Saturday, May 21, 2016

WE CANNOT CHANGE THE WIND, BUT WE CAN ADJUST THE SAILS

Saturday, May 20, 2016.  Obsession has been launched.  George and his crew at BLM worked magic, driving the travel lift down the parking lot of the marina, weaving around boats and cars, put the slings around Obsession and reversed the trek through the maze of boats and cars to the launch site.



In the water she went, but this time she had to be towed to a slip because the engine isn't connected to the fuel line.  Now Fairhaven Marine will work their magic and get her running. 


Meanwhile, Neil Thurston from Thurston Sails/Canvas in Bristol delivered the new Dodger and Bimini.  The isinglass is so clear it looks like there is nothing there!  More Magic!  And he added a few little things, like a D-ring above in the top of the bimini so we can hang a solar lantern, and a special little piece of leather so the radar pole won't ruin the canvas as well as nice gray leather covering along the edge of the dodger for dirty hands.


We will start to move more "stuff" aboard this week. Our hope is that she'll be ready to go by Memorial Day, but I think June 1 is a more realistic date.


On the home front we've had a set back.  Shortly after  David's routine colonoscopy in March, he was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer.  This was shocking news, and has forced us to re-think our plans for heading south down the ICW in the fall.  He will undergo chemo treatments at the Cancer Center here in Fall River every 2 weeks for 6 months.  So...it means no trip down the ICW until the fall of 2017. His prognosis is good - he's strong, healthy and we are confident he will beat this.  Just a bend in the road.  What is the old saying?  We can not change the wind, but we can adjust the sails.  Well, we have done just that.  We will summer on the boat, as we always have done, sail around our favorite haunts here in Narragansett Bay and Buzzards Bay, and Long Island Sound in between treatments. Another old sailor's saying, A bad day on the water is better than a good day on land.

I will continue the blog this summer.  It's also an opportunity for me to try new things with design and editing. So, follow along, if you will.  Our adventure is just beginning.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

April Showers bring May Flowers-and a Boat in the Water

Peggie and Tom Perrotto help us prepare
for the upcoming trip.  
It's May 1, 2016 and for the first time ever, Obsession IS NOT in the water.  The engine delivery brought about even more issues, possibly contaminated fuel (40 gallons of it) in the fuel tank, corrosion of some wires (well, after 10 years it's not uncommon).  We can only hope that as the month progresses things will start to come together and Obsession will be launched soon. Meanwhile, the weather also needs to cooperate.  We've not had temperatures over 60 degrees other than a day here and there.
We continue to enjoy sunsets from the condo, and other land-based activities that we won't be able to enjoy when we move aboard the boat.
Peggie and Tom Perrotto had us for dinner one night last week.  They offered advice and encouragement while we pored over their ICW Cruising Guides and Peggie's past logs.  As much fun and informative it was for us, I think Peggie and Tom enjoyed sharing and remembering their trips. They will be traveling down the ICW this fall and winter too, but on their new to them 36' Monk Trawler, Tom Foolery. 
My Uncle Norman and his wife Margie arrived for a quick visit, and we had the family to the condo for an early season cook-out.  That makes 3 family dinners here at the condo this year.  I do think this is the last one.
So... not much "Boat News" this entry,  just an update on our progress to date.

I will miss these sunsets, but I know we will have many
new sunset views to enjoy and share in the coming year.

Now, that's a CAR!

We went to Hillary Clinton Rally in Central Falls, RI. We have
ordered our absentee ballots so we can vote in the
election in November no matter where we are.  

With only one decent warm and non-humid day I've only
managed to put one coat of varnish on one door.  
Norman and Margie visit.



Tuesday, April 19, 2016

"NASA (aka Janice and David) We have an engine!"


The engine resembles a swan.  

The past 9 months have been filled with anxiety and anticipation since we first found out about the failure of the Raw Water Exchanger and ultimate engine failure in September.  Dealing with the insurance and marinas has been a true learning curve for us.  For those of you reading this who have a diesel engine, we learned something new.  This part should be examined every 5-10 years for possible failure.   However, I digress from today's happily ever after story.



