Thursday, August 30, 2012

Broken down in Portland,Maine

Well, it happened again. Another breakdown.  This time it is the roller furler on the jib sail.  It started causing trouble the other day, Monday, when were sailing down from Sebasco.  We were out having a nice sail and had reefed the jib sail. Then Joy decided to pull it out and what would you know, it refused to come out or roll back up.  It was jammed and the line was all entangled inside the

Managed to drop the main sale in Portland Harbor, and drive the boat to the mooring at Portland Yacht Services.  The rigging crew came out to the boat, and checked out our problem. Several broken parts inside the lower drum unit.  So then the ordering adventure started.

Too late Monday night to order parts.  Supplier said first thing out Tuesday morning for arrival on Wednesday. Wednesday comes, no parts.  Turns out person responsible for shipping them out on Tues day did not come to work, or something like that. Parts sat on a desk for Tuesday. 

Called again, parts sent out Wed, arrived this morning.  Wiley climbed up the mast, no safety line. He is a rock climber.  Picture of him at the top of the mast and also working on the drum unit.

Linda Franko always wants pictures of repair work.

So now it is Thursday, the weather is turning bad so we will be staying here in Portland until Sunday moing. The Simmons get together will be in Portland rather than Portsmouth, NH.  Actually here at the boat yard the parent company is sponsoring a Beer Festival all weekend. You can taste 22 beers and get some food.  Not sure if Joy and friends will want to do that.

Madona left yesterday but not until she and Joy put together yesterday's GREEN DRINK.

Basically fruit and greens, supposed to be good for you but sometimes it is too thick .

Here is what it looks like

That is it for now. Going to move off the dock when Wiley is finished and then go to Whole Foods to get some food for the weekend activities.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Portland, Maine

We arrived in Portland, Maine after spending two nights at Sebasco Harbor Resort. Joy had spent some summer vacation time there when she was about 10 years old.  For only a $40 per night mooring fee you get to use all the resort facilities including the pool and showers.  On the second night there was a reception where we met the current owner,  Bob Allan and his wife Lori.  They had great food and drinks and it was all free.

Here is a picture of Madona and Joy eating some lobster that they picked up for only $10 for
two at least pound and half each. 

So at Sebasco the pool was delightful.  Joy and Madona were kind of trapped inside the pool area while a wedding was taking place just outside on the lawn.

So this morning we left Sebasco about 10 am and planned on sailing the entire way to Portland and get here a day early due to forecast of thunderstorms on Tuesday.  Was an uneventful trip until we had problems with the jib sail's roller furler.  The reefing line got wound up in the fuller bottom piece and it locked up. This meant we would not pull it out when we were going to pick up our mooring.

However we were successful in picking up the mooring and then Joy after we finally found the correct size wrench, 3/16" hex, was able to fix it, so we thought.  We had called the Portland guys and they came out.  Then she found a piece under the furler which was identified as part of the furler spacer which keeps the furler in line with the forward stay, and so off they went back to shore to see if replacement parts could be ordered.  Worst outcome is a new roller furler, best is a new part.  We shall see what happens.

Madona leaves Wed afternoon so we will be here for three nights and then it is moving south to Boston area.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Fogged In

Wanted to keep everybody up to date on our travels over the past couple of days.  Right now it is 7:36 am on August 24, a Thursday. We, the three of us, are at McGlathery Island in a nice cove sheltered from waves except for the lobster boats.  It was very foggy this morning so we are not leaving until the fog lifts or 9 am or later.  Heading to Camden, Maine.

But I want to go back and share a little about our last couple of days in Cape Breton.  Went on a whale watch trip on last Saturday evening  Only five passengers, the captain, and the guide so lots of room and chances to talk to John the captain.  Joy got to dive the boat for an hour or so on the way back to the dock.  So here are some pilot whale pictures

.  One of the last things we did was to visit Hopewell Rocks in Nova Scotia. This is where the tide change is 38-43 feet and you can basically walk on  ocean floor at low tide.  Please note that in the second picture, the ride rises 20 feet to get to where we are standing, and then another 18 feet above that. Google Hopewell Rocks to find more about this amazing place.

