The Route South

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Postcards from the ICW - #5

So this is where Shrimp & Grits comes from !

...It was a dark and stormy night...
That's how a lot of good sea stories begin.  But tonight the phrase takes on a totally different meaning.
In the last two days we have put 150 miles behind us.
If you are driving on the interstate it only represents 2 hours.
If you are flying in a commercial jet, its barely 20 minutes.
But if you are driving a slow boat it represents two long ten-hour days.
That calls for a celebration worthy of my favorite adult beverage.
So, in fact, it was a Dark & Stormy night!

Dark & Stormy - the national drink of Bermuda.
Goslings Black Rum and Ginger Beer

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Postcards from the ICW - #4

Jeez, its COLD!!
How cold is it you ask?  I've been forced to put on socks!  And not just any socks...WOOL socks!
We gotta get south faster!

Randy & Cindy

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Postcards from the ICW - #3

The trip down the Dismal Swamp Canal is always one of our favorite parts of the trip.  Its wooded and intimate and quiet and we see few other boats.
Not as many fall colors as in past years.  I don't know why...its getting down to 30 degrees tonite!

The Dismal Swamp is narrow and shallow.  This 48' Krogen barely seems to fit.
The North Carollina Visitors' Center has about 150' of free dock.
No surprise that its a popular stop.
We decided to go on to Elizabeth City for a couple of nights.
We are taking a day off because there are Small Craft Warnings on the Albemarle Sound, not a body of water to be trifled with.  Good opportunity to change the oil, have lunch out and visit the museum.

That's all for now!

Randy & Cindy

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Postcards from the ICW - #2

Elizabeth's Dock, an idyllic country setting.
After almost three hours of delay caused by recalcitrant bridges in Norfolk/Portsmouth, we finally slipped into the Dismal Swamp canal.  The delays caused us to be late for the 1:30 PM lock opening, but Deep Creek lock master Robert Peake took pity on us, opening the lock for an unscheduled passage.  We locked through with Dream Weaver, Paul and Karen Schneider's KK48 Whaleback, and a sailboat.  Robert invited us for coffee tomorrow morning at 8 AM.  

Shortly after clearing the lock we pulled over and tied up at Elizabeth's Dock, a small dock and public park donated in memory of..well...Elizabeth.  It was a beautiful spot.  Oh yeah, and it was free!

Randy & Cindy

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Postcards from the ICW - #1

To borrow a verse from Jimmy Buffett, "I gotta head this boat south pretty soon".  Fall is making its presence with cool windy days and this weekend its going to get cold.  Time to move south so we left Solomon's on Monday Two days later we pulled into Portsmouth and Norfolk.  Norfolk is one one side of the river, Portsmouth on the other and the Navy is on both sides of the street.

We were greeted by a departing sub as we approached Norfolk.
Our first sub underway.
No ID number on the sail.  What's up with that?

Huge Navy ships in dry dock near Mile Marker "0"
Tomorrow we move to the Dismal Swamp.
Randy & Cindy

Friday, August 23, 2013

Postcard from Maine #17

Foggy Morning-The Gut at South Bristol
After three weeks away, it was a 14 hour drive from South Bristol back to Solomons and Morning Star.  
Our trip is over and so we close out the Postcards from Maine with a low tide, foggy morning.  
The Gamage Shipyard is is to the right and the body of water known as The Gut is in the background.  
Just another reason we love Maine.

Randy & Cindy
(by the way, all the Postcard photos were take with an iPhone.)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Postcard from Maine #16

Audubon preserve at Muscongus Bay #2
The Audubon Society has a preserve on the mainland and on Hog Island.  It is public access but you have to have a launch service.  The 330 acre island was home to The Breeze Pointe Inn in the late 1800's and then a private rustic camp.  The island was given to the Audubon Society in the 1930's. Its nice to see wild places preserved.

Randy & Cindy

Postcard from Maine #15

Table with a view

This is the view of Pemaquid Harbor from our dinner table at the lobster pound.  Its hard to beat.
A shore dinner with two lobsters, a pound of steamers, corn on the cob, cole slaw and a roll is $24.  
Bring your own wine.
Just another reason we love Maine!

Randy & Cindy

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Postcard from Maine #14

The Audubon preserve at Moscongus Bay

We did a little road trip, visiting an Audubon Society preserve.  For those of you keeping score, its in the upper part of Moscongus Bay.  The anchorage is between Keene Neck and Oar Island.  Everywhere you turn there are little coves full of moorings and lobster boats.  

Randy & Cindy

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Postcard from Maine #13

Another reason we love Maine!

