The circumnavigation details
New editor for the NewsLine
Freya's Frolicking Adventures Part III, Tonga
An interview with Doug from Freya
Almost to Maine... Finally from MindsEye
Thoughts on safety at sea
Another NoríSea 27 has taken its owner safely around the world! The boat is ďAtomĒ, a 1979 center cockpit. The lucky owner is Gerry Couture.
Gerry, who single-handed Adam, is in Florida, still living aboard, we recently had the pleasure of talking to him on the phone. As the editors of the NewsLine, itís GREAT to talk to people out there doing it!
Here are some of the facts of the voyage that Gerry related to us.
Before he departed, he had to rebuild the inside of Atom. It had a layout for weekending, not crossing oceans. He also replaced all of the cushions. In the way of sails, he outfitted with a 150 jenny, a 110 jib and a main. He also had a storm tri-sail. He said he did not put roller furling on Atom. Gerry stated a couple of times that for successful cruising, itís best to ďKeep it simpleĒ.
In the same vein, the only electronics put aboard was the VHF FM.
It took Gerry and Atom 4 years to complete. They started from Florida in April 1995 and closed the circle in April of 1999. Unassumingly, he also said he had done two (2) trans-Atlantic crossings before he started around. The route he took was down to and through the Panama Canal, Marquesas, cook Islands, Fiji, the Society Islands, New Zealand, New Caladonia, Srilanka, on to Australia, Aden, The Red Sea, the Suez Canal to the Med, then back to Florida.
As sailors do whenever they get together, we talked briefly about foul weather tactics. In heavy weather, his tactic was to run on storm jib only, and a ďGail RiderĒ.
He said he has family in France, so he spent about a year there visiting. He also rebuilt the Yanmar 2QM15 when he was there.
A number of times he stated that Atom was a very good boat. We talked about the size of a NoríSea and he said that he originally was looking for something in the 35-foot range. After having gone round, he said that the NoríSea was a perfect boat for it. Gerry said cruising is a lot of hard work. A boat larger would not have served him nearly as well in ease of handling and as sea-worthy. He gave great credit to the NoríSea a number of times! His words were that it is better to have the best quality boat and gear than to have larger quantity of lesser quality.
Toward the end of the conversation, in the manner of a great sailor, Gerry stated he is not a great sailor, he was just lucky, he had a good boat and the time. He stated he learns something new every time he goes out. He said he would like to thank L. Hess and the builders of Atom.
He is selling ďAtomĒ Because he would really like to do a ride about the good old U.S.A. At age 66, he does not like to just sit around doing nothing. He will let Atom go for the first offer over $30,000. He can be reached at (305) 394-7399
I told Gerry he was certainly a hero to the rest of us. He said
other NoríSea owners who make voyages in there boats are heroes to him
New Editor for the NewsLine
We would first of all like to thank all of the NoríSea owners and NewsLine readers for making this newsletter as exciting to read as it is. We, as the editors put together the information you send to us. At times, itís hard to not jump in our boat and depart after reading of all of the great adventures a lot of you are doing.
In a lot of ways, we are sorry to say that this is the last issue we will be the editors for. It is great to read all the information as it comes in during the time between issues. But, we have missed the excitement of reading it all fresh as the new issue arrives. And, we need to attend to our NoríSea in preparing it for our cruising plans. During this 2 years we have meet and talked to a LOT of GREAT NoríSea folks, and we hope to keep in touch as we progress in our plans.
THANKS for your support and remember, please send in those stories to the new editor, Bob Garbe! If you support him as you have us, this will continue to be a GREAT newsletter.
Greg & Jill
S/V Guenevere #80
From the new editor
My name is BOB Garbe, and my family and I sail our Nor'Sea 27 "Endorfyn" on a small reservoir in Denver, Colorado. As many Nor'Sea owners, this is just our base of operations and we trailer, or intend to trailer to the four corners of the US, and perhaps further over the coming years. This is my second Nor'sea. My first was Hull #75, a very nicely finished "Kit" boat that was, as I was told anyway, the original idea for the current interior layouts. That Nor'Sea is still in operation on Lake Michigan. My current Nor'Sea is Hull # 396, a 1992 factory finished boat I purchased from the original owner. Current plans for the near term are to continue getting to know Endorfyn during the summer season with trips to other sailing locations. This December, my wife Bernadette and I with our two adolescent sons and one small dog are planning a trip to the Florida Keys for 3-4 weeks. Future trips may include Lake Superior, the Pacific NW, and the Sea of Cortez, and much more after retirement in a few (5-7 years). I have loved the lines and construction of the Nor'sea since their introduction in 1977-78 and can't think of a better combination of size and safety and trailerable portability. May the winds be always at you back, or at least behind the beam.
