Monday, 24 August 2009

Aug, 2009 - SAINT JOHN, NB

The trip from Bar Harbor, ME to Saint John, NB was truly horrible. Fog so thick you could not see the mast head from the deck. Lightning storms creating weird lighting effects through the fog. Rain squalls following one after the other. Cold, COLD, COLD! Our Radar had never operated properly so we were really sweating. On my off watch I re-read the manual and decided to run it through its initial set up (something we had not done as it was on the boat when we bought it). WOW, it worked, we had great reception after that. We even were able to watch the rain squalls coming up behind us. We got so good we could countdown their arrival 10, 9, 8,...

Beast on the boat! Late at night, as we passed Grand Manan Island I felt a brush against my cheek as I sat at the radar. I commented that it felt like a bat's wing. Well that is just what it was. We were unable to get him/her off the boat until we reached Saint John.

The "Reversing Falls" on the Saint John River. We were waiting for the scheduled slack at the Centennial Dock in the port when we learned that slack was 20 minutes early, due to the high river water level. Off we went and JUST made it through with minutes to spare. Near the end we were doing less then 1 knt over the ground against the increasing current.

Fog in the anchorage at RKYC. Welcome to Atlantic Canada.

We knew we were back in Canada when...

Our first Canadian Sunset on the boat since September 2007.

August, 2009 - BAR HARBOR, ME

The "sail" (motor) to Bar Harbor was mainly notable for it's fog. Hence no pictures.

We stop in Bar Harbor for a one night rest stop. We went ashore for lunch and a photo op with a lobster. A very quaint and friendly town, even though it is crowded and touristy. After the fog cleared I took this picture of the lobster markers in the approaches to the mooring. Again they are set in pairs, with a line just below the water between them. Only god knows how we got in without snagging one (or more).

July, 2009 - BOSTON, MA

If Charleston is defined by it's role in the Civil War, Boston is defined by it's role in the Revolutionary War (and it's pubs).

We attach to a mooring ball in the river for $35 per night as to tie up to the dock would be about $200 per night.

Paul Revere's house is a small wooden structure that housed his family including up to 9 of his (I think) total of 16 children at any one time. Very cosy.

One light by land, two by sea. This is the church tower that Paul Revere put the light in before starting his famous ride. He was one of three riders that set out to warn two communities. Only one rider made it through to both and it was not Paul Revere. Can you remember the one who made it through? No one does. Paul gets the credit as his was the only name that would fit the rhyming sequence in the famous poem by Longfellow.

The Old State House and former Colonial Office. Site of the Boston "massacre". An angry mob surrounded some very frightened young British soldiers. A bell rung out (a fire signal of the day). Someone yelled "FIRE" and the soldiers fired into the mob, killing a few. Paul Revere did a famous drawing showing the soldiers standing as a "firing squad" shooting at a cowering and frightened crowd, calling it the "Boston Massacre". This drawing was widely distributed and helped flame anti British sentiments. An early example of successful propaganda.

The New State Building overlooks the Boston Common.

Boston's most famous bar "Cheers" and its oldest pub the "Bell in Hand". Alex and I talked to Norm and Frazier, but they did not have anything to say worth repeating.

July, 2009 - PLYMOUTH, MA

Entering Plymouth Harbor is a major challenge: Not due to the strong currents, although they are there; not due to the narrow channels, although they are narrow; BUT due to the countless (yes countless) lobster floats in the marked channel. In addition many are in pairs, joined by a line just below the surface. This obstacle course is the result of a jurisdictional dispute between government agencies that leave the fishermen free to create this hazard. We later heard that the Coast Guard does clear them out with a chain between two boats a couple of times a year, but it is not enough to stop the practice.

"The Rock" or what is left of it. It is a fraction of it's original size as souvenir hunters in the 1800s chipped away most of it. It is now protected by iron fencing within a Greek style monument. The SV "Mayflower II". A replica of the original that was built in England and sailed to Plymouth. We went through her and were amazed that everyone fit in. The town has a nice small town feel and is not too "touristy" once you are off the waterfront. The old graveyard was particularly interesting.


For this leg of our trip we are joined by our friend Alex. His help was greatly appreciated.

We leave the East River and enter into Long Island Sound. We left the anchorage in the Hudson River at 03:30 to reach Hells Gate in the East River at slack water. Before sunrise the weather closed in with heavy rain and cold temperatures. We had to break out the long underwear and rain gear (sigh).

Mystic Seaport a living museum. We had great fun exploring the life of an 18th century seaport and touring period ships. I am at the helm of the last wooden whaling ship in existence, the SV "Morgan", undergoing a full refit. Alex "weighs anchor". Sandra takes a swim with a whale. The expensive moorage includes admission to the museum. When we went to pay we were pleasantly surprised to learn that owner operated foreign flagged vessels get the first night FREE! So the cost to us was VERY reasonable.

Crew at work and rest.

The Cape Cod Canal, with picture of real "Cape Cod" Cottages.