And on up to Maine

27 Jun

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Isles of Shoals
We spent a couple of days enjoying Marblehead. It is so charming with the higgley piggley streets, wonderful old houses nestled into glorious gardens, great shops and a harbour stuffed with over 2500 boats. Next week the Marblehead Halifax race boats start to arrive. I learned from Jim that Gypsy fits in a class “plastic classic”… hmmm. Our front row seats on the Harbour Master mooring were perfect on our last night as there was had a thunder and lightning show and rain squall after a stifling hot still day of 90F.

We often seem to end up doing a slightly different cruise than planned. Instead of heading directly to NS we have decided to get a glimpse of Maine cruising so we’re off up the coast and will jump off either from Booth Bay or Northeast Harbour.

Avril says we operate a mighty fine cruise. Accommodation is good, so is the food (?) and the daily entertainment is always different and exciting. Today it was the lobster pot routine. We left Marblehead about 0730 and set off past Gloucester, around Cape Elizabeth, heading for the Isles of Shoals. Just off the Salvage Shoals, the engine suddenly made a horrible sound and David turned it off immediately. Lobster pot – and we were hooked. We got the dinghy in the water and tried to see how badly wound, David then tried to tow the boat or at least turn it as we were very close to the rocks. He even thought of going in the water – 16C!! There was a lot of current but little wind, but the lumpy seas made it extremely difficult to manouver the dinghy. We then dropped anchor to keep ourselves off the rocks. A recreational fishing boat came close to look and toasted us with their beer before they continued… c’mon! We called our buddies (Towboat US) and an hour later a boat appeared with a diver – recently moved here from Hawaii! He donned full scuba gear and spent 20 minutes with a knife getting us free, it was quite a chore. We had been still attached to the lobster pot like a second anchor and both the prop and rudder were well wrapped. We don’t fool around. We typically monitor VHF radio channel 16 and today was a busy day for USCG – a search for a missing person and then another search for a missing kayak. We continued on and about 1730 reached Isles of Shoals. The Portsmouth Yacht Club has moorings there that unofficially were available, so we picked one up then settled in for another thunder and lightning storm with rain squalls. Isles of shoals is owned by both NH and ME. There is a retreat here and we were entertained by the whoops and hollers as a stream of kids ran across the lawn and jumped off the dock. A fellow on another cruiser was playing a recorder.
We got another early start at 0600. Fog and lobster pots… we must be in Maine! It is amazing really how often we are totally alone on the water even in popular cruising areas. The only action today was dodging lobster pots and somewhat more exciting, when a lobster boat, Foxy Lady bore down on us at full speed and then pulled alongside for the fisherman to yell: “I beat Halifax in football 40 years ago!” (with a big grin). Our entire day on the water was milky calm but just as we docked at 1500 the rain and wind (20+) started – timing! We got settled in, David checked in with customs – we have also found out that they don’t require us to surrender our cruising permit or even officially clear out when we leave US waters. That seems so weird after they have been monitoring our every move since we got here.
We planned an easy start as it was to be a short hop to Booth Bay so shoved off at 0800 – and promptly got stuck in the mud (marinas never tell you the reality!). So we shimmied back to the dock to wait…

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