Look closely at the sign on the left side.
Where else but in Maine could you buy lobsters and oysters on the honor system? 
If nobody is there, just put your money in the box, go home with your purchase and enjoy!
The Maine slogan is  "the way life should be".  They might just be right!

Randy & Cindy

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Postcard from Maine #12

The Boatyard Dog Contest

One of the highlights of the Maine Boats, Homes and Harbors Show every year is the Boatyard Dog contest.  
There were Labrador Retrievers, a MinPin, mutts and even a St. Bernard!

OK, in and out of the dinghy!
The contest involves:
1)  An agility course - being able to negotiate and bunch of lobster pots, and other loose gear piled up on the float.
2) Dog and handler have to climb in and out of a dinghy.
3) Fetching a tennis ball.
4) Some one-either dog or handler-MUST go for a swim.
5) Cheating is encouraged.
6) Bribing the judges is expected.
7) Goofy costumes garner style points.

Somebody has to swim.
The handler lost the battle of wills!

Postcard from Maine #11

Katrina's bow.

The Concordia yawl "Katrina" was built in 1963 at the Abeking & Rasmusen shipyard in Germany and shipped to the USA.  It takes a special commitment to keep a varnished hull finished "bright".  The craftsmen at Brooklin Boatyard are obviously up to the task at hand.  She looks perfect.  It must be like sailing a fine piece of furniture!

Randy & Cindy

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Postcard from Maine #10

Johns Bay Boatshop

Down the road from Sloop Nellie cottage is John's Bay boatshop.  It backs up to the wonderfully named "Poorhouse Cove".  Peter Kass is a well-regarded builder of wooden lobster boats and I try to stop by and look in on his latest project.  Two years ago he was building a boat to yacht-finish standards for a buyer in Australia.  Since then, the last two boats have been work boats.  Peter's work has been featured in Wooden Boat Magazine several times and its a real pleasure to see him in action.  It's just a small shop with a few good men doing artisan-quality work.

Randy & Cindy

Friday, August 16, 2013

Postcard from Maine #9

Liberty Tool Company
One corner of one floor.  Two more floors to go!

On the way back from Baxter State Park we stopped in for a visit at Liberty Tool Company in Liberty, Maine.  There are three floors of used tools…every kind of tool you could ever hope to find.  And like the guy says on the infomercial,
But Wait…There's More!  There's a whole other building across the street!

Randy & Cindy

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Postcard from Maine #8

Moose Butt

We drove to Baxter State Park the other day.  Baxter is a wild and remote place…no paved roads, no facilities at all.  While it is known for being the location of Mt. Katahdin, the northern terminus of the appalachian Trail, its also the perfect place for Cindy to finally see her wild Maine moose!  Drove around the curve and there it was!

Randy & Cindy

Postcards from Maine #7

Sunset - Pemaquid Harbor

So we were driving home from the lobster pound after dinner and came around the corner to see this.  
This is the sort of stuff we have to put up with on a daily basis!  Its hard, but somebody has to do it!

Randy & Cindy

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Postcards from Maine - #6

Brooklin Boatyard at Center Harbor 

A visit to Brooklin Boatyard at Center Harbor in Brooklin is a pilgrimage to the epicenter of wooden boatbuilding in the USA. The boats up here are classically beautiful. As they might say it in Maine, they "don't look like no sneakah".  

Randy and Cindy

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Postcards from Maine - #5

Lobster Roll
Pronounced Lobstah.
Just one more reason why we love Maine!

Randy & Cindy

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Postcards from Maine - #4

Oysters Rockefeller

A few weeks ago Cindy and I had Oysters Rockefeller at Pusser's in Annapolis. They were great and Cindy had to try to recreate them. We picked up a dozen oysters from Glidden Point, came home and slipped 'em on the grill. Mmmmm!
Just another reason we love Maine!

Randy & Cindy

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Postcards from Maine #3

Low Tide at McFarland Cove
We took the short walk down Sloop Nellie Lane to the cove. It's a crystal clear afternoon and we can see across the river to Pemaquid Harbor. Off camera to the right is Witch Island and The Gut. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Postcards from Maine #2

New Harbor

Today was busy!  After breakfast at Harborside we drove into Damariscotta to buy groceries. But first, stop by Reny's. Reny's is a Maine institution...general store, hardware, shoes, clothing, you-name-it.  If you've never been here you probably don't get it. But if you have been here, 'nuff said. Dinner at Sammoset Restaurant - once again Cindy's lobster cost less than my rack of ribs!  Before going home, a stop at Harbor Ice Cream. Ymmmm!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Postcards from Maine

Pemaquid Light

Arrived in Maine just in time for a glass of wine before heading out to dinner.
I had fried full-belly clams. Cindy had lobster. The clams cost more than the lobster!