On March 1, 2018 the M/V Exhale, a comfy North Pacific trawler, departed Fort Myers, Florida, commencing on a 6,000 mile journey on the America’s Great Loop. On board were two “almost retired” baby boomers, Rick & Mary, and one faithful boat dog, Admiral Maddie Sue. This blog shares random bits and pieces of our journeys on Exhale.
breathe out in a deliberate manner.
“she sat back and exhaled deeply”
The trawler: North Pacific is based in Surrey, British Columbia, CANADA.
With over 6 million people, and more than 300 skyscrapers, it might seem out of character to use “charming” as a descriptor of Miami, BUT if you opt to explore – in chill mode – you can find some absolutely lovely neighborhoods.
Fun fact: Miami is the only major US city founded by a woman. Julia Tuttle, a local citrus grower and a wealthy Cleveland native. Julia Tuttle convinced railroad tycoonHenry Flagler to extend his Florida East Coast Railway to the region, for which she became known as “the mother of Miami”. Miami was officially incorporated as a city on July 28, 1896, with a population of just over 300.
Coral Reef, Coconut Grove, Miami
Mother Nature delayed our departure to the Bahamas, causing us to stay in Miami for a full week. In true Chill Mode – Capt. Rick made daily use of the restful cement pond.
Miami architecture is bright and colorful, offering old world charm, like these Cuban-styled tiles that date back more than 100 years.
Vibrant murals are common throughout Miami, and artistic graffiti is encouraged. This butterfly mural is for our granddaughter, Abby.
A spectacular peacock mural was found on the wall of a high end jewelry store. It is also a reminder of two live peacocks we saw – just strolling along in someone’s magnificent yard. Startled by the noise of the royal birds, Susie G, now I understand how LOUD they can get.
Our adventures included a self-guided tour of Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, home of John Deering.
The home was completed In 1916. Known to be a generous host (there were 9 guest rooms), Deering enjoyed serving the finest of alcohol to his guests. Yes, to all you history buffs, that was during prohibition. Random observation, the code name for liquor was “comforters” that arrived as a shipment of “quilts”. Rather Clever.
With the help of our trusty tour guides from Fort Lauderdale, we ventured to Wynwood, a district renowned world wide for its artistic flavor. Thanks Steve and Captain Floyd for the amazing tour!
But first, a decadent Cuban Sandwich, possibly the best Cuban food we have EVER enjoyed.
And now for some more Wynwood Miami Art!
Our final stop in Florida was Key Biscayne. With a weather window opening we were now ready to venture across the Florida Straits.
The Sea Loves Those Who Fear It. An appropriate reminder as we waited out the weather.
Key Biscayne was restful.
Sunset Dos Palmas – Good bye Florida
Crossing the BIG Water
BEFORE sunrise, and definitely before breakfast, we waved goodbye to the Florida shores. Thanks to our trusty Sea Keeper (Thanks, Maddie for turning it on early), the crossing of the Straits of Florida to Bimini Islands was uneventful. A MUCH better experience than when we traversed in 2019!
Bahama mamas – OH YES!
Our port of entry is Bimini – staying at the Big Game Club Resort & Marina. Welcome drink delivered with a smile.
Capt Rick opted for a Miami Vice – Bahama Style for MO
First night in the Bahamas was magical, beginning with a beautiful moon rise.
NAUTICAL FLAG ANSWER Ocean Reef – Signal Flags
We received a lightning fast update from Ocean Reef, and now we are excited to report the flags at The Point were corrected – BRAVO!
Thanks to all of you who sent in a guess regarding “what was wrong” with the signal flags. Here are the proper positions of the flags that were hung “upside down” provided by Gail B. 🙂
Milestones/Celebrations: Birthdays – May 10, Michele Jackson
Our next stop is Great Harbor Cay. Our Island wiFi connection is good so far! Thanks for following us.
For as long as I can remember, we have eaten waffles on Mother’s Day. Thanks Capt. Rick for keeping the tradition alive.
Mother’s Day History Lesson
Dating back to 1905, the founding of Mother’s Day is attributed to Anna Jarvis, a well-known peace activist. Renowned for her gentle care of wounded soldiers from both sides of the American Civil War, Anna was well respected in both the north and the south.
During the war, Anna joined forces with another peace activist, suffragette Julia Ward Howe. Together they called upon mothers of all nationalities to band together to promote the “amicable settlement of international questions, for the general interests of peace.”
In 1908 Jarvis formally appealed to Congress to set aside the second Sunday in May to honor all mothers “Because,” she said, “a mother is the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world.” Sadly, her mother had recently passed away.
Congress rejected her proposal, reportedly laughing at the request.
Undaunted, Jarvis got affirmation from the State governors who independently adopted Mother’s Day as a state holiday. Bolstered by state support, in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson declared Mother’s Day a national holiday by presidential proclamation.
Protesting Mother’s Day
Less than 10 years later, Jarvis was arrested for protesting the very same holiday she had founded. You might be wondering, how is that possible? Well, in the early 1920’s Hallmark Cards, candy makers and flower vendors began to heavily market the popular holiday. No longer a day of honor and respect, the loving holiday founded by Jarvis had become heavily commercialized. Outraged, Anna organized boycotts, threatened multiple corporate lawsuits and ultimately staged a protest at a national candy makers convention in Philadelphia. Her valiant efforts were rewarded – with a jail sentence, ironically, for “disturbing the peace.”
And now back to our regular scheduled program …
It was a treat to return to Snook’s. No surprise, the food was great, sunset spectacular, and Cabana Boys attentive (that’s for you, Maureen).
On multiple occasions we have enjoyed the sunsets at Snooks with Maureen, Craig, Sue and Mike. Notice the fish, it’s a Wyland orginal.
African Queen on the Water!
What a shock to see the African Queen on the move. No, it’s not a replica, it’s the real deal! More than 100 years old now, this boat was popularized by Bogart and Hepburn in the movie of the same name (actually, the boat was renamed to match the movie). Capt. Rick spotted it first, sorry the pic is so grainy, we could not get any closer.
The oscar winning African Queen is one of Capt. Rick’s very favorite movies. Random trivia, while filming in the Congo, the entire cast and crew, save two people, got dysentery. Apparently Hepburn got it the worst. Only Bogart and the director, John Huston, were spared the discomfort. They attributed their immunity to a diet of whisky and cigarettes. So now we know yet another reason why boaters drink heavily.
Hanging on the wall at our next stop, Ocean Reef, was a much better photo of the African Queen, for your viewing pleasure.
Ocean Reef, Key Largo, FL.
Staying at Ocean Reef is magical. The hospitality, the view, the food, and did I mention the DELICIOUS ice cream and gelato. Capt Rick went back three times in three days. Thanks Morgan!!
If you have had the privilege of staying at Ocean Reef (several of you have!) you will recognize this sweet bird.
To me this bird represents a fleeting hope -that folks COULD get on the same page. With the upheaval in the Courts and the distressful fight to preserve and protect Roe v Wade, it is doubtful. RBG must be more than livid right now!
Now for a nautical test. Gail Bernstein you are NOT allowed to spoil the answer. Can you identify the problem(s) with these signal flags found at the entrance to Ocean Reef? By the way, we shared the observation with management, I am confident the mistake will be remedied soon.
Thank you to Luann, Morgan, Pam and Greg for an exquisite respite.
Coral Reef, Coconut Grove, FL (near Miami)
What a beautiful evening!
A sad goodbye to Claude and JoAnn as they head back home.
Next up – The Formula I – Miami Grand Prix – Go Max Go. If you know the outcome, don’t spoil it, we are watching it shortly on tape.
As we close out this post on Mother’s Day, a personal thanks to all the moms, grand moms, and great grand moms out there who have enriched our lives! Equally (actually more) important, a heartfelt thanks to all the kids and grandkids, young and old, near and far, virtual and stuffed (Bert & EJ), who make life so sweet.
Milestones and Celebrations: Birthday – May 8, Danielle Ginsburg; May 11, Michele May Jackson.
Next Stop: We are currently waiting out the weather in the Miami area, extended our stay at Coral Reef, Coconut Grove; target departure to the Bahamas on Saturday, May 14.
Where did that phrase come from? Often misspelled as “away”, it’s an old Dutch sailors expression that means the anchor is up and the ship is ready to leave the harbor. Now that Exhale is on the water again, it seemed like a fun piece of useless trivia.
Anchors Aweigh is the well known march song for the US Naval Academy, dating back to a 1906 Army Navy football game. In the 1940’s my father served in the Army and my uncle served in the Navy – so those rival football games were a BIG deal in our house.