Freya's Frolicking Adventures
Westward Ho Part III
Malo e lelei, (greetings in Tongan)
We arrived in Tonga on September 14. When we crossed the international dateline we lost a day, but kept the same time. You would think that dates and times do not really matter when you are cruising, but if you get too far behind it can cause problems. Problems like, being late to another boat for dinner, trying to check in at customs on a Sunday, arguing with your friends about what time to leave for the movie theater, and thinking that you are being really good at getting up at 6AM, when it is really 9AM.
Tonga is a Kingdom, and the only South Pacific Islands that were not colonized. However, the missionaries did get a hold of them and today, Tongans are devote Christians. They are so pious that there is no work, no play, no nothing, but church and rest on Sunday, and the dress is very conservative, no short shorts, and no nonsleave tops, no matter how fancy it might be. This means no sundresses, and warm clothing when it is really hot. Men can be fined for not wearing a shirt!
Vava'au is the main cruising area of Tonga, and supports a large bareboat charter fleet. This means lots and lots of sail boats, an over 40 designated anchorages. No matter where we went, we were never alone in an anchorage. The positive side to all this is that all the protected anchorages are well charted and passes are well marked. Also we caught up to most of our friends here and had a great time snorkeling, hiking, pot lucking, playing ultimate, and having great campfires on the beach.
We had so much fun and did so much in Vava'au that I could write for ever, but I will spare you all and just touch on the highlights. Mariner's Cave is steeped in legend and adventure. I knew what to do to get into the cave but was a bit apprehensive. Lisa, from Ustupu and I encouraged each other and made the plunge together. Treading water next to the rock face, we took a deep breath and dove straight down into the dark water, about 2 meters and then into the black hole in the rock, about 3 meters. We kept swimming, and swimming till we could see flippered legs dangling ahead. Slowly we surfaced and found ourselves in another world.
A high dome ceiling rose above the surface of the water, much like a
cathedral dome. Though the only light coming into the cave was filtered
through the underwater passage, we could see quite well. As the swell rose
and fell outside, the water also rose and fell around us, changing the
pressure in the cave and making our ears pop. An eerie fog also filled
the cave and then would soon disappear. Many years ago, a Tongan maiden
was hidden, from an angry chief, inside Mariner's cave for several days.
lover brought her food and water every day until her escape to a far away island. Though this story gives the cave a romantic flavor, it is still a dark and mysterious place.
The same day we took a dingy into Swallows Cave. This cave was more accessible, but just as enchanting. A large area in the back of the cave was once used for special feasts The food was lowered to the people through a hole in the ceiling.
Humpback whales come to Tonga to mate and give birth. It is almost guaranteed that you will see a whale while cruising around, yet we were still very excited to see a humpback and her calf. They were close by the anchorage and not in a hurry to leave so we jumped in the dingy and went to take a closer look. We came upon their last know spot, donned snorkel gear, and quietly slipped into the water. To see a whale from shore or boat is an incredible site. To swim with a humpback and her 4 week old calf, is an experience I don't think I can justly put into words. It is the most incredible thing I have done in my life.
The calf would swim, turn, and spiral in the water, playing with us snorklers. Then it would seem as if the ocean bottom was moving as the mother began to swim underneath us. Neither whale seemed disturbed by us. I know the mother was watching us as I could clearly see her eye looking around and checking us out. The whales were so gentle with us small creatures. When they were tired of us they quickly left, and we were left with a feeling of wonder and awe. It was all we could talk about for the rest of the day.
We sailed to Hunga, a village on the outer western coast of Vava'au. Hunga was the first real subsistence village that I had visited. In the morning we woke to the sound of pounding. The sound of women making tapa (bark cloth). People were friendly and Ana, who was weaving a large floor mat, offered to show us around. She explained the art of tapa and weaving. Both time consuming crafts, that take as much time and energy to collect and prepare the materials as it does to put them into a finished product.
