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Robin & Jim


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Posted By Robin & Jim

We arrived in New Bedford, Mass. after a long, lumpy run down Cape Cod Bay into Buzzard's Bay.  New Bedford is a huge commercial fishing port, but it also played a significant part in the history of the whaling industry - ending in the early 1920's.  The Whaling Museum there is incredible - very comprehensive and very well done.

new bedford museum

I thought the giant squid at the front entrance was a pretty neat touch... Jim and Jason don't look sufficiently intimidated, though.

Just as we saw lots of dories in use in Nova Scotia and down through Gloucester, we now see people rowing whale boats here and down through Mystic.  I think it's neat that people get exercise by celebrating their local history.

whaleboat rowing

Our next stop was Newport, RI - though we only stayed one night because the weather would be deteriorating.  We wanted to give Newport another chance, but once again we found it to be a bit pretentious and overpriced.  It's a high-end serious sailing town, though wooden boat building is still taught in the area.

This is the kind of elegant traditional sailboat that makes my knees turn to jelly...

newport morning

...and as we left early in the morning we passed by Cunard's elegant Queen Elizabeth on her way into Newport.

queen elizabeth

We had an easy cruise into Connecticut waters to one of my favorite places - Mystic Seaport.  We tied up at the Seaport dock and spent a few days enjoying the many exhibits and demonstrations.  It really takes a lot of time to see it all, and we had a blast.  We particularly loved the live music - sea shanties and traditional tunes.

The Seaport is very active - with a large youth sailing program as well as boats that you can take out and row or sail.  We went for a spin in a Crosby catboat - similar to what Jim wants to build for us to use in the Keys sometime.

sailing old and new

Sadly, Jason had to head home Saturday, but we all had a great time together.

It's so special to be docked right in the Seaport - and it's a wonderful treat since I have great memories of Mystic Seaport from my childhood, and Jim and I have great memories from our visits as "big kids".

conrad reflection

Posted By Robin & Jim

We were glad to have a little time to enjoy Rockland - walking the pretty streets and exploring some of the art galleries and interesting shops.  We also toured the Farnsworth Art Gallery - famous for its Andrew Wyeth collection.

We rented a car and spent an afternoon and evening exploring some of the other towns farther up Penobscot Bay: Camden, Searsport, and Belfast.  We had great weather to stroll around the towns and to see the waterfront.

Camden was particularly nice...


...with working boat yards, big schooners (one was taking a wedding party out), lobster boats, and plenty of pleasure boats.  If you look out to the harbor edge you can see the thick fog bank.

Our next stop was Searsport - a more commercial port.  It's home to the Penobscot Maritime Museum which is actually a number of homes and buildings that are original to the founding of the town.  We got there a bit late to tour it properly, but it was very interesting and is on our list of things to see again sometime.

We wrapped up the evening with a stop in Belfast - a very pretty little town.  It was low tide, and like many of the other towns the waterfront is a mix of working and pleasure boats.


There is never enough time to see all we would like to, and Penobscot Bay has tons of places that we'd love to visit - plenty to do the next time we come up here!  It was time to leave and continue south so we would get to Gloucester to meet our friend.

We came into the dock in Rockland for one night to catch up on laundry and fill water tanks - here's a photo of ADVENTURES on the dock with the American Cruise Line's INDEPENDENCE (about 225' long) the evening before we left. We look pretty small with our black stern to the camera.

adventures and independence

And here's a photo taken from the same place the next morning just before we departed, in the fog...

adventures and independence fog

We had about 200' of visibility for the first three hours, then about 1/4 mile until mid-afternoon.  Maine waters are pretty thick with lobster pots so we kept a careful watch!

We arrived in Gloucester on Friday night, and met my distant cousin Chris and her husband for lunch on Saturday - she's the family historian and they live in the area. We raised a toast to the Williams boys and enjoyed catching up on family and football.

Our friend Jason came in by train and we stopped at the grocery store to re-provision since he'll be cruising with us all this week.  We had a little bit of time to tour Gloucester, but we departed very early yesterday morning to continue our Adventures.


 Today we're in New Bedford and will explore this huge fishing port.

Posted By Robin & Jim

We arrived in Rockland, Maine about two hours ago after a 28.5 hour crossing from Shelburne, Nova Scotia.  We cleared Customs quickly and spotted a friend's boat in the harbor!  We're anchored near ALGONQUIN - a happy surprise, and have now had our lunch and showers - so we feel a bit more human again.

We had excellent weather for the first half of the crossing - the seas were like glass.

glassy ocean

We saw two whales, but not much else.  We were lucky to have a full moon to light the way, which helped when the wind piped up around 11pm and the waves grew to a tall chop.  We had a lively ride - and noisy with the occasional wave banging against the side of the boat, but it wasn't bad.  The worst part is that ADVENTURES is now coated with a fine salt spray all over.

Another interesting coincidence last night was passing the MAASDAM - the same Holland America ship that we were on with the DeFever Cruisers last year through the Panama Canal.  She was heading to Halifax, and we were on an intercept course.  We talked with her on the radio and she altered course to pass to the south of us.  It was too dark to get a good photo of the ship, but here is our chart plotter view.  Our AIS shows us the ship's name and information.


