One more day sail from Onsett Harbor and we arrived back in Newport, this time in thick fog. It’s always a bonus to be going into known surroundings when it’s foggy! We made our way confidently into the anchorage and dropped the hook.

The following morning the fog had cleared and we went ashore for breakfast at the Seamen’s Institute and to catch up with the laundry and internet. That afternoon we wandered up to The Fastnet, in search of some live Sunday afternoon Irish music. Sitting outside, we heard distinctly English accents at the next table and by the end of the evening we had met our New Friends!
Sue and Glyn are both from Shrewsbury, whichever way they pronounce it! Sue’s brother, Alex, lives and works in the US and he and his wife, Judy, have a house here in Newport.

After a convivial evening together, we invited our New Friends to come out on the boat for a sail around the Harbour the following morning. A great time was had by all.

Judy and Alex with his feet up!

Judy and Alex with his feet up!

Unfortunately ex Navy man Alex had a broken foot and was confined to the cockpit, but Glyn took to helm like a natural.

Captain Glynn at the helm.

Captain Glynn at the helm.

Sue and Judy made wonderful Boat Babes and narrowly missed being taken out by the boom when we tacked!!

Sue and Judy boat babes!

Sue and Judy boat babes.

After lunch on board, we rounded off the day at Judy and Alex’s house, with Alex excelling himself at the barbecue. We presented Glyn with his captain’s hat and rounded off the evening with a parlour game….Catch Phrase …..Boys v Girls……. Marcus and Judy getting memorably competitive!!

Best Beef Barbecue in great company.

Best Beef Barbecue in great company.

Captain Glyn receiving his hat.

Captain Glyn receiving his hat.

On Wednesday we met up at The Parlor for an evening of pool. Another convivial evening……..Sue played her first game of pool, Glyn played his first one with glasses and Alex managed to play his first game balancing on his scooter!

Pool at The Parlor.

Pool at The Parlor.

On Friday, Judy and Alex drove us to the supermarket for a ‘bulky shop’ ………a restock on kitchen towels and beer……..never easy without a car! Once again, the kindness and thoughtfulness of the people we meet replenishes our faith in the goodness of mankind.
After stowing the shopping aboard, we spent the afternoon at the Boat Show. Having been succoured into spending too much in the exhibitors tents, we went aboard Ariel ……. the power boat belonging to our pizza partners from a few nights before. The accommodation was luxurious and that, coupled with a walk in and around engine room, we can see the attraction! It is ideal for people who no longer want to travel great distances and who spend their time in cheap fuel areas. The price of diesel here is about 67p per litre!! Who knows……one day we might retire to something similar on the French canals?
We left the boat show and walked up to meet with ‘the Captain and crew’ at the ever popular Corner Café on Broadway and then round the corner to the Firehouse Theater, for an evening of comedy improvisation.

The Firehouse Theatre Comedy Night.

The Firehouse Theatre Comedy Night.

It has been a great stop over in Newport and we leave with four new friends in our hearts and on Facebook!

Rockland, Port Clyde, Boothbay Harbour, Portland, Portsmouth and Gloucester……… Newport to follow!

Crossing the Bay of Maine was a 36 hour trip which passed without event.

Making our way through Maine.

Making our way through Maine.

Once we arrived in Maine waters, however, we were immediately on our toes…….Lobster pot buoys!! We had been warned,but we’re not really prepared for the numbers and the fact that there were even more in the charted shipping lanes!!

Pot buoys evertwhere.

Pot buoys evertwhere.

Apparently lobsters like the deeper water and so do bigger vessels! It took both of us to ‘spot and dodge’ our way through the islands and into Rockland.
Having arrived, it was time to check into the US again! Part of the plan in heading to Canada was to renew our cruising license. After a small hiccup, where it appeared that our fax, that we sent three weeks previously, had gone astray. After a little chase up they located our fax and succeeded in getting permission for the boat to stay in US waters until August 2017.
Six months is the usual allowance on our personal visas, but the kindly services of our visiting customs officer resulted in us being granted nine! We can now safely plan our time to depart, without the pressure of having to be out of the US during potentially bad weather.
Having completed formalities, we left the municipal dock, picked up a mooring and made our way ashore to explore the town. Lobster fishing and tourism are the main employers and the town caters to both economic groups. We found our way into a ‘dive’ bar that had two pool tables. After three days, Marcus had secured a reputation amongst some very good players and came 5th out of 15 in the weekly Saturday afternoon tournament!

In his element!

In his element!

Whilst in Rockland, we ran into the other ‘At Last’ boat that we met in Port Washington. We had dinner with Bear and Virginia and decided we were bound to meet again on our way south.

Our next stop was a day sail away in Port Clyde. Day sails are the only way to travel in Maine and then only in good light and no fog…….the myriad of pot markers makes it impossible to move without good visibility! After five hours of lobster pot watching, we pulled into
Port Clyde and dropped anchor.

Port Clyde's Lighthouse.

Port Clyde’s Lighthouse.

Now this really is a lobster fishing village with Tourism tagged on. Linda Bean, an astute Maine business woman has revived the lobster industry throughout Maine and has ownership of most of the enterprises on the waterfronts in Port Clyde; from the General Store, to the bars and cafes, to the lobster fisheries.

