September 26 If you’ve ever flown into Logan Airport in Boston you’ve experienced what appears like you’re about to make a landing on the ocean. Being in a sailboat sailing into Boston Harbor right across the approach to runway 4R is, in my opinion, an even crazier optical illusion. We had scheduled Trevor’s flight and our leg to Boston to coincide. As we went across that approach path to Logan an American Airlines plane flew over us and appeared to be headed directly for our mast. Jim confirmed that the plane, which WAS carrying Trevor, was at least 100 feet above our 73 foot mast. Trevor saw Somewhere as he glanced out the window from his seat. How cool is that? Our timing was suburb.
It was a bit chilly when we dropped the lines off the mooring ball to head from Salem to Boston, but the sun was shinning and the water was very calm. We had no problems approaching Boston Harbor and we were really surprised to find that there wasn’t as much water traffic as we had expected. Trevor took the water taxi from Logan that brought him straight to Long Wharf across the harbor. It is great to see him and I think Annabelle is just as, if not more, happy to see Trevor than we are. That cat loves Trevor. After all, it was Trevor she followed home and lived with in his bedroom secretly for a week before he confessed that he had taken in a stray. Annabelle NEVER sleeps in our bed. She doesn’t cuddle with the other cats. She’s just that type of cat, but Trevor is her human. She slept with him, just like old days, in his mid-berth bunk last night. She’s very loyal to him.
We have wandered the streets of Boston and had a great lunch/dinner at Durgin Part in Faneuil Hall Marketplace. We spent some time at Whole Foods picking out our snacks and meals for the next few days. Trevor is a very strict vegan. I felt terrible about picking up some Gouda –Trevor’s favorite cheese when he used to eat it, but I didn’t let the guilt stop me. We don’t really each much meat on board Somewhere and it really is no sacrifice to entertain a vegetarian for a few days, but no way-no how am I willing to stop eating cheese. We came to a compromise on bananas, though. I have never allowed bananas onboard. I know it’s superstitious, but bananas are bad luck on boats. There is a grain of truth to the banana ban. Bananas being shipped on cargo boats carried deadly spiders back in the day. They also rot faster than other fruit and emit a gas that ripens nearby fruit faster. I like bananas, but they have no place on a boat. I acquiesced for Trevor, though. If anything bad happens this week, it’s the fault of his bananas and if he doesn’t eat them all, they’re going back with him or will feed the “Maritime Squirrels” (Rats) that live in the dumpsters in Boston Harbor.
We’re sailing back to Salem later on today where we have reserved our affordable mooring ball. Trevor will get his experience sailing on the Atlantic and it will be interesting to see how he compares the salt water to sailing on Lake Michigan. We’re so fortunate to be able to spend this time with Trevor. I’m hoping for a bit warmer temperatures, but it is fall, and the bite in the air is expected. The warmth of family takes the chill out of the air.
September 23 I think our feet are getting itchy. This is the longest time we have stayed in one location since June and even though we are having a great time in Salem and Marblehead, there’s something very different about the past week for us. Even the cat crew is getting nutty. I woke up this morning to cat toys strewn all over the boat and Mia racing from the v-berth to our aft cabin and back again. The cats seem to want a new view and are acting stir crazy.
Not that there isn’t anything to see here. Our mooring ball has us at the very end of the huge field sandwiched between Marblehead and the town of Salem. We have beautiful views of sunsets and moon rises. The moon has been suitably full for our time in bewitching Salem. It fit the bill for the witch motif of Salem. The short history of witch mania here isn’t the only thing Salem has to offer, though.
Just a side note about the Salem Witch Hunts: Chasing down witches and killing them if they didn’t confess was more of a European thing. Tens of thousands were killed in England for witchcraft whereas thirteen perished under those circumstances in colonial Salem and Danvers. And nobody was burned. A notoriously common myth is that the alleged witches at Salem in were burned. All of the convicted during the Salem Witch Hunt in 1692 died by hanging. Others died by natural causes before conviction or execution, and Giles Corey was pressed to death. In fact, no witches were executed by burning in the English colonies of North America. English law did not permit it. I recommend the Salem Witch Museum, though, if you’re in the area. The history is a good lesson to heed concerning the power of religion when mixed with government, mass hysteria, and scapegoating.
