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Javelin 2007 Maine Cruise
July 15 - August 3, 2007


The Summary Plan: Not even moving in to a new house, and crew pickups in Portsmouth and Northeast Harbors, deterred Steve Blecher's 53' J-160,
Javelin from another cruise to Maine. This year's crew included Rick Van Mell, Mel Converse, & Jess Gregory from Westbrook, CT, through the Cape Cod Canal to Portsmouth, NH (Wentworth Marina) to pick up Brian Klinger, before making a beeline for Northeast Harbor to get Paul Wharton, and rendezvous with On Rush, Hank Jonas' boat, and his friend Rebecca. This year's goal was lots of gunkholing is eastern Maine before eventually working our way home with stops in Harpswell Sound to see Leighton & Karin McIlvaine, dropping Brian at Wentworth, then coming back down through the Cape Cod Canal for a visit with Jay and Hasty Evans at Scraggy Neck before returning to Westbrook.

You'll just have to read on to see what happened when the wind hit the plan! Pictures by Jess Gregory and Rick Van Mell. There are even a few movie clips, the first group of which you can jump to here.



Sunday, July 15

"Commodore Converse," Rick yelled through the sea of bodies crowding the American baggage claim conveyor. Mel Converse had just been dropped off at the terminal by Steve to look for Rick arriving from California via Dallas. The long-familiar smiles met instantly and now the crew was three. Baggage finally spilled forth, was gathered up, and, portending good fortune, Steve was just making only his second loop of the terminal when Rick & Mel appeared at the curb. With gear quickly stowed, the three headed north for Scarsdale.

Steve and Amy's new house was the Sunday night, July 16th, gathering point for the crew. Mel had driven up earlier from Leesburg, VA, and Jess and Laurie Gregory had driven over from Westfield, NJ, and arrived while Rick, Steve & Mel were coming north from LaGuardia. A house tour wasn't even complete when Paul Wharton also arrived from his house a few miles away.

Banter erupted as if all had been together just a few days before, and even new crew Jess was quickly part of the fun. With a big, new, flat-screen TV over the mantle, "the boys" sat on the couch and proceeded to Google, then download a free program for viewing weather "GRIB" files. The better part of an hour sped by as we dissected five days of isobars, wind barbs, and precipitation clouds across our route to Maine. That was the fun part. Unfortunately, it predicted very little wind and periods of rain at least through Wednesday.

Steve & Paul mastered the new back yard gas grill to produce burgers, buns and chicken perfectly done. Amy & Laurie set up a great buffet line and all hands then trimmed their plates with tomatoes, onions and asparagus, and sat down with a big bowl of salad. Pie rounded out the evening, and all headed to bed for an early Monday departure.

Monday, July 16

"Rise & Shine," Steve intoned over the intercom to rouse Jess, Mel and Rick at 0545. With the new house fully wired, this was easy! A simple grab at breakfast and a raid of the fridge soon had all hands and their gear ready for departure - four minutes ahead of the target 0700 hour. Amy & Laurie were just getting up - they were off on their own girls trip to Montreal and Quebec for a week.

Weather gods can be deceptive. Monday morning's drive to Westbrook was easy with hazy sunshine and a hint of a gentle breeze from the north - 180 degrees from what the weather map had said the night before. By 0900 the pile of duffel bags and purloined food had been carted down the dock from car to boat and an inventory update of the larder was in full swing. We quickly discovered that the 110 volt refrigeration system had not brought the box down to a working temperature, and that the laptop computer was not picking up signals from the GPS system. While Steve & Jess started work on those and other cast-off preparations, Rick & Mel headed out to get provisions.

Two guys pushing carts up and down the aisles at Shaws with a big 4-page list in their hands must have been amusing to some. More than one Shaws worker stopped to offer help to these lost souls. But, with two full carts, they eventually slide through the check-out line and headed back to Javelin with at least half of all the food for 4-8 people for the better part of three weeks.

By the time they returned, Steve had rounded up Pilot's Point yard help to clear the seawater strainer that was holding the refrigeration back, and also to resolder the wire connections at each end of the cable between the laptop and the GPS. That solved both problems. And, with the air conditioning going, the cabin was cleared of its early morning muggy-ness. Food was quickly stowed and we moved to the fuel dock to top off the tanks and pump out the holding tanks. We were under way at 1225.

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Passing Connecticut River
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All smiles ...
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Steve ...
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Jess ...
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and Mel.
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Little light
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Rick's bunk is made ...
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looking out to galley...
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baked goods ...
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Freezer & fridge temps ...
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Nav station ...
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Jess naps in main cabin.
What little wind there had been now departed and a low, grey, broken stratus deck stretched in all directions. A couple of white cumulus tops could be seen over land, perhaps 5 - 10 miles to the north. Javelin's updated autopilot rose to the occasion and dutifully tracked down the waypoints stretching east 27.3 miles toward our Monday destination of Stonington. One by one the familiar landmarks slid past: the mouth of the Connecticut River; then Bartlett Reef; past New London and the submarine base at Groton; and on into Fishers Island Sound as we passed North Dumpling Island. If the Aeolus had deserted us, Neptune was smiling with a nice ebb current pushing us along until we hit 10.2 knots over the bottom. Stonington lies at the eastern end of the Sound, past Noank and Mystic Seaport, and just before the gap at Watch Hill into Block Island Sound. We were secure at the Stonington Harbor Yacht Club dock at 1550.

Stonington is a quintisential example of a coastal New England town. Wood houses with porches, peaked roofs and here and there a widows walk line quiet, narrow streets with granite curbs and sheltered by mature elms and maples. Four short blocks' walk from the boat, our crew settled into the window table of the Waterstreet Cafe. Delicious entrees from tuna to steak soon graced the table in the simple surroundings, and even their special fresh plum pie made an appearance at the table.

Thin stratus still hanging in ragged patches to the west filtered the last of the sun so we could start our evening DVD movie a little early. "The Rat Race" certainly doesn't rate an Oscar, but the light and goofy endless chase scenes brought chuckles from the crew. It was dark by the time it ended, and all turned to their bunks by 2200.

Tuesday, July 17

"Sleeping in" was relative. Mel had his signature Rocky Coast Roast steaming by 0635 - almost an hour later than Monday's start. Soft, warm sunshine and coffee aroma penetrated all cabins and before long the crew was into the morning drill. A piping cup of coffee, orange juice or a mix of orange and cranberry, and on into breakfast. With a planned overnight before us and no need to depart early there was time for an egg scramble with onions, celery, diced tomatoes and sharp cheddar, with hot biscuits. Even a leisurely stroll though the Stonington YC to check if the WiFi was working (which it didn't seem to be) hardly took any time. By 0908 Javelin was under way headed east.

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Sunrise Tuesday at ...
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Stonington YC dock ...
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shows all shipshape.
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Catch any?
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Mel & Jess start ...
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breakfast dishes.
Diesel was the motive power. What wind there was came lightly from well aft the beam, sailing, though preferable, would have been frustratingly slow. But a steady eight knots in the right direction peeled away the miles across the bottom of Rhode Island. An unbroken strand of houses lined the shore from Watch Hill, the beginning of the Ocean State, to Pt. Judith where the mouth of Narragansett Bay tears a giant shark-bite from the land, and Rhode island ends at Buzzards Bay.

