Farewell tour aboard Ortolan, our special lady

ease her in

Ease her in

Apologize for the over-used saying, but you know it; the one about the two happiest days in a boat owner’s life being the day of purchase and then, the day she is sold. One of us is happier now than the other and yet still sad. The vehicle that brought us safely to such wonderful places, that helped us meet so many people (many we still are in touch with); how can we ever forget her?

I don’t need to repeat the early days of excitement, nor will I lay the blame solely at Bob Bitchin’s seafaring feet for it was his first-ever East Coast Cruising Seminar held in Mystic, CT that spurred us on. But Bob does expect some blame from those who have cast off the lines and ventured out farther than the nearest sandbar.  So Bob, you get to share the blame with Russ’s Mom and Dad who raised their three kids with boats, boating and more boating!

After a long winter’s nap which was really more like an important dermatologist visit, Ms Ortolan emerged from the Maine Cat cocoon on a beautiful June day (low winds too!).

two police, boat, trailer/mast, worker, us and others behind

The convoy: two police cars, boat, trailer/mast, worker, us and others behind

Within a week she was on deposit and with words like “immaculate” used to describe her, the new owners-to-be endeared themselves to us. As things worked out; hey life must go on even when you have a new toy, she was still ours until July 6 when we’d seal the deal with moolah and mushy hugging.

Russ desperately wanted to be aboard on Father’s Day (for more reasons than the obvious) for the start of a short (measured in miles) trip to South Freeport, ME tucked up into the northern corner of Casco Bay. After time on the mooring at Broad Cove to “take care of things”, we needed to get her closer to Portland for the arrival of her new “sail her like crazy” owners! “ 🙂

The logistics were staggering and I am not sure if you can stand to hear about it but I feel like I need to tell you so you can be amazed at how we pulled it off! The short version then: find marina with protected moorings near Portland and book a ball for a week, find nearby RV park for one night July 5 so Annie can be staged, confirm with Duck Puddle that they do have a place for Annie to be for two weeks while we are on Ms Ortolan (ohhh I can feel the jealous vibes now). When we first booked Duck Puddle we knew that July 2 would be the end for any site available to us, other than a spot to dry camp. Leaving the RV and moving onto the boat was the perfect solution and we could check on things once we got to the marina and our car.

Pretty field flowers and butterfly next to our site.

Pretty field flowers and butterfly next to our site.

very close upIn the middle of all this, which took a few days, we had a few boat things to fix; you know, the stuff that craps out at the year five mark or decides to make your life tough once the boat goes on deposit. The UPS man got to know us really well and we got so tight that he even dropped off packages right at our site!

In between major nasty weather events we made our way from Bremen to South Freeport via Boothbay Harbor.

Windjammers into BBH

Windjammers sail in Boothbay Harbor

looking across from our anchorage

Looking across from our anchorage

S/v Bowdoin 88'- built in Castine 1920 for Arctic explorer Adm Donald MacMillan

S/v Bowdoin 88′- built in Castine 1920 for Arctic explorer Adm Donald MacMillan

A few hours south of Boothbay is Casco Bay where we’d spent the greater part of a week last August. Shortly past Eagle Island the engines took a break and we unfurled the screecher one last time for a slow 4kt sail up toward the Haraseekett River and South Freeport.Peary home closer up

Our first mooring was right at the entrance, but then we moved in from the nosebleed section. The shot below is looking out toward the entrance to the protected mooring field.

Pound of Tea Is- second from left

Pound of Tea Island- second from left

With some time to kill before the big day we checked out the local donut shops, Cape Elizabeth, and got back to Dolphin Marina and Restaurant for a sumptuous dinner. Mr Fixit remained busy and once in a while needed a break.

Holy Donut- made with potato flour!

Holy Donut- made with potato flour! Their claim to fame is a chocolate glazed sea salt donut. Excellent!


Sinfully delicious- a Holy Donut

sinfully delicious- a Holy Donut


dining with an ocean view

dining with an ocean view

un oh, a long line, but it moved along

un oh, a long line, but it moved along



they copied us!!!

Pod to pod: they copied us!!!


Buck Naked's over the top margarita

Buck Naked’s over the top margarita. Even seafood lovers need ribs!


borrowed bosun's seat

Borrowed bosun’s seat from a couple we met who live nearby. Question is- did it work out?

4 thoughts on “Farewell tour aboard Ortolan, our special lady

    • Yes, good times on Ortolan for sure! No, they don’t blog, but they could write the guidebook as they’ve been winter cruising since 1980! They are used to having guests though 🙂


  1. I can certainly relate to the “first best day… next best day” in relation to boats. As a boater, I have had several different boats to “conquer”. One caught on fire and I had the children jump out and swim away while I used two fire extinguishers to put out the fire. That boat was not missed. Now I have an wooden boat from 1930 that has been in our family since its “birth”. We use it on occasion but we both have trouble getting around and are away from Essex a large part of the summer so this may be the last boating season – but I doubt it. See you at Adams?


    • Yikes- I do recall you telling me about the fire ordeal! What a story. Always seems difficult to have a last boating season 🙂 We are spending summer in ME, VT, NH and NY so no Adams for a while. But if ever another “home boat” in our future we would likely be in Deep River again.


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