One of the water taxi drivers, Bob, also has a music blog and shared with us some of the local places to find great local music. I felt like Bob took us under his wing and just dropping his name allowed us to take up prime real estate at small bars and allow us to be treated like locals rather than tourists that accidently wandered into the domain of those who live here. Bob didn’t steer us in the wrong direction when he sent us to The Pig’s Eye for their Friday afternoon jam session. The small venue filled up quickly and we were treated to this: http://www.inapigseye.com/entertainment.html
Our only regret was not inflating our dinghy for our own transportation back to our home at the end of the mooring field. The water taxi is now on off season hours so we have a curfew set for us and we can’t stay out as late as we normally would, but that’s probably a good thing for our wallets. We had another pleasant surprise though when Bob told us not to miss the Sunday Funday jam at Brodie’s Seaport. The Chris Fitz Band was excellent entertainment for a lovely autumn afternoon. What talent, what energy: http://www.chrisfitzband.com/index.html
We have been made to feel at home here and welcomed. The people we have met have been so friendly and welcoming. We had new friends, Steve and Nancy, over one night for a rousing game of euchre-that we lost, we’ve chatted about local politics, sailing and the local music scene. We are having fun. Massachusetts calls itself The Spirit of America on their license plates. We certainly have been feeling a spirit of pride for the local musicians and sense of a welcoming community. If that’s the spirit of Americans, then I’ll take that. I like that.
After spending the majority of our summer in Canada, we didn’t have access to 24 hours news channels and had a break from the crazy politics that seem to define us as Americans. In Canada, we mostly found there’s an attitude toward Americans has us collectively labeled as gun toting, right leaning, goof balls. It’s pleasant to be back in the US and finding that heated red vs blue politics rarely have been the topic of discussion. Refreshing, but possibly that has been a result of the recent successes of both the Patriots and the Red Sox.
But the Spirit of American history is very much part of the landscape here. Walking through the well preserved neighborhoods of Marblehead, you get a true feel for Colonial America and the architecture of the time when fishing and shippong was extremely profitable for the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The town touts itself as the birthplace of the US Navy as well. That designation could be disputed since the Continental Congress resolved to procure armed vessels in Philadelphia on October 13, 1775. Machias, Maine has claims too as it was where the Royal Navy schooner Margaretta was seized on June 12th, 1775. But Marblehead bases their claim for their role in out fitting and manning a fleet of schooners for George Washington in the fall of 1775.
I could go on about the history of Marblehead and make some statements about the War of 1812 ,which differs from what they teach at the historical spots in Halifax and other areas of Canada, but I’ll leave this link if you’d like to know more. http://marblehead101.wordpress.com/2012/05/04/impressments-and-embargo-led-to-the-war-of-1812/
We have now plotted our course to Boston Harbor and our stay at Water Boat Marina . We’ll be leaving Wednesday morning and will most likely return to Salem for Trevor’s stay with us after we do a whirlwind of Boston. It’s much more affordable for us to stay on a mooring ball here than to dock in Boston. We’re only 30 minutes and a ferry ride back into Boston if that’s what Trevor wants to do. At any rate, it’ll be fun to spend some time with him no matter where we’re docked/moored/floating.
