Happy 1st Birthday Esmeralde!

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The winter cover gets cut away.

We took delivery of our new American Tug 395 Esmeralde on April 1st, 2017, so she will forever be our April Fool’s Girl.  (This year, she was also our Easter Girl.)  In order to celebrate, Bruce got her winter cover off on Saturday so on Sunday April 1st, her birthday, we could have a little celebration on-board and herald the start of her second season.  It turned into a bright sunny day, perfect to enjoy being aboard again. Continue reading Happy 1st Birthday Esmeralde!

Florida Keys after Hurricane Irma

This trip to Florida was essentially un-planned, so we had no reservations other than one we made in Key West a year ago.  We had made the reservation because we could cancel it without penalty, so why not?  Now, although Key West isn’t actually our favorite destination on the planet, it’s not so bad in February so to-Key-West-we-will-go.

The Keys were hit hard by Hurricane Irma last fall and we were curious about how they had fared. Continue reading Florida Keys after Hurricane Irma

Maine Cruise – Day 25 – Portland & Portland Veterinary Specialists Emergency Clinic

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Emilie B

Pepper was still not great in the morning, so we needed to get him to a vet.  We got an early start and headed for Portland, 35 miles away.  On our way out, we waved goodbye to our new friends on Emilie B.  It was a beautiful, clear, calm sunny day and we had a quick, easy run.  We were in Portland before noon.  On the sailboat it would have taken more than five hours in good conditions.  It took us three and a half.  That’s what 480 horsepower will do for you. Continue reading Maine Cruise – Day 25 – Portland & Portland Veterinary Specialists Emergency Clinic

Maine Cruise – Days 22 – 24 – Muscongus & Boothbay

We have only cruised through Muscongus Bay once before, almost 20 years ago on our the first Esmeralde, the little Able Whistler 32.  I remember it as being a little bit of a hairy experience.  It was thick thick thick fog, we were navigating with a new GPS, and the screen was indeed a chart, but it was about 2″ x 3″, black and white, and didn’t have a lot of pixels.  We didn’t have radar.  How things have changed.  Continue reading Maine Cruise – Days 22 – 24 – Muscongus & Boothbay

Maine Cruise – Days 20 – 21 – Rockland

We set out from Buck’s Harbor with a typical Maine forecast: FOG.  Make that RAIN and FOG.  It was clear enough getting through the harbor entrance, but then it socked in thick and stayed locked-on.  While I’ve done this for days on end in a sailboat, often with nothing but a dodger for some shelter, I can’t help but admit that being in a warm and dry pilot house was rather civilized.  Two large nav monitors, radar zoomed in, zoomed out.  And a Very Big Horn.  It was not a bad ride.  As usual, the lobster buoys commanded rather intense focus and tracking the numerous lobster boats cruising around like drunken flies was challenging, but in the end, Maine is Maine and FOG is part of the territory. Continue reading Maine Cruise – Days 20 – 21 – Rockland

Maine Cruise – Day 19 – Somes Sound & Bucks Harbor

After four days in Northeast Harbor and enjoying much that Mount Desert has to offer (including a lot of lobster!) we cast off from our town mooring with no particular destination in mind, other than to begin to nudge west again.  We were still a little nervous about Pepper’s health so wanted to keep ourselves within reasonable access to a vet. Continue reading Maine Cruise – Day 19 – Somes Sound & Bucks Harbor

All things fun (and tasty) in the life of the Beards