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And so it begins …

Journey notes.

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.

Watch Dog
A dog’s life.

ex·hale

eksˈhāl,ˈeksˌhāl/
verb
  • breathe out in a deliberate manner.
    “she sat back and exhaled deeply”

    The trawler:  North Pacific is based in Surrey, British Columbia, CANADA.

Nothing but Blue Sky, from now on …

Blue Sky

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.

Buck’s Harbor Marina

Outdoor Shower – clean and convenient.

Outdoor Shower

Charming countryside.

gentle countryside

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.

What’s this flower and why do I care.

Go ahead, Identify that wild blue flower in your comments!

From Buck’s harbor we motored to Brooklin, in the fog, again.

fog

Wooden Boat School

Brooklin, Maine

As we headed to the school, David Bernstein observed a marine tragedy …. A moment of silence for this little guy.

Marine life tragedy

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.

Wooden Boat School

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.

Tonto’s Reward, Treble in Paradise and Exhale. Photo by Tom Turke

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.

City Hall

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?

Donkey Kong

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.

Wild caught halibut

Maddie and her alligator buddy, wishing for dry land.  This is not staged.

Miss Ally Gator chillin with Maddie Sue

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.

Union River

Moonrise – enjoy the beauty.

Moonrise Photo by David Bernstein

Anchored out, again, Maddie makes the most of the situation.

surrounded by water – soaking in the sun

Celebrating Milestones. Anniversary: Larry & Laura, July 26. Birthdays: SuperWoman Diana Giraldo, July 28; Ann Freedman, July 31.

Next Stop:  Pretty Marsh followed by Seal Cove

Time for Otter’s

Castine, Maine

Simple living, with new friends. So far, Castine is our favorite respite in Maine. 

Let’s start with the small world syndrome.

Castine, ME

The owner of Otter’s Eatery, Rob DeGennaro, also owns a few familiar spots in Florida, including Ichabod’s (yum!), Nervous Nellie, RC Otter’s, the Island Cow on Sanibel, La Captiva Island Inn, Hungry Heron, and several more.

Housed in the former Dennett’s Wharf building on Sea Street, Otter’s Eatery is a casual, family style restaurant with delicious food!  And, don’t you just love the whimsical logo – notice the Florida-style shirt on that otter! To our delight, after chatting with Capt. Rick (who was wearing a similar shirt, no surprise), and realizing the common Florida connection, Rob offered Exhale the floating dock for two nights! A much smoother experience than the rocking mooring ball. Thanks, Rob! Maddie appreciated the close proximity to the park – we will be back.

Castine Walking Tour

We explored the town with our personal guide, Gail, who took us on a walking tour filled with hysterical trivia. 

Castine, ME

F.L.A.G.

What a fabulous concept! The miniatures in the gallery were adorable. We only wish we had something to exchange.

F.L.A.G., Castine Arts Association
F.L.A.G. Castine, ME

Maine architecture

We never get tired of the beautiful architecture in Maine. Built on bedrock, these structures withstand the test of time.

Built in 1790, Bell and Cupola added in 1831

Wildflowers, vibrant and serene

wildflowers

While Tonto took a detour for some repairs, Exhale remained in Castine for an extra night or two. 

Pentagoet Inn and Wine Bar

Built in 1894, the inn is Castine’s oldest, original “summer hotel” still welcoming guests of Penobscot Bay. This Queen Anne Victorian style hotel has a prominent three-story turret, gables, and a delightful wraparound porch.

Built in 1894

Lured in by the promise of “wine perfectly paired with small plates“, we made reservations for a table to enjoy the evening jazz on the porch.  Let’s just say it was Not what we imagined. Suffice to say the cook needed some lessons from Craig Adford, it was a weak attempt, with very little offered.

What do you do when the meal is a bust? Find a better option! Meet Danny, Murphy, and Bernie.

Danny, Murphy and Bernie

Pizza time! 

Danny Murphy’s pizza

Danny Murphy’s Irish Pub is a local spot that opens AFTER the last tourist boat departs. Named after the two Maltese pupsters, the proprieter, Bernie, pours a cold beer, accompanied by a hot pizza, worth the wait, and priced to attract return visitors.

Lobstah beer

Don’t be afraid, it doesn’t taste fishy at all, and it goes well with pub food.

Lobstah beer

Hold on tight, Maddie

The floating dock at Otter’s was a great find. BUT, the tide swing is more than 10 feet, we think the floating ramp was a 45-degree angle. 

Hold On Maddie Sue!

At one point, we were almost level with the restaurant.  Notice the water marks on the dock pilings.

Camden, Maine

The run to Camden was about 4 hours, going super super slow. The water was flat and the weather delightful. We docked next to Sapphire Star, she hails from Juneau, AK.  Notice the big dipper. Mr. Kaplan was a long way from home.

Camden foot bridge

Another fix it project

Did I mention that Capt. Rick loves projects!?! Broken slats require a mega toothpick.

He hopes Gorilla Glue does the trick.
Toothpicks and zip strips to complete the chair repair for Tonto.

Wish you were here, Chris Moles.

Zopilote

Translated: Black Vulture, a wise bird that picks up the leavings. This magnificent boat is 20 years old, and clean as a whistle. Cared for with a LOT of pride.

Zopilote

We have said it before, the best part of boating is the friends who join you, and, the people you meet along the way.

This one is for Mija.  Introducing Bruce Kessler, the son of a clothing designer – a true living legend.  An American racing driver, film and tv director his story is amazing. Holy crap.  He’s 88.  We encourage you to take a look at his Wikipedia page, and read the story about James Dean. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Kessler

Bruce Kessler, Zopilote.

Plus, here’s an insane list of movie and tv credits. Found on IMDB. Please comment on your favorite!!

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0450314/

Storm

Yes, it rained in Camden. When the clouds are black, take shelter, please.

Lobstah cake salad

Finally, a big thanks to Sandy, that was yummy. Treble and Exhale enjoyed yet another fabulous meal on Tonto.

Deconstructed Lobstah Salad, courtesy of Sandy

Celebrating Milestones: Birthday – Ray Houle aka Sideways, July 22; Anniversary – Matt and Michele Jackson, July 22.

Next stop: John Buck’s Harbor, Maine.

Oh, Elsa, enough already!

Chilly Capt. Rick

On the theme of being cold this picture missed the last post from Booth Bay Harbor.  Thanks to David B, Rick was well-bundled, with a proper coat.

Rockland, Maine

The run from Booth Bay to Rockland was bumpy, until Maddie remembered to turn on the Sea Keeper. Our favorite feature on the new Exhale, the gyro creates a smooth ride when the seas are not so calm.

Owls Head

Have you ever seen a tall ship?  How about two schooners together?

Independence

For your viewing pleasure

Spirit of Bermuda

We were joined in Rockland by Claude and JoAnn Welles, friends we had cruised with in the Bahamas.

Rockland is home to countless parks, museums, galleries, and boutiques.  Local restaurants offered an array of farm to table and fresh fish options, with far too many to choose from!

Harbor Square Gallery

Harbor Square Gallery and the Muir Garden

Thanks to JoAnn and Claude we found a perfect local gem.  Best little gallery, ever.  Built in 1912, this former bank (Security Trust), is magnificent.  Inside we toured the underground vault, the main floor, mezzanine, and a roof top garden – an oasis of trees and sculpture.  Every nook and cranny had a sweet surprise.  My personal favorite was the bank manager’s corner office on the mezzanine level – complete with a private balcony and exterior staircase.  Oh, Peter Zamarillo, may you rest in peace, the strategically located manager’s exit would have been well used by you!

Lobby and Mezzanine Levels

This link will give you more interior pics. Click Here: Check it out!

And then there were 10

With Rick and Karen Smith (not pictured) on board Tonto (4), the Welles on Exhale (4) and the Turkes from Treble (2) it was a full house. After a visit to the local seafood market, another fresh fish dinner was prepared by Chef Capt. Rick and enjoyed by all.  Thanks again Gail and Greg for the yummy recipes.

4 of the 10: Claude and JoAnn Welles, Gail and David Bernstein

Trivia for our friends from Doyle Lumber:  The Native Indians called Rockland Catawamteak, meaning “great landing place.”  Greg Doyle, notice the “teak” part in the name.  Maybe it should have been Cat-a-wam-oak, or Cat-a-wam-pine, since this location is a BIG oak and pine spot.

Rockland Lighthouse

As Elsa approached, we moved from Rockland to Rockport.  Distance between the two is about 6 nautical miles, or roughly 45 minutes – shortest run ever

Exhale and the Rockland Lighthouse. Photo by Gail Bernstein

Rockport Harbor

Arriving in Rockport in record time, Maddie seemed a little confused by the short journey. No time for a nap, no chance to bark at anything. What the heck?

Are we already there?

Rockport, Maine

Ms. Abbie Leonard is the Harbormaster in Rockport; she gets more than a gold star for customer care.  Most shocking, Rockport Harbor marina is a City dock!  Would you believe Abbie called Tonto, and then spoke with us, to make sure we knew the dock could be rocking and “a tad bit uncomfortable” when Elsa arrived. She posted this bulletin on the website:

MARINE SAFETY INFORMATION BULLETIN 03-21

Date: July 7, 2021 Time: 1500

Safety Alert in Preparation for Tropical Storm ELSA

We are currently tracking Tropical Storm ELSA’s path along the Atlantic coast. The most recent National Weather Service Hurricane Center predictions indicate gale force winds (sustained winds of 39 – 54 MPH) may impact some Northern New England ports within the next 72 hours. Ports in the Northern New England Captain of the Port Zone remain open to all commercial traffic.

Restore your faith people, government employees are nice people too.

Rockport, Maine

The harbor is absolutely picturesque. 

Sadie and the Train – Fancy a Cuppa?

With a watchful eye for the imminent rain, a handful of silver-haired female artists were painting the historic structures and picturesque landscape surrounding the Harbor.

Sadie, watercolor in progress

Miss Sadie looked a bit chilled. Perhaps it was the lovely British accent that prompted me to offer a spot of tea … or maybe it was the reminder of our sweet friends, Maaaack and Heather Rutherford on Bushranger. Sadie’s subject was the Vulcan Steam Locomotive, a little 040 saddletank steam locomotive dating back to the late 1800s. 

The Maine Event

And now for a shameless commercial break.  6 adults, 3 trawlers, 2 dogs, and 2 international bears. Look for pictures by Gail Bernstein and Simon Murray in a future edition of Power & MotorYacht. Details later.

Capt Rick, Maddie Sue, Mary S, Exhale; Gail B, Bert, EJ, David B, Tonto’s Reward;
Faye, Tom and Sandy Cocoa Puff, Treble in Paradise.

Sea Haven, Rockport, ME

Charming landscapes are abundant in Maine.

Weather Report: about that looming storm – Elsa diverted to the east, thank goodness!

No, Elsa did not bring any snow to Rockport, Maine, but she dumped enough rain to drown mosquitoes.  No worries, now there is plenty of standing water to restart the process.

Did you know there are over 3,000 types of mosquitoes worldwide, with 40 types in Maine.  I want to know, why would anyone actually signup to count and catalogue those pests? Oh, and which states have the most mosquitoes? Count down #5: North Carolina, #4: Georgia, #3: Louisiana, #2: Texass, and drum roll please, #1 is Florida.  No surprise.

When it Rains – take a nap

Maddie said, when you can’t do anything ab0ut the storm, take a nap.

Sea Keeper on, check! Nap Time, check!

Finally, a little local humor for Marty Liljequist.

photo by Capt. Rick

And yes, we love our multi-function CrockPot! Thanks, Marty, we think of you often.

Next Destination: Castine, ME

Celebrating Milestones:  Birthdays:  Rodger Swink, Reality, July 7; Jamie Hendry, July 10; Laura Jo Straley, July 13. Miss you beyond measure. 

Summer in Maine

We made it to Maine! You might recognize the infamous 25-foot statue at the entrance to Brown’s Wharf. This iconic fisherman was installed in 1968; loving maintenance of this fiberglass, rebar and cement giant keep him standing strong.

Brown’s Wharf

Before we share the excitement in Maine, let us backtrack a few days to share our adventures with the Doyles.

Tiny Waterhouse – so sweet.
Fearless Gail Doyle.
West Gloucester Bridge

A heartfelt thank you to Larry and Mary Dodge – who met us in Gloucester, loaned us their vehicle, and picked up a mooring ball on their North Pacific 45. It was spectacular seeing you

Gloucester Pride – City Hall

A memorable – moving – feast.

Maddie found a strategic spot to wait for the feast.

Gail and Greg Doyle brought fresh Haddock and all the fixings. It was insanely delicious. Look Trevor!! Can you believe we comfortably sat 8 in the cockpit.

Newbury Port

The Doyles traveled on board to Newbury Port, a quaint place with a sense of magic.

Newbury Port. Finns for Finny, yes they were from Finland!
Newbury Port Sunset

Lobstah Time!

A short drive from Newbury Port you will find Salisbury, MA. We never saw a salisbury steak.

This local spot is a favorite for Gail Doyle. We know why!

Salisbury Lobster, Gail Doyle eats these with style.

Kennebunk Port, ME

We made it to Maine – and it was record heat. It was beyond confusing to feel the temps approaching 100 degrees. But no need to complain, the cold weather is right around the corner. Trust me.

Kennebunkport
for Mija

Boothbay Harbor, ME

This tugboat hosts a lovely restaurant and pub. Worth the visit.

Tugboat Inn
Boothbay Harbor locals – love the sandals!

Possibly the best bar we have ever visited is found at the Carousel Marina. We felt like we just walked into Cheers, and we might have been the youngest patrons. These crusty fishermen were a classic example of the Maine locals.

It’s getting chilly now – Capt Rick is drinking tea and wearing socks.

We are currently holed up for a storm, spending a few extra days at Brown’s Wharf, well, because weather happens.

Next destination: Rockland, Maine. Not sure when.

Name That Port

Okay all you world travelers, can you identify this port? Leave us a comment with your guess. The answer will be in the next post.

Photo by LeighWag – Thanks Leigh!

Celebrating Milestones: Birthday Wishes to Leo, 7/2; Kathy Avanzino, 7/3. Anniversary Love to Capt Rick and Mary S, 7/3; Tanja and Jason Elliott, 7/4.

Happy 4th of July everyone!!

Time for ice cream!

While Mary visited family in Arkansas, Rick and Maddie were left in charge of the blog. We hope you enjoy their adventures 🙂

Looks like ice cream for breakfast!

No Rules!! Anytime is Ice cream time!

Newport, Rhode Island

Maddie did so much walking she needed to rest her paws.

Cozy blanket courtesy of Gypsy, Sue Merritt

Maddie is always looking for a big tree.

A truly spectacular tree, worthy of a lot of dog pee.

Grandpa hates snakes, Maddie thinks they are cool, thanks Chris M. for sharing your childhood memento. 

Touro Synagogue – Newport, RI

Fun facts:  Built in 1759, the second oldest American Synagogue (the oldest is in New York, of course). 

The earliest known Jewish settlers were from Barbados.  Curious to learn more, click here for a virtual tour: http://jewishhistory.com/TOURO/

Boat for Sale – Steven with a “v”, this could be your next boat! W Class W.22 $189,000, trailer included.

Then and Now: Tales from the Big Chair.”  The 19-foot Windsor rocking chair marks the entrance to the Redwood Library & Athenaeum. 

What do you think, Dana, will this one fit in your cockpit?

Speaking of family – introducing our new boat mascot, Ruth Gins-bird.