Light wind and bright sun make for dehydration and sunburn. Since the true wind almost approximated boat speed, the apparent wind was almost nil. Jess had brought along the newest addition to his Banner Bay line of anchor riding sails, a FinDelta. Riding sails are designed to be deployed at the stern while at anchor to keep a boat pointed into the wind. Javelin, flying one of Jess's original "Pointers", was pictured in the January 2007 issue of Sail Magazine. But today the objective was shade. First the FinDelta was rigged in the intended configuration with two wings to the stern and the "fin" facing forward. It looked much like a giant plow, just as intended to force wind to each side applying pressure to align the boat pointing into the wind. It also did a great job of shading the person at the helm while providing great visibility all the way around.

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Jess's new steadying sail ...
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provides great morning ...
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shade.
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Leading to ...
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Happpy crew.
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Jess approves.
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Rick gets shade!
By late morning the summer sun's elevation washed the helm in rays, so we decided to try using the Pointer as a sun awning. Picture four guys flipping perhaps 36 square feet of Dacron with 5 tie points in as many configurations as could be thought of. Reversed, with the wings forward over the dodger, it shaded the cockpit quite well - but left the helm station in total sunshine.

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Late-morning try ...
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gets shade at cockpit ...
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but not helm.
Upside down worked much better with the sun aft, and this configuration provided some shade at noon, and progressively more shade all afternoon. All hands agreed having shade when there was relatively little wind across the deck was a great thing. Most of the day wind speeds stayed under 10 knots, but even when the southwest wind piped up to 10 - 14 knots for a time, the Fin Delta behaved well.

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Backwards works for ...
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early afternoon ...
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shade.
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Pt. Judith abeam.
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Comfy.
Running at eight knots under power pushed us quickly down our rhumbline toward the Cape Cod Canal, and with power came predictability of arrival time. Two sets of GPS calculations confirmed simple arithmetic that we would converge with the main channel to the Canal in the 6 to 6:30 window. The same simple formula also predicted that at our current speed we would arrive at our "breakfast stop", Isles of Shoals, around 0430 Wednesday morning. As we entered Buzzards Bay at 1513, we called and left a message inviting Jay & Hasty Evans aboard for dinner on their mooring at Scraggy Neck - right at the entrance to the Canal. Their return call came as we passed Scraggy - they had already eaten and Hasty was off to her Sweet Adelines rehearsal for the evening. Our visit would have to wait for the return trip.

Late afternoon sun sharpened the clear images of the Canal. The houses, bridges, ships and channel markers were crisp. Jess recalled that perhaps a dozen years ago he and Laurie had been driving out to Cape Cod, crossed over the Canal, and found their way down to a cafe to watch the boats go by. "Some day I'd like to go past here by boat," he remembered saying. So Jess took Javelin the eight miles from end to end, with a smile on his face. He even declined to leave the helm for Paul's superb lasagna dinner, postponing that until Javelin's bow was pointed into Cape Cod bay.

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Jess takes aim at ...
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Cape Cod Canal.
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Stationary watcher shacks
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Training ship ...
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and tugs.
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Mr. ....
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concentration!
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Windmill to charge em?
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Backyard channel marker
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I think we'll make it.
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Southbound
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Steady hands ...
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through the canal.
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This one's bigger ...
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than average ...
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Heave!
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Paul's lasagna is ...
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good enough to eat.
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Into Cape Cod Bay.
Wednesday, July 18

"Midnight," Steve called into Rick's cabin. Time for the "graveyard watch" - midnight to four A.M.. Rick and Jess were on watch as Javelin powered almost true north from the Cape Cod Canal to the tip of Cape Ann. As Rick came topside, Boston was just aft the beam a little more than 20 miles to the west, Cape Ann 14 miles ahead, and Europe off to starboard across the Atlantic. It was warm enough for a light sweatshirt, but heavy dew soaked surfaces, so wet-suit pants were the rule. At night we wore inflatable life jackets with a harness to clip on if moving out of the cockpit. If the autopilot hadn't been steering, the North Star would have been a perfect guide. The big dipper's bowl was upright over land, and Cassiopeia's "W" hung high over the open ocean, sliced by the Milky Way. Banks of clouds formed and drifted in from the southwest, winking stars on and off like a giant shutter.

Mell came up to replace Jess on watch at 0200 as we rounded Cape Ann - a trickier rounding than most because the computer screen and the radar showed the approaching buoy to turn, but its green light flashing every 2 seconds could not be found. Finally, standing on deck, Rick heard the clang of the bell, and in the streak of lights from shore spotted the buoy with its light out, as we passed it. Jess took the stars with him when he went below as the overcast thickened. A round of hot chocolate tasted good on the 17 mile leg up to the Isles of Shoals. Faint blue glow showed in the tares of cloud to the northeast around 0430, and grew enough to back light the dozen boats on moorings in Gosport Harbor as we approached. After checking several moorings, we found the Kittery Point Yacht Club mooring that Brian had suggested. At 0501 we were secure, and all hands turned in to their bunks.

Three short hours later rain awakened the crew. With no need to go anywhere, Mel's RCR (Rocky Coast roast) perked everyone up as Rick slaved over boiling water for an oatmeal breakfast. Even rain brings out the photogenic in Maine. The lone houses on Smuttynose and Appledore Islands and the lobster boat, plus Javelin, were indeed in Maine, but the Star Island Hotel across the harbor are in New Hampshire.

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Gosport ...
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in the rain.
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Very quiet for ...
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My Girls
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and these houses ...
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on Smuttynose.
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Appledore outposts
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Star Island hotel ...
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sleeps.
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Time to rest.
Mel's cell phone has an Internet connection and though the screen is tiny, a Weather Underground radar page showed both the line of showers that was just tapering off and a gap before the next batch. Our KVH instrument system refused to stabilize as we prepared to depart. We had no boat speed, depth or wind information. The GPS provided position, direction and speed over ground, however. We departed Isle of Shoals at 1115 and arrived Wentworth Marina, Portsmouth, NH, at 1220. The fuel dock was occupied, so we headed for our slip, and began working on the instruments. By removing an overhead panel above Mel's bunk we were able to reach the connections to one of the cockpit displays that had given problems when wet in the past. As soon as we disconnected it, the rest of the system came back to life. By then the fuel dock was free so we topped off the diesel tanks before making fast in the slip. Rick had not even finished cooking lunch when the fog rolled in so thick none of the boats in the harbor could be seen from the dock. Jess took a picture of Javelin from the next dock over - you get the idea. Time for a lazy afternoon of naps, reading and log writing.

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This unit got ...
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wet and crashed the ...
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whole system, so ...
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Mel & Rick took ...
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the boat apart ...
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to disconnect it.
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Fog bound.
Javelin's HVAC was set at 74 degrees, driving out the damp and making it comfortable below. Hot showers felt good, then some nibbles and a beverage before heading up the dock to the Latitude restaurant. There was a 20 minute wait, even at 1825, so after standing around in the cool, damp fog, we returned to the boat. The last of Paul's first lasagna with green beans made for a fine dinner, complete with blueberries for dessert. Rain began even before dinner was hot, so we'd made the best choice. Our evening movie, however, was terrible - "Super Troopers" - but good for winding down and turning in early.

