Monday, July 30, 2012

My Favorites in Castine

If I wasn't such a procrastinator, I wouldn't feel like I was always wanting to add to Joe's posts. Old habits don't often change. Anyway, after editing his commentary yesterday on Castine, I figured I would just add my impressions. 

Favorites for me, was the rather sweet, laid back, village, with only a few shops, restaurants, interspersed with a few elegant old inns, and many beautiful, old stately homes, many from the 1800's. There were several parks with public accessibility, both on the waterfront, and along a pine covered knoll with well marked hiking trails and wild raspberry bushes. The village green was surrounded by the library, school house (hardly bigger than one room), and the historical society, housing a free history museum.

Castine is home to the Maine Maritime Academy, started in 1941, which very quickly became a training ground for sailors needed in WWII. It has since become a 4yr degreed school with masters degree offerings also. Several of the adults we met over the two days teach at the academy. Along the waterfront, the academy has several large boats for the students, and classrooms. Usually, the   T/S State of Maine, a 500 foot merchant training ship sits in the harbor, but is presently in Boston, for its 5 year check-up.  It was obvious that the academy has been an important part of the life of the town for the last 70 years, as before that it was a major boat building town.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Stray Boaters = Lobster Feast

Sunday, July 22, we pulled into Blue Hills after a very nice but stressful sail down the Eggemoggin Reach. The first half was no sweat as there were very few lobster pots, but the last part was pots all over the place.  The wind was between 15 to 20 knots and we were dodging pots for about 2 hours.

Finally got to Blue Hill, Mane where Jane and Alan Birk live.  They live in Blue Hill in the summer and next door to us in New London the rest of the year.  We took the yacht club tender to the clubhouse and were just sitting around charging up our electrical items when this guy sat down and starting talking to us.

His name is Dr. Jeff Milliken and he is the grandson of the founder of the Kollegewidgwok Yacht Club, also know as KYC.Being an avid sailor, he knew we needed two things, a shower and some food.  So he invited us over for a lobster feast ( for Joy, chicken for Joe) at his house. I guess he does this all the time because when Karen , his wife, was told, it was like, Business as usual.

So off we went to their house.  Besides us, there was Scott, Jeff's brother, Robin, Karen's sister, their son, Noah, his girlfriend  Castine, and Rebecca, Castine's friend from Philly. Think I have all the names with correct spelling.

Before dinner, the ladies had a wicked game of croquet fueled by some Cosmos.  Joy and Karen were declared co winners as Joy was poison, knocked out Karen but after hitting Karen, Joy's ball rolled through a wicket. If there are any croquet rule judges out there, let me know the proper ruling for this situation.

Had smoke mackerel, some cheeses, lobster, steaks, potatoes and salad.  Finished up about 9:30 or so.

We had left the anchor light on for High Spirits along with the steaming light so we were able to find her in the total dark harbor.

This afernoon, Monday, July 23, we are going over to the Birk's house to climb Blue Hill, and then out to dinner and a steel band concert. Will have some pictures later.


ps  We stayed the night before Blue Hills, in Bucks Harbor.  Joy is writing more as that is where Robert McCloskey, writer of Make Ways for Ducklings, Blueberries for Sal, and One Morning in Maine lived.  Here is a photo of the outdoor showers at the Bucks Harbor Marina

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Sweet Life

We have been busy in the last couple of days travelling to several small towns and meeting some very interesing people.

It all started when we left Camden, Maine and sailed over Pulpit Harbor which is a little inlet on North Haven Island.  We got there early, lucky for us as about 6 boats came in after us.  The five morrings that are available for rent were taken, sSo we tried our hand at anchoring.  Usually we get it right the first time; however, this time the first three times did not work.  We had been warned about kelp on the bottom of the inlet and most likely our anchor was grabbing the kelp and not holding.  We talked to the local boat yard, and they gave directions to the best place to anchor which is more in the outer harbor. The fourth time was the charm.  After that we were able to dinghy over to the town dock and walk to the local store for some groceries. It was very hot so we just relaxed afterwards and joy went for her first swim in ME waters.