Doug and Eric, from Rainbow Voyager, got a crazy idea to buy or trade
for a pig, and roast it on the beach. This little scheme turned into our
own private Tongan Feast. Hufunga, a teenager from Hunga, helped capture
the pig, collect sweet potatoes, yams, tapioca root, and drinking nuts
from the forest, and prepared the food in a umu(earth oven). All he needed
bush knife to prepare this meal, from collecting and preparing the food, to serving it up. A basket for the vegetables was made from a palm fond, amd leaves from a nearby plant were used to protect the food from the sand as we laid out the feast. After we finished eating, Hufunga and his friends sang and danced to Tongan music. Some traditional, some contemporary, and some very humorous performances. They all had beautiful voices that could naturally sing beautiful songs. They helped us carry our dinghies over the reef and then we said good bye. The high tide would clean up our mess.
From time to time we would run into peace corps volunteers in the outer villages. The cement houses and cement water tanks are the only modern structures in these areas. The Kitchen and eating areas are made of woven palm fronds for walls and a thatched-like roof. Cooking is done outside over a wood fueled fire, and they eat what they gather from the farms in the bush. Root crops, pork, mango, mandarin oranges, coconut, banana, and pineapple, make up the main diet. In the main town of Nieafu, in the main market, I also found bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, and basil.
Friday evenings are for sailboat races and BBQs at Ana's cafe. We had fun racing on S/V Denizen, S/V Rainbow Voyager, and S/V Illusion. Unfortunately we never did race Freya, because Doug had once again turned our cockpit into a jewelry making studio.
One afternoon My friends and I decided to have an all women sail on Freya. After leaving Doug on Rainbow Voyager, and picking up Nicloe and Maria, we set off for another anchorage. We had a fabulous sail down the channel and around a few islands before dropping the hook in a beautiful little anchorage. We worked well together and were empowered to take charge of sailing our boats more often. The men eventually caught up to us and we had a pizza night on Rainbow.
For 2 Thursdays I attended a Tongan weaving class. I actually sat on the floor with a bunch of Tongan ladies, and cruisers, as we wove matts with pandanas leaves. The women first taught us to make bracelets, and then a small mat. I enjoyed the weaving so much that I went to the market and bought pandanas to make more bracelets and mats. The women in the market laughed at a palangi(white person) buying the pandanas.
After checking out of Nieafu, but before leaving Vava'au, we spent some
time at anchorage # 16, by the Lighthouse Cafe. The cafe is run by an Austrian
and has great pastries, bread rolls, and coffee. The other attraction in
this anchorage was the excellent snorkeling on the nearby reef. My first
time snorkeling on this reef was in 20 knots of wind, and sunshine. I wasn't
too excited about swimming through the half meter waves, and over jagged
coral to get to the other side. The best way to discribe the experience
is to compare it to the Wizard of Oz, and going from a world of black and
white, through a tornado, and tumbling into a world of color. I snorkeled
above sand and dead coral with a few black and white stripped fish, then
I made my way toward the water crashing on the reef. Swimming fast and
carefully between the sets of waves I suddenly found myself in a world
full of color, teeming with fish. Every color was accounted for and my
favorite was the deep blues and forest greens in the branch coral. Parrot
fish, rainbow wrasses, clown fish, spotted eagle rays, and several others
sea creatures were enjoying the
reef as much as me. As the sun ducked behind a cloud, it was as if someone turned off the light, and when it came out again, the coral and fish glowed. The trip back across the reef is another adventure worthy of 2 pages but I will spare you the story and stop here.
A relaxing overnight motor brought us to the Ha'apai group. When the sun was shinning we were beach combing or snorkeling. when the wind and rain came we took a truck-bus into the town of Pangai, or caught up on projects around the boat.
After one and a half weeks, we decided to sail down to Nukulofa and prepare for our crossing to New Zealand. Our sail began as a nice beam reach as we sailed out past the islands and the reefs. But once we turned to run down the outside, the wind and seas were on the nose and we beat our way south. We arrived safely, and are patiently waiting for a weather window for a safe trip to Kiwi Land.
We are very excited about spending some time on land and about doing some major boat upgrades in New Zealand. We will be there until April, and all are welcome to come visit.
Freya and her crew,
Jennifer and Doug
An Interview with Doug & Jennifer
Ed: We got word that Doug & Jen were in the US. So we sent them some questions that we thought the readers might like to know the answer too. They are out there doing it!
I'll answer the questions in order and may throw some more stuff in also.
Ed: What is Freya?
Freya, built in 1978, is an aft cabin model that is factory finished.
