It Was A Duesy Of A Day

I don't even know where to start to write about yesterday. It was such a GREAT DAY. To start: we're in Newburyport, MA, hanging on the mooring ball behind our friends house. Gary and Alex split their time between their boat, the m/v Rhapsody in Blue, in St Pete where we met them and their home on the Merrimac River in Newburyport. Gary has his own plane, which we remembered when he buzzed us as we came into the river from the Atlantic. I mean, he really buzzed us, doing almost 200 mph, I couldn't even get a good picture, he went by so fast at right about mast height
To continue with my GREAT DAY. Gary is an exceptional pilot and can fly, well, everything. He volunteers at the Owls Head Transportation Museum in Owls Head, Maine. They have a big collection of WWI planes and Gary is one of just a few people who can fly them, actually he's the only person who can fly all of them. Anyhew, Gary flies up in his plane, about an hour trip, flies the museum's planes for them for the air shows and then flies home again. So for my GREAT DAY, I got to go along. In the really fast acrobatic plane. To Maine. I got to meet Melvin the Maine dairy farmer. I had a lobster roll for lunch. We did a roll on the way home. It set a new benchmark for the best day ever.
. Gary and Carl, the museum curator, doing a preflight inspection on the 1912 Curtiss Pusher.

Gary checking the 1917 Fokker Triplane before flight.
The museum has a 1935 Duesenberg (car) and from reading the info I learned that that's where the expression "It's a duesy" came from. Duesenbergs were so well made that they literally became the standard for all the others to try to meet.


We had the alarm set for 5 this morning but were both awake before it went off. We were even up before Adjima had a chance to walk all over us to see who would get up and feed her poor starving self.

We had to hit the current just right to go through the Cape Cod Canal. As you can see, we had a rocking good trip as our hull speed is usually around 7.5. The canal spit us out into Cape Cod Bay and we managed a few hours of great sailing before the wind died altogether.

We got into Gloucester in the late afternoon and grabbed a mooring ball in the inner harbor. This is a working harbor and there are boats of every kind all over. Great place to sit in the cockpit and just watch the world go by.

There are large groups of Eider ducks here, first time I've ever seen them, this is the southern edge of their migration. The down from their nests is collected for clothing, pillows, comforters, etc. Eider Down, I never knew. They're very pretty, very sharply black and white.


The Plan, As We Know It

Block Island disappeared in the fog off our stern yesterday morning and we had another lovely day sail, this time to Woods Hole, MA. Or rather, to an anchorage looking at Woods Hole, called Hadley's Harbor. The inner harbor was infested with moorings, so we chose a spot outside, and had it all to ourselves.
Today we're off to Onset, at the west end of the Cape Cod Canal. We'll do the canal tomorrow (?) and then we're off to Boston and then Minnesota. I know it sounds funny, but that's the plan.


Block Island

The great thing about last night's storm, the rollers from Europe smashing on the breakwater.

When we first started sailing 7 years ago, Block Island was a fantasy place to me. Way too far to get to in our little boat. Farther than the Bahamas. Even more distant than the Caribbean. Waaaaaaay up past the Chesapeake. Up there where it was cold and the tides and currents were forces to be reckoned with. I'm having a hard time believing that we're really here. It's been a dream for too long. It seems like we got here too easily, things are going too smoothly. ??

Enough pessimism. Block Island is beautiful, hilly, cliffs on the south end, a light house on each end. About 10 square miles, 1000 full time residents, triple that in the 'season', as many as 12,000 for the 4th of July. Real estate prices that are astronomical. A 2 BR 1 BA with a view, is listing for 1.2 million. A 1.75litre bottle of Capt. Morgan is $40.59. Good thing we are always well stocked. New Shoreham, the only city, is the smallest city in the smallest state. Spring is following us north, everything is blooming and green, and of course the pollen is here, too.


Time to take off the gloves

and do a blog entry. Today was supposed to be nice until mid day and then the rain would start and the winds pick up to 20-30 toward evening. The rain started at 0845, the wind soon after, both have kept it up all day. It's also only in the very low 50's (very low, like 49). The cat yawned this morning and I could see the steam from her breath. So we're baking. A lot. Brownies this morning, bread for dinner. We ate fresh, hot bread, fragrant with butter and strawberry jam, not bothering to sit, instead, standing over the stove for warmth, listening to the driving rain and howling wind outside. I have to admit that Adjima is so cold, we warmed up the bread brick in the oven and slipped in between the layers of her fleece bed. Yes, she has us well trained.


