Saturday, July 5, 2008

Nova Scotia or Bust!

Tomorrow is the crossing to Canada. We’ll be leaving from Southwest Harbor ME (near Bar Harbor) to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Crossing the Gulf of Maine and the Bay of Fundy – it’s 13 hours in the North Atlantic – most of the time not seeing land. Sounds a little spooky, huh? Winds will be 10-15 knots and waves less than 1 meter (3 feet). I have no idea what the temperature will be because it’s listed in Celsius and I haven’t mastered that yet.

We happened to get a complimentary slip tonight when the fuel dock ran out of fuel as we were being filled. We’re full except for 50 gallons (out of 800), so not a problem. We’ve been scurrying to do laundry (since we’re on a dock) and get ready to cross into Canada – find the Canadian courtesy flag, get out the Canadian charts and cruising guides, check out weather, figure out how to reprogram our radios, etc. It’s been pretty hectic.

Cell phone service and internet access will be spotty in Nova Scotia. We’ll be using Vicki’s phone only (302-528-6222). Don’t call Norm’s phone – we won’t answer it because we’d incur big time roaming charges. Keep those emails coming – we love the connection.

We spent four days in Castine Maine and loved it! It’s a town of 1300 including the 700- student Maine Maritime Academy – great experience of small town America –we did the 4th of July fun run yesterday followed by a parade and fireworks last night. Jeff and Karen Siegel, friends of Jim and Robin, were terrific hosts. They’re even storing alcohol that we couldn’t bring into Canada. (Limited to 40 oz liquor OR 2 L wine OR 24 cans of beer per person.)

By the way.... Today is the beginning of our 2nd cruising month. It seems like much longer than that!

Friday, July 4, 2008

These tides are "wow"!!

Back in the Chesapeake we are used to 3-4 ft tides (someplaces may approach 5). But the tides up here are 12-15 ft and we are expecting to get into even higher ones. Look at these pics of Norm on the town dock at Castine, ME.

We went for a 3-mile run today. This was Norm’s first organized run since his back surgery a number of years ago and he did pretty well. He did not run in circles in spite of the fact that his left leg is slower than his right. When Norm was running marathons, he was usually in the middle of the pack and has some observations about his performance in this race. Here they are:
He never before saw the race ambulance backing into the garage before he finished!
He never heard people saying “keep going, you can do it” because if you are in the front or the middle they assume you can do it!!
He saw this young boy in front of him. He had to beat him because the boy was wearing an athletic shirt with the number “17” on it. That was Norm’s football jersey number. Well, he overtook him but at a water stop Norm languished and fell behind. The kid beat him by 30 seconds. The only saving grace to this is that the number was not 17. Even so, that little snot!!

Later that day, after Norm's ego returned, we joined the Roberts' for lunch/dinner and stuck around for the fireworks. We also imbibed in ice cream. One of us (I'm not mentioning names but he is in the red jacket) had two, yes two scoops of vanila fudge royal with moose tracks, black raspberry and snickers and a cherry on top. As you can see, we are wearing long pants, sweat shirts and jackets. It's cold up here. Making the 2-mile run back to the mooring ball was an arctic adventure.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy Independence Day

We're having a great time in Castine ME. Internet connectivity is almost nonexistent here. Filing this from the library. Our next post will probably be on Sunday. Have a great holiday, everyone!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Tranquil Anchorage

It was tough getting into this basin. Look at the lobster trap bouys blocking the access. It's like dodge ball.

It’s Monday evening. We spent yesterday and today anchored in The Basin of Casco Bay, Maine. See pic left. The wave heights kept us here. We’ll travel north tomorrow to Castine Bay if the waves cooperate. It will be a long haul of 12 hours – leaving at 6 a.m. if there’s no fog.

This is a very picturesque rural part of Maine populated by small fishing and lobstering communities. We visited two by dinghy yesterday – Sebasco and Cundy’s Harbor. Took a long walk in Sebasco from the town to the nearby resort. Took a short walk in Cundy’s Harbor from the fuel dock to the local eatery for a yummy dinner. Lobster, of course. The remaining pictures below are of the surrounding shores and displays the 10-ft tides very well.
Today was a day of paperwork, phone calls and puttering on the boat. And, Robin made scrumptous enchiladas (Tijuana Taxi's).
We initiated our first mail deliveries today to friends of Robin and Jim who live in Castine Bay. Mail is coming from our official address in Florida and the UPS Mailbox which was our address in Delaware. Norm is also having some parts delivered directly. The mail service we’re using in Florida is very popular with cruisers. The set up is wonderful. Each day we can log on to see the mail we’ve received. Each envelope is scanned. We take a look and indicate what we want done with it: shred it, place it in our ‘send’ folder, scan the contents, or just hold onto it until we figure out what to do with it. The items that we request to be scanned are available the next day in a PDF file for us to view the envelope contents. The scanning feature will cut costs tremendously, particularly when we’re out of the country and want to avoid international UPS costs.