The phrase and the song were made popular in the 1945 musical comedy, of the same name, starring Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, and Kathryn Grayson, with a special appearance from beloved cartoon characters Tom and Jerry. You can probably sing along – – –
Anchors Aweigh, my boys, Anchors Aweigh! Farewell to foreign Shores, we sail at break of day-ay-ay-ay; Through our last night ashore, drink to the foam, Until we meet once more, here’s wishing you a happy voyage home!
That nautical trivia may have been far more than you ever cared to know …
On the Road (water) Again!
On April 23 we traveled from Fort Myers to Marco Island. This familiar run on the water is bittersweet – with a little tribute to our VERY favorite water photo of Maddie in 2016.
First a little commercial break to thank our dear friend, Joe Solari, for resolving our AC issue. Critical to our efforts to CHILL. Stay healthy Joe!
Safely docked with Tonto’s Reward at Marco Island Yacht Club, we launched a dinghy to explore the neighborhood.
The name of this tourist boat seems relevant – given a certain celebrity story in the national news. Not taking sides, it’s just a nod. You might recall we saw the original boat from the Pirates of the Caribbean a few years back.
After Marco Island it was time to Drop Anchor – the opposite of Anchors Aweigh. Anchoring out can be serene. It’s definitely not fun if the weather is bad – as David B. says, “we don’t anchor out if it’s blowing like stink”.
Russell Pass anchorage
Our first anchorage was spectacular.
From the anchorage at Russell Pass it was an easy dinghy ride to Everglade City, where we found a few Florida craft brews.
Cape Sable anchorage
The second anchorage gave us a superb sunset.
Anchorage at Sandy Key – a little cloud magic.
The third anchorage was quiet and serene with dinner onboard Exhale.
Faro Blanco, Key Largo, FL
Enjoying a little deja vu, we spent two nights at Faro Blanco.
We were not disappointed when we witnessed another Faro Blanco wedding – and dinner at the marina was yum-a-licious! Yes, it was a whole snapper 🙂 Gail B. swears the fish was gasping in distress! Delicately prepared, the taste was reminiscent of dinner with Reg & Kelly in Belmont Shore. Perfect meal for two. Sorry Craig there were no Rodriguez cigars this time.
Big Pine Key
With a rental car (courtesy of Tonto) we got to explore Marathon. If you have the time, a quest for the no name bar is well worth the drive. The slogan is “a nice place if you can find it.” Renowned for it’s pizza, the No Name Amber Beer is crave-able.
In the late 1930’s the site was a brothel. Perhaps tips for scantily clad dancers were the impetus for the dollar bills hanging everywhere, one can only imagine. A news article on the wall, dating back to 2018, estimated $90,000 decorated the bar.
Thanks for the memories Tom and Faye. We were happy to return to Marathon Marina. Thanks Caryl and Ray for making the drive to say hello! So sorry Maddie Sue wasn’t at the boat to greet you.
From the flybridge of Tonto’s Reward we witnessed a spectacular sunset!
Arriving Sunday, May 1: Claude and JoAnn Welles 🙂
Milestones and Celebrations: Birthdays – April 18, Liz turned 40!; April 19, John Gill, Jr.; April 27, Katrin Ericson; May 2, Celeste Amish.
Tyler J. Hendry was born on 4/8/16. As a math lover, the perfect progression of numbers makes me smile. In April the family gathering in Cleveland is predictable; deep hugs, lots of laughter, AMAZING food, a little snow, all wrapped up in wonderful memories with the kids and grandkids.
When our 6-year old grandson realized we were departing – after a 4-day sugar-injected birthday celebration – he sobbed. In the words of his mom, “it was full on ugly crying“. Tragically, the phrase was very meaningful to us. In fact, we knew exactly what unconsolable loss felt like, first hand.
In 2009 Captain Rick decided to give himself a birthday present, in the form of an 8-week old puppy he named Maddie.
Truthfully, I was not thrilled with the new addition, especially since Rick, a legitimate member of the United Airlines million mile club, was traveling extensively back then. With intermittent abandonment by Rick, Danielle (his youngest daughter) took on the task of potty training as I begrudgingly took on a new routine: feed the dog, walk the dog, clean up the mess, bathe the dog, brush the dog, you get the idea.
As it turned out Maddie was an extremely reliable alarm system. She knew the sound of Rick’s vehicle and would bark excitedly, jumping and spinning around at the door; she knew the sound of the amazon delivery truck, and was excited at the sound of the postal woman (she had treats); she did not like the sound of the garbage truck (although it was a helpful reminder to take out the garbage). Anyone else who came too close to the house or the boat would get the angry bark – except for Ray, who DEFINITELY got the happy wagging tail in exchange for treats.
When we moved to Florida, her name gained a southern extension – Maddie Sue, “the craziest dog you ever knew”. She was also a loyal KC fan with Mo and Craig.
Extremely comfortable on the boat, the malti-poo was well known in many marinas. She warmed the hearts of our close friends, including some that professed to “not like dogs”, and was often found in the cockpit of a certain Fleming, where she enjoyed a heartwarming belly rub. She also liked a frosty beer with a friend.
When we visited her vet I heard him say, “she has a little heart murmur. Let me know if she develops a cough.” The vet let me listen to the little swishing sound. Little did we know – when the tiny heartbeat stopped just a few weeks later – our hearts would break.
The loss of our Admiral was not expected. We had just spent the perfect day at Pelican Bay, our favorite gunkhole, with Ray, Caryl, Gail and David. On board Exhale and Tonto’s Reward were bottles of champagne to celebrate New Years.
It all happened so fast. Maddie was having trouble breathing – it felt like a panic attack. When she died in Capt Rick’s arms there was full on ugly crying – the type that is unconsolable.
For weeks the tears continued, followed by numbness. Months later there is still a deep hole in our lives.
Maddie was our constant companion for 12 years. Our followers have watched her adventures on Exhale (she was delightfully photogenic), and, if there was an airline frequent flyer program for pets, she would have been a tier one traveler.
Tragically, she crossed the rainbow bridge – sadly our grandson keeps asking why we don’t “go get her and bring her home again”. If only we could …
Traveling without the Admiral
For us it is hard to envision boating without Maddie. It feels incomplete without our SeaRaider alarm, and without the perfect vacuum cleaner. Never mind the piercing eyes that continuously begged for food. I don’t know who penned the phrase “time heals all wounds”, somehow I doubt they were talking about the loss of our beloved Admiral.
Exhale is Going Back to the Bahamas
Our plan is to head south on Saturday, April 23, weather permitting. Once again our Traveling Boat Buddy is Tonto’s Reward, the spectacular Fleming 58 we followed to Maine last summer (2021), and the same friends who previously traveled with us to Key West and the Bahamas (2019).
If we happen to see any feral pigs (rumor has it they are in multiple locations now), we will tell them Maddie said WTF! She hated those pigs.
As a follow-up to the life altering events described in our last blog post, we want to share with you a little update from the survivors.
Larry Bell called me after Ms. Andrea called. To correct the earlier post, Larry was the one wearing the heavy boots. Thankfully he is a very fit 61 years of age.
Their fishing buddy, Charles Jones, lost one sock.
Larry’s 45-year old son, Dana Gent, was the one who lost his pants.
Larry calls us his angels. An extremely proud father, he quietly said “my son Dana almost didn’t make it.” Words cannot express the flood of emotions I felt as his words sank in; one or more of the men really could have drowned, bringing tears to my eyes.
Why do the men have blue towels?
You will notice the photographs, of all the survivors, include a blue towel.
Here’s why. After the men climbed on board Exhale I gave them water and food to help them recover. I also gave each one a soft towel, in an effort to wipe away the salt water from their faces. To my delight I noticed – as they departed from the boat – all four men had the blue towels over their shoulders, sparking a little joy in my heart.
Larry Bell said he is hanging his blue towel on the wall of his home, as a reminder of the day he, his son, and his two fishing buddies were able to exhale.
A little message to the survivors – we are so thankful everyone is okay. Thanks to each of you for reaching out!!
A special message to Alvin R. Dawson, Jr.
Your bravery, strength, and cool head in a moment of duress helped to save yourself and your fishing buddies. You are deeply loved by your friends and family, especially that beautiful mom, Ms. Andrea, pictured in the earlier post.
Alvin, Larry, Dana and Charles – we hope you keep fishing – with life jackets! Next time we are in the Vero Beach area, we will reunite.
Thanks Anders and Marty
We parted Stuart, on a sweet note. Keeping up with a long standing tradition, Anders brought us a small box of local pastries. Thanks for the sweets Anders.
We close with a spectacular shot of the clouds. As the sun was rising on a new day, full of hope, we say a thankful prayer for the Liljequists.
Maddie barked in annoyance, as another small fishing boat went whizzing by us. She is NOT fond of the loud little motors. To me, it sounds like she is yelling SLOW DOWN!
“Yet another fishing boat in the middle of the channel?” I groused. As a courtesy, we consistently slow to an idle for small boats of all kinds, endeavoring not to wake them. But when the boats elect to fish in the middle of the channel, it’s vexing.
Roughly 400 feet in front of us, the sense of annoyance was replaced with sheer horror as we witnessed the small boat keel over, dumping the fishermen into the water. Holy Shit, they capsized! We could see one man clinging to a cooler, as two more latched on to the overturned boat.
Capt. Rick was already on the radio, “Coast Guard, Coast Guard, man overboard! Three men in the water. NO LIFE JACKETS! Immediately in front of us. We will attempt to rescue them. Our coordinates are …”
“There’s another one!” I shrieked. Four men in the water. Three of them hugging the hull, the fourth was still gripping a cooler to stay afloat. Terrified of the odds, I ripped open a brand-new package of 4 life jackets (a mess I had to repair later) and scurried to the bow. As Capt. Rick eased towards the capsized boat, I threw the life jackets towards the 4 men – with herculean effort. Success.
Ever steady, Capt Rick said, “Put on your headset. You go to the stern, drop the swim ladder, and throw them the life ring when we get close enough.” Copy that.
From the swim platform I yelled – “Please hang on men, don’t panic, we are going to help. Can you swim?”
Only one man said yes! Roughly 100 feet away, bolstered by a life jacket, Alvin swam towards our boat. With a mighty adrenalin rush I helped him climb aboard.
With great haste I rigged the life ring to a floating line, secured the line on a boat cleat, and then told Alvin to throw it to his buddies. The Lifeline is only 70 feet long. There was no time to lose. Alvin threw the perfect toss, then together we pulled in one of his fishing buddies (Charles).
Another perfect toss and we pulled in the remaining two, father and son (Dana and Larry).
Larry Bell and family (son, Dana Gent, upper right)
Capt. Rick reported to the Coast Guard, ALL Four Men were now on board. No-one was injured. Shaken up, we all knew they could have lost their lives.
Apparently, the steering failed as the wheel popped off into the hands of Alvin. Spinning out of control, he was pitched into the water. Moments later the boat overturned, spilling the other three into the salty water.
Larry Bell was lamenting over the mistake of wearing heavy, tightly laced boots on a boat, he was sure they could have been the cause of his death – since he could not untie them.
Gone: fishing gear, phones, wallets, keys, shoes, one sock, and a pair of shorts (thankfully Dana’s briefs stayed intact).
Saved: four precious lives.
Let me take a thankful pause here. These are the boat tracks – and the coordinates of the incident. Capt. Rick remained extremely calm during this ordeal. For the non-boater fans, let me explain. The white section is the channel. You can see the channel is only about 100 feet wide. The dotted line (cookie crumbs) indicates our path. The sideways “v” shape is where we threw the life jackets, the small circle is where we rescued the men. This was ONLY possible because Capt. Rick is such an exceptional navigator. Thanks, Babe. You are amazing.
Time to Exhale
As we pulled up to the dock in Vero Beach, the men climbed out of our boat, thankful to be alive.
Then one of them exclaimed – “Your boat’s name is Exhale! That’s incredible. Because of you, we are all still breathing! We will NEVER forget you.”
Epilogue – A Mother’s Love
We were enjoying dinner with our dear friends in Stuart – Marty & Anders, John & Sue – when Ms. Andrea called. Roughly 24 hours had passed since the rescue. Now, an eternally grateful mother was reaching out. Prior to her call we didn’t know the names of the men we had rescued. And, we did not take a single photo.
Alvin’s mother, Ms. Andrea Woulard, forever touched our hearts with her expression of thanks. She was extremely emotional as she recanted her’s son’s brush with death. She also assured me that he will never again go out on the water without proper life jackets. She’s a strong mother. One look at this beautiful soul and you know, life is good.
Thanks for the Facebook photos Ms. Andrea.
Celebrating Milestones. Birthdays: Steven “with a v” Hunt – October 27; Megan Ginsburg Newton, October 31; Gail Bernstein – November 3 (Go Max, Go!)
Next Stop: Clewiston – reuniting with Lit’l Houlegan.
Boat Safely my friends! Everyday above the water is cherished.
Maddie loves to go for a walk, especially if she can chase a squirrel. The only thing she loves more is a proper belly rub, on a certain Fleming of course.
Our stop in Beaufort (pronounced “no” in North Carolina) was a great chance to reconnect with fellow Maine Event boaters from Treble in Paradise, NP45.
Hi Tom and Faye – safe travels on your slow journey back to Florida!
Wrightsville Beach, NC / Harbor Island
Kiss Her Too, iii is another beautiful North Pacific 49, hull number 4. Several months ago we saw this boat from a distance, at Spring Cove Marina on Solomon’s Island. What a surprise to find her tied up just a few boats away.
On board are Tony and Judy Kuester and their two dogs. Can you believe she is a 2015 model?! So gorgeous.
Back at the Marina, Maddies was on a quest for cookies, alas, no luck.
We took on fuel at Wacca Wache, a teeny tiny marina on the Wacca Maw River.
Georgetown – Fresh Shrimp
Thanks Gail for the suggestion to buy fresh shrimp in Georgetown. A short walk from the Marina, this place was amazing; the shrimp dinner we made was absolutely delicious.
Breaking News for our Sports Fans
Did you know the rivalry between the Giants and Dodgers began in the late 19th century when both clubs were based in New York City? The Giants played at the Polo Grounds in the borough of Manhattan and the Dodgers played in the borough of Brooklyn.
So proud to know these men! Friendly rivals reunited at the ball game. Oh yes, the Dodgers got to celebrate the win!! Tony and Taco were dancing in the streets. Sorry MV, it was an amazing game!!
Back to Georgetown – we left BEFORE dawn, surrounded by calm waters.
Engine Room Inspection
Some tasks on board require an extra set of eyes. Thus, Maddie often supervises Capt. Rick’s engine room duties.
St. John’s Yacht Harbor, John’s Island
Another early morning departure rewarded by a gorgeous sunrise.
We greatly enjoy Beaufort (pronounced with a “view”). It’s a town with great little shops and award winning restaurants. Scroll back in our blog to read about our stop heading north.
Look Craig and Maureen, we got to eat at Old Bull Tavern, at 5:30 pm! Check out this lamb-a-saurus. That’s a happy Capt. Rick.
The city of Beaufort, SC knows how to enjoy life. These popular swings, found on the promenade of the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park, have a spectacular view. Their slogan is “Swing, Stroll, and Stay a While.”
Hilton Head, SC
Reunited with Sea Trek, we dined at Ela’s. Enjoying a Lemon Drop Martini, continuing a tradition with Bruce Peck.
Celebrating the Norths
Congrats to fellow NorthPacific owners, Dr. Patricia North (recently retired) and P. Jeffrey North, Esq. It was spectacular finally meeting you! Long Cove Club was lovely.
The Norths recently opted to down-size their land base (congrats on the sale of your house) and up-size their water home. Owners of an NP43, they are now busy customizing a new NP49 euro, scheduled to arrive in 2022.
The challenge of selecting a clever name is in progress, contenders include “Just a Splash”, “Copycat”, or “Patty’s Way”. With two gorgeous German Shepherds on board, I am suggesting they call their next boat “Good Shepherds”.
That also reminds me of the 2006 movie “The Good Shepherd” starring Matt Damon and Robert De Nero, with scenes filmed at Yale (for Ryan). Worth watching again.
We look forward to cruising with them in Florida and in the Keys this winter. Thanks for the amazing wine.
For Mija and Ynot
We leave you with a rhetorical question (that’s for Jeff). Did you know that the IATSE strike was averted? Hooray!! With a strike off the table, Taco is extremely relieved Alisha and Tony will not have to cut back on his rations.
Birthdays – Bushranger,Mark Rutherford – the month of celebrating continues! October 14: Linda Matlock; October 15: John Buckendahl, Jr.; October 22, Kelly Thorn-Hiebert
North Pacific Yachts won the Passagemaker Ocean Navigator Trophy! The attendees at the show vote over the course of 4 days, then the winner is announced at the end of the show. Surprised and honored, it was a great way to wrap up the festival. North Pacific Yachts also won the award back in 2018 with the original Exhale. Thanks to the wonderful team at PassageMaker! Congrats to Exhale and Congrats to Trevor Brice!
Leaving Baltimore, we slowed as we traversed under the Francis Scott Key bridge. A Star Spangled Banner moment.
Solomon’s Island, MD
It was a short visit, back to Spring Cove Marina, departing at sunrise.
Deltaville, VA – Regatta Point / Doziers
Another short stop in Deltaville, then we were on the road again, early.
