After a winter on land we’re back on the water.
Please join us at Choisiadventures.wordpress.com
After a winter on land we’re back on the water.
Please join us at Choisiadventures.wordpress.com
HI. This summer we’re doing a relatively short cruise to Nova Scotia & Maine. If you’d like to follow us. please check out:
We finished our Alaska-to-Maine Adventure last August and spent the winter in Dartmouth, MA. We’re off again. If you’d like to continue following our Adventures follow us at:
Thanks for all you interest and support as we made it all the way from Alaska to Maine & back home again.
Sara, Peter, Charlotte, Frances & Leo.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,400 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.
Leg #24 — The End of the Big U Adventure:
425 Days from Juneau, Alaska to Belfast, Maine.
Day 418 August 6, 2015 Maple Juice Cove, ME 43 58 56 N 69 16 81 W (3.4 h) At Anchor
We headed out into Sheepscot Bay and down around Southport Island into Booth Bay. A beautiful & peaceful morning & except for the lobster boats we were pretty much on our own. We took JJ & Jill’s advice and headed towards Maple Juice Cove which is up the St. George River on Muscongus Bay. We pulled into the anchorage and found a couple of sailboats already enjoying the peaceful anchorage & set our hook. The scenery looked just like a Wyeth painting which makes sense since this is where the 3 generations of painters lived. It was a lovely place for Peter & I to spend our last solo night aboard. This odyssey has been incredible accomplishment but tonight was a little sad too as it means the end of the journey is in sight.
Stones Point: St. George River, Muscongus Bay
Maple Juice Cove: St. George River
Maple Juice Cove: A lovely house on the point.
Day 419 August 7, 2015 Rockland, ME 44 06 08 N 69 06 29 W (5.4 h) Landings Marina
Another beautiful day in paradise. We puttered out of Maple Juice Cove and headed down the St. George River and out around Hupper Island & Mosquito Island into Two Bush Channel. When I put our course in I overshot Muscle Ridge Channel and took us out further into the main channel leading into Penobscot Bay. While Muscle Ridge is very pretty it’s also chock full of lobster pots and by going further out we were in deeper & clearer water. We took on fuel at The Journey’s End where the NYYC was based (rafted 3 deep) & then we moved onto our dock at The Landings which was a great spot for a couple of days. Jeffrey & DeAnna arrived from MA & we had a nice dinner ashore & our first episode of Elementary.
Morning light on Maple Juice Cove: St. George River
Day 420 August 8, 2015 Layday Rockland ME
Another rain-free day in Maine. We went to the Wyeth Center at the Farnsworth Art Museum & saw the 3 generations of Wyeth art; 3 completely different styles but the Maine watercolors are beautiful. We took advantage of the Honda’s arrival and provisioned for the coming week & re-filled one of the propane tanks. When we got back to the dock the M/V Quineska pulled in — an Outer Reef 68’. The challenge: Where have we seen her before? We tried to figure it out but finally resorted to the business card folder; we last saw her in Charleston, SC at the Harborage at Ashley. Mystery solved. We walked over to the NYYC informational briefing & opening reception at The Journey’s End which was a really nice party. Lots of shrimp, mussels & tid bits so no need to make dinner when we got back. Elementary.
