Heading home. Done with Maine, for now.

As I begin this post it’s Sunday morning and I am in the middle of the Gulf of Maine sailing toward the Cape Cod Canal.  I expect that we will arrive before dark and in time to catch the ebb tide for an easy run through to Buzzard’s Bay.

A few minutes ago, after not seeing another boat for hours, this sword fisherman steamed by.  I can only imagine what it must feel like to be perched up on top of that tall tower in a seaway.  Boy, would Brenda love that.  The drill is that when they spot a swordfish swimming along the surface nearby, one of them will head out onto the bow pulpit and attempt to spear the fish.

“Listen Rodrigues, get your elbow out of my ribs.  I was up here first and I’m standing in the middle.   Stop looking at me like you don’t remember that I am captain today.   I won the coin toss, fair and square.”8-7-16c 008I left Camden last evening  to make the 175 mile run to the canal, after spending much of the day making my way from NE Harbor after my crew from the Corinthians cruise left to head back home.

Originally, the plan was to have one of them stay aboard with me for the return trip but his toe was hurting and it was clear that he wanted to head home.  While this wasn’t good newsl, I didn’t want to press him to stay as it wouldn’t have been good for either one of us.

With one day to find a replacement crew, I was sort of stuck and didn’t really know what I was going to do.  Frankly, I wasn’t ready to leave Maine but to stick around for another week until the weather turned in my favor again wasn’t very appealing.   I also considered leaving the boat in Maine and renting a car but that was very complicated and I have so much on my plate in the coming weeks, that didn’t seem like a good idea.  I also thought about taking Pandora home alone but being out overnight by myself by myself wasn’t something that I was particularly looking forward to.  However, having a crew member aboard that wasn’t happy to be there was an even worse idea.  Time to be flexible.

I made a few calls and amazingly, with one day notice, my friend Barry offered to crew for me even though he was scheduled to crew for someone else already.    I was very touched that Larry, the skipper of the boat he was on, who I hardly know, was so quick to offer one of his crew without hesitation.   Problem solved and a good weather window to boot according to Chris Parker, the weather router.

All and all, it will be very nice to be home again with Brenda.  So after feeling sorry for myself after scrambling to find crew I got a good night sleep, compliments of Barry.   Now, fully recovered and “adjusted”, I am looking forward to being home.  I’ll admit that it helps that I am romping along at about 7kts on a close reach in 10-13kts apparent.  With the big code zero sail out it’s pretty amazing how fast the boat can go.  At this rate we will reach the canal a lot sooner than expected and make it through with a strong ebb tide pushing us along.

Camden is one of my favorite spots in Maine and after motoring all day to get there while dodging thousands of lobster pots, it killed me to leave immediately after taking on fuel and crew.  It would have been nice to have dinner ashore but I was pretty tired and needed a rest.  It also gave Barry an opportunity to settle in aboard Pandora.  I wish that I had been able to take on more fuel as diesel is less than $2/gal there as compared to nearly $3/gal in CT.  Love those CT taxes.   At least it’s still less expensive than in Cuba where it was nearly $6/gal.

After waking up at 04:00 yesterday, thinking about next steps, I was so bushed when we left that Barry took pity on me and stood an extra-long watch when I headed down below to sleep after midnight.  When I woke up the sun was high above the horizon and Barry was clearly ready for a nap.  Thanks Barry.

The time I spent in Maine with the Corinthians was a whirlwind but good fun.  All that we did is now a blur so I am glad that I took the time to do some posts along the way.

I spent the last few days in NE Harbor, one of my favorite spots.  There are two formal gardens there managed by The Garden Preserve and I couldn’t let a visit go by without seeing them both.  Craig, one of my crew, loves gardens  too and we toured both together.

Thuya gardens is up the hill near the harbor with a commanding view of the boats from one of the observation spots. 8-7-16b 007What a view.8-7-16b 003Pandora on her floating dock. 8-7-16b 004This shot of the gardens doesn’t begin to do justice to the wonderful work that the five gardeners do to keep everything in top shape.8-7-16b 015These flowers are huge.  I have only seen dahlias like this in Victoria BC gardens. 8-7-16b 029The entire garden was beautifully scented by huge lilies. 8-7-16b 030Lots of life in the garden including plenty of butterflies.8-7-16b 019The other gardens are Asticou, a formal Japanese garden and they are lovely.  I only had a short time there.  A very serene spot.8-7-16a 035Well, it was a fairly quick but fun visit to Maine and I am very happy that the run back has turned out to be a pleasant trip.

This visit was my 16th to Maine by boat and I couldn’t help to wonder what sort of memories this little girl that I saw picking and eating blueberries on top of Blue Hill earlier in the week will recall many years from now.  I expect that she too will have many fond memories of this wonderful place.   For now, her mother will have to work to get the blueberry stains out of her dress.  8-2-16a 012I for one have just love visiting this beautiful part of the world.  I can’t wait to go back.

Oh yeah, one more thing.   Saw a bunch of whales… again (stifles a yawn).8-7-16d 005


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *