We’re headed back to Thomaston as I write this, nearly done with the Maine portion of our trip. The plan is to have a few things fixed at Lyman-Morse and then continue south to Boston. We almost made it to Canada, turning around just 22 nautical miles south of the border. Soren was lobbying hard to head up there so we could hoist a Canadian courtesy flag and sing “O, Canada” and then turn around, but in the end we decided to skip that bit and take advantage of the good weather. We had a fabulous sail yesterday — flat seas, 15-knot winds, close-hauled on one tack for 3 hours.
Anyway, we can’t leave Maine without telling you about lobster traps. I am really ready to be rid of lobster traps. Thickets of them spread across the water here — in rivers, wide open bays, even in deeper water on the Atlantic coast (when you think you might finally be rid of them).
Today we aimed to do an all day passage. It started with an early start. (Duh.) Followed by a boring school day, featuring math, science, and many more all-new dumb features, including editing blog posts, minimal reading time during school, and zero fun. (Minus art. Art’s fun.) Anyway, we succeeded in the all day passage part. A little more than halfway through, when we were about to go under a bridge, dad sensibly thought to double-check the bridge height on the chart. When doing this, he realized that the bridge height was only 39 ft, when EXIT was 63 ft. He quickly turned around and redid the route so we didn’t go through those dang bridges, and by this “little” mistake, he added 2 hrs. to our already long trip. But accidents happen, no? [Editor’s note: Yes, route-planning mistakes were made, though I prefer to think of them as “non-catastrophic learning opportunities”. -dw] When we got there, we saw the acclaimed “Mile Long Beach.” This made the long journey worth it. It was beautiful. All white sand, another when you anchor there, you hear the waves crashing. Slowly rising, peaking, and dying out, this beatiful white noise occurred about every 5 seconds.
The beach at Roque.
The weather has been changing constantly these last few weeks. Unlike home, where it’s sunny and in the mid-70s for weeks or months at a time, here in Maine things never stay the same for long. Heavy fog will hang around for days and leave everything soggy, then it might be hot and humid, and then sometimes the exciting bit: thunderstorms.
The California drought has probably made us overly enthusiastic for rain, but every time there’s been a thunderstorm Soren and Elsa have greeted it with cheers. Last night it poured rain, lightning flashed, thunder rumbled in from the ocean, the boat rocked steeply from side to side — and the kids were thrilled. They were even disappointed when we decided to leave our anchorage at Roque Island this morning for a more protected cove out of the wind.
Today I went swimming. Soren and I travelled about 500 yards and back on a paddleboard. I got on it and Soren put his stomach on it and we were both wearing flippers and he kicked on the way there and I kicked on the way back. Then our dad joined in and we kicked around for a while. I kicked my dad and my brother all alone!
You know how the greatest toy for a child is an empty cardboard box? The mariner’s equivalent must be a bucket. In our case, this little beauty:
Note the compact yet capacious size, the built-in handles, the bendyness. We’ve used it just about every day and we’ve only had it for a week.