Gloucester Aventures and Future Plans

The end of the summer is here – I know this because it snowed yesterday.  Thursday September the 13th… has to be some kind of record! However I cannot dwell on our weather, as it is to be expected and is totally benign – as opposed to the hurricanes and storms that are hitting the rest of the world.
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.
touch wood.
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.

the Columbia… built using the original line plans for the 1920’s Columbia, this one is steel..and a total beauty…

the Columbia

Bluenose II..buit in the “spirit of the original Bluenose” originally launched in 1921 in LunenbergNovia Scotia as a racing and fishing vessel.. gorgeous!

look up… look way up…

the Lynx, from Nantucket..
two beautiful ships….
bring down the sails..
three beautiful ladies…

Bluenose II.. Oh Canada!

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..


The Thomas Lannon fired a shot across our porch .. well, not really… we weren’t allowed to fire back…pity…

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!

a sea of sails

quiet chaos…

Slow and stately…

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.

a typical group of houses, original fishermen’s homes…

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.

museum full of navy equipment and old diving gear… absolutely fascinating

more scuba stuff…

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….

a wicked tuna boat… hey TJ!!

and another… where’s DAVE?????

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!!!




the anchorage near where we were staying…stunning

Rocky Neck – Smith Cove… a wonderful harbour and a great little artists colony…

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…

fishing in the fall.. well, it’s not exactly fall yet… but always expect the unexpected so my sun-brella does double duty as a rain umbrella!