Adventures of Adirondack

Adventures of Adirondack

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!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cape Sable rapids

We had a delicious lunch at the home of Mimi and Dave and headed out for the Bay of Fundy, anticipating a Friday crossing. More HEAVY fog that condenses on the bimini framework and rains on us. As we approached Cape Sable, the southernmost point in Nova Scotia, in calm water we saw rapids from the tide on the radar!! They didn't turn out to be quite as fearsome as they looked on the radar, but it was certainly a new experience for us. Lester Smith came out here to our secluded anchorage at Clark's Cove in his fishing boat to check us out and is bringing lobster and his Mrs. to meet us tomorrow, on his 84th birthday. Waay cool.

Hello Shelburne!

We stayed at Carter Beach on Monday, a long, pure white sand park in a bay with these picture perfect islands around us. Ke 'Ola Kai rafted up with us to prepare chicken and brats on the grill, beets and greens in the pressure cooker, ceasar salad, date bars, wine and more, I think. It was heaven, or as least as close as I'm going to get. We pulled out in the morning in the sunshine, which turned to pea soup fog, which turned to sunshine, then more fog, then ended in beautiful sunshine as we pulled in to Shelburne. This is a really cool looking town without a really pronounced presence on the waterfront like a lot of these places on the coast. It really shines as you walk back and see all period homes and shops, a real easy place to spend a day. Sally did laundry while I did another fix on the dinghy, checked anodes and batteries. Now I really am done working on the boat, really...  Wes didn't help a bit with the dirty stuff, but did offer some suggestions.

After the laundry spins it's last load, we will head down the harbour (that's Canadian) to have lunch with Dave and Mimi who we met in Halifax on their boat, "J. Michael." We are currently sitting on their lovely mooring ball at the Shelburne Harbour Yacht Club. We really hope to see them again sometime, maybe cruising somewhere. You meet some folks on a trip like this that just seem to be perfect travel companions, and we are happy to have been able to spend time with them.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Goodbye Halifax

What a fine boating town this is! There were all sorts of festivities in this fine spot and we hated to leave the dock and our great travel companions. Jane and John had to hit the trail back to Minnesota, so Sally and I are on our own again. We went out onto the bumpy Atlantic and got to the town dock in Mahone Bay, a delightful spot with two quilt stores, a yarn shop and a rug hooking store! (This is how I evaluate a town...) Sally was in textile heaven. Then we went out an anchored in a nice cove where we are catching up on details like this. Tomorrow we are off to Lunenburg where there is some sort of music festival and the place is full of boats, no place at the inn. Hopefully we will be able to raft up with Ke 'Ola Kai again! Wes really likes Lisa.

I also rigged up a really fancy fix for the hole in the boat. I put a boat rag on top of the epoxy patch, then a small board held in place with another board so even if the epoxy let loose it still won't leak.

 For those who are wondering whether this issue puts us at risk for sinking, keep in mind this was less than a half inch hole to start with before I epoxied it with this fancy stuff that works underwater. We haven't accumulated enough water since the incident to even come close to tripping the bilge pump that is dedicated to this compartment. A permanent fix awaits us in South Carolina. Capt. Jeff

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A hole in the boat?

So today we were cruising along the southern coast, a long ways from shore in 51' of the Atlantic Ocean when we felt a distinct "bump." Sally and I were up top. We looked at each other then immediately to our stern because it felt like we hit a small log and they usually pop out behind us. Nothing appeared. I went down below and conferred with John and Jane who agreed that something had definitely happened. I went down below to look in all the bilges and found nothing amiss. I then checked the last one, the one below the v-berth and low and behold, there was seawater coming in!

I'm tempted to leave the next chapter for tomorrow, but I'll first tell you about our outboard which started hitting on only one cylinder yesterday, not a good thing. I swapped out the plugs and it still misses. And it also has had some trouble with the shifter, so we found out a place to get it fixed today, but couldn't get the motor there as it's a long ways away. So low and behold, Mark and Pat Chamberlain from Bloomington, Illinois came along the dock and wondered if we knew Gary and Judy Magnuson, some other folks from Bloomington who keep their boat in Bayfield. (Our hailing port in displayed on the back of our boat.) Well, as a matter of fact we did, and even belong to the same yacht club there. So we chatted for a while and they sat down for lunch right across from our boat. Then I found out about the transportation problem for the outboard and that there were no rental cars available until next Wednesday. So I walked over asked them if they would like someone to pick up their lunch tab and wondered what else it would take to bribe them into taking an outboard for a ride. Well, they took us all the way over there (quite a hike, I might add) and asked only that we gave a donation to our church and to pass the favor along. They were fellow Great Loopers and knew just what a big deal it was to get a favor like this. People are great.

