we spent $1000 on fuel. Capt. Jeff

Peg Perspective

From the vee-berth, presently happily occupied by Peg Guilfoyle

We pulled out of New London, CT this morning early, wanting to make some miles downcoast toward our Lady Liberty goal, the free anchorage behind the Statue of liberty.  The day started out gray and cool-to-brisk (translation:  Peg wearing everything she brought with her, plus wind pants borrowed from Sally), but the sun came out in the afternoon and warmed everything up, sufficient to lie on the deck and watch blue sky and clouds over Long Island Sound swing back and forth over the mast.

We saw many monarchs today, fluttering toward the south, flying in some cases into the wind and outpacing the boat.   On the starboard side, over Connecticut, a cloudbank that must have been a hundred miles long, and on the port,  a more mobile sky that formed and shifted as we watched... a rampant horse, an enormous cat face with alert pointed ears,  a Redwall mouse carrying a spear and proceeding toward the continent.   The sea was extraordinarily calm, so much so that its surface could be watched and speculated on.... this dark line approaching is the shadow of a cloud racing over the Sound,  that change in the surface  marks an underwater ledge and change in depth, that buoy marks rocks.  The expanse of water and sky is tremendous and hypnotic;  the wake behind the boat extends forever, with nothing to disturb its perfectly expanding lines.

We were on the water traveling today for five hours or more, right along the edge of the continent, where the undersea geography drops away invisibly beneath the boat. Sunday regattas were off in the distance and we passed the occasional red bell buoy rocking gently. Conversation is desultory, and we touch on oysters, what we remember about American history, Sally's Uncle Ben, plans for tonight and tomorrow, and shipwrecks in the Sound, thinking of the things we are passing over.  3G and Google are employed as tools, but it too fine a day to look at screens, so we mostly concentrate on the sky.  Sally knits... she is working on a beautiful scarf... at one point, she goes below and soon Jeff and I smell brownies baking.  Really!

Right now, in the salon, with a squall approaching,  Jeff and Sally are working out the approach to Hell Gate and the East River in NYC for tomorrow....  samples:  "enter one hour and 45 minutes after high tide at the Battery"   "what about tidal current and tides proper?  much reading of tide tables and perusing reference materials.  "on a seven knot boat, you have an approximately three hour window to make the passage", 
"Let me look at this other source",   "and don't forget that these printed tables do not correct for daylight savings time..the online  tables have been corrected..."  The wireless here is not great, at least so  far, so Jeff is on the laptop, Sally is on the Ipad, and I hear a bit of sprinkling of rain on the hatch.  The squall is arriving but, snug aboard,   we can watch it come, as they do their calculations to prepare for a safe passage tomorrow around what the history books call New Amsterdam.  

Monday, September 24, 2012

Bikes in Boston

We had a great time in Boston. We pulled into Constitution Marina, just across from the North End, and stayed two nights. It was a short walk to the Freedom Trail, Paul Revere's house, Old North Church, lots of Italian restaurants and food stores. Peg and I wandered and Jeff had a great bike ride along the Charles River.

We met our friends, Linda and Rad, for dinner and delivery of a new davit for the dinghy and lovely universal pump-out fitting which had been sent to their house. As we waited outside Mike's Pastries for Rad to get a canoli for dessert, we watched a Harvard Crimson writer take over a balloon artist's spot and make a wonderful bicycle (much more impressive than the simple balloon flowers he had been making).

As we walked Rad and Linda to the T stop to go home, she stopped to throw the bicycle away and Peg protested and ended up with the creation (her roommates said she makes them all the time and they didn't want it!)

