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plymouth to portland

Posted by on August 20, 2012

After our big day of whale watching, we settled in for the night with plans to make a mid-morning landfall in the Portland area. As seems to be the case lately, we were again motorsailing. The Gulf of Maine was a glassy flat with barely a breeze.

During my first watch of the night, a strong fish smell touched my nose. Moments later, I heard two whale spouts break the water’s surface quite close to the boat. In the dark of night, and only the senses of sound and smell, I froze. I recognized that burst of air from earlier in the day. Were the whales only passing by? Or were they checking out the boat? I only relaxed when I didn’t hear them again.

We were making good time, and it looked like our landfall in the Portland area would be at the hour of dawn. So, around midnight, we shut down the engines and left the boat to drift on a northwesterly course. The mainsail remained up just in case a puff of wind decided to come our direction.

During our drift, our watches consisted of sitting at the nav table reading a book or updating navigation, while monitoring the radar and AIS. Every so often, we would personally scan the horizon with the binoculars just to make sure there was nothing out there.

On Wil’s drift watch, what seemed to be a fishing boat, approached and spot lighted us. Wil turned on our deck light to let them know our presence. They spot lighted us again, and then went back to what they were doing. That puts a person on high alert!

My drift watch wasn’t without a fair share of excitement, as well. The glow of Boston was on the horizon, and there were many planes flying in that direction. However, there was some type of aircraft that would fly so low, that I could see the reflection of their navigation lights on the water. They were bright enough to play with my night vision, and added a dose of confusion while trying to watch the horizon for ships.

As dawn approached, I could feel a bit of breeze on my face. Without cranking the engines, I adjusted the main and prepared to pull out the genaker. Suddenly, I heard the sound of a whale spout in the air again. The whale was obviously approaching the boat. I couldn’t see it, but I could definitely hear it. So much for the quiet of the morning, I had to turn on the engines. I had to let the whale know our presence. As soon as the engines came alive, the whale disappeared. Whew! I could breathe again.

As we neared the Portland area, we had our first views of Maine’s rocky coastline, lighthouses, and lobster pots. Breathtakingly beautiful!

entering the Portland area



very tall markers at low tide!

watch towers from the world wars








Our stay in Portland was only for one overnight. We pulled up to the dock at Portland Yacht Services for an appointment with a refrigerator service person. We had thought there was a blockage in the system, but it turned out only to be undercharged. Since our refrigerator control board was also nonfuntional, he was also able to get a new refrigerator control board delivered the very next day.

While we waited for the part, we stayed on our very first mooring ever! Our anchor bridle wouldn’t work with the mooring, so we used two dock lines with bowlines tied to the mooring line. I wish we could say we slept like babies, but the anchorage was far too rolly. Although, after watching all the monohulls tossing about, we were so happy to be on a catamaran!

The next day, we headed for Jewell Island.

adjusting to the cooler climate













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