Maine part 1

Maine Part 1

We left Provincetown late afternoon the 5 th of July for the 125 Nm trip to Booth Bay in Maine. The wind was from behind between 20-24 knots and the sea grew larger as we progressed towards Maine with good speed. The new autopilot need some adjustments it had difficulties in keeping a steady course in the not too large sea, strange as it kept very good course when we sailed up wind in choppy sea using the wind vane steering mode in the Delaware Bay. The manual does not give clear instructions, so we need to study it further (boring I’m no great friend of manuals, especially when the manual covering more than one model). Newer the less, we made good progress, but I did not get much sleep that night. When we got close to land some fishing markers showed up but not too many to be any great concern, but one had to keep rather sharp outlook. Well good outlook had the advantage that we saw our first shark out at sea, it was maybe 1,5 m long with the characteristic shark fin just above the surface, passing by lazily. We made landfall a grey and misty morning and had a continued good sail all the way in to the Booth Bay harbour. We quickly found a good spot to drop our anchor, it is always nice to get the hook down and have a relaxing cup of tea before clearing out the “extra” mess that we create during passage.

Booth Bay is a busy place witch at first sight it looked a little bit boring, but that was only the first impression it grew as we discovered more of it.

Plenty of summer houses and B&B’s around the harbor I guess Booth Bay is rather sleepy of season.

Both pictures are obviously taken at low tide the difference between high and low tide is roughly 3,5 meters.

I’m still very fascinated by the tide it gives many views we are not used to.

Booth Bay must have been a lively place year around as it has its own opera house

Not large to be an opera house but not very common to see in fishing villages, must have been a very prosperous place once upon a time. Now it is active with Lobster fishing and summer tourists.

Maine is well known for its light houses

We have only seen a few so far, but Maine is more well known for all the lobster pots and we can absolutely agree on that.

Look at the picture with lobster boat and pots everywhere also in the middle of the fairway

Luckily, they have quiet vivid colours, so easy to spot, many of them has two floats connected with each other and if one pass between them one guaranty gets caught. Not yet but I assume it’s like sailing in the archipelago of Stockholm it is not if one hit a rock it is when, guess it is not if but when one gets caught. We will probably find out if the Spurs line cutter is working or not! Even in the harbours and anchorage they are in abundance.

There must be millions of pots thus it must be MANY lobster and incredibly amount. We have already enjoyed it several times and they taste delicious.

 

But they are not very cheap about 24 USD for two 1 ¼ pound about 600 gram hard shell lobster, but they are worth it. But the mussels are not bad either and much more cost efficient

We get good use of the big pot we bought in Bequia last season. Look at the pot one can still see the price we paid, I wonder what kind of permanent marker they used to write the price on the pot, would like to have one, most “permanent” markers we have bought have not been very “permanent”!

 

When enjoying sea food one needs bread, and we bake bread frequently, down below you see a combo “loaf” Baguette style and focaccia, made in our “mini” oven one put on top of the stow.

Rising the combo “loaf”

Reedy to eat, does not look very pretty but taste very good, especially the part with olives, sun dried tomatoes and thyme

One also sees many traditional sailing ships of both large and medium sizes

Very nice indeed.

Some old-fashioned fishing vessels as well, similar one could see plenty of in Sweden about 30 years ago, maybe they were sold to fishermen in Maine?

Plenty of boats at buoys in every harbour, but we have not seen so many sailing out among the islands, guess they more day sail not too fare from the harbour.

 

Seal bay

Below follow many pictures from the very beautiful Seal bay, and yes, we saw many seals there mainly out swimming, but also on the cliffs

It reminds a lot of sailing on the Swedish east coast, with granite cliffs, the trees in Maine are spruce and in Sweden we see mainly pine trees. About the same temperature both in the air and in the water as in the archipelago of Stockholm, we took a short swim in the 17 C “cold” water.

This photo could have been taken in Stockholm, but this is at high tide, at low tide there is an obvious difference.

This too

It was a beautiful evening

Rockland

In Rockland we stayed for a few days to attend a Blues Festival, we did expect a big event, but it was rather cosy and smallish, guess just over 1000 attendants and surprisingly most in our age. We used to say that sailing is dying because most cruisers are 60+, in Sweden one see very few young persons in sailing boats now a days, unfortunately it looks as Blues goes the same way at least if one judge from this venue, very few young persons among the audience.

 

The day before the festival, just right of the center one can see Kerpa at anchor.

 

As can be seen not very many young persons

The man in the white jacket is Bobby Rush he is 84 years old and still going, his voice was very good and strong, had the right moves, and he is great on harmonica. Amazing. But Bobby is not the only old champion, we have now from two independent sources heard about the owner of a nice red trawler, he sold his sailboat as he felt to old to sail, but did not want to give up the life on the sea, this was 4 years ago, this year he will be 100 years old, that is amazing to buy a new boat a the age of 96! A man to take of your hat for.

