Tuesday, 7 August 2012

No 26 Maine

Hi from Clare,                                                    Sunday 5th August 2012

We are now in Maine, as far north as we intend going up the east coast of USA. So far this year we have sailed 5,500 NM (25 miles per day) and so we are looking forward to relaxing and spending the rest of this month in beautiful Maine.

We departed Newport, Rhode Island around 7am Monday and headed for Cape Cod Canal arriving in time to catch the outgoing tide. With the assistance of a 4 knot current we traveled through the canal doing as much as 9.4 knots of boat speed.
We arrived at Provincetown Massachusetts, some 60 miles in all, at 7.30pm ready for a beer/dinner and not much else.

Cape Cod Canal and Provincetown (Pilgrims Tower in background)

By morning we were ready to explore Provincetown. We climbed to the top of the Pilgrims Monument (see photo) and spent a very interesting hour or so in the attached museum learning about the early settlers. Then we spent a few more interesting hours watching the settlers of today. Provincetown boasts that it is not just gay friendly, its gay inclusive. It has a very vibrant downtown with art galleries, unique shops and fine dining. When we were looking for a place to have lunch I was accosted by a beautiful young man dressed only in a pair of tight shorts with a bread roll (I think) stuffed down the front of them. In an attempt to lure us into his restaurant he announced that "lesbians love our meat". Well I must be getting old because apart from nearly choking with laughter, he just about put me off lunch; we ate vegetarian.

 View from Pilgrims Tower and "vibrant"shops in Provincetown

Our next passage was an overnight sail to the town of Rockland to attend the 65th Maine Lobster Festival. We arrived in heavy fog which is pretty normal for Maine due to the cold air and warm water at 14.3 degrees. On a sunny day the fog burns off by about 9-10am. The Gulf of Maine is home to a large number of lobster pots. Hearing how prolific these are and concerned as we don't have a rope cutter on our propeller, we nearly didn't come up this way. However, yes we have needed to pay full attention and steer around lobster pots but it hasn't been bad at all. So the "good old CBN (Cruiser Bulldust News) has proven to be unreliable yet again".

Anchorage with and without fog
So, back to the Lobster Festival; this is a little piece of country America 1960s style with carnival rides, shooting galleries, live bands and fried corn dogs and fried everything else. Upon our arrival In Rockland we caught up with American friends Kurt and Katie on "Interlude" (a Deerfoot 75). They told us the best meal deal at the Festival was the double lobster dinner for $19 which is steamed, quite tasty and terribly messy to eat. We had our lobster dinner with Bert and Prue on "Exuberant" who we met via the VHF radio and AIS during the overnight passage. Rockland is a quiet country town, the people are very friendly and our taxi driver said it's such a safe town he never locks his house - nice to think that places like this still exist.

Bert and Prue told us they were heading to Islesboro Island for the Seven Seas Cruising Association's Annual Gam (meeting). It is open to both members and non members. Interlude and Blue Highway were heading there also and so we tagged along and register for the event. The first social gathering was a dinghy raft up for evening drinks and shared nibbles. Well about forty dinghies tied up at the back of the organizer's yacht. Fortunately conditions were flat calm, drinks balanced precariously as dishes and trays of nibbles were passed from dinghy to dinghy. It was lots of fun and a great pre curser for the following day's lunch.

Dinghy raft-up at the Gam
One of the SSCA members owns a house on the waterfront of Gilkey Harbour, Islesboro Island where Eye Candy and about fifty boats had anchored to attend the Gam. The pot luck lunch was held on the lawns of their property under the shade of some magnificent trees - what a perfect spot. Let me qualify that, perfect in summer but snowed-in during winter. People from 51 boats attended and their combined efforts produced an absolute feast. Tables were set up in the garage and they were laden with beautifully presented hot and cold dishes; quite amazing to think that this standard could be achieved on boats.

The Potluck lunch on the lawn

The guest speaker, the Island Historian who had grown up in the area, spoke about the development of the island starting at its beginnings back in the early 1600s. It was interesting but a bit long winded. After forty five minutes and the chap next to us snoring, many of the people sitting on rugs decided to sprawl out on the ground because their backs were aching. As the speaker came to the last page of his copious notes the guy next to Andrew lent across with a mischievous grin and whispered "If you want to ask him about the Police Department, I'll ask him about the Fire Department"
All he got from Andrew was a resounding "Shut up" endorsed by his wife.

I think just rest and relaxation and gunk-holing along the coast of Maine and surrounding islands while waiting for other members of the Magellan Net to catch up.

Love Candy xx

At 11:19 AM6/08/2012 (utc) our position was 44°21.72'N 068°46.25'W

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