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Between Boston and Maine, stopping spots


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On 3/21/2021 at 9:18 AM, Ajax said:

No liferaft. I'll die like a man.

The water temperatures North of Cape Cod, and more specifically the Gulf of Maine, are the reason I will not go sailing there without a liferaft. 

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Last overnight we did from Rockport to Onset, we had a nice Southerly breeze, most of the way.  I don't keep a log but the trip was mostly like this (taken at 2:45pm, we left just after sunrise):

The Kindle changed our lives, and made us much more welcome at airports, as our heaviest piece of baggage was always our son's bag of books. We were early adopters. My son had never heard of a Ki

It's a rare afternoon in the summer when you don't have a good afternoon SW seabreeze in Block Island Sound and Buzzard's Bay.

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4 hours ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

You all would be SOL if you ran over my mooring pickup lines. I use 8mm Dyneema. Got 1000m of it in return for some work I did so why not.

FKT

That's kind of my point.  If it doesn't cut well, or you think it's cut well and it hasn't, you end up with a big melted plastic mess and maybe a new cutless bearing or worse, from what I've seen on other boats.  Good luck it cutting off on your own at that point.  If they they use the eco-friendly line, it seems to cut easily.   

Dyneema makes a great dinghy painter - floats, strong and chafe resistant - so when you eventually wrap it around your prop it can properly stop your engine. 

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6 hours ago, Elegua said:

 Dyneema makes a great dinghy painter - floats, strong and chafe resistant - so when you eventually wrap it around your prop it can properly stop your engine. 

That's why I hate towing a dinghy and built davits for my boat. Sooner or later I just *knew* I'd run over the painter, and it would be ugly. And the painter *isn't* Dyneema for the same reason.

FKT

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On 3/18/2021 at 12:27 PM, eliboat said:

This a pretty much inevitable result if you are transiting to buzzards bay from cape cod sound.  I may have avoided this once so I would just plan for it.  That said, my strategy that works fairly well is to motor sail with the main travelled high and head off to the right for a few miles until I’m fetching woods hole (if I’m headed for Nantucket or Vineyard haven) and then flop over.  Otherwise you can continue to bear off around as you head towards RI and LIS.   The picture below doesn’t do the phenomenon any justice   I have a short video from around the same moment that is kind of hilarious as far as the standing waves that were stopping us in our tracks   

DA0BB6E4-532F-4693-B910-1CB8AD8363E6.jpeg

Eggemoggin 47?

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So, anyone have any advice on line cutters?  With all this talk, and with the boat still on stilts for another three or four weeks, I figure it's cheap insurance to take care of this now.  Defender has the Shaft Shark 400 on sale for $400 during the warehouse sale this week.

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24 minutes ago, ChrisJD said:

So, anyone have any advice on line cutters?  With all this talk, and with the boat still on stilts for another three or four weeks, I figure it's cheap insurance to take care of this now.  Defender has the Shaft Shark 400 on sale for $400 during the warehouse sale this week.

The only sure thing:1080157422_PropcageEmail.jpg.7735532056d74143d08f5e22765e1d79.jpg

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My boat came with an Ambassador Marine cutter.  Comes out well in the tests.  Only time I was aware of it working was when we got tangled with a lobster trap in the Mussel Ridge Channel.  We where ghosting along in almost no wind and the trap line wasn't pushed out of the way by the hull.  After struggling to free ourselves I started the engine and put it in gear.  Chomp!

I'd always fit one.

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9 minutes ago, Kris Cringle said:

When people really want one,852382629_Propcage.jpg.f32ecbee838c26a01b7044fdb6b7d292.jpg they make them fit. Way overkill but they probably have quite a story to tell. 

 

 

I once anchored about 0100 in the pitch dark behind Poplar Island. The next morning I was surrounded by crab traps in all directions so close I didn't see how any crab could walk 10 feet without walking into a trap. Somehow I anchored in the dark in the middle of them without catching one.

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25 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

I once anchored about 0100 in the pitch dark behind Poplar Island. The next morning I was surrounded by crab traps in all directions so close I didn't see how any crab could walk 10 feet without walking into a trap. Somehow I anchored in the dark in the middle of them without catching one.

They disappear at night. 

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17 hours ago, ChrisJD said:

So, anyone have any advice on line cutters?  With all this talk, and with the boat still on stilts for another three or four weeks, I figure it's cheap insurance to take care of this now.  Defender has the Shaft Shark 400 on sale for $400 during the warehouse sale this week.

Ok, this might be crazy but if you're only going to Maine for a month, how about this?

https://anodeshack.com/zinc-salca-micro-limited-line-cutter-anode?attribute_pa_shaft-size=1&gclid=CjwKCAjw6fCCBhBNEiwAem5SO_H-PihZSIkD0DnQusTsPmhAix55Q9T95Nd6K_SX-UHOZgfU7up4choC0fwQAvD_BwE

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2 hours ago, eliboat said:

Yes.  A very wet ride for exiting the CCC into Buzzards Bay. 

I know someone looking for photos of that boat...

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4 hours ago, Ajax said:

Looks pretty small, I would think you'd need longer blades to deal with most of the line out there.

salca_line_cutter_new_4.png

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2 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

Yeah  - I can see those teeth missing the line. OTOH it is $40 vs $400 ;)

 

2 hours ago, Ishmael said:

Looks pretty small, I would think you'd need longer blades to deal with most of the line out there.

salca_line_cutter_new_4.png

With luck, the line will get trapped between the blades and the strut and melt. 

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22 minutes ago, Elegua said:

 

With luck, the line will get trapped between the blades and the strut and melt. 

Without luck, the line will get trapped between the blades and the strut and not melt. Far more likely.

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6 minutes ago, Ishmael said:

Without luck, the line will get trapped between the blades and the strut and not melt. Far more likely.

Then it just melts your cutless. 

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3 minutes ago, Ishmael said:

Things are sounding better all the time.

You can cut yourself getting the line off - if things are just getting too intense. 

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On 3/11/2021 at 4:35 PM, B.J. Porter said:

You can go through at slackish, but why?

