Sailing Maine – a post-vacation MMP

Friday July 2 – After spending the night at my mom’s house, to cut 2 hours off our drive, we drove north on I-95, a toll-filled disaster, especially when it went across the George Washington Bridge in NYC – what a mess of traffic!! We made our first stop in Newport, RI. FCD had arranged for us to sail on a 12-meter yacht – one built specifically to compete for America’s Cup. We had a few hours to kill, so we had lunch and walked around town. I was in Newport for the summers of ’76 and ’78 (for OCS) and I honestly didn’t remember anything about the city. I know I’d toured a couple of mansions back then, but since I wasn’t a sailor, I didn’t care about the waterfront.

The “boat ride” on the Heritage was an experience. Let me state up front that I’m a wuss about heeling. Intellectually, I know the boat is designed to sail fastest with its rail in the water. But in my heart of hearts, if the angle is more than about 8°, I just know I’m going to die. There was a brisk breeze, and we were heeled over somewhere between 15 and 20° and I was clinging to the lifeline like a big baby. Meanwhile, FCD got to take the helm, and he was having a ball!

When we were headed downwind, the boat resumed a nice, flat attitude, and I got to relax and take lots of photos, including one of a rather elegant playhouse that was Jackie O’s when she was a child. According to our captain, Kennedy liked to use the playhouse for his, um, playing… Anyway, it was exhilarating and I lived to tell the tale.

July 3 - We went to New Bedford. There was a street fair that day with all sorts of crafters, so it was fun walking among the booths. We went to the whaling museum, then across the street to the Seamen’s Bethel– the chapel from Moby Dick. Hollywood took a few liberties in the movie by putting Orson Welles in a pulpit that looked like a ship’s prow. Tourists were disappointed to see that in the actual chapel, there was just an ordinary pulpit. So they built a sorta ship-like pulpit, but it was rather cheesy looking to my eye. We did get to see Herman Melville’s pew, tho. All in all, New Bedford was disappointing, and we went back to the hotel for some hot-tubbing.

July 4 - Enroute to Maine, we stopped in Boston and toured the aquarium. It wasn’t nearly as nice as Baltimore’s, but we still enjoyed looking at all the fishies and penguins and other sea life. We were there about 2 hours. It cost us $35 to park!!! What a racket!

When we turned off 95 to Rt 1 in Maine, we stopped for lunch at what turned out to be an overpriced restaurantthat had an osprey-cam. There was an osprey nest on a platform at the end of their parking lot and they’d rigged up a camera that fed to a big screen in the lobby. Plus all the tables inside had binoculars, so you could look at the ospreys while eating. I indulged in my first lobster roll – chopped up lobster mixed with mayo served on a toasted roll that resembled a sub roll. Very tasty, but not worth the $20 it cost…

We got to Rockland and found the boatearly – too early to board. But at least we knew where we were going. Then we drove down to WalMart and got some sodas and a few more items for the trip. We killed some more time looking at boats and getting a drink before boarding.

Our quarters were as Spartan as we’d expected – 2 narrow bunks(FCD took the upper), a couple of cubbies, a shelf, and maybe 3’X3” floor space. The head was shared – fortunately, there were only 8 passengers total, plus 6 crew. The shower was a tent-like structure that they set up on deck on Wednesday – we boarded on Sunday. It was a fragrant week.

FCD and I weren’t too impressed with the captain– he was an odd sort of fellow and he loved to hear himself talk and talk and talk. The Matewas a real boat bum – he went from boat to boat – north in the summer, south in the winter. Besides being a top-notch sailor, he had lots of stories to tell. The rest of the crew consisted of a mate-in-training, the cook (who was the captain’s brother and an amazing cook), the cook’s assistant (who looked a little like Will Turner from the Pirates movies), and 2 teenage apprentices – a 17-y/o boy they called Fievel (his last name is Moskewitz – the nickname referred to the movie An American Tail), and a 16-y/o girl named Jane who impressed me with her willingness to tackle any chore, however grungy. It was interesting watching the interaction among the crew. Jane had only been there a week. Fievel was the captain’s babysitter (for his 2 kids) and Paul, the cook, had been a Mate himself until he decided he’d rather cook. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any decent pictures of any of them…

