Lest you think from the last post that Maine is all work and no play, this post is dedicated to the many friends who have come to visit over the last few months. And though they have been ever helpful on boat projects, they’ve been equally supportive in getting me off the boat for some Maine adventures. Speaking of boat work, she’s coming along extremely well and I promise to have some more pictures up soon!
In late July my friend Eugenia (a former colleague at NASA and partner in California desert adventures) and her friends Adri and Brittany headed out on a road trip from DC with destination: Maine. We spent a day exploring the Rockland area, then went down-east along the coast for a day of hiking and climbing in Acadia National Park, and finally inland for some hiking in Baxter State Park.
The following pics illustrate Eugenia’s somewhat mischievous sense of humor as well as my incompetence at acrobatics. I should have learned the first time on the floor of Death Valley in 2010 that A) I am not skilled at doing hand stands, B) hard, rough surfaces are not the place to learn, and C) Eugenia finds both A & B immensely amusing.
Dear friends Mike and Carrie who live nearby also make frequent visits for lunch, boat moral support, or some local activity. Early on we visited the Owl’s Head Transportation Museum, which has an amazing collection of restored airplanes dating back to 1903, most of which are still actively flown!
Next to visit were friends Nicolas, Anna, and Santiago by boat. As captain of a 77′ Swan, Nicolas found himself in the Maine area for over a month. It turned out that our boats were relatively close so we spent many hours working on our boats together or commiserating with each other about boat frustrations over coffee or beers. His enthusiasm helped on many a discouraging day and he was always quick to pick up a grinder and assist in my war against decaying deck paint.
Longing a bit for the hectic anonymity of the city, somewhere in here was also a quick solo overnight trip by Camel to Boston for a KMFDM concert at the Royale. Great show, and a beautiful foggy sunrise on the way home.
Soon after that my friend Kate came up from DC, flying all the way to the little Rockland airport on a tiny puddle jumper. It felt like I was picking up a movie star arriving by private jet! This sense of luxury continued as Nicolas invited us for a day sail on “La Forza”, the 77′ Swan. We sailed up and down the Penobscot Bay in absolutely perfect conditions – a sunny 75 degrees, 15 knots of wind, rail in the water reaching along at 11 knots, all the while enjoying a steady stream of gourmet h’ordeuvres delivered up from Anna in the galley.
Kate and I packed a lot into her visit – some excellent hikes to coastal mountain-tops for amazing ocean views, evening runs out to area lighthouses, excellent food, and a quick ferry trip to Vinalhaven Island for a whirlwind motorcycle tour of the island. Of course we also fit in some boat work, tearing the rotten teak toe-rails off and preparing the after deck for grinding and painting. In all honesty this boat work was well justified as it was Kate’s honest and patient counseling back in July that helped me realize restoring Northern Cross was where my heart was. And now three months in that has certainly proved true, despite occasional aggravations this project is the one for me for a while. But it’s only fitting that now Kate should have to enjoy at least some of the resulting boat work frustrations! And thanks to the area’s beautiful geography we were able to hang out on a beach right up until 30 minutes before she flew home.
Soon my friend Jason arrived along with rain, lots of rain. Half his visit turned out to be a steady downpour, which meant plenty of time to watch movies on the boat and explore Rockland’s pubs. The weather finally brightened up enough for a few good runs and hikes, a driving tour of the St. George peninsula, and some serious boat work. More pics soon of the boat work, but to make a long story short while Jason was were we completed some fiberglass work on deck and prepared / painted the entire topsides of the boat, finally restoring Northern Cross to her proper dark green color. Slowly but surely things are becoming right with the world :-)