At high tide, especially full moon days,the arch above out heads to covered up by the water.

Tonight we are in Camden, Maine.  We decided it is one of our favorite places to visit as everything is within walking distance and every body understands how important boating is to their community.

Tomorrow it is off to Tenants Harbor, Maine, and then on to Sebasco Estates Resort where Joy went as a kid plus dinner with Charlie and Sharon Albiston on Sat. night.  Charlie is a second cousin through Joy's grandfather, Ted Bush.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Back to Acadia National Park

We have returned from the wilds of Canada, actually it is very cultured, some places just do not have good Internet services and we could not use our cell phones as they cost $.69/minute on Verizon.

Did a lot in the last couple of days so this blog will only contain some of the highlights of the past week.

So driving around Cape Breton we stopped at this farm house and picked up a ton of fresh veggies including carrots, beets, onion, garlic, and met this lady, can't remember her name, but she came to Canada from England with her husband so they could start a farm. Which they did

Music is very big, both on PEI and on Cape Breton. They have CEILIDH, means gathering where people sing, play music, dance and have a great time. Joy and I got to go to three of these, one in PEI and two on Cape Breton. The music is very Celtic or also known as Gaelic. Heavy influence from the Scots that came over in the 1700s as well as the French, who became known as Acadians.  Big duel language issues at times.  Some town in Cape Breton are 95% French background.  Music was great.

So on our trip around Cape Breton we got to ride on the world's shortest ferry, travels about 100 yards or so across the river and saves 30 minutes of driving.  Was so fast I did not realize we had left the dock until we were almost on the other side.  Cost $2.25 with a ticket from the B&B we stayed at.

One of the places that Madonna, our friend from Cleveland, wanted to visit was Gampo Abbey in Cape Breton.  It is a Buddhist monastery. A very nice tour one sunny afternoon.

last picture, he is Joy and Madonna having an afternoon drink on the deck of the beach cottage we stayed at for two nights in Inverness, Cape Breton.

This was a great trip for us to have a chance to see parts of Canada we had never gone to.

Pretty sure we will be back some time in the future, perhaps with High Spirits.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Today is the last day we will be in Halifax and have decent Internet.  Heading out tomorrow for Cape Breton and no idea if we will have wifi where we are staying.  But let us talk about the last couple of days for a little while/

Sunday afternoon we drove to Eldon, NS and stopped at the town of Orwell, or at least it was populated by people about 50 years ago. It seems that the entire village was turned into a national recreation area when the last person moved out and they closed the one room school house in 1969.  The authorities have preserved the Clark General Store and farm as kind of a living momento of village life in the 1800s in Nova Scotia ( or New Scotland). More about that later

Got up the next day and took the ferry boat to Pictou, NS.  This is a famous town in NS history as this is where the sailing ship Hector in 1773 brought 200 Scottish settlers to NS from Scotland, including William Fraser, one of Melody Gabriel's direct multiple great grandfathers.  We found his name on the list of passengers.  They had a tough voyage of 11-12 weeks, with many dieing along the way.

The town of Pictou built a replica of the Hector and we visited its park and museum.  Here is Joy and the ship's bell and a look along the deck.

Hard to image 200 people on this small ship.

Then on to Halifax, we arrived yesterday afternoon and are staying with Faune and Alex, the two sailors on Iolite that we met several times on our cruise to Fl and the Bahamas.  They have a dog they rescued named BOB, and he gets this cute tie from the folks who clip his coat

One of our activities this afternoon was to visit the Citadel, the major fort here in Halifax. Ran across this piper and learned all about bagpipes.

For dinner tonight we went down to the waterfront and took a ferry boat ride to the other shore and back, cost only $2.25 per person, both ways.  Found Theodor Too, a tugboat that is the mascot for the Halifax area.

Alex, Joe, Madonna, and Faune.  Madonna just flew in this afternoon and will be on vacation with us for the next two weeks in Cape Breton and sailing on High Spirits as we turn south.