Thursday, July 19

All hands were stirring before 0600 as we prepared for a long day. A quick cereal breakfast, with juice & RCR got us started. Brian Klinger arrived at 0725, but said that Lise's dermatology checkup has turned up something that they were going to hear about on Friday morning, so he helped cast us off and hoped to join us in Northeast Harbor.

Fog remained, but visibility varied as we powered down the 84 mile course to Maple Juice Cove on the St. George River in Muscongus Bay. At first we had but a quarter mile visibility, and radar was our eyes. We passed a few fishing boats on the short leg past Boon Island, then visibility improved for the 60 mile run of open water across Bigelow Bight. Off and on light rain fell, but the seas were smooth with wind under 5 knots until we had only 5 miles to go. The precursor of the predicted rain, thunderstorms and cold front began to fill in with a southeast wind of 10 knots at 1730, so we rolled out the jib to steady our ride and give the impression of sailing. We've yet to be under way without the engine on this trip!!

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Lunch munchies
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Fog watch
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Radar watch
Even this little sailing didn't last as the wind shifted yet again. Without incident we rounded into Maple Juice Cove where just two other boats were anchored, and dropped out hook at 1930, just short of 12 hours for the day. Rick had nibbles ready as soon as the deck crew had taken off and stowed their wet gear. A steak, mashed potatoes and salad dinner was the reward for a long day's work.

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Time for a good ...
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steak dinner ...
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right!
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Dessert
"Entrapment" with Sean Connery & Catherine Zeta-Jones enthralled the crew, and all turned in with smiles.

Friday, July 20

Rain fell during the night, but the forecast winds never materialized. That pervasive white blanket of fog gripped us in the morning. All hands knew the routine. Radar watch below and in the cockpit, one lookout and the helm working to stay on track and avoid the ubiquitous lobster pots. Lobster boats snaked back and forth, but we only saw them if they were less than an eighth of a mile away. After passing Port Clyde going buoy to buoy like Braille, things cleared for a while going up Penobscott Bay to the Fox Island Thorofare. A couple of pictures were taken at North Haven, but moving east to Deer Island, the fog was as thick as ever. Sounding our horn every minute, we matched range circles on the computer screen with the rings on the radar to determine which items were buoys or islands and which might be vessels.

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Fog drill ...
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Leaving Maple Juice
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Vinal Haven Ferry
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Steady as she goes
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Sugar loaves
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Rick heads into Fox
Island Thorofare
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Traffic ahead
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Happy puppy
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Tour boat
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Quiet house ...
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until!
We tried to show Jess the wonders of Maine, but at Stonington in the Deer Island Thorofare, less than a quarter mile wide, but all we saw was the ghost of the old quarry crane and the boats anchored closest to the channel. With a "Security" call as we made the transit to Casco Passage, and again to Bass Harbor Bar, we worked our way to Northeast harbor. Only inside the hills of the harbor did the fog lift a little and it was an easy approach to the dock. Hank and Paul were waiting for us as Steve backed Javelin into the slip, stopping stern to stern with On Rush. It was 1535. In a practiced, quiet routine the bow, stern and spring lines were snugged into place and their tails Flemish coiled on the dock. Adding the boarding step and shore power cable finished the routine. Brian Klinger arrived just as we finished. The crew was complete.

Chores filled the rest of the afternoon. Laundry bags were stuffed and the shopping list updated before the crew headed up Sea Street. A quick stop at the Docksider gained us a 7 pm reservation for seven. Northeast Harbor's Pine Tree Market is a great place for a sailing stop. Downstairs is a full laundromat and street level is a very complete grocery shop - including a fine meat department. $200 later we were topped off for another week of cruising. With everything stowed, it was off to dinner. Our evening wrapped with Brian's movie "The Weight of Water" about the murder of two women on Smuttynose Island in the Isles of Shoals in the 1800s. The murders took place in a house not much different from those pictured in our log above!

Saturday, July 21

Though nice sun filled the harbor at 0730 breakfast, by 0935 the fog had returned. We said good-bye to Hank, and were sorry that we would not get to meet Rebecca as she was arriving later that morning, and they were staying at Northeast Harbor for dinner to celebrate her birthday.

It was a short five minutes to a fuel stop at Clifton Dock teased with about half a mile visibility. Fog tightened again as we headed east out Eastern Way. Long swells, some to five feet, rolled in from the southeast, but with almost no wind, so we were under power once again. We had no planned destination - just to get to sea and see what conditions were like. All of our planned stops headed east could be reached by turning left off an almost straight line from Northeast Harbor past Schoodic Point, Petit Manan, past Great Wass and ending at Cross Island. So we headed east.

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On Rush & Javelin ...
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at NE Harbor.
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Prepare to depart ...
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under way ...
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bye Hank ...
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others head for ...
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foggy stuff.
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at Clifton Dock for fuel
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& ice
Under way eastbound from Northeast Harbor into the fog.

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Fog stations -
lookout Brian...
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Helm - Steve &
signal times Jess ...
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Mel on radar watch ...
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ready reserve Paul ...
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Rick at nav station.
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The visuals
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Headed for Petit Manan.
Fog navigation was by now routine too. The different inputs were integrated as they happened. Course came first, modified, often frequently, by the helmsman or the lookout sighting lobster pots to be avoided. Radar identified objects ahead. These were visible on the cockpit radar repeater, while the person at the nav station below had a better screen, plus the view of the GPS position on the chart on the computer. This helped identify radar returns as buoys, rocks and islands. Radar blips that were not one of these were one of several things: lobster pots, wave crests, or other vessels. The first two are usually small, and frequently sporatic. Bigger and more persistant returns are likely vessels - but, the sporatic ones could be vessels too.

We turned on the "range circle" feature of the GPS/computer system and set the circle size to match the radar range circles, changing them as we changed the radar range. This gave us a picture of where land or buoys were relative to the rings on the radar. In the series of pictures below, we are approaching Petit Manan in almost zero visibility. At first the radar is on a 3/4 mile scale with the inner ring at .25 miles, the middle ring at .5 miles and the outer ring at .75 miles. You can see the Island at .75 miles, and the buoy .5 miles ahead. The blue circle is a "pointer" that shows where the boat will be in five minutes if the current course and speed are continued. The radar screen (though the picture is blurred) shows the island at upper left, and the buoy in the waypoint circle. The solid line is the heading of the ship at that moment - the line with the blue circle in the prior picture. In the next two pictures the range has been reduced so the inside circle is only 1/8 th of a mile, and the next shows our position on the master GPS system. We never saw the buoy!

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Fog continues
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Paul checks chart
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rolling in sea
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Petit buoy @ .5 nm ...
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on radar circle
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now at 1/4 mile
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1/8 - never saw it.
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on chart plotter
We rounded Petit Manan and headed north. In these two picturesyou can see that there are no buoys or islands with our circle range, but the radar image has a clear blip. This turned out to be a lobster boat which we finally saw when it was closer than an eighth of a mile (the inner circle on radar.)

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Note no buoys but ...
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a vessel target.
One of our "visit" spots for the cruise was Trafton Island, though originally scheduled for one of the days returning to Northeast Harbor. But in hopes of less fog near land, we turned and worked our way north. While we saw white breakers under the fog, the first land sighted was Douglas Island, with a sheltered spot on it's north side. Slightly farther north and visibility quickly improved and we were soon at Trafton Island for a late lunch.