Met the people on the boat next to us, John and Marcia.  He is a minister in Wiscasset, Maine, had been the Congregatiional Church minister in Marblehead, MA for a long time. Very nice couple, had a dinner of leftovers from both boats.

Then on Thursday we set sail for Castine, Maine. A small town with a big heart and big history.  Founded in 1613, 7 years before the Pilgrims.  Does not get a lot of history because the town of Castine and surrounding territory changed countries about 8 times.  Owned by English, French, and the Dutch over a 200 year period. The interesting thing about Castine, is that the history buffs here have documented everything in the town with easy to read signs at places all over the town. Took a 2 hour walk, just in the west side of the town.

After the history tour we walked through the nature preservewith the wonderful smell of fir trees and wild raspberries that Joy enjoyed.  Then time for lunch at the harbor place fried and fast food stand.

Total walking time was 3.5 hours. For dinner tonight we took our food to the Castiine Town Band concert on the town commons. For a local group, they had a very nice sound.  About 45 members, plus two flautists from England who were visiting.  The best part was the cymbal player, she was an older grandmother and a ton of her
family were there for a wedding tomorrow.  She got the biggest hand during introductions.


ps  pictures later

Monday, July 16, 2012

Camden, Maine - Home of Schooners

We arrived in Camden Maine last night, and are staying here for two nights.  Tomorrow we are off for either Pulpit, Maine or Castine, Maine, depending on the wind direction.  No fixed scedule this week except that by Sunday night we want to be in Blue Hill, Maine, summer home of Alan and Jane Birk, our next door neighbors in New London.

This town is a boater's town.  Many shops and restaurants are right down on the waterfront including a very nice library.  The photos today include a view of the harbor and also a shot of a 97 foot sailboat missing its mast. The mast is down in Newport, RI and being shipped up.  Believe it or now, this boat is here for a paint job even though it looks great.

Wayfairer Marine (place we are moored at) has a nice breakfast restaurant that is called TOAST.
Great toast with salmon, and stuff on it today.  The captain's lounge contains clean restrooms and three pairs of washer/dryers.  Please note the photo of our laundry.  Try to figure out who belongs to which pile.  I should note that the pile on the left includes a brown pillow case so it is even smaller.

Joy is preparing a feast for dinner tonight including chicken sausages, mushrooms, potatoes and onions and a salad.  We ate out for breakfast and lunch today so we have to watch our pennies. Especially since we got our final boat bill and it was just what we thought it would be.

That is all for now, may be out of internet range for a couple of days as we cruise the islands.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Hot in Rockland

Today, Sat, was pretty hot in Rockland.At first I thought I would want to go to the Blues festival here in town. It is called the North Atlantic Blues Festival, started in the 1970s when performers came to Maine on vacation.  However it was very hot, and the cost was $35/person.

We elected to visit air conditioned museums and air condition restaurants.  Joy went to visit the Farnworth Art Museum which is full of NC, Andrew and Jamie Wyeth paintings.  I  went to the Lighthouse Museum which was very interesting about life in lighthouses back in the late 1800s.

After that we went to the Project Puffer store where we talked to people about our visit to Hog Island and meeting Seve Kress, the head of the project.  He and his fellow scientists are restocking puffins on seveal islands in the Gulf of Maine. We plan to visit one of he islands on our way south, you can not stop at the island, but can circle around it.

Only have one picture today because we did not take the camera ashore.

Here is a picture of the Albison family from lunch yetsrday.  Left to right are Caroline, daughter of Charlie and Sharon, Megan is her oldest daugther, then Wendy, Charlie's sister, Joy, Sara, Caroline younger daughter, Charlie and Jean(Charlie's mother). Sharon and I were takig pictures.

Jean is Grandma Mimi's age and was married to Jim Albiston, Mimi's first cousin on Skip's side of the family.

Tomorrow we are off to Camden, Maine, looks like potential thunder storms later in the day, but we only have to go less than 7 miles so it should be less than 2 hours.  Found a good marina with moorings, fuel, water, pumpout, captain's lunge and a courtsey car which we can use on Monday to go to the grocery store.