New Bedford-Fairhaven Hurricane Barrier

Now that’s a safe harbor!

The largest structure of its kind in the world. This unique hurricane barrier is the ultimate proof of Murphy’s Law as it has never been hit by a Category 3 hurricane.

Built in 1966 it cost $1,000 a foot, is long enough to span the 3.5 mile width of New Bedford, MA is as high (and is wider) than The Great Wall of China, and has enough steel in it to build a Navy destroyer. Its two huge steel navigational-sector gates weigh 400 tons apiece-each 35 tons heavier than the biggest locomotive ever built-and each as tall as a six-story house.

When the gates swing shut at the touch of a button to lock out devastating storm tides, they create a pond inside the barrier which could cover 6,500 acres of land with a foot of water.  To learn more:  https://www.westislandweather.com/thehurricanebarrier.htm

Fishing Fleet, New Bedford, MA

For more than 20 years, New Bedford has been the nation’s highest-grossing commercial fishing port.

In 2019, New Bedford reported $451 million worth of fish hauled in by its boats. The number one catch? Sea-scallops 84%.  The second-ranked Port is Naknek, in Bristol Bay Alaska, which had $289 million worth of landings. The number 1 catch is salmon.

Sunset with Geese

Full Moon

New Bedford full Moon. Or is it an anchor light?

New Bedford Whaling Museum

Established in 1903, the well-funded museum is overwhelming.

Mr. Wikipedia says, its collections include over 750,000 items, including 3,000 pieces of scrimshaw and 2,500 logbooks from whaling ships, both of which are the largest collections in the world, as well as five complete whale skeletons

Sandwich, MA

The marina is scary, at best, with a strong current and a tide swing of 11.5 feet. Just imagine, these pilings were almost submerged when we docked, making it a tricky maneuver, now they are over 10 feet high; Exhale was “sandwiched” into a narrow slip.

The oldest town in Cape Cod, settled in 1637, it is named for the seaport Sandwich, Kent, England.  Yes, there is still an Earl of Sandwich in England.   

This is for Maureen – can’t make this stuff up

Hugs and Kisses for my family.  Introducing my youngest cousin, Cali.

Next up:  Gloucester, MA; coming on board – Gail and Greg Doyle!

Celebrating Milestones. Birthdays: Ann Hughes, June 22; Mike Gillespie, June 23; Joe Occhino, June 26; Anniversary: Jamie and David Hendry, June 27.

Gribbles and Shipworms

Sunken by a gribble; when reality bites. Not an evil alien force from Star Trek, these invasive crustaceans are actually a type of clam. As their hard shells scraped away and hollowed out wood, they created a massive tunnel system from the inside, leaving significant damage in the hull of a wooden ship, not easily detected until it was waaaay too late. Think super sonic termites with a ravenous appetite.

Gribbles and Shipworms, Mystic Seaport Museum
Mystic Seaport Museum

Sag Harbor, NY – Moorings June 12, June 13

Exhale stayed in the mooring fields in Sag Harbor, with easy dinghy access to the sweet town. Tonto’s Reward was close by, at Sag Harbor Yacht Club. Together we toured Sag Harbor for two days.

Sag Harbor – June 13, 2021

Dining options in Sag Harbor were numerous, with lots of COVID cautious outdoor seating. You probably know, Capt Rick prefers to wear shorts and Hawaiian shirts, year round. As the temps dipped into the 60’s the rest of us had on long slacks and sweaters. Generously (out of pity), the staff offered him a blanket – actually two blankets – to warm his chilly bones.

Capt Rick, feeling toasty
Sag Harbor, NY

3 Mile Harbor, anchorage – June 14

Exhale and Tonto’s Reward found a spectacular anchorage in 3 Mile Harbor. Yes, dinner on Tonto’s Reward was scrumptious.

Chef, Gail Bernstein; Tonto’s Reward

An easy dinghy ride away is the new East Hampton Pointe. Magnificent does not describe the luxury of this “nearly” finished resort – worth a visit on the return route south when the resort will be fully opened.

East Hampton Pointe Resort – Lush landscaping marks the entry
photo by David Bernstein

Ready, Aim, Destroy

When you anchor out, you need to arm yourself for invasions.

It’s a Hard Life for a Boat Dog

Let’s be very clear. This is not what Maddie had in mind when asked if she wanted to go for a “walk”.

Why The Face? Where is the rest of the lawn?

Mystic Seaport Museum, CT – June 15, June 16

We docked AT the museum. An exquisite location, dockage includes passes to the grounds. The largest maritime museum in the US, notable for its collection of historic sailing vessels and for the re-creation of a 19th century seafaring village (more than 60 historic buildings), complete with well-educated docents in delightful period costumes. It’s mind boggling. So expansive it cannot be covered in two days (19 acres), we will be back.

The town is easy walking distance, with a plethora of unique shops and dining options. We give high praise for Anthony J’s bistro.

Mystic, CT

Have you seen the movie, Mystic Pizza! Here’s a little local trivia. Released in the fall of 1988, the movie centers on the Zelapos family restaurant, including the lives and loves of three waitresses, and the mystical family recipe that made the pizza famous (in real life, and in the movie).

Mystic Pizza

This is for my nephew. Found at the entrance of the Seaport Marine Museum, this gem is called Kingston II.

Kingston II

For the Birds, or, LOOK UP!

A bird whizzed by our heads, maybe it was a sparrow, not too sure. The bird kept flying back and forth along the rafters at a rapid rate of speed, ignoring the human intruders. As we approached it’s turn around spot – well marked by a notable deposit of bird poop on the floor – I saw the nest overhead.

Lunch time

If this video works you will see and hear the magic of Mystic.

Best broom closet, ever!

Behind this door you will find a little slice of heaven – and we are NOT talking about cleaning supplies, or pizza.

Broom closet

A GIANT warehouse of historic boats that have been, or are being, restored.

Mina, launch by Palmer, ca 1906

This gem is 23’6″ x 6’2″, she’s similar in size to our Duffy electric boat. Given the name on the boat and the date, ca 1906, is it possible she belonged to Thomas and Mina Edison? The museum staff did not know. But the timing is plausible. To learn more about Mina, click here.

Newport, RI

Exhale will be taking a short respite in Newport, RI – June 17 through June 20. If you are nearby, give Capt. Rick a call!

Milestones: Paul & Celeste’s anniversary, June 14; Heather Rutherford’s birthday (Bushranger), June 15. Celebration of Life Dianne Gill, June 19, 2021

Next Stop: Edgartown, MA, June 21

A New York state of mind

“… I need a little give and take, the New York Times, the Daily News … I’m in a New York state of mind” Go ahead, name that tune.

It was a privilege to see Lady Liberty again, a symbol of freedom dating back to 1886. Cruising with Treble in Paradise and Tonto’s Reward, the iconic sculpture on Liberty Island greets all who enter New York Harbor. More on that in a moment.

Cape May – South Jersey Marina – Cape Island – June 5

Our stay in Cape May was very brief.

Arrived in Cape May around 3 pm, just enough time to do some quick shopping at their well stocked Ships Store – always supporting the local economy!

Sandy Hook, NJ – anchorage: June 6

Departure at 5:15 am – headed to open waters. Like an energizer bunny we did not stop in Atlantic City, NJ; or Barnegat Bay, or Mantoloking, or Manasquan. Cuz when the big water is calm you keep going, and going, and going.

Dropped an anchor in Sandy Hook, NJ at 7:00 pm. Over 100 nm, in roughly 14 hours! My union rep is NOT doing a good job. It was a beautiful sunset, anchored out with 3 flemings, Treble and Exhale.

New York Harbor

New York, New York – passing through the big Apple. Our plan was to anchor out behind the Statue of Liberty (2018 with Houlegan, Again) – but that area has closed, so we motored through New York City. Ain’t no stopping us now!