The journey back to Florida is now the main focus as we begin a series of long days on the water. Thank goodness we have a Sea Keeper.
The early morning rise meant we encountered a Warship. We also saw a submarine, but did not get a blog-worthy photo.
A Winning Plan
As reported earlier, we prefer the Dismal Swamp route, but the Corp of Engineers had reported numerous massive logs floating down the canal. For the first time, we navigated towards Coinjock Marina – enticed by many well respected reports of award winning prime rib. Capt Rick loves prime rib, preferably an end cut – so we pressed on for 11 hours on the water, salivating at the thought of a delicious meal.
Coinjock Marina, VA – Loser, Loser!
A good plan, gone VERY wrong. Did you know they have Overflow Parking at Coinjock? There is the east side dock, next to the restaurant, and the west side dock, across the waterway!
There is no polite way to describe how upset we were when the dockmaster directed us to tie up on the west side, AND, there was no staff available to run the boat launch to shuttle us to the infamous restaurant on the east wall. WHAT???
As we approached the marina we could see long stretches of open space – it seemed there was plenty of room for more boats on the east wall.
Perplexed, we radioed back and asked, again, to be placed on the east wall, emphasizing we wanted to dine at the restaurant. Nope, said the Dockmaster, there were more boats on the way, and Exhale was going west. So much for first come, first served.
It turned out, restaurant access would soon be the least of our complaints, since the entire westside dock should have been condemned, long ago. Seriously. NOONE should be allowed, never mind directed, to dock there.
You be the judge for yourself – here are a series of photos to document our stop.
There was a swimming pool, adjacent to our tie-up. With Halloween approaching I wondered if this location was ever used in a horror film.
It was shocking that there were no signs warning you to stay off the docks, or stay away from the pool. The dock lights were broken. And there was no water – on the dock or in the pool. There were LOTS of mosquitoes. We are talking the equivalent of Everglades mosquitoes – all you SFYC members, you know what I mean!
A winning moment
To be fair, there was an unexpected “winning” moment. Introducing Lance, the owner of a travel trailer on the westside – adjacent to the dock wall. One of the kitchen staff, it was his day off.
Lance TRIED to help us secure the lines to the pilings, apologizing that he had zero experience with this dock wall. As he said, “I have NEVER seen a boat here before.” Read that back slowly, NEVER – SEEN – A -BOAT – HERE – BEFORE … He has been living here all summer …
When Lance heard we wanted prime rib, he generously offered to go across the waterway to the restaurant in his tiny skiff, to retrieve dinner for us. Thanks, Lance.
Eager to continue our journey, we passed by the Restaurant at 6:48 am, frowning. That’s right, the marina is a BIG LOSER in our books.
After 10 hours on the water, we returned to River Forest Marina in Belhaven, where Henry greeted us warmly. Unfortunately, he also reminded us of our north bound incident – when Jim Merritt (Gypsy) dove into the water to free up a 35-foot stern line that got sucked into the thrusters. Just scroll back in our blog if you want to read the embarrassing story.
BIG Winner, Winner! 2021 BEST Restaurant
We have been to Belhaven multiple times before, and never managed to dine at Spoon River. Let me just go on record now, this restaurant wins, hands down, the BEST Restaurant on this trip!
Introducing the Owners, Mark and Teresa. Mark is a farmer, and he knows fresh ingredients. Teresa is just beautiful, inside and out.
The service was impeccable and the food scrumptious. My tuna was exceptional. Rick’s yummy beef tips were fork-a-licious. We highly recommend the stop. Reservations are encouraged. Just text a message, and Teresa will reply :-). Click Here for the website. Oh yes, we will be back.
Milestones: Columbus Day – Tuesday, October 12 (celebrated Monday); Birthday – October 14, Bushranger, Mark Rutherford
Fun Maryland fact: the Star-Spangled Banner was written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key, who had seen, first hand, the bombardment of Fort McHenry from a ship anchored in Baltimore’s harbor.
An active waterway for more than 300 years, Baltimore was once a key port for tobacco trade with England.
Exhale docked in the Baltimore Inner Harbor on Sunday 09/26 with a departure planned tomorrow, Monday, 10/4. Why the long visit?? Trawlerfest Baltimore! A very popular east coast boat show. More about that farther down in this post.
Baltimore Public Works Museum
First, accompanied by Lit’l Houlegan, we toured the Baltimore waterfront before the boat show began. This historic gem was built in 1912; to my surprise, today the building is still an operating sewage pumping station.
Adjacent to the museum we found a tractor for Sam.
As we continued to walk along the waterfront we came upon this massive complex.
Built in 1987, Scarlett Place was cleverly designed to look like it sits on a hillside. The 18-story high structure includes 147 luxury condo-homes. No doubt, the owners have a spectacular view of the inner harbor. You will also find the Baltimore offices of Jellyfish.com on the ground floor. Now that’s a great place to work.
Back at the boat, we think Maddie was standing in solidarity with Alisha, as she went on strike, demanded better working conditions, and tried to create a road block for the pending invasion from the Boat Show.
She also voiced her protest to Ray, who listened intently and then offered to increase her allotment of cookies, if she would please go back to work.
Maddie’s list of complaints included the heavy coat she had been forced to wear in the blazing heat of Baltimore.
It has been noted that Maddie did resemble a small stuffed bear. What do you think, Bert and EJ? So, we finally found a groomer in Baltimore. Mind you, the shop owner was a bit nutty, reminding me of Woody Allen and Gene Wilder, oh and Marty Feldman, that British guy with spastic eyeballs. Thankfully the co-owner, Beverly, was a gentle and talented groomer.
Hello little princess – with fancy poodle boots! After a successful negotiation, Maddie looks young and spry once again; agreeing to return to work full-time. Mija – we are wishing you equal success
The Baltimore Trawlerfest water show (think open house) began at 10 am on Thursday. The well publicized annual event is sponsored by Passage Maker.
We understand a total of 1100 tickets were sold, explaining the constant stream of visitors onboard! Thanks Caryl and Ray for helping us to prepare the boat and to manage the crowd on Thursday.
Hi Sandy! Thanks for joining us at the Baltimore boat show.
A little commercial break for two sweet seconds of fame. At the boat show we saw the October Soundings magazine. Wait, What??? To our delight we discovered Exhale on the cover, the photo was taken in Maine! Here’s the article!
Working at a boat show is not easy stuff, so we had to recruit the Maine lobster to lend a helping claw.
The Show was a VERY busy event. To our delight, several folks traveled a long distance just to see the first North Pacific euro style. We quickly learned brand awareness is growing, and the demand is strong.
We are proud to be a part of your growing North Pacific Yacht family.
Thanks Trevor, for all the great meals and laughter.
We close with a picture from my brother, taken from his driveway in Girdwood, AK. Yes, Mike and Susie Gillespie, that’s Mt. Alyeska, where we all stayed in 2015. Maddie Sue, if you were in AK you would have wanted that bear coat.
Milestones: Birthdays – October 1, Sam Straley; October 4, Mayor Scotty Harvey;
Next Up – the Solomon’s.
Looking Ahead: We aim to be back in Fort Myers in time for Halloween, looking forward to the Wittman Drive block party.
Traveling south, the New York skyline was breathtaking under a blue sky.
Like a boomerang, Ray Houle and Caryl Moulder have returned!
You may recall we began the Maine Event with Craig and Maureen on board, connecting with Ray and Caryl on the waters of the Caloosahatchee River on our very first day.
First a little boat name history. At one time Caryl and Ray had a Nova called Houlegan. When we met, their Mainship was named “Houlegan, again.” Now they have a Rosborough, called Lit’l Houlegan. Thankfully, the person who customizes their embroidered shirts and hats manages to keep it all perfectly straight.
Brick, New Jersey
To our delight, they trailered their boat from Cape Coral, Florida then launched her at the home of renowned looper authors George and Pat Hospodar, giving us the chance to rendezvous in Brick, NJ.
Curious about Boomerangs?
New resource: Wonderopolis.org, check it out! Curious folks might wonder, 1) do boomerangs always come back, 2) what are they used for, and 3) how old are they?
Other folks, might skip this section and move on down to the photos.
First, you have to throw it correctly for it to return. What do you call a boomerang that doesn’t come back? A stick. Primary school humor.
Second, the natives of Australia used the boomerang to hunt animals in trees and bushes. Now the most popular use is sports leisure.
Finally, when were boomerangs first used? Dating back over 10,000 years; originally the Aussie’s carved the hunting tool from bone or wood.
Bonus factoid, Guinness world record for longest boomerang throw is 1,401.5 feet. Held by an Aussie of course.
Brick, New Jersey
Back to our story. It was so much fun connecting with snowbirds George and Pat for a delightful evening of music and good food in their lovely home.