Just don't try against the tide. As has been pointed out, it's not allowed for sailboats.

FWIW I don't believe this is a restriction, more of a suggestion.  I've transited the CCC in a sailboat against the current seven or eight times, by following the 20' depth where the current drops to a knot or so.  This practice requires close helm attention as you are only a few boat lengths from the shore.  But if you want to do so, my experience is that you can.

https://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Portals/74/docs/Recreation/CCC/Brochures/Recreational_Boating_Safety_Guide.pdf

 

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I was a voracious reader. I nearly bankrupt my parents as they tried to keep me supplied as a child.

Nowadays I mostly read technical manuals and specifications and some history.

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As to the Canal coming south, we are usually coming from P-Town, where we like to stop for a meal and a bike ride. If we can time it, we aim to transit the canal at the end of the westerly flow, so the canal is at dead water when we reach Buzzard's Bay, avoiding the standing waves. 

Books on boats?

666358042_Picture022.thumb.jpg.5c1714da0a31cb08c020a87960fb8e8f.jpg

 

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While I appreciate the tactile feel of a "real" book - and the fact that you can trade -  I find kindles to be a boon. You can read late at night without disturbing others as much and you can bring lots and lots of books in a small package. I can get a week or two out of a charge with a paperwhite. 

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The Kindle changed our lives, and made us much more welcome at airports, as our heaviest piece of baggage was always our son's bag of books.

We were early adopters. My son had never heard of a Kindle, did not know what it was. I bought him one and loaded it with books I knew he'd like. He was laying down reading when I came to his room and handed it to him without a word. He started examining it, figured out what it was, carressed it gently to his chest, looked at me and quietly said "leave us". 

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20 minutes ago, Whinging Pom said:

Problem with my paper white is it is rubbish at graphics. Makes reading any histories with maps, diagrams etc a real PIA.

I have the full color Kindle Fire too. The paperwhite is way better when there are no graphics.

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My brother got Dad one about 10 years ago. He never uses it. He says at his age, he needs the familiar tactile feel that accompanies print media.  I’m not about to challenge him on that point. 

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1 hour ago, kent_island_sailor said:
2 hours ago, Whinging Pom said:

Problem with my paper white is it is rubbish at graphics. Makes reading any histories with maps, diagrams etc a real PIA.

I have the full color Kindle Fire too. The paperwhite is way better when there are no graphics.

Yes, our Kobo paperwhite readers suck for graphics too. I tried to read Hawking's "A Brief History of Time" on mine, and it's really hard to understand a complex graphic that is 1/2" tall.

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5 hours ago, Sail4beer said:

My brother got Dad one about 10 years ago. He never uses it. He says at his age, he needs the familiar tactile feel that accompanies print media.  I’m not about to challenge him on that point. 

My daughters bought me one, the paper white model. I rarely use it. I recognise the advantages of compactness but it's too small a screen IMO and frankly I cannot abide the digital rights management thing with e-books. If I buy a book, used or new, nobody can tell me what I can or can't do with it when I'm finished with it. Sure, I legally can't run it through a photocopier or scanner but that's it.

Being able to adjust the font size on an e-reader is a good thing though.

FKT

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On 2/26/2021 at 11:38 AM, bgytr said:

Any experienced NE cruisers to give info on stopping spots between Boston and Maine?  Looks like there's not much there.  Do folks typically bite the bullet and do an overnighter?

The last time we did the route from Boston area to southern Maine, we did:

Scituate, MA  (S of Boston) to either Isle of Shoals (50 NM) or Portsmouth NH (about 60 NM)

Portsmouth, NH to Portland, ME area ( 50-60 NM, depending on where you end up)

From there, all of the rest of Maine is easy day trips, if that's what you want to do.

Early summer days are long--14+ hours of good daylight--so even at 5 kt in a smaller sailboat or motoring slowly, these are easy daylight trips.

We now have a downeast powerboat, but on longer daytrips like this we typically run at an easy and fuel-efficient 8.5  kt , so the days are rarely longer than eight hours.

We now keep the boat in Maine, and the more typical daytrip for us is rarely much over 30 miles until you get east of Schoodic.

We did a 40,000 mile circumnavigation in our last sailboat, but  these days the only overnight we would consider--and it's barely an overnight--is from our base in Northeast Harbor, Maine to the south coast of Nova Scotia. We're old and lazy, and have used up our lifetime's allotment of sailing luck.

 

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On 3/24/2021 at 4:50 PM, ChrisJD said:

So, anyone have any advice on line cutters?  With all this talk, and with the boat still on stilts for another three or four weeks, I figure it's cheap insurance to take care of this now.  Defender has the Shaft Shark 400 on sale for $400 during the warehouse sale this week.

We have Spurs brand shaft-mounted cutters, made in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Only needed them once, but they worked.

This is on a single-screw powerboat with a 1 3/4" shaft, with centerline keel and rudder mounted aft of that on a keel shoe. Effectively like a sailboat with the prop in an aperture. I replaced the Spurs a few years ago for about $650 with a 10% boat show discount at the Ft. Lauderdale show, I think.

You get good at dodging pots, which can be a real nuisance in some areas. 

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On 3/18/2021 at 12:51 PM, Kris Cringle said:

We're anchored close to the 11' on your chart in the last of the white. There's room for another boat, maybe two, in single file. The tide was on it's way down. It feels like plenty of room. It's pretty but not as dramatic as where you are at the base of the cliff. 

611551121_WinterHarbor2020.thumb.jpg.7f1a637fe3ea52649b2eabedb4c3d5fa.jpg

Pretty sure I've seen you in NE Harbor before.  My boat is Calypso, dark blue Wilbur 34 with a flying bridge. Hailing port Vero Beach, FL.

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On 3/24/2021 at 2:32 AM, kent_island_sailor said:

I have never sailed north of Cape Cod, so I am trying to get a feel for what I will run into. All my Maine boating has been in rental boats we got once in Maine and the weather has been pretty benign. I would just tow a dinghy the whole way and call it good but then I think of towing a dinghy to Bermuda and how that would have turned out :o  Maybe it will just be a hot summer day and my biggest worry will be running out of fuel :rolleyes:  I am not in the least worried about being sunk by bad weather, if it looks that bad I'll wait. More like any random thing like hitting a submerged container, getting hit by a drunk fisherman, or other issues with a new-to-me boat.