Monday, April 11, 2016

"Hurry up and Wait" Game or "Enjoy it While You Can"






First decent sunset in a couple of weeks, April 8, 2016
The weather has not cooperated with us at all over the past 2 weeks.  Rain, wind and SNOW (yes SNOW) have delayed delivery of the engine and even beginning work polishing sides and painting the bottom of Obsession.
Snowstorm - supposed to be a dusting to 3 inches
ended up being 6-8 inches! April 4, 2016
I would like to varnish the doors to the main cabin, but it's too cold. Meanwhile we have spent time enjoying the sights from our deck at the condo, watching movies on Netflix and On-Demand, (The People vs OJ, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black for examples).  These are things we won't be able to do once we move aboard the boat.  We hosted Easter Dinner for 10, probably the last time in awhile that most of my family will be together.

High winds and abnormal high and low tides sent these
styrofoam blocks and the gangway adrift.  It was
better entertainment than morning TV!


High winds April 3, 2016
It never gets old watching the coal ships and barges come and go.

We try to get out on the deck as much as we can to enjoy
evening sunsets like this one from April 10, 2016.


Easter Dinner for 10 - NO KIDS TABLE!

We have continued to downsize and clean up our act here at the condo.  Boxes of (Snow Village and Lighthouses, Christmas Tree and Decorations, Seasonal Decorations etc.) have been moved up to the attic, past bills and other paperwork have been collected to be burned or shredded.  By the end of the month we should be 99% paperless consumers.We hosted Easter Dinner for 10, probably the last time in awhile that most of my family will be together.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Getting Closer


Today we spent considerable time at the condo downsizing in preparation for our trip south.  I actually threw away my winter coat -I've had it since 1988.  It was hard to do, but even if we come back to New England for a visit this winter, I think I can get away with my leather coat. Or...maybe it's about time I bought a new one?  David, on the other hand, was able to say "good-bye" to many long sleeve shirts and sweaters that he won't need.  Along the way we found some pictures of us sailing and enjoying Obsession 42 the first summer we owned her (We have owned 3 boats called Obsession - a C&C 29, a Catalina 36 and now a Catalina 42).

Engine update - the rebuild should be finished soon and re-installation within the next week or so. (fingers crossed).  Other work on the stuffing box and propellor shaft will be completed too.  David is also designing a helm seat that will become a project for his students at BP Tech.  Electrical upgrade is in process and new canvas, dodger, bimini and enclosure have been ordered. 

He's happy cuz we're sailing -
he has a winch handle i his hand -
and we are healing and there is wave action off our stern.

We still love our wine and rum, and each other!

One of the Danbury Mint Lighthouses from my collection.
SANDY HOOK Lighthouse
We will certainly be seeing this on our trip south.




Saturday, March 19, 2016

Preparations Begin for 2016-2017 Retirement Dream Cruise - Join Us!

A HOLE IN THE WATER...?


Saturday, March 19, 2016.

Today's blog will be the first of the 2016 sailing season and extended season into 2017 with our retirement dream cruise down the ICW to points south and the return trip.  This blog will also be my experiment in using the iCloud photo library and practice in downloading pictures.  I will also be updating my e-mail list.  If you are receiving this blog and no longer want to, let me know, also, if you'd like to receive it by e-mail instead of looking for it on Facebook (I will continue to post it on FB) just inbox me your e-mail address, or even better yet, send me an e-mail and I'll add you to the list.  (nbbj2004@yahoo.com)
Obsession under sail from Newport to Fall River
after engine failure


Here we go...
At the end of last season (Labor Day Weekend, to be exact) Obsession experienced a major engine failure, the cause of which is still to be determined, but ultimately we have had to have the engine totally overhauled and rebuilt.  Along the way other problems surfaced, such as the stuffing box and the propellor shaft coupler after 10 years of use and good care will have to be replaced.  We are also replacing the canvas and the batteries, and upgrading the alternator and battery charger and installing new lifelines.  I'm sure we will find other things to upgrade, replace or fix as spring preparations get underway.
Engine removed from Obsession to be transported to
Niemiec Marine in New Bedford for repair.


Preparations also include downsizing the condo, preparing for renters, planning for car storage, browsing cruising guides and other sailors' blogs, and much more.   We are looking into mail forwarding services, becoming as much "paperless" and more on-line savvy as we can.




One last thing.  We would be most happy to have some friends meet and/or join us on our trip when possible.  While we will have an itinerary, it can be modified.  If you're interested in meeting up with us and/or joining us for any part of the trip, and can see your way to and from certain destinations along our route, let us know and we just might be able to work out a plan.



So far we plan to leave on September 15, 2016 from our mooring in Newport, RI, head to Block Island for a final Mudslide at the Oar, then on to Greenport, NY for a final grocery shop, ice, fuel, water and overnight electrical charge at the town dock. Next stop, Port Jefferson, one of our most favorite places on Long Island, then Port Washington before leaving for NYC where we will try to get reservations at Liberty Landing Marina. Sandy Hook is next, then Atlantic City then Cape May. I'm figuring 2-3 weeks for this part of the trip. Most of these day trips are 25-50 miles, except the one from Sandy Hook to Atlantic City. And...as you can see, that trip is along the Atlantic Coast of New Jersey.

Newport to Block Island
Block Island to Greenport, NY

Port Jefferson to Port Washington then to NYC

NYC to Sandy Hook then to Cape May

Of course, Cosmo and Zin will be with us all year.  











Wednesday, August 13, 2014

LOBSTERS AND ICE AND SUNSETS AND STORMS, OH MY!

August 13, 2014

Onset to Maine and Back to Gloucester

We left Vineyard Haven and headed through Woods Hole, up Buzzards Bay all the way to Onset.  We pulled out the jib once we were through "the Hole" and had a lazy, relaxing sail up Buzzards Bay.  Days like this are rare - plenty of time to get to where we need/want to go, and the opportunity to sit back and enjoy the ride.  The mooring turned out to be a perfect spot to watch the 100th anniversary of the Cape Cod Canal fireworks, so we set up shop on the bow of the boat in chairs.  I guess it's a real sign that we are cruisers (those of you who knew us as racers will understand why it's been so hard and taken so long for us to admit this). No pictures of fireworks, just us being silly trying to take selfies on the bow.  
Selfie on the bow before the fireworks in Onset.
IT WAS COLD!!!

Early morning departure from Onset, another beautiful, but CHILLY transit through the Canal and a stop in Sandwich to top off fuel and water and ice before heading to Scituate. Surprisingly enough, fuel was the cheapest we'd seen it - $4.00/gallon. 





Some scenes as we headed through the Canal
as we passed the Massachusetts Maritime
Academy.  Tall Ships and tug boats still here and dressed for the parades the previous day.


This always reminds me of approaching Block Island.
But it's Manomet Beach along Cape Cod Bay


Our sail to Scituate turned out to be a motor trip.  What is it with the winds in Cape Cod Bay?  Scituate is a very busy harbor, and we were very lucky to get a mooring from the Setuit Boat Club.  We love sitting aboard the boat, enjoying cocktails and dinner in the cockpit, listening to the VHF and watching the boats come and go.  We knew we were going to want to get another early start to Gloucester the next morning so we didn't spend time ashore.

We actually were able to sail most of the trip from Scituate to Gloucester.  Such a relief not to hear the engine. We found the perfect spot to anchor in Gloucester, but were unable to get a reservation at Duckworth's Bistro for dinner, so the Gloucester House was the alternative for tonight's birthday celebration. 

The birthday boy - The Gloucester House

Always a colorful scene in Gloucester






























Next stop - Isles of Shoals.  Another good day of sailing.  We have never gone ashore here - it's an interesting set up - Church sponsored camp/retreat in addition to welcoming day trippers and guests to enjoy the views, and learn a little something about Island living and the sea around us.  





Obsession - our home for the summer.
Isles of Shoals.  A view from the top of the hill, Isles of Shoals, and the rowboats you can rent
for an afternoon adventure around the cove.
It's also called Gosport.

We got back to the boat just in time to watch thunderstorms build on the mainland coastline and head toward us.  Beautiful, yet threatening skies.














We decided to pass up Portland this year and head a little further north to Falmouth Foreside where we found the Portland Yacht Club.  This welcoming yacht club provided not only good food and company, but SOFT comfortable chairs. 

I want to TOTALLY live in this little cottage!

A welcoming Yacht Club

A beautiful view - ft for a post card.

A comfortable, soft chair.

A member from PYC suggested we visit the "Goslings", one of his favorite destinations.  We actually sailed (under jib only) up Casco Bay for about 3-4 hours, going only 4 knots but enjoying the view and avoiding the lobster pots.  This is a quiet harbor, nothing there but peace and quiet and scenic views.  We explored a bit in the dinghy, but didn't venture ashore.  
The lobster boats are always colorful sights - and
the pots are numerous and colorful too.  We saw pink,
lavender, turquoise, and of course, dingy gray/black/brown.

Sunset at the Goslings.

