Wednesday, August 13, 2014


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.

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,
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.

Monday, July 28, 2014


July 28, 2014

We are presently in Vineyard Haven after stops in Newport and Cuttyhunk.  The Newport stop was unplanned - in that both David and I had to make emergency visits to the dentist.  The trip from Block Island to Newport was not a very pleasant one - very rough until we reached Beavertail.  We even took water over the stern quarter.  But Obsession and David handled the rough and confused seas very well.  Once on the mooring in Newport we settled in for an afternoon of music at Kings Park.  We outfitted the dinghy with a clicky chair, a tube chair and a cooler with wine and rum and a package of Goldfish.  We sat back and enjoyed a front row seat, and some tunes.  

We had front row, unobstructed view seats - no dogs, no kids!

A totally random shot, but I think it shows how
 relaxed and comfortable we were.

We had a beautiful sail to Cuttyhunk from Newport the next day.  Tide and winds with us, Obsession cut through the water and we sat back and read, napped and enjoyed the views of the Ocean Drive, Newport Beach, Second Beach, Sachuest and Sakonnet Points and marveled as Cuttyhunk Island loomed closer and closer.  We anchored in our favorite spot, settled in for Raw Bar and dinner aboard.  Our evening's neighbors were Lady Maryland, Tabor Boy, Shenandoah and Tree of Life.  We took a dinghy ride to get closer shots of them - but it was  quite windy and getting dark, so they aren't the best.

And of course - the obligatory sunset picture.  I'm always amazed at how beautiful the night sky is when we are cruising.  It seems our eyes are always turned toward the sky - looking for storms, clouds, clear skies, as well as sunrises and sunsets, and stars late at night.

Our plan to head to the Vineyard the very next day was quickly modified when friends Cleve and Bethany and Adam arrived.  It's always special to see them - we call them "Our Cuttyhunk Friends."  The weekend was a busy one in Cuttyhunk, boats coming and going, anchoring, and re-anchoring, dragging anchor, picking up moorings etc.  We walked the beach, gathered wood, stones and sea glass, enjoyed fresh hot doughnuts at the cafe, fresh swordfish from Captain Bruce, and a late night campfire on the beach.  These are the kind of days spent in Cuttyhunk we will long remember.

What a great bunch- "Cuttyhunk Friends"
Adam, Bethany, Cleve and David
What would Cuttyhunk be without lobster pots?

I was up early - 5:15am for this Cuttyhunk Sunrise

Eyes to the sky - storm's a comin"

Cuttyhunk Sunset - can you see the sun shining through
the windows of the house on the hill?

Always looking for "gadgets" that come in handy
at the campfire.  Thanks Bethany for these
cute and useful wine glass holders.

There's just something about water and fire.
Vineyard Haven beckons.  It wouldn't be a summer without a visit here.  We've spent time here every summer since we first bought Obsession 29.  With kids, without kids, with family and friends.  A leisurely sail through Quicks Hole and up the Vineyard Sound under jib only. Call us lazy if you want, but we have the time and you can't beat the views of the Elizabeth Islands on one side and the Western Coast of Martha's Vineyard.  There are ferries, fishing boats, large cruising yachts, and yes - sometimes we even cross the path of friends on their sailboats.  Our plan when we get to Vineyard Haven is to anchor, meet up with our friend Steve Myrick, enjoy some of our favorite haunts, visit the library and pick up a few groceries, fuel and ice before heading to Onset and points North and East.

Always - in Vineyard Haven you see classic yachts sailing
in and out - that would include the Shenandoah and Alabama

New meets old - Island Home Ferry.  It wouldn't be
Vineyard Haven without the ferries.

Mad Martha's has moved.  It's now in what used to be
the old Moxie restaurant that burned down a few years
ago - right next to where the Bunch of Grapes Bookstore was
until they took over the old Bowl and Board across the street.

Lobster Fritters at the Blue Canoe - a NEW favorite restaurant.

Our view at dinner last night - Obsession is in the picture  in
the distance on anchor.  So not only was dinner delicious, but
we had the best view of the harbor.
Rain, thunder storms and strong winds keep us here until tomorrow when we will head to Onset, at the head of Buzzards Bay just at the entrance to the Cape Cod Canal.  They are celebrating 100 years of the Canal with fireworks Tuesday night, we will enjoy them and then head through the Canal on Wednesday.  Scituate, Gloucester, Portland, Jewel and Diamond Islands are on our list of places to visit.  

Not sure if this video downloaded or not - if so, it's a 360 of Cuttyhunk.