Rockland harbor.

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Work Work Work

It has been a lot of work for us on Kerpa, one of the major tasks was to tidy up some of the crow’s nest of cables the previous owner had created. That was necessary but also a good opportunity now when installing the new instruments and the new electronics for the Autopilot.

Quiet some difference before and after, there was some of obsolete cables and gadgets hanging around so good to get rid of them. In my eager to sort things out I got too ambitious and manage to cut away the alarm for when the Bow thruster are in the up or down position, and unfortunately, I can’t find the cables without some serious search. The short-term solution is that Kerstin has to have a look at the bow thruster when I operate it up or down from the cockpit and she communicate with me with our inter come, but she has to release the safety pin anyway so not so much extra work, but rather irritating mistake. Anyhow we have the new course computer and the old one side by side, both 12 and 24 Volt fused out lets for some old and new equipment added by me earlier, and now very quick and easy to add new gadgets.

One of the more difficult and boring job is to get the new cables from the transducers to the new instruments. It took a few days and some days to tidy up but it went well not to many bad words came from my mouth in the process.

Instruments in place only the closed hauled is missing at that moment.

Looks good when using them, must say we are very pleased with them.

Another important job was to change the lining on the freezer, the old metal lining was not ideal, it was rather extensive condensation between the two lids that we have. Metal lining was the only material available when I built the freezer in Levkas. I have been looking for PVC sheets but have not found it anywhere. However, on Amazon I found a material called Kydex I guess it normal polyethylene of some better quality, it is available in many different dimensions and thickness good to have aboard for unexpected trouble solving. It can be formed by heating and one can find on YouTube people making holsters for guns and knifes of it.

The old lining of very thin metal could be cut away by using a fruit knife!!

How a piece of Kydex becoming a box covering the blue polystyrene block after a lot of work and measurements.

The box taking shape, each bend need to be done individually by heating the bend and shielding the other part from heat to get a very short radius bend, it is quite a few bends already on the box

Will it fit? Or do I have to……..

Perfect!

We kept the top lid as good to put hot pots and pans on

When working aboard it becomes chaos aboard and living aboard gets difficult, when looking for things one find things one have not used for some time, such as well over 100 charts now no longer on Kerpa, a Weather fax, the old satellite phone system just to mention a few things we got rid of to create space for new “important” stuff.

Kerstin had to fight some of my tools when preparing food.

The engine needs some attention, such as a new

Raw water pump bought from Parts4Engine.com at a cost less than the original repair kit for the original raw water pump cost! It works fine so far.

The old semi flexible solar panels looked a little bit dull, but some light abrasive polish and they look almost as new again.

We have solar panels on the bimini and the Velcro who keep them in place needed to be replaced on the panel. A rather time-consuming job to get rid of all the old glue that was still on the panels. Kerstin worked a few days with that spoiling all hear finger nails. I had bought what I thought was high quality Velcro for out door use, but a real set back just after a few days.

The Velcro did not stay on the panel. And the worst thing is that the glue did lose from the Velcro and sticking to the panel, it will be very cumbersome to get rid of the glue.

More fun is to install new gadgets such as a Hydro generator

 

The new Hydrogenator from Swi-Tec

Relatively easy to fold up, but the mounting brackets and folding mechanism is a little bit oversized and over engineered, very heavy. Might be difficult to find a good place to store it when not in use, the propeller is in aluminium and could easily get bent when handling the unit. The unit is supposed to generate up to 500 W at a speed around 8 knots. Have only tried it a short moment and it gave around 6 A/24V at 6 knots.

One thing that was not overengineered was the contact, rather flimsy I would say, so I took an ordinary 16 A shore power plug instead.

Probably boring reading for you who do not get going on boat maintenance and boat gadgets, as we boat junkies do, so therefore I spare you from all the other things we did, and to be quiet honest I was rather feed up as well as the yard did not finalize the thing they should do in time, they worked very disorganized, one day they started something and then suddenly they went away with the job half done. A few days later nothing had happened, and I had to have a row with the owner at more than one occasion. That made it very difficult to plan own work. But we could enjoy some beautiful evenings

The big bird is a very large Heron we think, it was our nearest neighbour, we could hear him walking our deck in the early mornings.

Then finally, the yard was ready 22 of June! Not end April as agreed!!

Before we cast off we needed to do the provisioning of important items, above my priorities

Different from Kerstin’s priority of good nutrition. Well we will not only drink, we did stock up with some solid things to eat as well, so freezer is full.

Cast off

First trip we did was not long, just around the corner, then rest and just enjoy being on our own anchor

First anchoring, outside where Pat and Diane also Amel owner who have assisted us during our stay, so we invited them for dinner

They brought the desert of course Apple-pie, delicious this beautiful evening

 

North, we go

Well after a few days we passed the Chesapeake & Delaware canal out to the Delaware bay, a big bay facing the ocean 50 Nm in South East. Of course, we had head wind ca+/- 20 knots apparent, at first with the current, reasonable speed but very uncomfortable sea, water breaking over the boat and we were slamming into the sea sometimes with very high force, resulting in that one of our downwind pools fell down, on deck fortunately and not in to the sea.

On the port side you can see how we usually store the down wind pools to have them quickly ready to deploy, but one of them broke lose and we had to secure them with water splashing over out deck.

The rivets were broken off, When inspecting the other pool, I saw that we needed to replace the rivets on that too.

After a while the tide and current turned against us and progress in the I must say at that time violent sea was about 2 knots with the Volvo working at almost full rev.

Time to motor sail, usually we do not make very good progress upwind, headwind is not the strong points for an Amel SM, and now with the current against us 1,5-2 knots, we mentally prepared for a long and uncomfortable trip down the bay. To our positive surprise progress was excellent, refed genua and almost full mizzen gave us a speed exceeding 8 knots with engine at 1400 rev. a fellow boat who passed us motoring a few hours earlier, deployed the same tactics and we overtook them rather quick. The seas soon became much gentler as the tide and wind was in the same direction.

This is our progress with the new autopilot in wind vane steering mood. For our Amel standard, excellent

Exiting the bay we could easy the sheets a bit and cut the engine, we did very good progress now as current at the mouth of the bay was not very strong. It felt divine.

Nantucket

The aim was for Nantucket a trip of ca 370 nM, and as usual more motor than sail as the wind died on us much earlier than forecasted. But the sun was shining and the temperature was gentle

Dingy dock in Nantucket, not very crowded compared with last year where it was packed on the anchorage and on the dingy dock.

We had hoped to go directly from Nantucket up to Maine but the forecast changed so we decided to make some local cruising

Evening at Hadley Harbour

Morning mist

We have a lot of free passengers from Georgetown, tons of spiders but this morning we had many beautiful spider webs to admire

The area is well known for its fog but fortunately it cleared up a few hours later when we entered the Cape Cod Canal.

So we got a slow but nice downwind sailing to Provincetown for the 4 of July celebration

We were in Provincetown a few weeks ago by car, but it was different this time definitely

 

The dress code had changed and this was far from the most extreme on the contrary, not all Americans are prudish, but I was to shy to take photos of the more extreme, sometimes the street looked more like a drag show.

The beaches were empty as most people were in the town showing off.

We did some showing of on the boat with our first exercise for the season, we had been rather ambitious with training when being in Portugal and the idea was to continue exercising but working on Kerpa and the mental stress with the delay did not give us any energy left for training.

New equipment has also been brought aboard. Two sandbags, one in the form of a Kettle bell, but instead of filling them with sand we bought dive weight in the forms of bags with lead shots. We do not want a lot of sand aboard and much easier to adjust the weight. Just used it a little but it will work. New elastic bands were ordered all this from Amazon.

Kerstin using our old TRX band

And I trying the new rubber bands, putting several together give good resistance, now lets se if we can keep up the “healthy” life. If you see some contradiction between my priorities in provisioning and healthy life style you might be right…….

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Back to Kerpa part 2.

We came to Kerpa May 8 with the expectation that she should be, more or less ready, maybe just a few days to put some final touch on her. But she was not ready at all, we were told that end next week she would be ready. We now reading May 30 and we still have at least a week more before she is ready. Very disappointing but fortunately we have time and can change our plans, the change of plans also means that our son and granddaughter probably cannot come to visit us. The plan was that they should fly up to Halifax and sail with us in Canada, but now we do not know how far north we can get within the time frame we have and flight ticket prices has gone through the roof so no visit from them unfortunately.

The ballast keel has just been attached to the hull when we arrived.

 

Delamination that have not been attended

dav

General chaos aboard

Kerpa has been painted with Alwgrip and a new boat strip that better represent how Kerpa floats on the water, but the copper coat has not been applied. 

A lot of things remains to be done and difficult for us to start with the work that we have planned to do before we cast off. But a few things we manage to do

The old anchor chain was running on over time so we

had ordered 400 feet 120 m of 3/8 inch G4 chain that we marked, and I pulled aboard with muscle craft as we did not have any batteries aboard.

Next project was to install the new batteries 8, 34 kg batteries, the old one was 110 Ah each, the new one bought from USA but probably made in China was on 135 Ah, so we increase from 440 Ah to 540 Ah. The brand is V-max and the price for this AGM batteries was very attractive compared with other AGM batteries, at least 1000 $ lower than 8 high end group 31 AGM. The spec for the V-Max is good and have very good rating from the one who bought them from Amazon. Next time we change it will be LiFePO4 batteries.