Sunday, August 12, 2012


It is raining a little, so I am trying to keep the computer from getting wet and still get the blog done for today.  We have had a great time here on Prince Edward Island, but now it is time tomorrow to drive over to the Eastern side of the Island so we can take the morning ferry to Nova Scotia on Monday morning.  Costs only $75 dollars and takes one hour versus the bridge fee of $45 plus gas and about a 4 hour drive.
Yesterday we drove over to the west side of the Island and visited the North Cape
Wind farm which had a very good display about wind energy plus a nice restaurant for lunch
On the way back we stopped at the Irish Moss restaurant and learned about Irish Moss, how it is harvested from the ocean, and the products it goes into as carregeen. Saw lots of potato field, green plants with white flowers on top. Here is a picture, the plants in the background with the white flowers are PEI potato plants.

We were travelling around Summerside, PEI and ran into the manager of the local Segway business, you know the one person electrical riding equipment that we rode on in Manchester with the Simmons College crew.  Anyway, he told us that he worked on a rotating house that was close to where we are staying in North Rustico. So of course, we had to drive over and see it. Here is a picture.  I am still trying to figure out how the various electrical and plumbing systems connect the lower unit to the rotating upper half. The house turns once every 43 minutes.  Anybody have an idea?

  1. Yesterday was spent in Chalottetown, the capital of PEI. It was where the first conference of the Federation movement was held in Sept 1-8, 1864.  The three Maritime colonies, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island met with a delegation from the Colony of Canada (the future Quebec and Ontario) to start to talk about joining together. One of their fears was the outcome of the US Civil War and wold the Americans try to take over Canada.
So at Charlottown's Province House they have an acting group that puts on a little play about what happened. Actually Province House is the capital of PEI and we got to see the chamber where the current legislature of 27 people meets two times a year. 

 We met the young lady actor before we got there. She had just finished doing a tour in the morning and we found here on the street.  She is a theater major at the local college.

PEI stayed out of the Canadian Federation for a couple of years and finally joined when they went bankrupt trying to build a railroad system that would connect the towns on PEI.

Then on to High Tea at Delvey by the Sea.  It was a fun experience, reminded us of tea in Devon, England.  Joy had the pudding and I had scones.  Here are two pictures of their presentation.

So today after breakfast, it is off to the Eastern end of PEI and another motel for the night.
Then Monday morning it is the ferry ride to Pictou, NS where Melody's family immigrated to Canada from Ireland or Scotland, not sure.  Melody was married to Joy's father for 20 years.  She lives down in Vero Beach, FL.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

No High Tea for Us

I will explain the title later. Today was a trip to Brackley Beach, think I have the correct spelling.
Actually I am outside to get the better Internet connection, but now it has started to rain, but I am under the overhang.

This morning we slept late, like about 8:30 for Joe.  Finally got going and drove to the PEI National Park which costs $15.60/day or $40 for a week.  We went to a great beach with our picnic lunch.
More and more people came during the day, but we took two pictures to show you the high sand dunes and how red the clay is.  It is packed with iron oxide.

The high tide was shortly after we arrived so most of the time we were there it was going out

So now onto the title explanation. We were told by people we met earlier on the tour to make sure you go to High Tea at the Delvay Hotel in the National Park. So off we drove to the hotel after spending time on the beach.

HOWEVER, they cancelled High Tea for today.  Joy was really bummed out as she was really looking forward to having bread pudding with her tea.  It is the same menu we had in Cornwall, England a few years ago.

What was interesting in retrospect was that this is the hotel that Prince William and Duchess Catherine visited on their trip to PEI in July 2011.  It was a MAJOR deal for this part of PEI.  In fact they had a large scrapbook with pictures, newspaper clippings, etc about the visit. On the hotel grounds is where they had the dragonboat race and William did his helicopter landings. There were
2,400 guests on the grounds. 

With all this in mind, we are making a special trip back to Delvay Hotel on Saturday afternoon.

The house was built in 1896 for a family from Cincinnati, Ohio then turned into a hotel later.


Fishing Adventure

Wednesday, the 8th, was sunny and warm, just right for heading out for a fishing trip in the Gulf of St Lawrence, for three hours of fishing for mackerel and cod. We had happened upon several fishing captains last night, exploring around N Rustico harbor, so I walked down the hill for an 8 am launch. There were thirteen others, with several families, all from Canada, the captain, and one crew. They go out 3 times a day, every good day, and know what they are doing and where the fish were. Of course, I only catch fish when someone hands me the rod, baited, and takes me to the best spots, and this was no different.