Dessert included cannoli and chips, thanks to Joey P. It was decadent.
Tied to the fuel dock we had the perfect vantage point of the official fish scales. This is a Sushi Grade Blue Fin Tuna, 189 lbs.
The Largest Bluefin Tuna Ever Caught: 12 feet, 1,496 lbs., caught off Nova Scotia in 1979. Also impressive – the bluefin can swim 25 miles per hour, that’s 3 times the regular speed of Exhale.
Red Sky in the Morning – it was 6:35 am when we left the dock.
Havre de Grace
The red sky did not lie. It rained heavily in Havre de Grace. Thanks again to Ray and Caryl who made this soggy stop delightful.
With Ray and Caryl on board we ventured to Annapolis, staying at one of the nicest marinas on this journey.
Docked next to us was Noel. The family on board included 5-year-old James, and his 7-year-old brother, Troy William. Both were extremely articulate, capable young fishermen.
James could be found fishing at the end of the dock by 7:30 am, with a life jacket over his dinosaur pajamas. Clever layering since the pjs look pretty warm.
Annapolis meant a lot of boat cleaning, in preparation for the Baltimore boat show.
Thanks Ray for the boat scrub
Sandy – Best Blue Crab Cakes!
So what was the best part of Annapolis? Visiting with Sandy!!
Yes, this is the same Sandy who was on board Tonto’s Reward in Maine! She is also a beloved North Pacific owner, Road Trip is a rare 42.
She promised if we came to her home in Annapolis she would make us crab cakes. Let the record show her cakes were the best we had in Maryland, bar none. Grilled to perfection. Generous lumps of crab, her secret ingredient was fresh basil. Sooo delicious. Sandy really spoiled us!
Oh and Thanks for introducing us to OIB, the original iron bear.
The next morning the boys were fishing again
On the topic of crabs, thanks, Capt Rick, for passing on your cherished crab trap – those boys will put it to good use! We were touched when the handwritten notes were delivered to Exhale; these boys have exceptional parents.
Baltimore – Here We Come
Next Up – Baltimore Trawler Fest sponsored by Passage Maker – come visit! We will be in Baltimore from Sunday September 26 through Sunday October 3!! Slip A-31
Milestones: Birthdays – Bruce Peck, September 23; Lenore Bigsby, Sept 24; David Floyd(aka #8), Sept 27; Roger Berardinis;
We met Heather and Mark Rutherford, award-winning sailors, not too long after they acquired their trawler, the M/V Bushranger, a sturdy 38 foot Marine Trader. Featured numerous times in our Great Loop posts we were VERY excited to reunite with our friends from Sydney, Australia.
First, what is a Bushranger?
Fun facts: Thanks again to Wikipedia, we learned that Bushrangers were originally escaped convicts in the early years of the British settlement of Australia who used the bush as a refuge to hide from the authorities. In 1835, Charles Darwin recorded that a bushranger was “an open villain who subsists by highway robbery, and will sooner be killed than taken alive”
Better a “ranger” than a “whacker”
Similar to the common mashup of Tonto’s Revenge in the place of Tonto’s Reward, marinas tend to rename Bushranger, mistakenly calling her bushwhacker. It’s not a good thing,
“Bushwhacker” was a Civil War term that designated the lowest and meanest type of guerrilla fighter, particularly the Confederates, who often hid in inaccessible places and ambushed Union troops.
Let the record show, our Aussie friends are neither “whackers” nor “gooses”, a popular Australian reference to anyone who is rude or behaves badly. Of course in Port Washington, there are plenty of Canada geese to be found.
They are salty Great Loop adventurers,
Heather captains the boat quite well, rarely running aground,
and she makes the most delicious of breads (onion pull-a-parts).
The folks in Port Washington are very friendly, and the scenery is sweet.
We were delighted to return to Diwan. The food is fresh and flavorful. The owner remembered us (Gail and David!), noting we had returned with new friends.
The renowned author of Volcanic Winter,
Get your copy of his book here: Yes, Capt Rick is a character in the book!
Following Tonto’s Reward, we stayed at the tiny Essex Island (13 acres).
An on-demand foot ferry (no vehicles) crosses the waterway to Essex – ride time: roughly 5 minutes.
Birdhouses are prevalent in Essex. In an area where real estate taxes are excessive, it is benevolent to provide such exquisite housing for our feathered friends.
Hello Anders from Griswold Inn.
Thanks to the staff at Cedar Island Marina
Sadly, it was our last night with Tonto’s Reward. They are heading back to Florida. We MISS you!
New Haven, CT
The marina staff failed to answer the radio. Under a heavy current we gingerly approached the dock. When a friendly boater yelled out – “would you like help with your lines?” I replied “yes, please!” In my headset Capt Rick said, “plan to jump onto the dock, they won’t arrive in time”. To our shock, a speedy little dinghy whirred into our section of the dock. Much smoother than I could have managed alone, Joey Piccerillo, had our lines securely in hand.
To Capt. Rick’s delight, Joey and his sweet girlfriend Hilary invited us to an outdoor picnic, an ice cream social, at the yacht club. We made some new friends, introducing Beverly (Carol) Carr and Scotty.
New Haven was a slice of heaven – where else could an ice-cream social lead to a private tour of Yale? The ultimate IVY league school, alma mater of my sweet amigo, REM. A dream come true.
If you have been there, like David and Gail Bernstein, you know the campus is extremely special.
Founded in 1701 as the Collegiate School, then renamed as Yale in 1718, in honor of Jewish benefactor Elihu Yale, the private IVY league was chartered well BEFORE the American Revolution.
As we walked the campus with Joey and Hilary, we continued to remark how the architecture seems flawless.
The university logo, with Hebrew characters, was devised in the 1800s by then University President Ezra Stiles. Stylish, graceful, refined, elegant.
With one shocking exception. The School of Architecture. Why the Face (WTF)? What a disgrace! How is it possible, in the most prestigious school we found Brutalist Architecture?
Simple answer: The department Chair hired himself as the designing architect. Yep, the client and the customer were one and the same!
Introducing the ugliest building on campus. We learned that brutalist architecture is characterized by exposed, unpainted, raw concrete. Often referred to as cold and soulless – truthful and accurate.
Nothing about the 1963 Paul Rudolph design made sense. Although only 7 stories tall, the building has a complex floor plan with over 30 interior levels. It was absolutely hated by its occupants – students and teachers alike. With ribbed, hammered concrete throughout the building the walls, guaranteed to snag and scrape both skin and clothing whenever it made contact.
Oh Ryan, if I had toured Yale sooner, I would change 7th & C …
Thanks to our Connecticut hosts for the private tour of multiple local Italian joints! Best CT pizza for sure!
Goodbye, Connecticut – yes, the best lobster roll is Connecticut style. My favorite was from a roadside stand, thanks Rick and David!
Port Jefferson, New York
Port Jeff Yacht Club. Welcome back to New York. Thanks, Tonto, for the suggestion to stay at PJYC. It was easy walking distance to the little town of Port Jefferson.
Connecting with DougAndDanaAndABoat!
Tumbleweed (NP 4906 formerly known as Exhale) arrived in Port Jeff for a rare gathering of the sister ships! It was absolutely marvelous spending time with the Belknap family!! Yes, our adventures included some ice cream and some exceptional food at Ruvo’s.
Follow the Belknap’s blog @DougAndDanaAndABoat, where there might be an allegation of breaking and entering …
Interesting that the only scrape was on Doug’s forehead, unsubstantiated to his role as an accessory to a crime that may – or may not – have happened.
Next Up – Bushranger, in Port Washington – Aussie reunion time – oh yes!!
Milestones: Birthdays – big boy Mason, September 18 – MO, I can’t believe he’s already three!
We traveled with Tonto’s Reward to Provincetown from Boston. The entrance to the harbor is easy to locate, courtesy of this 252 foot Pilgrim Monument. It’s the tallest all-granite structure in the US.
Provincetown or P-town, MA
For your American history buffs, the Mayflower set anchor in Provincetown Harbor in November of 1620, eventually settling across the bay in Plymouth. Actually, the pilgrims were headed to the Colony of Virginia, but the strong seas caused them to turn back to the safe harbor in Massachusetts.
Apparently the Mayflower’s captain missed the memo: boating season ends on Columbus Day (October 12) – for a reason.
Summer population ~60,000; Oct – May under 3,000.
Most recently P-town was the center of a nation-wide media storm as thousands of people, driven indoors by the rain, gathered to celebrate 4th of July. In response to the well-publicized Delta COVID outbreak, the town instituted a mandatory mask mandate, still in effect in September.
