Wednesday, August 25, 2010

August 19 The parents left mid morning and our friends Rick and Julie Palm arrived in mid afternoon. We were all headed for an Ocean Cruising Club weekend rally in Maple Juice Cove on the St. George’s River west around the corner from Penobscot Bay. All was fine till the fog rolled in and we had to slow down to dodge lobster pots all the way up the river to the cove. After arriving safely and anchoring, we had dinner and played Mexican Train dominos.

August 20 It was sunny but breezy. Rickkand Julie lived nearby and had left their car at a friend’s house so they took us to Camden for lunch at their informal yacht club. We sat outside in the warm sun with a great view of all the activity in the harbor. Then we went to the market for a few thinga and to see their home. Then it was time to get back to the boat to get ready for the cocktail hour. Three sailboats rafted together in our harbor and everyone descended to their decks with drinks and hors. It was hard moving about but we did manage to visit with many of our friends. We invited two of them to join our happy band on Windermere for dinner.

August 21 It was sunny and less windy and the morning started slowly as Saturday mornings should start. Late morning, we went to the hosting home on shore and helped set the luncheon up for the rally of now 150 people. It was fun being able to talk to old and new friends and move about freely on the lawn. Later, Julie and I had fun making crab cakes for dinner and we all played dominos.

August 22 Rick and Julie left to go home and we headed for Pulpit Harbor on North Haven Island because a storm was heading our direction. Two other friends boats, Chessy and Annie B, joined us in the harbor and later came over for a long cocktail “hour”.

August 23 The sky was just a bit gray but no rain yet so we all walked into the little grocery store on island and picked wildflowers on the way home. Later in the afternoon, between sprinkles, the gang arrived with pot luck dinner and we played dominos for the rest of the evening. It was fun getting a chance to know these sailors better. We had always seen them in a crowd.

August 24 Sunny but windy so we moved up the bay a bit to Islesboro to a protected anchoraged for the next storm. We anchored off of a friend’s house and called them with the cell phone. They wanted to see the boat so we oblidged and they then took us to lunch at their yacht club. Once again, we got to really talk to people we usually saw briefly in a group and get to know them better. Back on the boat, we played cards (I am loosing terribly), had dinner and watched a movie in bed.

August 11 Chris, my son, arrived, from his long drive from Long Island,just in time to drive John to the Rockland airport to pick up his daughter, Alison, and her two children. They all arrived safely but tired from their trip. Alison is my son Michael’s age and her two boys are Ethan age 2.5years and Logan age 1 year. Her husband, Tom, had to work and missed the trip this year. She is undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer and is bald a a result. We got the kids fed and to bed early. The four adults had a delicious lobster dinner in Alison’s honor.

August 12 The kids were up early so, after breakfast, we started up the boat and motored down Muscle Ridge Channel to the three islands that we had checked out the day before. After anchoring in the middle of the three, we had lunch and naps. Then it was time to take the dinghy to Birch Island and walk on the beach. Chris showed us how we could eat rose hip fruits right off the bushes. They tasted like citrusy apples and are packed with vitamin C. Next, we circumnavigated High Island and went off to a large rock to see the seals who were sunning themsleves. There was a good group and Ethan was thrilled to see them all waddle into the water and swim around. Finally, we dropped the gang off on Dix Island and let them walk around the island on a path that had berries and fruit trees on both sides as well as pretty scenery. John and I circled the island by dinghy. Back to the mother ship for dinner and cards for the adults.

August 13 Up the anchor and back to Rockland to drop off Chris who had to leave. We hovered out in the bay, launched the dinghy, dropped him ashore, raised the dinghy, and went out across west Penobscot Bay to the western side of Vinalhaven and an anchorage outside Long Cove. After lunch, Alison, with Ethan on her lap, went kayaking up Long Cove with the rest following. Chris was great at feeding Cheerios to Logan in the backpack on his back. Once she got to the head of the cove, we towed her back up wind to the mothership. Dinner, bed for babies, and cards for us.

August 14 We are getting into more of a routine with naps and food prep in the galley. The kids are both getting colds but are behaving well for the conditions and the boat is well suited for tiny people. John is not. Up the anchor and over to Seal Bay on the other side of Vinalhaven. After naps, we all got into the dinghy and explored around the area and looked at the birds and seals. Dinner and cards for us.