Day 421 August 9, 2015 Billings Cove: Southeast Harbor, ME 44 11 95 N 68 35 77 W (4.4 h) At Anchor
This morning was a little more like a typical Maine morning — slightly overcast but a promise of sun in the afternoon. We went out to the starting area for both the racing boats and the predicted log race. We waited for the sailboats to take off and head north while we took off and headed NE to the north side of North Haven Island. The predicted log course was roughly 12 miles which we predicted we would finish in 91 min:26 secs and we finished 1 minute 28 seconds off our predicted time. We miscalculated the effect of the tide. We tried to turn our results in but couldn’t raise the Fleet Captain so we tried to submit online but god only knows if that email went through so we’ll have to see how we did on our first predicted log attempt. After we finished we met up with the Cruise in Company boats at Mullen Cove & went ashore for a walk at a property overseen by the North Haven Conservation Partners. This was the first time the NYYC has organized a mid day rendezvous for non racing vessels and it was nice to see a good turnout. A very pretty walk along the shoreline & always good to stretch a bit. We hauled anchor and crossed over East Penobscot Bay to Deer Island Thorofare and past Stonington, ME. Jeffrey was impressed by the sheer amount of granite that just tumbles down to the water’s edge everywhere. We passed by Devil Island (a favorite spot with our J boat) & headed north up towards Southeast Harbor. The NYYC had contacted the local lobstermen & told them we were coming in for a night & asked them if they could clear an area so we wouldn’t foul their lobster pots. They agreed to clear a part of Billings Cove which they don’t use too much because it has a muddy bottom which the lobsters don’t like. That worked out great for us because our anchors like mud best so it all worked out. All 90 of the boats easily fit in the cove and it was a quiet night. Another Elementary.
Leaving Rockland, ME & heading to the starting line for the Predicted Log Race #1
The Cruise in Company Fleet at Mullen’s Head.
Cruise in Company fleet anchored off of Mullen Head for the walk at the MCHT Preserve
The Beach at Mullen Cove
View of East Penobscot Bay: Across Burnt Island & Calderwood Island
East Penobscot Bay: Isle Au Haut in the background
Mullen Cove: The C in C Fleet
Peter & Jeffrey on our March About
Jeffrey & DeAnna: It was a blue shirt day for racing.
View of Devil Island from the Deer Island Thorofare.
Billings Cove: Southeast Harbor, ME
Day 422 August 10, 2015 Pretty Marsh, ME 44 20 15 N 68 24 77 W (3.1 h) At Anchor
There isn’t a predicted log race today so we’re just heading out with the fleet and north up Blue Hill Bay. The C in C Fleet anchored in Allen Cove off of Harriman Point for another walk led by a MCHT representative who was guiding us around one of their newest preserves which had been gifted in January of 2015. The land was a gift from a family who used the property for hunting birds so it’s really very undisturbed and in good shape. DeAnna & I kayaked ashore and we had a nice group walk over to the beach & then DeAnna and I walked the length of the property while the boys went back to Choisi. We motored across Blue Hill Bay to Pretty Marsh Harbor and tucked in behind West Point. We invited Quineska aboard for cocktails & quickly decided to sit inside as it was getting pretty chilly on the back deck. Peter shared The Lone Ranger with DeAnna & Jeffrey.
Jeffrey doing Will’s morning duty: raising the anchor in Billings Cove.
Fleet getting underway
Fleet heading south out of Blue Hill Bay — just a few lobster pots — with toggles!
Mount Desert in the background. Just cruising down the Bay.
The racing fleet on its way to the start
The lighthouse at Green Island as we left Blue Hill Bay & we went into Jericho Bay.
Mount Desert on Mt. Desert Island
Coming into Allen Cove at Harriman Point
DeAnna in her pedal kayak
The newest conservation acquisition for the MCHT at Harriman Point.
The beach at Harriman Point
Harrimon Point: Blue Hill Bay
Choisi at anchor: Allen Cove
Day 423 August 11, 2015 Bucks Harbor, ME 44 20 08 N 68 43 95 W (3.3 h) At Anchor
We crossed back over Blue Hill Bay through Jericho Bay to Eggemonggin Reach for Predicted Log #2 run up the Reach. It was overcast but there was still good visibility and we think we did well. We miscalculated the amount of ebbing tide so if we were off it was because we were going too fast. We’ll have to wait for the race results. We anchored in Bucks Harbor just in the lee of Grays Point. We were exposed to SW but ok for SE. The catamaran Flow was right off our bow and we had lots of company! It was a rainy afternoon and we were very happy to be warm & dry in the main salon. The wind picked up to 18 – 25 knots & there was a slight chop in the anchorage but the anchor held without any issues. It was last dinner aboard for the 4 of us & I’ll miss saying Grace aboard the M/V Choisi. Double episode of Elementary.