Installing the new wind transducer

Kerstin clean and wash the mast, much easier now when the mast is down, probably a decade since it was done last time.

A new block in the mizzen mast secured with a Dyneema loop, now I dare to go aloft in the mizzen mast with the Balloner halyard, before we had to take down the mizzen sail and go aloft with the mizzen halyard, very unpractical.

A new line cutter was ordered to replace the old broken one, but “of course” it was the wrong size so had to order a new one, but now the correct one is in place. Very good to have as we will sail up to Maine with lobster pots everywhere so very easy to get stuck on a Lobster pots.

Old instruments

Now place for the new ones

Numerous cables to be ripped out to be substituted by fewer NMEA 2000 back bone cable.

This crow nest of cables need to be tidied up

Some items now ripped out, but that is the easy part the problem is to pull all the new cables and connect them correctly.

Keeping a boat in ship shape demands a lot of skills, hopefully I will finish all the necessary work with out to many hiccups’, bruised knuckles and hopefully my self-confidence not to damage, if I’m lucky it might even get a boost.

It is difficult to work when the yard also is working on Kerpa so I only work on the boat during the weekends, so I make a mess inside on top of the mess they have made.

When we could not work on Kerpa we have to pass the time sometimes by eating, and finally we got to try the Chesapeake Bay oysters. We tested two types, the Chesapeake Bay and Long Island sound oysters. The Long island was better, but they lack the freshness of oysters from the open sea.

Now we sound like really spoiled sybarites but actually none of us have had oysters very often but even so we could judge the quality.

But Marguerites together with salt peanuts in the shell (can’t understand how they get them salty in the shell, but they tasted very good) is not bad either when waiting for a nice steak.

Or a beautiful Café Latte.

Rock Hall not fare from Georgetown were Kerpa is, soon it starts to rain again.

And when they are working on the boat we did some traveling. But before we could start our trip, we had to wait out really bad weather. It was torrential rain ca 300 mm in a few days, thunder storm and the weather system were very bad. Our idea was to visit some national parks on the way to Nashville and maybe travel all the way down to Key West, but the forecast for the whole stretch from Philadelphia down to Key West was BAD. One day we got mail from a cruising friend who was anchored in Key West, they had been hit by the lightening with severe damage as consequence.

So instead of going south we went north.

But first we had to visit US Boarder Control to get a new cruising permit (CP): Last year when we got the previous one, we asked how do we get a new CP, he said you and the vessel need to leave the country for 14 days, then you can enter again and get a new 12 month CP. I then asked if I only ask for a 5-month CP, can I they get the remaining 7 months when asking next time? Well I do not know he said different officers will interpret the rules differently. OK how wold you interpret the rules if I ask you next year? He thought for a while and then said if I had a good day I would probably grant you a new CP. With that in mind we called the US Border control and told them our intention, the officer was very friendly in his voice and said no problem just visit us and we fix it. Sounded good, but never take out a victory in advance. Finally, we got there, downtown of Baltimore after navigating heavy traffic and finding a parking spot. After passing security we then handed over our old CP, the officer looked at it and with a different voice he said I can not renew this on! Shit I thought, Why not? it expire tomorrow he said ( it was a year minus one day since we got our last CP). Well after some discussion I manage to point out for him that the old CP was only for 5 month and 7 month remains, he had never seen a CP of less than 12 month. He sat down in front of his computer for a long time and he looked very concerned, but finally we got a new CP for 12 month and we, who would be very happy with 7 Month, our fear was that we had to go direct to Canada. It was with a light hart we went out from USBC.

Next stop was New London close to Defender the boat equipment shop I use to purchase via internet most boating gears such as the chain, pumps, ropes etc, etc from. And of course, we did not get out from the store emptyhanded I can assure you that. The second most important place to visit was Cape Cod. We use Google Map to guide us when traveling and it is very convenient, I wonder how did one found the way in the old days?

The trip north took us close to New York with all the risk of traffic jam that could offer, but Google told us frequently about delays due to traffic jam and suggested alternatives directions we should take. We followed the advice from Google but that we should probably not have done. It led us on motorways that cost a fortune, we paid all in all 48 $ and the “Climax” was a trip over Washington Bridge for 16 $ in toll fee, that ended up on north Manhattan!!! (On the way back we toke a long detour well west of NY it added an hour or so nominally but we had a very beautiful ride back and as it was the Friday before the long weekend with “the memorial” day we guess we actually saved several hours by not getting stuck in any traffic jam)

 

Cape Cod

Cape Cod was on the list for last year’s cruise, but weather did not permit us to get there, so why not have a pre-visit by car on this remote place before we pas by on the way north this year I thought. Well Cape Cod is not remote at all on the contrary vert large motor ways leads out to Cape Cod. Numerous with exclusive mansions and a big part of the island is owned by the Kennedy family.

