Thursday, September 24, 2015

Marion, Buzzards Bay and the Islands

Sept 4th-11th 
Scituiate Light
Leaving Scituate, we finally got a good sailing breeze south to Cape Cod Canal and Buzzards Bay.
Buzzards Bay is known for its great breezes and warm temperatures, and we weren't disappointed.

Somehow the dinghy managed to keep up

Beverly Yacht Club, Marion MA
We were headed for our "blind date" with Boston Blackie, aka Lord Bowers. "Bill" aux intimes, at Beverly Yacht Club in Marion. We had been corresponding with Blackie online via the J-4x yahoo group website, where J-42 owners share tips and tricks about our boats.  He arranged a mooring and dinner for us at BYC.  What a treat!  The members are so friendly, the commodore came by on his boat to greet us.  And we had a terrific dinner with Lord and Lady Bowers (Bill and Linda) that evening.   They were our cruising guides extraordinaire for the coming week.

Saturday, we sailed the 10 miles south to lovely Hadley Harbor, nicely enclosed by small private and scenic islands.  In calm waters, it was easy to raft together for the night.
Egret at Hadley Harbor

Herreschoffs at Hadley Harbor 
The 2 Bills had a great time checking out the 2 boats.  Jarana is J-42 hull #2 and Blackie's Converjence is hull #3.  Converjence competed in the 2015 Marion to Bermuda Race and return trip this summer, so we had lots of offshore ideas to share.  Linda and Kathi discovered a mutual love of Costco, and had fun with that.

Breezin' up on Vineyard Sound

After a couple days in Hadley Harbor, we set out for Martha's Vineyard, in a fresh breeze.  The boats are closely matched in speed, so it was fun to sail together wherever we went.  It was the day after Labor Day, so we were swimming "upstream" against the flotilla of boats returning from the holiday weekend.  The first thing we did on arrival in Edgartown, was stop at the mid-harbor water dock to rinse off the salt and top off the tanks.  So convenient.  We rafted on a mooring for the night and went ashore for some sightseeing and showers.  It's a beautiful town.  
Edgarttown YC

Hard to catch
The next day, in more fresh breeze, we set off for Nantucket. We anchored and rafted just past First Point in a big, wide open bay, all to ourselves.
Normally, "during the season", Nantucket is packed with boats.  But after Labor Day, it really thins out.  However, there was a surprising strong current in the bay, and against the wind, the water sloshed between our two boats like a washing machine agitator and ruled out swimming off the boats too.  But we dinhgied to the beach and had a good walk and a bit of a splash.

The next day, we moved the boats closer to town and anchored just off the mooring field, for an easy dinghy trip ashore.  The charming town was still thronged with visitors and long lines at the ferry landing.  It is further distinguished by a large supermarket very conveniently located near the waterfront.

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Linda and I both had a ton of food (from Costco) aboard, but we can always use fresh yogurt, milk and bread, and sometimes beer.  Linda's sister Serena arrived by ferry from Hyannis and we had a great evening and a fine roast lamb dinner aboard Converjence. 

Thanks ,Bill and Linda for such a wonderful trip!   We were really sorry to part ways......
Nantucket is famous for its beaches, this one is on a protected bay

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Boston's South Shore

Aug 31st-Sept 4th - Hingham, MA
In hot and humid weather, we picked up a close-in mooring at Hingham Yacht Club.  Hingham Bay was a calm and peaceful respite from busy Salem Sound on the North Shore and busy Boston Harbor.  HYC was a wonderful base for us, on a beautiful bay, with a pleasant shoreside walk to a bus stop.

Because of (or despite) the heat, we took the bus and T downtown and spent 2 days at the Museum of Fine Arts. 

The collections are extensive and it seems no style or genre is left out.
Chinese screen from "...the New World Discovers Asia" exhibit
MFA Boston Asia Trade exhibit

It was wonderful to see old friends, Bob and Cindy Hidell, and Bob and Donna Foley.  And we had some lovely evenings together.  Bob Hidell loaned us his Mini-Cooper convertible, which was great until I accidentally turned on the seat heater and needed a long time to figure out how to turn it off.
Maxi's Fan Club
The weather was really hot, so I was pretty frantic until I figured it out.

