November 11, 2009
Today we took Lana to Casey’s Marina to be brought ashore for the winter. This morning we rowed out to her on glass smooth water, a very rare sight to us. The rowing was some-what surreal, The ripples from the oars were the only disturbance on the water. After reaching Lana we cleared the deck and stowed everything below & emptied the water tank. Then we dropped the mooring and headed to Casey,s. The water being so smoth and not wanting to disturb the tranquility of the moment; I chose to treverse the distance at idle speed. Just under 2 kts. When we rounded the bouy in front of Casey’s I put it in neutral and coasted the 200 yards. After tying up at the dock, we hauled the dinghy and stowed it on the fore deck.
Now we are making ready to depart Newport early in the A.M. by bus to Providence and the Amyrak connection to Boston, and than after changing trains, on to Portland.
We will not, however be staying in Portland just yet. While Lydia stays in Portland; Myself will continue on by bus to Waterville where my son will meet me and return our car to us. After which we will travle back to Newport to retrive that which we need from Lana.
After all the above is accomplished we will return to Portland. Hopefully, we will be settled in by this comming weekend.
November 05, 2009
Newport RI is a pretty town, full of shops of all types and gallerys for the tourist trade. It is an historic seaport that dates back to the 1600’s. Those who, like myself, like old arcitecture, this place is the place to be. Pre-colonial, Colonial, Victorian and Moder, designed to fit in with the old. It also has an Civil War era fort, Fort Adams. It is huge. On the hill east of the harbor one will find the mansions of Newport. Magnificent houses on wide tree lined boulivards with beautiful lawns and schrubs; with breath taking ocean views.
The harbor is well protected and deep enough for all kind of boats. There are numerous marinas and moorings. Yacht clubs and the home to ocean racers.
With Lana safely on a mooring we decided that we needed a place to stay until Lana can be hauled for the winter. Neill the mooring owner has been helpful guiding us to the right place.
We are staying at the Seaman’s Church Institute; A place set up for sailors and other seafarers who find themselves in a bind, and need shelter for a time. The building is located on the waterfront at Bowens Wharf, just a short row in the dinghy from Lana. Neill saw to it that we were close to the Institute and also moored in a more protected part of the harbor. The Institute also has an eatery called the Aloha Resturant, which serves breakfast and lunch at very reasonable prices in this rather expensive town. The staff at the resturant are friendly and helpful. The food is excellent. Jack, the director is a kind helpful and understanding person, being a sailor himself. The rooms are like those one would find in a small clean motel. The rent is very reasonable also. John, the caretaker is a wealth of information as to where things are, what to see and what to avoid. Basically the people of Newport are friendly and helpful.
We would have liked to stay here for the winter, but with things the way they are today, we will have to go back to Portland, Maine for the winter, where we know we have jobs and a place to live.
We will come to visit Lana during the winter, and in May we’ll splash her again and continue our journey to Florida.
November 02, 2009
As I sit in the Newport, Rhode Island Library, I realize that everything that has happen so far in this little odyssey has almost had a kind of kismet quality to it. For example, if you look back at the beginning of this leg of the journey you will see that every were we ended pulling into we had the facilities that we need and received an important cruising lesson. The first stop in Saco Bay, taught us to always have land around us when the wind really starts to howl. The next stop in Portsmouth, we learned that a mooring ball can in fact get caught between your rudder and keel. In Newburyport, the lesson we learned was not about the skill of sailing, but, the surprising generosity among sailors and people in general. While in Gloucester, we were allowed to see and experience one of the last working harbors in New England. Sittuate, turned out to be a respite and the most peaceful night of the trip. The Cape Cod Canal, Sippican Harbor and New Bedford, showed us that we are really at the mercy of the ocean, and our boat, if handled properly, will always bring us home safely. The lesson in Newport, RI seems to be an echo of what we have already learned; There will always be people who will help those in need and the ocean will always be surprising and inspire us and all of those who go to her for a sail or just an afternoon. We are not finished with our journey, because a great man and a man who has saved my bacon more than once has said, “Life is the journey!” and since we are not dead yet, the journey continues.
October 31, 2009
Wintering over in Newport will not end the blog entrys. We’ve learned a lot since we left Portland and will be sharing what we’ve discovered through-out the winter.
We will be pulling Lana’s Fault out of the water soon; cleaning her up and making her safe and comfortable for the cold season that is comming. We feel a sadness having to do this; We were having a great time and enjoying seeing new places and meeting new people. However, this years stormy weather seems to be early and has caused us many delays that we had not plan on.
As we take stock of our trip and assess things we will ad what bits of knowledge we have aquired to the blog for your entertainment and edification. We hope that what we’ve experenced will be helpful.
October 30, 2009
Tuesday 27/Oct/09 AM: Droped the mooring and said good-by to Newport, RI. Or, so we thought! We turned into the channel and headed south with a north wind on our stern. Seas were about a ft +. We had a Coast Guard buoy tender behind us as we headed out. The seas began to build as we got closer to open water and were at a good 4 to 6 ft. at 3 sec. intervals when we past the last point of land. As the CG boat passed I could’nt help but wonder if those boys were taking bets as to wether we would turn back or if we were crazy, and would continue.
Now, considering that we’ve been traveling for about 20 days and have had only 8 days that we felt travel was safe; we desided to turn back and retake the mooring we had left earlier. So, after we got back to calmer waters we started to assess what we had accomplished up to this point and where we might get to IF the weather was to change for the better. After listening to the weather report and hearing the same sad forcast, we made a difficult desition.