The next day, we visited the Constitution ("Old Ironsides"), Peg climbed to the top of the Bunker Hill Monument, we went to the amazing Farmer's Market, watched a bike race around City Hall, I visited the Public Garden to see the "Make Way for Ducklings" statue. We returned to our now favorite Italian restaurant and Jennifer the waitress for dinner. Then the next morning we were off to head South down Cape Cod Bay and the canal at the end. Today we are off to New Brunswick and the Whaling Museum! Sally

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Cape Cod Canal

Tonight we sit in an anchorage just on the west end of the famous Cape Cod Canal, first envisioned in the 1600's as a shortcut around the peninsula and finally finished in 1916. We arrived there from Boston on the east side about 4:00 pm and the current was against us. Half way through it stopped and it was pushing us out the west end. I guess the waves can be over six feet high if the current meets the waves there but I don't want to see that.

Boston was terrific; the Constitution Marina was quiet, close to all the action on the North End and the cheapest place to stay in town. There is so much to do there. Capt. Jeff

Friday, September 21, 2012

Notes from the v-berth

September 15

(entry from Peg Guilfoyle, presently berthed on Adirondack)

A long fine day that started in a soul-less chain motel, and is ending in the berth on Adirondack.   Salient features:  a bus driver named Barbara who recommended the same dive-y restaurant, J's Oysters, as my buddy at the baggage claim yesterday.   Ask for my friend the bartender, Mary, and tell her I sent you!  She called out the local sights to the whole bus as we whirled downtown.  "Lady from Minnesota!"  she said.

Easy intersection with Jeff and Sally at Dimillo's Old Port Marina and much marching up and down the vicinity of the old port.   a dinghy tour of the harbor... ship names Harsh Mistress,  Maine Responder, which on internet exploration appears to be a huge pollution control vessel, and Sero Sed Serio, which research reveals to be a Scottish clan motto saying meaning  Late, but Steadfast.  Jeff runs the dinghy below the piers!  We ask some returning fishermen if they have lobsters to sell!   I nap in the afternoon!  We go to J's Oysters, which is wonderfully dive-y and have lobster stew and we share a bucket of steamed clams, dipping them in clam juice or butter.   Then we walk through the port. The marina has a lot of water movement in it.  

September 17...or whatever day is it, because I'm already losing track.   A long fine Sunday, after a snug long night in the cabin.    Went to the First Parish Unitarian in Portland this morning, founded 1670-something, and was greeted warmly.  Great church space, with heavy incised carvings in the walls detailing early ministers, all of whom sprang from Harvard, and a great set of religious symbols carved on a white wall behind and above a very ship's prow type New England high and fierce pulpit, which the minister ascended, thick gray hair swept back to orate.  box pews,  collection boxes on long arms, two young musicians on piano and cello who did a fine job, detailed and full, with the hymns.   Then up to the Portland Museum of Art, arriving at the same time as a 1000/plate members opening for a new Winslow Homer exhibit... we were not admitted! but saw the permanent collection including  a stunning NC Wyeth Lobster Boat painting peculiarly hung when one first got off the elevator.  We pulled out past the Portland Headlight around 2 or so and out onto the Atlantic.  I've never been on the ocean in such a small boat and it was stunning.  Huge swells like breathing, a million lobster buoys to avoid, and a cool breeze rapidly cold-ing.   Jeff at the helm, Sally with the I-pad charts navigating us down the coast, long vista of water and breakers and cliffs, tide falling on the clock.  We eventually settled for Kennebunkport, and entered the breakwater at absolute low tide looking for a reputed mooring ball, in what felt like half the river exposed as mud and bottom.   I called out soundings, eyes glued to the depth finder, while Jeff steered and Sally called the harbormaster to locate a mooring ball next to a sailboat named Night Magic.   Marina mooring here is $4/foot, so the free mooring was quite a score.   Hardly any water!    Now the stars are high and cold above the river, Sally is knitting, Jeff is emailing and we had live lobster dinner... okay, never done that before.  After instruction, I chose not to eat the green stuff or the tomalley.  What an amazing day.   After a bit of napping down below... it was cold up on the flybridge, I came back up, wrapped up, to help watch for buoys.... there was one narrow shape bobbing up and down wildly and very buoyantly.  We passed with it close on the starboard side and, not having seen that particular shape before, I glanced down at it and to my utter astonishment, it was the fin of a gigantic dead shark!  It looked like a great white, just like the darned movie, as if it were spiralling up out of the deep, so the snout and jaws and torso were about to break water, turned so its side fin bobbed rhythmically into the air.  The torso must have been 10 feet in circumference.  I have never imagined such a sight, gone in an instant and in the wake, leaving me gaping. 

