"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

September 25, 2016

Sept. 24 - Baltimore, MD

Anchorage Marina

“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It is lethal.” –Paulo Coelho
We enjoy Baltimore. There's so much to do and it seems like there's some kind of festival or event going on every weekend. One of our favorite things is the Saturday morning farmers market in Fells Point. They have all the regular great produce booths plus arts and crafts, fresh bread, organic cheeses, wonderful food booths and local winery and distillery samples, and best of all it's a fun place to watch people (and dogs).

The festival for the day was the Chesapeake Cowboy Grand Finale Shoot Out, which is an extreme boat docking competition. It’s the Chesapeake Bay’s version of a rodeo and is considered a water sport in which work boats and charter boats compete within their divisions to go from point “A” to point “B” and execute a task of lassoing poles for a timed competition. They compete for cash, prizes, trophies and of course bragging rights. These competitions are in different places all summer and the final showdown was in Baltimore this year. There was also crab picking and oyster shucking completions…seafood is a way of life around the Chesapeake. Most of these people grew up on boats and the youngest captain in today’s event was 13. This water rodeo is an absolute spectacular to witness and there is truly never a dull moment…we even saw two captains fall off their boats while they were attempting to lasso a post. It was a fun way to spend the afternoon.
 Some of the great things at the farmers market
 The crab picking competition. The lady in the orange t-shirt picked 2.4 pounds in 10 minutes.
 The oyster shucking competition 
 The docking competition 
Here's a video of the Waterman Docking Race...this boat is actually on of the tamer attempts.

Spending time in Baltimore also means having a great time with friends.

September 23, 2016

Sept. 22 – Baltimore, MD

Anchorage Marina

“I have sea foam in my veins, for I understand the language of waves.” —Le Testament d’Orphee
I've neglected the blog this past week. There just isn't a lot to write about when you spend 15-17 hours a day cruising in the Atlantic and very little to take pictures of, except the sunrises and sunsets, which we've seen from the flybridge as we're cruised along. Since leaving Newport we've traveled almost 500 miles, most of that in three very long days, although we did have two down days waiting on weather...still uneventful and not worthy of a blog post.

Today we had a short cruise from the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake into Baltimore. We're not sure how long we'll be here, but for now we're catching up with friends, cleaning the boat and enjoying the luxuries that come from being tied to a dock.

We enjoyed beautiful sunsets in Sandy Hook, Cape May and our Still Pond anchorage. The rewards to a long day on the water.
Heading into Baltimore
Francis Scott Key Memory Buoy...the story is that this is where he was on a ship when he watched the battle at Fort McHenry and wrote the words to the Star-Spangled Banner.
Fort McHenry
Baltimore Harbor is a very busy place
Dinner with Ted and Sally at Cooper's...one of our favorite places in Fells Point.

September 21, 2016

Wordless Wednesday

September 19, 2016

Sept. 19 – Waiting on Weather

Sandy Hook Coast Guard Station – Anchorage 

“Life consists not in holding good cards, but in playing those you hold well.” ― Josh Billings

Weather and the tide play a big part in determining the what, when and where in our cruising life. In some places they're more important than in others. From Port Washington we had to travel down the East River to reach the Hudson River and New York Harbor. The current is very strong through this area (5 kn) and can make traveling difficult if you're not "going with the flow". So we've always timed our travels to go with the tide. We flew through the East River and New York Harbor at a record speed today. It would be wonderful to travel this fast all the time.
Blackwell Island Lighthouse on Roosevelt Island
The low building in the foreground is the UN Building
We are anchored near Sandy Hook ready to make our move down the Jersey coast as soon as the conditions are favorable. We don't mind rain and wind when we travel in the ICW, but when we're in the Atlantic Ocean that's a different story completely...especially when thunder and lightning are involved. One look at the radar this morning and we knew we were staying put. We'll move on when the weather is more settled.

September 18, 2016

Silent Sunday

September 17, 2016

Sept. 16 – Port Washington, NY

Manhasset Bay – Anchorage

"It's out there at sea that you are really yourself." —Vito Dumas

It was the Captain’s birthday today and we celebrated it on the water…just the way he likes it. The wind finally died down and we had a perfect day to travel down Long Island Sound. We decided to make it another long run and are anchored in Port Washington. Now we can be in position for the next good day in the Atlantic to head down the coast to Cape May.

This cruise ship was just coming in as we were leaving this morning...looks like we picked a good day to leave Newport.
Point Judith Lighthouse
Sailboat race from New London to Greenport
Racers passing Little Gull Island Lighthouse
The only excitement on the water today was running into some friends. We crossed paths near Plum Island with Robin and Noel on Saga; they were heading out to Block Island for the weekend. We stopped and visited for a few minutes. Wish we could have joined them, but we are feeling a tug on our heartstrings by our Grandwonders. It's time to be moving south and reconnecting with family.

It's fun to meet up with friends...no matter where.
A beautiful sunset with a ferry on the horizon 
The harvest moon coming up over Long Island Sound

September 16, 2016

Sept. 13-15 - Newport, RI

Newport Harbor –Anchorage

“My escape is to just get in a boat and disappear on the water.” —Carl Hiaasen
We had a very rough ride down Buzzards Bay and the Atlantic, but we arrived in Newport safely and we're glad to be in the protection of the harbor. The harbor was busy and very crowded since the boat show is starting in a few days. We usually like to pick up a mooring but there weren't any available. We anchored near the yacht club and the fort a little more exposed than we like, but we made it work.

