Friday, July 19, 2013

Island Hopping 101

First off, I just have to publish a rave for DelMonte Sun Fresh Red Grapefruit.  Yes, I'm raving!  We can't keep enough on hand to meet the demand, now that Hubby has joined me in my addiction.  Every day for breakfast, lunch, bedtime get the picture.  If you don't, here's one for you:

Now on to the task at hand...Island Hopping.

 There were 3 adults and 2 little ones on board as we got under way, south, towards Stonington--our first island excursion with Pescatora.  Getting used to a new chart plotter and GPS autopilot was a little daunting.  There were a few temper tantrums and hissy fits on my part, and several adjustments in attitude and humour on everyone elses' part as we got into the groove, but after an hour or so, things smoothed out nicely.  The weather was most co-operative and continues to be, as we climb the learning curve of the new boat.  Banks Cove 22

We dodged forests of lobster bouys (or as Grand #3 first called them, Monster Lullabies).

We arrived at our destination on a rising tide, buried our anchor in a sand spit and kept careful watch as the water level rose.  The consensus is that the plow anchor is not a good one for this size boat.  We all prefer different shapes and designs.  Another thing on the list to change and customize our craft.

Little Camp Island, off Stonington, is mostly granite, covered with wild roses, daisies and orange lichen.  Click on photos to enlarge and truly get the scope of the beautiful scenery.

Lunch time rolled around and out came the picnic.

Grand #4 was enthralled with the stinky tidal pools.  The water was warm and littered with crab and mollusk shells.

The beach wasn't sand, but pulverized shell with drifts of seaweed.

Aunty Gail was much in demand with the little ones.

Low tide allowed us an easy circumnavigation of the island on foot.  During our walk, we found three washed up lobster bouys that had been cut from their lines and mangled by boat props--keepers!

What a thrill to be able to move across the water, play with the porpoise and seals, and see new sights.  The boat has really opened up our ability to explore our area of Maine in new ways.  Now this blog is a boating blog summer AND winter.

There seem to be extremes of heat and/or precipitation all across the globe right now.  Mother Nature is unsettled.  I guess we just take what we get and enjoy it as best we can--not a difficult job for us right now.  :)    How is summer going for you?  Are you sweltering in the heat?  Finding new ways to stay cool?  Any summer projects on the go?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Pescatora--A Red Flash Across the Water

On Tuesday of this week, we took delivery of our new Banks Cove 22.  We fell in love with her at first sight!  She had been under construction since late last fall at Pemaquid Marine. 

She arrived over a month late and several small issues have not been completed yet, but all was forgiven and forgotten once we finally had her in our clutches.  Everything will come together over the next month, and now we can play!  We'll be island hopping at every opportunity (read: when it's not raining or too foggy.)

We launched of the ramp in Bucks Harbor.  She has her own mooring in Weir Cove just down the road from our cottage property.

Of course, our first order of business was to show off to our friends and neighbours.  
-beep, beep, beep!  Look at us!!

The two cushioned seats under the dodger are where our Grands can curl up to sleep at nap time, or stay safely out of the wind and wet while underway.  Three EZ2CY windows make visibility much easier when checking for lobster pots in our path.

I love the jazzy cushion fabric we chose.  It is so bright and fun.  The builders said it was exciting for them to work on a project that was a change from regular navy blue or forest green.  The red hull was a first for them.

The 150 hp Yamaha engine gets us up on plane at 34 rpms and at 41, we are screaming along at 30 mph.  Soooooooo fast!!!  Our first sea trial was on a cloudy, rainy day.  It was cold out there.

Look!  No hands autopilot.  That is Ted, the builder, teaching me all the ins and outs of how the boat runs.  His wife, Joan, took all the photos.  

Yup, we're thrilled.  Maine is a whole new experience when we have our own boat.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Garlic Scapes...or...How to Cure a Cold

Two adults and two children here are suffering the effects of green mucus.  I know, too much information. Still, you have to understand the situation before you will appreciate the Scapes.  

Hacking, coughing (the adults) and smearing snot (the kiddos) are what's happening here.  Not a pretty picture.  Not nice to be around either.  The neighbours are rallying to fend it off at all costs from their perimeters and so....

Home made chicken-vegetable soup.  Delicious, nutritious, and about all I could stomach yesterday.  Thank you, Tony and Dick.  I lived to see another day.

Garlic Scapes.  I only recognized them because they are the current rage in spring floral arrangements these days and who is not more aware of the floral environment than yours truly????  Thank you Jeanie and Peter.  

But...floral arrangements is one thing.  In the kitchen????

Anything that comes up green and vigorous in spring has to be good for you, right?

We cut one up and chewed the pieces raw yesterday, the two of us suffering adults, that is.  It was a no-go.  I looked them up online.  Supposedly, one can steam them, grill them, or add them to a stir fry.

So, tonight, we had left-over potatoes.  Butter, Montreal Steak Spice, Scapes, and.....

Portobello Mushrooms.

The Scapes were lost in the mix.  We did consume quantities though, and hopefully, we will get better sooner for the effort.

Tomorrow, we plan to steam the rest in lemon and butter, wrapped up in tinfoil on the BBQ.  I'm sure we will acquire the taste required to enjoy them, given enough time.  Spring has given way to summer (according to the calendar) though.  We might not get another chance to get better sooner.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Flora and Fauna

The spring flowers in Maine have captured my heart once again.

The heady bouquet of the beach roses,

the delicate petals of the freshly opened peony,

the drifts of Flocks over gentle hills,

fields of Butter Cups....

Coral coloured Poppies...

Day Lillies...

Honey clover...

the majestic Lupins, impossible to transplant, wonderful to find growing wild, reseeding themselves year after year in the hedgerows, ditches and abandoned fields.

Summer has finally arrived.   Now everyone is comparing how the blueberries are coming on:
 -Do you have any?  
-Are they getting ripe?  
-I saw 3 little, blue ones in my driveway yesterday.  
-Probably in a couple of weeks.
-How long will the season last?
-Until the end of August.

And so, I have been enlisted in the August 4th baking raffle in support of the "Blueberries For All" Brooksville Library Fund Raiser.  What should I make?  I am NOT a baker, but I could give it the old college try.  Is there such a thing as a blueberry cookie?????

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Canada Day in Maine

July 1st dawned overcast and wet, as per the previous week of rainy days.

Even though we were far away from home,  dripping wet and cold, we celebrated the 146th birthday of Canada's Confederation in grand style.
Some of us really got into the mackerel tinkers...

Some of us entertained little people....

Some of us watched for ships passing in the mist.

And then....
Sully, can you say "Lobsterfest"?

Although we espouse the strict rule of not playing with our food....

Hubby and Son-in-law were on "kill'em duty".

Everything was totally delicious!

Then there was the revelry....

Although things began to resemble a three ring circus, a good time was had by all.
Happy Birthday Canada.

What did you do to commemorate the history of our great nation?