This was just after we passed the presidential buoys, where, apparently, they set a security perimeter when the Bush's are in residence. 
So tonight we're tucked up in the Kennebunk River, tide rising, stars hanging high and cold.   Next low is at 6 a.m., so by the time we're up and ready to dinghy across to the little town, there will be enough water to go and explore the village a little.  One of the wealthiest communities in Maine and no doubt adorable.

But that shark!!

Monday night, Portsmouth NH

Another amazingly day, full of grace. Waking up in Kennebunkport to a completely transformed river scene, the water high and full and running, no more mudbanks.   The marinas asking a per foot hourly to tie up to explore the town, so dinghy-ed across instead and walked into an appealing little village, full of shops;  we seem to be gravitating toward specialty food's acquisition dark chocolate sea salt caramel sauce to be drizzled over apples.  We pulled out at 11, once again motoring down a transformed access and out into the ocean, headed south and reviewing options for a possible two day weather layover   Seas are supposed to run 8 to 12, and they're using the dreaded word gale.   Portsmouth looked like the most appealing spot for holing up but the currents and tides in the river here are extreme, so we had to plan to arrive at slack tide in order to get safely in.  A beautiful ride over... but cold on the water, and I was really cold this morning.    Walked through Portsmouth this afternoon after being met by Steve the marina guy, who presented us with an access key under elaborate subterfuge circumstances.    It's a new moon with extreme tides and a storm coming;  he made no bones that he was hoping for salvage and a few necessary tows in the next few days.   There's a Navy shipyard here that works on nuclear submarines, and a very lively street life.  Monday night, dozens of restaurants and shops open, hundreds of people out and about.   

a fine long harbor day waiting for the gale to hit, changeable weather and a good day to be ready to change clothes.   i charged off for a walk first thing, wanting to walk out to the beach and hoping to see wild sea in advance of the gale.  It was a long hike and so diverting that the relative still-calm of the ocean did not disappoint.   Through Portsmouth and to an extended road, over a few bridges with beautiful vistas of the town and the water on both sides...  and a forlorn little skiff on a mooring ball lettered Chicken of the Sea on the stern.   If you were afraid, fear would run rampant since the water is such a dominant feature of the universe here.  On to New Castle Island, full of winding streets and dead end lanes and beautifully kept houses tucked patchily together with gardens bright with flowers, doors and house walls closely bordering the roads, and occasionally the bones of the island revealed, huge granite sloping up and disappearing.   I don't know when I've enjoyed a walk more.   Eventually past the Congregational Church and a little post office with an elderly caned man emerging, and finally to a beach opening up to the bay.  Tide low revealing that ecological system so mysterious to me.  Sitting, looking at the horizon, the small strand with a dog-and-man, some seabirds on rocks.  Jeff and Sally brought the dinghy over to pick me up at the Portsmouth Yacht Club, and then we had a fine ride through the river and harbor, admiring it all, while the weather turned south and the breeze chilled.  We borrowed dock space to stop for a snack and wait for the tide to slacken so the run back would be easier and by then it was starting to look like weather.   It's hours later now, though, post-hot-chocolate and used bookstore and chasing fairy houses and calling home from the back deck in the night with the river running hard back out to the sea.   
Tonight the seas are supposed to be 8 to 12 feet and it won't likely settle for a couple of days.  I'd like to see it from the beach, remembering how all my life I have loved a storm. 


Storm passed with no fuss here at this safe dock, and really little sense of it.  Another day of being in love with Portsmouth...who knew?   There's a nice little theater, too, that shows good touring stuff and arthouse movies.  Things I've considered from here... a wonderful felted birdhouse.  some great-looking but expensive clothes.   fancy salts.   a compass rose medallion.  a towel that looks like a kilt for my Scot husband.  Things I've bought.... none. 