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First sighting at ...
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Douglas Island
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Clear spot!
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Trafton Island ...
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calm spot for ...
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anchor crew to ...
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drop a lunch hook.
Lunch did the trick - full sun smiled on us for the first time in days. Refreshed, we headed up Pleasant Bay to explore Eastern Harbor. This is a typical lobster port with no facilities for cruisers and almost all the deep water taken up by lobster boats. It was a scenic place to visit on a Saturday afternoon.

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Cape Split house.
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Paul drives ...
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Steve watches ...
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Rick checks ...
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and clicks.
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Entering ...
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Eastern Harbor ...
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Lobster fleet ...
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sits quietly ...
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Saturday afternoon.
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"Am I ...
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lost?"
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Leaving Eastern Hbr.
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Cozy spot
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Weathered point
Then it was on through Tibbet Narrows into Western Bay and up to it's northern end and the Indian River. Here was a place Javelin had never been, and we didn't know what we might find. With no navigation marks it was a matter of setting waypoints in the deep water and letting the GPS get us there. What we found was a virtual carpet of lobster pots, and luckily, a clear spot just big enough for us where we wanted to anchor. After the anchor was set and the chafing gear rigged at 1645, it was relax time. Steve did the steak on the grill; Rick did the spinach on the stove. Our movie was "The Professional" with Jean Reno & Gary Oldman.

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Into Indian River
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Welcome to Maine.
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and a lobster pot ...
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minefield to ...
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work through.
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Fin Delta flies ...
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true.
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Jess gives Steve ...
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instructions.
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Banner Bay
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Still looks good
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Crystal clear time ...
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for cooking ...
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dinner ...
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ready to serve and ...
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eat!
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Cheers.
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Cell connection & ...
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phone pic.
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All is well ...
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with the world ...
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like this.
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Weed catcher
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Brian does dinner ...
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and breakfast dishes.
Sunday, July 22

Stunning color all around in the bright morning sun. Bright pots on wind-blue water and seaweed snagged on tide-swept lines. Today, for sure, there would be some sailing. Eggs & Little Smokies were quickly finished and we were under way at 0904. After retracing our waypoints to get out of the river, now with 9.7 feet less water than our arrival yesterday, we hoisted sail for a tight reach east toward the Jonesport bridge across Moosebec Reach. We hit eight knots in 11 knots of wind and were sure we were giving the local crowd a treat not frequently seen. None, however, were to be seen, much less cheering and waving. We tacked and slowly sailed back west to turn south and run the five miles to open water befor we could head east for Cross Island.

Our show-off sail did, it turned out, attract some natives as a Coast Guard RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) came alongside as soon as we had turned south. After requesting when we had last been boarded and where we were going, they waved us on our way. We saw them later as they zoomed by out to sea as we passed Moose Peak Light.

Nice sailing was the rule, with southeast winds that varied from about 6 to 11 knots. As we neared Cross Island, inside of Libby Island, it was so nice we tempted fate and decided it was too early to arrive, so we'd sharpen up and go outside and aorund Cross Island. We must have pushed our luck a little too far, for the wind eased away to less than five knots, and once more we were under engine to work our way around into the shelter of Cross Island.

An anchorage area is formed by two islands. Each typical Maine, of bold granite with weather stressed evergreens crowded down to a few feet of the water, with ragged tops shaped by winter's gales. Idyllic, tranquil - except for the radio towers. Like a forest stripped of leaves, two dozen steel towers holding antenna wires line the Cutler Penninsula shore. A massive naval communication base just doesn't seem to fit here, but there it is.

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Morning ebb drains ...
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11 feet of water.
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Jess drives Javelin ...
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for Jonesport bridge ...
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getting closer
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Western Jonesport ...
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is left behind.
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Coast Guard ...
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flies by us & ...
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Moose Peak light ...
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at Mistake Harbor.
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Libby Island light
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easing along
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Steel forest ...
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(splash)
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is everywhere.
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Afterguard
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Ship sighted ...
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"Ahoy there ..."
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Where is everyone?
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moving on.
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Turning in to anchor
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Rick clicks ...
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"Helm to foredeck ..."
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Ghost ship?
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Mark 4
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Trees hang on
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Old Coast Guard ...
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lifeboat station.
After dinner a most unusual tiny patch of fog formed between us and shore that only lasted about ten minutes, but provided a special sight as the day faded into a beautiful sunset.

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The fog comes ...
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on little cat feet ...
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and sits looking over ...
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harbor and city ...
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on silent haunches ...
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and then moves on.
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Water colors ...
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wrap the day ...
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done.
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Last light
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Moon boom
The first half of "Das Boot" was our movie for the evening.

Monday, July 23

It was an early 0709 departure from Cross Island for the Grand Manan loop. Canadian Grand Manan Island is about 13 miles long, lies roughly parallel to the Maine coast between 5 and 10 miles out, and marks the transition from the Gulf of Maine into the Bay of Fundy. It's western coast is a long line of sheer cliffs dropping from 300 feet high to 200 feet below the water. Several rocky heads add relief, and giant boulders littler the beach at the bottom of rock landslides. There are no real harbors on the western side. Our morning sun gave way to overcast, but the wind held in the north and northeast averaging around 10 knots, so we sailed much of the run. When we reached North Head, we turned back west into US waters at Quoddy Head - the eastern most point in the United States. From there we set the spinnaker and ran southwest down the coast, stopping to visit the wonderful lobster port of Cutler when the wind went light. Whales and porpoise added to the fun.

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Still there Monday morning.
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Old Man Island
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Canadian waters treat ...
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is shared.
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Closing on Grand Manan ...
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close watch ...
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Pandora Head astern.
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Arctic explorers ...
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wear gloves ...
[Click to enlarge]
and longjohns.
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Trim!
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Cliffs ahead, but ...
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lots of water.
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Rocky beach & ...
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big heads ...
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back toward Pandora
[Click to enlarge]
Close to shore
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rocks
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Dark Harbour berm ...
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Dark Hbr road ...
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fish wiers ...
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chart view ...
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entrance tower? ...
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entrance?
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Approaching ...
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North Head
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Oh Canada!
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Quoddy Head ...
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bell and ...
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light.
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Whale Ho!
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Fun run ...
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going ...
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back west.
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Entry island for ...
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Little River & ...
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Cutler, a great ...
[Click to enlarge]
lobster port ...
[Click to enlarge]
extrodinaire!
Passing through Cross Island Narrows, we entered Machias Bay and began a harbor hunt for the evening. Several spots looked promising - areas with 10 - 14 foot depths and sheltered from wind by either land, islands or very shallow water from two or more directions. On the western side, we checked the areas just north of Bucks Harbor, but the remaining southeast swell could penetrate some spots. To the southwest, rain was making up, and clearly would be upon us soon. We crossed to the northeast corner of the bay and used the GPS to work us around the rocks and into Holmes Bay. Jess got a great series of pictures of natives assessing intruders as we made our way in.

