Monday, February 24, 2014

Reliving our Summer Cruise: Part 2

As winter rolls on we did get a small glimpse of spring this past weekend which just whet our appetite for warmer days and sailing! We cranked up Mr. Perkins (our diesel engine) and he started right up! After months of dormancy, he was a total rock star and cranked up and purred like a lion (not as quiet as a kitten, let's be honest, it's an old diesel). Just the smell of the diesel and the grumbling of the engine in our home reminded us that this isn't just a floating apartment, but it's a vehicle to freedom and following our dreams. It feels so good to have had even the littlest promise of warmer weather and open waters. Not going to lie - this winter has been a tough one. 

So, in keeping with our escapism, we thought we'd write the second part of our summer cruise in Casco Bay. Last we wrote, we were moored in Cape Porpoise Harbor and were about to celebrate Tim's 34th birthday. We set off heading north with Chebeague Island as our destination. 
We cast off the mooring, the sun was shining, sky was blue, fog had lifted and it was a perfect breeze to unfurl ALL THREE sails. Though we don't have a lot of experience sailing ketch rigged boats we started very quickly realizing how great it is. There's a lot more options for sail configurations dependent upon the wind direction and strength. The mizzen sail is aft of the cockpit and that allows for a lot more stability on the back side of the sailboat giving the boat a better ability to hold a line. 
A very happy 34 year old skipper -great way to celebrate his birthday! 

 Sailing is very peaceful and there's also A LOT of time to sit and relax, enjoy and talk. 

One fun thing we did to pass the time was to read all about the travels of Captain Cook. This book is a modern day reliving of Cook's voyage with fantastic glimpses into Cook's original logs and travels. Juxtapose to our travels through Casco Bay this was a cool way to have your mind engaged while we sailed. Highly recommend this book! 

Sailing through the rocky coast islands of Casco Bay on our approach to Great Chebeague Island

We reserved a mooring off the Chebeague Island Inn, a classic 1920's hotel with grand porch up on the bluff overlooking Casco Bay. It was perfection AND the mooring was free for Inn dinner guests! 

Before dinner we took a swim, diving off the boat and had some birthday cake that I baked while underway - my first underway baking experience!
It supposed to say "Tim" in strawberries...good try! 

The mooring field and all the islands of Casco Bay off in the distance - absolutely gorgeous. 

The golf course leading up to the Inn, the mooring field basked in the pink sunset
We got all "dolled up" -- as best we can from a boat -- and made our way up to celebrate Tim's birthday dinner. 
A very happy birthday boy & the grand Inn in the background

Classically Maine 1920's lobby with the deck beyond

View from the porch - you can see Zephyr just beyond the house on the right

Dinner of lobsters, mussels, steak and wine finished with some birthday cake in the cockpit! Quite a perfect 34th birthday for Tim, and to think his 33rd birthday was celebrated aboard a training sailboat outside Newport - think we might be on the right track! 

The next day we decided to explore the island a bit on foot, we needed to provision and get some ice so we set off with Toby across the island. What a FANTASTIC island. The roads are narrow, forested and no joke, EVERY SINGLE person in a car waved at us. Apparently that's 'the thing' on Chebeague, the locals wave to everyone. What a fantastic feeling! We passed this funny little roadside bar called the Slow Bell Cafe, and the sign out front said - BAND BEYOND DESCRIPTION, yup, that's right, that night was going to be a Grateful Dead cover band - how perfect. We did consider sticking around on the mooring so we could go to the show but the nature of cruising and sailing is that you get itchy to move onto to the next adventure...Next up...we head further north to Potts Harbor and onto to Sebasco Harbor Resort in Harpswell. 

Stay tuned...

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful pics, Jillan. They bring out secret New Englander in me. I miss it so hard! And, horray for Mr. Perkins! He rocks.