I had sea legs in town today.   Nearly a two hour walking tour of the port and then a visit to the Strawbery Banke museum. 

4 a.m. Thursday into Friday

in Gloucester Bay.  The wind has come up and that heavy line from the mooring ball is rubbing back and forth along the bowline, just above my feet.  I am used to the night and day sounds of Blue Boat Home, but not Adirondack, so knocked at the stern cabin door and then went out to take a look, with the ready-at-all-times starboard flashlight.   The stars!   Orion is hanging low off the port bow, and the Dog Star at his heels.   They all seem lightly fuzzy here, a trick of the air above the water? 

We had a lovely run today over a rough-ish ocean, (Jeff and Sally say it's the roughest day they've had), as the water settles down from a gale-ish storm now two days past.  We were fortunate in heading, with wise Sally adjusting from her I-pad charts, to be able to stay in relative harmony with the disorderly waves, but still some tossing and pitching (or is that 'yawing'?) Bright sun and at the end heading into the sun's path, and a cool breeze.  Fewer lobster pots farther out, but still hazardous.  When visiting with their friend tonight here in Gloucester, I added the word 'cutters' to my maritime vocabulary, with Peter reporting having hauled his boat out for work and finding a watermelon sized ball of line, presumably somewhere near the props.  'Cutters', installed on the shaft, will sever any line encountered ("cutters and throttle up!') The approach into Gloucester Bay was lovely, the welcome shelter as we neared the entrance to the river, and a long twisting channel with boats on mooring balls everywhere, beautiful homes with grass running down to the water, (Massachusetts is civilized!, Sally says) and something I've never seen before, small, neat summer homes simply set on floats off the channel.  A narrow railroad bridge after a hard right hand turn, lifting quickly after we called... I always like to think of the bridgetenders working on manuscripts for their novels in the hours between lifts... and a wonderful and very low little town bridge in which we were perched well above the roadway even when all their lifting was done.   Joggers, people walking dogs, town traffic, pausing in their day as we swept through into the open expanse of Gloucester Bay and toward the house of a friend.   What could possibly be better?  

The lights of Boston, some 25 miles away, glitter like the Emerald City through the opening in the breakwater off the bay.   We're headed there tomorrow and then on toward Cape Cod.  

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Boston Bound

And tonight we are in Glouchester, MA, on a mooring right in front of Peter and Laurie's house. Who are they? We met them in Quebec a loong time ago, cruised much of the DownEast Loop with them until they pulled ahead of us and now we are together again, at least with Peter. We are planning more adventures in some of the the same areas later this year. We had dinner with Peter and his daughter after he shlepped us around to fill up our brand new propane tank that he had picked up for us. Life is good.

We just left Portsmouth, NH this morning after holing up there for three days while a storm roared through  for a few hours one night. What a town this is!! It is now my personal favorite, barely edging out Halifax. Great stores, atmosphere, a West Marine and a rich history in a very walkable package. Life is good.

We had another little boat adventure yesterday. Our outboard got sick again and the outboard doctor suggested a good fuel filter to prevent future infection. As I was looking at the dinghy for a mounting location I noticed one of the dinghy davit brackets was badly cracked. This is a big deal, as it carries the entire weight of the dinghy and its motor and if it broke while we were underway out in the big water like we were in today it would not be good. I went to the trusty West Marine store and got some of those ratchet binder things and supported it until a new one arrives tomorrow from California. A close call, to be sure. Life is good.

It's going to be just like Christmas when we get to Boston tomorrow! We are getting a new pumpout adapter so we can empty our holding tank just like everyone else, some new navigation chips and the bracket. And we get to see our friends, the Deckers. Life is good. Capt. Jeff

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Blueberries for Sal

We had a great time at Camp Sabael on Indian Lake in the Adirondacks. We got to spend two weeks with David and Adam and my Dad, sit on the world's best porch, swim in delicious water, hike in the mountains, stain the porch and rebuild the kitchen deck and see lots of family and friends that are part of Camp.