September 21 I haven’t met Pamela Bendall in person. She is a member of an internet group of woman that I also belong to that gives advice and shares stories and provides support for this lifestyle of travel, sailing, and making our way through the world’s waterways as women. Pamela stands out as an inspiration. She’s an author, speaker, and accomplished sailor. She sailed from Canada to South America-Solo. Her story is amazing and empowering and I love her writing style. Her latest blog concerning Time hit a chord-and not just in the Jim Croce song playing in my brain. Pamela’s blog entry can be found here: http://www.pamelabendall.com/blog.html
I know that I have been guilty of over scheduling my life and the lives of my children when we lived on land. I recall one stressed out statement from my then 12 year old son, Trevor, as I was rushing him from one activity to the next. He demanded, “Please, can we just stop. I just want to stop” It was then that I grasped that in a rush to expose my kids to all the opportunities available to them that I had forgotten that the opportunity to just enjoy time to do nothing is just as valuable as band practice, little league, soccer games and art classes. We all need to take a break, breathe, and live in the moment. At home, I’ve gotten frustrated with friends that have been “too busy” to go for a walk, get a cup of coffee or just enjoy an hour of catching up. Frustrated and hurt, really. But, I can’t take it personally when the lives of others have fallen into over scheduling and racing to experience everything that they neglect the simple involvement of just taking in the moment.
We’ve been in Salem since Sunday and will be here for another three days as we wait to move to Boston Harbor and pick up Trevor. We’ve been afforded the time to do nothing, wander around like tourists, make new friends and enjoy the local music scene. We’ve been invited to play cards at a new friend’s favorite tavern, attend a bbq, and meet up for another night of listening to local musicians, and even Spanish language lessons from our Dominican cab driver. We’ve met people who amazingly want to involve these strangers on a boat that are just passing through with their local culture and lives. Meanwhile, I’ve talked to friends and family back home and I can hear the stress in their voices and through their texts that they can’t be bothered. They’re rushing here or there, have an appointment, are late for a meeting….Honestly, I can’t imagine going back home and living that life again. My hats off to Pamela for trying and being so forgiving of her over scheduled friends. If there’s any message here, it’s take the time to do nothing with somebody you love. Make the time. For crying out loud, quit rushing around like your hair is on fire. If someone is asking you to take the time to stop and smell the roses with them, take it. Time in Bottle-yeah. Listen to the words. And thank you, Pamela.
September 18 Sitting on a mooring ball in one place for a few days is something very new to us. I’m thinking that I could get used to this. We sway with the wind almost the same way we do on anchor, but with less worries of water depths and other boats with undersized anchors breaking free and colliding into us. Spending time in one spot has also given us the freedom to explore and enjoy the area more than we normally do when we’re planning our next route. I’m also enjoying the fact that we can pamper ourselves a bit too. I’m certainly not this chick: http://www.worldtourstories.com/ , so you won’t see any exposed pictures of me, but here’s my before and after shots
post a visit to a local salon (The Wicked Fringe in Salem is awesome, by the way). One thing I have learned from Taru’s blog is that living on a boat and being exposed to the elements doesn’t mean you have to look like a haggard sea wench. It is possible to exercise (NO, I will not post videos of me in tantalizing yoga poses-and here’s the warning that Taru’s videos border on pornographic) and to take care of your self on a boat.
Hair grooming has been one of the most frustrating things for me, though. My ridiculously thick hair that grows way too fast has been a terrible annoyance to me. I’ve been tempted to cut all of it off, but a short style would need to be maintained with frequent cuts. That’s just not possible unless Jim goes to beauty school sometime soon. Going long and low maintenance is the key for me. Pony tails and hats work well when we’re sailing, but wanting to appear reasonably put together when we go out to dinner is another story. Kathleen at The Wicked Fringe understood and thinned out my tangles and angled the cut to frame my face. My 49 year old hair is certainly not the smooth, crowning glory that I had in my 20s-appreciate what you have while you have it- but I’m happy with this new cut that has removed about 5 pounds of hair from my head.