I LOVE New York. In my opinion, nothing compares to New York City. It is a vibrant blend of history and promise; home to a diverse, resilient population; a magnet for visitors attracted to a myriad of stimulating sights and smells. Lots of smells (Capt. Rick says, “some, not so good”). For me, the Big Apple represents the steady heartbeat of America. Beat on, sweet NYC, beat strong!

Tonto’s Reward cruised along side us. The splendid skyline reinforces “a New York State of Mind” (written by Billy Joel, 1976). Seriously now, is there anything more phallic than the World Trade Center??

World Trade Center: 1973-2001

Originally seven structures, WTC1 at 1368 feet, and WTC2 at 1362 were the tallest buildings in the world.

In July 2001 the NY Port Authority leased the WTC buildings to Silverstein Properties, Inc. No, I am not a shareholder.

Brilliant – the new World Trade Center, opened in Nov 2014, is 1776 feet high – it’s NOT a coincidence.

Safe Harbor Capri Mooring, Port Washington, NY June 7

🙂

Port Washington Launch, David and Gail Bernstein

Early childhood learning for Oysters. Curious what they teach the babies …

Did you know Billy Joel has a home in Oyster Bay, NY? Reportedly the mansion on the hill, and the house at the waterfront are his, along with all the surrounding greenery. Now that’s a New York State of Mind.

Oyster Bay Brewing Company. Beer test – what would you chose? Sideways – can you identify the beer that is mine? Here’s a clue: the 4 people at the brewery were David and Gail Bernstein, Capt. Rick and me. Round of drinks: 2 IPAs, 1 Original American Lager and 1 Barnrocker.

Safe Harbor Bruce & Johnson’s Marina: Branford, CT June, 10 and 11.

Yes, REM, we are in Connecticut! With COVID protocols in constant flux, Yale discouraged visitors, but we will be back in the fall to tour the campus with Tonto. We did find these architectural gems:

Branford Public Library – MDCCCXCIII – Roman Numeral time. Do you know the year this library was completed? Answer below.

Finally, a little deja vu for my brother and his boys. Notice the Tonka truck is getting buried in that sandbox.

Milestones: Happy birthday Gramma Finny, June 9

Next up: Sag Harbor Launch & Moorings, on Long Island, New York

Answer: MDCCCXCIII = 1893

The fixer

Capt. Rick loves projects, and he keeps the engine room pristine clean (you can never have too many paper towels, right Sideways!?). Thankfully Capt. Rick has a keen ability to diagnose and fix almost anything – including the air conditioner sensor. The task of putting everything neatly back into the cupboard was a bigger challenge.

What would Rick do?

Plans? We don’t need no stinking plans!

It is no surprise that before we commenced our planned adventures on the Great Loop (~ 9-month voyage in 2018) both the schedule and the route were carefully charted. Ah yes, all you experienced boaters, you can hear the roar of laughter.  

IF you stick to a schedule, you find yourself in rough waters. Simply stated, a rigid schedule is dangerous. For us, the reality of the ever changing water conditions, and a credible threat by the crew to jump ship, taught Rick to relax his planning mode a little (I said a little).

Three years after completing the Great Loop, the journey to Maine is “subject to change”. A loose schedule makes sense, EXCEPT when you face a national holiday.  Memorial Day weekend is the official launch of summer boating everywhere. Translation: Good luck securing a last minute reservation at a marina, and forget about finding a quiet spot to anchor.

Giving Thanks to Mother Nature!

A nasty storm did us a favor, causing fair weather boaters to cancel their holiday plans, and opening up space at a well-protected marina, a respite from the storm.

Windmill Point, Virginia – May 29 (Saturday) and May 30 (Sunday)

The marina was “sold out” for the weekend. Sincere thanks to the harbor master who put Exhale on the wait list; he said only a handful of boats would arrive before the storm. Tied securely we stayed for two nights, pounded by the rain.

Spring Cove Marina, Solomon’s Island, Maryland – May 31, 2021

With the rain behind us, we traveled north to the beautiful Solomon’s Island.

Hello Annapolis, Maryland! – June 1 and June 2

Two days in Annapolis, rain free. Can you believe it Tim & June? Tied to a mooring ball (at $35 per night), we reunited with Tonto’s Reward (thanks for slowing down, Bert and EJ). Treble in Paradise arrived on June 2.

Annapolis architecture is divine, with well-preserved structures dating back nearly 400 years. Home to the US Naval Academy and St. John’s College, constructed in 1696, the area is extremely walkable with LOTS of local shops and restaurants. And it’s very dog friendly!

Celebrating June Pride

Annapolis City Center bronze statues – “Alex Haley, shares stories with a diverse group of children.”

“We must be in this place as one village. It is not enough that we learn to live together, we must learn to respect and love each other.”  Mandinka Elder, Roots 

Still Pond anchorage, Maryland – June 3, 2021

Anchored out with Tonto, we found a lovely gunk hole. What’s a gunk hole you ask?

Wikipedia says: Gunkholing is a boating term referring to a type of cruising in shallow or shoal water, meandering from place to place, spending the nights in coves. The term refers to the gunk, or mud, typical of the creeks, coves, marshes, sloughs, and rivers that are referred to as gunkholes.

Maddie takes her time on a little beach walk with the boys.

Delaware City, Delaware – June 4, 2021

The marina in Delaware City was a bit remote. Although it was slow to get an Uber or Lyft driver, there were plenty of bikes.

With great effort, the 3 musketeers are together again.  Treble in Paradise, Exhale and Tonto’s Reward docked in tandem.

Thanks Treble for speeding up.

Milestones:  Craig Adford, Amanda Saylor, Mark Marlow and Skyllar June bug, all on June 1; Sue Gillespie, June 2 and Lorrie Swink, June 3.

Congrats to #DougAndDanaAndABoat! The NP4906 – original Exhale, and former Mimi’s Oasis (Hello to Grant and Nancy Jonsson) – was officially named Tumbleweed; she’s “Back in the Saddle Again” :-). Looking forward to our reunion Doug and Dana!

Next Stop:  Cape May – South Jersey Marina

Swamp Swamp

Since European Settlers in the 1700s referred to swamps as “dismals”, wouldn’t that suggest the Dismal Swamp is really just a Swamp Swamp? I say, yes, yes! But, we’ll get back to the story of the Great Swamp in a moment. First a beautiful sunset from Georgetown, where we anchored out with Treble.

Sunset, Georgetown, NC – May 20, 2021

From Georgetown we traveled to Myrtle Beach. Destination: Barefoot Beach Marina. You were right, Beverly and Bruce (SeaTrek), don’t waste your time or your taste buds at the marina restaurant.

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach Swing Bridge – May 21, 2021

Looking for Real Estate in a Super Charged COVID market? Location is key. Celebrating Tiny Houses!

Oak Island – May 22, 2021

Wrightsville Beach, NC

Anchored out with Treble we were delighted with a spectacular sight – the end of the ILCA Atlantic Coast Regatta, 113 Lasers registered, plus all of the coaches and judges. Here’s to Gail, who is a former Certified Judge of that regatta.

Wrightsville Beach Anchorage – May 22, 2021

Beaufort, NC

Welcome back to Beaufort – that’s No Bow in North Carolina, of course. With easy access from the Town Dock, this quaint little town is home to some of the very best fresh crab. We highly recommend walking off the beaten path to the Beaufort Grocery Co. When it opens at 5 pm there is a line, for a reason.

Beaufort Grocery Co., blue crab (soft shell)
Beaufort, NC – May 23, 2021

Belhaven, NC

River forest Manor, Belhaven, NC – May 24, 2021

Welcome aboard Jim and Susan Merritt. While the boys were doing yet another boat project, Susan and I got a private tour of the River Forest Manor, built in 1899. The dockmaster, Henry, is one of a handful of local residents who had the heart and vision to restore this gem into a magnificent wedding destination. The interior is stunning – check it out here: River Forest Manor

Elizabeth City, NC

Jm Merritt, it’s time to relax.