So, that was our day. Oh, wait, I have already started another thread, didn't I? Anyways, so I looked at this half inch hole in the bottom with water coming in. The bilge pump was dealing with it without a problem, so I didn't order anyone to abandon ship just yet. John found my special epoxy stick that I carry for little problems like this and I worked up a batch, shoved it in the hole, held it there until it hardened and it's now dry as a bone. Pretty exciting for a while. We think we must have hit the edge of something sharp like a container and I reported it to the Canadian Coast Guard.

It's Busker Festival here, street performers all over town and the place is jumping. I love this town and we are parked just the right distance from the action. What a day!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Bye Bye Bras d'Or - Hello Atlantic

We had a lovely week in the Bras d'Or Lakes, which make up a lot of the interior of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. The lakes are entered from the west through a canal with locks at St Peter, but are open to the ocean on the eastern side, so the water is less salty than the ocean and a lot warmer.

The lakes have hills, towns, islands and a gazillion coves to anchor in. The waves never kick up too big (which we appreciate in a boat with no stabilizers) and in a short trip, you can move from one interesting place to another. We met up with Lisa and Dave on Ke 'Ola Kai on our first night - they were on their way back to St Peter after a week in the lakes - and rafted up for brats on the grill.

We then headed to Baddeck on the northern lake. Alexander Graham Bell had a home there and they have a National Historic Site with information about his life and inventions. The home is still used by the family, but is visible on the point near town.

John and Jane rented a car and we spent a day driving the Cabot Trail - a road that circles Cape Breton with glorious views of the headlands and ocean. We stopped for a swim at Ingonish Beach where you can swim in the ocean then walk over to a fresh water lake (much warmer water!). We had a perfect sunny day for the drive and did get a few short walks in to see a bog and old forest stand of maple trees.

The next day, John and Jane headed for the fort at Louisberg and Jeff and I waxed the boat - such fun! I rewarded myself with a visit to the Baaddeck Yarns store and got a few new skeins for projects. It almost made the work of waxing worthwhile. We certainly miss the Able Seamen, David and Adam, who are the best waxers I know.

We reached our farthest East point on the trip when we anchored in a cove in the East Bay of the lakes, so we are now heading west and south. We've come a long ways from Bayfield, Wisconsin!

After a night back in St Peter to stock up with water and groceries and do laundry, we passed back through the canal and into the Atlantic. We had good weather, so took advantage of it and went a long day, ending up in Little Liscomb Harbor for the night. The ocean is wavy and even with little wind, it was a rolly ride. We started with sun, but a cloud bank moved in and by the time we anchored, we had the fog horn sounding and were finding our way with GPS.

The next morning was foggy and windy. We moved back out into the open water, but the water was way too bouncy for comfort. We ducked back into the Liscomb River and found smooth water and lots of fog. A few miles up river was the Liscomb Lodge where we found a number of sailboats and another trawler savoring the calm. We dinghied to the lodge for lunch, swim in the pool and watching the women's soccer match in the Olympics - Canada vs. USA. We rooted for both teams and it was a great game.

Today was foggy, but the seas have settled and with GPS and radar, we made good progress on our way to Halifax. We should be there early tomorrow in time for the Busker Festival and getting the dinghy motor fixed. Sally

Monday, August 6, 2012

Weatherbound, finally

Last night was our first real night on the Atlantic Ocean. Well, I shouldn't say ON the ocean, as we were tucked behind a little island off the beaten path and protected from the wind. We still got some unsettling waves during the night though, so it wasn't nearly as calm as the rest of our anchorages. This morning we decided to try to move further down the coast of Nova Scotia, marching on to Halifax. Well, it wasn't to be. We got out there and ran into some waves from the SE and decided it wasn't our kind of cruising and ran up the Liscombe River to hide. We found a really cool lodge there and were able to anchor and use their pool, athletic stuff and everything available to their guests. This included a big TV which we were able to watch the US-Canada soccer Olympic game on. Pretty cool. I went for a hike and ate lots of raspberries. Wes stayed on the boat and practiced cribbage.  Capt. jeff

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Farthest East, ever!

Today we went farther east than we've ever gone in Adirondack, a longitude of W60 degrees 32 minutes, waay farther east than we ever went in the Bahamas. Tomorrow we will head back west and south, probably never this way again. We are anchored in a place called Oyster Cove up in East Bay of the Bras d'Or, the salt/freshwater lake that people around here rave about for sailing. It's pretty nice with warm water and cute little towns with lots of history about the Scots who migrated here from, guess where, Scotland! Today we hiked to Iona, where there is a place called Heritage Village, a simulated town depicting that event. It was really interesting, and quite the hike. We are starting to watch the weather window for a crossing to the coast of Nova Scotia. Wes is already concerned.  Capt. Jeff