Monday, August 7, 2017

1983 (9) - South to the Chesapeake

Motoring past Manhattan.  The Twin Towers are standing in the background.

To go to the beginning of this book, Tropic Moon: Memories, click HERE.

We made a late start heading south from Maine, not leaving till October 1st.  We did an overnight sail to Provincetown, MA, then put in for a week of visiting with our friends on Nantucket.  We had decided to head to the Chesapeake Bay for the winter, and to travel along the coast, as neither of us was interested in an offshore passage in late October weather.  That meant taking "the long way around," but it brought us to new harbors, and gave us an intensive course in coastal navigation. 

Cruising down the East River.
* * *
Approaching Manhattan.

Highlights from that trip:  Day sails along the Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut shores into Long Island Sound.  Sixty miles of night sailing through Long Island Sound with favorable current and reasonable weather, deciphering the myriad lights of buoys, lighthouses, shore side lights, and the navigation lights of night-time shipping.  

Ed at the wheel.  It was cold - Ed's wearing his
wool watch cap, and a wool scarf around his neck.
It was a special day for us!

Reaching New York City, and cruising down the East River, enjoying an exciting day of traveling along the famous concrete world of Manhattan.  

Looking back at the bridges, and the way we'd come.
The Statue of Liberty!

Passing the Statue of Liberty on our way to northern New Jersey.  An overnight sail down the Jersey Coast past the bright lights of Atlantic City.  

Motoring through the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal.

A day trip up the Delaware Bay and through the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal.  And, at long last, reaching Annapolis in the Chesapeake Bay on October 31st.  

Oxford Boatyard.  The marina where Tropic Moon spent the winter.

In Annapolis, we checked for dock space for the winter, without any luck.  We moved on, and found a good marina for Tropic Moon in Oxford, Maryland.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

1983 (8) - Maine Finale

Mirage - 1
When we lived on Tropic Moon, we used a 35 mm camera to take slides.  Years ago when I was scanning the slides, I accidentally scanned two slides, one on top of the other.  I liked the result, and played with the image in Photoshop.  Above and below are two of the images I created.

Mirage - 2
Below are the two slides that yielded my "Mirage."

Slide 1 - Taken from Harbor Island
Slide 2 - Which you'll probably recognize from the Great Schooner Race.

During the month of August, we cruised several more of Maine's lovely harbors and anchorages.  We hiked miles, climbed mountains, and found some culture along the way.  We saw a play by Moliere at the Acadia Repertory Theater, and attended the Arcadia Music Festival, where we listened to a flutist perform with a Chinese bamboo flute.  We went on a whale watching excursion, and even saw Walter Cronkite on his boat at Northeast Harbor.

Tropic Moon at anchor below.
Me, picking blueberries, on Mt. St. Saveur.
That night I made blueberry pancakes for supper.

Our time in Maine ended with a haul out on August 25th, during which we had the hull sandblasted to bare steel.  Proposed for a week, it ran to a month, putting an end to our summer cruising.  Because of the haul out, we made a late start heading south from Maine, not leaving Southwest Harbor till October 1st.
Merchant Island, Maine.
To go to the beginning of this book, Tropic Moon: Memories, click HERE.

Friday, August 4, 2017

1983 (7) – Vinalhaven

Maine sunset.

To go to the beginning of this book, Tropic Moon: Memories, click HERE.

Another Maine harbor we enjoyed was at Vinalhaven.  It was an active fishing harbor; most of the anchorage was taken up with moorings for the lobster boats.  That whole area of Maine had once been supported by the granite industry.  We wanted to spend a day exploring.  We packed a picnic lunch, and hiked out to a granite quarry that served as the local swimming hole.  The quarry was a lovely site, with its hacked-out ledges climbing their way down to the water's edge.  I couldn't believe we had the place to ourselves - and we didn't, for long.  In less than five minutes, several cars arrived, disgorging packs of kids.  We gave up on the quiet ambiance, and settled in for a colorful display of flashing swimsuits and noisy games of chicken, as the boys dared each other to jump off higher, and yet higher, ledges.  

Scenic Maine

From the quarry, we walked to a mountaintop park.  We climbed a road bordered with logging areas, trash dumps, and junked cars.  But near the summit we left all the garbage behind, and surfaced on the granite-topped mountain.  There wasn't so much as a picnic table or another person up there.  We had a great view of the bay and islands to the west, with Camden Hills in the distance.  Our return trip took us to the historical society museum, the ice cream parlor, and back to Tropic Moon for a well-earned rest. 

Full moon rising.

Our stay at Vinalhaven had started off with an invitation for drinks on a boat called Piper.  A young fellow came by on a windsurfer to say, "The captain of that black boat over there invites you to cocktails at quarter of six."  Fine, we were always game!  Gordon greeted us at the boat.  His son, Colin (the windsurfer), joined us when the wind died down.  Gordon played the bagpipes (hence the name of the boat).  Gordon was a retired executive from IBM.  He had, at one time, raced cars (Jaguars), and owned a horse farm in Nova Scotia.  He'd bought an old fisherman's home on Vinalhaven and was fixing it up for his retirement.  All these varied and sundry facts were documented in photographs hanging around the salon.  A battered, two-foot high wooden statue of a Scot playing the bagpipes dominated the salon. 

Tropic Moon waiting for us while we were off on one of our walks.

In discussing places to eat, Gordon and Colin recommended the Sands Cove as their favorite local restaurant.  They warned us it was a bit on the rustic side.  The evening after our hike, we headed back in to shore to give the Sands Cove a try.  We found an old shack (the kitchen) about a half-mile out of town.  The picnic tables and sawed-off log benches were set behind the shack, where they overlooked another picturesque cove.  A big wood fire burned in a rusty oil drum that served as the grill. 

Pretty to see, but we had to be careful not to wrap one around our propeller!

I thought the menu was great - it gave a choice of two dinners.  The steak dinner included a whole crab, a whole lobster, a 10-oz. steak, a baked potato, fresh salad (from their garden), homemade bread, and tea or lemonade.  Or you could have the steak dinner and omit the lobster (Ed's pick).  The second dinner was the clambake that included a whole crab, a large basket of steamed clams, and a whole lobster, corn on the cob, salad, bread and drink.  Or you could get just a lobster or a steak, and order ala carte.  I opted for the lobster, and ordered shrimp cocktail, coleslaw, and a breadbasket that came with two slices each, of three kinds of homemade sweet breads.  The owners caught the seafood, including the shrimp, and baked all the breads.  Instead of a nutcracker for opening the shellfish, we were each given a stick.  You put the claw or tail or leg on the table, and hit it with the stick.  Very effective!  Large garbage pails graced the end of each table.  There was a hose to wash down the tables (and the diners) when the dinner was over.