Thanks to Gail Bernstein who encouraged us to progress on, we docked at the Mid Atlantic Christian University in Elizabeth City. The small dock located at the university was very accessible.

Mid Atlantic Christian University dock, Elizabeth City, NC
Elizabeth City, NC – May 25, 2021

Trust me, you won’t find Sarah Palin here. This vibrant city is home to Ghost Harbor Brewing Company, and a growing number of trendy restaurants, romantic outdoor seating strung with Edison lights, all surrounded by exquisite historic buildings. REM – you would love the redevelopment!

Spectacular Super Flower Blood Moon – May 25, 2021

Dismal Swamp, Visitors Center – giving thanks to George Washington

In 1728 William Byrd II named this coastal region the Dismal Swamp on a series of survey maps that established the boundaries of North Carolina and Virginia. Here’s a random factoid – although known as a scandalous philanderer, the well established lawyer and politician was admired for his early advocacy of small pox inoculation. Consider this a shout out to all of you who are now fully vaccinated!

In 1763 an opportunistic George Washington saw the potential for development. Originally more than one million acres, the canal section, connecting Elizabeth City, NC to Norfolk, VA was completed in 1805.

Dismal Swamp, connecting NC to VA – May 26, 2021

We docked at the Dismal Swamp Visitor’s Center, a familiar and fabulous stop. Ynot, there is another turtle bobble coming your way.

Be forewarned, the swamp has a plethora of snakes crawling around – Tyler will tell you definitively, “Grandpa doesn’t like snakes“.

Smokey the Bear says, watch out for snakes!
A Snake for Grandpa Rick

Celebrating Memorial Day Weekend

It is with great respect that we remember those who fought to give us liberty and life, and we thank those that made the ultimate sacrifice for us. You shall never be forgotten.

Thanks to my WWII veteran father. This is for you.

Waterside, Norfolk VA – May 27 and 28

Norfolk, VA is home to the WORLD’s largest naval port. Fathom this military power: 75 naval ships, 134 aircraft, 14 piers and 11 aircraft hangars. The extremely active training center boasts 275 flights per day, the equivalent of one every six minutes.

Battleship Wisconsin – BB64

Is it just me, or does this look like a Pixar character? Comments encouraged!

Battleship Wisconsin BB-64. Norfolk, VA – May 28, 2021
Nauticus Museum, Norfolk, VA – May 28, 2021

More Pixar inspiration

Sunrise, Norfolk, VA – May 29, 2021, 6:11 am

Goodbye and thanks to Susan and Jim Merritt, Gold Loopers, who traveled with us from Belhaven, NC to Norfolk, VA. Looking forward to seeing you later this summer!

Capt Rick, Mary S, Susan and Jim Merritt

Milestones: May 28 – Happy Birthday to Scott Ginsburg and Miss Brennyn (5)

Congrats to Danielle, Sandra, Abbey and Leo – on the road.

Next stop: Windmill Point, VA. Roughly 8 miles north of Deltaville.

A Magical Concert and a BIG Tank of Water

Steamboat Landing anchorage – May 15, 2021

Did I mention how much we enjoy anchoring out? It’s peaceful and serene, with a little touch of magic.

Steamboat Landing – May 15, 2021

Sunset Concert

Traveling with Tom and Faye Turke is like hanging out with Mary Poppins – they magically transform the flying bridge on their boat to accommodate a shocking array of activities: 1) a well loved exercise bike, 2) a top-notch pellet BBQ – to smoke a leg of lamb, 3) a professional quality sewing station – to design, sew and repair anything, and 4) a performance stage with high-tech equipment for a superb concert! In the words of our Grandson Tyler Jaxson – what the heck?!

Faye Turke, Musician extraordinaire – May 15, 2021
Craig, Maureen, Tom Turke and Capt. Rick

Thanks for another private concert, Faye 🙂

Charleston, SC – May 16 thru May 19

A little Aquarium Magic

With so much time spent ON the water, we never tire of the majestic mysteries found IN the water.

Where is the Largest Aquarium in the World? Have you been there?

Singapore’s SEA (Southeast Asia) Aquarium holds the title of the largest aquarium in the world. It has over 12 million gallons of water and more than 800 species, with nearly 100,000 aquatic inhabitants in total.

South Carolina Aquarium, Charleston

First some stats: The Great Ocean Tank holds 385,000 gallons of water, at a depth of 42 feet, over 500 native critters can be seen swimming around.

South Carolina Aquarium, Charleston – May 17, 2021

Mesmerized by the Great Tank, unexpectedly, I found myself responding to the questions of a confident four (4) year old, in search of the giant eel. Amused, but happy to help, I quietly wondered – when, exactly, did I start looking like an approachable Grandma? Meanwhile Craig had captured the attention of a staff member, who surprised us with the offer of a backstage tour. Meet Jaxon (pronounced Jackson) Visit SCA

Craig Adford and Jaxon – the dolphin shake – May 17, 2021

A rare treat, this video is taken from ABOVE the tank. Where they feed and care for the magnificent marine life.

video temporarily not available – check back later for this upload.

This is for Caryl

for Caryl, SCA

This is for Gail – Lobster tease – looking forward to Maine!

Caribbean Spiny Lobster, South Carolina Aquarium

Home of the Sea Turtle Care Center, if you are looking for an opportunity to support the rescue, rehab and release of Sea Turtles you should make a Donation to the South Carolina Aquarium. scaquarium.org. Make sure you mention that your contribution is in “honor of Jaxon“!

Ciao for now, Craig and Mo. On board from Fort Myers thru Charleston, Thanks for the Memories!

Let Your Nose be your Guide

My sense of smell is my super power. My husband is not happy about my hyper sensitive nose – pungent cleaning solvents are discouraged and verbally disparaged in my world – but he believes me when I say I smell a problem in the bilge, or spilled diesel, and will eventually find and resolve any leak.

For me, the best part of my super power is that I KNOW when I smell good food! With Rick working in LA for a few days, I got to meander on my own in the French Quarter of Charleston. Let me just share the Lunch Menu (click here) from this French gem. Gaulart & Maliclet Cafe. Mija, you would have enjoyed this, too! Te Amo!

Moroccan Lamb Stew with Couscous, Honeydew Melon and French Pressed Ice Coffee, Charleston, May 18, 2021

Special Visitors: Our last night in Charleston included a bonus visit from Leland and Karen McClellan (Gold Loopers, Tiki Queen). Thanks for the great stories and great food (May 19, 2021)- See you in the fall, maybe in McClellenville.

Goodbye Charleston – we shall return.

Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge – I26, Charleston, SC – May 20, 2021

Celebrating Milestones: Zachariah, May 25 – so Proud of you. “Life really begins at 40, up until then you are just doing research.” Carl Jung

Also May 25 – Happy Anniversary David and Gail Bernstein. We shall see you soon.

Taking time to stop and smell the flowers

Next Stop: Georgetown, SC

Creative Exceptions

Kilkenny is timeless, by design. Situated in Richmond Hill, Georgia it was a good reminder to slow down, and not be so stressed.

Marker 107, Kilkenny Creek, GA – May 8, 2021

Thankful for the trees

Spanish Moss, Richmond Hill, GA – May 8, 2021

Kilkenny Creek Marina

The narrow floating docks are wobbly and plagued with intermittent gaps (Maddie refused to walk), but the folks working at the Marina were wonderful.

Thunderbolt, GA

Thunderbolt Marina was a short drive from Savannah. Look at these beauties.

Exhale and Treble in Paradise, Thunderbolt Marina – May 9 & May 10

Hello Savannah, GA. You could spend a full week in Savannah, and barely scratch the surface!