I don’t wear make-up much anymore as anyone who knows me can tell from the above pictures. I have a small supply onboard, but I just don’t have the time to mess with anything more than a bit of eyeliner and mascara when the occasion suits it. But skin care is so important and not just for vain reasons. With the cooler temperatures we’ve been experiencing it’s easy to forget the sunscreen. I try not to. I use Mary Kay sun screen products and moisturizers and they work. (Thank you, Sheila) I am extremely vigilant in the sun after one bout of skin cancer on my face and 4 rounds of surgery to remove it. I will do everything in my power to chase off that terrible boogey man of skin cancer. Jim and I both use the wonderful , natural soaps that our daughter in law makes in her home. Here’s a shameless plug for her wares: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sab%C3%A3o/196680073789251
We’ll be exploring more of Salem, not just beauty salons, the next few days. I took Jim to The House of Seven Gables and The Salem Witch Museum the other day. It was fun to go through both with Jim after I had already been there with my class of 8th graders several years ago. Jim’s expressions often have me in stitches. I had to look up “Goat Rope” in the Urban Dictionary when he used it to describe what he thought a bus load of 8th graders going through the hidden staircase in the seven gabled house might have looked like. We’re having fun, as usual., and eating at great places like Red’s Sandwich Shop and sampling seafood ravioli from Jean Louise Pasta shop. I hope to get to The Peabody Essex sometime this week, but we do have some boat chores to do and some shopping. We found a store called The Barking Cat http://thebarkingcat.us/ and the cat crew gobbled up the kibble we purchased . Were going to have to stock up on that stuff and I may have to buy another sweater. The weather man reports that by Friday it will be 78, but it's been awfully chilly lately. Waking up to 40 degrees has been the norm the past couple mornings, though. Both of us pretend to be asleep because neither one wants to brave the walk from the cozy bed to the nav station to turn on the generator and the heat. I’ve won the sleep off the past couple of mornings. But of course, the cats huddle near me for warmth and we wouldn’t want to disturb the cats.
September 16 Jim and I sailed, motored, motor sailed through the dwindling number of lobster pots from Portsmouth, New Hampshire to Salem, Massachusetts yesterday after a hearty breakfast of all the open cereal boxes we had on board. We had spent the evening at Wentworth Marina, our only stop in New Hampshire. New Hampshire has the shortest ocean coastline of any of the US coastal states-only 18 miles. Portsmouth was our only choice in New Hampshire towns to take a break. We paid a premium for that break. Even given an off-season rate we were charged $4.00 a foot for dockage. It was an expensive night, but we knew we would be in the high rent district going through this area. Portsmouth is the third oldest town in the United States. And quite a lovely area, but we still were dodging lobster pots and mooring fields.
My lobster pot rants are probably getting a little old, but honestly, the pots are a nightmare. After we left out anchorage near Portland, Maine, we started to see fewer of the pots and actually got to enjoy the scenery of the coastline and set our route without staring straight ahead on watch for the buoys that mark the pots. Once we came closer to Portsmouth, however, those pots were again littered all through the waterway. Once more, we were pointing, screaming “POT”, and changing course to avoid hitting them. There are a few, here in Massachusetts as well, but nothing like what we saw in Bar Harbor. We were sincerely glad to put Maine behind us. Cruising these waters wasn’t a lot of fun and it wasn’t even challenging from a sailing point of view. It was more of a nuisance. That stupid guidebook (that I plan on tossing in the trash) said that this was the perfect time for cruising the Maine coastline due to less fog. Ha! I say. Fog is about all we saw. Fog and lobster boats and lobster pots were our main Maine demands. From a sailing point of view, we both agreed that we wouldn’t want to spend much time here if sailing is what is to be accomplished. Even finding an anchorage without a lobster pot or two in it was difficult. The Harbor Master in Boothbay told us that it was illegal for lobstermen to plunk their pots in anchorages. Hmmm, it hasn’t stopped them. But we also heard stories of lobstermen “water lining” other boats that they thought were messing with their pots. Water lining involves a gun, buck shot, and putting holes in another lobster boat. So, there you have it. I’m not sure if the stories are true, but getting caught in a wild west shoot out on the high seas is not my idea of a good time.
We spent 3 days on anchor and waited out some ugly weather and experienced some of the highest winds we have seen. Our anchor held through one of the thunderstorms that gave us 67 knots of wind and an amazing backdrop of lightening. It was a rainy, foggy and stormy 3 days, but cat and human crew alike did fine even though we were rocking and rolling and watching the other boats anchored closer together collide as their anchors didn't hold. We usually stay away from the clump of other boats in anchorages because we're big and don't fit anyway. We may be rollicking in the less wind protected areas of anchoarges, but we don't have to worry as much about middle of the night collisions.
