Friday, July 23, 2010

York, ME

Click here to see our location in York Harbor

We finally made it to Maine!  Our first stop was in a pretty, small harbor called York Harbor on the York river. 

But let me back up…we left Salem, MA on Wednesday, July 21.  It was a picture perfect morning, as you can see by the picture below, but we could see as we looked out towards the ocean that fog was coming in.

DSC04077                                             Fishermen and the seagulls waiting for the spoils!

We gained some experience with fog when we came to Maine a few years ago to cruise with Vicki and Norm aboard Tide Hiker and had hit some fog on our way here this time, so we weren’t too concerned.  But it is amazing how thick it can get so quickly and pretty soon we weren’t able to see much farther than the front of the boat.  We have an automatic fog horn that sounds every 2 minutes, so we turned that on and slowed way down.  Lynnie watched for lobster pots and Rick kept the boat on course using the navigation software and radar.  Once we got out into the Atlantic it cleared up and turned back into a pretty day.

The York River is south of Kennebunkport.  The town of York is a charming little town with many B&B’s and Inns, some of whose buildings date back to the 1700’s, and a historic district.   There are lots of beautiful huge homes with the most amazing gardens. 

We docked Rickshaw at Donnell’s Marina.  This is actually a 60 foot pier that runs behind Mr. Donnell’s house!  He is 93 years old and actually built the dock many years ago.  He came down and helped us with the lines and getting the power attached.  He is the most charming man and took us into town to go to the grocery store, gave us a tour of the town and also took Lynnie to get a pizza, since they didn’t deliver.  We enjoyed talking to him and hearing about his life and growing up in York.  We also enjoyed walking around town and seeing the beautiful old homes.  There was a small Yacht Club next to us and we had so much fun watching the little kids take their sailing lessons. 

DSC04082 DSC04084a

                          Many of the larger homes are now Inns and B&Bs

DSC04085 DSC04087a

        Breakfast at the Bagel Basket                                    The Historic district

DSC04089 DSC04090 

                                                          The gardens are just so lush! 



                           Local Color




                LT and Mr. Donnell                                                                 Donnell’s Dock

DSC04080a DSC04093

            Sailing school                                                     York Harbor

DSC04095 DSC04097

                                                         More views of York Harbor

We stayed on the dock for two nights.  This morning, Friday, July 23, we woke up to temps in the high 60’s!  It was absolutely wonderful.  We left York Harbor bound for the Saco (“Sock-o”)  River.  We have heard that it is a beautiful river and are looking forward to a couple of days exploring the small town and just hanging out. 

We also look forward to seeing Mr. Donnell on our way back south.  More on the Saco River in the next blog.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Rickshaw in Massachusetts

We left Rhode Island on Saturday morning, July 17th, and headed east towards MA.  For the first few hours it was pretty rolly but not too bad and the seas laid down for the rest of the day.  It turned into a gorgeous day and every sailboat in RI/MA was out on the water!  We were on our way to the Cape Cod Canal which is 10 miles long and cuts across the neck of Cape Cod to points north and east, saving us from going south around the Cape and contending with the Nantucket Shoals.  On the way we learned from the charts that there are named bodies of water known as Block Island Sound and Rhode Island Sound which lie between Long Island Sound and the Atlantic.  Over the last few days we have also noticed on the National Weather Service web sites that conditions on Block Island Sound and Rhode Island Sound seem to be exceptionally lumpy and windy; maybe from the prevailing SW winds and currents … anyway, just an observation … and minor lesson in marine geography. 

We stopped west of the canal in the afternoon at a pretty little place called Onset Bay.  We were officially in MA.  We needed to go through the canal at slack water and that wasn’t until the next morning.  We picked up a mooring ball and watched the activity for the evening.  Because it was Saturday and a beautiful weekend, the Bay was full of boaters of every size and type.  The coolest thing happened when we were at Onset.  We were sitting on the deck in the evening and a trawler came by and a woman said ‘Illumination tonight’.  We had no idea what that meant until the sun went down and the entire harbor rim was lit up with bright orange flares placed about 15 feet apart…including the 2 little islands in the harbor.  What a sight that was and they lasted for about 45 minutes.  The picture doesn’t do it justice but you get the gist.

Click here to see our location on Onset Bay

DSC03954 DSC03960

                           Beautiful Sunset                                                          Illumination                               

On Sunday we left at 9:00 am to hit the tide at the right time through the canal.  There are 3 very tall bridges…one being a train lift bridge, across the canal.  It is the second longest lift bridge in the world (over 500 ft) and was pretty impressive.  The canal was really pretty.  Lovely homes along the shore and walking and running paths (no cars) the entire 10 miles.



       Going into the Cape Cod Canal                            No barge traffic today, only pleasure craft

DSC03974 DSC03977a

   Passing by the Massachusetts Maritime Academy   Cool windmill on MMA

DSC03976 DSC03980

                                              Pretty homes along the shores of the Canal

Exiting the Canal we entered Cape Cod Bay and turned north to hug the shoreline as we made our way to our next stop, Scituate Harbor, just south of Boston.  As are many areas in New England, Scituate was named after a local Native American.   

DSC03989                                                         Passing by the Plymouth Lighthouse

Click here to see our location in Scituate Harbor 

It was a very easy run to Scituate.  The weather was cool and beautiful and the seas were calm.  We dodged lots of lobster pots along the way but this is just training for Maine.  It was crazy coming into the harbor.  Looked like traffic on 95!  Everyone wanted to get in a few more hours of boating before the weekend ended.

DSC03993 DSC03994

                                               At least they were all fairly small!


                      The Scituate Lighthouse (have we mentioned we love lighthouses??) 

DSC04009 DSC04006

             Sailing school boats on their docks                      Pretty homes along the harbor

DSC04017a DSC04018

        The photographer at rest                  Dramatic light as the sun goes down

As it was Sunday afternoon, the boat traffic changed dramatically as folks went home and it became calm and quiet.  We enjoyed our stay there. 

We left Scituate on Monday morning to go to our last stop in MA.  We decided to bypass Boston on the way north but will catch it on the return trip.  Lynnie’s nephew, Sean, lives there and we want to visit with him but we thought it made sense to head to Maine now and catch him on the way home (remember the short summers here).  We had an easy, 3 hour, run to Salem, MA (the witch city as they call it here) where we have been on a mooring ball. 

DSC04034                                                         Passing by a foggy Boston skyline 

DSC04036 DSC04037

                                               Coming into Salem, MA…pretty shoreline

Click here to see our location in Salem, MA

We were sitting on the aft deck (can you tell we do that a lot?) when this huge ship came into the harbor.  We had no idea ships of this size would make it into this small harbor.  It was delivering coal to the coal plant across the bay.  We were amazed by how hard the tugs worked to get the ship into position.  It looked like it was awfully close to us and it was about 1,000 feet long, and as it was being maneuvered by the tugs it was apparent that the tugs and a small pilot boat were “in charge.”  A number of the crew were on the outside of the bridge watching, but it was pretty much in an idle state as the tugs moved it onto the coal plant docks. 

DSC04045 DSC04050

Last night we took the tender to town and had a wonderful dinner.  We just don’t think one can get enough lobster dinners.  On the way in, the tender Capt. swung by the  ship ‘Friendship’, a reconstruction of a 1797, three-masted Salem East Indian ship.     

DSC04055a DSC04058a DSC04059aWe enjoyed our short time in Salem but are anxious to get to Maine.  We will be leaving in the morning heading to York Harbor, our first Maine stop.  YEA!  There we will take on fuel and setup for the trip NE to Mt. Desert Island.