Fleet underway leaving Billings Cove
The Little Deer Island bridge
Day 424 August 12, 2015 Belfast, ME 47 25 75 N 69 00 33 W (3.6 h) Front Street Shipyard
We awoke to our first real foggy Maine morning. The boats in the anchorage faded in and out as the fog blew through the fleet. A special morning spectacle. The wind was very light out of the SW so the racing fleet had a delayed start and we headed out for the Cruise in Company rendezvous at Holbrook Island. We visited aboard Picasso before DeAnna & I headed to shore to have a walk-a-bout. After saying good-bye to the seals lounging on the rocks in the cove we motored across the top of Islesboro Island we caught up with the racing fleet who was limping towards the finish line in very light winds. I certainly don’t miss those days. We were able to get a spot at Front Street Shipyard so we’re all plugged in and the generator can take a break. We gathered with the Fleet at the Steamship Landing and had a nice time at the Officers’ Cocktail Party before heading back to Choisi and, you guessed it, an episode of Elementary.
Seals on the rocks as we came around the point at Holbrook Island.
The seals on the rocks that were exposed as the tide ebbed.
The racing fleet approaching the finish line at the head of Islesboro Island
Day 425 August 13, 2015 Layday Belfast, ME
A beautiful sunny day with hardly a breeze. All the fleet have “dressed ship” which means that all the boats have their signal flags up. The sailboats have the flags going from the top of the mast to the bow & stern and the power boats string their flags from bow to stern as well. It’s always a treat to see so many boats all dressed to celebrate a layday in port. DeAnna & I will hike up the hill to find Hannafords to provision for the trip south & I’ll get ready to take off tomorrow to head to the Berkshires to spend Mom’s Weekend at Chimney Corners Camp with Charlotte & Frances. I’ll meet up with Choisi when she comes through the Padanaram swing bridge on Monday August 17th. This is the furthest north we’ll get on the Atlantic side of the States & as far as I go on this Adventure. It’s been an incredible year and one we’ll never forget or stop talking about. A big kuddo to Choisi for getting us safely from one side of the country to the other. It’s been an amazing trip.
Choisi at Front Street Shipyard: “dressed”
Some of the fleet at Front Street Shipyard on the cruise’s layday in Belfast, ME
August 1, 2015: 413 Days — 11,779 NM from Juneau, AK to Kennebunkport, ME. We did it!
Day 409 July 28, 2015 Duxbury, MA 42 00 88 N 70 37 93 W (6 h)
With Charlotte & Frances safely ensconced at Chimney it was time to hit the high seas again. We have nine days to get north to Rockland, ME where we’ll meet up with Jeffrey & DeAnna for the NYYC summer cruise in Penobscot Bay. Today the Cape Cod Canal starts to ebb east at 1400 so we’ll head up Buzzards Bay & catch a ride through the canal.
Peter waiting for the bridge opening at 1300. We waited for an incoming tide so we’d have better control of the boat going through the bridge.
The dock at the Yellow House. DeAnna, Debby and the rest of us were nervous we’d bump going out.
The railroad bridge across the Cape Cod Canal. A calm passage through and 2 – 3 knots of current pushing us along.
Exiting the Cape Cod Canal. There was a low fog bank and the current was still ebbing.
The lighthouse as we entered Duxbury Bay.
A lovely calm night & we lucked out and scored a guest mooring courtesy of John aboard Raven.
Day 410 July 29, 2015 Salem, MA 42 31 15 N 70 53 29 W (7.6 h)
Pickering Wharf Marina
The lighthouse at the approach to the inner harbor in Salem. First attempt at Brewars next to the smoke stack didn’t work out; not enough frontage.