We have some time to burn before we reach Boston. The skyline of Boston was in view as we rounded the tip of Cape Anne yesterday. I texted my son, Trevor, right away. We’re closer to the city that he’ll be visiting us in next week. I’m so excited to see him, but meanwhile we needed to find an affordable spot to sit until he gets here. We have found Salem to be perfect for this week. When we reached Marblehead we soon discovered why they call this area “The yachting capital of America”. I’ve never seen so many sailboats in one place at one time. Everyone in New England with a sailboat was taking advantage of the beautiful September Sunday and it was a magnificent sight to see all those sails. It was also a bit tension inducing as we were coming into an unfamiliar area with so much traffic, but Jim took the helm and we managed to hail one of the busy water taxi services that led us to a suitable mooring ball for our size and depth requirements. We’ll be paying the same amount for a week on a mooring ball that we paid for one night on the pier in New Hampshire. The price includes water taxi service so we don’t have to inflate our dinghy. We had a curious seal greet us while we waited for the water taxi which was sweet after we had witnessed a savage shark chowing on prey the day before. Shopping, exploring, and boat chores are on the agenda for the week here in this charming area. I’ll let you all know what we find.
September 10 Jim and I are sitting on a pier in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. We got up early to stare at the weather radar map and scratch our heads. We are undecided on weather we should sit on this pier and pay another day of high dockage fees in this high tourism town or make a run for it to an unfamiliar anchorage near Portland. There are some nasty storms headed this way around noon.
We’ve both been frustrated with Maine, to be honest. It’s been difficult for us to wrap our heads around the tourist economy of the ports in Maine. The shoreline is beautiful and rugged. The lighthouses are enchanting, but the number of lobster pots that we have to dodge and maneuver around is exhausting. We snagged one yesterday as we were leaving Journey’s End Boat Yard. We heard the “clunk” under the boat then we lost speed by 2 knots. We stopped the boat, put it in reverse and up popped the buoy marking the pot from behind our stern. It had obviously been caught on the keel and did not do any damage to the prop, but it’s still scary to imagine what could happen if any of these pots do happen to get caught in the wrong mechanical equipment. The pots are difficult to spot when the sun is shinning or the waves are higher than 2 feet. Dodging one may cause the boat to strike another. They are that close together. We chatted with a third generation lobsterman that was honest about the concerns of over fishing of lobster, the results of climate change on the number of lobsters, and the regulations that need to be put in place to prevent a depletion of lobster. More often we found, though, that even suggesting that there are too many pots out there got us icy glares and even a warning from our waitress at a restaurant one night not to discuss it. Being critical of the lobster industry is taboo in this area and quite political, we have found. We’re not allowed an opinion since we’re just passing through. Which is cool, but we are still faced with the navigational hazards that the huge numbers of pots pose and we are very ready to hit the New Hampshire state line.
The number of tourists is also frustrating for us. That’s our problem, not Maine’s. We’re not used to numbers of people and tee shirt shops at every turn. I’m sure if we rented a car and got away from the hoopla of the coastal towns that we would find the serenity and true beauty of Maine, but we’ve been busy with repairs and maintenance and getting the boat south before it starts snowing.
All that being said, Rockland wasn’t as hectic as Bar Harbor or as silly touristy as BoothBay. Rockland is supportive of the arts and finding the Farnsworth Art Museum was a treat. I lost myself in the Wyeth men’s paintings while Jim worked on making our toilets fresh water flush (more on that project later). I found a fantastic yarn shop called “Over the Rainbow” and really enjoyed the feel of the town. We enjoyed a couple of delicious meals at Café Miranda and found the locals to be extremely friendly and open-until the topic of lobster pots was brought up. Everyone we talked to either was a sailor or had a connection to lobstering and our trip thus far through the St. Lawrence didn’t raise all sorts of questions. Our waitress had just returned from delivery of a boat to the Azores, the boatyard staff was familiar with our boat (They worked on John Travolta’s Jeanneau 54), and even our cab driver from the grocery store had been a lobsterman. A true connection to the ocean was part of this town-not so much selling tee shirts and lobster key chains to tourists.
Our stay in Rockland was very productive. Hauling the boat allowed us to not only fix the ding on the keel, but also gave us time to make the toilets fresh water flush. Although it was fascinating to see phosphorescence in the toilet bowl in the middle of the night, the sea water flush was wearing on the pipes and our noses. It may seem like a decadent waste of water on a boat to flush water down the toilet-literally, but we make our own water and what better use of the resource than to keep the toilets working well and limit the smell that occurs when salt water mixes with urine.
Since I started writing this, we have considered leaving and staying in Boothbay based upon weather reports and our experiences in finding anchorages that are clear of lobster pots and private moorings. It looks like we are staying one more day. Our plan is to head for Portland to anchor and then to make a straight shot to New Hampshire and away from the lobster pots. Maine is lovely, but without local knowledge and the time to explore and find the more remote anchorages that haven’t been littered with private mooring balls, we feel it best to leave before our attitudes are tarnished anymore.
September 6 We’re sitting on the hard for the day at Journey’s End Marina in Rockland, Maine. Several weeks ago, back in the St. Lawrence River we hit a submerged concrete pier in the narrow channel entering Valleyfield Marina in Quebec. It sent a sound through the entire boat that was extremely worrisome. We weren’t the only ones to hit the obstruction. We watched a SeaRay being hauled out after the I/O units were totally demolished from hitting the same concrete pier. After talking to other boaters and the marina staff, we discovered that the buoy marking the obstacle is improperly placed and that several boats have snagged their keels on it. We didn’t totally understand the politics of moving/not moving the buoy, but we know better than to even venture back there on our way home. The damage was done. It's been something that has been weighing on out minds since it happened. Our keel is iron and had this happened in the fresh water of the Great Lakes we would have ignored the damage until we hauled out for the winter. We’re in salt water now, though, and that is a whole new ballgame. Jim dived when the water was warm enough and discovered that rust was already forming. We figured we’d take care of the damage now in addition to greasing the prop and replacing the zincs that are also already corroding. To explain the science and importance of zinc, I’ll shamelessly copy and paste this from a marine site:
“Whenever two metals contact each other in salt water, a current flows between those metals. The electrons that make up the electrical current are taken from one of the metals, causing the metal to corrode. By purposely attaching a metal that is less noble (in this case, a zinc anode) than the metal on parts on your boat, you can protect critical portions of your vessel at the expense of the cheaper zinc. This is why zinc anodes are often called "sacrificial zincs".
Propellers, shafts, rudders, struts, etc., can be cathodically protected at the expense of zinc plates and anodes.” B &S Marine Anodes
We were fortunate to find Journey’s End Marina in Rockland, ME. They came highly recommended by everyone we talked to once we reached Maine. Even the US Customs officer who checked us in to the States spoke well of this marina and their work. So, after a respite in Bar Harbor, Maine where we arrived after our passage across The Gulf of Maine, we made arrangements to haul out in Rockland and get the work done.