Fish N Chips trivia
Let’s talk about fish! Capt. Rick often asks the question – what type of fish is in your fish and chips? The answer varies widely depending on your location. At the Showcase Lounge in Seward, AK (my dad’s old hangout), the answer is fresh halibut, beer battered!
Did you know the British tend to add carbonated “sparkling water” to their batter to make their crispy crust?
In Boston, at the infamous Legal Seafood, the response to Capt.Rick’s question was “a local fish called Tillop”. Well, for all you Floridians, if it sounds suspiciously like Tilapia, a cheap, shallow-water scruffy-looking fish, you order anything else.
At the fabulous Tin Pan Alley in P-Town – where outside seating is prevalent – in response to the standard inquiry our waiter chuckled and said, “Since you are in Cape Cod, the fish is DELICIOUS Cod, of course!” And he was right – it was some of the very best Fish N Chips on this adventure!
So where is Cape Cod? In 1602, Bartholomew Gosnold, after catching a “great store of codfish”, named the outermost tip of land “Cape Cod”. Initially, the area referred to what is now known as Provincetown. Over time, “Cape Cod” extended from Provincetown in the northeast to Woods Hole in the southwest, and is bordered by Plymouth to the northwest. Today, the Cape is divided into fifteen towns, several of which are in turn made up of multiple villages.
It was a pleasure to meet Emily O’Connell, longtime friend and advisor to the Bernstein’s, in P-Town. Thanks for the private tour, and for introducing us to the magnificent local food.
Pope’s Island, New Bedford – Hello Bella!
We returned to New Bedford, to connect with extended family. Say hello to Tyler’s cousin, beautiful Bella Beales (David Hendry’s niece).
It was spectacular seeing the Beales family. Thanks for making the drive!
As long as we are talking about fishy stuff, within easy walking distance of our marina we found Tuna Sashimi! Yes, it was as delicious as it looks.
Jamestown RI – Conanicut Island
Our next stop was Jamestown. Population 5,500 ish. A walk to the main town took about 7 minutes. Look at that BREATHTAKING blue sky! No filters!
Antique firetruck for Tyler
Tribute to 9/11
In Jamestown we found a precious tribute, with an actual section from the New York towers.
Nearly 20 years have elapsed since the horrendous tragedy in New York. We all have stories of where we were on that day. The memories remain too vivid, the loss too great, leaving a permanent hole in our hearts. Together, we shed a few tears.
Thank you, Uncle Larry, for the magnificent structure you created to commemorate those who lost their lives and those who were left behind.
Fisher’s Island, NY
Nine miles long and one mile wide – the island had a great vibe, a small, quaint little stop.
Pequot – where the locals seemed freakishly tall. Maybe the ceilings were a little low in this fabulous gem, but it felt like the patrons – especially the women – could have been members of a basketball team. Reminds us of Copper River, AK – a TRUE local hangout, complete with never ending 70’s music.
Power Guards – We were amused by the Hello Kitty and Invincible critters on guard. If you don’t recognize these characters, just ask your kids – that’s what I did 🙂
We leave you with the t-shirt of the day – from P-town
Milestones: Birthdays: Eileen Pitel, September 10; Tony “Ynot” Rodriguez, September 15.
Shana Tova – (Have a good year) Thanks again, Megan, for the apple!
First a little something for Rebecca Hill. The Nancy Schon sculpture in the Boston Public Garden, a tribute to Bostonian author Robert McCloskey. Installed in 1987.
Maddie enjoyed our stay in Boston – surrounded by exquisite public parks, luxuriant architecture, splendid history, and abundant food options.
Mija – this is for you! We LOVE this city : -) Alisha was in Boston, starting a new project, when COVID changed the world. This resilient city is thriving again.
We found the best Chinese food, maybe ever, at Billy Tse, Chinese and Pan-Asian Cuisine. It was so good, we went there twice. Check it out for yourself! Capt Rick tried to talk Billy Tse into opening a restaurant in Florida, no dice. And yes we enjoyed Italian cuisine, again, and again and again. Of course the family owned restaurants, with tables in the streets, were the best!
The Aquarium was spectacular until throngs of unruly children and disrespectful adults – who refused to properly mask up – arrived.
And now we are excited to share there are LOTS of Friends for Waddles
Midnight Ride of Paul Revere – A little fact check
The story of Paul Revere is often debated, bizarrely, dating back to the moment of his birth. The infamous Bostonian was born on December 21, 1734, according to Wikipedia. BUT, Biography.com disagrees, reporting his birthday on January 1, 1735.
Historians do agree the prosperous silversmith was one of the ringleaders in the 1773 Boston Tea Party. Scandalously disguised as Mohawk Indians, Revere and his cadre of vandals utterly destroyed the cargo from three ships (valued at nearly $2 million today), creating an immediate shortage of tea. Ironically, when the reality of unmet demand followed a dramatically decreased supply, the price of tea rose higher than the tax they were protesting; that’s the fickle finger of fate – for @DougAndDanaAndABoat.
The “Midnight Ride of Paul Revere” was first published in 1861 in The Atlantic Monthly. To provide some perspective, Revere died in in 1818. We are all familiar with the phrase “ … one if by land, two if by sea …” But did you know that Henry Wadsworth Longfellow took great liberty with his poem, re-writing the actual events for the sake of clever syntax and a Hollywood ending.
Let’s revisit a few details of that infamous April 1775 horse ride, beginning with who really lit the lanterns in the Old North Church. A visit to the historic church revealed the descendants are still fighting over that claim to fame!
As pointed out by our hop-on-hop-off tour guide – the horse ride was not at midnight, the ships would have landed much earlier.
We also heard Revere didn’t even own a horse, he borrowed one from a neighbor. Is that like borrowing a Hinckley sailboat? Just curious.
Finally, Wikipedia confidently reports no one actually yelled “the British are coming” Why? Most of the Massachusetts colonists considered themselves British – meaning the British were already there.
Boston Waterboat Marina
We stayed in Boston for 4 nights, the location was superb, within easy walking distance of downtown. This was the magnificent view from our boat.
On our final day in Boston we said goodbye to Gail’s sisterCarol Mayo. Thanks for exploring with us, and for sharing your fabulous stories, Carol Lee!
The new Exhale has journeyed 3,550 nautical miles since December 22, 2020 – when Donna and I met Capt. Rick and Steven with a “v” in New Orleans. That’s where our slow boat came off the BIG ship from China. Rest assured she was fully sanitized – and Rona free – upon arrival.
That includes a total of 2,450 nautical miles traveled since we left Fort Myers – accompanied by Craig and Maureen – on April 29, 2021. A lifetime ago.
Be Safe Out There
With the Delta variant rampant in our communities, we wish everyone good health. Be safe, be smart.
Mask up America!!
Milestones: Birthdays: Susan Merritt, Gypsy, September 5; Connie B., September 9.
Waddles was the perfect wedding host. For those of you who have not met, Waddles has been the beloved international mascot of Megan Ginsburg – Capt. Rick’s niece – for the past 15 years.
Congrats to Megan & Mike Newton, who got married on August 21 in Ann Arbor, MI. As you can see, the bride is gorgeous, and that dress – absolutely exquisite. The groom, with his charming smile, was truly handsome 🙂
It was an exceptional gathering of relatives traveling from the states of California, Michigan, Ohio, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, Maine, and a few more. For Capt. Rick in addition to seeing the familiar members of the extended Satterfield and Ginsburg family, it was a rare treat to spend time with the fashionable Aunt Sally and Uncle Ernie Waxman, who never show their age!
For all of us, it was a sweet reminder that family will travel many miles to celebrate life events, and, that the bonds are timeless.
It is absolutely fascinating how the family dynamics never change, no matter how much time passes between visits. Some siblings misbehave. Some tend to cry with joy, several times. Some just dance, all night long, happy to enjoy life!
Family gatherings are the most precious when Grandpa Rick gets to spoil three grandkids at the same time!
Arriving back at the airport in Portland we had a special sighting. A Moose! But wait a minute – something is extremely odd about that moose.
First a little background to establish credibility. Moose are so common in Alaska, I could not possibly tell you have many hundreds I have seen (I lived in AK for nearly 40 years). Even Capt Rick has seen several of them up close.
With a wealth of experience in this matter, this stuffed moose was absolutely ridiculous! Why?? Because moose are NEVER this groomed! (Useless Factoid from Wikipedia: To become a taxidermist, only 28 states require a license, and Maine requires two exams, but there is no requirement for “experience”) Moose are ugly, their hide is a mess, and they shed like crazy. Was the taxidermist from Los Angeles? To me, this moose looks like it just won a contest for Miss Moose International. Good grief!
DiMillos Marina – Portland Maine
While it rained heavily for several days, Exhale was safely docked at DiMillos, a walkable location with exceptional staff. Sorry, there were no great photos taken at this location.