Ed: What sails do you use?
Sail inventory (all original); 1. mainsail with cheaply style full battens added in 1980's 2. trysail 3. 150%nylon reacher 4.150%dacron genoa 5. 100% jib 6. storm jib. we sailed the first 4 years (Alaska to New Zealand via Mexico and Polynesia with the boat rigged twin forestays and loved the sail options; usually a poled out 100% to windward and a non-poled 150% to lee. this combo took us from Mexico to Tonga in the trades. when the wind increased we would drop the 150% and maybe raise the double reef main. we donít head into the wind to make sail changes, we just do it on the run and have no problems once you get used to it even in 40 knots of wind with the trysail or lowering the double reefed main. with the wind forward of the beam 2 jibs can be on deck and hanked on with sail changes being easy and fast (something to think about when on a long passage. most of the sails have had various stitching repairs and reinforce points added by us with a Sailright sewing machine onboard. we rarely used the nylon hank on drifter in the ocean mostly because we never had light enough winds and when we did we motored to charge batteries and to take a mental brake from "sailing" the boat. We added in New Zealand a Profurl roller furling system and converted the 150% and 100% dacron jibs. the storm jib now attaches to an inner forestay as described in the newsletter awhile back. a fellow cruiser gave me 2 used spinnakers. one was a weird high wind job that I re-cut into an asymmetrical cruising chute on the lawn of a nearby park and the other we plan to just play with on those lazy sail afternoons in the islands. the 150 % nylon reacher we gave to another Lyle Hess design called Baggywrinkle in Sausalito. we added the roller system as a baby upgrade and we watched 80% of the other boats sail across the ocean with roller systems and decided they worked because they enabled sail size to be optimized with little effort(no foredeck work) resulting in fast passages. for example after a period of heavy wind it might takes hours before the crew decides to change to a bigger jib (remember your cruising not racing) and the combined effects of tiredness, rougher seas from higher winds, and the thought that the wind just might come back will slow the decision. we havenít sailed with it yet and since I loved the old system I hope I can be convinced that roller furling works as well for us. by the way we love our storm jib and trysail (on separate track).
Ed: What power plant do you have?
we have the single cylinder SB8 Yanmar and a three blade prop. both worked great for pushing through tides of Alaska and a three day motor across the doldrums.
Ed: Do you have self steering?
Monitor self steering! sailed 99.9% of the way to New Zealand with no problem.
Ed: What ground tackle has worked for you?
anchoring package includes 35 lb CQR, 25lb CQR, Bruce 11 kilo and had a little Danforth style anchor that we sold - may replace with take apart fortress thing. have used all the anchors at the same time though not all on Freya. main anchor is the 25lb CQR on 150 ft of 5/16 chain. Bruce (30ft chain-250ft 1/2 line stored in hanging net shelf above main chain in anchor locker)on extra bow roller when near land otherwise stored between stove and ladder with flukes towards engine and shank pointing towards bow (nice fit). 35lb CQR stowed in aft cabin foot well with shank pointing forward into starboard side of engine compartment though small notch in bottom of access door(25ft 3/8 chain under floor boards and 200ft of 5/8 line above stuffing box in storage bag). we always keep two anchors on deck when near land, if both anchors are in the water we rig a third and store on deck. Freya has never had to use the third anchor but nearby boats !without a second anchor! on deck have used this anchor many times to keep them off of Freya or a reef as the wind shifted. we still have a boat because we do this extra amount of work when in a anchorage with unknown boaters.
Ed: What do you have for a galley set up?
Galley! we donít have a pressure water system, only two whale foot pumps for salt and fresh water. No refrigeration and no ice!!!! easy once you adapt!! our stove (no oven) was kerosene for four years of traveling-good enough but the propane conversion we did in N.Z. has been the best thing we have done to Freya. no water maker just the two tanks under the quarter berths and the single tank under the v-berth. the two aft tanks are adequate 99.9% of the time for us. water is every where we have been and easy to get.
Ed: What do you use for electrical generation?
We use one solar panel(51watt), 35amp stock alternator, 200amp/hr of batteries- it is marginal for ocean passages but fine at anchor when not using navigation lights. the solar panel is on a bracket between the Monitor and the backstays, very nice and never in the way, pivots on an upside down stainless folding antenna mount for good sun angle (can provide details to any one interested)
Ed: Electronic equipment?