[Click to enlarge]
Machias anchorage hunt ...
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looks good, but ...
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swells ...
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this one's too open ...
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Dozing natives ...
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check out raiding party ...
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OK guys, let's split.
Rain arrived within minutes of dropping the anchor and rigging the riding sail. Steve was relieved of grilling chicken and Rick got the oven to do the job. Sunday night's spaghetti leftovers made a nice side dish to accompany the mixed veg, and blueberries and whipped cream finished off dinner. After a round of singing, the second half of "Das Boot" was our movie for the evening. It locked up near the end, and after several tries to get it to finish, we gave up at 2230 and turned in.

Tuesday, July 24

Couldn't see anything but the closest lobster pot on Tuesday morning. With zero / zero visibility we opted for eggs and sausage breakfast with some feta cheese and English muffins and jam to pass the time. Even the second pot of Rock Coast Roast was made and half finished by 0815 - our definition of a "lazy" departure. The anchor was up at 0837 with slightly more visibility, but worked our way into deep water with the GPS. A phone call had confirmed that the Eastern Atlantic Lobster Company in Bucks Harbor would seel us some diesel fuel - and had some lobsters if we wanted them too. So that's where we headed first. A touch of sun came out as we were inside the harbor. This was a working dock - less than 6' of water at low tide (we had about 8 feet of tide at the time), used by the lobster boats to pick up bait, drop off lobsters and move on. No nice fenders or cleats, and they only took cash. We exchanged some for 16 gallons of diesel and six 1.25 lb soft shell lobsters. The lobsters went into the freezer to hibernate until dinner time.

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Javelin at Eastern ...
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Atlantic Lobster Company ...
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getting fuel
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a real lobster dock
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walking the plank
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lobsters in hand
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coming in for bait
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Thanks!
[Click to enlarge]
We're off ...
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stowing dock lines ...
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for sea.
Our goal for the day was Machias Seal Rocks which sit 10 miles out in the Atlantic and are a haven for seals, razor-billed auks, puffins and terns. With sunshine and blue skies visible from the Eastern Atlantic dock, we set a course for sea. Signature Maine fog, like many things Maine, didn't care about somebody else's sunshine, it was going to sit on the water - period. At eight knots we powered out to sea looking for a break and a chance to see this special place. At 1138 radar and the GPS plot showed us less than a quarter mile from the main rock, itself about a quarter mile across. The fathometer showed 270+ feet of water, but at half the distance to the island it was 77 - and then 12 feet. A special warning on the electronic chart advised vessels to steer well clear of the rocks due to unpredictable currents. With hardly a boat length of visibility, we made our log entry and turned again for shore.

Not until we were rounding into Roque Island did the fog start to lift. But then we finished off our lunch sandwiches and enjoyed a tour along the beach before heading up Little Kennebec Bay to explore our target anchorage. Well named, the Narrows crowds down to about 150 feet of water between rocky, wooded hills rising to 200 feet. Beyond it was a small pond with 10 feet of water, but two lobster boats were moored there, and the rest of the water was littered with lobster pots. Nearby, a small gaggle of cormorants fought for a couple of feet of rock-top that was at that moment just above the rising tide. This was too narrow a spot for Javelin, so we retraced our route to the wider fork behind Porcupine Island, and set the hook for the night.

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Roque Island ...
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lobster boat ...
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works the beach.
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Looking pretty
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Toward Little Kennebec
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narrows ...
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ahead ...
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pot watch ...
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at narrows ...
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high and dry ...
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for a while ...
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want one?
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Where WE wanted to be
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pot pile
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giving up; going back
Here's a few screen shots of the routes and anchorages for the last few days:

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Machias Bay tour
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Grand Manan Loop
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Seal Island out & back
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Roque Island
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Little Kennebec anchorage
When we anchored at Procupine Island on the Little Kennebec at 3:44 pm, we were delighted the sun had returned and the crew stretched out to read in the cockpit. An hour later Jess was taking a picture of the anchorage for the log when he noticed some fog on the far side of Porcupine Island - at 4:49 pm. The following pictures show how the fog came in, then vanished. As this is written at 5:45, fog is again returning, and with the day cooling, it is likely to wrap us up again.

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At anchor, Porcupine I.
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Fog whisps @ 4:49 pm
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fog at 4:50
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fog at 4:52
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fog at 4:54
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fog at 4:55
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fog at 4:59
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fog at 5:00
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Dead ahead at 4:54
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at 5:16
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full view
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Paul relaxes
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view astern
All hands agreed this dinner was the best of the trip. Two big pots set to boiling on the stove, with a bottle of beer in each, took three lobsters each. About 18 minutes later their bright red shells signaled done. Paul made eating easy with a quick slice while Rick held then transferred each to a waiting plate. With melted butter and salad, all hands were satisfied.
[Click to enlarge]
Lots of chefs ...
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know how to make ...
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great plates.
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You want that, I ...
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break yo' claw!
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Happy crew.
After such great culinary heights, the evening movie was "Everest".

Wednesday, July 25

It was time for a Grand Tour day. For a change, the day went as planned. A morning run under power with little wind took us back to the north side of Roque Island and Shorey Cove which is as big and beautiful as Roque Beach had been the day before - and it was even sunny! Then we turned north to nose into Tenney Cove at the mouth of the little Chandler River. It looked like it would be a good anchorage for future days, well protected from most winds. Head back to sea across Chandler Bay, the distant morning fog bend the light to create a wierd mirage of the islands looking east toward Cutler.

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Morning run
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Roque - Shorey Cove
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Island homestead
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Cruiser outward bound
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Paul drives ...
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Rick looks ...
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leaving Tenney Cove.
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Foggy mirage over
Chandler Bay ...
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toward Cutler looks ...
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weird!
Rounding Head Harbor Island, we made for Head Harbor and it's northern appendage, Cow Yard to test their suitability for a future anchorage - and to have lunch. It's a simple run north into Head harbor, but it is open to any southerly swell. The pass into Cows Yard is marked by an 8 foot ledge, in theory deep enough for Javelin's 7 foot draft, but enough to be nervous about. Even with about 5 feet of tide, and seeing three boats already inside, Steve decided not to try, but to move on to Mistake Harbor, and old friend just around the corner. There were three boats in Mistake too, one leaving and another arriving while we were sitting at anchor in bright sunshine and a soft breeze having lunch.

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Approaching Cows Yard ...
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minimum swell ...
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splash ...
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no parking ...
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Head Harbor ...
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back channel ...
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Cows Yard ...
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looking in ..
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Steve's nervous ...
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work crew.
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Moose Peak light.
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into Knight I. passage ...
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Mel is lookout ...
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picture perfect ...
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into Mistake Harbor.
The second half of the 46 mile run for the day looked to be a great sailing opportunity. Lots of open water to Petit Manan, and then around and up dyer bay to Birch Point for the night. After days of fog and light and contrary winds, Neptune smiled on us. Main and jib were set with a southwest wind around 13 knots. Though our course was dead to windward, it is Javelin's cup of tea and she took off like the thoroughbred she is. The cool air at sea level formed a thin blanket that kept the wind just above the water's surface. Though the wind instrument at the top of the mast showed a steadily increasing wind, eventually reaching 22 knots, there was only a modest wave pattern on the water with no whitecaps! Javelin raced along close hauled a little over 8 knots, loping along over the long swells. Not a drop of water on deck. Compare the picture of Petit Manan buoy and light below which was taken from the same spot as picture "1/8 - never saw it," (jav07-110) above. As we rounded Petit Manan and eased off, with the wind now over 20 knots, Javelin steadily did above 9 knots and touched ten at least once.

