We spent the last few weeks provisioning & otherwise preparing to head south, along with a few days up in Vermont to celebrate Benj’s birthday!
We’re off! We made a speedy trip down Long Island Sound to NYC on 9/12, our 21st trip thru – now beginning our 11th cruising year.
Of course, we couldn’t pass thru NYC without thinking of the horrible tragedy 20 years & 1 day ago… One lessor-known story of that day was the largest maritime evacuation in world history. Twenty-four minutes after the first plane hit, virtually every mode of transportation in and out of Manhattan was temporarily shut down – except by water. Within just 9 hours, nearly 500,000 people were evacuated off Manhattan by a variety of boats. While the majority were transported by ferries, nearly a hundred tugs, fishing vessels & private vessels of all types & sizes pitched in as impromptu flotillas. Here is a link to a documentary short narrated by Tom Hanks: The 9/11 Boatlift
After NYC, we had a pretty decent window for the 114 miles offshore down to Cape May, NJ. While a bit bouncy at times, it felt good to have the longest offshore leg over with. Tomorrow we’ll head up the Delaware River to Delaware City, then transverse the C & D Canal into the upper Chesapeake, where we’ll slow down for a week or two to enjoy the Chesapeake down to into Norfolk.
The continuous cool rainy weather was a bit of a disappointment, as for all 3 weeks in Maine, we failed to have even one really sunny, warm day. Of course, as soon as we reached Connecticut, bam! we were greeted with days of very hot & humid weather featuring a heat index of 100+!
Sunset over Sandwich Marina
All in all, a good trip. We were able to achieve most of our “must-do’s”:
- Newburyport, MA One of our favorite towns to spend a few days.
- Rockland, ME Lots of great, lobster restaurants.
- Belfast, ME Although the famous French bakery had closed down, but we found a new favorite, The Only Donut, only a short bike ride away.
- Rackliff Island Finally anchored next to “my” island & enjoyed (very) local lobsters.
- Boothbay, ME Tourist central, but still a fun place.
- Five Islands A calm, free mooring with a great lobster stand within sight.
- Dolphin Marina, Harpswell, ME A nice marina with a great restaurant! Joined some cruising friends for a fantastic meal. Known for bringing blueberry muffins to your table in place of dinner rolls, plus delivering blueberry muffins to your boat every morning with coffee!
- Harpswell Harbor We returned twice in attempt to visit our favorite restaurant Morse’s Cribstone Grill located by the famous cribstone bridge linking Bailey Island with Orr’s Island. Unfortunately, due to COVID staffing issues, their hours/days were so severely restricted, we just couldn’t make it happen. Each time we stopped, the weather was too rainy & windy for the dinghy ride to their dock.
- Portland, ME We weren’t able to get a slip at a protected, downtown marina, so plan B: we rented a mooring at nearby Falmouth Foreside & took an Uber into Portland for the day.
- York, ME A peaceful mooring in a tiny harbor. Memorable as our first overnite stop on our sailing cat in 2010.
- Rockport, MA A tough spot to stop, as you’re pretty much anchoring on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean with little protection, but our timing was good for a fairly calm night. Used to have a restaurant which made the best ever lobster pizza!
- Sandwich, MA At the eastern end of the Cape Cod Canal. Our first time stopping here – officially on Cape Cod. A nice little ice cream shop a short walk away.
- Hadley Harbor A peaceful, protected harbor with free moorings courtesy of the Forbes family who have several family compounds on Naushon Island.
- Cuttyhunk, MA A favorite for over 25 years. Timing … timing … we missed great pizza sold from a resident’s house (he was off-island for the night) and missed their big fireworks (the next night).
- Lake Tashmoo, Martha Vineyard A great dinner at the lovely house (with a dock!) of friends from the Bahamas – great to catch up!
- Block Island What to say … always crazy busy, but crazy fun.
- Hamburg Cove, CT Nice & quiet on weekdays. Been going there for about 55 years!
Portland offered us 2 great donuts shops, The Holy Donut & HIFI Donuts. The Holy Donut was opening a closer in-town shop, but not until the next week.
It’s not all fun & donuts folks … sometimes you have to pump your own … waste.
We’ll be in Deep River, CT for a month preparing for our trip south this fall, driving up to visit Benj in Vermont for his birthday & other fun stuff. Keeping all eyes on any east coast hurricanes & of course the continuing COVID concerns.