Icom VHF radio, Icom hand VHF, and a small SSB/HAM receiver to listen to the cruiser nets for weather and gossip. will add a SSB/HAM setup before we return to the south pacific primarily for the social aspect of the cruising nets.
Ed: Do you have/use a dink?
We have a standard style 7ft lapstrake (not a fatty knees) hard dingy modified to fit on the cabin. the front 18 inches removes and stores below or on deck. the rest stows aft of the mast. assembly takes a few minutes or when anchorage hopping stows assembled on foredeck. we also have an old Achilles doughnut stowed in the quarter berth. we use it a lot as a loaner to other boaters that loss their dingy, a second "car" when in port for a long time, and for really rough pier areas since we can lift to dry land so easy. we had oars and a sail package for the first four years and didnít really miss a motor. but in N.Z. bought a Yamaha 2 for less then half of American price so couldnít resist.
Ed: What do you use for navigation?
We have the Astrolab sextant, two Garmin 45's of different vintage, and no computer.
Ed: What was the best thing you took with you?
The best boat toys are snorkel gear and my Hawaiian sling fish spear since most of our play time is spent in the water. my Dremel tool is the most valuable item on board. I fix the boat with it and have a creative outlet and money making jewelry business i have developed with it.
Ed: What was the most useless item you took with you?
The most useless has got to be the 20 pounds of stainless nuts, bolts, and screws in little plastic organizers! 2 lbs is enough as every country has had stainless goodies available.
Ed: What was your favorite place?
We loved every country and would go back to them all! Mexico for the food! Alaska for the winters and wildness! French Polynesia for the people and diversity of landscape! cook island for the friendliness of the people! and Tonga for the most beautiful sailing!
Ed: Where was the worst seas you encountered?
The worst seas were Coronation Island, Alaska maybe a three hour ride down the Colorado river at flood in a NoríSea describes the trip. The worst weather/seas combo was Seattle to San Francisco during a thermally induced low -35 knots of tail winds all the way. we hung on with both hands as Freya sailed at 4 knots with the storm jib sheeted flat into the mast. no damage and a tired crew of two and our cat. the worst weather was Rarotonga, cook islands to the kingdom of Niue, a 5 day trip with 30 knots by day and 40 knots by night. the wind and most of the seas were off the starboard quarter. we used the storm jib sail and trysail by day and storm jib only at night. the seas were averaged 20ft with a good distance between crests. we sailed 125miles, 137miles, 138 miles, 142miles, and 136 miles for the 5 days in conditions we would have hove-to in in the early days of cruising. now we understand our NoríSea's habits and when to push and when to hold the speed down.
Ed: Have you had any breakdowns?
Freya has not had any real breakdowns, only headaches like algae in the fuel and a cracked mixing elbow. these didnít stop us. we just used a clean jerry jug of fuel until we could anchor and filter our fuel by hand with the Baja filter and borrowed hand fuel pump. the mixing elbow cracked in Alaska and didnít realize and fix until N.Z. Aren't Yanmars great! also found a cracked strand of wire on the forestay as we changed to a roller furling system. we had planed a rigging refit in N. Z. since age and salt had taken its tole, also rigging prices down under are half the U.S. prices.
Ed: Did you do any special preps before you departed?
No special prep except to have a boat in good shape and follow a regular maintenance schedule and upgrades as you travel. boat repair and parts are everywhere you just have to pay attention to your boats needs daily, sorry its not always paradise in the south pacific.
Ed: Did you do any special mods to Freya?
No special modifications, but I will mention a couple we did in San Diego before we went to the tropics. sun cover from mast to backstays keep it simple!. a sun awning from boom gallows to just forward of cabin doors. always in use while sailing in the tropics. for a ladder we got 2 straight branches of pine and 4 pieces of flat lumber and made a boarding ladder that hangs off the mid-cleat for swimming time- it made the trip and was free. also we made the cockpit flush with hinged plywood/glass doors and the central divider was the dagger board for the dingy. one side was more permanent storage. the other side had engine controls and snorkel gear storage. this setup let us sleep out side for 5 months in Mexico and between rain squalls in the south pacific. we love the cock pit now.
Ed: Any advice to the readers?
Advice? stop reading cruising world magazine! there is an entire world of cruising out there that they donít write about, it is up to you to discover it? you really donít need much more then the basics and a safe boat. fancy stuff and toys and water makers can be added anywhere in the world when the desire or need arises. UPS, FEDEX, DHL+ west marine or local chandlery --need I say more its a global economy out in paradise.
Ed: You plans for the future?
Our plans now include raising our new baby Majken on Freya, by the way 5 babies were born to sailing couples in New Zealand during our 8 month stay their. 3 boats left with newborn babes for Fiji or Tonga the other two boats will leave this season; any thing is possible once you untie the dock lines. we return to Freya in New Zealand Feb 5th after a five month holiday in California with family and friends. we will sail the bay of islands and the Hauraki Gulf before our mid may departure for Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caladonia, then Australia by Nov 15th to escape the cyclones of the south pacific. after that who knows? South East Asia then the Mediterranean?
Got lucky and had a short day at work so can answer your questions. hadn't thought of boat life in a while, now I miss Freya!
Almost to Maine... Finally
We are gently rocking at the dock at the Sandy Bay Yacht Club (est. 1885 ) in picturesque Rockport, Mass. Tomorrow, Thursday, 8-24-2000, we will either head for the Isle of Shoals 20 miles north or take the train into Boston because it's going to be raining all day.
But, I get ahead of myself. The last message I sent was in May and a lot has happened since then and I'll try to give a brief synopsis to get you all up to date.
We got launched in Rock Hall, MD, and started to explore the area when we had problems that required we haul the boat out of the water and replace the cutlass bearing ... the thing that supports the drive shaft thru the back of the boat... and we also replaced the drive shaft because it seemed to be vibrating more than "normal." Color it $$$. The excursion that revealed the problems was one to the Baltimore Yacht Club where we had been invited to participate in the annual Spring Regatta of the Union Yacht Club of Philadelphia. A resident and part owner of the Pelorus Marina where we were staying had issued the invitation.
We sailed up to Baltimore and took part in the fun Friday race and then
were asked to sail in the "serious" Saturday race of 15 miles. I told them
I didn't know the handicap for the Nor'Sea 27 so the race committee checked
the boat and gave us a handicap of 290. The race went well, with a period
of no wind. Since we were the smallest boat we were the last boat to finish
the race. That evening at the banquet dinner and they presented trophies,
you could have knocked me over with a feather when it was announced that
Deanna and I had won FIRST PLACE in the Class 2 group of 7 boats. It was
trophy!!! A plated pewter plate that was engraved.
So now we were ready to set off again when we got some bad news from Deanna's sister, Barbara. Her cancer had returned. After some very short soul searching the decision was made to put Mind's Eye up on the hard in Rock Hall and go back to Phoenix so Deanna could help her sister. Surgery wasn't expected to take place for a couple of weeks so we dinked around the area, going to St. Michael where there is a neat marine museum and a couple of other places that I only remember because of the terrific thunder & lighting storm that past over.
Then we made a call to Barbara and found out her surgery had been pulled in to Friday and this was Monday. Fortunately, we had stopped by Pelorus Marina in Rock Hall so the next day they lifted Mind's Eye out of the water onto jack stands and we packed. Early Wednesday we hit the road and arrived Phoenix about noon on Saturday. 2600 miles in 3 1/2 days.
Deanna then took over helping Barbara get well. The GOOD NEWS ended up being the cancer was caught early and that NO chemo or radiation would be needed. Barb's recovery was rapid and so she fired Deanna as her nurse and told us to go back to the East coast and continue our trip to Maine.
So we did. Left Tempe on 7-13-2000 after only being home 4 weeks and got back to Rock Hall 4 days later. Took 4 days to do some more maintenance on the boat and then headed north on 7-21-2000.
Our trip north took us thru the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal,
down Delaware Bay to Cape May where we holed up 4 days in bad weather before
going on to Atlantic City. Lost 25 cents in the slots and moved on the
next day to Barnegat Inlet.
Barnegat Inlet was to be avoided according to the guide books, but adverse seas delayed us and we could not get to the next inlet. I hailed a passing local boat and was told to just follow the channel buoys and there was no problem. Did that, had no problem and had a calm night.
Then it was on to a spend a night in Great Kill Harbor on Staten Island before making the run up the East River passed Manhattan Island, thru Hell Gate and into Long Island Sound. We anchored between the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island for 3-4 hours while waiting for the tide to be favorable.