Wentworth by the Sea
This hotel is reminiscent of the Grand Hotel on Makinac Island, MI – celebrating sweet memories with Gypsy and the Gillespies. Hello Doyles! Thanks for making the drive. It was nice to see you again.
Strawberry Banke, Portsmouth, NH.
The ladies (Gail, Carol and MS) went to Portsmouth, NH to explore Strawberry Banke, the oldest neighborhood in New Hampshire. No surprise, the community is built on a “bank” of elevated ground and strawberries were once abundant.
With 37 restored buildings from the 17th to the 19th centuries (that’s crazy old), ranging in size from very small to mini mansions, all but one rest on their original foundations. Amazing.
This photo proves tiny houses date back hundreds of years.
This is for Dave and Holly Lubs – we got up way before breakfast to take this photo for you!
Next up: Boston, MA – Donna and Steven with a “v”, you should be here.
Spoiler alert for Megan– special guests from the Boston Aquarium!
YES! That’s the name of one of our favorite restaurants in southwest Florida, where we often order the seafood tower with a generous portion of lobster, mussels, clams, crab and so much more. So yummy. But this is an introduction to a REAL Lobster Lady.
Say hello to Lobster Lady Allyssa (Ah-Liss-ah). She works 5 days a week as a crew member for a well-established lobster fisherman. Born into the trade, from a long line of lobster men, she is the only female on the crew.
Even more impressive, this 36-year-old mom (2 kids) told us she owns 140 lobster traps that she manages and harvests solo, and, on average, one out of every four lobsters are keepers. Her boat is named “Just One More” and she is a strong, tough, cookie.
This sleepy little village was a surprise. Enjoy this beautiful landscaping.
Spectacular schooner in the fog.
If a summer in Maine conjures up an image of relaxing outdoor activity, this pic is for you.
Yes, it’s been a long time since Maddie got a haircut.
Some of the places we have visited have been so spectacular we decided to visit again!
Port Clyde, St George
Port Clyde was so small the family owned grocery store closed at 3 pm. Yet, with a little help from guests on board Tonto’s Reward – Brenda and Phil – we discovered some wonderful local hangouts. On the theme of Lobster ladies, this restaurant worker shared the technique to safely secure and boil lobsters. Note to self: remove the rubber band before cooking.
Mooring ball math
We know there are a few of you out there who hate math. And we know a few more who don’t like to disclose your exact age, conveniently subtracting a few years … so maybe it was just a harmless little rounding down. When the mooring field limits the allowable size of the boat, 50 something is close enough.
Moonlight Magic over Tonto’s Reward
Linekin Bay Resort
From the mooring ball we took a launch (think water taxi) to the resort. Maddie loved this long ramp.
Established in 1918, the Lin-e-kin Bay Camp was once a “Healthy, Happy, Saltwater Camp for Girls on the East Coast of Maine.” That’s a quote, verbatim, from the camp brochure. Considering the time period, it might have been a very progressive school.
Bath time for Maddie
Special thanks to the extremely kind and talented Faye Turke, Treble in Paradise, who patiently groomed Maddie the very next day!
Back to BoothBay Harbor!
Another repeatable location is BoothBay Harbor. This time we selected the marina on the northwest side of the harbor. Another small, family run marina. Kim, the Dockmaster, was amazing! We will be back for sure.
Guests on Tonto’s Reward, we sincerely enjoyed the company of Phil and Brenda, except for that one time, when he decided to take a video of someone dancing in Rockport …
Next Stops – Portland, Maine; Ann Arbor, MI (family detour); Wentworth by the Sea, Cape Elizabeth, Maine
As we entered into Bar Harbor with the distressed sailboat in tow, Gail from Tonto’s Reward pointed out we would soon be close to Silver Shalis, again, the yacht belonging to Larry Silverstein. The unique powder-blue hull makes her stand out from a distance. Along our journey we have seen her several times.
After rescuing the sailboat without a scratch, my Bar Harbor story now includes a very rare and special viewing of Mr. Silverstein (my friends refer to him as my “uncle” Larry, although we still don’t know if he’s truly related).
It’s my story, and I am sticking to it.
We spent the first night in Bar Harbor on a Mooring Ball, peacefully surrounded by a myriad of boats, large and small. The next morning – as we were enjoying our coffee with the rolling waves – off our bow Capt. Rick noticed a small rowboat closely followed by the familiar blue tender from Silver Shalis.
Admittedly, the person rowing may or may not have been Uncle Larry. As pointed out by David Bernstein, the rower had on a large hat, making it impossible to see the face of the person. The rower, small in stature, was progressing slowly with intermittent rest breaks along the way.
On the bow of the escort tender a uniformed crew member from Silver Shalis stood guard, ready to dive in and rescue if need be. Impressively, the rowing continued for more than an hour. If indeed it was Uncle Larry – reported to be 90-years young – I say BRAVO!
Introducing Mr. Hospitality
The 2nd night we managed to get space on the town dock, where we rocked and rolled, a lot. With that said, we enjoyed this spot, and stayed for a total of 4 restful days. This picture is for all our Looper friends (especially Misty Pearl, Houlegan, and Gypsy). Yes, it’s Herb Seaton on our “back porch.” Thanks for the memories.
The sunsets are award winning in Bar Harbor.
Outdoor movies in the Park! Great way to enjoy the view.
Moose in Agamont Park
We find it interesting that although it is heavily marketed, you never see a moose (unlike in AK where they interrupt the flow of traffic and gladly walk across your lawn). Guessing the moose don’t get royalties, either.
Frenchboro, Outer Long Island
On to another remote location. Lunt Harbor is well known for its Dockside Deli. Accessible by dinghy, it was a treasure.
Frenchboro is a quaint, picturesque town. This First Class Outhouse was up the hill from the deli.
We interrupt this story with a shameless bragging moment from this very proud Mama.
“Production begins in Buffalo, New York on Alejandro Monteverde’s ‘The Untitled Cabrini Film’. Christiana Dell’Anna, John Lithgow, David Morse & Rolando Villazón star in powerful true story of unknown American legend, Frances Xavier Cabrini … Costume Designer: Alisha Silverstein”.
The story is based in the 1890’s, and the costumes are spectacular! Wow, Mija.
Not only is Alisha the Costume Designer extraordinaire, she made a cameo appearance in the movie (her first ever) and she scored a roll for two of her Alaskan cousins who spent a VERY memorable week in New York. Here’s an unauthorized photo of their restaurant scene! Happy Birthday Carly (August 6) and Alisha (August 19).
The Maine Event Story continues. We found yet another adorable little village, and stayed an extra night in North Haven. Check out this community billboard, better than Facebook, especially when there is virtually no Verizon cell service, again.
Local artists flourish
Sadly, the ice cream sold out before Capt Rick arrived.
We anchored near Devil Island, with little to no visibility AGAIN.
As the fog slowly lifted we could see the water was like a sheet of glass.
We leave you with a trendy drink for Tyler :-). See you soon!
Celebrating Milestones: Birthday: August 19 – Alisha Silverstein, August 23 – Matt Jackson; Anniversary: August 19 – Sandra and Danielle Ginsburg; August 20 – Howard and Ann Freedman; August 22 – Wedding Nuptials – Megan Ginsburg in Ann Arbor, Michigan
On the VHS radio we heard “Slow moving trawler just off the lighthouse, could you give us a hand? Tow boat US is not answering our call.”
The Hinkley sailboat was tangled up with a Lobster trap, rendering their prop immovable. Before calling for help the hardy sailor plunged repeatedly into the brutal Atlantic waters, reportedly for over 30 minutes, attempting to cut the lobster trap free, to no avail.
With a successful toss of a line from the bow of the distressed sailboat to Exhale (good catch, Mary), reinforced by Eagle Scout-worthy marine knots from Capt Rick, Exhale had the 48-foot sailboat nervously under tow, roughly 75 feet off our stern, with heavy seas jostling her to and fro.
Stationed in the cockpit of Exhale, communicating with Capt Rick via my trusty eartec headset, my job was to monitor and report on the lines as we traveled toward the next port.
After nearly 3 hours of rocking and rolling with the waves, I jinxed the moment with something stupid like, “looking good from here” followed by a sudden “Oh, Shit!”
The line snapped free – no longer secured to the bow of the sailboat. Capt Rick dropped the engines to idle. A rush of adrenalin fueled my desperation as I frantically pulled the heavy sinking line into Exhale’s cockpit – the worst possible outcome would be entanglement in our prop – leaving two boats dead in the water.
