Monday, June 9, 2014

Where have we been? Big City Living!

I can't believe we haven't updated this blog since the end of March, and here it is mid-June! It's 70 outside, the sun is shining and I'm listening to the sounds of a rocking concert across the harbor in the Seaport. Yup - that's right, we're living it up in the big city, Boston - East Boston to be exact. We're at the Boston Harbor Shipyard & Marina in the Jeffries Point neighborhood of "Eastie". We are right across the harbor from the Seaport District and the World Trade Center. We've been here exactly one month today. We have lots to share about our projects and prep this spring and then our trip south from Portsmouth to Boston, but for now I'll share a little slice of life from this first month here in Boston. 
The view off the stern of Zephyr - that big 'ole red boat is the Nantucket Light Ship
The transition has been a bit tough, not going to lie, the change from the quiet, quaint, forested lands of New Hampshire and Maine to the constant hustle and bustle and WAVY, ROCKY waters of Boston Harbor has taken some getting used to. The marina is a bit more 'industrial' and with not so many luxuries but the view is quiet something! The whole city skyline is laid out before us. Not to mention the entire city is at our fingertips, the T into downtown is a 10-minute walk and the city water taxis pick up right on our pier! There's a funky, fun place called KO Pies right inside the Shipyard that serves authentic Australian pies and Harpoon on tap. It's a lot of fun and only a 3 minute walk from the deck of our boat. 

Toby is getting used to city living, loving all the smells! 

Our dock, F-Dock is almost entirely sailboats and a few young liveaboards! We're all the way at the end on the right.
The skyline at night is quite spectacular 
The Shipyard is part of Harbor Arts Shipyard Gallery so throughout the piers and buildings are fantastic works of murals, sculptures, installations and more. 
My two loves on our new dock 
Great view for walking Big Guy 
 We've been trying to fall into our groove here in Boston but with the onset of summer weather life's been busy with F-U-N! We have also been spending a lot of time at the Cape House getting that place ready to rent for the summer. The couple of weekends we've spent in Boston have been great fun! Tim's brother Andrew and a bunch of his good buddies all live around the corner from the marina so, needless to say, this first month has included A LOT of boat drinks! Bridget from NYC even came aboard for a few and crazy thunderstorm!

We are definitely liking the array of options in front of us for going out - the options for live music especially, but also for going out to eat - innumerable cuisine types from every culture, loads of delicious Latino food in Eastie. On a Tuesday we were able to go to a really cool club in Cambridge and catch a nationally touring bluegrass band that we love - Chatham County Line. Great craft beer line up, delicious food and incredible music. It was AWESOME! And on a Tuesday! Certainly not something we could do in Portsmouth! 

Toby got his summer shave - he's ready for the beach!
The highlight of the past month by far was definitely this past weekend - we finally got off the dock and went sailing! Woo Hoo! On Sunday morning we hit up The Green Bean Food Truck that parks every Sunday morning in the Shipyard - bombing breakfast sandwiches & iced coffee. Crowds of folks show up in the Shipyard - Dogs Welcome - and chow down while overlooking the harbor. 

After that we welcomed Andrew and his bright, short-shorts called Chubbies aboard and prepped the boat to cast off. It was GORGEOUS out, 80 degrees, full sun and a light breeze. After talking to our next door boat neighbor we set our sights on Great Brewster Island, part of the Boston Harbor Islands National Park. He raved about its seclusion, easy anchoring and breezes. We haven't yet upgraded our anchor, though we very much upgraded our chain and rode - keep posted for another post on that topic - so we thought, well, we can at least try a "lunch hook". 

Sailing out of the marina you're right in the mix and mayhem of Boston's Inner Harbor, the "Rules of the Road" that we learned in sailing school were very much put to the test. We had an upwind sail tacking back and forth to make our way out to the outer harbor. There were ferries barreling past, booze cruise boats, jet skis, powerboats, sailing school boats, yachts and more! Not to mention 747's flying overhead and a giant container ship! WHEW! The crew did great! We had great boat speed and made meaningful tacks to make our course. 

Great crew - brings mimosas & steaktips & a mean Farmers Tan, thanks Dupree!
I wasn't kidding about the short-shorts - long live Chubbies!

Spectacle Island
As we got out to the outer harbor the winds picked up nicely and we were making 6.5 knots on a close hauled sail - very nice! The temperature was at least 15 degrees cooler out there and it felt amazing! Zephyr was loving it! We approached Great Brewster Island and pulled in close to shore and Andrew and I started to deploy our anchor, she set in, we all took a visual spot on shore and made sure the boat wasn't moving and then we set about CHILL-LAX-IN! We grilled up steak tip sandwiches, I cast off the fishing pole to troll for stripers we jammed out to the Dead and enjoyed the solitude and sun. 
The sandy cliffs of Great Brewster - gorgeous! 

Trolling for stripers with the city skyline off our stern

Toby LOVED roaming around while at anchor

Toby loves to sail, motoring not as much.
Our windlass which brings up the anchor had a bit of a snafu since we've upgraded our chain to a 3/8ths size it was jamming up the windlass. Lucky for us Andrew has been hitting the gym and was able to haul the anchor by hand! We 'weighed anchor' and set sail back towards the city. It was a nice, peaceful downwind sail at about 3.5 knots, not bad. We even had a wing-on-wing sail set up going on for a bit. We had bluegrass tunes spinning and soaked up the late day sun, feeling quite good about our first anchoring success.

That is until we were very closely buzzed by 747 transatlantic jet! WHOA! That was close and very loud! Poor Toby was shaking for the next 1/2 hour...sorry Boo!

We sailed right into the harbor only furling and putting the engine on as we were outside the marina entrance. 

Relatively smooth docking - still have things to learn - and then some cold beers at the KO Pie Shop as the sun set. All in all it was a FANTASTIC Sunday! We can't wait to get back out there! 

We are still finding our comfort zone here in Boston and find there are moments of homesickness for the fabulous Seacoast we left and all the awesome friends and boat neighbors we left, but so far, we've been enjoying the newness, the change and the challenges. Life's richness is found in moments of change and challenge. 

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