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September 18, 2004

It was hard to leave Blue Hill. Here are some more pictures of our lovely stay there:

However, when we heard there was a stretch of nasty weather coming, we decided to head to Rockland where there was a big library. If it was going to blow like stink and rain for two days straight, we needed to be able to take Liv off the boat. Since you can't land your dinghy in Blue Hill at low tide, we couldn't stay there. We had a nice sail up Eggamoggin Reach to Lem's Cove at Buck's Harbor, where we spent a very peaceful night. The next day was foggy and still, and we had fun navigating in the fog towards Rockland.

Rockland was nice, although a lot fancier and more expensive than we remembered. We had a great time in the new Hamilton Marine store, though.

When the weather finally improved, my dad came up to sail with us for a day. It started out perfect, sunny and breezy, but then the wind died. Still, it was lovely. After drifting aimlessly for a while, making about .5 knot headway, we headed over towards the White Islands off Vinalhaven. As we approached the White Islands, Dad suggested we stop for a walk someplace. "How about there?" he asked, pointing to tiny Little Hurricane Island. We nosed our way in to the lee of the island and anchored. The shore was all rock, no beach to land on, but Neil thought he could beach the dinghy on a slanting boulder. We made it. On shore it was almost hot, and beautiful. The first thing we saw was a big fat crab sitting on the rocks. Dinner! We hunted and found a whole bucketful of big Jonah crabs. There were also lots of wildflowers and beach peas. 

It was a great lesson for us..... We've been so goal-oriented for the past two years, getting the boat done, that we hadn't really slowed down yet. We had been more purposeful in our traveling, picking a destination and going to it. Dad's casual suggestion to stop for a short time at a remote, unvisited island with no real anchorage was a surprise to us. But afterwards, we remembered that that was what cruising is supposed to be about. We've since been trying to remember to slow down and be more spontaneous, because it was so much fun! Little Hurricane:

After dropping Dad off at his friends' house, we anchored in Long Cove on Vinalhaven and cooked up our crab dinner. Liv was excited to try them, but when we handed her the smashed claw, she said, "Ugh. That's too scientific!" and didn't want any more. It might have helped if she hadn't named them before dinner! We didn't have any lobster cracking utensils, so we used some of Neil's tools. It worked well enough.

Here's the sunset at Long Cove...

After a stop at Tenant's harbor and a nice visit with friends Anne and Tony Solley, we headed into Muscongus Bay. We had a mission. Liv has wanted a kitten very, very badly for a long time. Neil and I had secretly found an ad in the newspaper for kittens in Bremen, Maine. We decided to sail there and see if I was allergic to them. We had a lovely sail up the bay, through Friendship, and over to Bremen. I went ashore, "to pay bills" and met the nice couple who raised the kittens. They were very kind and picked me up at the tiny marina; their house was about 5 miles away! Happily, I wasn't too allergic, but the kittens were not ready to go yet. What could we do? The Orcutts very kindly offered to meet us in Pemaquid in several days and bring her to us.

Neil and I could scarcely contain ourselves as we tried to get through the next few days as though everything was normal. We had SUCH a big secret! We meandered through Muscongus Bay, practicing our navigational sills in the ledge-strewn, largely unmarked waters. We had a nice stop in Round Pond, where Liv made friends with Teiga from Driver. Teiga's parents, Dave and JaJa Martin, lived aboard their 33 foot Driver and raised three kids aboard, mostly in cold-weather climates. Here is a picture of Liv and Teiga swinging on the halyard swings the Martins have set up:

Finally we headed over to Pemaquid. Yesterday we orchestrated the day so that we could meet the Orcutts and the prearranged time. We took a walk over to the old graveyard after lunch and poked around, keeping an eye out for the car. As the car approached we gave Liv a birthday card and told her we had an early birthday present for her. She claims to still have no inkling what was going on at that point. We walked over to the car, "Liv, come and meet the Orcutts." (She is always having to meet some grownup friends of Mom and Dad so she didn't think anything of it...). You should have seen her face when they handed her the tiny kitten: priceless. You can read her version here.

So now we have a new crewmember! Liv has named her Daisy.

Next page: back to Portland for the last time in a while!!