If it looks like we're veering off our blue course line, that's just the effect of the tide flooding into the Bay of Fundy.  We're across the Bay entrance long enough for a full tide cycle (in and out) so we don't try to correct for the drift - it will even out in the end.

As we were approaching Rockland we saw quite a number of magnificent schooners heading out of the harbor under full sail.  It was a wonderful sight to welcome us back home to the U.S.


We'll enjoy Rockland for another day and catch up on a bit of rest after the long passage, then maybe head up Penobscot Bay to Belfast for a day.  From there we need to get to Gloucester, Massachusetts by Saturday morning to meet a friend who will cruise with us for a week or so.

Posted By Robin & Jim

We have been in Shelburne for the past few days and will cross back to the U.S. tomorrow morning.  We're very sad to leave Nova Scotia, but we have the feeling we'll return for a third time - we love it up here: the scenery is stunning and the people are wonderful. 

We left Mahone Bay for the 90 mile cruise to Shelburne because the weather was changing and we would rather contend with smaller swells than big ugly ones.  Because of the long day's run we left before sunrise, and we've noticed that the days are getting shorter - it's dark before 0600 now.  The advantage of an early morning  departure is that the sky can be quite dramatic - I shot about 30 images of the pre-dawn sky, but this is my favorite.

mahone bay sunrise

We had some lumpy seas around lunchtime - good thing I was in the galley fixing sandwiches when the coffeemaker tried to lift off - that's a first!  But the waves settled down a bit and we had a decent ride into the Shelburne Harbour Yacht Club.  We spent a day on the dock there for some unlimited power and water to catch up on the big mound of laundry and to give the boat a good cleaning - inside and out. 

shelburne harbour yc

It was good to get caught up on the chores during a rainy, foggy day, and when the weather cleared we took on some fuel and moved out onto a mooring ball in the harbor.

Shelburne Harbour YC is a very friendly place, and we enjoyed "race burgers" while watching the weekly sailing regatta.  As with many of the other places we've visited up here, this is serious sailboat racing country!  They have an active youth program and some of the local Sea Cadets (Sea Scouts) won the National Sea Cadet sailing championship recently.

shelburne yc sailing school

The sailors won because of dogged perseverence - taking these small boats out starting in March, chipping ice off the boats and sailing in all kinds of weather.  Impressive!

We've been playing tourist and enjoying the rich boat building history here, especially at the Dory Shop - the one remaining of the seven shops active during the height of the cod fishing hey day.  Each region has its own variation of the sturdy dory, and a visit to waterfront communities from Gloucester, Mass. up through Atlantic Canada will show their pride that their dory is the best design.

dory shop

Tomorrow morning (Sunday) we'll depart for the 200 mile crossing to Rockland, Maine and we should arrive around early afternoon on Monday the 12th.  We'll post once we've arrived and have cleared Customs.  It has been a grand Adventure so far, and we plan to savor the trip down the east coast - almost 3000 miles back to the Florida Keys for the winter.

adventures in shelburne

Posted By Robin & Jim

After leaving Cape Breton we cruised south, stopping for just one night in lovely Liscomb.

liscomb sunset

From there we cruised down to Tangier - a small fishing village.  The weather was changing and the forecast of building seas allowed us only one afternoon/evening there, but I launched my kayak and took a long afternoon paddle.  Tangier has a number of uninhabited islands and lots of huge rocks in the middle of the harbor and along the shore.  I love the look of the yellow-orange rock weed against the rugged rocks at low tide.

tangier kayaking

I saw a number of bald eagles - young and mature, a flock of mergansers, terns, and shy seals basking on the rocks - I wish we could have stayed longer!

We had a bit of a lumpy cruise down to Mahone Bay, but we saw three whales spouting shortly after passing the entrance to Halifax harbour.  Our next stop was about 40 miles south to the town of Chester.  We prefer to anchor in the Back Harbour in Chester - with high hills, lovely homes, and superb sunset views.

chester back harbour

A lot of Americans have summer homes in this part of Nova Scotia, and they reflect a bit more of a New England flavor.  There is a lot of big money around here - some of the homes are quite large and fancy.  Chester is a serious sailing town, but it's also artsy and fun with a great little theatre.

Today we're in the town of Mahone Bay, famous for its three churches at the head of the harbor.

mahone bay churches

This is yet another lovely little town with friendly people, art galleries, craft shops, and two excellent bakeries (Jim's favorite).  The local art ranges from quilts to paintings to jewelry, pewter, fiber arts, woodworking, etc.  There are some extremely talented people around here!  Some of the local artists also create folk art - always fun and funky.

folk art dal

folk art here kitty

Labor Day has now passed and some hints of fall are in the air.  It's too early for the trees to turn, but the major part of the tourist season is winding down here.

fall flowers

Tomorrow we'll cruise 85 miles down to Shelburne to explore and wait for a good weather window to cross back to Maine.  We should be protected from Hurricane Katia's effects there too.