Tag Archives: Travel

Plymouth Rock ‘n Roll

Our goal for the day was to reach Sandwich, Massachusetts. The course we set was about seven miles off shore. That way we had a straight shot down the coast without a lot of course changes for the various capes and rock outcroppings. In hindsight, perhaps staying closer to shore might have been a better alternative. We were fine for the first hour but then things started to get cranked up. Rolling waves turned ugly and white caps were getting more and more plentiful. When things started flying around the cabin and we were holding on to the grab bars good and tight, we called it quits. It was time to head towards the shore.

Fortunately, we were near Plymouth Harbor. As we got closer to shore the waves subsided but we’d had enough at that point. I was also determined that when we hit rough water I would have things securely placed. Really though, I was hoping to not be in conditions like that again. I know that was wishful thinking but eventually we will be in calmer waters.

We were able to get a mooring through the Plymouth Harbor Master. The next step, after tidying up was to get to shore with Tigger. It was time to try out the new dingy. The smart thing would have been to try it out before we left but time got away from us. Times have changed since Tim last used an outboard motor. Apparently the kill switch was now needed to start the engine. Problem is, it was back in Falmouth! When we determined that was the reason it wouldn’t start, the oars came out. Tim called Judith, his cousin in Falmouth and I called my brother in New Jersey. She’d ship the kill switch to him and we catch up with him when we get there.

It turned into a very nice stay in Plymouth. We wandered around the next day reading all the historic plaques. Of course we had to see Plymouth Rock. We were also looking for information about William Brewster, a distant relative of Tim’s mom. Just what the relationship is, we aren’t sure but I was looking for information about Grandpa Brewster. In our travels we were able to get a couple of cups of coffee, which was much appreciated on such a chilly morning.

Back on the boat we were once again heading out. This time for a shorter distance and closer to shore. We pulled into the Sandwich Marina and settled in for the night. We checked with the folks there about what tide we should attack the Cape Cod Canal. They assured us that we’d have no problem leaving first thing in the morning. Gale force winds were being predicted for later in the afternoon.

We got off to an early start and it was quite calm and lovely. We knew it wasn’t going to stay that way so we pushed on as far as we could before it started getting bad. This time only two items got thrown around in the rough seas. It was another trip where we were hanging onto the grab bars. As a result we are sitting tight until we get a good weather report. The gale force winds should subside by Thursday or Friday. Patience is key here but I’d really would like to get beyond New England!

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.

Restart the Clock

“SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 2 AM TO 4 PM EDT FRIDAY…

The National Weather Service in Gray has issued a Small Craft

Advisory, which is in effect from 2 AM to 4 PM EDT Friday.

* WINDS…North 10 to 20 kt with gusts up to 30 kt.

* SEAS…3 to 6 feet.”

Whenever asked how long our journey will take, I say about 5 weeks, depending on the weather. We are now heading towards being a week behind schedule and we haven’t even left home. Hurricane Leslie is sitting out in the Atlantic making trouble. High winds and high seas and we’re going no where. All we can do now is wait, and continue with more preparations.

No matter what, we never seem to get everything done and are always in a rush. I’m sure organized people don’t have the same problem but it’s a constant with us. This extra week foisted upon us is giving us more time to truly be ready. Gradually we’ve been bringing our provisions onto the boat. Today we’ll bring some more on board. Mostly it will be non-perishable food items and clothes.

If there is good news the plumber stood us up earlier this week. He called Monday and said they wouldn’t be able to make it here on schedule but needed to reschedule for next Monday. That was the first assault on our plans. We were looking for a plan “B” when the Small Craft Warnings started popping up. Plan “A” was having the pipes drained in the house for the winter on Monday, then spending the night on the boat. We would then leave first thing Tuesday morning. The delay could have been much worse if we were without plumbing in the house.