Newport is one of our favorite towns...very old and full of history. It was founded in 1639. It attracted settlers in the early days for the religious freedom it offered. It became a major port in the whale business and in the slave trade. Most of the buildings in town were built in the 1700 & 1800's. Beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, wealthy southern planters seeking to escape the heat began to build summer "cottages" on Bellevue Avenue and it became the summer playground to America's wealthiest families. Some of large mansions are now museums. Newport's harbor has been filled with yachts since the Gilded Age and is the sailing capital of New England. In the summer the docks are lined with mega yachts, here for the summer social season.

Bowen's Wharf - full of art galleries, restaurants, shops and boating executions.
Bannister's Wharf - full of shops and restaurants along the waterfront.
 Trinity Church
The Colony House 
Homes in Newport
We didn't do as much in Newport as we hoped. Most of our time was spent recovering from our two long days on the water and the extremely long sleepless night we spent in the anchorage Wednesday night. High winds and swells made it almost impossible to stay in bed. Everything in the cabin had to be put away or tied down. Thursday morning was still horrible, so we dressed and were in town before 7:30. We had a nice breakfast at Rosemary & Thyme's and relaxed in the park until the boat show opened. We spent the rest of the day touring boats and dreaming. 

The Newport International Boat Show encompasses 13 acres of Newport’s famed waterfront with all makes and models of powerboats and sailboats ranging from 16 ft. to 85 ft. People are welcomed to board all of them. There are also tents filled with any kind of boating gear, clothing, guidebooks and equipment you can think of. One day is definitely not enough time to see it all, but the only good weather day to move south is on Friday…so we’ll say goodbye to Newport a little early and move on.

The Newport International Boat Show

September 14, 2016

Sept. 12 - Good-Bye Maine

"Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious." — Stephen Hawking
We said goodbye to Maine today. As much as we hate to leave, it's time to move south. We've enjoyed every day and have great memories of this unbelievably beautiful place...we will be back. Our intention was to stop in Gloucester for the night, but the sea was flat and beautiful, we decided early in the day to go to an anchorage just past the Cape Cod Canal. A total of 144 miles...our longest run ever. We'll stay in Newport for the rest of the week and then move south to the Chesapeake when we have a weather window.

Maine Fun Facts:
  • Maine is known as the Pine Tree state.
  • Maine Lobster annually yield is 40 million pounds, nearly 90 percent of the nation's lobster supply.
  • Maine has 3,478 miles of coastline
  • If the rocky coast of Maine was stretched out straight, it would reach from the northern most tip of Maine to the southern tip of Florida 
  • Maine has 3,166 offshore islands. Only about 1,200 Maine coast islands have an acre or more.
  • Maine has over 32,000 miles of Rivers and Streams.
  • Maine has over 6,000 Lakes and Ponds.
  • Number of Maine Lighthouses: 67 (Quoddy Head Light is the eastern most point in the U.S.)
  • Acadia National Park is one of the most visited U.S. National Parks, with over 2 million annual visitors. The Park was first established and opened in 1916.
  • Maine's Aroostook County at 6,453 square miles is larger than Connecticut and Rhode Island combined.
  • Eastport, Maine is the eastern most U.S. city, and the first in the country to see the sun.
  • Maine's coastline has so many deep harbors it could provide anchorage for all the Navy fleets in the world.
  • Maine State Capital: Augusta  
  • Maine State Bird: The Chickadee
  • Maine State Tree: The White Pine
  • Maine State Berry: The Wild Maine Blueberry - (More blueberries grow in Maine than any other state, over 90% of the country's blueberry crop)
  • Maine State Animal: The Moose - Maine has more Moose per mile than any other state, over 75,000 moose, second only to Alaska
  • Average Summer Temperature in Maine: 70 degrees
  • Average Winter Temperature in Maine: 20 degrees
  • Maine is the only state in the U.S. with one syllable. Also Mainers don't pronounce their R's

September 13, 2016

Sept. 11 – South Portland, ME

South Port Marine

“The world is but canvas to our imaginations.” —Henry David Thoreau
High winds and seas were predicted for today, so we stayed put securely tied to our dock. After the front blew in and the sun came out we rode our bikes out to Fort Williams Park, 90 acres of rugged beauty on Casco Bay. The park is home to the iconic Portland Head Light and Museum and offers awe-inspiring ocean views. The park is on the grounds of the former Fort Williams, which was an active military base from 1898 until 1963.

Portland Head Light was built in 1791 in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. The light station sits on a head of land at the entrance of the primary shipping channel into Portland Harbor.
Looking towards Portland from the lighthouse
Looking out into Casco Bay from the park
Looking towards at Portland
Battery Keyes was one of the last two batteries built at the fort in 1906 and it is one of several ruins of the fort that still remains.
Predating the fort, the Gaddard Mansion was designed and built in 1858,  it was one of the first “grand” homes along the Cape Elizabeth shore. It was acquired by the army in 1900 and used as Non-Commissioned Officers Quarters and later included an NCO Club.