The old dry-docks & wharf in Salem. We seem to always come in at low tide!
1.9 feet of water under us as we came into Salem.
One of the old schooners moored across from the Customs House in Salem, MA.
Peter wondering why we always come in at low tide?
Tied up at Pickering Wharf right in town — a great dock and much better location than Brewars. Dinner ashore at Finz by the wharf.
Day 411 July 30, 2015 Layday Salem, MA
I had never been to Salem & Peter came to visit the first time when he was 13 so time to check it out again. We started at the Essex Museum and admired their early American collections and then toured three restored historic homes they moved onto their property to save them from demolition.
The John Ward house circa 1684. Original house was on the left side of the door. They added to second 1/2 as Ward became more prosperous as a leather craftsman & to accommodate their 7 children.
The Crowninsheild-Bentley House, circa 1727, an example of Georgian Colonial architecture.
“What the Birds Know” — a “stickwork” by Patrick Dougherty built in May 2015. One of 260 stickworks he’s done in North America, Europe & Asia.
Thousands of woven saplings which produce “a visual effect similar to a drawing, with each sapling representing an individual line”. Different.
The old part of the Salem Essex Museum. The new wing houses a great collection of Early American & Maritime Art.
The House of the Seven Gables: The house was built in 1668 for Captain John Turner. It was made famous by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s book of the same name. HIs cousin Susan Ingersoll inherited the house from her father, Samuel Ingersoll, and lived here during the 1800’s. The house was moved to this site in 1958.
The English Gardens at the House of the Seven Gables
Day 412 July 31, 2015 Newburyport, MA 42 49 00 N 70 52 00 W (5.7 h) Town Mooring
Leaving Salem. Another schooner had come in and it looked like campers were aboard swabbing the decks.
The lighthouse as we were leaving. Tide was coming in at least….
Blyman Bridge: Gloucester, MA. Leading into the Annisquam River.
The bridge master even called us to check out beam. The bridge is reported to be 30’ so not so bad once we got closer & through!
The Metro Railroad bridge on the Annisquam River. Hard turn to port as we went through!
The Annisquam River. A really beautiful area and you’d never know you’re a stone’s throw from Boston. An old community with some awesome houses.
The lighthouse as we left the Annisquam River and headed out into Ipswich Bay & the Atlantic Ocean north of Cape Ann.
We headed up to Newburyport and picked up one of the town moorings off the boardwalk. We decided to head in later so we could do a walk-about and then find a spot for dinner. There was a summer festival going on so the town was full of people, boats, musicians & cars. We wandered about and then saw an old brick building which housed Ceia Kitchen Bar. It looked interesting so we stopped in. We were seated up on the 3rd floor and had an incredible meal made up of 3 appetizers which were an incredible combination of ingredients & flavors. A treat. A little tricky getting our dingy out but we got back before nightfall so all was good.
Tugboat Angus: So this is what my brother’s been doing while we’ve been away……
Day 413 August 1, 2015 Kennebunkport, ME 43 21 47 N 70 28 60 W (5.1 h) Arundel Yacht Club **** WE MADE IT TO MAINE!!
The tide was swinging around again and the tugboat Angus got pretty close in Newburyport but at least it had bumpers all the way around. We headed out against the tide and north towards Maine. The wind’s out of the West so the seas are gentle swells and we’re making good time. We’re back in the land of lobster pots so we have to keep an eagle eye out for the ones that blend right into the sea. Fun, Fun, Fun. We tied up at the AYC as guests of Bill & Jane which was a nice treat. We had them over for dinner & had a nice time catching up.
Our first photo underway: courtesy of John aboard Raven who we caught up with off of New Hampshire.
The approach to Kennebunkport, ME
Kennebunkport River & the River Club — one of the oldest yacht clubs in ME. Lots of kids in their sailing program.
View up the river from the Arundel Yacht Club — main part of town is up towards the bridge.
Now this is a low tide!! We woke up & we were listing to port. Luckily it was a soft muddy bottom.
Day 414 August 2, 2015 Layday Kennebunkport, ME
We went over to Cape Porpoise for lunch at Bob & Jane’s and then borrowed their car to provision for the week. Dinner ashore with Bob & Jane.
We waited for the tide to come in before turning around and heading back out to sea. Same little knoll from the previous photo!
Day 415 August 3, 2015 Jewel Island, ME 43 41 23 N 70 05 49 W (4.1 h) at anchor
This is one of my favorite spots on Earth. We’ve been coming to Jewel Island every time we’ve sailed south from Maine to New England. Today was the first time that I actually sailed north into Maine so the approach to Jewel Island was different and less confusing as there are fewer rocks coming up from the south; still an insane number of lobster pots that we had to negotiate. We anchored in front of 4 sailboats just off the landing spot to the island on an outgoing tide so as the evening progresses the shale onshore becomes more exposed and the evening light reflects off the gold in the shale. I kayaked ashore and took a hike in the woods and enjoyed the lovely balsam scent and the beauty of the rugged eastern coast.
The anchorage at Jewel Island, ME. One of the prettiest spots on our trip.
Looking north towards the mainland and the tip of the island.
One of the camping sites on the island. The boat is pulled up where we go ashore.
Evening light at Jewel. The rocks face west so as the sun sets the rocks begin to glisten & glow.
Evening light on the rocks. Tide’s going out. At a full moon low tide we only had 1.3’ under our keel.
Looking SW towards Portland, ME across the island. The peninsula to the right is usually not connected to the main island — Very low tide.
Day 416 August 4, 2015 The Basin, Sebasco, ME 43 48 33 N 69 51 35 W
(2.3 h) at anchor
Morning walk: a view of the Punch Bowl. East side of Jewel.
A view East. Usually the waves are crashing over these rocks into the pool. Calm & foggy morning.
The Punch Bowl. Tide still going out.
View from The Tower: A WWII lookout on Jewel Island. To the south you can see the other tower. The lookouts would relay boat sightings to the soldiers manning the gun ports located up by the Punch Bowl & at the other end by Smugglers Pass. The military installation at Jewel Island was a key location as it protected Portland, ME as well as the Bath Iron Works further up the coast.
A little foggy this morning. Usually we can see the Atlantic from the top of The Tower but not today.
The top of The Tower.
Smugglers Pass at the southern end of the island. A lonely sea gull on the seaweed covered rocks.
Sea weed amongst the rocks as the tide ebbs.
Our Captain marching about.
Jewel Island in the morning light as we haul anchor & head north.
One of the many lobster boats plying the waters: Thousands of lobster pots everywhere!
North end of Jewel Island, ME
Evening light in The Basin.
Day 417 August 5, 2015 Ebenecook Harbor, ME (Southport Island)
43 49 77 N 69 40 69 W (3.7 h) Hodgdon Yacht Services
A beautiful calm & sunny morning in The Basin. The group of boats that followed us in yesterday afternoon took off at 0900 at low low tide & one of the sailboats didn’t make it out of the anchorage without leaving some bottom paint behind. I kayaked around the basin and explored the mud flats which surrounded the entire inlet. The sea gulls were picking their breakfast out of the mud and the sea birds were diving in the shallows. So pretty. I went ashore and into the woods and found an old logging/mining road that took me up the hill. At the top of a hill there was an old sign, “mica mine”, so that’s what all the shiny rocks were! Such a beautiful spot. We waited another hour for the tide to come in so we too wouldn’t run aground and didn’t have any trouble getting out — except the bloody lobster pots everywhere. We headed back down the New Meadow River out into Casco Bay. We ducked in behind Sequin Island and worked our way up the coast of Georgetown Island into Sheepscot Bay. We tried to make reservations in Boothbay Harbor but we’re too big for the BBYC moorings and the docks were all full so we went to Southport Island & tied up at Hodgdon’s. We can borrow a car so we’ll head over to the BBYC for dinner. There continue to be squall lines to the West every afternoon but no rain today.
