Saturday, August 14, 2010

Little Harbor, New Castle, NH

Portsmouth, NH 043 03.30 N 70 43.37 W
We spent the 1st part of this past week cruising around Penobscot Bay with Mark’s son Alex and his girlfriend Genisa. On Wednesday we turned the bows south to start our way back towards Connecticut leaving Maine in our wake but taking many fond memories along with us. We arrived in Portsmouth, New Hampshire this afternoon.

Alex & Genisa arrived last Saturday afternoon. We met them at a dinghy dock and they drove us up to a supermarket for a necessary provisioning of food & booze. After we returned, it took two dinghy trips to bring the four of us, our grocery bags and their own packs back to Carina, which was anchored about a ½ mile off shore. We spent that evening in Rockland Harbor which just happened to be having their annual Lobster Festival. We decided to pass on the festival but we all had lobster at a restaurant in town.

Relaxing while underway
The trail around Warren Island
Next day was a nice sunny day with decent winds to sail north up Penobscot Bay with the Camden Hills as a backdrop. We picked up a mooring ball at Warren Island State Park which is located on the west side of the larger island of Isleboro. Later we dinghied over to the island dock and took a nice walk around the trail that circles the island. Alex & Mark went searching for mussels and came back with a pail of them that Kathy made into mussels in a sherry, cream & saffron sauce.
Monday we awoke to some rain showers and patchy fog but it began clearing by mid morning enough for us to drop the mooring and move on. We returned to Pulpit Harbor where we had been the previous week negotiating some lingering fog banks and dodging lobster pot buoys along the way. We broke out of the fog bank a few miles off the coast and it turned out to be a clear sunny day by the time we anchored in Pulpit Harbor. We spent the afternoon relaxing, eating, reading, kayaking and cocktailing. After dinner, the four of us went for a short sunset dinghy ride around the harbor.
Pulpit Rock at entrance to Pulpit Hrb

Pulpit Hrb
Tuesday we returned to Rockland but Alex & Genisa were in no hurry to leave. We tied up at the same Landings Marina dock as we had done the previous Friday to again take on water, empty trash, wash the boat and laundry and lastly have lunch at the Landings restaurant. We then went back out to drop anchor in Rockland Harbor. With much disappointment that their brief 4 day trip was coming to an end, Alex & Genisa were dinghied back to shore around 4PM.A thunderstorm on Tuesday night brought a favorable change in wind direction for the next few days that we wanted to take advantage of to start making miles back southwesterly.

Owl's Head & the Camden
Hills of Penobscot Bay behind
On Wednesday we left Penobscot Bay, traveling about 60 miles that day across the mid-coast region and around Cape Small back into Casco Bay. We once again turned up the New Meadow river with all it's dense lobster pot buoys, returning to the tranquil “Basin” were we had anchored about 3 weeks before.

Thursday we traveled about 35 miles, motoring for about an hour back down the New Meadow River until raising sails in the open water at the mouth. We sailed a southwesterly course across Casco Bay & Cape Elizabeth to Biddeford. While sailing along a decent size whale surfaced about 300’ from us. We anchored in Wood Island harbor outside of Biddeford Pool in very rolly - not so comfortable conditions because of incoming easterly swells. Conditions gradually improved by late afternoon into evening.

We were eager to get underway the next day to get to a more comfortable anchorage and to keep putting miles on while the weather was good but as fate will have it we awoke to heavy fog which didn’t clear until well after noon. The thick fog forced almost everyone in the harbor to stay put. Thankfully the winds were very light and had also shifted south making the anchorage conditions much calmer than the previous day and made for a much more restful sleep.

Sunrise over Biddeford

On Saturday morning we awoke with the sunrise and were underway before 7AM to take advantage of calm seas and light morning winds that were forecasted to strengthen on our nose in the PM. We motored the 35 miles to Portsmouth NH, arriving by noon.  While we were underway a few miles off the coastline we had a little “hitchhiker” join us for about 45 minutes. He was obviously very tired as he did not seem to mind our presence while he rested and hopped around the cockpit. He had no idea he picked a boat with 2 cats on board – Sinbad got a glimpse of him from the salon – thankfully Barnacle was napping and not aware we had a visitor. That could have been interesting.

We are now on a “borrowed” yacht club mooring ball in Little Harbor, which is a small harbor at the mouth of the Piscataqua River in the town of New Castle, just down river from the city of Portsmouth, NH. We expect to stay here for the next 3 days as 15+ knot southerly winds are forecasted until Wed. We don’t want to be motoring / bashing into winds/ waves right on our nose so we’ll hang out and explore the area while we wait for more favorable winds and seas to continue.

No comments: