After a solo evening in Northeast Harbor, (Justin, the skipper and the boat were still at Hinckley), including a lovely cocktail party (thanks, Callie and Henry!) and then dinner at a lobster shack, I met the boat in Southwest Harbor on Thursday morning, still waiting to find out whether it would be fixed or not. I was fine either way, figuring the worst case scenario involved renting a car and driving home. Hinckley let us use their pick-up truck to go into town. I squeezed into the middle of the front seat, and we headed to Sips for lunch. Such incredible risotto! I added a Harbor Mule which was about the greatest thing I have ever tasted. I vowed that if we were able to rejoin the Cruise, I would make Harbor Mules for the entire entourage. In fact, it would be our entry for the appetizer contest scheduled for the following night in Cradle Cove.
Choosing an optimistic approach, we shopped in Southwest Harbor (great town) for the ingredients: Cold River Maine Blueberry Vodka, Maine Root Ginger Brew, and limes.
Here’s the recipe:
1/2 oz. lime juice
2 oz. vodka
4-6 oz. ginger beer
When we got back to Hinckley, we were told she was ready to go. We were far too late to race, and after a really tough trip through Casco Passage, then being hit by 37 knots of wind in the Eggemoggin, we decided to head to Bucks Harbor for the night, closer than our scheduled stop in Seal Cove. When we arrived, we were surprised to see four or five other Cruise boats there, whose crews greeted us with a standing ovation!
We awoke to pea-soup fog, that cleared slowly but in spectacular fashion. We missed the race to Cradle Cove because the fog did not clear in time, so we had an easy trip over. I made the Harbor Mules, renamed for the boat. We did not win the appetizer contest, despite offering chocolate covered blueberries along with our cocktails. When you can’t win the judges over with alcohol and chocolate you know it’s time to concede.
I don’t really remember the race to Turkey Cove, I just know that’s when we discovered that the electric bilge pump had failed. Anything that was on the floor in the main cabin was now covered in a sea-water/oil mix. We turned to the newly-installed manual bilge pump–which also did not work. Justin and the skipper resorted to bailing the bilge; I went for a swim.
A kindly Cruiser lent us a pump which helped dramatically. We filled trash bags with ruined gear and stowed them in the lazarette until we could find a dumpster. There were no dumpsters at the lovely home in Turkey Cove where that night’s cocktail party was held (thanks, Peter and Priscilla!)
Did I mention that on our first night the electricity to the running lights didn’t work? We rigged up a gooseneck flash light. Hard to pick your way through thousands of lobster pots, and find your mooring in the pitch dark. Also, lobster pots are absolutely the worst. We were fortunate not to catch any; other Cruisers were not so lucky. One accidentally punctured his dinghy while trying to cut a line loose from his prop. Another caught two, in two separate incidents, both of which required swimming underneath the boat to free the propeller. The blasted things are SO FLIPPIN’ DANGEROUS! You could lose your engine because of them! AARRGGGHH!
The final race to Boothbay ended with us winning the overall prize for the day–so exciting. Even more so for me was that my daughter had driven up with a friend to Boothbay to join us for the closing cocktail party and stay at a nearby hotel! After nine days away, I missed her so much it was stupid, and I was so glad to see her. They planned to outlet shop on the way home the next day. With bad weather predicted for the trip home, heavy fog at 6AM, and an unpleasant incident on the boat the night before, I texted her and asked to please go with them. I gathered as many belongings as I could haul into the launch, and got off. Justin agreed it was the right move for me, and he stayed aboard to get the boat home.
We spent a lovely day in Kittery, shopping for her trip to Paris and her upcoming move to New York, enjoying lobster pizza (I know, the irony of hating lobster pots!) at Roberts Maine Grill and getting home by 5PM.
Justin on the other hand, encountered terrible weather. Thankfully tethered into their life lines, they hit a squall with 50 knot winds and 8 to 10 foot seas, strong enough to tear our dinghy from the back of the boat. Justin arrived home at 1AM, exhausted but alive.
I am so grateful we are home.
“I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship.”
– Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
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