Savannah, GA, Riverwalk District – May 9, 2021

American Prohibition Museum – Did you know the 18th Amendment did not make it illegal to drink alcohol during Prohibition? Instead, it made it illegal to buy or sell; a devastating blow to vendors. Yet, the creative, flexible entrepreneur prevailed. In 1919 a small drugstore, with 20 stores in Chicago, capitalized on a CREATIVE legal EXCEPTION – “prescription” whiskey. In a brilliant partnership with the federal warehouses, more than 8 million gallons of “seized” whiskey was repackaged, and sold by pharmacists nationwide. The drugstore’s name? Walgreens.

The story resembles the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020 as bars were forced to shut down – dramatically impacting the spirit distillers – we saw retooling of nationally recognized factories who could rapidly produce – and cleverly brand – hand sanitizers. Most notable was Anheuser-Busch, who brilliantly used alcohol that was already in the distillery.

APM, Savannah, GA – May 10, 2021

Nice Try … Then there was Yuengling Ice Cream, made in Pottsville. Can you imagine buying Ice cream from a Beer Manufacturer? It is no surprise, the product failed.

Harbour Town Pier, Hilton Head, SC

Hilton Head – May 11 & May 12

Hilton Head is renowned for its golf courses. For me, the most phenomenal, and truly memorable experience was dinner at the Links at Sea Pines.

Beaufort, SC

Hello again to Beverly Abel & Bruce Peck (B & B) from Sea Trek, and sister-in-law Marie. Thanks to Beverly, we offer a way to distinguish Beaufort SC from Beaufort NC. Spelled the same, but pronounced differently. Starting in the south, say “Bew or Biew – fert” which sounds like view or beautiful. This view is officially preserved.

Bew with a View – May 13 & May 14

In the north, remember No Bo, or Bo knows diddley. No is also the abbreviation for north. In the north they say bow (like bow and arrow), or Bo-fert. If you want more explanation, check here 🙂

While in Beaufort, take a long walk. The historic homes are breathtaking. This one is for my AK family, a very blue house – familiar fantastic color.

CA 1887, Beaufort, SC – May 14, 2021

Historic Beaufort has lots of restaurants to chose from. My favorite was Lost Local – taco extraordinaire, and unexpected Hockney Magic – for Alisha!

David Hockney, 1981 – Beaufort, SC

Lost Local

Special Tribute to Aunt Dianne Gill. Born in Hollywood, CA. Mother of 7 (two of my cousins, Frank and Kathryn, born in AK),  20 grandkids,  and 29 great grandkids.  An incredible legacy from an exceptional woman who was 92 years young. Thanks for your unconditional love.

Dianne Gill, 1929-2021

Milestone: Before we go, Congrats to Danielle and Sandra who closed on their first home, in Cleveland, OH. So very happy for them! Thanks Jamie and David, Uncle Scott and Aunt Cindy for making the move go so smoothly.

Next Stop: Steamboat Landing anchorage, roughly 30 miles south of Charleston Harbor.

Special Shout Out. DougAndDanaAndABoat, looking foward to your NPY4906 reveal. Thinking of a classic Audie Murphy (Jim Harvey) movie …

Sunrise, Sunset

St. Augustine, Fernandina Beach and St. Simons

In the St. Augustine Muni Harbor we picked up a Mooring Ball in the north field, easy peasy. Thanks June and Tim, Subject to Change, for teaching us the tricks in Annapolis. We can’t wait for you to get back on the water.

With a fabulous view, the Dolphins dropped by to say hi to Tyler.

May 4, 2021

St. Augustine, FL

Hello Tonto’s Reward! It was great reconnecting in St. Augustine. Maddie felt VERY privileged when she was invited on board their Fleming. Dinner at Meehan’s Irish Pub & Seafood House with David and Gail B. was deeelicious. Salivating yet? We recommend the shrimp and grits.

St. Augustine is a walker’s paradise; wide sidewalks and abundant trees offer a welcomed respite from the hot sun. The temp on Cinco de Mayo was 94, breaking a record. Maureen said it felt like more than 100 degrees; I agree.

St. Augustine – May 5, 2021
St. Augustine City Gates – Castillo de San Marcos, constructed 1808

Fanning Island

Mayport Naval Station, Fanning Island

Traveling again with Treble in Paradise, we headed to Fernandina Beach. Enroute we were mesmerized by the military ops.

Fernandina Beach, Nassau County, FL

Nassau County Historic Courthouse

Built in 1891, Italianate style, the unique courthouse features a bell in the tower that served as the city’s fire alarm until the mid 1930’s.

Sunrise or Sunset?

Did you guess correctly? Thanks for all the fun comments we received! Those of you who have traversed on the water with Capt. Rick have the advantage, for sure! Special Kudos for the most exquisite detective report from Maaack, celebrated author of “Volcanic Winter” (available on Amazon in Hardcover, Paperback or Kindle). Yes, BushRanger, the Stuart photo from our last blog was a sunrise! Now here’s a few more sunrise and sunset photos.

Sunset at Fernandina Harbor, May 6, 8:40 pm
Sunset, Fernandina Beach, May 6
Sunrise over Amelia River, May 7,2021 6:10 am

Google Maps versus the Real-World

I really appreciate Google Maps, but, it gets a little confused when your starting point is on a boat, on the water. When I requested a route to the local tavern, the result required a ferry, destined to Georgia. Not kidding, the joint was only a few blocks away, but google was certain we needed a water rescue first, then took a circuitous walking route, totaling 126 miles, complete with a warning “may not reflect real-world conditions”. You can’t make this stuff up!

courtesy of Google Maps

Turn by Turn, page 1

Amelia Island Brewing Company (AIBC) Amelia Tavern

A “repeatable stop” in Fernandina Beach. This one is for Sideways – a refreshing variety of local beers that you would have enjoyed.

Beer flights for Sideways

My Flight: Canary Cross, Laura Joe (for Mom), Dolores, and Smok’n M’rtha, for my cousin. Loved it. And the pretzels were insane.

Pretzel in Paradise! Faye and Tom Turke. May 6, 2021

Palace Saloon – Florida’s Oldest Bar. Cute on the outside, but, it smells like it’s the oldest bar. Enough said.

St. Simons, GA – Morningstar Marina

Welcome to Georgia! It’s not easy to explore St. Simons, and it was quite breezy. We left the dock at first light. Treble in Paradise waited patiently for me to release the lines, and take this photo.

MorningStar Marina, Treble in Paradise – May 8, 2021, 6:00 am

NEXT STOP: Kilkenny Marina, Richmond Hill, Georgia … on my mind.

Happy Birthday Danielle Ginsburg (May 8)

Happy Mother’s Day tomorrow (Sunday, May 9). Thank you, to my grown up kids, who make it a true privilege to be your mom. I am SO proud of you. CW just announced the renewal of Stargirl! Season 2 releases on August 10, and filming for Season 3 begins this fall. BRAVO!

We leave you with this visual aid from my cousin, Martha. Thanks Muffin! Ponder 10cm for just a little while …

shared, without permission, #mothersday

Cruising with Friends

Clewiston, Stuart, Melbourne, New Smyrna Beach

We left LaBelle with Treble in Paradise and Lit’l Houlegan following close behind.

Lit’l Houlegan and Treble in Paradise

It all seems so familiar, cruising with Capt. Sideways. Platinum loopers, these boaters are extremely experienced in the locks.

Lit’l Houlegan – April 29, 2021

Early to Rise

If you followed our blog in the past, you know that Capt. Rick is an early riser. That means we often start our morning on the water with the sunrise. Good morning from the Clewiston Lock.

Clewiston sunrise – April 30, 2021, 6:30 am

It is such a pleasure, boating with our friends on Lit’l Houlegan. It was hard to say goodbye in Clewiston. Maddie said thanks for all the cookies, Ray, we trust you will trailer that sweet little boat somewhere fun this summer! Join us again, anytime.