We all caught mackerel in about 40 feet, enough to have for supper and use for bait for the cod, which were a bit farther out in 100 feet. There were so many, that as soon as you put in your line and jigged a few times, a fish or two were on the line, some caught the hook, but some the hook caught the fish, in the head, in the back. There had to be schools of thousands of mackeral below. For the cod we had to be more patient. I caught several, but below the 17 inch minimum, but luckily many caught the larger cod and with 20 the boat limit, we came back with 19.  This time, all fish were quickly cleaned and packaged. We have 6 foil packets of fish to throw on the grill at our motel this evening.

After fishing, Joe  picked me up, we made sandwiches at the motel, and headed to Cavendish, the family home that Lucy Maud Montgomery visited as a child, and based her classics novel, Anne of Green Gables on. It is part of PEI National Park, which we plan to explore in more detail tomorrow. I don't remember reading the novel as a child, but we did see the first movie in a series when visiting my college friend, Lisa and Steven in Bremen, ME, this summer. Now I am interested in trying to download the book. The house is open for touring and typical of a home in the late 1800's.

Before returnng to the motel for our fish dinner, we rode throught the town of New London and had to take a picture.  On our drive through New Brunswick, we drove through Melrose and the next town of Malden. I grew up in Melrose, MA and Malden was next door.

Back at the motel, we shared our fish with a couple from Quebec, whose English was fairly good and had fun learning more about the Canadian country, and bilingual issues. There is lots  of fish left for breakfast, with mackerel  being the favorite of three of us. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

1st Day in Canada

This is the adventures of August 6& 7, 2012, even though it is a day late in posting to the site.

I am sitting in the shade, it is warm outside, but the Internet signal is a little weak in our motel room, but fine outside.

So we arrived in Canada yesterday, in fact we arrived twice in one day.

You see we went to Franklin D. Roosevelt International Park for a couple of hours in the early afternoon. We crossed over to Campobello Island, cleared Canadian customs and found the park.
The place has a fantastic garden layout, two workers work full time during the summer.

Here is a picture of the house that Franklin summered as a kid and as a young adult until he was elected President in 1932.  After being elected, he only came back 3 times before World War II

One of the more interesting items is the hot water heater system in the kitchen. The water flows though the stove and is heated by the wood fire. The cooper tank gives them a reservoir of hot water for washing.

Then we drove back to the United State of America.  The Homeland Security guard asked us
how long were we in Canada.  We said two hours, he looked at us, and we said Campobello Island.
Got through after that.

So then we started driving to PEI - Prince Edward Island. Took a couple of hours and when we hit
that border crossing, the Canadian guard said, ::Last time in Canada?  two hours ago.  Campobello Island.  Got though.

We stayed at a nice bed and breakfast in St. Andrews.  A nice little town with good sorbet.
Here is a picture of a mural on a wall downtown.  They have big tides her tide , so the second picture shows about a 20 plus feet change



We left St. Andrews and headed for North Rustico, on PEI.  Crossed the 13 kilometer bridge that was
built 15 years ago to help traffic problems.  Had a nice drive and arrived at North Rustico.
Excuse the layout but the computer is acting up and only we do margins in the center of the page.

After supper we went to the local Lions Club to listen to some local musicians, 10 guitar players.
They just get together every Tuesday to jam for their friends.

Bye for now,


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Acadia National Park

We are in Acadia National Park for the last day before we leave by car to Canada.

We have been here, or at least the boat has been here for a week or more while we went back to visit Jen, Mark, Erin and Adam in New London.  Here are pictures of Adam and Erin.

So after a great five day visit we came back to Acadia National Park.  Went to Jordan Pond house for lunch where we ate popovers after a two hour hike around Jordan Pond.  Here is a picture of a fresh popover. By the way, they bake and serve over 6,000 popovers a day. They have to be served within a few minutes of coming out of the oven or they deflate. So they are super fresh and it is a continuous process.