Traveling through another maze of lobster pots coupled with a fog that seemed to roll in and out all day, we left the Goslings and headed to Eagle Island to see Admiral Peary's home and learn about his adventurous life.  We were looking forward to Jewel Island, one of our most favorite stops of our last trip. This year, the weather was deteriorating, and we have realized that one of the things that made Jewel Island so special was that we were there on a weekend 3 years ago - and it was busy with boats and people coming and going.  After having spent a night in the Goslings we needed something to entertain us. So our thoughts turned to the impending weather which  prompted a conversation about where to be on the rainy day, Freeport (and take a trip to LL Bean and the outlets) or back to PYC where we could take a taxi into town and grocery shop, relax in the club and enjoy a delicious dinner. We even considered the Orrs and Bailey Yacht Club, within walking distance to a restaurant famous for it's lobsters (Cook's Lobster House).  But, a call to them found us not only disappointed but astounded to learn that just a few days earlier they had to make a policy not to rent moorings to boats over 40 feet. 
Branch - a saurus, Tree - a saurus,  I got many suggestions for
the name of this "monster" on shore at Jewel Island




Although our final decision to go to PYC probably didn't cost us any less than going to Freeport, we grocery shopped, enjoyed the facilities of the Yacht Club (launch service, showers, comfy chairs, beautiful view and another delicious dinner.  I think the most memorable part of the evening was meeting up with racers, and talking "shop" with them.  Ensign and J Boat racing was a big part of our lives when we were younger, and we actually met up with some acquaintances of our past.  The evening ended much too soon, the last launch was called.  We said good bye, but with a promise to ourselves that we will return. 

A long day of motoring to Isles of Shoals was something we weren't looking forward to.  We decided to check out Cape Porpoise about half-way between Portland and Isles of Shoals.  Another harbor entrance dotted with many (and that's an understatement) lobster pots, but otherwise, an easy in/out for a night's stay.  Only 2 other sailboats in the harbor, all others were lobster boats.  We didn't get off the boat, but found out there is a restaurant that serves the best lobster around. (If you've been following our adventures on FB you know we haven't had any lobster yet!!! and we are leaving Maine). 

Another evening of thunderstorms all around us in Cape Porpoise,
  I try to take pictures that might include lightning - no luck.

Cape Porpoise is a lobster/fishing port.  Only 2 other
sailboats were there. I should have asked one of
them if they'd sell us some lobsters!!

I just missed the lightning in this shot.

A motor/sail to Isles of Shoals the next day and some adventures there including a fast moving thunderstorm which moved our al fresco dining on the bow to the main salon, and an early morning wake up call "FIRE" on board a small lobster boat in the harbor. 


You can even see the rain hitting the water as the
storm comes across from Portsmouth, NH

We are sky watchers.  Storm watchers.

This storm had us do 2 complete circles around our mooring
and we also had to change moorings in the
middle of one of them because we were going
to get tangled in it.

The dock at Isles of Shoals - there is a hotel, a dining room,
(where you can stop in and buy lunch) a small gift shop,
a small hands-on aquarium,
a chapel and paths to walk on over much of the island

After the storm we noticed our visitor - a Coast Guard Buoy Tender.
He was gone early the next morning.

As we were preparing to leave David heard someone yelling,
"FIRE", "HELP" "FIRE"
We know fires on boats are dangerous situations so we
jumped up and down, yelled and hollered, blew the horn,
and lobster boats came out of the woodwork to help.
Everyone was safe.

WE HAVE RESERVATIONS AT DUCKWORTH'S BISTROT in Gloucester.  So the plan is to spend 2 days there.  We want to learn a bit more about the town too.  Our trip ashore resulted in a quick tour of the ice house that was used in the filming of "A Perfect Storm", and LOBSTERS for dinner!!!!!
We're going to get some LOBSTERS!!!

And...we're going to get some ICE.

TA DA!!!! You are lovely creatures.

Pre-lobster dinner show.


This beautiful creature will soon be in my tummy.

ALL GONE!!!  Back into the water you go.
All legs, all bodies stripped clean of good eating meat.


On the way to Duckworth's. Just makes this restaurant
more special.

A Russian Sunset - smoother than a Cosmo.


This is NOT a Russian Sunset - it's a Gloucester Sunset
This is the Harvey Gamage

Just one  more to remind us of the beautiful
time we have had in Gloucester and our travels so far this summer.