We also parted ways, briefly, with Treble in Paradise. We plan to reconnect with them around St. Augustine.

Remote Office

In a COVID world, it’s extremely common to work remotely. For all our clients and colleagues, who were wondering if we really work on the boat – rest assured, this highly productive office opens with the sun!

MO, Command Central – May 1, 2021

Stuart – Manatee Pocket

One of our favorite places to visit is Stuart, where we reunited with MeAnders. Marty and Anders are the REASON why we bought our first North Pacific. We absolutely fell in love with their boat (and with them) and could not wait to have a NPY of our own. It was great seeing them. THANKS for the ice bucket!

Stuart, FL – May 1, 2021

Sunrise or Sunset?

Stuart, FL

Here’s a fun test – leave a comment with your guess. Answer in the next blog.

Melbourne

We typically run the boat from the pilot house (inside); heading to Melbourne it was a perfect day to run from the flybridge – for Tonto’s Reward.

Crew Craig Adford, Capt. Rick – May 2, 2021

We spent the night in Melbourne, dining at Ichabod in the familiar marina. Took a nice long walk to stretch our legs. Note to self, next time we visit Melbourne we should eat in the vibrant historic district, the options are abundant!

Melbourne Harbor Marina – May 3, 2021, 6:28 am

Yes, it’s common for Capt. Rick to leave at first light

Anchored out near New Smyrna Beach

We anchored out, surrounded by sailboats – it was actually a little crowded. Since the WiFi was a problem (for future reference), the office closed early. Better than any restaurant, a charcuterie feast, prepared by our Chef. It is such a treasure to cruise with our dearest friends, Craig and Maureen. We are very spoiled!

May 3, 2021

With a departure at 7:15 am, it felt like we finally slept in!

Ponce de Leon Cut, near New Smyrna Beach – May 4, 2021, 7:17 am

Useful stuff: Bowline Knots

It turns out, Craig is really good at tying a bowline knot. Confession time – I thought they were called bowling knots. But as I see the correct spelling of the nautical term, I realize a “line” (definitely not a rope) makes more sense. BushRanger, what do you think, can you can use the same knot on the stern? Just wondering. For those of you who want to master this useful knot, here’s a great visual aide.

Next Stop: St. Augustine Mooring Field – See you tonight Tonto’s Reward!

Start Your Engine(s)!

On Thursday, April 29, 2021, the new adventure began – destination Maine! We departed from Fort Myers with our North Pacific friends on Treble in Paradise, Capt Tom and First Mate Faye Turke.

At the helm is Capt. Rick. Crew on Board includes the Admiral, Maddie Sue; First Mate, Ms. Mary; beloved Master Chef, Craig; and Chief Petty Officer, Maureen (officially responsible for promoting and maintaining a high sense of values and standards).

Admiral Maddie Sue is happy to be in charge!

First watch – navigating the popular Caloosahatchee River, where we met up with Lit’l Houlegan. It’s great to travel with Sideways again! First Destination: City docks in LaBelle, FL.

Lit’l Houlegan, Capt. Ray Houle and First Mate Caryl Moulder
LaBelle is known for it’s yummy honey, hello Bert & EJ!

When travel options ground to a halt by the pandemic, an over-whelming number of pent up, testosterone-filled idiots opted to buy boats in Florida. Bizarrely, unlike an automobile, driving a boat does not require any proof of skill or knowledge. So, just imagine – countless small, crowded, boats – aggressively zig-zagging through narrow channels, as if on a racetrack. To us, the inexperienced boaters are a dreadful blend of “annoying” and “dangerous”.

Stock photo: Exhale on the hook

For us, cruising at a slow pace is a lifestyle choice. We enjoy the water, and often anchor out. We can travel for months without refueling. Seriously. With 920 gallons of fuel on board, we have a range of 3,500 miles running at 1600 rpms, or roughly 7 knots per hour. Slow and steady, tortuga style.

Unlike the NOISY guzzlers with 4 outboards off the back. To be fair, with a high performance boat you could easily run at 70 mph, and if money is no object, you could exceed 180 mph. In exchange for excess speed you would have to spend a LOT of time at the fuel pumps, supporting the economy.

Our boat is slow and QUIET, like a turtle (tortuga).

Flashback Photo for Gail B: from Exhale in the Bahamas

Here’s a little Turtle Trivia: Most sea turtles walk at the speed of 2 MPH, and swim at 10 MPH. The fastest variety is a Leatherback Sea Turtle, which can weigh around 1500 lbs and averages 22 MPH. Did you know the Russians sent a turtle to space in 1968? That rocket turtle set a world record when it traveled 24,790 MPH.

Next Stop: Clewiston – home of the Bubba Burger! Special Message to Tonto’s Reward – we can’t wait to catch up with you.

Waiting to Exhale

Inhale, exhale …

It’s been a long time … 2020 was a year like no other. A year of great loss and personal reflection. Yes, we are among the very fortunate. Persistent caution has been rewarded after canceling travel plans, avoiding human interaction, wearing a mask with diligence, and washing our hands until they ache; YES we are VERY thankful to be alive and well.

You may have heard, in December of 2019, before COVID19 spread into a global tragedy, we sold the original Exhale in anticipation of her replacement – the exact same sized boat – with a fresh design. Well, the waiting is finally over!!

After more than a year on dry land, Capt. Rick and his first mate are now fully vaccinated (thanks, Moderna!) and ready to travel with our beloved friends on Tonto’s Reward (Fleming) and Treble in Paradise (another North Pacific). IF you want to know more about our friends, take a look at the 2019 Bahama adventures in this blog.

YES! Blog posts will begin soon … the new M/V Exhale plans to navigate the waters from southwest Florida to northern Maine, and possibly into Canada if it opens up. We have no firm plans, but we expect to be on the water from late April through October (tbd) of 2021. On board for the first leg of our journey will be familiar crew, Craig and Maureen! Life on the water is great with a private chef – YOLO! We hope you will follow us.

But first, here’s an introduction to the new coastal beauty. Yes, that’s her, the first North Pacific 49 euro style, cruising on the cover of the April PassageMaker! Click here for more pictures (be sure to check out the Gallery of photos in this link). Thanks, Andrew for the great story!

With significant input from the captain, North Pacific Yachts designed the new 49′ pilot house trawler with state-of-the-art navigation and operating systems, including a water maker and gyro stabilizer for long journeys. And for the first mate – LOTS of natural light from those gorgeous windows.

Yes, Maddie Sue approved the numerous interior upgrades!

Admiral Maddie Sue
Captain Rick, aka Grandpa Rick

Curious to learn more about the journeys of the original Exhale?

FROM THE ARCHIVES

FEATURE STORY:

Ohhh, Canada!

As you approach the Canadian border by water you are supposed to fly a yellow quarantine flag, signaling you have not yet cleared customs.  Once you are processed by the authorities, you are allowed to lower the yellow and raise the cherished maple leaf!

Keep reading

Bahama Journey Completed!

Little Shark Anchorage

We anchored out one last time. Little Shark Anchorage in the Everglades National Park.

Swim Noodle silencer in progress.

A spectacular sunset, a fitting tribute on Laura Jo’s birthday.

Out of cell phone range. Surrounded by peace and quiet. We finished the final episode of Longmire. Thanks Ray and Caryl for sharing.

And I finished another book, the captivating tale of a young woman’s fight for survival in a remote village in south central Alaska. An exciting page-turner, the author successfully depicts the enchanting rugged existence in my beloved home state. Thanks Celeste!

Naples Bay Resort

Thanks to Ron and Jan Austin who stayed in close contact during our journey. Thanks for inviting us to join the southwest yacht club cruise in Naples, where we connected with:

 

Ron and Jan Austin

 

Bob Koop and Kathy Hamlin

 

Rebecca and Jim Boo Boo Hill

Jerry and Sandy Houlder

Back To Chicago

Thanks Ron and Bob for securing front row seats at this intimate concert. We enjoyed the exceptional 8-member tribute band, Back To Chicago; best of all, the Trumpet and Trombone players are local band teachers! What a fabulous final stop on our journey.

