We have been glued to our computers trying to keep track of what is happening on the east coast of the US.. and of course the Philippines… both our boats are in Mexico (Ensenada and La Paz) and this year we haven’t had a problem.
So our summer culminated in the ultimate boater’s dream – at least I think so. We were fortunate …to be able to spend two weeks in Gloucester and Vermont with friends,(awaiting the future delivery of their N68 and celebrating the sale of their N60, so now temporarily boatless) just in time for the Schooner Festival. And not just any schooners, but our own Canadian Bluenose II made an appearance! We were out and about in the Grady taking in the sights and were front and centre when the Columbia and the Bluenose both came waltzing into the harbour under full sail. It was absolutely breathtaking! We followed the two of them and had a chance to see a number of other race participant schooners sailing in, and the local boats acting as an enthusiastic welcoming party.
It was spectacular! And that was just the first day – we were able to watch the official sail past from the comfort of the front porch, as everyone tacked by and saluted the house next door (the owners were instrumental in bringing the festival back to Gloucester, so there are cannon salutes from some of the boats as they pass by). We were warned not to fire our cannon back… pity… not too sure why, it’s not like it’s loaded or anything! And it is all in good fun..
After the sail past, the schooners headed out for the race.. unfortunately due to some charter rules or something the Bluenose II was not going to participate, but she did sail out and was fairly close to the action. We hopped in the Grady and bashed out to get into position, where we could watch the yachts turn around the first mark. The weather was good but the waves were a bit lumpy – however it was truly worth it for the action we experienced first hand!
Although it was extremely stressful for Captain Peter, what with all the crazy boats and the sail boats and the fishing boats roaring around… we all decided it was the best day ever.
Gloucester has a huge boating history, and still reflects its boatbuilding heritage in the schooners we saw out on the harbour every day. Some are new builds and some are rebuilds, and all of them are gorgeous. On Schooner Day we had a chance to wander around the shipyard museum – which was amazing. But it seems all of Gloucester is about the sea, and fishing, and boat building… nothing made up or pretentious about it at all.
My other favourite thing of course was to hunt down the boats, and maybe the skippers, from Wicked Tuna. In our travels we managed to spot four vessels – Dot Com, Hot Tuna, Falcon, and Kelly Ann? (wicked pissah?) … anyway, for a shameless Wicked Tuna fan, it was enough! I couldn’t be rude and run up and demand a selfie with these guys, but I did sneak in some pics as we passed by. Now if I had seen Marciano I may have run over and begged a photo op…he’s my hero. anyway….
On the night of the Festival we had fireworks…right across the bay from the house, so we could sit on the porch and take them in. Fabulous! Lots of people watched from the water in various schooners and boats ( there were a lot of transient boats on mooring buoys , there for the weekend) and that would have been fun, but the thought of having to go back under the bridge ( that is an experience unto itself… not a lot of fun)… with hundreds of other boats all heading in the same direction… after an evening I would presume of imbibing…we were much better off on the deck. Besides, as soon as they were over, we could all tumble up to our beds.. it was late!!!! We’d had a big day!!!
I really miss our Northern Ranger II and cruising in the Pacific during the summer – more so when I read about everyone else’s adventures in my old stomping grounds. But having an opportunity to hang out with our cruising buddies in the months we aren’t on the boat almost makes up for it! This summer has been great for getting together with the gang.. and now it’s countdown time. We will be packing up the Little Red Truck ( with lots of spare tires this time and no low-profiles on her this time) to head down to San Diego. Lawrence is planning to take the US 100-ton captain’s course, so we will be there for two weeks… as a Canadian, he can’t get the license proper, but it’s worthwhile to take the course and get the knowledge. Then we will cross the boarder and head to Ensenada for a few days, to show some love to Northern Ranger I… still waiting for her forever crew to come on board and whisk her away! We may have to move her out of Mexico to accomplish this, but that is all in the future after much consideration and discussion. We shall see.
Then it’s down the Baja again, and back to La Paz. I can hardly wait!
Because of our extended travelling ( well, mostly MY extended travelling) this summer we don’t have a lot of days left in the time we are allowed out of the country before our medical gets pulled. We have exactly 45 days to drive down, do the course, get to the boat, do whatever work needs doing .. there’s always something… and maybe do a bit of cruising to the islands. Then it’s fly back home for Christmas. And then the calendar gets reset and we have 7 months to play with in 2019.. starting in early January. Cruising plans are being made – Lawrence has printed out the Master Calendar, and we are pencilling in itinerary items as we talk to cruising buddies and think about where we want to be for three months. Or four…
But now the sun has reappeared here at the lake, and there are fish to be caught, and just a few weeks left before the weather permanently turns in a winterly direction. Time to enjoy what we have here rather than dwell on where I will be next month, and put on my winter woolies and head out for some serious kayak fishing…