With the line retrieved – courtesy of a serious cardio workout – the next major challenge was safely reconnecting. First, Exhale had to maneuver as close as possible to the sailboat. Then, someone had to accurately toss nearly 100 feet of HEAVY water-soaked line from the stern of Exhale to the aggressively bobbing bow of Halcyon. That someone was Capt. Rick, placing me at the helm of the boat. We needed to get as close as possible to the sailboat, without injury or damage. The task was far worse than parallel parking on a hill – with a lot of blind spots – coupled with a critical line toss! Major kudos to Capt Rick who gave steady direction and remained calm and collected during this tricky operation.
Commercial Break – Deja Vu
Here’s a little deja vu / throwback moment from 2018, when we flawlessly executed a certain bread and cookie exchange – in motion – with Bushranger!
Back to our Story
Capt. Ned opted to add 50 feet of heavy line – by tying in two other lines – to increase the separation between the boats and reduce the strain on his bow cleats that secured the lines.
Exhale tentatively throttled forward as the crew (Maddie and me) resumed watch.
Winter Harbor, 4:06 pm
Our destination was the mooring field of Bar Harbor. We all breathed a sigh of relief as the harbor came into view. In total, we towed Halcyon 21 miles, over the course of 4 hours.
We were greeted by Scout, the dinghy from Tonto’s Reward. Aptly named, the tender served as a Pilot boat, guiding Halcyon to the open mooring ball and helping them get secured.
An hour later, Ned and his wife Mary paddled over via their little rowboat. It was delightful to finally meet them. When asked if they could sponsor a nice dinner for our troubles, Capt Rick smiled warmly and said thanks, but no thanks. Instead, he asked, “Do us a big favor, when the time is right – pay it forward. “
By the way, Ned, a VERY experienced sailor, never seemed rattled by the ordeal. It turned out he had borrowed the 60 year-old, pristine, sailboat. Excuse me, but WHO loans out their classic Hinkley? Clearly the owner was very chill, evidenced by the definition of Halcyon:
Finally, a shout out to Heroes Jim and Susan, who paid it forward when they rescued a boat in distress during the loop; and towed it for miles and miles and miles. On the continued theme of pay it forward, we leave you with the t-shirt of the day:
We are enjoying life, at a much slower pace than we are accustomed to – due in part to the lack of cellular service for Verizon customers . . . So far, the Maine Event has been absolutely unforgettable. Ah yes, that brings us to flower question from the prior blog post.
Thanks to everyone who responded. Special mention goes to Grant. We know your forgetful buddy Archibald loves to clown around. Next time consult with Betty, who would advise you that the Forget-me-not is the official state flower of Alaska, my beloved home state. Winner, winner, winner – my dearest hometown friend Adnerb, miss you so much!
We have been spending more time at anchor – capturing beautiful sunsets.
Maine is well known for it’s Lighthouses, like this one in Tremont
Aptly named, we anchored out next to the seals. These seals departed when the fishermen arrived. (8 second video to be added at a later date …).
Capt Rick has been on a quest for the best soft serve ice cream, which is not easy to find. So far, the winner is in Southwest Harbor where the chocolate actually tastes like chocolate!
“What’s up, butter cup?”One of Capt. Rick’s favorite sayings – although this might be the first time he has ever seen a field of the flowers!
Little Cranberry Island; Islesford, Maine
A dink ride to Little Cranberry Island took us to the popular Islesford Dock Restaurant.
The food was good, the service was even better. We took a brief stroll up the hill, in quest of the local post office.
We heard some crazy trivia about how this post office ranked #1 in the sale of postage stamps in the U.S, I am guessing per capita, which would not take much given the resident population is a mere 65 (Wikipedia: 2013 data).
Look at these antique mailboxes! True Story: A long time ago, I served as an unpaid high school intern at the local Post Office. In Seward, AK we had the exact same kind of boxes, with a spin combo or maybe three letters. Yes, we read every postcard that we received, and yes, it was like Mayberry, where the post office staff gossiped all day long about the comings and goings of the whole town – resident population roughly 2,000.
Seward’s Lydia Jacoby Wins Gold!
On the topic of Seward, AK Congrats to Olympic swimmer Lydia Jacoby, she won gold in Tokyo for the 100-meter breaststroke. The 17-year old athlete is Alaska’s first Olympic Swimmer! You are right, swimming in AK is not a common sport.
Roque Island – Lobster Mania
Not on the original itinerary, we heard about this secluded island from Sean at KYC. Rarely crowded, it was a quiet haven, with a white sandy beach – a rare sight in Maine.
These lobster boats were rafted together – a strange site, indeed. As we drifted by with Maddie in our dinghy, the friendly fishermen told us there were LOTS of freshly cooked Lobsters on shore, “Please join in and eat as much as you want.”. Wait, what did you say?
Most of the folks were done eating and had moved away from the food tables as we were offered to partake in their “leftovers”. Then we saw the GIGANTIC steaming pot – with more than 20 cooked critters remaining. Next to the pot were the carcasses of more than 100 lobsters that had already been devoured. wow. Wow. WOW! Let’s just say our Maine Lobster craving was more than satiated. Sorry I don’t have photos – trust me, it was a delicious buttery mess.
Now Capt Rick is raving about how Roque Island, Maine is “the very best gunk hole, ever” possibly de-throning Cayo Costa from its long-standing perch (Don’t’ worry, Donna, Caryl and Gail; Pelican Bay is still #1 for me).
A New York Minute
Happy birthday to my beautiful niece Carly – so excited you and Austin are in New York supporting Alisha’s latest movie project! Mija, your costumes are absolutely exquisite, of course!!
Celebrating Milestones. Birthdays: Andrea Davis and Carly Maurer, August 3; Weston Wayne Sumpter Straley, August 4; Tanja Elliott, August 6; David Hendry, August 10; Romeo and Ruby, August 11. Anniversary: Mike and sue Gillespie, August 13.
After a long stretch of rain, the clouds lifted, leaving blue sky for as far as the eye could see.
Buck’s Harbor Marine, Brooksville, ME
John Buck (similar in name to my beloved brother-in-law, John Buckendahl) and his family run a charming marina. From the mooring field it was a quick dinghy ride to the land.
Outdoor Shower – clean and convenient.
This Van is for Sam
Dog is my Co-Pirate. Now that’s a great t-shirt.
Okay followers, including @DougAndDanaAndABoat, no tags this time, 1) what is this flower and 2) why is it of significance to me? Cleverness encouraged, with a real answer intertwined.
Go ahead, Identify that wild blue flower in your comments!
From Buck’s harbor we motored to Brooklin, in the fog, again.
Wooden Boat School
As we headed to the school, David Bernstein observed a marine tragedy …. A moment of silence for this little guy.
David and Gail lead the way to the WoodenBoat School, where we observed plenty of retired dudes hard at work. Faye and Tom rode along as well.
From Kayaks to Sailboats, exquisite craftsmanship. Hand-milled wood (Sam, you would have enjoyed this).
Kollegewidgwok Yacht Club , Brooklin
Don’t worry, we can’t pronounce it either. Call it KYC. It was another beautiful stop. We never get tired of this landscape.
Blue Hill, Maine
Photo of three boats together, courtesy of Treble.
Another sweet little harbor – we were the largest boats in the mooring field.
The Garmin reading on the dinghy captured the days low and high tides in Blue Hill Harbor. You can do the math, the difference is over 12 feet. At low tide, you cannot access the town dock, as you are completely surrounded by bedrock and mud. The terrain might be heaven for seals, but it is not navigable for any type of watercraft – not even kayaks.
Actual dinghy ride conversation:
Mary, “This dinghy ride (at high tide) is very different from our ride yesterday (at low tide).”David,“Yeees, there are a lot less rocks.”Gail, “Hmmm. I think we have the same number of rocks.”
Blue Hill, Maine
From KYC we took the dinghy to Blue Hill – you can get there by water in a brief window of time – from two hours before until two hours after high tide.
A quaint little town, the City Hall is a local treasurer.
Blue Hill Grocery
Not your typical grocery store, this little treasure has an unexpected collection of retro games. And now for a blast from the way back. Recognize this?
Dinner at ArborVine, Blue Hill
We successfully made reservations for 6, and had the most unexpected meal in a remote spot. Amazing, and worth a return trip.
Maddie and her alligator buddy, wishing for dry land. This is not staged.
Maddie Sue often carries her little buddy around the boat. The gator has been her constant companion, from Long Beach California, for roughly 10 years. I keep thinking I should ask her vet to officially declare Miss gator as a comfort pet – just can’t figure out how to get it TSA clearance.
Moonrise – enjoy the beauty.
Anchored out, again, Maddie makes the most of the situation.
Celebrating Milestones. Anniversary: Larry & Laura, July 26. Birthdays: SuperWoman Diana Giraldo, July 28; Ann Freedman, July 31.