This is uncharted territory

for us, at least. We left New Jersey yesterday morning and had a lovely all day, all night sail to Block Island, RI. The weather couldn't have been better, well, yes it could. The previous post of me freezing on watch is nothing compared to last night. BUT... knowing that I'll be complaining about the heat very soon, I'll keep quiet about the lack of it. This photo is the east end of Long Island, which we rounded in the wee hours. We're now showered and fixing a hot meal, the dinghy is in the water, prepped for a shore adventure tomorrow. More pix to follow.


Cool Running

Sitting at anchor; Sandy Hook/Atlantic Highlands after a wonderful night sail from Cape May. After idling out the channel with the current and waiting, the forecast actually became true. Breeze filled in off our stern and we spent the night running down wind. 9-13 knots relative, jenny and jigger, with a gentle rocking-surfing-rolling motion that wanted to put me to sleep, knocking out 5-7 ½ knots all night long with just rushing water in the background. Ahh, but it can’t be all perfect as it was COLD, and there was a “little bit” of traffic south of New York Harbor. Here is Captain Morgan, err… Captain Lynn going on watch fully bundled against the cold, and you can see it wasn’t even dark yet!

And those who understand how the commercial fishing boats work with their endless lights of every imaginable shape and size ALWAYS ON can appreciate this. After the 0200-0500 watch, Lynn described the mass exit of the fleet from a coastal port “they came out of port heading to the ocean just like a Roman Candle, spurting color in our direction.” At least one adjusted course as she safely navigated through.

Now we’re checking the weather to see if a departure for Block Island is in order.

40 degrees 25.0 North
74 degrees 01.3 West


'Twas Brillig on the Chilly Sea,

er we did gyre and gimbol on the wave,
all mimsy were the sailors three,
and the mome rats were grave.

Apologies to Lewis Carroll, but that poem (or my version of it) has been running through my head for 2 or 3 days now, especially during my night watches. That and "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" by John Denver. Where did that come from? I haven't even heard it for years. I only know 4 lines and sang them about a thousand times last night. I hate it when that happens. I tap my teeth together when when I hum, so usually end up with a headache to boot.

Anyway, we're safely anchored in Cape May, NJ. It's cold and rainy, so pizza crust is rising as an excuse to turn on the oven.

N 38 Degrees 57.009
W 74 Degrees 53.298



Sunset over Norfolk Naval Base

We've been holed up in Norfolk doing provisioning, haircuts, laundry and waiting for the wind to die so we can head north, for more than a week now. Anchoring by the Navy Base is always interesting. We spent a few nights in Willoughby Bay, which is along the edge of the helicopter flight lines. From our boat, I counted 22 helicopters, just sitting there. There are always a few in the air and it gets really noisy when half a dozen more are sitting on the ground running. It's nice to be back on a base, feels comfortable. I don't realize I miss the military community until we're back in it. Although, having the troops (who look to be all of 15 years old) calling me "ma'am" gets old after a while. Anyway, we're off at the butt-crack of dawn tomorrow for an overnight sail to Cape May NJ, we should be in there sometime Tues. Talk to you then.

N 36 Degrees 57.19
W 76 Degrees 18.55


Saturday, a day in which

we stumble across something fun and unexpected.
We noticed that there was a lot of activity at Waterside Park on Friday night, tents being set up, stages and sound systems, etc. We have a good view of Waterside Park, across the channel, and wondered if it was something we would like. I got on line and looked up activities at the park. It mentioned a Saturday Market. I checked the Tourism site, nothing. Next, the City Council site, bupkis. Nope, nada, zip, nothing going on here this weekend.
We got up on Saturday and decided to head for the market in hopes of fresh stuff to make fajitas. What we found instead was a huge NATO Festival, complete with parade, floats representing all the NATO countries, marching bands and booths serving ethnic foods. There were thousands of people of dozens of nationalities, we had fun guessing which country the men in uniform came from. There were acrobats and small bands doing music from the different countries represented. It was a great event and I'm glad we just happened across it. Oh, BTW, I did get a free hat from the Norfolk Convention and Tourism Council, who had a booth at the festival.

What's more fun to listen to than marching bagpipers?

These two characters were playing 'security' for various unsuspecting festival goers. These two ladies kept trying to get away, which made the act all the funnier.

The Korean Army band, complete with Fan Dancers.

If someone could translate this to English, I would appreciate it, I don't speak Government Contractor.