Anchored that night off the Glenn Island Casino in New Rochelle where Glen Miller and Doris Day got their starts. The next morning I was looking for a pay phone and was pointed to one at a small boatyard. Got to talking to the manager and he offered us a space at the dock for no charge if we wanted. This worked out great because of the bad weather passing through. We stayed 3 days and were invited to stop again on our way south. While there we met a couple from NJ who took us shopping and gave us pointers on things to see.
Moving on we stopped at the Connecticut River. Timed our arrival based on the tide and then got held up when the railroad drawbridge would not open. It got fixed after a delay and we got into a marina for the night.
A couple of days later we sailed to Block Island, going thru the famous "Race" where the water boils out of Long Island Sound. Spent 3 nights there and then sailed on to Cuttyhunk Island for a couple of days, hiking around and exploring some W.W.II observation outpost bunkers.
On to Cape Cod, we ended up moving in with our friends Bob & Virginia Seeber for 5 days to wait out a series of storms and rain. The day before we left we took them on a day sail to Wellfleet, about 12 miles, where we walked around and visited the tourist places. On the way back to Sesuit Harbor I screwed up and took the wrong turn and we came across an area where the draft of the boat exceeded the depth of the water and we went aground...with a falling tide. I was really glad we have an oversized propeller, because I shoved the throttle forward and we scraped over the bottom for 50 yards to deeper water. I was scared, because if we had stopped, it would have been too late for a towboat to get to us in time and get us free.
PAY ATTENTION AND NO SHORT CUTS!!!
The next 2 days were spent at Provincetown on the tip of Cape Cod and
then we sailed in strong NW winds over to Plymouth where we stayed 2 days
waiting for the winds to abate and we wouldn't have it right on the nose.
Of course, the wind died completely so we motored all the way to our present
location in Rockport, Mass.
Stay tuned for the next exciting episode to find out if we go to Isle of Shoals or take the train to Boston.
REMEMBER...take care of each other out there.
Cliff & Deanna
Ed: Next installmentÖ.
Our short stay in Maine is coming to an end. The temperature in the cockpit yesterday morning was 41 degrees and it was 53 inside the cabin. The trees are starting to change also.
When I last wrote, we had yet to make a decision as to taking the train into Boston or sail to the Isles of Shoals 20 miles north of Rockport, MA. Well, the weather cooperated and we sailed to the Isles of Shoals and took advantage of a free mooring for the night. As a footnote, the isles were named for the shoals (or schools) of cod fished there back in the 1700s. Not much there now, but it was a hopping place when it was a fishing mecca.
Our next anchorage was in Porpoise Harbor. This is a working lobsterman's port and it is noted for the number of lobster pots jammed in the narrow entrance channel. They don't cater to yachtsmen. We anchored well on the outside of the lobster boats and took the dinghy into shore. Walked about a mile into "town" where there was a hardware store, grocery store, couple of restaurants and a post office. We got a paper at the store and went back to the boat. The next morning we expected to be roused by the lobstermen roaring out to sea, but most of them waiting until they were beyond us before opening up their throttles.
Saturday, August 20th found us putting down our anchor in a small cove on Jewell Island near Portland, ME. It was the weekend and there were quite a few boats here from Portland, but we found room. Hiked around the island and climbed to the top of an observation tower left from WW2 to spot German U-boats.
Went on up to South Freeport the next day and took a mooring at the Brewer Marina. Really a nice place with very nice showers and restrooms. Here we went into Freeport and spent the day shopping at the L.L. Bean store and other outlet stores. The L.L. Bean store is huge.
We then decided we were not going to get much further north via boat so we rented a car from Enterprise. Drove 200 miles north to Calais, ME and then worked our way back over the next couple of days. Saw the second largest whirlpool in the world near Eastport... not a big tide range that day, so not too spectacular, but it was interesting,
Drove on to tour Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island ... pronounced Dessert ... on a beautiful clear day. It is quite a nice park and is the 2nd most visited park in the USA. Lots of facilities for boaters, hikers, etc.
The next day we drove on to Rockland where we went thru the Farnsworth
Gallery that features the artwork of the Wyeth family. Nice gallery, except
the showing of the Andrew Wyeth stuff was in the process of being set up
and that area was closed.
Stopped also in Bath and went thru the Maritime Museum there. There was a strike in progress against the Bath Iron Works Shipbuilders so there was a lot of that activity going on.
Returning to Freeport, we continued north and east, stopping off in a few different anchorages before we finally got to Boothbay Harbor where we spent 2 days resting and doing grocery shopping on Labor Day. The stop at Snow Island was unique in that we saw and talked to a couple we had met down in the Chesapeake on their boat, "Effie".