One of the interesting things that has been happening since we got back from New London is
fog in the morning.  For the last 3 days, it has been foggy in the morning until about 11 am or so and also foggy at night. I have been putting on the anchor light for night time travels around the mooring field to find High Spirits.  Here's the fog one morning.

Yesterday we went on a bike ride along the carriage trails that John D. Rockefeller, Jr, built for his estate back in the early part of the 1900s.  The land for Acadia National Park was donated to the Federal Government by private citizens.  Rockefeller was one of the larger donors, he built carriage trails, stone bridges and basically paid for the infrastructure in the park. 

We wound up the day in Bar Harbor for dinner at night and then we attended an American Cancer Society fund raiser, luminaries on the Village Green in central Bar Harbor. It was nice event with lots of people plus musical entertainment.  Glad we went.

Dinner on the boat tonight.  Clams bought from a road side guy for Joy, fish for Joe.

Taking off around 10 am for Canada tomorrow


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Animals and a Boat Ride

Still in New London, but leaving today, Wed, August 1.  Be back on High Spirits tonight in SW Harbor.  Plan is to explore Acadia National Park for a couple of days and then head up to Canada for that part of our summer adventure.

First, I have posted some pictures to the previous blog that had not been posted when I wrote it.

So yesterday we took Erin and Adam to Earlene and  Bill's "One Acre Farm" in Springfield, NH
They have three horses, three chickens and one goat.  The kids loved being there.

Then after visiting the farm animals, Bill took us out for a ride on their lake in their pontoon boat.
Very nice afternoon.

Back to the house for a nap for Adam. Then off  to a picnic dinner down at the lake with Clair and her parents, Teresa and Paul Jackson. The Jacksons have been renting the rental side of New London since Feb 1. Looks like they are going to stay until next summer at least. They are expecting their second child in November.


Here is a picture of the grandkids and one of Earlene's chickens.

Erin on the boat ride with Lola, the dog(Earlene's granddaughter's dog)

Here is blue faced Clair.

On the Hard in New London, NH

For the past couple of days, we have been on the hard in New London, NH staying at the family house.  Jen, Mark, Adam, and Erin are here for a two week vacation.  They are using the house as a base to explore VT, NH and seeing other friends. 

The last couple of days before we got here have been spent travelling Maine but in areas that have very poor Verizon coverage. In fact we hardly can get a phone call out and when on the Internet it takes 5-10 minutes for gmail to download.  It is like being back 15 years ago when the Internet was first starting.

After leaving Castine, we made out way to Blue Hill, Maine and had a great time visiting Al and Jane Birk. They have a "camp" on a lake but their place has hot and cold running water and electricity.  Had a nice time with them featuring a hike up Blue Hill, another hike with their hiking club and a great lobster lunch.

We were then off to SW Harbor which is on Mt. Desert Island, surrounded by Acadia National Park.
We are at the Hinckley Yacht Service Center with some repair work, the most significant is getting a stanchion repaired.  It is the one that all the tender drivers grasp onto when they pull along side to pick us up or let us off.  Most tenders are set up to use their port side for passengers, which means the starboard side on the customer's boat.

So off we drove to New London,  got here on Friday. Having a great time with the family. The grand kids are growing up quickly.  Adam has learned to say no.  He understands every thing you say and is starting to talk a lot.  Erin is having a good time as Clair, also 5, lives in the rental house and they have been playing everyday.


PS  Finally have some photos to show:

Jane Birk on top of Blue Hill, you can see for miles

High Spirits is on the left hand side of this picture of the Outer Harbor at Blue Hill, Maine

Her is the Flash in the Pans Community Steel Band of Blue Hill, Maine. Started 40 years ago, and has grown into a 40 + person operation.  They play every Monday in Blue Hill or a surrounding town.
Have an amazing sound.  Their website is

This is Carl Chase the founder of Flash in the Pans.  He is playing a steel brake drum with two steel drumsticks. It has a high tenor sound which stands out in the mix of sounds. 

I put in this picture of Erin, our granddaughter, and Clair, the five year old who is
living in the rental side of the house in New London.