[Click to enlarge]
Good sailing ...
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rail down ...
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and flying.
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Rick at helm ...
[Click to enlarge]
is very happy.
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tacking for Petit Manan ...
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Paul concentrates
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Petit Manan
(compare to radar
on pic jav07-110)
[Click to enlarge]
Steve adjusts.
During the exceptional afternoon of sailing, Jess began experimenting with movies on his digital camera. These clips will give you a small taste of the glorious sail. The size of each clip in megabytes is shown in parentheses to help you adjust your patience quotient as you wait for them to load. Movies run in QuickTime - you can get it free here if you need it.
Javelin slices ahead. (3)
Lee rail forward (2)
Set of the main (8)
Hitting 9 - 10 knots (5)


As we ran up Dyer Bay the air suddenly warmed and the breeze backed off to ten knots or less. We threaded our way through yet another dense lobster pot field and easily navigated to an anchorage behind Birch Point. Pots were so close on all sides that one disappeared under us - but we found it Thursday morning with one wrap around our anchor cable. After one of Paul's delicious lasagnas for dinner, we relaxed and waited for the sun to set and movie time to arrive.

A gibbous moon hung in the southeast as the red orb of a sun sank into the hilltop spikes of spruce. The air was pungent and soft, as if to say good-night, a loon call echoed over the still water and lobster pots as the sun disappeared.

Thursday, July 26

Local lobstermen were hard at work by 0430, and the growl of their engines and slap of their wakes against our hull made for an early, if still lazy awakening. With the promise of another great sailing day, with warm 80 - 85 degree temps inshore and cool sea breeze outside, we finished up breakfast and were under way at 0912.

As soon as we had cleared Dyer Bay we set sail in 12 knots of wind. As we worked offshore it went light for a while, but by 1125 we were again steaming along in the 7-8 knot range, everyone taking turns at the wheel. We did one man-overboard practice with the quick-stop tack with the jib cleated and then completed a circle to get back to the original point.

It was beautiful and still early, so we sailed west across to the Eastern Way entrance to Northeast Harbor, looking into Seal Harbor and then sailing back east in glorious weather. Rick remarked that the morning outbound track (when he was below working on the log) had neatly circled a buoy 6 miles southeast of Schoodic point - and what a neat job the crew had done. Quizzical looks from the crew said, "What buoy?" Sure enough, there it was on the chart as nice as you could ask with out track wrapped around it. but all swore there was no buoy there. So off we went to find it. At the breeze slowly increased to around 20 knots Javelin loped along above 9 knots again. Sure enough, there was no buoy, but our track crossed it once again.

We turned for the run up Frenchman Bay, past Bar Harbor and on to our night's anchorage in Flanders Bay. As we were passing Winter Harbor our course converged with a powerboat - likely a 36' Grand Banks trawler. "Go get him!" the crew cried to Mel at the wheel. And Javelin responded to the challenge and sailed right on by to Flanders Bay. Flanders is big and open, almost free of lobster pots, and with shelter from the southwest wind behind little Treasure Island. Pork roast, with green beans almondine and applesauce with horseradish was our dinner, and "Sum Of All Fears" our movie.

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Thursday morning run
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High speed sailing day ..
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trawler ahead ...
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go get her ...
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passing to leeward ...
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have her abeam ...
[Click to enlarge]
in our wake.
Friday, July 27

A lazy morning - if you call being under way at 0739 lazy. We powered over a mirrored Frenchman Bay past Bar Harbor (which, though many people have heard of it, is not a very good harbor) and on into Northeast Harbor. We arrived at Clifton Dock to take on fuel at 1015, then made the 5 minute hop to our slip deeper in Northeast Harbor. Rick & Jess headed for the Pine Tree Market to reprovision for the last week of the cruise with Brian retrieving his car to make a hardware store stop and haul groceries. The Pine Tree has been a traditional provisioning stop for cruises over the years. It is well stocked and has a good meat department. Sometimes, as it did today, it has ginger beer and Goslings Black Seal rum - the two combined make a Dark & Stormy. It is, however well up on the expensive side - the locals tend to do serious shopping on "the mainland" (Northeast Harbor being in Mt. Desert island) in Ellsworth, ME. Meanwhile, Steve, Mel and Paul turned to and scrubbed Javelin fore and aft. In the steamy 85 degree heat, air conditioning below sure felt good when the work was done.

[Click to enlarge]
Flanders Bay ...
[Click to enlarge]
is quiet.
[Click to enlarge]
Bar Harbor -
Sheep Procupine I.
[Click to enlarge]
Bear I. Light
[Click to enlarge]
NE Hbr is a yacht ...
[Click to enlarge]
showcase.
After lunch we cast off for a day sail, and finding some light wind, turned right and headed for Somes Sound - a fjord ground into Mt. Desert island by the glaciers. It is deep right up to the edges in most places, and the 600 to 800 foot hills on either side tend to funnel wind through its 4 mile length. We tacked downwind going in, and spotted what looked like a big yawl at the far northern end. The 125' Rebecca has been spotted in these waters on several cruises and that was our first guess. We headed for her, only to have her power away from her mooring just as we were making our last gybe.

After a quick picture of her stern, all we could do was try to chase her. She powered dead to windward while we tacked our way back out. She stopped about half way for some reason, and we got another telephoto picture with her mizzen hoisted. Once back in Western Way, with very light wind, she stopped again and hoisted her main (one more long-lens picture). We dropped out main and under power headed for her. But she unrolled a headsail and bore away to the east. Even in light wind it would have been a long chase under power to get close. We turned back into Northeast Harbor and called it quits for the day at 1553.

After downloading the day's pictures, we zoomed in on the stern image and were able to read her name: Scheherazade. Steve checked the New York Yacht Club register and identified her as Bill Stewart's boat - 154' long, 28' 6" beam, and 15' 7" draft. Oh yes, she's for sale at $28 million.

[Click to enlarge]
Sailing in to
Somes Sound
[Click to enlarge]
great daysailer
[Click to enlarge]
Scheherazade ...
[Click to enlarge]
154' long, 28' 6" beam ...
[Click to enlarge]
15' 7" draft ...
[Click to enlarge]
For Sale - $28 million.
Alas, our chores were not yet done, so we trooped up to the Pine Tree Market and downstairs to the laundry. While five loads of wash were doing their thing, the crew ambled back down Sea Street to the Take Out window of the Docksider for some ice cream. While Steve & Jess headed back to watch the laundry, Rick and Mel walked down to the boat and began uploading the 1000 files that make up the web page at this writing. Laundry done, only one more dirty job remained - pumping out the holding tank. That finally done about 1930, we walked up to the Main Sail motel and had a nice dinner in their restaurant - our first shore meal in a week.