I’ve been worried about how we can get all this onto the boat. Tim’s been worried about where it will fit on the boat. With the delay we’ve been able to make several trips out to load items onboard. Now that the larger items are already on Little Prince (LP) I’m less concerned. Where the rest of it will go, I have a good handle on, so I’ve been named the quartermaster. I always wondered what a quartermaster was, now I know. “The cave” as it is known, is a small berth a step down on the port side of the boat. If kids were on board, I’m sure they’d think it was a fun place to sleep. I don’t know of any adults who would feel the same. That’s where the bulk of our storage lies.

Today’s plan is to bring LP out to get fuel and up to the dock for the last provisions besides the perishables and ourselves. I’m not considering us to be perishable. The extra time will also allow us to get things more organized at home and onboard. We have no excuses now.

Getting Home

Newburyport, Massachusetts is home to a lively old town

Day two of bringing Little Prince home to Maine was a very pleasant outing. Having figured out the automatic pilot, we were one step closer to enjoying our new boat. This was especially true during the last leg of our trip because it was farther out to sea with no obstructions. Before we got to that point, we needed to get back down the Merrimack River. It’s one of those places where local knowledge is key and instinct deceives. The middle of the river is not the deepest section.

We’d gotten out of bed and had some muffins we’d purchased the night before for breakfast. We were concerned about what tide it was and when we should leave. Did we need the extra water from a higher tide? There wasn’t much activity on the river at first but then we saw a couple of boats start to head out. One was a rather large pleasure boat going at a fairly good clip. Tim turned on the engine and headed out after them. Clearly, they knew the way and would be drawing more water than Little Prince.

Six miles off the coast of Portsmouth, New Hampshire is a small group of islands called the Isles of Shoals.

Once we cleared the mouth of the river and headed out to sea we set our course for the Isles of Shoals. That was another place I’d often heard about but had never been. It’s several small islands off the coast of New Hampshire and Maine, six miles out to sea from Portsmouth. We weren’t planning on stopping there but we could at least get a look. The islands are no longer inhabited for the most part except for visitors during the summer staying in the hotel on Star Island. Before the days of air conditioning, it was a popular vacation spot for people from Boston and New York.

Eastern Lighthouse

Two Lights State Park in Cape Elizabeth, Maine is home to two lighthouses, this being one of them.

In clearing the islands we were then in Maine. We still had a ways to go, but just having made it to Maine was an accomplishment. Our other accomplishment for the day was riding in the flying bridge. We had stayed in the cabin the day before but we were going to be a little braver on day two. We had some trouble figuring how to shift all the controls up there, but we could steer so that was enough. Occasionally we had to do a little steering to avoid a lobster buoy but by and large, we just sat back and enjoyed the ride.

This trip was clearly a good starting point in seeing what we needed to think about and prepare for when making our way down to Florida.

 

Re-Inspired

No, I don’t think that’s really a word but I’m hoping it got your attention. The re-inspiration is an interesting turn of events. It’s about my Paintbrush Graphics business. I came up with the name back around 1995 after a family trip in which we drove out to Wyoming to go to Yellowstone and Tetons National Parks. One of the highlights of the trip was a backpacking hike in the Tetons. Now, being a “Jersey Girl” the whole concept of backpacking was rather foreign to me. But I also love an adventure, and a challenge.

Paintbrush Graphics business card, does your business card work for you?

I had planned our hike using a one of the many guidebooks I had bought for our trip. We arrived at the ranger station to check in and let them know our route and get our back country permit. As it turned out, the route I had planned had already reached the maximum number of permits allowed. Also, we didn’t have ice picks with us to go across the pass, which apparently was still frozen even though it was July. That being the case we chose a different trail. It turned out that the trail we would hike was Paintbrush Canyon. The Paintbrush is a wildflower found throughout Wyoming and it is their state flower. It was a wonderful experience. But in the process of hiking I thought I should name my design business Paintbrush Graphics, because if I could make this hike I could do anything.