August 15 We got up with the kids and left for Rockland because we wanted to go to the Home and Boat Show there. We all loaded up the dinghy and went to see the show which has something for everyone. The kids liked it too in their wn way and we had lunch right there. Afterwards, we walked in town and went to the ice cream place of course. I had Logan on my back in the back pack for hours but he was a doll the whole time. Dinner, bed for the kids and early bed for all.

August 16 The longest day of the summer! Alsion’s flight wasn’t until 5pm and we all got up at 6 a.m. after going to bed so early. To make things worse, it was raining outside and we all had to stay inside and “play”. By 10a.m. we were all ready for the looney bin. I got out a movie for Ethan thinking it would last for 2 hours and it was over in 30mins so we watched it twice! then we watched Cinderella which entertained him for a while as long as the mice were singing and fighting with the cat and the fairy godmother was turning creatures into carriages, etc. When the ball started, we lost Ethan. John and I watched the rest. It was finally lunchtime and nap time. While they slept, we were waiting for John’s mother, Monaise, and step father, Angus, to arrive mid afternoon with their car to take Alison and the kids to the airport. They came on board and siad hi and goodbye and John went to the airport and the grocery store while the parents settled in on board. We had a nice welcome grownup dinner ashore at the Boathouse. Angus had his two favorites; steamers and oysters and wanted crab cakes too but we talked him out of it! Back to Windermere and to bed early.

August 17 It was foggy but we took off anyway because we have good radar and know the area well. Smith Cove off of Castine was our destination for the day. By the time we got to the top of Islesboro, the fog had lifted and and it was a sunny day. After anchoring and a late lunch, we launched the dinghy and went into Castine for ice cream and to show them the tiny village. That evening, we had a good dinner on the aft deck and watched a movie.

August 18 It was sunny again and we motored down the back side of Islesboro and around the bottom and west back to Rockland. That night, we walked down the main street a bit window shopping to dinner at Lilly Bistro, which we love, and Monaise and Angus did too.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

August 6 Before Dick left, he gave us a ride to the grocery store so we could provision for our next guest. Robin Blanchard arrived mid afternoon and we had a welcome dinner for her and a quiet night. She is American but lives is Brazil these days and has been on both our other sailboats.

August 7 We took the short trip up the bay to Islesboro and anchored in the main harbor near the SSCA group of boats. They were there for a big get together but we were there to see Mike and De. Since Robin knew how to play Biriba, we had a Biriba round robin tournament before, during, and after dinner. De won and Mike was second.

August 8 It was another beautiful day so we motored up the bay to Castine and Smith Cove. We took Robin ashore for some shopping and saw our old Windermere with her new owner picking up a mooring in town! Afterwards, we went back to the cove and Robin went musseling. These mussels were bigger and cleaner than our usual ones in Winter Harbor. What a find! It took no time to clean them but we decided to eat them the next day so they could hang in the water and clean themselves. It was movie night and we watched a good John Grisham one.

August 9 Left the cove and headed down the bay to North Haven island and Pulpit harbor. We launched the dinghy and took it to the dock there so we could take a walk to the general store for ice cream. We made mussels in a white wine sauce with pasta for dinner and went to bed early.

August 10 Tried to sneak out of the harbor early but were surrounded by boats and woke up a few of the closer ones. Robin had to get back to MA where she was staying efficiently. After she left, we took the dinghy to check out a nearby anchorage in Muscle Ridge Channel. There are three islands that for a triangle of protection from the prevailing winds and one has a sand beach to explore. always looking for new territory to explore.

July 26-28 Back in Rockland to pick up Warren Hutchins who is an old friend of John’s from sailing days at Oyster Bay. He was very glad to escape the NYC heat and congestion. Right away, it was off to Winter Harbor on Vinalhaven and a sunset arrival at the anchorage. He brought champagne and we found mussels and cooked them up. The mussel hunting was harder than usual because we had waited till the tide was a bit too high for our usual spots. Warren is the man who taught us how to play Biriba so it was fun to be finally playing again with him. I introduced him to almond milk and vegeburgers and they both went over well. On Weds. we went up to Islesboro and anchored in Cradle Cove for the night. We launched the dinghy and ran up the bay to let our Warren take a walk on Warren Island! That night was movie night.

July 29 Down to Rockland and put Warren in the water taxi for the first leg of his jouney home. Then we went up a short ride to Camden to meet up with our friends from Stonington Harbor Yacht Club. Cocktails were served on one of their boats and dinner was ashore at a good restaurant called Cappy’s. We met some newer members that we enjoyed and saw some old friends too.

July 30 Everyone met up again in Smith Cove near Castine and we had everyone for cocktails aboard Windermere. The wind was good that day for the sailors!