The other passengers were an older couple from Oregon (she had had back surgery 6 weeks before – she and FCD compared scars), an engaged couple from Poughkeepsie, NY – she was in sales, he taught high school English, and another couple – she was nice enough, he was just weird – always trying to crack dirty jokes and failing miserably. Except for the post-surgical woman, we all had our hands on halyards at least once or twice. FCD was disappointed because he wanted more hands-on – he wanted to learn about sailing a schooner but the captain wasn’t interested in any teaching. Once we helped raise the sails, he wanted us out of the way.

The scenery was gorgeous. The weather was cool, sometimes to the point that I had on a sweatsuit. We had a lobsterfeast on the beach(of the island where Charles Lindberg honeymooned!), we visited the town of Stonington, we went to Wooden Boat– a school where you learn how to build wooden boats. We went under a bridge that was short enough that we had to lower the topmast – the Mate said we cleared it by about a foot – he was up there as we went under. Yoiks!

A few brave souls went in the water, FCD among them, but the water temp was around 61° - I dipped my fingers… I also did a lot of knitting, when I wasn’t taking pictures. And I read a book. Except for the boat being in rather sad condition (because the captain had unconventional ideas about maintenance) it was the vacation I was hoping for – relaxing and doing a lot of nothing.

One thing that was really striking – the fog! Our last 3 days were mostly foggy. It was so bizarre watching it come in. Islands and boats would disappear and reappear. The fog would condense on the lined of the schooner and drip on the awning and deck – it sounded like rain! And the damp just crept to your core. Apparently one time in the past, the entire cruise was fogged – I would not have liked that…

Oh, and the cooking – I can’t believe what Paul was able to do on that old cast-iron stove. He baked bread and rolls. One day he made focaccia that I think I would kill for! And his assistant baked up some amazing muffins and shortbreads. There were soups and roasts and pasta and salads… nothing super-fancy, but all really good. The only things I didn’t like were the chili and the carrot salad – both were really peppery-hot. Everything else was superb! I rewarded Paul with one of the dishcloths I’d been knitting all week.

On the way back to the dock on Saturday (July 10), we were talking to the Mate and he told us that right around the corner from where we docked, there was a hotel with a gym that would let you shower for $5. We off-loaded, packed the car, and drove there. Oh, what bliss $5 will buy!! It was worth it just to de-grease my hair!

For whatever reason, FCD wanted to stop at the LL Bean stores in Freeport, so we did. Holy cow, what a place that was! And crowded… we had a time finding a place to park! But we didn’t buy anything, and soon, we were back on the road. We spent that night in Groton. FCD had been there 30 years ago for sub school, but we drove past the base, and he didn’t recognize anything. Our hotel wasn’t that great, but after 6 nights on teensy bunks sharing a toilet, it was wonderful to have a king bed and an adjacent bathroom.

We got home Sunday afternoon, and I spent Monday doing laundry. I’ve still got a bazillion photos to sort thru and edit – you just got a little sample.

It’s a great vacation and I can recommend it, on another boat. The Mary Dayis nice looking, and the Victory Chimesis a biggie. Maine is gorgeous, especially when it’s not foggy and you can see all the islands. Of course, only the Bowditch has Paul, and I’d almost put up with the weird captain to get more of Paul’s baked goods and soups…

Oh, and I have a tan.


Why yes I am first! Go Me! Ok, now I shall go read the fascinatin’ saga of MOOOOOOM’s vacation cruise. :smiley:

Great OP, Mooooooooom, and some lovely pics there! Sounds like you had a great time.

I’m not much of a sailor, I don’t mind the odd boat trip but I’ve never been on that kind of a trip. That reminds me, did I tell you lot I’m off on holiday tomorrow? Hungary, here I come!

I have now read the OP. I gotta admit that looks like fun. FCD looks like he was in sailor heaven in that pic of him at the helm. :smiley: Glad y’all had a good time.