Friday, July 13, 2012

Trekking for Donuts and Cookies

Having arrived in Rockland, ME, yesterday, we were very excited to find the Willow Bake Shoppe, written up in our Maine Cruising Guide. Realizing that it was over 2 miles away, closer to the end of the harbor, we decided to set out in our dinghy for the Samoset Resort. After stopping at the wrong dock( condo complex), we were given directions to walk two miles from our new spot to the Bakery. With delicious donuts on our mind, we continued on, and since we had walked that far, we had two donuts apiece and a chocolate chip cookie for when wwe got back to the boat. Yum! It was worth the walk!

But let's back up a bit to a description of Beggar's Wharf, where we rented a mooring for three days, finding our first choice was full due to the North American Blues Festival this weekend, we chose this marina, pictures follow. The men's room was broken as well as one of the two toilets in the women's room. Of course there are no stalls between the toilets, so it doesn't matter that only one toilet was working. There was also a sign that showers are $3. Now rarely do we have to pay for showers and if we do, they are coin operated and cost 50 cents. These showers work fine without any coins, so I guess it is on the honor system. Of course, today Charlie told Joe that he would wave the fee for today. On the good side, give credit where credit is due, there is a large room for cruisers to use with darts, pool, a bar, and couches. And because I kidded Charlie about the broken toilets, they were fixed today.

We also had a great visit yesterday with more Albistons, as Charlie and Sharon's mother, Jean, sister, Wendy, daughter and grandchildren drove up to Rockland for an early supper down on the waterfront.

Today, we were lucky to find that there was a Windjammer parade this afternoon in the harbor. Trying to position ourselves in the front row, we went by dinghy from the boat to get a bit closer to the action, so we have included pics. About 7 schooners sailed around in circles for two hours. Having seen several tall ship parades in Cleveland, this was a bit disappointing, but fun anyway. So far, a busy 24 hours.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Mosquitos Alert

We are in Tenants harbor, Maine and under attack by mosquitos.  Fortunately we have two bug zappers, they look like mini tennis racquets.

We arrived at noon time, went to shore and had a very nice lunch at The Happy Clam, pub and restaurant.  One of the best lunches we have had on this trip.

We are staying at Lyman-Morse, they make Lyman power and sail boats, but up in Thomaston, Maine.  This is a marina for them. It has nice showers and a captains lounge.  Going to bring over some water cans to refill tomorrow morning before we leave for Rockland Maine

Today we have three pictures.  One of the Red Lobster boat, Jamie Wyeth's boat which is docked here at Lymans, and Joy roasting marshmellows over the gas grill.

Last couple of days have been days of no Internet, but have good connecions here in Tenants Harbor.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Family, Friends and Maine

After leaving Portland, the crew of High Spirits took her ever eastward to visit family and friends.

We first stopped on Long Island to stay with Charlie and Sharon Albiston.  From previous posts,
readers who might be suffering from memory issues, Charlie and Joy are second cousins.  Joy's grandfather, Theodore Huggins Bush was the brother of Dorothy Huggins Albiston.  Aunt Dot, as she was called,  married Joe Albiston and moved to Auburn,Maine.  Charlie is one of his grandsons.
Anyway, the long and short of this part of this story is that we were invited to stay at the cottage for a couple of days.

This sounded great. A chance to stay in a bed together, a chance to take a long hot shower, a chance to charge up all our electonic devices nd a chance to meet people we had not seen since 1986.( turns out that Charlie and Sharon met Joy at Joy's grandmother's funeral).  Alas, our beautiful plans were not to be.

Their cottage has NO RUNNING WATER, AND NO ELECTRICITY.  Uncle Joe bought this cottage in 1928, and it is just a summer cottage.  They have propane gas for cooking and propane lights( picture of gas light), collect rain water for washing dishes, bring in bottle water for drinking, a composting toilet, but a nice bed to sleep in.

Here i a picure of Sharon, Charlie and Joy

Today, July 8, we are in Bremen, Maine and the Internet is very slow and keeps dropping my connection.  So I will finish the text and try to add pictures later today.

On July 4th we were still at the Albison's camp( that is what they all their cottage, must be a
Maine expression.  We motored over to Sebasco and visited the resort that Joy and her family went to when she was about 10 years old.  She still remembers staying at the main house, which I have included a picture of. 

