Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Mainely, it was about the lobster

OK, so here is what happened. We made it to Penobscot Bay, the very heart of Maine sailing, and fell into a state of euphoria. The place is just gorgeous. I just stopped blogging because we were having such a good time. Every stop was just more beautiful than the last. We ate lobster endlessly. Blueberries were coming into season which meant that Blueberry Ice Cream was available everywhere and we ate it everywhere. I sat down to try to write a few times and thought, "How many times could I say, 'We had lobster rolls and blueberry ice cream again today. Beautiful anchorage. Wonderful, friendly people' before I start to get hate mail?" So, no blog for some time. I am not sure there is any way to catch up but there are some stories to tell.

On the good days, you get to run on a deserted beach.
First, Tilly has risen in rank to 'Seasoned Boat Dog' and is well on her way to 'Salty Dog'. She has multiple overnight passages under her collar now including a three-nighter from Rhode Island to Norfolk. She has developed great instincts for dealing with the ever-changing conditions. She doesn't like the rolling from beam seas but has found that she can retreat to the cockpit floor (which is one of the most stable spots in the boat) or move to the leeward side of the boat when the sailing conditions create a steady heel.
But then, sometimes, you might get a little sick
from eating things that you find on the beach.

And, some days, the ocean is scary and you are safest
on the floor.
And, sometimes, you get company and that makes the days better.
Eventually, you just gotta sleep.

She likes staying down in the cabin during the overnight stints as long as there is somebody down there with her - not necessarily sleeping with her but at least near. She still has a lot of puppy energy that explodes when she hits the beach or the dock but we really couldn't ask more from her.

We have also grown saltier, I guess. We keep racking up nautical miles and milestones. SeaClearly just gets better with age. We try to get smarter with age, stay out of stupid situations, take more reasonable chances, reef sooner and sail whenever we can. When we started our cruising adventures a few years ago, we were a little defensive if challenged on anything from our sail choices to routes and decisions. We are over that. We don't feel a need to prove anything at this point and, subsequently, we enjoy everything much more. Not that we feel like we know it all - just that we are comfortable with what we do know and recognize that there will always be more to learn. Like, for instance, the other day when... Well, never mind. That's a story for another day.

For now, here is the quick update. We had a great time in Maine. Son Jeffrey came to sail with us from Bar Harbor to Newport to jumpstart our trip back south (and that time does deserve its' own telling so I will write that down). We then flew down the coast in that three night run for the Chesapeake Bay. SeaClearly got some well-deserved spa days, bottom paint and various attention when we stopped for a two week stay at the boatyard, Atlantic Yacht Basin, in Chesapeake, Virginia. After a brief trip to our house in the OBX, we are back on the move south. We are currently in Oriental, North Carolina waiting for the remnants of a lazy tropical system, Julia, to move on so we can too. By the end of next week, we should be sailing into Charleston Harbor for the beginning of, yet another, chapter in the Adventures of Junie, Duane and Tilly on SeaClearly.

In the mean time, while I try to recover my writing skills, here are some of our favorite shots from Maine and beyond.

Lobster in a salad...
Lobster on  the grill ...

Lobster roll, lobster steamed.
See the pattern?

Lovely views.
Working harbors.

Our boat - SeaClearly in the fog at Pond Island.

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