Today is clean da cave inside and out day. I need to clean off the back porch, the chairs etc around the pool and defilthyfy da cave in general. Plus tonight is men’s night at the church so, of course, steaks are marinatin’ and beer is chillin’. I’m waitin’ for it to get daylight enough outside to go get started on outside stuff before it gets too hawt.

Envy me.

Lovely pics FCM! I’d love to learn how to handle a boat someday. It looks like so much fun.

Just dropping in to say hello to everyone. We’re leaving for a week-long trip to Tuscany today!

FCM, that looks like a good time with many nice pictures, too.

Not too much happening here today. The Verizon saga continues but not until later in the day.

I’m just contemplating whether I’d rather have a ‘high fiber’ pop tart or a kelloggs chocolate shake.

Envy me. :stuck_out_tongue:

That sounds like a fun trip, FCM, despite the kinda weird captain.

Up and at 'em. Off in search of caffeine.


Look like a great vacation, FCM.

swampy want to defilthify my place?

Up, caffeinated, off to irk.

Sounds like a good time was had by all. I may have to do this trip myself, one of these days.

Wow, cool, moooom! That looks like a blast! Not sure I could handle the bunks and shared potty, though.

The winery was fun but it is a very small operation and not a lot was going on because they had already picked the hybrid grapes and the muscadines won’t be ready until September. My coworker, Dawn, and I got hysterical during the wine tasting and we half expected to be put in time out. When we left the building, it was 100 degrees Murkin. The rest of the weekend was quiet.

Today we are having a harrassment seminar for a couple of hours. I think it’s the same lady who taught the one I went to at my old irk.



That’s a lot of readin’, writin’ and pictures, Moooooooooooom.

The new drain system under the kitchen sink continues to hold. VWife is happy, so far.

Blurf. Carry on.

Small world. My family was in town (we live near the Maine coast) and we took the mail boat through Casco bay July 9th. Is this the boat you were on, by any chance? 'Cause that would be cool.

Cool OP FCM !!! I’m a chicken on almost anything with sails. At least smaller than the brig Niagara. Give me cannons to play with and even if you can fall over and sink I’ll find a happy place. :slight_smile: Wish I was a little cooler with it like you because its always looked like a whole bunch of fun.

We hired someone to defilthfy the place where I work once. We assume the person we hired failed because he never touched anything past my boss’s area and all we found of him was torn out hair and tears of shame. Now we just name the mold once it starts moving and try to ignore the rest.

So if Swampy is ever looking for a bear-sized challenge -----------------

Hey Ruble, there is a Conservative Mennonite church in Margarettsville, NC, which is roughly 40 miles west of the VunderLair. I’ve known of them for several years.

This weekend, VWife and I went to a farmer’s market about halfway between, and I wound up buying eggs, maters, and garlic from some of the church members. The novelty of Mennie girls in prayer bonnets speaking with a southern accent still has not worn off.

Where is that in relationship to Bragg or Ernul? I could google but I’m having a hazy lazy sort of day.

I’ve been doing some work lately (churchy work, not work-work) with some Evangelical Mennonites in Kentucky and West VA. Haven’t had a chance to touch base with any of the more conservative branches although I have wanted to.

Waaaaay north of Bragg. South of Richmond VA, just across the state line.

Hmmmmm - have to go to Virginia for some amusement park stuff next month but more around Kings Dominion. I could always wander astray a little though. I may just have to PM you when it gets closer (like 4 weeks from now?)

That’s the church; I’m south of Suffolk. Busch Gardens is closer to me than King’s Dominion. Either way, we can arrange something…

I should have been more talkative last spring. I spent several weeks bouncing from BG to Virginia Beach to Natural Bridge VA and back over it all again. Got to spend a some time with Mark Cline - who is without question the craziest white guy being allowed to roam free in all of these United States.

WOW. Nice OP. FCD looks like he’s a natural behind the wheel. It looks like y’all had an amazing vacation.

kopek, I take it you’re in Eastern KY?