#1 risk in Maine sailing seems to be catching a lobster pot.

#2 risk in Maine is catching a lobster pot, in the fog.

There is fog, so be ready for it and it doesn't always make sense where it is. But the water IS cold, so you don't want to spend a lot of time in it if you pick up a pot.

Somewhere down the risk list is "spending the night on a hump of rock because you didn't read the charts well enough."  There's a recommendation that you approach new places when the tide is down (but rising!) so you can see all the hard shit that will be hidden at high tide. This eliminates a lot of mistakes.

My first trip to Maine in 2010, I'd just spent a shit-ton of money on new radar, chartplotters, and a total instrument overhaul. That was sufficient to guarantee we didn't see so much as a wisp of fog the whole time we were there. In fact, it was a heat wave and the locals were complaining about the heat right up until the remnants of Hurricane Earl came to visit.

In 2012, we saw more fog...IMG_1214-001.thumb.JPG.d145eea470b1f1bba129ac6efc012d4e.JPG

 

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On 3/25/2021 at 9:50 AM, ChrisJD said:

So, anyone have any advice on line cutters?  With all this talk, and with the boat still on stilts for another three or four weeks, I figure it's cheap insurance to take care of this now.  Defender has the Shaft Shark 400 on sale for $400 during the warehouse sale this week.

That's what I have. It stands at 4/4 in Maine lobster pot encounters.

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25 minutes ago, B.J. Porter said:

#1 risk in Maine sailing seems to be catching a lobster pot.

#2 risk in Maine is catching a lobster pot, in the fog.

There is fog, so be ready for it and it doesn't always make sense where it is. But the water IS cold, so you don't want to spend a lot of time in it if you pick up a pot.

Somewhere down the risk list is "spending the night on a hump of rock because you didn't read the charts well enough."  There's a recommendation that you approach new places when the tide is down (but rising!) so you can see all the hard shit that will be hidden at high tide. This eliminates a lot of mistakes.

My first trip to Maine in 2010, I'd just spent a shit-ton of money on new radar, chartplotters, and a total instrument overhaul. That was sufficient to guarantee we didn't see so much as a wisp of fog the whole time we were there. In fact, it was a heat wave and the locals were complaining about the heat right up until the remnants of Hurricane Earl came to visit.

In 2012, we saw more fog...IMG_1214-001.thumb.JPG.d145eea470b1f1bba129ac6efc012d4e.JPG

 

I haven't caught a pot in Maine yet, but running around in a Boston Whaler at 25 knots it isn't so much of a time waster to swing way wide around them plus you sit a lot closer to the bow to spot them. Now in the fog....:o

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This issue of lobster buoys in Maine seems to one that causes a lot of hand wringing for folks considering coming up this way.  While they are an issue, and with a fun keel/spade rudder setup you will catch one from time to time, they’re something that can be managed.  First off, you will become good at spotting patterns in how they are laid down in lanes, usually along old LORAN lines.  Second, if you do get caught you learn with experience what to tell and look for so that you can react appropriately.  Lastly, having the right gear helps a lot.  My own boat has a fin keel and sled mounted rudder.  I usually catch them on my rudder or in the prop.  The first piece of gear that works well is a prop mounted line cutter; I have spurs.  Spurs work well, so long as you are running at a decent RPM.  If you happen to snag a line at low speed maneuvering RPM, at least with a smaller auxiliary (in my case a 40hp diesel), then the Spurs can get overwhelmed.   Secondly, I carry a Hook Knife: 
https://www.sailorssolutions.com/?page=ProductDetails&Item=CH01

These things are purpose built for cutting pot lines.   They will cut the line quickly with minimal effort.   Often enough you can see the line extending off to the side of your boat, which makes it easy to slice with the hook knife.   Last, I carry one of those really small 100 or so breath tanks, a weight belt and a mask and fins.  If I have to dive in, I use the hook knife to deal with the snag because nothing comes close when as far as slicing pot warp quickly. 

 

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Having sailed and motorboated all over Maine for the past 50 years I'm use to them.  My advice is don't pass a buoy going sideways. By that I mean don't be turning the stern of the boat as your going by the line.  Your much more likely to suck the line across the prop.  I also don't try to miss them by a lot since that can put you in a bad place for the next one.  And your swinging the rear of the boat back and fourth a lot.  When motoring if you hear a buoy bouncing down the hull it helps go put it in neutral.  I have done a lot of boating at night and in the fog and have never picked one up then.  And have only picked up a few in a sailboat.  

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1 hour ago, seaker said:

Having sailed and motorboated all over Maine for the past 50 years I'm use to them.  My advice is don't pass a buoy going sideways. By that I mean don't be turning the stern of the boat as your going by the line.  Your much more likely to suck the line across the prop.  I also don't try to miss them by a lot since that can put you in a bad place for the next one.  And your swinging the rear of the boat back and fourth a lot.  When motoring if you hear a buoy bouncing down the hull it helps go put it in neutral.  I have done a lot of boating at night and in the fog and have never picked one up then.  And have only picked up a few in a sailboat.  

and, sail, sail, sail. 41591451_Lobsterbuoy4.jpg.5e84d241e482c5a0822d70c652b05765.jpg

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Favorite destinations: Just 10 watery miles from where I type, North Haven Island is one of our favorite spots.

North Haven is a small island, little more than 2 miles long and a mile wide. But it is a ragged island; if you walked the coastline you'd tread a 48 mile circumnavigation.

To explore the island's coast under sail (which you can), you'd need at least a few days. 

1535966393_CoastingtheFoxIslandThoroughfare(1of1).thumb.jpg.ed00c17c5be9dc5f80ec8c83573622b3.jpg

But if time is short, just visit North Haven, the small village inside the Fox Island Thoroughfare. Pick up a mooring at JO Browns boatyard(the buoys are marked JOBrown). $25, pay inside, whenever(if you can find anybody).

You'll find the harbor a bit raucous at times with the ferry, fishing boats, dinghy racing and the constant traffic of transiting boats going by, often under sail.

On the other, hand it can be an incredible show of sail. 

1512741300_MovingsceneryintheFoxIslandThoroughfare.jpg.27ad704cc34657ad1f0ebab26998d6b2.jpg

After the last stragglers (often fisher-persons from Stonington) blast off for home, the night will likely be amazingly calm and quiet.

The dawns, before engines fire, are the best. 

404864710_SunriseNorthHaven_.thumb.jpg.8e418eb69f851bdedc5dc8c0ed55a7d8.jpg

That's the time to go ashore. North Haven Island - like all islands - is unique. A Maine microcosm in culture with all the extremes.

Somewhere around 350 people live year round and are joined by another thousand or so - from away - to share the summer season.

Emblematic of North Haven is the 'Peace Sign', downtown.

According to local lore the art work showed up in the 60-70's one night on an old barn.

Over the decades, the Peace sign would disappear under an un-approving coat of fresh paint.

Then just as mysteriously, under the cover of a dark night, a Banksy type with brush and white paint would return, and his work revealed in the light of dawn.

This event occurred many times over the years in this local cultural struggle.  

5-6 decades on today, the town now owns the barn and it is part of a community hall. 

Suffice it to say, Peace reigns on North Haven Island today. 

1595094823_NorthHaven10-312009MainStreet.thumb.jpg.52584738db2d40f09c92be9dde56119e.jpg

Fishermen-rusticators, right - left, local - from away, 60's culture and all, everybody gets along pretty well here, because it is a small island. 

1240438735_Streetdancepeacesign.thumb.jpg.a3ecee6984906fa0a28921f4a9e928d0.jpg

Great food, both prepared and grown locally it's a model of island sustainability. 

2087544929_BitterMainer.thumb.jpg.531f4a25768e9de672c24f3d91a3b7fd.jpg

Good town benches to sit and watch it all,...not go by. 

2125648546_NorthHaven10-312009.thumb.jpg.b1eb8ea2718651a1a0ab2720ecb20bf4.jpg

 

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Last I was there North Haven had a great ice cream shop.

Brown’s Boatyard has a coin op laundry, ice and interesting stuff in the yard.  On their moorings you get to watch a parade of interesting boats transiting the thorofare.  

Carver Cove just at the entrance to the thorofare is a great place to stop. A friend showed me and I’ve stopped multiple times since. 

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34 minutes ago, Elegua said:

Last I was there North Haven had a great ice cream shop.

Brown’s Boatyard has a coin op laundry, ice and interesting stuff in the yard.  On their moorings you get to watch a parade of interesting boats transiting the thorofare.  

Carver Cove just at the entrance to the thorofare is a great place to stop. A friend showed me and I’ve stopped multiple times since. 

Good reminder! My neighbors kids were manning the ice cream stand last year. 

 

Last season we went into Browns to pay for our mooring. The kid watching the place looked distraught. He was afraid he'd miss getting a sandwich across the street before they closed. Mary Ann said, "Oh honey, go ahead, we'll watch the store".

He didn't hesitate and bolted out the door. Here it is: 

998409321_JOBrownsstore_.thumb.jpg.a4ca2ba3491bda90c503dae9e73920de.jpg

 About 5 minutes later, Foy Brown, the owner came in.

I asked him if he needed anything.

He looked at me unfazed and went out in the shop to fix something. He sort of knows us as regulars, I guess. I dunno. 

Kid came back a few minutes later and we paid. 

2102958119_NorthHavenVolvo2.thumb.jpg.0391242356ef0887e8895ecf33aa3758.jpg

Islands, I have an ongoing dream/nightmare about them. 

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So, two anchoring questions for the dedicated Maine sailors, as this will be my first time actually captaining our boat up there rather than enjoying the trip on someone else's:

  • With the rocky bottom, what kind of anchor do you use?  We've never had a problem with our CQR, but I've only ever used it in soft sediment.  Do you fit a line to lift the anchor back out from the back if it gets caught under a rock?
  • Probably a dumb question, but I'm assuming with that much tidal range we'll need anchor watches to let out more chain as the tide floods and take it back in as it drains

There are lots and lots of places that were a big part of my childhood and that I'm dying to take my wife, that are well served by moorings, but a handful that aren't, and I'm trying to figure out if it's worth the trouble or if we should just stick to the more traveled route first.

 

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1 hour ago, Kris Cringle said:

Islands, I have an ongoing dream/nightmare about them. 

We live on an island. After vacationing on Peak's Island it occurred to me we were going to be in a car all day to get from an island to an island :rolleyes:

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9 minutes ago, ChrisJD said:

So, two anchoring questions for the dedicated Maine sailors, as this will be my first time actually captaining our boat up there rather than enjoying the trip on someone else's:

  • With the rocky bottom, what kind of anchor do you use?  We've never had a problem with our CQR, but I've only ever used it in soft sediment.  Do you fit a line to lift the anchor back out from the back if it gets caught under a rock?
  • Probably a dumb question, but I'm assuming with that much tidal range we'll need anchor watches to let out more chain as the tide floods and take it back in as it drains

There are lots and lots of places that were a big part of my childhood and that I'm dying to take my wife, that are well served by moorings, but a handful that aren't, and I'm trying to figure out if it's worth the trouble or if we should just stick to the more traveled route first.

 

Same here - the boat in question comes with a CQR and a lot of chain plus a Danforth. CQRs were never my favorite, but I have to assume it works up there or they wouldn't have it. We'll be bringing a Fortress 16 pounder with 150 feet of line with us as an extra-extra anchor. The Fortress is easy to dinghy out if you need to pull the boat in a specific direction.

I wouldn't bother sucking chain up as the tide falls, say 12 feet of tide at 3:1 scope, that would be 36 feet of chain in and out twice a day.
Now if you are talking up in Lubec with *40 feet* of tide, I am not quite sure what they do there. All my Maine boating has been in boats like Boston Whalers using floating docks, so I haven't dealt with this issue yet.

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On 3/25/2021 at 3:53 PM, Elegua said:

You can cut yourself getting the line off - if things are just getting too intense. 

Marine is sounding fucking dangerous.  Cowboy lasso-like lines of prop death swirling around left right and centre, totally unseen in the inky, icy cold depths, and more lines that whip ceaselessly out from of the surface of monster standing waves like voracious snakes that haven’t eaten in weeks.  Personally, I’d cloak the boat top and bottom with blades.  Don’t chance it.

I’ve seen these bronze ones that look like daggers that fit right around your stanchions and spreaders. Heard there’s a blow-out sale on them this Easter weekend at PE Luke.  $300 a piece, and most boats would need’em for every stanchion and both spreaders, but they’re works of Ninja art to deal with wild Maine sea lines. :-)

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35 minutes ago, ChrisJD said:

So, two anchoring questions for the dedicated Maine sailors, as this will be my first time actually captaining our boat up there rather than enjoying the trip on someone else's:

  • With the rocky bottom, what kind of anchor do you use?  We've never had a problem with our CQR, but I've only ever used it in soft sediment.  Do you fit a line to lift the anchor back out from the back if it gets caught under a rock?
  • Probably a dumb question, but I'm assuming with that much tidal range we'll need anchor watches to let out more chain as the tide floods and take it back in as it drains

There are lots and lots of places that were a big part of my childhood and that I'm dying to take my wife, that are well served by moorings, but a handful that aren't, and I'm trying to figure out if it's worth the trouble or if we should just stick to the more traveled route first.

 

Well, for me I rarely, if ever, have to anchor in a rocky bottom. Most times it's soft, stinky mud, so bring a brush and a deckwash.  Sometimes you need to let the anchor sit a bit if there is kelp before setting it.  The guides and charts are pretty accurate for bottom type. I usually set the rode for high-tide scope and just leave it at that. Like BJ mentioned earlier, if you can get there at low tide, it gives you a better view of what you end up with at low tide.  More than once I've moved a short distance because at low tide I ended up a bit too close to some rocks than I would prefer, but most times it's not an issue.  Sometimes in settled weather I compromise a bit on high tide scope if the anchorage is tighter.  

I'd say go for it - keep one eye out for settled weather and/or pick an anchorage that is secure for the forecast and go anchor out.  Many cruisers stick to moorings and leave the really special anchorages for others. 

5 minutes ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Marine is sounding fucking dangerous.  Cowboy lasso-like lines of prop death swirling around left right and centre, totally unseen in the inky, icy cold depths, and more lines that whip ceaselessly out from of the surface of monster standing waves like voracious snakes that haven’t eaten in weeks.  Personally, I’d cloak the boat top and bottom with blades.  Don’t chance it.

I’ve seen these bronze ones that look like daggers that fit right around your stanchions and spreaders. Blow out sail on them this Easter weekend at PE Luke.  $300 a piece, and you’d need’em for every stanchion and both spreaders, but they’re works of Ninja art to deal with  wild Maine sea lines.

:D I was kidding.  Totally overblown. I don't even have cutters.  The only thing I ever wrapped around my prop that I had to dive on was self-inflicted - my own dinghy painter.  What BJ, Eliboat and Seaker and others have said is spot on.  I generally just try to stay down-tide of the string and unless the lobster pot is going to cross under my transom right where my prop is, there seems little chance it will catch.  Under power and it looks close I might go to neutral for a couple seconds.  I did notice that early in the season the pots are in the shallow water and as the Summer progresses they move to the deeper water making it a good proxy for where the shallow spots (anyone else notice this?). 

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On 3/26/2021 at 9:06 PM, B.J. Porter said:

That's what I have. It stands at 4/4 in Maine lobster pot encounters.

In all seriousness, though, (re: my post above), what’s the deal with maintaining an installed line cutter?  I.e., barnacle fouling.  How do you keep it clean of fouling?

And sharpening - the serrated edge (which you can’t really sharpen, compared to the English-made Prop Protector which isn’t serrated and easily sharpen-able, apparently.

Have had one experience mid-way between Hawaii and N. America...(details are fuzzy in my head now on how we snagged the line, but I had to go overboard in big swell to cut it free, and it wasn’t awesome to do, but was good experience...certainly see the value in them.)

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1 hour ago, ChrisJD said:

So, two anchoring questions for the dedicated Maine sailors, as this will be my first time actually captaining our boat up there rather than enjoying the trip on someone else's:

  • With the rocky bottom, what kind of anchor do you use?  We've never had a problem with our CQR, but I've only ever used it in soft sediment.  Do you fit a line to lift the anchor back out from the back if it gets caught under a rock?
  • Probably a dumb question, but I'm assuming with that much tidal range we'll need anchor watches to let out more chain as the tide floods and take it back in as it drains

There are lots and lots of places that were a big part of my childhood and that I'm dying to take my wife, that are well served by moorings, but a handful that aren't, and I'm trying to figure out if it's worth the trouble or if we should just stick to the more traveled route first.

 

One of the best things about this area (there must a billion of those :) ), forget the OPEN ROADSTEAD anchorage you'll deal with coastal cruising up and down the east coast.

I can't really think of an area between Southern Maine and Canada that you'll have to deal with vigorous anchor watches, sleepless nights or getting the hang of sleeping in 15 to 20 knots of wind. 

Weather for coastal sailing is easy and accurate to get today, especially here. If an 'event' finds you up here, this is a good place to seek shelter from a big blow. 

Just plan ahead each day to be in a sheltered anchorage each night. Use moorings when available. 

Forget the rocks, you'll only find gooey mud in the anchorages. The only anchor I've lost in Maine was easy to pick up in the clear water after the loss, and then tie it below so it that wouldn't happen again. 

Your CQR will work fine. Set  scope for the high tide, set your anchor with plenty of swinging room, sleep well. 

If you follow these rules, your rode should look like this: 

1168222682_Anchoredlightly.thumb.jpg.11125bdf938475da0571953b0eac8654.jpg

 

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4 hours ago, Kris Cringle said:

Favorite destinations: Just 10 watery miles from where I type, North Haven Island is one of our favorite spots.

North Haven is a small island, little more than 2 miles long and a mile wide. But it is a ragged island; if you walked the coastline you'd tread a 48 mile circumnavigation.

To explore the island's coast under sail (which you can), you'd need at least a few days. 

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But if time is short, just visit North Haven, the small village inside the Fox Island Thoroughfare. Pick up a mooring at JO Browns boatyard(the buoys are marked JOBrown). $25, pay inside, whenever(if you can find anybody).

You'll find the harbor a bit raucous at times with the ferry, fishing boats, dinghy racing and the constant traffic of transiting boats going by, often under sail.

On the other, hand it can be an incredible show of sail. 

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After the last stragglers (often fisher-persons from Stonington) blast off for home, the night will likely be amazingly calm and quiet.

The dawns, before engines fire, are the best. 

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That's the time to go ashore. North Haven Island - like all islands - is unique. A Maine microcosm in culture with all the extremes.

Somewhere around 350 people live year round and are joined by another thousand or so - from away - to share the summer season.

Emblematic of North Haven is the 'Peace Sign', downtown.

According to local lore the art work showed up in the 60-70's one night on an old barn.

Over the decades, the Peace sign would disappear under an un-approving coat of fresh paint.

Then just as mysteriously, under the cover of a dark night, a Banksy type with brush and white paint would return, and his work revealed in the light of dawn.

This event occurred many times over the years in this local cultural struggle.  

5-6 decades on today, the town now owns the barn and it is part of a community hall. 

Suffice it to say, Peace reigns on North Haven Island today. 

1595094823_NorthHaven10-312009MainStreet.thumb.jpg.52584738db2d40f09c92be9dde56119e.jpg

Fishermen-rusticators, right - left, local - from away, 60's culture and all, everybody gets along pretty well here, because it is a small island. 

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Great food, both prepared and grown locally it's a model of island sustainability. 

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Good town benches to sit and watch it all,...not go by. 

2125648546_NorthHaven10-312009.thumb.jpg.b1eb8ea2718651a1a0ab2720ecb20bf4.jpg

 

The only place I've ever been picked up hitchhiking by a pregnant woman in a BMW. 

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2 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Marine is sounding fucking dangerous.  Cowboy lasso-like lines of prop death swirling around left right and centre, totally unseen in the inky, icy cold depths, and more lines that whip ceaselessly out from of the surface of monster standing waves like voracious snakes that haven’t eaten in weeks.  Personally, I’d cloak the boat top and bottom with blades.  Don’t chance it.

I’ve seen these bronze ones that look like daggers that fit right around your stanchions and spreaders. Heard there’s a blow-out sale on them this Easter weekend at PE Luke.  $300 a piece, and most boats would need’em for every stanchion and both spreaders, but they’re works of Ninja art to deal with wild Maine sea lines. :-)

Na. Sounds like west cork, Ireland. Just a bit busier but with much better weather. Lobster pots are all part of the charm.

Have to say this is a great thread. Giving me ideas for next year. 

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3 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

In all seriousness, though, (re: my post above), what’s the deal with maintaining an installed line cutter?  I.e., barnacle fouling.  How do you keep it clean of fouling?

And sharpening - the serrated edge (which you can’t really sharpen, compared to the English-made Prop Protector which isn’t serrated and easily sharpen-able, apparently.

Have had one experience mid-way between Hawaii and N. America...(details are fuzzy in my head now on how we snagged the line, but I had to go overboard in big swell to cut it free, and it wasn’t awesome to do, but was good experience...certainly see the value in them.)

Not much maintenance, really. It doesn't accumulate a lot of growth, and what it does you can knock off in the usual fashion. I've never sharpened, it seems to stay pretty sharp.

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1 hour ago, kof said:

Na. Sounds like west cork, Ireland. Just a bit busier but with much better weather. Lobster pots are all part of the charm.

Have to say this is a great thread. Giving me ideas for next year. 

Making me miss cruising Maine deeply. And making me very sad about selling Evenstar. Many good Maine memories.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

In all seriousness, though, (re: my post above), what’s the deal with maintaining an installed line cutter?  I.e., barnacle fouling.  How do you keep it clean of fouling?

And sharpening - the serrated edge (which you can’t really sharpen, compared to the English-made Prop Protector which isn’t serrated and easily sharpen-able, apparently.

Have had one experience mid-way between Hawaii and N. America...(details are fuzzy in my head now on how we snagged the line, but I had to go overboard in big swell to cut it free, and it wasn’t awesome to do, but was good experience...certainly see the value in them.)

The water is cold enough in Maine that fouling on underwater metal is only a problem after about four months. Our Spurs and prop are left bare. The prop (five-blade 24") is more-or-less polished. Actually, I just wet-sand it every year before launching.

The water is too cold for me to dive in--my wet suit is meant for the tropics--so if I am concerned about the prop, I just get a diver to give it a wipe, particularly if he happens to be working on a boat next to me on a mooring.

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5 hours ago, ChrisJD said:

So, two anchoring questions for the dedicated Maine sailors, as this will be my first time actually captaining our boat up there rather than enjoying the trip on someone else's:

  • With the rocky bottom, what kind of anchor do you use?  We've never had a problem with our CQR, but I've only ever used it in soft sediment.  Do you fit a line to lift the anchor back out from the back if it gets caught under a rock?
  • Probably a dumb question, but I'm assuming with that much tidal range we'll need anchor watches to let out more chain as the tide floods and take it back in as it drains

There are lots and lots of places that were a big part of my childhood and that I'm dying to take my wife, that are well served by moorings, but a handful that aren't, and I'm trying to figure out if it's worth the trouble or if we should just stick to the more traveled route first.

 

CQR will be fine. It is good all around, but excels at nothing. We had a 60-pound CQR on 400' of 3/8 hi-tensile chain on our last boat. It never gave us a worry in anchorages of all types, all around the world.