Speaking of: THE PASSAGE. Crossing the Gulf of Maine/Bay of Fundy was an adventure. Some of the highest tides in the world occur in this area. The tides can reach up to 52 feet and thus create some relatively strong currents. Depending upon the tide, these currents can work for you or against you. Luckily, at one point during this 29 hour trip we had currents giving us 3 to 4 knots to the good. That was about the only good thing on this part of the journey. We had waited for a good weather/wind window. I can’t imagine what a bad window would look like, because the good wasn’t all that pleasurable. We had dense fog, driving rain, lobster pots to dodge, waves crashing into the cockpit, and a ride that we couldn’t wait to end. Although the wind was favorable for sailing a good portion of the passage, it wasn’t a lot of fun. We arrived at Bar Harbor (after leaving Lunenburg) exhausted and glad to be tied to a pier. Baccalieu arrived a few hours later. The cat crew did okay on the trip, but Buddy was ready to go for a walk on the pier as soon as we cleared with Customs. Unlike in the Great Lakes where we find the Customs agents, here in the Atlantic a call is made to US Customs in Orlando. They arrange for an officer tocome find the boat. The officer that boarded us had just finished clearing a New Zealand vessel and saw us so took care of us right away. It was an easy procedure. Our Canadian friends had a bit of an issue, though, but it was our fault. A yellow quarantine flag is protocol to be flown when entering a foreign port or when returning to the US from a foreign country. Once it is flown, you can’t leave the boat or consort with anyone until the formalities of customs are complete and the quarantine flag is replaced by the courtesy flag of the nation being visited. Quarantine means isolation. Jim kind of ignored that and when the Immigration Officer finally arrived to clear the vessel of Baccalieu, everyone got a lecture in what “Quarantine” means. Whoops. Best to follow the rules.
So after the passage from hell, we stayed in Bar Harbor for a day-did a little sight seeing, but mostly rested for our 60 mile trip to Rockland. The voyage to Rockland was nice because we could see everything we missed in the fog on the way in. The rocky coast is quite beautiful and the seals and porpoises are fun to watch. The weather has already had a bite of chill in the air, but today is beautiful and now that the boat is out of the water and the work is being done, I’m going to go explore a couple of museums and check out the town. Kirk, Te Mana fame, is in the area and we’ve done dinner out and plan to have cocktails this evening. Somewhere will splash again in the morning and we’ll plan our next stop which will most likely be an anchorage for a few days.
September 1: First, a shout out to Trevor! Happy 25th baby boy. We’ve made arrangements for Trevor to meet us in Boston so that we can celebrate his birthday and hang out for a few days. I can’t wait! But for now, we’re preparing the boat for a 225 NM trip across the Gulf of Maine back into the United States. Any long passage requires food preparation so in case it gets rough we can grab food without worrying about cooking. It also means phone calls to Customs, the marina where we plan to arrive and watching the wind and weather VERY closely.
We woke to dense fog here in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia this morning. We had played with the notion of leaving this morning, but the weather reports for wind and waves are looking good for tomorrow. The fog just gave us another reason to sit out today and leave with Baccalieu and travel as buddy boats on this long passage.
We have enjoyed a few days stay in Lunenburg. It was a beautiful site to come out of the mist after our foggy leg from Halifax and see the brightly colored houses of the fishing village. I’ve heard that houses in fishing villages are painted vibrant colors so that the mariners returning home can find their way easily. I’m not so sure how true the story is, but it certainly was a welcoming sight for us.
We had spent our last day in Halifax touring the Citadel and learning about the history of Halifax as a military post through many wars. It was interesting to hear the Canadian perspective of the American Revolution and how, without the aid of the military strength located in Halifax, that Nova Scotia would have been the 14th State. It was interesting to see the reenactors dressed in period uniforms and the preserved fort. We also shopped and stumbled upon Nova Scotian Crystal where artisans make beautiful crystal. We purchased our Christmas presents for each other. Gorgeous items.
Finding Lunenburg was a real treat, though. The town is vibrant and welcoming. I would certainly make a trip here again and stay in a bed and breakfast and wander more of the area. The fishing boats (ships really) were fascinating to watch as they worked. We were parked next to a scallop fishing boat and we learned a lot about the industry and how they reach the quotas they are allowed and the life of the crewmembers as they go out for up to 21 days at a stretch. It was so sweet to see a little girl on the pier spot her daddy on the boat as it came back into port.
Lunenburg is a shipbuilding area as well. We took a look at the Bluenose II, a replica of this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluenose and see all the very pretty wooden dories floating on mooring balls in the harbor. We also couldn’t pass up taste testing rum at the Ironworks Distillery and purchasing a bottle of their BlueNose sipping rum. Delicious. At any rate, I cold go on forever about the historical significance, the beauty of the preserved buildings, the people, the harbor, but I’ll just put this here: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/741/