Tag Archives: Lighthouses

More Greetings from Portsmouth

Those pesky “Small Craft Warnings” keep messing with our plans. We tried to leave the next day from Portsmouth even though it was gray and a bit foggy. There was a small craft advisory but reading the conditions it didn’t seem that bad. It was. As planned, we headed out the next morning. Yikes, there were some good sized waves out there, 5′ – 6′ is our guess. It didn’t take too many times going up a hefty wave and crashing back down the other side to tell us, this was a bad idea. As things began to get flung around the cabin, we opted to turn around head back to our safe harbor in the Piscataqua River.

Before we tried to set out, we needed to take Tigger for a walk. We pulled up to the dock, went for a stroll and headed back to the boat. As Tim and I were arranging ourselves to lift Tigger and pass him to whomever got on board first, Tigger had other plans. He tried to jump onto Little Prince and splash, into the drink he went! I quickly pulled him with the leash, a little soggy but unharmed we toweled him off they best we could and were underway. No more getting on and off the boat without his PFD!

Returning to the river we had some time on our hands. We decided to explore a little. There are several islands in the river. Seaver, New Castle, Clarks, and Badgers to name a few. Some are connected with low bridges so we couldn’t go too far around those. The current in the river is quite strong so I didn’t feel comfortable when Tim started talking about anchoring. We decided to stay at a full service marina.

I had prepared a lot of meals for our trip and loaded them into a cooler with a block of ice and wrapped in a space blanket (thanks Kevin!). To prepare dinner all I had to do was microwave something. That is if we could figure how how to get power to it. There’s the batteries, the generator, the engine, and there’s the inverter. All our systems have been checked and re-checked so the problem was the nut behind the wheel (that would be me). After any number of combinations, I finally got it running. The generator had us stymied. We thought if we stayed at a full service marina someone there could help us understand how to work some of these things. There was also the issue of not understanding how to turn the heat on.

It was a good plan and it worked out beautifully. After we had spent enough time exploring the area we decided on Badgers Island Marina. They have two places, one on either side of the Memorial Bridge. Tim called and got the information we needed, including calling the bridge tender and asking for an opening. Yes, when you complain about a drawbridge delaying your travels you can blame the likes of us.

After we’d pulled into our slip and plugged into shore power, Tim asked George if someone could help us out with our boat. George gave us a phone number to call and we waited for help to come. Being on shore power was a first as well. We should be able to be even more comfortable, if we only knew how to make everything work.

It wasn’t long before Darren came by and was as helpful as could be. He spent some time with us and showed us how to work some things. We hadn’t yet had occasion to use them and we were struggling with, the heat, the stove and the outlets. He also clued us in on the proper way to run our power cords. I felt exonerated when I was confused by one of the configurations and Darren responded with, that’s a very good question, you’d have to ask the manufacturer why they set it up that way. When evening rolled around I was able to cook meatloaf in the oven. Not only that we had the heat turned on too. Cozy warm and well fed, what more could a person ask for? Things are really starting to click.

Another day and another “Small Craft Advisory” gave us a day to explore Badger Island and Kittery, Maine’s Warren’s Lobster House. With the marina being right by the Memorial Bridge, it was fun watching the traffic on the river. Weather permitting, tomorrow we’re off to Sandwich, Massachusetts.

Day 1 Greetings from Portsmouth Harbor

We finally left Falmouth, Maine and headed south. But with all good plans, snafus happen. We were supposed to leave last week, then yesterday, but small craft advisories kept us from home a few more days. We’d hoped to get the first launch out at 9:00 a.m. but it wasn’t until 10 that we got it all together. Chuck took us out to Little Prince and shared a few insights from his cruising adventures. We were really good to go now. With all the delays we felt even better about tying up lose ends and being ready to go. Then, as we were getting ready to cast off I tried to push a neighboring mooring ball away from the back of our boat. I couldn’t. Somehow it was tangled up with our boat.

We lowered the dingy to try and get a better angle on the problem. Some pulling here and tugging there isolated the problem. Tim took a knife and cut through the tangled line. A few good pulls and the other end came through. A quick knot and that mooring ball was back in working order.

We were now free to head out through Hussey Sound and into the Atlantic. There were three foot waves just as predicted and it was a bumpy ride. We moved a little closer to shore and the waves lessened. As we continued south the waves lessened even further. It turned into a very pleasant ride. Not only were the waves minimal, it was in the high 70’s. Unusually warm for Maine in October.

Our first stop, Portsmouth Harbor. We’re staying on the Maine side but it’s from renting a mooring from the Portsmouth N.H. Yacht Club. When we stopped at the dock so I could walk Tigger, I found it reassuring to see all the New Hampshire license plates on our walk. New Hampshire will always have such a special place in my heart.

It’s always so curious to see familiar places but from this different vantage place. One morning when I lived in Hampton Falls I got up before the sun to watch the sunrise over this very harbor. The lighthouse that marks the entrance of the harbor was the subject of a couple of paintings as well, Whaleback Lighthouse. It’s one of those rugged ones, not a pretty white one. Tonight, it’s sitting out our starboard window, diligently flashing ever 4 seconds. Maybe I’ll get some more sunrise pictures in the morning.

How Fortuitus – It’s National Lighthouse Day!

16″ x 20″, oil painting on jute canvas

Lighthouse are like tugboats, we all love them (I think)! I’ve painted a few before but some friends brought me to the Stonington Lighthouse in Stonington, Connecticut a few months ago and I was quite taken with it. It wasn’t the usual red and white kind it was stone. I love things made of stone (I’m not sure if that one is just me or lots of people feel that way). It was definitely high on my list of things I wanted to paint. But as is my usual mode of operation I put it aside until a few days ago when it turned into a “gotta get it done now” kind of project. In light (no pun intended) of the upcoming Mystic Outdoor Art Festival I thought now’s the time, and not now, right now. At about 9:00 last night, I stepped back from my easel and declared the painting done. Actually I do step back and look but then I hem and haw before I declare it done, to be honest.

In keeping with my usual process I posted it on Facebook. In so doing I noticed a post from a local TV station stating that today is National Lighthouse Day! Well, there you go, that seems like a good omen to me. It was August 7, 1789 that Congress declared support of lighthouses, beacons etc. so 200 years later in 1989, Congress passed a resolution declaring it National Lighthouse Day. Timing is everything as they say. So my painting of the Stonington Lighthouse gets its official launch on National Lighthouse Day. I like it.

The interesting thing about the Stonington Lighthouse is that even though the original one was built in 1823, it was disassembled and rebuilt in 1840 because of erosion and it was moved to it’s current location. It was active until in 1889. I wonder if they knew they were recycling?