Just a small house down town Provincetown of course with a sea view.

Provincetown beach

It was a fantastic early summer day

With flourish gardens

With lilacs and

Lillie of the valley both iconic and essential early summer signs in Sweden after a fierce winter and a cold spring we adore these flowers as they are tokens of the nice summer approaching, a real treat for us Nordic persons to see on this side of the Atlantic

Maybe cold in the water not many took a swim.

The South East corner of Cape Cod very beautiful, anchoring in the bay is a possibility in good weather for the brave or foolish captain, it is tempting unfortunately I do not think we could enter even at high tide, with local knowledge it is probably possible but definitely not without.

Whaling

This is old whaling ground most villages has connection with the old whaling industry, in New Bedford there is a large Whaling Museum where one can see this model of a hart from a Blue whale

Massive hart that pump a few tons of blood a grown man can crawl up into the chamber.

Herman Melville the author to Moby Dick has of course been here

 

First edition of The Whale or Moby Dick, I have nor read it yet, but I will definitely do it soon.

In Mystic one can see the last and still sailing whaling ship Charles W Morgan (1841) it was active as late as during the 1920th

The sleek boats they went out to harpoon the whales with

Captains quarter

The other crew had to share space

This is where the cook worked, a tough and probably not so rewarding task. I can recommend reading Wolf Larsen or the Sea Wolf by Jack London a story about a hunting vessel not for whales but for seals, where the cook a noble man and the ruthless but well-educated captain Wolf Larsen discuss poetry and Darwinism aboard the ship, a side character is Wolf Larsens brother Death Larsen who is far more brutal than Wolf Larsen and lack the interest in literature and poetry. Well worth reading.

When visiting whaling museums, one dismays about the slaughter of these magnificent mammals, how could they pray on these animals to almost extinctions? Well first one thinks they did not know better then, but then one realise the devastation of the globe is 10 fold worse today with enormous overfishing of the oceans, billions of tons of plastic waste in the oceans, massive deforestation one can go on and on counting to many examples of the over exploitation that occurs today. Some of them with the excuse of being environmental friendly such as oil palms on Borneo covering thousands of square kilometres where it previous was jungle only to produce “Bio-Diesel” to replace some of the fossil diesel fuel. Politicians could easily reduce the fuel consumption in a minute with legislation that drive the industry and consumer much faster towards smaller and/or more fuel economic cars……

Well that aside in Mystic there was a lot to see, I can recommend a visit.

A very big area is dedicated for old maritime history, many boats and ships being restored to historic glory.

Next in line was a traditional fishing vessel that fished the North Atlantic for Halibut and Cod with long lines with hooks, a potential “sustainable” method with very little catch of unwanted fishes especially compared with trawling. I remember as a very little boy seeing the movie Captain Courageous with Spencer Tracy in the leading role, fishing from such a sailing vessel, a very exciting and emotional film, the first time I cried when seeing movie, probably close to 55 years since I saw the movie and I still remember it, would love to see it again.

The cook had his place in the fore peak not the easiest place to cock in bad weather when fishing wintertime in the North Atlantic.

In Mystic they also had a guest exhibition from Uppsala about the Vikings. Nice to see.

Where to stay

As we can not stay on Kerpa we need to find an alternative. And a great alternative that we have discovered is Airbnb, one rent a room for a few days in someone’s private home, and rather often they are not home when you arrive, but they have left the key for you to find. You enter a private home and try to locate your room a very special feeling we have not get use to yet, it feels much better when the owner is at home when we arrive.

Here we stayed at an Organic farm, we use to have our breakfast on the terrace overlooking the

Henhouse

A posh house just at the water front, no one at home and opened the door when we arrived, we got a good laugh when we saw the toilette.

You might see the big “toilet roll” above, first we wonder why, then we realize everything is big in America especially some very big behinds so of course there is a need for some big toilet paper rolls. We had a very good laugh at that, no offence we hope.

Some living is very basic

Others are more magnifique place also empty, we had to find our way yo our room by our self, a strange feeling.

Warm and welcoming

So, we bought some lobster to boil, tasted good.

This is a Dutch barn more than 200 years old.

I can strongly recommend Airbnb, it is much cheaper than hotel, you meet a lot of people most of them interesting and or interested in you. But now we have lived more than three weeks with the rental car as the only fixed point carrying cloth, toiletry, food, etc in and out of more than half a dossing of Airbnb. Restaurant food most every day. This life is not only tiering it make a deep hole in our cruising kitty, we are really looking forward to moving aboard Kerpa

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Back to Kerpa

We had a ”little” detour on our way to Kerpa, we left Lagos, Portugal the 18/4 and flew to Stockholm were we enjoyed a fantastic spring weather.

