Sunday, September 6, 2009

This week we had some good cruising friends come up to visit and our mission was the Ocean Cruising Club rally in South Bristol, ME. This spot is around the corner and back west from Rockland and it has a very protected harbor. This was important as hurricane Bill was headed our way some time over the weekend. Our friends arrived in the late afternoon so we only motored a short distance to the closest island anchorage. The next day, it was totally foggy but this didn’t stop us from dodging lobster pots for the few hours it took to get to South Bristol. A mooring was waiting for us but we didn’t know where it was so we sent our guest out in the dinghy to comb the harbor for it. He finally spotted it and we tied up. Over the next two days there were various get togethers with the members over hor’s and a New England boiled dinner. This dinner consists of lobster, clams, corn, potatoes, onions, and eggs all steamed/cooking in seaweed over a hot wood fire. When the eggs are hard boiled, the lobster is done! The hurricane came through during the night but really didn’t have alot of wind but it did rain hard.
On Sunday, it was time to leave and going out the seaway between two land masses, that has large surf breaking on the rocks, was exciting. Luckily it was a glorious sunny day. The swells from the hurricane were at least 8 to12 feet high but were far apart. Dodging lobster pots was tricky because they would go way under water as the swell came over them. The next few hours, we just bobbed along in the swells with out a problem. As the evening approached and we were about an hour out of Rockland, the heavens opened up and the downpour followed us right to our anchorage.It took all 4 of us to watch for the pot in the failing light. Putting the anchor down, I got soaked through my slicker but we landed safely.
Our guests left with me in tow as I had to go down to Greenwich to take care of my mother for a week. John stayed on the boat, did projects and went out with friends. It was good for him to have some “down time”.
The next set of guests brought me back and the adventure continued. The weather was sunny but getting cooler. We headed to one of our favorite anchorages on Vinalhaven called Seal Bay. Our friends, Mike and De joined us and the party began. They brought lobster which we ate on the stern deck at our wonderful big table. The next day, Mike treated us to a dinghy ride through the interior of Vinalhaven. That afternoon, a whole bunch of boats came into our spot so we decided to move to a quieter location. After anchoring, John and our friend, George went looking for mussels for dinner and Mike and I went to look for clams. Finally, he found some and dug them up for our supper the next night. They must hang in the water and purge themselves of sand before they are edible. That night, we feasted on mussels in white wine and several vegetable salads, garlic bread and, John's favorite, stuffed mushrooms!