Monday, November 19, 2012

Where have we been?

Well, it's certainly been an eventful fall for the crew of S/V Zephyr so eventful that our blog has fallen behind! Don't you hate when work gets in the way of fun things like blogging? That's pretty much been the case these last 4 weeks. Jill's work is VERY busy right now gearing up for a major conference on Dec. 7th and the release of a big environmental indicators report that she has helped to author. Add to that a hurricane, a Nor'Easter, a couple of nasty head colds and moving the boat to Maine and life's been pretty hectic and fun as of late. 

Since we're of the mindset that a picture is worth a thousand words we'll share quick snippets and some pictures from the last month to give you a slice of life for the crew.

Moving the Boat to Maine (Attempt #1) Attempted to move the boat to our winter marina in Maine on Sat. Oct. 27th pre-Hurricane Sandy. As we were entering the mouth of the Piscataqua River our engine overheated and the entire engine room was full of smoke - NOT GOOD. We shut her down, raised our sails and called Sea-Tow. We sailed back and forth at the mouth for a few hours as Sea-Tow gave us the runaround, eventually telling us they could not make it to us that day. We decided to just turnaround and head back into the Wentworth Marina knowing that we could sail almost all the way in without having to use too much engine. We coasted into the fuel dock and let Mr. Perkins (the engine) cool down. Seeing that a hurricane was bearing down on the East Coast things were quite busy at the marina. The engine issue wasn't going to be fixed quickly so we gave up on the idea of making it to our winter marina and arranged to get a slip at the far interior of the Wentworth Marina so we could begin our storm preparations. 

Happiness moving the boat - pre-engine overheat

When we change tacks Toby knows where to go to stay out of the way of the winches 
Toby really loves when the engines goes off & all there is quiet breeze & the sound of the sails. He's a natural!

Hurricane Sandy
On Sunday, Oct. 29th we stripped all the sails, we took down the canvas enclosure, we lashed down all halyards, put out extra fenders and did our "web" of dock lines taking tips from all the other boaters who were feverishly doing the same thing. We hadn't seen this much action at the Wentworth since we moved in! Monday late morning the 3 of us checked into the Wentworth Hotel just before noon high tide. The water got high, very high but Tim went down to the boat to check on it and all was OK. The breakwater was topped and the waves were rolling into the harbor but luckily being on the most interior dock were were very well protected. The boat was only a 2 min. walk from our hotel room so Tim was able to go down and check on it throughout the afternoon and night. Stay tuned for video! 

We fared just fine, no damage, no scratches, didn't even lose a dock line! We feel VERY blessed that our first hurricane aboard was so kind to us as we know those to our south did not fare nearly as well. 

The overheating engine ceases to be a problem (hooray!)
With the help of our boat neighbor Tom in the mega yacht (90') next to us and his captain Tim our Tim was able to fix the coolant leak problem and the overheating engine was no longer overheating! Tim learned the awesomeness of 'boat neighbors' as Tom and other Tim and our Tim crowded into the engine room one afternoon all putting their heads together to figure out where the leak was. Tips were exchanged, tools were borrowed and Tim ended up successful! Next blog post: "How to Clean Coolant from Your Bilge" 

Moving the Boat to Maine (Successful albeit defeated)
Since we still weren't totally trusting the engine the following weekend we finally got Sea-Tow to come get us at the Wentworth and tow us upriver to our new home at Badgers Island Marina. Though we felt a bit defeated to be arriving to our new home by tow boat we were excited to check out our new 'hood and meet our new neighbors. 
The old Portsmouth Naval Prison on our way upriver

Our new marina home, a lot smaller
Our new "backyard" the awesome & mighty Piscataqua River!
Life in Maine 
Life aboard at the new marina is going great. It's fun to have a new neighborhood with different restaurants and stores to explore. The marina is a lot smaller, only one dock and  almost every boat is a liveaboard so it's a lot more of a community/neighborhood feel. It's definitely A LOT rockier than the Wentworth. Our new neighbors Kristen & Bob live at the Wentworth in the summer and Badger's in the winter and they describe the move as "going from country to the city". There's a lot more boat traffic on the river and so the wakes are a lot bigger, plus the current of the river RIPS through the marina. Mostly 6am and 4pm are when its the bumpiest as the fisherpeople go out and come in. But the view is spectacular - we get a great view of the Portsmouth waterfront & the sunsets are far better! Plus there's a shuttle (due to the Route 1 bridge being rebuilt) right to downtown Portsmouth so if we imbibe too much one night we have a free ride home. The crew is loving our new digs and preparing for the next adventure - getting shrink wrapped!
Fantastic sunset over Portsmouth's waterfront - you can see the half built bridge overhead
BIG boat coming up river, Toby watching carefully 
Toby and Tim hard at work - or lunching

Typical scene at 6am when the boat is rocking 
Our first snowfall! 
Love the sunlight streaming into the main salon, the teak just glows....
New beautiful throw pillows for the settees, nice addition

Toby's "security" blanket, helps his nerves 

The FANTASTIC new stairs Tim built for safe embarking and disembarking of our home - the driftwood sign is from our wedding! 


  1. I love your new neighborhood--too cute! So glad you made it through the storm ok and finally got moved up to Maine. Do they have phones there??

    I spy a picture of Kermit... Is that one I took? I have a very similar one in my house!

  2. Yes, Carrie there are phones in Maine...the letter 'r' not so much! :-)

    And yes, that pic of Kermit is the one you took, it's too cool for words! We got it mounted on canvas and it looks so great. So glad we share the same picture!

    Cannot wait to have you aboard. Happy Thanksgiving my love.