Bob Hidell sailed (motored) with us from Hingham to Scituate and that evening we drove down to Marshfield with Cindy for the best tapas ever!  Yum! 

It was such a joy to me to see beautiful Hingham and Scituate again.  The area's grown a bit and there's new Boston train service to Scituate.  Our visit was way too short, but we had to move on....

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Back in Massachusetts - Boston's North Shore, Marblehead and Beverly

August 27th - August 30th   In the company of some fun guys we met in the Isles of Shoals, we found a mooring in crowded Marblehead. 
Where did we leave the boat????

 We enjoyed the hospitality of lovely Corinthian Yacht Club and its pool on a hot day.
CYC Marblehead

Jarana in a quiet moment in Marbelhead
 It was pretty bumpy and busy, so we moved over to Jubilee Yacht Club in Beverly MA.  We got a great mooring in the Danvers River next to a sand bar that protected us from most of the current, so it was quiet and calm.  JYC provided wonderful launch service, which was a huge convenience. 

We took adavantage by schlepping a huge pile of laundry ashore, renting a car, doing laundry, grocery shopping, Costco shopping and a trip to REI.  The club was very friendly and busy with a small boat regatta going on.

Our friends Bob and Cindy Hidell came up for a day sail with us on Salem Sound.
out for a family sail
There's always lots to see.  It was Kathi's birthday, so we went out for a wonderful seafood dinner in a lovely, restaurant on the Annisquam River.

Isles of Shoals, New Hampshire

In late August, after restive (not restful) night on a mooring in Kittery, Maine, on the border with New Hampshire, we set off for somewhere else.  But on a whim we diverted to the Isles of Shoals, a group of rounded mounds of glacier scoured rock just a few miles offshore.


What a treat!  I first heard of the Isles of Shoals in Anita Shreve's dark and wonderful novel, The Weight of Water.  However, the weather was mild and sunny and we didn't meet any permanent residents.  However, we did meet some other CCA cruisers there, that we hope to see again someday.

Old fashioned porch on Star Hotel

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Last stops in Maine

August 22nd we left Camden and made a couple nice stops. 
 Passing Pemaquid Point and on to Falmouth, home of Portland Yacht Club.
Pemaquid Light
The other Portland Yacht Club, in Falmouth ME

August 25th - Kittery Maine,
The mooring was a noisy bumpy thing, but we had a great walk ashore in the sun the next day.
morning fog lifting at Kittery

Rockport and Camden, Maine

August 20th - Bucks Harbor was a great anchorage.  It was a long day in the fog to get there, but it was far enough inland that we were rewarded with calm clear weather and very few lobster pots. 
Bucks Harbor Yacht Club

August 21st - Camden is Maine's iconic harbor village, where the windjammer fleet is based. Granted, because of tourism, it's a bit Disneyfied, compared to the more obscure villages.  But nonetheless it's a lovely natural setting with a very charming and busy village.
Camden Library

We tied up at a very convenient Camden Yacht Club float.  Camden Harbor is a very small scenic harbor, so in order to squeeze the most boats, small detached docks are lined up with a yacht tied on each side.
Nifty granite steps

Thursday, September 3, 2015

More Maine Cruising

August 13th - We made our way north towards Mt Desert Island, a high, rounded dome of granite, with a long narrow passage into the middle, known as Somes Sound. 

Somes Harbor fog
It's also a national park.  We found a CCA mooring in Southwest Harbor and got ashore for a short hike and a lobster dinner.  Then we continued north to Winter Harbor on the Schoodic Penninsula, which is also part of the national park.

Foggy fingers reaching Bar Harbor

Both towns were quiet, neat New England towns, with small restaurants and grocery stores.  The national park runs free buses around park areas, so we hopped aboard to see the scenery.

Then the fog was back.  It was really hard to sail through the fog and densely packed lobster pot buoys with toggles (a second float attached by several feet of line.) 

One day, we just turned around and went back to our starting point.  Usually, we would get some clearing around midday, especially farther from the ocean.  But nonetheless, we always could find calm, uncrowded anchorages, even near towns.  We were the only boat at Stave Island Harbor nearby.So it was all good. 

When we got away from the towns, we often saw eagles and ospreys, among the other seabirds around.