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Maine Cruise 2018 – Gulf of Maine to Boothbay

Crossing the Gulf of Maine by trawler is different from doing it by sailboat.  First, we can go faster.  Second, we’d really rather not do it at night because of the lobster pot issue.  Third, you can’t — wait for it… — sail.  It’s motoring the whole way.

Our Tug is really comfortable motoring at seven to eight knots.  Most of all, the noise level is acceptable and can be tolerated for long periods of time.  It’s the ‘happy place’, as long as you don’t need to get somewhere fast. Continue reading Maine Cruise 2018 – Gulf of Maine to Boothbay

Maine Cruise 2018 – Scituate

When we cruise, we rarely plan more than a day ahead.  And even when we do plan, we usually change our minds.  That’s how we got to Scituate.

Figuring out how to get to Maine is always a puzzle, especially with two dogs.  We sit with our iPads calculating the distances and times for different runs and argue the pros and cons of countless alternatives. On the sailboat(s) we generally did the straight shot overnight, either from Provincetown or directly from the Cape Cod Canal.  With the Tug, it’s different. Continue reading Maine Cruise 2018 – Scituate

Spring Cruising in New England – Part 3

This is the final of our three spring cruises before full -on summer kicked in.

Mystic Seaport and Block Island

With two really fun and gratifying spring cruises under our belts waterline, we were anxious to knock down one more before the summer crowds descended on our favorite destinations. We had just a few days left in June, and some friends were heading to Mystic, CT in their vintage GMC camper. We usually would join them with our Airstream, but this time, we decided it would be more fun to meet them in Mystic with the boat. On Tuesday, June 26, off we went! Continue reading Spring Cruising in New England – Part 3

Spring Cruising in New England – Part 1

A Retrospective

As the summer is winding down, I can’t help but think back over our adventures this past season and remark that our best cruising was during the early spring, when we had cool, crisp refreshing (although not always dry) weather, few crowds, anchorages to ourselves, and generally happy vibe everywhere we went.  This is so different from high-season-mid summer that I really want to share the perspective.

Memorial Day on Block Island

Our first trip was a four-day run to Block Island for Memorial Day weekend.  While weekends on Block Island are a hectic affair during the summer, late May is always a different story.  We left on Saturday May 26 with a mixed forecast, happy to be off the dock and cruising once again.   Continue reading Spring Cruising in New England – Part 1

Maine Cruise – Days 15 – 18 – Northeast Harbor & Mt. Desert

After our visit to the wild woodlands of Isle au Haut, it was time to head back to civilization.  Off to one of our favorite hang-outs, the home of Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous, Northeast Harbor on Mount Desert Island, and also home of the spectacular Acadia National Park and the tourist mecca, Bar Harbor. Continue reading Maine Cruise – Days 15 – 18 – Northeast Harbor & Mt. Desert

Key West

Say what you will about Key West, we enjoy our visits there.  First of all, it’s warm and sunny while it’s cold and snowy at home.  But more than that, the drive down Overseas Highway is very pretty, the seafood is wonderful (if you look in the right places), it’s casual and free-wheeling, and a bit crazy.  For a few days it’s great fun.

img_0673As campers we don’t have a lot of options.  We stay at Boyd’s Campground on Stock Island.  It’s crowded and you are packed in like sardines, but it is well run, friendly, and convenient.  Because we’re such a small camper they plunk us into a waterfront site that is not unpleasant.  It’s nothing like the beauty of the Florida keys state parks but for a few days, we’re OK with that.  Besides, the keys state parks camp site reservations are absolutely impossible to get.  We’ve tried for years and have finally given up.

img_0650For us, a typical day starts with coffee and breakfast in the Bambi, then a ride into downtown with the pups for a Cuban coffee.  We take advantage of the cooler morning hours to explore the town, as the dogs aren’t much good in the afternoon sun and heat.  Schooner Wharf, Duval Street, and various neighborhoods all hold unique charm.  It is delightfully dog-friendly.  Even the Audubon House Museum allowed the pups inside for a tour.

By mid-day we are all thirsty and hungry.  Lunch is generally oysters and Key West Pinks (shrimp), and something cold to wash them down.  While we sample a broad variety of watering holes for a this noche, our favorites are the Smokin’ Tuna Saloon and the Hog’s Breath Saloon, which tended to have plenty of bar stools available at that time of day and were dog friendly.

Afternoons, when it can be pretty hot, are a good time for errands, Bambi work, maybe a snooze and activity about the campground.  Water sports are also tempting, but generally not an option for us with the dogs.  We also would have liked a day trip to the Dry Tortugas, but once again, no dogs. 🙁

This year also brought us the Patriots unbelievable performance in Super Bowl XI.  We began the game at our favorite Stock Island restaurant, Roostica, surrounded by New England fans.  When the chips were down we headed back to the Bambi, where we witnessed the spectular finish.  Wow.

After a few days, we are ready to roll out again.

 

We Have a Half-Hull

Well, actually we have two half-hulls.

The hull, which is built in two halves, has been sprayed with our gel coat.  The color is Sea Shell Green.

395-hull-molds
Here the two hull molds are being prepped with mold release.

As we have mentioned before, we would have liked a handsome dark color but we have been through the maintenance issues before with dark gel coat and did not want to do it again.  When we scanned the spectrum of lighter colors, we ultimately settled on this light gray-green that started out as a custom AwlGrip color for Shelter Island Runabouts and has expanded from there.  It’s perhaps not a masculine look for a chunky, business-like tug hull, be we think it will work well for us.  Since we are sticking with the same name we have had for all our boats, ESMERALDE, we are sort of stuck with some kind of green!

Continue reading We Have a Half-Hull