July 31 Went into town for breakfast and to meet up with a new friend who lives in Castine. He owns a trawler and John had been e-mailing him for the last year because he owns a company that makes a product that works with our electronic charts. He and his wife and a friend came out to see the boat and they were impressed. That afternoon, Mike and De and another sailing couple arrived and we had a feast that was provided by all on board Windermere.

August 1 This was launch the laser and give everyone a ride day. The wind was perfect and using Mike’s dinghy worked well for crew transfers. What an exhilarating feeling to be out in a big bay all by myself on my favorite laser! In the late afternoon, we headed back to Rockland.

August 2 New guests arrived in the afternoon. First Mike and Janie Galbreath from Greenwich and then mom’s neighbor and friend Dick Schulze. They arrived in such good time that we were able to take them to Winter Harbor for the night. Lobster dinner was the order of the evening to welcome them properly.

August 3 The morning expedition was not far and very successful- mussel gathering by Mike and Dick. We waited this time for a good low tide and the mussels were easily visible. Then we went back to the boat and cleaned them on the swim platform. After lunch, we took a dinghy ride over to Seal Bay. This time, it was about half tide and the seals were still out on the rocks. Usually, we go a high tide to circumnavigate the island between Winter Harbor and Seal Bay and had never seen the seals. After the ride, the tide was high enough to land the dinghy by Starboard Rock. We all hiked up through the woods to the top for the famous view. This time we made seafood pasta with the mussels and played Mexican train dominos after dinner.

August 4 We worked our way over to Cradle Cove on Islesboro and took a nice walk on Warren Island. Duck a l’orange was dinner with peach and blueberry cobbler.

August 5 Off early to get back to Rockland. Mike and Janie treated us all to lunch at the Boathouse restaurant and then left for home. Later, we had some old mutual friends of John’s and Dick’s over for cocktails. They are up here on their trawler. Dick treated us all to a delicious dinner in town at the Lilly Bistro restaurant.

July 19 We are finally back here in the wilds of Maine. This morning, I went out on deck and smelled the fresh sea air, watched the sun glisten on the water and saw a schooner heading out to sail around the bay with its load of tourists. Over head was an osprey and nearby were the noisy lobster boats going about their business. Yes, we are here at last!

The last few months were spent in California getting John the proton radiation treatment for his prostate cancer. All went swimmingly but we were very eager to get back to Windermere. After loading her up and getting one last lesson with the new crane, we headed out to wards the Cape Cod canal. The next 24 hours brought us up the coast to Rockland, Maine where we are anchored now. Along the way, we spotted several large whales that were breaching and diving. The passage was easy but long only because we were so eager to get here.

July 22 It has been nice to have some time to ourselves during the day to do chores and straightening up before the guest start arriving. We have already had two dinners with friends; one ashore and one onboard. Yesterday started out fine but the fog rolled in and it rained which we were happy about because it washed the salt off the boat. John is always hoping for rain when we land anywhere to wash the boat off. Then the rain became a thunderstorm with lightening all around us. This lasted several hours and was followed by a squall with 35 kts winds and a 2 ft chop. Luckily, we are so heavy that the boat barely rocked ! Our little Bruce anchor held well in the mud of the harbor.

July 23 We took the big dinghy in to shore and found, just by chance, some old friends of john’s from Oyster Bay who were on their boat at a dock in town. They lent us their car and we were able to get our various errands done very efficiently. After lunch and a nap, I worked on a new recipe for black bean enchiladas for dinner and the captain was pleased with the results. We are trying to be more vegetarian these days for health reasons so I am learning new recipes.

July 24-25 When we are up here during the summer, we like to spend as many weekends with our local sailing friends, Mike and De. They are still working and can only come out to play on their Mason 44 on the weekends. This time the meeting spot was Carver’s Cove on Vinalhaven and it was a happy reunion. They were to be with us in the Bahamas this last winter for my 60th birthday but were not able to come due to a rather large snow storm on the east coast. They arrived bearing birthday gifts, lobsters, and a cake!. The princess saga continues with more princess t shirts and a new crown with a 60 on it and a flashing wand. The Biriba tournament started and the “mojo” is still wavering back and forth between the girls and boys teams. On Saturday, we launched and rigged the new laser. It only took 4 college educated brains to do so but it was worth it to get a nice sail on her. On Sunday, we fine tuned the rig and the launching was a lot smoother. I finally got to sail her myself and I was truely in my element!