We returned to Belfast Maine (with a stop at LL Bean in Freeport and purchase of many things blueberry)  and picked up our next crew, Anne (my Middlebury College roommate) and Mike from Kansas. Mike grew up in Maine and has had some good ideas of places we should go.
We went over to Castine to visit the Maine Maritime Academy and toured their training ship,  State of Maine, and found lobsters for dinner.

The next day we scampered (as fast as one can at 8 knots) to Rockland to duck in to a harbor with good protection from the predicted strong south winds from the hurricane Leslie moving up toward Nova Scotia. Rockland was a great place to spend a few nights. We toured the Farnsworth Art Museum with lots of Wyeth's and the Owl's Head Transportation Museum with lots of planes and old cars - that they take out and fly and drive periodically. The nearby watering hole, The Time Out Pub, had great fried clams, rivaling the ones in Escumiac NB, and a television for Jeff to get a little US Open Tennis time.

The waves didn't quite live up to the predictions of 10-12 feet and settled down after two days so we were able to cross over and check out North Haven then tuck into a beautiful anchorage, Perry Creek, just south in the island of Vinalhaven. We could explore up the creek in the dinghy - seeing Great Blue Heron and a floating house.

The wind was coming from the Northwest yesterday, so we headed out along the east coast of Vinalhaven, visiting the town at the southern end of the island. After a walk around town, we moved over to Hurricane Island and picked up a mooring ball at the site of a former Outward Bound School and now a research, education and leadership program. The hike around the island was great - woods and rocks, a buck scared off as we came by, interested remnants of the granite quarry that had provided stone for many famous buildings and the base of the Washington Monument.

Today we are off to work our way West - heading to Portland by the weekend. Maine is wonderful and we want to come back! Sally

Monday, September 10, 2012

Back in the saddle

After two wonderful weeks in the Adirondacks, we finally had to put David and Adam on their respective planes back to college and we had to get back to our real life, cruising. "Adirondack" had a wonderful time on a mooring in Belfast, where he was carefully watched over by Wes, who said he didn't like mountains and wanted to stay on the boat.. The boaters who read this can imagine my pleasure when I got back onboard, went directly to the voltmeter and found it reading about 12.3 volts! Boat things don't always work like that. As an example, after I equalized the batteries yesterday I noted some variances between the six house batteries. This is never a good thing and may indicate that after seven years of faithful service, they may need replacement. Thank goodness we can push the boat to start it.

The weather has been holding out for us, even in the Adirondacks, where we had only one evening of rain the whole time. However, we got back to find that hurricane Leslie had passed by out in the Atlantic and was kicking up eight foot swells which caused us to run like rabbits for the nearest secure harbor in Rockland from our nice anchorage near Castine. It turned out to be less severe than we feared, but we never mind that outcome.

Tonight we are in a beautiful anchorage called Perry Creek, located just south of North Haven. We've invited yet another family of lobsters for dinner. We really have the cooking of these guys down to an art form (it really isn't much of an art) and can't wait for dinner. Wes hasn't shown much of an interest in eating lobsters, one of the few things we really like about him lately.  Capt. Jeff

Friday, August 31, 2012

Life in the Adirondacks

Well, here are our boys at the Blue Mountain Lake Museum, one of the finest of its type I've ever seen. It has a terrific selection of all sorts of wooden boats and sections about mining, transportation, logging, art and everything about the Adirondack Park. If it's not on your to-do list, it should be! We have "Adirondack" parked on a mooring ball in Belfast, Maine while we rented a car to get to Vermont, picked up Adam and David and headed for Camp Sabael. There are usually a few chores there waiting for us, and this year we refinished the front porch, tore out and replaced the back porch and rebuilt the steps on the dock. Now we are seriously relaxing with multiple swims, hiking, great food, camaraderie with others from Camp, cribbage (I'm currently leading), knitting, puzzles (Sally's currently leading), lots of porch time, boating, reading (Ted is currently leading), and whatever else suits us at the moment.