Now, here it is, 2012 and I’m reviving my design business but it’s a little different. Because I have been doing design work for the last several years for my painting business I thought I should specialize in doing design work for artists. Between my experience and the fact that many artists are, to be blunt, technology averse, it seems like a good approach. Then I thought, my name, Paintbrush Graphics, it works even better than it did when I first thought it up. So, I have re-designed my web site PaintbrushGraphics.com and I will be soliciting work as a designer. I will still be painting so my time management skills need to be fine tuned as well.

I am particularly fond of designing brochures. I think because it seems to be just enough space for pictures and text. Business cards are limited but that makes them a fun challenge. I really enjoy doing more with a business card than occurs to others. There are many opportunities for marketing your work, between web pages and print materials which have become much less expensive to produce. Presenting yourself in a professional manner is very important to me. Coming from a publishing background with a major publication based out of New York, my training forces me to make sure all my i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed. While in the midst of that training I may have complained about Art Directors being too picky, but then I became an Art Director and then my own designer, that put my standards at a whole new level.

Here, There and Everywhere

“I am still learning,” Michelangelo. So I feel like I’m in pretty good company as I continue studying my craft. Last night was my last class in perspective drawing. Tomorrow morning I’ll head up to the White Mountains for a three day painting workshop with Stapleton Kearns. When I started painting again, I took about every class I could. Now, it has more to do with who is offering the class or workshop. Being able to learn from those who have mastered drawing and painting is a gift, especially those who enjoy teaching and sharing their knowledge.

 So while the mountains await me, it was just a couple of weeks ago we traveled down to Montauk, Long Island, New York for an art show. Being a painter seems to instigate a bit of travel for different purposes. Even though I grew up in neighboring New Jersey I knew nothing of Long Island, especially the end of it where Montauk is. As with all art shows, we packed the truck with as much as we could and set off. 

We had tickets for the ferry in New London, Connecticut at 3:00. This being a new destination we weren’t quite sure how long each leg of the journey would take. Taking the ferry was a new experience as well. The last time had been many years ago, on a trip to Nova Scotia, but this was different.  We had a schedule to meet, this was not vacation.


We arrived in New London early and were able to get on on earlier ferry. That was lucky because they were all sold out, it being Memorial Day weekend. We would have two more ferries to go before we reached our destination. The motel we were to stay in was very close to where the show would be so that was easy. Also, we could set up Friday night which always makes for a better process.  Having to frantically set everything up a couple of hours before people arrive, and it being early in the morning, never is a good combination, for me anyhow. 


So once we arrived at the center of Montauk and found our spot we started to unload the truck and set up the displays. The paintings would wait until tomorrow morning to be unpacked. There were many tents already set up and closed up in anticipation of tomorrow’s show. As we saw license plates for others we realized people had come from all over for this show. My neighbor to the left was from Wyoming and on the right was from Chicago.

While our original plan was to have lunch in New London before boarding the ferry, we chose to get the earlier ferry and so had forgone eating. So getting set up took on a greater urgency. Of course Rick was more patient and thorough than I and went about his business as usual. We have a system in setting up, Rick barks orders and I obey. Yea, not the usual way things work, but he’s the best roadie I’ve ever had. It’s pretty much the same at break down time too.

So once done, we headed off to our motel and checked in. Then off for some food. The weather report for the weekend looked great. The next morning we got up early to go hang my paintings. This part of the setup is all me.  So magically, our little 10′ x 10″ square turned into my showroom.


This was the first show with my paintings of Italy. I wasn’t sure how they’d be received, both because of familiarity and since they are quite different from my usual landscapes. I was pleasantly surprised at how many compliments I received for them. I had really enjoyed painting them and I was glad others enjoyed them as well. For some, it was because they too had been to Italy and loved it, for others it is a place they dream of going as well. Dealing directly with people looking at my paintings is my favorite aspect of doing these shows. Seeing their faces as they look tells you more than any words can say. But, once the show was over. we packed everything and loaded it into the truck, now,  it was our turn to enjoy the scenery.  The weather was beautiful just as predicted and one more adventure was over.