We left on July 5, no firworks for us on July 4 as we went back to High Spirits on the night of the fourth due to an oncoming thunder storm.  However we were pleasantly surprised on July 5th that Booth Bay's fireworks were postponed from July 4 to July 5 for the same reason, thunder and rain.

So we had a front row seat in Booth Bay Harbor to watch a very nice show.  Booth Bay is a tourist and heavy traffic with little parking.  Picked up some used paperback books for 50 cents a piece at the library's used book collection. 

Then we started the Simmons College Class of 1971 Sumner Reunion.  Steve Wallace, husband of Lisa Wallace, drove down from thir house in Bremen and joined us for a morning sail from Booth Bayto Bremen.  Peg Gould and her husband Harry Malone joined us by car from Manchester, NH for a very nice weekend.  On Sunday afternoon, Steve and Lisa went out with us for a couple of hours of great sailing.

High Spirits is on an Audubon mooring at the end of the Wallace's sreet, and we are enjoying the luxury of living in a house again even if only for a couple of days. 

The plan is to leave on Wednesday, of course weather dependent.


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Moon over the Albiston's camp

Gas light at the Albiston's camp ( cottage for non Mainers).

Sebasco hotel where Joy stayed at (Age 10)

Fireworks at Booth Bay Harbor, July 5, 2012

Simmons group, Steve, Harry, Peg, Joy, Lisa

Monday, July 2, 2012

Rainbows and Raindrops

Sunday evening we were treated to a beautiful rainbow, awoke to sun and comfortable temps this morning, and treated to more thunderstorms late afternoon. Watching the weather while safely tucked on our mooring is actually a show. There is usually a boat or two just beating the weather to the dock, the clouds are amazing, and of course the sounds of rain, thunder, and sometimes lightening. Earlier today, we managed a load of laundry, and showers, all the mundane chores of boating.

 Then Joe and I found a nail salon a short walk from the boat for some much needed footwork and a bit of pampering, followed by lunch. I am planning to try more fishing this year, so found the local fishing store, where the owner was very happy to educate me and help me decide what to buy. In case you don't remember, I am not a very successful fisher woman, losing more lores than fish I catch, especially on my own, on High Spirits. I was considering buying an ocean rod, as I have been using a "yo-yo", or Cuban reel, very low budget and low tech. This owner was very helpful, has fished in the Bahamas, and is knowledgeable of yo-yo's, stating that most sailors use them. He would also sell me a rod and reel, appropriate for ocean trolling for about $200. I decided to forego the reel and work with the yo-yo, so bought an appropriate lore, and had him show me more knot-tying. Stay tuned for the biggest fish story of all time! Pictures, besides the rainbow and the pedicures, include scenes of the children's sailing program, right off our mooring field.


Sunday, July 1, 2012


We arrived in Portland, Maine yesterday and will be staying until Tuesday morning.

High Spirits lasted three days and on the fourth day something broke. It was the 12 volt dc
plug that is by our navigation desk.  The plug is as old as the boat and it just shorted out. So the breaker keeps shutting off. The plug allows us to charge  computers, cell phones, and wifi hot spot device when we are not at a dock on shorepower.  Pulled it out of the wall, going to look for replacement part tomorrow either at the place we are staying or a West Marine.  It is a little out of focus as the boat was rocking due to the thunder storm that just passed though Portland.
I was wondering how long it would take and what would break first.

Here are some pictures Joy took for our entrance into Portland Harbor, the guys on the trimaran where flying. Also the schooner goes out 4 times a day.

Had lunch at Benkay, a sushi restaurant a short walk from our mooring.  The mooring field is great, but a little bit of a hike from downtown. Today waas cooler so it was not bad.

If you have a chance go to Google and type in Vesper sail boat.  If you find the

site you can see pictures of Vesper which is docked about 100 feet from us.  Measures 91.5 ft in length and a beam of over 21 ft. Mast must  be 100+.  They run a red light on top of the mast which I believe is similiar to a radio/tv tower light to warn airplanes.


ps  Joy says she wll be writing on even days.