I feel a bit like a chicken, cooped up, waiting for the last vestiges of Hurricane Jose to trolley off out to sea. New England has been brushed with it’s final throws. We are safely tucked up in the inner harbour in Gloucester Massachusetts with two anchors down, a batch of freshly made scones and some Netflix downloads.

For those who know knots, it’s a steady 20 to 25, gusting 30. Good news is no waves though as we are well tucked in. Think we’ve been on the boat for about 36 hours now, but we are about to escape for a couple of hours as there appears to be a bit of a lull.

Now back from Project Escape-The Boat. Hero Paul, our new found local buddy, picked us up and we planned to head to a local quarry for a walk and explore. On the way we bumped into a lovely family who we’d met before on a 28 foot boat called Tiny Bubbles. Mum, Dad and three boys aged 2, 7 and 10. They are well squashed in!

The expedition party had grown in size. The boys have been brought up with freedoms that most people will never experience. On seeing the quarry, the boys stripped off Reggie Perrin style to their shorts and went for an explore. There’s a couple of photos of them climbing which may put the heebie jeebies into some parents. The boys all appeared to have an inherent sense of managing risk, even the two year old. It was great to see and they are a lovely family to spend time with.

It’s now a few days later. Unexpectedly we’ve had to return to the UK at short notice as Dave’s Dad is poorly in hospital. The boat is safely residing on a mooring ball in Gloucester Inner Harbour. There maybe radio silence for a while.

Heading South

Shame we weren’t around in Bayside, Maine in mid August 1914. The carnival that year had a greased pig competition for men and boys and a greased pole competition too. No stipulations on the poster for the second competition though so maybe girls and women could play too. Perhaps there was a grease surfeit in 1914. Bonsall, Derbyshire take note. Your carnival needs to broaden its horizons and its grease quotient. Just saying…..

How do you know it’s time to move on? When’s the right time? Is the decision based on a feeling or some data or a conversation or the weather? Probably all those things for me as after seven weeks in Maine, we set off from Rockland on Saturday to make our way relatively slowly towards Long Island and New York.

The wind should be from the north or north west rather than prevailing from the south west. Helpful for our journey although predicted to be relatively light. We’ll probably end up motor sailing rather than pure sailing. We also need still need to be mindful of the hurricane situation, as although we are a long way north, wind and rain can spoil the party.

We’d had a couple of days of miserable weather. Its definitely been chillier in the morning and evening. We bought two hot water bottles. Still warm during the day when the sun is out as I determine to wear shorts for as long as possible, there is a slight modicum of colour change on the tree foliage. Autumn will be picture postcard territory in Maine.

Like Cornwall or Jersey, Maine will be a place to return to. There were places we’d earmarked to visit that didn’t feel our footsteps and coves that didn’t get the chance to grab our anchor. Next time. Heading up East again and into Canada would make for a great adventure. A short summer season but lovely and quiet and it seems very rarely visited by british boats, or any boats for that matter.

It feels like the next stage of our trip is beginning. As I type this (although it may not get uploaded for a couple of days) we’re heading towards Portsmouth, then Gloucester. Familiar British names, although unfamiliar places. Being back in big towns will be a sharp contrast to the last few weeks. Will we blend in or stand out like country bumpkins? Indeed what is the equivalent of a country bumpkin if you are boat based?

Well, if timing is everything, I need to get back on deck and let dave have a bit of downtime. 10 minutes till swap over time. If I pitch up on deck with tea and biscuits I will be popular so kettle here I come.



Good times, painful times…



It’s gonna be tough to leave Maine. We’ve hiked, climbed, sailed, cycled and socialised. It’s been fantastic. However, to provide some balance and prove life is not always sun and pleasure, I had to have a tooth taken out.

I have decided that medical people generally lie. Standard lines that get tripped out….”sharp scratch or little sting”. These lines are not true. Having an injection feels nothing like a sharp scratch. It’s a lingering jolt of stabbing pain as the anesthetic / medication is slowly injected. I don’t create a fuss because I know there’s worse to come with the pokey things and pliers. The extraction is not straightforward. The tooth cracks. Half of it comes out fine, the other half is stubborn. That’s enough detail…..your imagination call fill in the gaps here.

Weve been out of circulation for a while, sneaking into sheltered coves where phone reception doesn’t exist and wifi is unheard of. Three American guys rowed past us.  We exchanged pleasantries and they said come to dinner at 7.30. So having been acquainted for all of 5 minutes, we pitched up on their boat with a few beers and some home made scones and enjoyed an unexpected evening with good food and happy chat. That’s the unexpected world of living on a sail boat.

Other stuff…….we helped out at the International One Design World Championships Regatta based out of North East Harbour. Made some good friends and ate oysters. Nice.

Our friend Ken came to Maine and we hijacked him for two days and went sailing. Shame he wasn’t around for longer but I know he had a good time and dave and I appreciated him just sailing the boat (he’s an old hand as he’s been round the world already if you didn’t know) while we caught up in a few chores. And his Derbyshire news of course.

Now we’re in Rockland in the public library catching up. September is upon us. We ought to make some plans for what next. Hmmmm.