That allowed us to have a nice picknick enjoying

A home-made shrimp sandwich in the sun and a cup of tea.  ”Smashing” as the Brit’s say I think?

A stroll along the sea side

Behind the  City Hall of Stockholm

Celebrating my fathers 90th birthday with my brothers and the rest of the family. I think my father looks rather OK given his age and that he fell a year ago and broke his neck and become totally paralysed, could not scratch his own nose. Now he can stand up walk a few steps, and the best of all take a Swedish Snaps when ever he likes, I think that has been the main motivating factors for him to train, At the nursing home they say he’s unique. I agree!

Over the pond

Norwegian has a low fare flight between Stockholm and San Francisco and as I always wanted to go there we decided to take the opportunity to go to San Francisco and explore the neighborhood.

Of course, we had to take the train across the steep hills towards Fishermans Warf

See the sea Lion

The fishing boats

And of course take a looooong walk to visit the Golden gate bridge

We ended up doing over 40.000 steps so our feet was really aching, but it was worth it

As there are many beautiful areas to explore

Kerstin with the Golden gate Bridge in the back ground and facing the chilly wind from the Pacific, it was a great experience.

Next stop was…

Yosemite

We had rented a car that we were supposed to pick up at the airport, we had landed at the Oakland airport and we assume there was only one airport. We dragged all our heavy luggage (three weeks trip and a lot of stuff for Kerpa) through the streets of San Francisco down to the subway. A train came in as we entered the platform and luckily the sign showed clearly that it was for the airport, quickly aboard and a deep breath now we could relax. After ca 15 minutes we both look out and conclude this was not the way we came in, we quickly came to the conclusion that it must be more than one airport in San Francisco. We took all our luggage and went of the train as we were heading towards San Francisco airport, the wrong one.  Luckily rather quickly it came a train on the other side of the platform, so we step on to that train. After having passed several stations Kerstin ask me, are you sure you rented the car at the Oakland airport? Well I felt rather stupid and after a few minutes I found my booking and of course we were on the way to the wrong airport, the car was booked at the San Francisco Airport. Quickly of the train and this time we had to wait rather long before the right train came. Much later than expected we sat in the car on our way towards Yosemite.  The landscape was very beautiful, a lot of very green rolling landscape it became a very nice trip by car.

The next day we were up very early and went to The Yosemite National Park, there was supposed to be a buss to Glacier Point from where one can walk back ca 12 km to the car in a very beautiful surrounding. To our surprise the road has just opened for the season, but was not cleared from falling rocks etc so no buss. They have winter in California and some roads are then closed during the winter and I who thought there is always summer in California. We Europeans often complain that Americans do not know much about Europe, as example they often mix up between Sweden and Switzerland, but there are so many things we European do not know about USA, so I think we are more or lesson pair.

Newer the less, we have learned a lot about California. And that aside we decided the hike up above the Yosemite Falls a trip of 12 km does not sounds that long, but the elevation gain is over 800 meters and the trail ends at over 2000 meters above sea level, it takes it toll from an “old” man like me.

Up there we go

It is steep and not always kind surface to walk on.

But a beautiful trail to walk.

Very rewarding to be at the top. Then one think that going down should not be so tough, well my toes was very sore already half way down, the last kilometers was painful.  But all in all, a very rewarding day.

After the walk we went to a new hotel to visit the

King Canyon

another fantastic National Park in California. There is a road along the valley you should not miss to travel, it is fantastic. Below follow a number of pictures without any text as they speak for themselves

This is bear country, so it was with some anxiety we walked about, but the closest we got to a bear was

Some fresh bear dropping we believed, whatever, close enough we thought, but it was fantastic to walk around among this beautiful creeks.

Sequoia national Park

No rest the next day we visited another amazing National Park in California the Sequoia N.P. with its enormous threes.

A small sequoia tree that fell down some time ago

A bigger one, this is severely burned, we saw large areas of forest that was burned down, but these massive trees survive most fires, without forest fires they would not exist.

An even bigger tree, the strange thing is that they grow very close to each other on very thin soil about a meter thick, the roots spread out just under the surface so they have to compete for the same water and nutrient and that at an elevation of around 2000 meters. Many of these big trees are 2-3000 years old, so they have survived a lot of forest fires.

As one can see they grow very close and

Get very big

The largest of them all the 81,5 meter tall “General Grant tree” diameter at 1,4 meters height is 8,8 m, and at 55 m height the diameter is 3,9 meters, total volume is 1320 kbm. Massive!

Further down in the valley it become green and the park offers many trails

Kerstin on the “Angels falls trail”

One must be very careful when walking sometimes the trail is very narrow as seen, there are several 100 meters before one reach the bottom of the valley, if one slip and fall, it would definitely be the last thing one did.