The General store, Port Clyde.

The General store, Port Clyde.

The whole effect is a cohesive well planned and interesting waterfront, with well maintained piers and boardwalks. Whilst here we took a walk out to the lighthouse. This is the lighthouse that Forest Gump ran to when he had reached the Pacific coast and decided to turn around and run across America to the Atlantic coast.

Marcus Gump at the end of the pier.

Marcus Gump at the end of the pier.

As you have probably already gathered, there are a host of lighthouses to be seen along Maine’s coast. Apparently it is possible to apply to become a ‘keeper’ for a couple of months………now there’s a thought!!

Port Clyde at sunset.

Port Clyde at sunset.

On from Port Clyde to Boothbay harbour and a little luxury! A bit of a blow was forecast, so we tucked in behind an island and took one of the BYC moorings and spent two evenings in the yacht club. The first evening, we arrived in time to be fed with the ‘left overs’ from a lunch time function and then asked if we would like to help ourselves from the evening buffet…….it would have been rude to say no! We spent the following day walking around the village. It is definitely geared to tourism, but retains a quirkiness which we liked.

A misty day in Boothbay Harbour

A misty day in Boothbay Harbour

 

Up the creek in Boothbay.

Up the creek in Boothbay.

 

An old tug conversion to restaurants. Quaint and quirky 1......

An old tug conversion to restaurants. Quaint and quirky 1……

.....2....

Q&Q…..2….

Q&Q.....3.....

Q&Q…..3…..

Portland was our next destination; again a day sail spent dodging our way through the pots, which is quite tiring.

Relaxing en route to Portland.

Relaxing en route to Portland.

Portland is a busy commercial port with very little provision for transient sailors. We anchored well out of the town and dinghied in, only to find there is nowhere provided to tie up to. We rafted up to a kindly motorboat and went into town to explore.

Portland padlocks.

Portland padlocks.

The town was burnt down twice in its early days and was rebuilt using brick and with wide ‘fire break’ streets. It has a completely different feel to the Maine we have seen so far. Whilst here, we got in touch with the Ocean Cruising Club reps., who we met down in Brunswick; Jack and Zdenka. We managed to meet up with them for a drink and picked their brains about not only Maine, but also Australia and Indonesia, as they have just returned from a seven year circumnavigation. They took us up to the ‘artsie’ part of town, where they have street entertainment every first Friday of the month and we spent the rest of the evening being entertained.

First Friday in the month street entertainment. A ukulele band.

First Friday in the month street entertainment. A ukulele band.

Street art.

Street art.

 

Street juggler.

Street juggler.

 

Our next hop was around to Portsmouth. A small community that provided us with another happy encounter. This was always going to be just an overnight stop, so on Sunday morning, we set off early in the dinghy in search of some breakfast ashore. We were passing a moored local boat and stopped to ask where might be open. They explained the one outlet in the village had suffered a fire and was closed, but would we like to go with them to their house and have blueberry pancakes with them? Of course we took them up on their offer and in very short order, found ourselves in their wood built home that overlooks a tidal creek, eating pancakes and exchanging stories.

Blueberry Pancake Surprise.

Blueberry Pancake Surprise.

 

View from Rich and Bridget's house.

View from Rich and Bridget’s house.

Rich is a video maker and photographic artist and Bridget is an acupuncturist. They were warm hearted, interesting people who have been sailing their steel Dutch built boat for years up and down the Maine coast. If we come back up this way, we will definitely get back in contact.

Gloucester was our next port of call and we both said it felt like coming home. We met up with Skip and Jane on Vagrant Gypsy. The were anchored just behind us and since our last meeting here, had been up to the Arcadia National Park……somewhere we missed out on this time round. We spent a great evening aboard their boat and met two of their friends from St Augustine…….we are now thinking of stopping there for November!
On Thursday we went to the farmers market again and saw Jan in action with her jewellery stall…..cold to resist it; I bought a pair of earrings.

Jan and her jewelry.

Jan and her jewellery.

After hugs and farewells and promises to meet up again down the coast, we left Gloucester for a long day sail down through the Cape Cod canal and into Onsett Harbor to anchor for the night. We went to Big Anthony’s Pizza place for one of their renowned pizzas. It didn’t disappoint, neither did the company! We sat at a long table next to the only other two boaters in there! Miles and Laureen had sailed their yacht for years, between Maine and the Bahamas, but this season was their first aboard ‘Ariel’ a 57’ Outer Reef power boat. They had passed us in the canal and we had both liked the look of the boat, even though it was from ‘the dark side’!

I’ll leave you with some of the lighthouses we have passed!

Lighthouse

Lighthouse

Port Clyde's Lighthouse of Forrest Gump fame.

Port Clyde’s Lighthouse of Forest Gump fame.

 

Lighthouse.

Lighthouse.

 

Lighthouse.

Lighthouse.

 

Portsmouth Lighthouse.

Portsmouth Lighthouse.

 

Gloucester Lighthouses.

Gloucester Lighthouses.