Greetings now come to you from the wonderful state of Massachusetts. We arrived here in Gloucester Harbor this past Monday and have been enjoying our time here, but are also ready to move on. We have really noticed that we enjoy staying in anchorages for a few days, especially after traveling for a bunch of days, but that we also get the itch to move on as well. It also helps that once we get to Boston we will be with both of our daughters, so we are super-eager to see them.
This past Saturday, Aug. 24, we left Sebasco Harbor with Bob and Mary and traveled west-ish to Dolphin Marina in Potts Harbor. This was another favorite of Bob and Mary’s and we certainly could see why. After leaving Sebasco Harbo we headed south onto the Atlantic and then west and set both sails before we had to head up into Potts Harbor. The waves were swells from our starboard rear quarter and the wind was 11 – 16 knots from the NE, also from the our starboard rear so we were able to have a great sail! How fun to do that!
Interestingly, we have now owned our boat for five and half years and we have always had some difficulty pulling the mainsail out of our mast (we have an in-mast furling mainsail) with the outhaul line. We have tweaked it a number of ways over the years and it has helped, but it always is more difficult than I would have like it to be. I had replaced the outhaul line before we left on our trip last year and it seemed as that actually made it worse – almost as if the line was too thick (I replaced it with the same ½” diameter line that was on there) and too stiff.
To make a long story short, I finally started looking closer and realized one of the sheaves (pulleys) in the front of the boom over which the outhaul line goes, which pulls the mainsail out, was split in half lengthwise. So what was happening was the line, which was actually too wide for the pulley, was wedging itself in the middle of the split sheave and was providing a ton of resistance. I called US Spars, who made our boom, and they confirmed the line I had was too thick, and they also sent me a new sheave.
I had replaced the outhaul line a few days prior with a thinner 3/8” line and before we left Sebasco, I replaced the sheave. When we got out of the harbor and pulled the main out, a first reaction of Sharon’s was, “Is it out already?” I have never had the mainsail pull out that easily and effortlessly. It was almost as easy as it to set our headsail, which we do a lot more frequently probably because it’s so easy. This may change things. Who knows! Either way, it is so cool that the sail goes out and in that effortlessly. Yay!
Saturday evening we had a wonderful afternoon after arriving at Dolphin Marina and had a delightful dinner at the marina restaurant with Bob and Mary. We had a wonderful time sharing stories with Bob and Mary and learning a bit more about them. But we also knew this would be the last time we would see them for a while as the next morning we would be parting company as we head toward Boston. They will be traveling a lot this winter via their car so hope to see them again in Florida. We have learned so much from them and have greatly enjoyed their company. We knew it would be hard to part ways, and it was the next morning.
But on Sunday morning we did indeed part ways and we headed to Portsmouth, NH, to anchor for the night. It ended up being probably one of the worst days we have experienced in terms of wave direction and height, but we made it the 53 nautical miles to Portsmouth. The waves were supposed to be 3 – 5 foot in height, but they built throughout the day and were easily 6 to 7 footers which occasional larger ones. And they all came off the port rear quarter, from SE, which throws the boat around in strange ways. The wind was 12 – 16 knots from the NE so we had the mainsail out to help stabilize the rolling. Later that afternoon the wind actually built to 18 – 21 knots and we found after reefing the main it helped.
We were glad to arrive in Portsmouth, NH, which interestingly is the town Bob and Mary live, and slept well. The next morning, Monday, we got up and finished the remaining 36 nautical miles to reach Gloucester, Mass. The wind and the sea conditions were projected to be pretty much the same as the day before so we just got up and went at it. This time we put both the mainsail and the headsail out and we actually made good time. The mainsail helped stabilize the side to side motion and the headsail helped for speed. We averaged just over 7.5 knots/hour and were thankful to reach Gloucester Harbor and get out of the rolling!
It was good to be back in Gloucester and we have spent a ton of time walking, relaxing and enjoying this beautiful area. There is a huge art section of the harbor and we loved walking through it and taking in all the amazing artwork. We also have been able to do some provisioning and getting set for our time in Boston. As the Boston Harbor is only about 23 nautical miles away we decided to stay here until tomorrow morning when we will head to Castle Park anchorage just outside of the Boston Harbor. We have reservations for three nights back at Boston Waterboat Marina again right downtown beginning Saturday, so we will make the short jaunt there that morning.
We are staying at that marina again, the first time was for three nights about a month ago before we headed to Maine, as it is so handy and easy for us to get around in the city. Our youngest daughter, Kristi, is moving to another apartment starting on Sunday so we will be able to be a part of that move. Our oldest daughter, Lisa, is flying in to Boston on Saturday to help Kristi move so we will all be together. We are so looking forward to it!
Beginning next Tuesday, Sept. 3, we will start out trek to Long Island Sound and points south. For those of you wondering, we are indeed monitoring any potential hurricane possibilities in the next month and a half. We experienced only the after-effects of two hurricanes last year and that was bad enough. Hurricane Dorian is headed toward Florida as I write this and our thoughts and prayers are with those in its path. We certainly hope and pray we won’t be in the path of any hurricanes this season, but we will stay on watch and do what we need to do.