[Click to enlarge]
Great provisions at ...
[Click to enlarge]
at Pine Tree ..
[Click to enlarge]
filled with ...
[Click to enlarge]
lots of goodies ...
[Click to enlarge]
Rick & Mel check out.
[Click to enlarge]
Great place for dinner ...
[Click to enlarge]
& ice cream take out.
[Click to enlarge]
Holding tank pumpout ...
[Click to enlarge]
which fitting ...
[Click to enlarge]
looks empty.
Saturday, July 28

This time lazy seemed to mean something. Rocky Coast Roast was dripping to perfection about 0730, and the French Toast & smokies breakfast was served at 0800. Fog was thick even in the harbor. Reading and log work took half the morning, then a walk up to the hardware store and to check out options for dinner. Even a peak into the Pine Tree to see if they had gotten in some Entenmann's Raspberry Danish Twist for Steve - they hadn't. Jess picked up some polish to clean the dodger and hatch slides and, with Steve, they got everything looking ship shape and Bristol fashion.

After lunch Steve, Mel & Jess jumped on the free bus for a ride to Bar Harbor to explore, and Rick added another 30 pictures to the log and got them uploaded while we still had a wireless connection. The weather stayed foggy most of the afternoon. To the southwest thunderstorms were building up around Portland in inland to New Hampshire, but they were not due this far east until tonight or tomorrow - if they arrived at all in the cool, foggy coastal air.

[Click to enlarge]
NE Harbor sounds
[Click to enlarge]
4 master departs
Bar Harbor ...
[Click to enlarge]
fog clearing ...
[Click to enlarge]
harbor view ...
[Click to enlarge]
tourist mecca.
[Click to enlarge]
Free transport
Rick had finished uploading another 30 pictures to the web page by the time the rest of the crew returned from Bar Harbor. A little quiet reading time, then we walked up the quiet streets of Northeast Harbor for a simple dinner at The Colonel. Our movie selection was getting a little thin, and the loser for this night turned out to be "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou".

Sunday, July 29

Another foggy morning, but we were under way at 0629 for an undetermined destination to the west. Lobster boats don't make their trap runs on Sundays. This fine old custom served us well and greatly reduced the number of moving targets on the radar screen. Good thing too, as the visibility was less than 1/8 of a mile most of the time. When it was really thick, down to two or three boat lengths, you had, at most, 10 to 15 seconds to recognize an object ahead, determine an evasive course, take action and see results - whether the object was a tiny lobster pot or another vessel. Thus the double radar watch and lookout keep the crew glued to their stations. Fog held tight as we tracked back across Head Harbor Bar, Bluehill bay, through the Casco Passage, across Jericho Bay, and into the Deer Island Thorofare. As we passed Stonington visibility increased so we could at least make out the shore, and passed an eastbound duo of 53' and 84' power boats with which we had been exchanging Security calls. The Pea Soup closed in again as we crossed East Penobscot Bay into the Fox Island Thorofare where a period of bright sun gave us hope of easier miles to come. But back into Penobscot Bay the thickest fog of all returned, and we encountered our most vessel traffic.

But as we reached Two Bush Island near the bottom of the bay, the fog broke and a nice sea breeze settled in. Never missing an opportunity to sail, we hoisted same and altered course to open sea below Old Man Ledge. Javelin was in her element making a little over 7 knots close hauled in 9 - 10 knots of wind. Up until that point our route ended in Hornbarn Cove, a little ways up the Meduncook river, but now we thought of going farther east, clearing Pemaquid Point and turning up the St. Johns River to Poorhouse Cove. Sailing across the bottom of Muscongus Bay was so nice we stretched our thoughts a little and finally settled on heading up the Damariscotta River into Seal Cove. That's where we splashed the anchor at 1659 for a 75 mile run for the day. Steak & onions, with baked potatoes and salad topped it off. Bruce Willis and "the Last Boy Scout" was only slightly better than the previous night's movie.

[Click to enlarge]
Sunday, headed west ...
[Click to enlarge]
Sound that horn ...
[Click to enlarge]
it's drippy
[Click to enlarge]
find the buoy ...
[Click to enlarge]
Bass Hbr Bar passage
[Click to enlarge]
into Casco passage
[Click to enlarge]
wet windshield ...
[Click to enlarge]
gotta look around it ...
[Click to enlarge]
lobster pot dead ahead
[Click to enlarge]
Grog Island
[Click to enlarge]
Passing Stonington ...
[Click to enlarge]
good visibility ...
[Click to enlarge]
Old stone quarry crane
[Click to enlarge]
outbound into fog ...
[Click to enlarge]
Into Fox I. Thorofare ...
[Click to enlarge]
quick clearing
[Click to enlarge]
See jav07-086 ...
[Click to enlarge]
much nicer now
[Click to enlarge]
North Haven house
[Click to enlarge]
Want one?
[Click to enlarge]
Into Penobscott Bay
[Click to enlarge]
classic
[Click to enlarge]
comfy osprey
[Click to enlarge]
Humm........
[Click to enlarge]
Mel naps ...
[Click to enlarge]
carry on ...
[Click to enlarge]
Passing E. Boothbay
[Click to enlarge]
Which cottage ...
[Click to enlarge]
do you want?
[Click to enlarge]
at anchor - Seal Cove ...
[Click to enlarge]
looking aft.
Monday, July 30

The tops of the trees 150 feet away could just be seen against the deep grey of fog, their rocky footholds, and the water - rock boundry was lost entirely. Slowly the sun worked its way down through the murk and by 1010 we could see enough to be worth getting under way. This was a tour day for Jess, and our first destination was Boothbay Harbor - the waterfront destination most touted by Maine tour guides. Even the fog relented on our arrival. Boothbay's starched white frame houses, sprinkled with a deep red here and there, the white church and steeple, the grand (and plain) yachts and boats filling its harbor, and the dark-canvassed schooner "head boats" slowly sailing back and forth have everything that says New England. Tourist shops and restaurants ashore compete to make a yearly living during the three month summer season. After a slow tour, we headed on.

[Click to enlarge]
Trees meet water
[Click to enlarge]
Arriving Boothbay Harbor ...
[Click to enlarge]
downtown ...
[Click to enlarge]
church ...
[Click to enlarge]
yar cruiser ...
[Click to enlarge]
our firends.
[Click to enlarge]
Hetairos is ...
[Click to enlarge]
backing out ...
[Click to enlarge]
turning around ...
[Click to enlarge]
steaming away.
A tiny passage called Townsend Gut, with a swing bridge in the middle of it, is the back door to the Sheepscot river. We made the 1230 bridge opening and anchored for lunch in Love Cove. With a promising wind building, we headed down the river, but again found fog, and though we had hoped to sail, the thick fog all the way down and around Cape Small reduced up to radar navigation yet again. We had debated two destinations, the perfect hurricane hole "The Basin" on the New Meadows River, or Quahog Bay one bay farther west. The Basin had a narrow entrance with a stretch of only 7 feet of water at low tide. To prudent take Javelin's 7 feet of draft in calls for mid to full tide - an extra 5 to 10 feet of water. Since we would be arriving late on a falling tide, we chose Quahog Bay. GPS and computer navigation threaded our way the 4 miles inland to this simple pool, but we found it had become a "destination". Not only was there now a good sprinkling of white mooring balls, but half a dozen boats scattered around. We had, unfortunately, come far enough west to be back in "civilization". anchoring and setting Jess's Fin Delta riding was now a routine completed in five minutes or less. But in the hot, humid, still air the no-see-ums and mosquitos were quite happy. We closed up the ports, turned on the air conditioning, and settled down to a chicken and mixed veg dinner. Steve came up with a great idea to use up the last four flaky buscits, and so our blueberry shortcake dessert was born. Ever hear of Sean Connery in "Highlander"? Didn't think so.

[Click to enlarge]
In to Townsend gut ...
[Click to enlarge]
some for us?
[Click to enlarge]
nope ...
[Click to enlarge]
next opening 1230 ...
[Click to enlarge]
working everywhere ...
[Click to enlarge]
our turn ...
[Click to enlarge]
coming up ...
[Click to enlarge]
Thanks!
[Click to enlarge]
Narrow pass ...
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into Sheepscot River
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baby cradle.
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Steve's idea ...
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for dessert.
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Quahog sunset ...
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Rick clicks.
Just to show what a long day on the water can do to a crew, here are movie clips of sunset at Quahog Bay, shot through the porthole over the nav station, and an artistic view os spinnaker sailing. These files are at least double the earlier files, so be extra patient.
Sunset at Quahog Bay (16)
Spinnaker sailing from Wentworth toward Cape Ann (14)


Tuesday, July 31

A bright, sunny morning greeted us - the first in quite a while. With only a short 13 miles to go into Harpswell Sound, we enjoyed a last egg breakfast, then headed to sea. That urge to sail is strong, and with 4 knots of wind, Skipper Blecher gave orders to hoist sail at 1010. At one point we were sailing at 4.9 knots in 5.5 knots of wind. But that was about as strong as it got in the morning. Jess spotted a few lobster boats with true steadying sails, but similar in shape to a riding sail. The steadying sail is used on small power boats to reduce rolling in swells, while the riding sail works to keep the bow of the boat pointed into the wind and reduce swinging when at anchor. We gave up and turned the engine on at 1144 and headed into Harpswell Sound.

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Working steadying sail ...
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very nice ...
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furled.
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working.
We look forward to our annual visit with friends Leighton & Karen McIlvaine in Harpswell Sound. Like most of the Maine coastline, Harpswell runs north-northeast in from open water. Broken rocky bits mark the seaward approach, and you wonder who first found the rocks submerged at high tide that now sport a tall, bent pipe (and two big red nuns) that's marked Drunker Ledge.

We were welcomed with great hospitality and the cool breeze and porch shade made for a relaxing afternoon. Then it was on to dinner. Our usual destination was a lobster pound about two miles up Harpswell - Morse's Lobsters. But it seems their house and dock on the edge of the water we zoned residential, and one of the zoning board folks decided this was not good - after a dozen years in business or more. But the Morse crew found another location about 4 miles east as the cormorants fly, but 25 minutes of hard driving by road. Images of succulent lobster drew us there quickly, and we found a nice table for the crew. One of the challenges of the original site was the plague of mosquitos that would descend as the sun went down. It looked like the new place would be much better, but we were quickly advised that they, or their cousins, had found the new location with a vengeance. As we finished up our dinner a bit before 8, they were arriving like clockwork. So we postponed dessert until we reached the Stone Cold Creamery in Brunswick and treated ourselves to a generous helping. Even with all this, the crew was back aboard and headed for our bunks at 2100.

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Arriving at McIlvaines
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Karen leads ashore
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Javelin waits patiently
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Fin delta at work
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North neighbor
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McIlvaine Dock ..
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and house ...
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relaxed crew joined by ...
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Karen & Leighton
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Nice afternoon.
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Morse's new location ...
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at Cundy Harbor ...
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"supply" boats
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crew table.
Wednesday, August 1

Another beautiful morning greeted the crew. It was so clear and bright all hands were up around 0530, and under way at 0559. Threading though the lobster pots going outbound was relatively easy, and once clear of Half Way Rock, and at the Portland sea buoy, we set the spinnaker to take advantage of 13 knot north wind. We charged along between 7 and 8 knots for about two hours before the wind started going lighter and clocking - as predicted. It was back to engine power for the push on toward Portsmouth, NH, and Wentworth Marina in Little Harbor just south of the entrance to Portsmouth itself.

It is also crew Brian Klinger's home port, and he was ready to greet us when we arrived. With the log updated and ready to upload to the web, and a pair of glasses that needed mending, Brian took Rick & Jess for a tour of the neighborhood. First stop was Brian's Kittery Point Yacht Club, Kittery, Maine being right across the river. A great view from their deck enabled Brian to point out the main bridge in downtown Portsmouth, the naval base across the river (and its old prison), and the ship channel that goes right by the front porch. From there it was on to Dr. Klinger's office - he's an optomitrist par excellance. The glasses were fixed in no time, but the staff encouraged Brian to do a little singing, so we obliged with a few tunes before heading on. Next stop was Brian & Lise's house in Rye. While Rick uploaded the cruise log, Jess got the house tour. Then it was back to Javelin where Lise joined us for cocktails before Brian & Lise treated the crew to a fine dinner at the Oar House in Portsmouth. A well stuffed crew rolled into their bunks just after 2200.

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Portsmouth bound ...
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with good sailing.
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coiled sheets.
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From KPYC to old
Portsmouth Naval Prison
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Glasses fixer
Thursday, August 2

"Zero Dark Thirty" arrived even earlier than usual. The crew was all up at 0400, and cast off at 0413. Coffee, Juice and the rest of breakfast waited until we were under way. The concern was that about 24 hours later the tide at Westbrook would be too low to enter due to the shoaling in the channel. Thus we were going to forego our visit with Hasty Evans at Scraggy Neck at the west end of the Cape Cod Canal and continue straight on to Javelin's home in Westbrook. We set up watches right away so we would be ready for the Thursday night into Friday run. The early departure treated us to a fine sunrise, and for the first 70 miles to the Cape Cod Canal, we had about three hours of engine-assisted sailing. The rest of the time it was on the nose - as usual. We entered the Canal at 1407 and a 3.5 knot current quickly flushed us through into Buzzard's Bay.

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Sunrise, and we're ...
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headed south
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Flat sea
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Cape Ann lights.
A stiff souwester coming up Buzzards Bay greeted us with square waves against against the current when we emerged from the Canal. We powered into it, and finally were able to hoist the main and add a few tenths to our speed. We tried pure sailing as we left Buzzards Bay and started across Naraganset Bay, but the wind was too much on the nose though it was blowing 12 - 14. by the time we'd made the 23 miles across to Pt. Judith the wind went lighter and farther west, so it was back to engine alone. Even our old Maine friend, fog, returned for a while and made the run past Watch Hill into fishers Island Sound tricky in the black of night with a flood current sweeping us along at 9 knots over the bottom.

Friday, August 3

But we arrived off Westbrook just at high tide at 0217 Friday morning and had no trouble with depth. By 0230 the crew had Javelin tied snug in her slip and the air conditioning turned on. It was hot and muggy even at this hour. Four hours of sleep for all hands was much appreciated, and we awoke to the last pot of Mel's Rocky Coast Roast at 0700. A final quick breakfast of cereal and blueberries got us started. Gear was stowed, clothes packed, bunks stripped, ice box cleaned out, the sail cover put on and the whole boat washed down by 0940.

We had crossed the waters of five states plus Canadian waters. It was a good cruise, and hope you get to enjoy one like it some time.

Clear Sailing.

Rick Van Mell vanmells@ix.netcom.com




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