When we left Boothbay, we stopped off an a small island 5 miles off shore where it is reputed that Basque fisherman had a regular encampment and fished for cod 100 years before Columbus "discovered" America.
We are now back at Jewell Island on our way back south. Tomorrow we will go back to Brewers Marina in South Freeport to get mail that didn't reach us before we left and be back here at Jewell one more night. The weather forecast is for strong SW winds which would be right on the nose for us, but shifting to the NW Friday night after a front goes through. We will take advantage of the NW winds to make tracks so we can rendezvous with our son Neil the end of the month for the trip back down the East River past Manhattan and a tour of NYC.
Deanna and I are both fine and Deanna is avoiding the poison ivy.
REMEMBER ... take care of each other out there.
Cliff & Deanna
FROM THE WEB
This was just too good not to put in!
"Things that go bump in the night"
(Obsessive Neurosis Spur Nor'Sea Owners Into Renewed Battle Against The Forces That Be!)
Hello fellow compulsive Nor'Sea'ers,
Once again, the drift of recent messages on this newsline gives testimony to the idea that as a group, us Nor'Sea'ers are a breed apart from most other sailors. One thing we have in common is defining the term "sea worthiness" through not only the selection of our Nor'Seas and the many fabrications and works of love that we bestow on our beloved vessels, but our foresight to rig and equip our vessels to survive near mayhem on the high seas.
My wife gave me Steve Cunningham's 76 days "Adrift" book as a Christmas gift about 14 years ago in the hopes that it would deter me from buying another sailboat (the first one sank). To her dismay, this touching and heart wrenching 76 day account only spurred me on to renewed ambitions to find a vessel that could match wits against the high seas' adventures of a tree stump or shipping container that might go "bump" in the night. So, a few short years later our two kids and I pulled into the driveway with three big grins on our faces and a brand new Nor'Sea kit-boat in tow behind our old 4-wheel drive International pick-up.
Thus, I began in the typical quest as yet another Nor'Sea owner, to enter the ranks of those with genuinely salty vessels, strong thru and thru, to make sure that everything that can be physically done to prepare a vessel for almost any danger at sea, does not go by me without serious consideration.
So, where as a Beneteau owner might lose a whole hour of sleep fretting over which electric anchor windlass to install, Nor'Sea owners would rather devote this slack time and probably a generous portion of many nights of dream sleep to prepare for the worst disasters that will probably never befall their lovely little vessels.
Let's take for example, sailing into a shipping container. Now, common sense tells me the odds of a tractor trailer rig running into me and my Nor'Sea while I'm 'tood-a-looing down the highway, have to be about five hundred thousand times more likely. But, as I'll likely spend a considerably greater time sailing on the ocean blue than watching the highway stripes roll past my Nor'Sea's trailer, the odds are probably just a thousand times greater that I'll meet my demise on the highway.
Yet, I'll have to admit I too have given some thought to how best to prepare for an emergency such as this out in the ocean blue (or black, if it's night time).
So far, my most practical solution is to find some grant money to go after these monsters of the deep with the combined international efforts of all naval submarines and polar ice-breakers. I understand the Russian submarine crews are in desperate need of a weekly paycheck. And, if satellite imaging can determine when we pick our noses, they ought to be able to detect those partially submerged shipping containers before they sink us, and relay the coordinates to the waiting crew who can winch it on board and salvage all the Styrofoam packed electronic gadgets inside.
Failing that, I can mount two Hummingbird fish finders to shoot forward instead of straight down and set the alarm for BIG FISH!! When the alarm sounds, if I don't have the space or time to change course, all I have to do is pull out a king size mattress from below and wrap it around my hull.
I've also given considerable thought to the minimalist approach by letting
my guard down just a little and to try to "go with the flow". If
the worst happens it's just a little misunderstanding in my past that got
my karma on the wrong course and bashed a big hole in my beloved Yamora
to the tune of about a hundred gallons a minute. But, excepting for
a little separation
anxiety, we're not done for yet! With a few folding kayaks at the ready and tethered to an inflatable live raft, we say a prayer that our beautiful Nor'Sea finds a soft berth on the ocean floor and then we jump overboard.
In the morning, after assembling the kayaks, up go their little sails, out come the water makers and fish hooks, and its on to the Marquesas!
Steve Gross and Yamora