Tonight (Friday) is a blue moon—a second full moon in one month.
It’s hard to say if the week really was hectic or if it was the prospect of the vacation/break that made it seem so frantic.
Monday began with fog that gradually lifted. Mike took out a Pirate Cruise on the Ruth. Then we brought the Cotinga into the dock. We had a family party of six for the three-hour lunch trip. They arrived with their dog. I have to confess to being a bit surprised by this. As we may have discussed earlier, six people in the cockpit often seems at tad crowded. As they were all one group, we relented and let them bring the dog. There was no wind so we motored up to Ridley Cove and anchored for lunch. While we were serving lunch some wind sprang up from the south. So we set off through a narrow channel into Quahog Bay, putting up the sails and motor-sailing south. We turned to the east to return toward Sebasco when the fog rolled back over us. It seemed that some fog was still present out over the open water and the southerly breeze carried it into our sailing area. We returned to Sebasco without incident.
Later that evening, Mike had a sunset cruise on the Ruth. I was getting dinner ready and realized that it was nearly 8 pm and I didn’t see the Ruth approaching the dock. Then I spotted the launch going out rapidly toward the navigation buoys that mark the entrance to Sebasco Harbor. In short order I saw the Ruth appear and tie up to the dock. Strangely though, I spotted Mike coming toward Cotinga in the dinghy without having moved the Ruth off the dock. Once he got on board, he explained that the engine of the Ruth had been making some loud squealing noises during the trip. These sounds were loud enough to prompt Mike to look into the engine compartment (with the passengers on board). Nothing appeared amiss to the casual inspection. However just as they were approaching the red marker off Sebasco, the engine cut out leaving the boat drifting toward a lobster pot marker. A radio call to Ellin had prompted her to bring the launch out in case they needed assistance. By changing the fuel feed to the second tank, Mike was able to re-start the engine and get the boat to the dock. He left the Ruth tied up to the dock to allow the mechanics to get started on the repair the next morning.
Luckily for the resort, Tuesday is an “all Cotinga” day. That allowed the chaps from the “repairatorium” to sort out the engine problems. Meanwhile, we had all three Cotinga trips booked. The lunch trip was to be a party of four—the Knuckles (who had been out before) and their friends from Florida. However, once again, the fog rolled in as the southerly breeze got started. So the lunch trip was cancelled. In the afternoon we took out Parker (who is working on the dock over the summer) and his girlfriend. At short notice Cherie (from the gift shop) showed up and came out with us. The sky was quite threatening with dark clouds heralding a thunderstorm. We had a brief shower followed by diminishing winds but we didn’t let that stop us. Fortunately the storm moved off to the west and we were able to go out for a nice sunset sail with two parties—a couple and family with three-year old twins. I kept thinking that if the couple were expecting a quiet, romantic sail, they might have been disappointed.
Wednesday was a busy day for the Ruth. The schedule called for two trips, morning and early afternoon but a private sunset cruise had been added to the schedule. The Cotinga afternoon sail had been moved to earlier (3:30 to 5:30) in the afternoon to allow Mike time to fit in this extra trip, starting at 6:30. The change over time was short but do-able if everything went smoothly and to time. However, it seemed that no one notified our sailing clients off the schedule change. The front desk was able to contact them and arrange for them to meet us on the dock at 4 pm. Mother nature wasn’t done messing with us though. Just as they arrived a squall hit with torrential rain and we agreed to postpone until 4:30. We would be able to take them out for an hour and a half sail. Just then Ellin came up to say that the dock was moving strangely possibly because one of the lines hold it may have loosened up. She asked us to get Cotinga off the dock so that we weren’t putting more stress on the dock. Out to the mooring we went in the downpour. At 4:30 the squall was clearly over, Mike went to the dock on the launch to talk to our clients. Ellin brought them all back on the launch. We went sailing with a gentle breeze and lovely clearing skies.
Thursday morning found the repair crew back on the dock, this time trying to fix the broken bracket holding the ramp to the dock. (If you recall this had been broken earlier in the summer when a large cruise boat had docked as part of a wedding event). This welding was accomplished in time for the Ruth trip at 10:30. Cotinga had a four-hour afternoon sail with six people. One party was a family of four from San Francisco. They were having a vacation/college tour trip (for the daughter) around New England. The father, Todd, had suffered a stroke several years earlier and had some difficulty getting aboard the boat. The other pair was a couple from Virginia Beach. They had been on a business trip to Boston and decided to head up to Maine to avoid the heat wave. Bill had worked for General Dynamics and had visited the Bath Iron Works many times, without getting time to explore the area. So he and his wife Ruthie had decide to come to Sebasco for a few days. The forecast called for 10 knots of breeze from the Southeast. We decided to head for Jewel Island in Casco Bay. Once we got to the outer islands, the winds seemed quite light and the swell was considerable. Diana, the daughter of the family confessed to being very prone to seasickness. This, combined with the slow speed we were making, suggested that we head to the tip of Bailey Island and then head northward along Bailey and Orr’s Islands and then back east to Sebasco. The wind continued to build with significant gusts as we sailed along. One strong gust caused Diana to shriek as the boat heeled over. Rather than reef (a process that creates a certain amount of commotion in the cockpit), we chose to ease the sails and carry on. We were back off Sebasco a tad on the early side and decided to take an excursion into West Point. Sadly, that was directly into the wind and we chickened out of trying to tack our way there. We motor-sailed to the entrance to West Point and then through the heavily potted area and back to Sebasco. By the time we got to the dock the wind was really strong from the south. That combined with a powerboat at the north end of the dock, made for a nerve-wracking landing. However, Mike managed it well. Our clients dis-embarked with onto the tossing dock with some difficulty. The trip out to the mooring was also made more difficult by the gusty wind. By the time we had the boat squared away, the wind was easing.
We had a lovely meal in the Pilot House restaurant to celebrate our anniversary (a few days early). After returning to the boat, no one had any ambition to start packing. This morning it was packing, clearing the fridge and buttoning up the boat for our mini-break. Mike and I drove to the airport in Boston for his flight to Italy. He is going to his niece’s wedding on the shores of Lake Garda. I’m going to have a few days catching up with myself at home.