Captain’s Log

May 20 thru July 15, 2019. Nautical Miles = 1,136, Engine / Running Hours = 164, Fuel consumption = 681 gallons diesel, Generator (running at anchor) consumed 120 gallons of fuel over 240 hours = AC for Maddie.

Number of stops = 35, Days on the Hook 22 (39%) / Marinas 34 (61%)

Guests on Board: Dale Morgan and Ann Hughes

More cool air, please.

Thanks for another great adventure!

Next Up: Tween Waters with Houlegan Again. Guests arriving: Jamie, David, Tyler, Danielle, Sandra, Abby and Leo. 💕

Key Largo, Florida

Back in the US, our first stop was the Pilot House Marina. Thanks for the recommendation Tom and Faye!

This party shack marks the channel entrance, locally known as Crash Corner. The developer was brilliant at maximizing the water view and use of outdoor space.

Hello Key Largo

The peaceful canal, with an eclectic mix of homes, reminded us of St James, Tiki hut for Ray.

We had an Amazing meal at the pilot house marina, complete with live music.

Talented Local musicians with exceptional harmony. Their song list ranged from the Beatles to Indigo Girls. The ukulele reminded us of Piper Jackson.

Evacuation Route. By Appointment Only. Priceless.

Happy birthday Laura Jo. 7/13.

Next stop: TBD. Headed west, and then North. maybe Cape Shore anchorage.

Chubb Cay and Alice Town

Luxury is … floating docks!

The Berries – Chubb Cay

Chubb Cay was more than elegant. Seemed like a great place for a destination wedding, with a cute little chapel and lots of private villas.

Spectacular service and delicious food.

The view from the infinity pool was breath taking You might like this pool, Eric.

Bimini – Alice Town

Departure at first light with Tonto’s Reward, we headed to the Biminis.

Our last stop in the Bahamas. Another perfect water day.

The infamous Radio Beach, proclaimed the most popular in Bimini. With a year round population of 300, not sure how many folks were surveyed.

Not a good day for this boat.

Hello to my little sister, Alice!

We decided the contest was for a Hemingway look a like. This Capt is Definitely a contender.

Parting is such sweet sorrow

Another early departure with Tonto’s Reward, our last morning on the water as boat buddies. Thanks Bernstein’s for an amazing Bahama adventure. See you in Fort Myers. Hope your journey to Stuart is enjoyable.

The water crossing the Gulf Stream was not smooth. Heavily tossed in the Straits Of Florida, Sadly, there was a tragic loss – Rick’s electric toothbrush fell in the head. Super Yuck.

Anniversaries: Miss you Mom and Dad. You would have loved the Bahamas.

Next up – Key Largo, Florida

Nassau and Atlantis

After enjoying the gentle pace of the provincial lifestyle in the islands, the manic activity in Nassau Harbor was an adjustment.

Here’s a little data. In 2019, the Bahamas has an estimated population of 389,000. By comparison, Wyoming, the least populated US state, is about 580,000. Currently about 266,000 live in Nassau. I’ll save you the math – that’s 68% of the country’s population in one small city.

We walked with the Bernstein’s from the Nassau Haven Marina to historic downtown. Along the way we found colorful murals.

For Mike Gillespie. Save water. Drink rum

To Sir, with love

It was exciting to discover the bridge to Paradise Island was officially named after the globally renowned Bahamian, beloved Oscar-winning actor Sir Sydney Poitier. My favorite of his movies are Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner, and, To Sir, With Love. Born in 1927, yes, he’s still alive. 💕

Nassau Parliament Square

Officially draped for Independence Day. Forward together, upward, onward. One people united in love and service.

The flamingo-pink buildings in Parliament Square were constructed in 1815 by the Loyalists.

This fish tank is for Tyler. And Eric. Sushi time!

Atlantis – Paradise Island

Background of Atlantis. The property was originally part of the Paradise Island Hotel and Casino, which opened in 1968. It was owned by Resorts International, a Merv Griffin company. In 1994, Merv sold to Sol Kerzner. Kerzner created Atlantis on the site over the course of the next four years, spending over $800 million to build the massive resort. The resort was expanded in 2007.

Atlantis Courtyard

Unique watercraft

This craft looks like it belongs in either a Bond film or a sci-fi movie. I imagined it could rise into the air, at warp speed. To my friends with security clearances, can you shed some light?

Zoom in. Look closely at the stern of this craft. Is that a Machine gun or dinghy lift? You decide.

Hog Island

Fun factoid – Paradise Island was formally known as Hog Island, until savvy developer, Huntington Hartford renamed it in 1962. He successfully convinced parliament wealthy tourists would prefer to spend money in paradise, rather than on an island for swine.

The historic lighthouse retained its original name, the Hog Island Lighthouse.

Built in 1817, this is the oldest surviving lighthouse in the West Indies. It is located at the western tip of Paradise Island, marking the northwest entrance to New Providence and the Port of Nassau.

Happy birthday Anders (7/9) and Jamie (7/10)

Next up: Chubb Cay

Allen Cay Iguanas, Highborne Cay and New Providence Island

Allen’s Cay is one of the few places where you can still find these fearsome looking creatures, which are protected by law.  Accustomed to visitors, rather than hiding, the iguanas appear at the sound of human footsteps.

I think the critters might have been disappointed that we only brought cameras.

Highborne Cay Anchorage

Acquired in Canada (we miss you Craig and Mo) this violet is celebrating a full year on Exhale.

Thanks for joining us on our anniversary, Gail and David. And thanks for the crew hats, Bert and EJ. Sorry you missed out on the champagne. To celebrate, Rick grilled filets, with blue cheese crumbles, local veggies, and baked potatoes; paired with an exquisite Zin from the Bernstein’s wine cellar. The perfect meal with wonderful friends. Happy Anniversary my love.

New Providence, Palm Cay Marina

After nine nights in a row on the hook, when we arrived in New Providence we tied up to a slip in Palm Cay, and basked in the luxury of AC. Such a marvelous invention.

The Marina is situated on the south eastern part of New Providence, away from the hustle and bustle of Nassau. The expanding community is still under construction, but seems to have lots of potential.

Open for only one month, the staff at the Palm Cay Restaurant were great. Given a little time, we are confident they will work out the few kinks in the kitchen.

Fort Charlotte

We make a practice of asking the marina staff for suggestions of places to explore. Miss Abby told us of a local treasure, not heavily frequented by the overwhelming cruise ship traffic. An important detail there were 4 massive ships docked in Nassau.

Lovers Tree, at the edge of Fort Charlotte. A sweet local tradition.

One of the best forts we have ever experienced, the limestone fort was constructed in the late 18th century by British colonial governor Lord Dunmore after the end of the American Revolutionary war. The fort has never been used in battle. How convenient that both the Queen and Dunmore’s wife were named Charlotte.

Cricket Club Restaurant and Pub

Best of all we got a recommendation for lunch – oh my!

Serving British and Bahamian specials, it was the best local cuisine we have experienced in the Bahamas.

Food photo for Sarah O. Clockwise from top left: Sheppard’s pie, Bahamian shrimp, curried chicken, and minced lobster.

An experience worth repeating. By the way, we were the ONLY folks, in the pub, that were not locals. Delicious. Here’s their website: https://bahamascricket.com/

It’s a must stop for sure. Special note for Ray, the draft Cricket Ale was Sideways worthy.

Don’t be fooled by the open tables, they were full before we left!

Thanks Abby for the courtesy car!

Hey D Floyd (aka #8), to date we have been on the hook a total of 20 nights in The Bahamas 😊

Happy Birthday Rodger. July 7.

Next stop: Nassau