We have a 35 pound Delta on our current boat, a Wilbur 34 downeast. It's on 225' of 5/16" hi-tensile chain.

It's important to know the state of the tide when you anchor in Maine. Eldridge will give you a pretty good idea for any anchorage in Maine. You can extrapolate from the closest tide stations.

We set on 4:1 scope for high tide, and plan low-tide swinging room accordingly. We never set an anchor watch, but we generally try to anchor with reasonable protection. More often than not, in the absence of an approaching front or one that has just passed, it is pretty calm at night in Maine in the summer. 

If it's a calm night, and you are on chain, the chain never comes off the bottom, and you swing in a very small circle with the breeze and tide. We gave up anchoring on rope a long time ago. Self-stowing chain for me.

Most of Maine is mud, except for the hard bits that are always in inconvenient places, like the center of a narrow channel. There can be kelp in a lot of anchorages, so you do need to make sure the anchor is set.

We have a seawater washdown outlet next to the anchor windlass. I don't care about mud on the anchor, but I do care about it on the chain, and try to keep that clean.

 

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Anchoring in Maine is generally very agreeable as it’s mostly really sticky mud.  There are some rocky spots, but not too many that you would need to anchor on where there isn’t some perfectly gooey mud nearby.  The one spot that I anchor where it’s rocky and there isn’t a choice is tucked in behind Curtis Island in Camden harbor.  The majority of rental moorings are horribly exposed to the swell and pretty awful.  Despite the bottom I’ve always held put, albeit with some noise from my chain dragging around 

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20 hours ago, eliboat said:

.  The one spot that I anchor where it’s rocky and there isn’t a choice is tucked in behind Curtis Island in Camden harbor.  The majority of rental moorings are horribly exposed to the swell and pretty awful.  Despite the bottom I’ve always held put, albeit with some noise from my chain dragging around 

That's exactly why we reserve dockspace at LM the night of Castine-Camden. 

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26 minutes ago, Cruisin Loser said:

That's exactly why we reserve dockspace at LM the night of Castine-Camden. 

And it's why we go on an inside float moored in the inner harbor, but we are small enough to do that. It's a ringside seat to everything going on.

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I am headed up to Maine in a couple of weeks for a look-see. If this works out I will probably be headed back to get the boat in mid-June.

Tell me if sounds realistic: 7 days to get the boat organized and make Cape Cod, stopping at Isle of Shoals.

3 days from Cape Cod to New York unless I have passengers at that point who want to see some sights, than maybe 5-6 days.

1.5-2 days to Cape May, weather depending.

2 days home from Cape May.

I am shooting for 2 weeks and blocking out 3 weeks. This will be a new-to-me boat, so I am building in wiggle room for repairs and adjustments plus weather. I am probably not going to bash into heavy air going south if I can help it, but a strong NW I will ride as long as it holds out. This also depends on my crew compliment, I might be alone for some or all or might have 1 or 2 others.

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1 hour ago, kent_island_sailor said:

I am headed up to Maine in a couple of weeks for a look-see. If this works out I will probably be headed back to get the boat in mid-June.

Tell me if sounds realistic: 7 days to get the boat organized and make Cape Cod, stopping at Isle of Shoals.

3 days from Cape Cod to New York unless I have passengers at that point who want to see some sights, than maybe 5-6 days.

1.5-2 days to Cape May, weather depending.

2 days home from Cape May.

I am shooting for 2 weeks and blocking out 3 weeks. This will be a new-to-me boat, so I am building in wiggle room for repairs and adjustments plus weather. I am probably not going to bash into heavy air going south if I can help it, but a strong NW I will ride as long as it holds out. This also depends on my crew compliment, I might be alone for some or all or might have 1 or 2 others.

I make the trip south from Doweast often, and if I’m trying to make the canal or just go outside to Nantucket, I’ll leave in the morning and be at the canal by the next morning/early afternoon.   It really depends on the tide as to whether or not you want to stop along the way.  I suppose as fat as stops go, the shoals isn’t too bad, but unless you’re leaving from southern Maine, you won’t get there until very late, and at that point you may as well keep moving towards the canal.  The closer to the canal you are the better your options for timing a passage through it.  

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24 minutes ago, eliboat said:

I make the trip south from Doweast often, and if I’m trying to make the canal or just go outside to Nantucket, I’ll leave in the morning and be at the canal by the next morning/early afternoon.   It really depends on the tide as to whether or not you want to stop along the way.  I suppose as fat as stops go, the shoals isn’t too bad, but unless you’re leaving from southern Maine, you won’t get there until very late, and at that point you may as well keep moving towards the canal.  The closer to the canal you are the better your options for timing a passage through it.  

Good point, but if I end up solo I am probably not going to set the autopilot and go to sleep nor try and stay up all night, but yeah, if I have more crew and we're rolling along - maybe just go all the way to the canal. We would probably be leaving from Portland Maine.

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1 hour ago, kent_island_sailor said:

We would probably be leaving from Portland Maine.

Portland to the Isles is too short a hop if you're trying to make distance, takes you too far west, and still leaves you in an exposed spot if the weather turns overnight.  From the end of Cape Elizabeth I'd try to make Gloucester, which puts you in a much better spot for making the Canal the next day.

If you do end up with crew trying to make it in a single leg, make sure you have options in mind if you hit the tide wrong at the Canal.  Sandwich marina takes reservations (and it's fully inside the Canal so you've got to get to it first).  You're likely better off stopping in Gloucester or Provincetown along the way just to get the timing right if necessary.

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22 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

Gloucester has a canal too, right?

I just plotted it out and you are correct - Gloucester is right about half-way.

Yes, the Annisquam River runs you down to the Blynman Canal. The current is significant especially at the Canal end.

THE annisquam YC is at the north end of the Annisquam and is a lovely place to overnight, and immediately adjacent to perhaps the nicest beach area in NE, accessible only by dingy...

 

FWIW  Gloucester has only 18 or so rental moorings and these are reserved via DockWa. They go quickly on weekends. If you make a reservation, ask for #1 which located at the mouth of Smith Cove, the local artist colony and resturant hub.