Tide still going out.
A front blew through yesterday evening but this morning it was calm & beautiful. Great for kayaking.
The inlet to The Basin. Tide was flooding and most of the lobster pots were at the other end.
Southport, ME. Afternoon clouds moving in.
This week was less to do with our Big U cruise and more about working & getting ready for Chimney Corners Camp.
Day 401 July 20, 2015 Layday Padanaram, MA 41 35 20 N 70 56 78 W
Back to Reality — Peter & I had a meeting with Chris Electronics to discuss the Furunos’ issues. Charlotte’s friend Riley came over for a sleepover and it was great to see both Riley & Jayne after so long. Peter got picked up by Cynthia and headed off to Boston to catch an evening flight to LAX. Frances & I enjoyed movie night. The big girls watched a movie on deck & caught up.
Day 402 July 21, 2015 Layday Padanaram, MA
Frances heads off to her first year of camp on Sunday so we went shopping to get her all ready to go. On our way to Route 6 we stopped by Katydid Farm and saw my buddy Tigger. I think he recognized me — certainly liked the peppermint & carrots and walked straight to one of our favorite grazing spots. He looks great and both of us will take it slowly this fall as we get back into shape. Successful camp provisioning day.
Day 403 July 22, 2015 Layday Padanaram, MA
After many discussions decided that the Honda Odyssey is still the best car for our family. Back on the road again. Lots of camp packing going on.
Day 404 July 23, 2015 Layday Padanaram, MA
Frances went to see Lily & Brogan in Westport while Charlotte and I went to Camp Shopping. Both girls had their annual check ups so they are cleared for Camp. New wind indicator installed while we were on the road. Movie night aboard – Duff. Peter due back from LAX late tonight.
Day 405 July 24, 2015 Layday Padanaram, MA
Peter headed into Providence while the girls and I continued to get ready for the departure on Sunday.
Day 406 July 25, 2015 Layday Padanaram, MA
Thank goodness for Honda minivans. The entire trunk area is full of camp gear. Everyone is ready to head West in the morning.
Day 407 July 26, 2015 Layday Padanaram, MA
Back on the Mass Pike heading west to Becket, MA and Chimney Corners Camp. Our usual lunch spot had closed so we ended up having a take out lunch and a quick nap before the 1300 drop off. This is Frances’ first year, she’s a Junior, and her cabin is called the Black Pearl. Perfect for her as she is a Jack Sparrow fan. Charlotte is a Senior and is in one of the newer cabins — Galactia. Uneventful trip back and we enjoyed dinner with the people in the Yellow House.
Charlotte & Frances and their camp gear. Frances’ new minion shirt “I’m just hanging out being awesome”. So Frances!
Charlotte’s Senior cabin — scored a great bottom bunk in the corner.
Frances’ cabin – The Black Pearl. One of the older cabins in the Junior unit but all our kids have started out in one of these cabins.
Frances got a bottom bunk too. It was pretty hot in the cabin with 8 girls unpacking stuff and getting settled.
Outside the Black Pearl before we shoved off for Padanaram. They even spelled Frances name right — she was thrilled.
Day 408 July 27, 2015 Layday Padanaram, MA
Provisioning and we hosted the Yellow House for cocktails aboard the M/V Choisi.
It was a busy week as we had re-entry and exiting all within 7 days. Peter’s trip to CA was a success so that was great news. We managed to find everything we needed for camp and it all fit in the trunks and the back of the van. It was wonderful to be on the dock at the Yellow House as we could come and go easily and were able to have friends stop by and visit. All in all a good week but it will be wonderful to be back out on the water tomorrow.