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Published: October 16th 2009
Shellsea relaxing in the sun
New England coast of the United States,
Hello to all,
Since we last posted, we have travelled further along the eastern US seaboard stopping in a couple places along the way. We had to sit out some poor weather in Portland ME, where an overnight transiting dockage turned out to be a week at the dock. We stayed in a really nice marina called Spring Point and the dock master there, Ian, was a really nice guy. Most surrounding marinas in the area charge between $2.50-$3.25 per linear foot of vessel, but since it was off season, Ian only charged us $1/ft. We forgot to mention that our boat has a tendency to shrink when entering a marina... specially in cold waters. So we were charged for 50 feet, and that, for only 5 of 7 days docked... Thanks Ian. Your kindness towards us cheap ass sailors is greatly appreciated!!! We rented a car for the weekend and got to see the city a bit, making stops at our usual places... Hannafords for food.... Liquor store for essentials... Hardware store for building supplies and gadgets and Walmart for all the other crap including Shellsea’s favourite treats and
Eric relaxing in the sun. Copycat!!!
cat litter. We take advantage to stock up on all the heavy stuff (pop, beer, water bottles, litter, etc..) when we have a car because we wind up with really long arms having to carry the stuff otherwise!!
As soon as we got a weather windows to leave (and the window only lasted for one day), we head strait to Portsmouth NH, on the border of ME. We had our very first guests on board for the long holiday weekend and had an absolute ball. Two dear friends of ours, Nycole and Christiane drove up from Montreal to stay onboard with us, despite the crappy cold weather . Nycole is in fact more than a friend to us... First of all, she’s Eric’s big sister (adoptive at least), and she’s been a guardian angel for us ever since we started travelling some 6 years ago. She is our link to land... Provides us with navigational weather and any other need we may have...she’s always a step ahead of us. We love you Nyco XOX.
We have to mention that, although Portsmouth is a safe harbour which is well marked, you have to really time your arrival because
Lobster in pot
Lobster in the pot. Sorry guys... It’s not our fault you taste so yummy!!
the current in the harbour can reach up to 6 knots. We had 3 knots while going in and there’s a bridge that opens on every ½ hour... Well, if your timing is off, you might just have to go around in circles and beat the current until the next opening..
We left Portsmouth on Monday morning (Oct. 12th) at the very first opening of the bridge at 8:am. It sucked having to leave so early and say goodbye to our friends so soon, but that’s what sailing is all about... Your schedule is determined by the tides and currents, and if we hadn’t left that early, we would have had to wait an additional 12 hours, which we could not do (too many crab and lobster pots to navigate at night).
So we left early and sailed a long day until sundown and hunkered down in the only available harbour for the night, Plymouth NH. Well... It would normally would not have been our first choice, but deep water harbours are getting fewer and far between in these parts. We grabbed a mooring ball for the night and registered 16 feet of water under the keel. By 2:am,
A good meal among great friends
we were literally sitting on our keel. We draught 7 feet under the water and the tidal range is 10 feet.. We knew we would touch bottom, but we didn’t have all that much choice, plus we knew it was supposed to be a clam night and that the bottom was sand. Again... all about timing... You could get literally stuck at low tide, which could be dangerous in inclement weather or poor circumstances if you don’t do your math... All part of the mathematical calculations a captain has to do to plan his course.
We’re getting quite fed-up at this poor cold and crappy weather and are SO anxious to be in warmer waters. The navigational weather has been really rough at times and the seas can get nasty quite quickly, so any safe opening that is presented to us is taken and we push as hard as possible to further ourselves south.
We left Plymouth a 5:30 am because, once again, we find ourselves racing against the weather. We had to find safe harbour by early afternoon as the wind and seas were to kick in something fierce. It was evident that we could not sit
Life onboard is rough I tell you!!
out bad weather where we were, so we picked up really early and sailed to the entrance of the Cape Cod canal, in a city called Sandwich. We made it here quite early, around 8:30 am, with a possible intention of crossing the canal into Buzzards Bay, but the problem is that we would have had to made it all the way to New Bedford, some 20+ nautical miles after the canal. The waters are really shallow prior to there and no place could have accommodated our depth in draught. We are still in Sandwich and will remain stuck here until at least Monday, as Mother Nature has decided once again to kick it up for us and prevent us from leaving safely.
So for those who are envious of us in what we do... When reality sets in, it’s NOT all fun and games and lounging in the sun... Once you get there it’s great, but the work involved in getting there is an ongoing battle. Just like anything else in life!!! We are still very grateful for what we have and are so happy to have a vessel of size that we can share with people. (but
Lighthouses on the coast
we are still anxious to ditch our mitts and tuques..)
We plan to be in the British Virgin Islands (Tortola) by the end of December and have started booking dates for people to come warm themselves in the sand with us. Please let us know if you would care to join us as we will pencil out dates on our calendar for you.
We’ve updated our website to provide 2 ways of locating us.. The first being via Google earth, which we update whenever we gain access to the internet, and the other is a “SPOT” position report which we file while in transit through our “SPOT” emergency and positioning beacon, which posts positions via satellite on our GPS coordinates. So if you wish to locate where we are, you can access our web site ( www.webesailing.com) and click on the “locate us now” button or go to the “SPOT” website at _________________
Until our next posting, we wish you a safe sail and fair seas ...
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