Grand Canyon

A long drive that took us to Grand Canyon, this time the landscape was less appealing, first mainly mono culture, wine, orange or avocado it looked as, then came the dessert landscape very monotonous.

Well the next morning we woke up to a surprise

It is snowing!!!!

It is cold

And not much visibility what a disappointment.

Will this be the only thing we will see of the Grand Canyon?

Well we decided to stay a day longer, and we were rewarded the next day offered fantastic weather.

 

We got a fantastic view over GC and the Colorado River.

But still some remains of snow, I did not expect to see cactus’s and snow together.

Could not either imagine that it has been a uranium mine on the steep slope either

The first explores was very brave, traveling down the Colorado river without knowing what was waiting around the next bend, it could be a violent rapid or a fall. Tough men!

Our trip continued this time to a place with a different target group

Las Vegas

We stayed in Las Vegas for two days, and we both concluded that it was at least one day to many, not our cup of tea, we prefer to have a cup of tea out of a Thermos jug rather than sipping wine in a rather artificial environment, but luckily, people have different preferences else all beautiful spots we seen so fare would have been equal crowded as Las Vegas.

One can find New York in Vegas

As well

As Venice with canals and plazas

Both photos are indoor, the “sky” was rather amazing

Rather fancy corridors

The hotel The Venezian has 3000 rooms, it was a long que at the check in all day, but still fast and efficient.

Final stop before seeing Kerpa again was Philadelphia

Philadelphia

With its old historian quarters

But maybe most known for the Liberty Bell  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberty_Bell

If you want to know more about Liberty Bell click on the link above.

There are plenty mural paintings to enjoy as well as a

Beer in a relaxed out door bar.

We visited the Amish village not far from Philadelphia, but there we could not enjoy a beer.

Next stop Kerpa, but that will follow later enough now.

As she was fare from ready

 

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A lot has happened

Last time I wrote, the head line was not very much happens, well I can’t say that this time, actually a lot of thing has happened.

Annapolis

The main event in Annapolis was of course the boat show, Annapolis host the largest sailing boat show in the USA. And for most boat owners such event is almost like Christmas for a child, they can often not sleep the day before Christmas, and it is almost the same for an engaged boat owner. We had of course bought tickets for the opening day, they cost a little bit extra but instead there are less people and the exhibitors are not yet tiered of all the visitors. For the one interesting in buying a new boat there is an excellent opportunity to look at a lot of sailboats, did not count them, but someone told me there were around 200 large and small sailboats on display and I do not doubt that. There were a lot of sailing boats displayed. Jeanneau, Beneteau, Hanse, Lagoon etc had up to 6-8 models each on display

There must be a big job to arrange all the jetties and boats.

The only boat that we looked at was the Amel 55.

But for us who already have a boat, we are more interested in looking at all he gears, gears that we have used the last couple of months to convince our spouse are absolutely necessary and of course must be bought at the boat show as we then can make a very good deals on absolutely necessary items such as (I have not wrote anything here as for a boat junky almost everything boat related are “absolutely” necessary hence the list would be very long).

For us the Boat show was a big disappointment. The area for equipment was not very large at all and very few exhibitors with very modest booths. Even Gothenburg boat show has more boating gears.  The other strange thing was that the sales representatives that were working in the booths were, I must say substandard, one felt more that one disturbed them when entering their booth than as a valuable potential customer, very strange, there were of course a few exceptions.  The advantage for us, we saved a lot of money, but with some more professional sales persons the turnover could easily be doubled. I hope my American friends don‘t feel offended by this criticism but I have praise a lot of other things we have encountered in the USA, and everything can’t be perfect. When talking to sailing friends they had similar thoughts.

Well needed lunch break after a few hours at the fair with some of our B 50 friends also at the fair

We were 5 boats that meet up with Jimmy Cormell who was at the show to promote his new book 200.000 miles. We took the opportunity the get a photo of him together with us.

We had a great time in Annapolis meeting many old friends, making new friends attending dinners and other activities, so do not be put off for my criticism of the fair it’s a great place to visit especially in connection with the Boat show.

Everything is not fun, such as cleaning out all the lockers, all this things come from part of the cockpit locker.

Cleaned and treated with white vinegar to keep eventual mold away, but it was much tougher for Kerstin, She did the same with all lockers inside the boat.

Georgetown

We left Annapolis and went to Georgetown, Sassafras River where Kerpa will be hauled out for the winter.

Kerpa at the Marina in Georgetown, the marina looked a bit old fashioned and run-down, but we have been recommended to keep Kerpa there for the repair, they have done some very good job on other boats, and the impression from the employee was very good.

They had some run-down boats as well with a lot of ….