Anchoring in the inner harbor is limited to the first dozen or so, otherwise there's lots of room in the outer harbor.

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5 hours ago, ChrisJD said:

Portland to the Isles is too short a hop if you're trying to make distance, takes you too far west, and still leaves you in an exposed spot if the weather turns overnight.  From the end of Cape Elizabeth I'd try to make Gloucester, which puts you in a much better spot for making the Canal the next day.

If you do end up with crew trying to make it in a single leg, make sure you have options in mind if you hit the tide wrong at the Canal.  Sandwich marina takes reservations (and it's fully inside the Canal so you've got to get to it first).  You're likely better off stopping in Gloucester or Provincetown along the way just to get the timing right if necessary.

If you’re solo, then the IOS would make a decent stop... being too far west is all relative.  If you’re starting from Portland, it’s a fine sail.  Gloucester is a good stop, and while the Annisquam can shave a little bit of distance, there’s construction on the railroad bridge at the moment, and the river shoals and is actually pretty tricky if you’re not familiar with the area.  Tucking in right behind the breakwater at Eastern Point is a nice little anchorage that saves you some distance from going all they way into the harbor proper. 

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44 minutes ago, eliboat said:

If you’re solo, then the IOS would make a decent stop... being too far west is all relative.  If you’re starting from Portland, it’s a fine sail.  Gloucester is a good stop, and while the Annisquam can shave a little bit of distance, there’s construction on the railroad bridge at the moment, and the river shoals and is actually pretty tricky if you’re not familiar with the area.  Tucking in right behind the breakwater at Eastern Point is a nice little anchorage that saves you some distance from going all they way into the harbor proper. 

Don't forget Scituate along this route, depending on how many days you are taking and how you break the trip. Not far off the direct line from Cape Ann the the Cape Cod Canal. Easy to enter in all weather, and has rental moorings. From there, you can time the canal with ease.

We've run between Scituate and Hadley Harbor on the Buzzards Bay side of the canal in an easy day.

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18 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

Gloucester has a canal too, right?

I just plotted it out and you are correct - Gloucester is right about half-way.

All the cautions are warranted. But I should say I've stopped at Isle of Shoals several times overnight (10?), and never had a problem with weather or finding a vacant mooring.

Even anchored there on my first trip to Maine over 30 years ago. It's a destination itself if only for the setting. It has some bizarre history. 

1149365475_IsleofShoalshotel.thumb.jpg.99599588535682f1dca5c8179b479bd3.jpg

A sullen place to me but naturally magnificent. It has a strange religious background that imposes some restrictions on where you can go ashore. As a nonbeliever, that's sort of an invitation to me. :)

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Despite an open feeling to the anchorage, we've been lucky and always had a good overnight. Last time there, we watched some honking storms come in from the mainland but they didn't bother us. 

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Another first from our last visit, we pulled into Biddeford Pool (I mentioned already). That fit some a series of easy day trips: 1 Rockport Ma. (via canal from Gloucester) to IOS. 2 IOS to Biddeford. 3 Biddeford to Casco-Jewel Island. 4 Jewel to Boothbay. 

 

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As beautiful as it is, we swore we would not return to Maine (cold, fog, pots) but we'll be there in June.  Interior carpentry work seems a better bet in Maine then Grenada.

 

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55 minutes ago, Bryanjb said:

As beautiful as it is, we swore we would not return to Maine (cold, fog, pots) but we'll be there in June.  Interior carpentry work seems a better bet in Maine then Grenada.

 

It is usually still a bit cold and foggy in June.  We will go up to Maine in late May to work on on the boat in the shed. We don't even pull it out of the shed until a day or so before launch.

You will spend more money on carpentry in Maine than in the Caribbean, but it is more likely to be done on time, on budget, and with some sense of responsibility.

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1 hour ago, Bryanjb said:

As beautiful as it is, we swore we would not return to Maine (cold, fog, pots) but we'll be there in June.  Interior carpentry work seems a better bet in Maine then Grenada.

 

You can pick your project, time, location and pretty much your fee, right now. I have people scheduling projects to start in 2024. If you are a licensed plumber, we'll give you a house on the sea if you'll do a couple bathrooms a year. We have no skilled labor reserve. 

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4 minutes ago, Kris Cringle said:

You can pick your project, time, location and pretty much your fee, right now. I have people scheduling projects to start in 2024. If you are a licensed plumber, we'll give you a house on the sea if you'll do a couple bathrooms a year. We have no skilled labor reserve. 

Yeah, things have been getting progressively tighter over the past 10 years and this year have gotten particularly tight.  The influx from COVID, natural retirement and COVID driven inefficiency have made things worse.  One of the splicers for mooring bridles/pendants in my Harbor retired so there is on guy to make about 700 by the end of May. I have to make my own this year. Not hard, but doing it from Floriduh makes it more of a hassle. 

June's an OK month for cruising, but as far as shoulder seasons go, Sept is much better in my opinion. 

 

 

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38 minutes ago, Elegua said:

 

June's an OK month for cruising, but as far as shoulder seasons go, Sept is much better in my opinion. 

 

Yes, it is. Our season in Maine runs roughly from July 1 to early October. We are putting "reaL' forced air central heat in this year (Webasto), rather than just the reverse cycle on the AC (requires running generator) and  "bus" heater in the main engine heat exchanger circuit.

We hope to extend the season a bit later into October, although we will not be east of Schoodic in October.

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We're not planning on cruising Maine, just delivering the boat to Portland for cabinetry and fiberglass work.  We'll pick it up in September and sail back to the Caribbean.

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27 minutes ago, accnick said:

Yes, it is. Our season in Maine runs roughly from July 1 to early October. We are putting "reaL' forced air central heat in this year (Webasto), rather than just the reverse cycle on the AC (requires running generator) and  "bus" heater in the main engine heat exchanger circuit.

We hope to extend the season a bit later into October, although we will not be east of Schoodic in October.

Good to know. I vetoed getting the boat in May, I am hoping my June the weather will be better. I can take a little cold the first few days and a little fog, this boat has cabin heat and radar.

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