Because of harsh weather and our funds running low (it costs a lot to moor or be in a slip) we felt compelled to “winter over” in Newport. So it is here that we will be for the next 6 months, until May when it is warm again and the storms of November are history.
October 27, 2009
Saturday night was a doozy. We were glad to be in a slip safely tucked away in a corner of a safe harbor. The storm was quite wild; winds gusting to 45 & 50 kts. Rain at times comming down in torrents. Sunday was much nicer. We took a long walk in Fairhaven, took some photos and did some shopping. We heard that the seas outside the harbor were running at 8ft.
Departed today(Monday) around 0900. Seas were’nt too bad. We had a following sea that seemed to follow us no matter what our heading was. This kind of sea is somewhat more challenging to steer through; however it helps to make good time, as we arrived at Newport about 1500. Average speed 5.2kts.
New Port, RI. It’s got a large habor for cruising vessels, and plenty of moorings as it is late in the season. We will stay for the night and head out again in the morning, because, we’re going to have another good weather day tomorrow. We made 36.5 NM today and the trip to New London tomorrow will be about 40NM.
October 22, 2009
We left Sippican Harbor and the the seas were relatively calm. Once we were back in Buzzards Bay, they let loose on us again. We ended up following at least three boats, (all bigger then us). As we crashed through the waves, I realized now the reason people were always shaking their heads and giving us concerned looks when we told them what we were doing and the size of our boat. Due to our size and shape, we spent a lot of our time, bobbing like a cork. The other boats that were not motoring, ended up sailing on their sides.
As, we got closer to New Bedford Harbor the seas (Following again!) decided to calm down. Once behind the Hurricane Barrier, all we had to deal with was the wind. We docked at Sea Port Inn and Marina with the help of Chris. Once docked we walked across the bridge to New Bedford. Then we continued to scout out important locations in town.
On friday we intend to scout out Fairhaven. We will be here until Sunday at least. The weather has a small craft warning at least until Saturday afternoon. Sunday afternoon looks like a go. We will attempt Newport, Rhode Island.
October 21, 2009
We left Scituate Harbor at 0940 and set a course of 168M on a beautiful sunny and WARM day. The seas were calm with gentle swells, temps were in the 60’s, needed to motor as the winds were light and variable. Our destination was the entrance to the Cape Cod Canal. As the waters were calm we made good time and arrived at the canal entrance early, about 1500 and in time to meke the passage through.
To make the trip through the canal from the eastern approach one needs to enter on an Ebb tide. The currents run at 4.0 to 6.0 knots. We made the entrance right around maximum current. The waters were rough and to maintain steerage we needed to power up past the current. Well, let me tell you, it was quite the ride! The canal its self is 7.5 NM long and we averaged about 9.5 kts. at one point going 10.4 kts. Even with keeping steerage the swerling water made steering a busy task. We had a power boat pass us on our port side from astern, my guess at about 15 kts. When his wake hit us it caused us to roll and slide sideways. He then slowed down to watch his handy work. Power boaters; need I say more? Upon rounding the bend and approaching the Bourn Bridge the winds were suddenly strong and totally un expected! The day took on a whole new face. We entered Buzzards Bay crashing into 2 to 4 ft. seas, still with a strong ebbing current for the next 2.5nm.
Buzzards Bay was the opposite of what it was like in Cape Cod Bay and we needed to find a place to shelter for the night. Lydia chose Sippican Habor and ploted a course to there. We entered around 1700 and borrowed a mooring inside. The waters were calm and sheltered. A good place to be.
October 19, 2009
Today will be our last day in Gloucester.It is sunny, warm and not a cloud in the sky. The seas are however still rough. Yesterday (Sunday) we did not go ashore as it was a nasty, windy, gusting to 40kts.,wet, rainy day. Everything in the boat seemed to drip water, all from condensation. Outside the rain was comming down in, it seemed, buckets. It was heartening to listen to “Bob” as we refer to the NOAA automated weather guy, as he reported it looks as though we will have a stretch of good weather. Seas 1 to 2 ft. then 1 ft. or less. Winds 5 to 10 kts.
We are planning on leaving tomorrow and hope to make Scituate Mass (an old stompping ground for me). We are hopeing to make it through the Cape Cod Canal and into Buzzards Bay by Thursday.
Looking back reminds me of something not reported between Newburyport and Gloucester. We’ve seen several pods of Whales. Not the huge ones that people pay to go see in those Whale Watching Boats. We’ve seen Minke Whales and Northern Right Whale Dolphins. Both of these animals are, never the less, Very BIG.
The Minke’s get up to 35 feet in length and can weigh 5 to 10 Tons. The Northern Right Whale Dolphin can grow about the same size as the Minke. It is exciting to see them, as long as they stay a safe distance from the boat. They could make for a bad day.
October 15, 2009
As we entered Gloucester Harbor, it amazed how much different it looked from what they used in the Movie “The Perfect Storm”. The harbor is more cozy and well protected from No’eastern Winds. We know this from first hand knowledge; It appears that we will be here until Monday. Two No’easters are on their way.
Our first night, we scouted out the area, first for the YMCA, then the Library and then something to eat. We had to have a full stomach in order to tackle the Porta Potty problem. Anyway, we came upon a little out of the way place called “PoPo’s”, and let me tell you, that he has the best hot dogs, we have ever tasted. Spruce had a Taco Dog and I had to have a Chicago Dog. Boy, I can not say enough about the POPO’s. Check out our Photos and his website. If you make it down to Gloucester, see the Whales, the Fishermen’s Statues and Have a dog at POPO’s.