Mosquitoes on.  We washed Kerpa very thoroughly, but keeping mosquitoes and bird dropping from the boat was a battle one cannot win.

Vultures, did not know they were to be seen there, I wondered what they feed on and was told they feed  on dear killed by cars! Must be a lot of dears to feed all these vultures.

Kerpa being washed, one cannot see it very well on the picture, but the area above the water line was very dirty with yellow stain, we were a little bit worried that we would not have time to clean it off before we left, but cleaning was to our surprise included in the cost to haul out. They used a magic product on a sponge as seen on the picture, waited a few minutes and all dirt just vanished as a miracle, washed it off with water, it took maybe 15 minutes to get most of the hull almost shining, we often use a day or two to get it off, so of course I asked what kind of miracle product do they use?

Well it is Myraic Acid they said, I’m a Chemical engineer so I should know that acid but I have never heard about it, I just thought they pronounced it a little bit strange so I did not asked more, I just google it when I get home I thought. Via google I later found out it is hydrochloric acid! A very strong acid and a low cost chemical, but one should be very care full with it as it is a very strong acid that must be diluted. The question, is it safe for the vessel? I need to find out because if it is, it’s certainly a miracle product that will reduce the job the get the hull look much nicer with substantially less job at less cost as well. Now I start to understand why a saw bottles of hydro chloric acid in most chandleries in France.

The bottom did not look as I had expected, the front of the keel is painted with “normal” bottom paint and that part is less fouled than the rest of the bottom that has Coper coat as anti-fouling.

When the boat was launched after the temporary repair there was no fouling anywhere as it was pressure washed so the standard paint looks more efficient. We were launched the 30 of July so we have only been in the water for 2½ month, and I did not expect so much fouling.

The fouling on the rudder

Close photo on the bottom a lot of slime and beginning of “grass” the barnacle was on the slime so very easy to get rid of.

We have been in very murky water and a rather long time in brackish water, maybe that can explain the fouling, well not too happy with the copper coat now, but I will give our final verdict after a few years in more “normal” waters such as in the Caribbean.

One important thing was to get the damage after the grounding surveyed and for that I had appointed Olivier Beaute, probably the person who know the Amel boats best in the whole world. He has worked many years on the Amel yard before he started his surveyor business. I was pleased that the insurance company agrees to use him even though he has to fly in from Europe. I offer to pay half of his travelling expenses which they agree to which I think was fair.

The keel got a big blow and the keel bolts needs to be resealed and tightened

Not the easiest area to get to, there were other damages as well, but at least I’m rather sure Olivier has found all the damages, now we only has to wait for the yard to make a cost estimate and the insurance company to pay.

It was chaos in the boat the last days as Olivier needed to get access to all hidden places aboard to inspect for eventual damages. Not easy to cook aboard in this mess.

Fortunately there was a nice restaurant in walking distance from the yard witch served good food at very reasonable prices.

And of course the fantastic hospitality that one meets in the USA. Patrick and Diane who lives a few miles from Georgetown which also have an Amel SM, helped us a lot and invited us to dinner in their lovely home

Olivier the iconic Amel surveyor to the left and Patrick and Diane to the right, the “young” man in the middle are me.

Empty battery compartment, our batteries was totally run-down. The last days we had to shut down the fridge, the batteries could only hold charge enough for the light. We kept our fingers crossed the last weeks as we did not want to buy new batteries just before we should leave and then leave them unattended over the winter.

Kerstin did not need any work out that day, 8 times 25 kg to lift from the boat. Well, as a gentleman I did most of the job….

Last night we spent at Patrick and Diane as our boat was not very comfortable any longer, we are very great full for the help we got. But I must say Americans are very friendly so just that makes it worth sailing to the USA and of course the nice scenery and sailing ground.

What now?

We are in Lagos, Portugal since less than a week back were we will spend the winter.

Lagos, the large marina is just a few 100 meters up the river. We have been aboard a Swedish boat who soon heading for Madeira and then across to the Caribbean. Strangely both Kerstin and I felt a bit envy and wanted to cross we too again!

But we have nice beaches to do our morning walks on, just a few 100 meters away from our flat.

We have already made new friends, there are many Swedes in Lagos.

I have celebrated my 60 birthday with Tapas, the tuna was excellent.

And one thing is for sure, we will enjoy wonderful food in Portugal

Plenty of very nice wines

Fantastic cheese, and of course sea food.

There will not be any sailing for a while, but cheek the Blogg now and then, I will write a little about how we managed the need for electricity, good and bad gadgets, high and low lights, and maybe some other hopefully interesting reading.

The plan for next season is to go north to Nova Scotia and perhaps to Newfoundland, there is need for some more persuasion before Kerstin agree to Newfoundland, to cold and too rough she thinks, maybe she’s right.

 

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