Sailing south on gale force winds

N 42° 48' W 70° 52'

The kindness of Strangers

October 14, 2009

10/13/09 Tuesday

It is amazing when ordinary people witness extraordinary circumstances while traveling through their daily lives.  Spruce and I bore witness to one such situation the other day.  As, you all know we are currently in Newburyport harbor, waiting out the winds.  Well, as we came into dock on monday, a gentleman helped us with lines and tying our boat up to the dock.  We later learned that his name was Phil, and that he lived locally.  He offered to help us in anyway.  We are quickly learning that sailors are very willing to help out a fellow sailor.  Well, back to Phil, he popped a later that evening and said his wife had offered to make us dinner.  That was an offer we surely could not refuse.  So, on tuesday after we helped Phil move his boat across the harbor, his wife picked us up and we were off to his home.  On the way to his home we learned that it was his wife’s birthday. 

  As, we entered their very old and historic home we were greeted by a very large dog named Roscoe and a smaller, but no less enthusiastic puppy named Shelby.  Further into the kitchen we met, Sheryl (Phil’s wife), Grace and Hannah (Twins-not identical), and Sheryl’s friend, I think her name was Beth.  After the introductions they ushered us into the family sitting room, were they made a fire in the fire place to take the chill out of the air.  As we warmed ourselves next to the fire we each shared stories about sailing and Maine.  As, it turns out Sheryl grew up in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.  The little girls also shared stories about sailing and their lives as well.  Before dinner Grace and Hannah presented their mother with a hand made bracelet, (Which was better than most of the ones I have seen in the shops around town.  I think we may have been present at the beginnings of a future jeweler)  The other gift was a picture frame, which we could tell was made with lots of love and creativity.  

While we joined together and passed the meal around we could not help but stand back and marvel at the amazing people we were with and their heart felt generosity.  Like, I was telling Spruce the other day, I missed Cundy’s Harbor and Portland, because the people were so kind and generous to us and I was a little homesick.  But, meeting Phil’s family, I realized that there are still people out there who will trust traveling strangers and offer friendly assistance and a helping hand when needed.  I can not wait to see who else we meet along the way!

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N 42° 48' W 70° 52'

Wicked Bad current cometh this way

October 13, 2009


We left Portsmouth Harbor at about 7:20 AM in the morning.  Wicked early, the temperature was so cold, I had four layers of clothes on and Spruce had about two layers.  We were up earlier in the morning because the mooring ball decided to be naughty and go under the boat again, at 4:30 AM.  We got it untangled and decided since we were up we might as well get ready to go.  The sail or motor to Newburyport Harbor was uneventful  until we came to were we thought the entrance to the harbor was and had a hard time finding the buoy. We found the buoy and I had a minor coronary, because of the rather low chart depths and the Wicked Bad current, which was going as fast as 2 KTS. (Check out the Buoy riding it)  We made to the Municipal Dock and broke the boat hook again trying to get the boat hooked to the mooring.  I once again had to get into the dighny, but this time the wind guards were up and jump over the life rail into the dighny while Spruce drove the boat. Once the boat was hooked up, we went in to see the Harbor Master and settle up, as they say in these parts. unfortunately he was not, his assistance said wait till tomorrow and move to the dock.  

We decided we would check out the Columbus Day Festival instead and get some food.  Spruce felt a little culture shocked with all the loud noise so we ended up at the Oldies barn and the Marine store buying Propane, a Boat Hook ( The Cadillac of Boat Hooks!), Ethanol Treater.  Once we returned to the boat we moved it to the dock.  Were we met a very nice guy named Phil who had a 30 something Benateau sailboat.  He offered to help us in anyway because he lived here locally.  After we topped off the water we walked around Newburyport and ended up having two Kraut dogs at Angie’s Food.  The Food and the service was great even though we heard the coming weather report and even more distress….. The Red Sox are done for the year.  Later that night we plugged into the dock power and used the blissfully quiet electricity (The genny is a little loud and we have to leave the hatch open so we do not pinch the cord, a little draft occurs which is so cold.)

We plan on waiting till thursday and attempting to sail to Gloucester next and then waiting till Sunday, to leave if the weather is with us.  

Will, thank God for the Newburyport Library and their WiFi !!  We Love Libraries!!!!

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N 43° 04' W 70° 43'

Sitting it out in Portsmouth

October 10, 2009

09/Oct/09  N 43.04.418

               W 070.43.142

At 0900 we cast off the mooring in Saco Bay and headed in a southerly direction. The weather was cloudy, cool and windy. So we would not have to tack all day we decided that motoring would gain us the most desired distance for the day (good decision). We were able th keep an average of 4.5 knots and made 36+ miles. The seas were running from 1/2 ft to 3 ft. With winds at 10 to 15 kts. Gusting to 20 kts at times. We sailed into Portsmouth NH at 1600 on a following sea and SW winds at 17kts .                                                        

After exploring the whole of Kittery/Portsmouth harbor we took up a mooring off Salamander Pt. on New Castle Island. Here we will stay until Monday the 12th to wait out this next in a series of BLOWS. The winds today have been steady at 15 to 20 kts with some gusts up to 35 kts.


Sitting out a BLOW in Portsmouth, NH. Another BLOW for tomorrow. We’re planing on a short jaunt for the next leg. and will visit Newburyport Mass. next. Only 17 miles. Another BLOW is expected for Tuesday and to try for Gloucester would be a risk as we don’t want to enter an unknown harbor after dark and it is abt. 44 miles from Portsmouth.

We will try to go ashore in Newburyport to see the sights etc.



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N 43° 31' W 70° 19'

Stayed the night in the Lap of Luxury

October 08, 2009


We spent the night at the Black Point Inn and if you have not, it is quite the experience, for the view and the amazing food.  Little Joe was working and suggested we go into the chart room for dinner.  The view was phenomenal, because we could see our boat! She was bobbing around and at the same spot, we left her.

We plan to go back at 5pm when the winds subside and the water is slack so the current does not blow us out to sea.  Friday, we will be heading back out towards Kittery and Cape Porpoise (Safer Harbor to ride out Gale force winds).

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N 43° 31' W 70° 19'

Leaving Town & Guess who is coming to Dinner

October 06, 2009


N 43.39.42

W 70.14.05

We left Pyc with the wind on our starboard quarter.  We hoisted our sails and got up to 4.8 to 6.8 kts without having to tack in the harbor.  I was working the sails and Spruce was at the tiller.  Around 4:45 pm we realized that the seas were building and we needed to find an anchorage.  We decided to anchor just off of Prouts Neck near the mooring fields.  at 5:50 pm we dropped anchor at N 43.31.798, W 070.19.673.  Around 6:00 pm we had a visiter for dinner… A juvenile sea gull. (See Pictures).  The gull was so friendly that I fed him by hand and a silver(stainless silver) spoon, we were in Prout’s Neck after all. We remembered our literature, Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner, and figured if were nice to Charlie than we would have good luck.  Everything was calm until the winds came at midnight.

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