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Hello:

It is July 25, 1999 in Buck's Harbor, ME. It is now raining, overcast and there is no wind. Thunderstorms are forecast. It's foggy on the reach; so we'll probably stay here another day, and head for Castine tomorrow. Sailing or powering here is like "cruising" from Tiburon to Angel Island on the Bay. Everything is close and well protected. Buck's Harbor at the NW end of Eggemoggin Reach is about 5 miles from Center Harbor. It borders Brooksville, a quaint Maine town with one intersection, and the ususal mechanic's garage, post office, B&B, gallery and general store.

Buck's Harbor rents moorings for $25 a nite. A mooring is a pennant or anchor line held at the water's surface by a large hollow ball or float. It has a loop and about 20 feet of slack line that can attach to a cleat or samson post on your boat. The other end of the line from the float goes down to the bottom to a shackle on a heavy chain. The chain is fastened to a heavy cast iron mushroom anchor. When maintained properly, these are very secure. For that $25 you can also dispose of your garbage, take on water, use their laundry, use their dinghy dock and ... take a shower in their open air showers. This was a novelty to me. There's wood screening around the stall that extends from mid calf to eye level. The rest is wide open and outside the building; you can look over the harbor and view your boat as you shower. It's a little chilly when you turn off the hot water but invigorating. Our boat has a shower, but showering depletes the tanks' water supply so we use shoreside showers if they're convenient.

July 26, 1999 and we're in Castine on the Bagaduce River. We temporarily moored to the town dock . I worried about skewering a small outboard cruiser on the approach. I've read about old gaff headed boats with bowsprits (like Silver Heels). When maneuvering, you must keep in mind that the boat is longer than its length on deck. Beyond the bow is the 'prod'. Forget that you have an additional ten feet of wood spar off the bow and you can spear a fuel pump on the float, or a dock shed or another boat. All of that has happened, I've been told. Anyhow, the dockmaster said that no moorings were available from him. I asked to stay long enough to walk to Eaton's Boatyard; they also have moorings to rent. Off I went on a 1/4 mile walk as a crowd gathered to look at Silver Heels. Eaton's Boatyard was a pile of lobster traps, buoys, wood scraps, deteriorating boats, and accumulated cast off boat gear that defies description. The boat shed was old and out of plumb. But, when I found him, the owner was an affable, friendly person. He offered us a mooring on the river's far side, his boat's mooring. I walked back, boarded Silver Heels and threaded her bowsprit throught the numerous moored boats out into the river. He powered over in his launch, pointed to the mooring, and the rent was $10. Nice person.

July 27, 1999 in Belfast Harbor on the Passagassawakeag River. Sunny weather, some clouds, temps in the low 80's. This is truly a beautiful New England town. Maryland Bank purchased a good portion of the old waterfront property, cleaned up the toxic materials and rehabilitated the area with trees, lawns, a boat ramp and picnic areas. Then Maryland Bank gifted the property to theTown of Belfast. Our new cell phone worked well here, and we obtained a mooring with a phone call to Belfast Shipyard. We spent two days in Belfast as we shopped at the supermarket, did laundry, showered ashore, and bought parts to repair the boat's head (see the photos).

July 29, 1999 Yesterday, Ellen and Sarah steered and navigated the boat back to Center Harbor as I did chores on deck. Today, we'll upload/download email and upload the updated webpage. I just wrote a letter to a vendor that "sold" me two sets of foul weather gear at the boat show at Jack London Square last April!! I still don't have them. When I call on the pay phone at $4 per call, (which I've done several times) I get his voice mail, and the emergency forwarding number is always busy. Hmmmm. This is a priority issue; foul weather gear will be necessary for the trip south.

 

With best regards to you all, Terry

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