We're not likely to blog again until after September 7, when we re-board with Anne and Mike and head towards Portland, where we trade them for Peg. Life is good! I love it here, but I long for the boat. I wonder how he's doing. I'd love to see what his voltmeter says right now.  Capt. Jeff

Monday, August 20, 2012

Back in the USA

We had a perfect crossing on Saturday from Yarmouth to an anchorage at Roque Harbor, Maine. We had intended to go on Friday, but just as we started out, a sailboat came back in and said we wouldn't like it out there. Experience has taught us that when folks like that tell us things like that, we believe them, so we spent another day in Yarmouth. And it was interesting.

An annual event called the "Shark Scramble" involves a whole bunch of fishers from all over who go out for a day of shark fishing. The three largest are kept for a weigh-in and party, and prizes are awarded. The fins are sold to Japan and the meat is sold elsewhere and all proceeds go to the schools. I was talking to a group from one of the boats, and they let me take a photo of their sharks. This also turned out to be the boat that caught the largest ever, a 1082 pounder that this book was written about. Just about everybody on that whole dock said they had something to do with the landing of that monster. So I told the guys I had to get back to the boat, but they wouldn't let me go unless I took a whole pile of grilled lobster back to her. We ate some that night and Sally made a fabulous batch of lobster thermidore with the rest. I already miss Nova Scotia.

Today we're on a mooring ball in Northeast Harbor, just down the road from Bar Harbor, where we went yesterday. There's a free bus that takes people all over on Mount Desert Island. Bar Harbor was a bit much after Nova Scotia; I don't think we need to go there again. I have never seen so many beautiful boats packed into such a small area in my life. I dinghied all over the bay last night checking them out; I was in heaven.

Today we are off to East Belfast, where we will park "Adirondack" on a mooring while we go visit the boys and Sally's dad in East Middlebury and Indian Lake until Labor Day. I'm not sure just where I got this offer of a free mooring ball from this guy, but we are taking him up on it. Wes is going to stay behind and keep an eye on the boat. He says he doesn't like mountains. Capt. Jeff

Friday, August 17, 2012

Wonderful Nova Scotia

We have been having the most wonderful time in Nova Scotia. Halifax was a great city. The marina was right in downtown in the heart of all the action and it was Busker Festival week, so the waterfront was full of interesting and amazing performers doing their acts for the public. The weather was sunny and warm - a nice change after the foggy, wet days we had before we got there.

We had the dinghy motor fixed and Jeff dove on the hull to check out the small hole we developed right before entering Halifax Harbour (we think we might have hit a log floating just under the surface of the water). We are patched up fine - the outside of the hull looked OK, so we can wait till the boat is pulled out in November for the definitive fix.

After leaving John and Jane to rent a car and see Lunenburg then return to Minnesota, we headed west along the coast and went into Mahone Bay. We tied up to the Mahone Bay Town pier and explored the town. It had the best yarn store, a rug hooking store and two quilt shops - a feast of fiber! We anchored in a nearby bay for the night and the next morning had breakfast with Dave and Mimi, cruisers we met in Halifax, on their boat, "J. Michael." We continued to Lunenburg, a world heritage site and beautiful old fishing town. We stopped the next day at Carter's Beach - white sand and cold water!

The town of Shelburne was our next stop. We tied to "J. Michael's" mooring ball at the yacht club and did loads of laundry. The town's waterfront had many old buildings and was a delightful place. We stopped at Dave and Mimi's house on the way out of the bay the next day for lunch, good talk, delicious peaches and vegetables from their garden.

To break up the long trip from Shelburne to Yarmouth, we stopped after a foggy cruise in Clark's Harbour on Cape Sable Island, a fishing town. We anchored along the south shore and had a visit that night from Leslie Smith, who brought us two lobsters the next morning and joined us for tea and a chat. What a wonderful man.

 We had more fog on our way to Yarmouth, but it cleared as we arrived so we could see part of Schooner Passage and find our way up into the harbour to town.

Now we're waiting for a good window to cross to Maine and back into the United States. We'll miss Nova Scotia!