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October 9, 2004

It is getting COLD in Maine!!! We've been back in Portland for 2 weeks, finishing up the last important refit projects and getting ready to head south. Some days (like today) are warm and calm and lovely, and we remember why we love fall sailing in Maine so much. But we've had more than our share of cold, windy, lumpy, grey days that make us want to hurry south as soon as we can. With no onboard heater and only sporadic access to shore power (thank you, PYS!) we have been quite chilly. We've found that our kerosene lanterns take the edge off the cold, but the ancient alcohol "Heat Pal" heater we have is just too stinky! We do have a clay flowerpot along to try over a stove burner if we get really desperate: so far long underwear and socks at bedtime has sufficed. But we are longing for warmer weather....We're hoping to leave in 2 days.

It's been really nice to catch up with family and friends. For the first time in years, it seems, we have actually slowed down enough to be able to socialize and enjoy it, without feeling like we really should be working on the boat! We had some nice dinners with friends, and with my family members, and Neil's family came up to Portland for a visit last weekend on Liv's birthday. It was so great to see them! Here's Liv and her boy-friend Uther; and Uncle Steve and cousin Jackson visiting aboard Zora...

Daisy-kitten is growing in leaps and bounds and showing her true colors: she is a fierce hunter! We can't wait to see what she makes of flying fish on the deck! Sadly, though, I don't think those sweet exhausted birds who often stop for rests on offshore passages will last long on our boat... they will be dinner for the kitten!

Poor Neil has had to put up with exceptionally lumpy seas for his up-the-mast projects. But the trysail mast track is installed and the inner forestay and running backstays, too. We were very pleased to see that the storm jib sets well, doesn't foul the radar, and can be sheeted effectively to our existing tracks. We still have to try out the trysail before we go. Tomorrow we will get the last few things we need to set up the Fleming windvane and stow our stern anchor. The boat looks like she did back in the full refit mode, with piles of projects and tools everywhere. Liv is over at a sleepover at her friend Katie's house. She went to her old school one day with Katie, too. I was glad to hear that we're up to speed with (if not ahead of) her "regular" 3rd grade class! We are having a home-school vacation week this week, though, since we have so much we need to get done!!

Here are some pictures of Zora at Diamond Cove during a beautiful moonrise!

Next: Leaving Maine finally!!!