Sunday, August 26, 2007

Gloucester Sail

We were going to go climb Mt. Washington this weekend, but that kinda fell through. Instead, our friends Jack and Jessica asked us to go sailing on their 42' Catalina "Lio Kai" with them up to Gloucester Harbor for Sat and Sun. It would be the 4 of us and their friend Elton, whom we'd never really met. Sure, sounds like a plan.

Here, is Gloucester harbor. We anchored just below Ten Pound Island on this map.

Here is Capt. Jack (not the infamous Sparrow one, but similar in many ways) leading the way out of Boston Harbor.

And here is Jess (I can't remember the Mr. Sparrow's fair maiden's name in the movie...)

Jenny, relaxing in the cockpit while underway.

A large bee type of thing decided to tag along for quite a while. He was welcome till we had to tack and use his seating area for pulling lines around. Then we had to kick him off.

Despite the fact we have pictures of bees we didn't seem to get any real photos of Elton. Sorry Elton. We will have to get some from Jack and Jess... They took a whole ton on their really awesome huge camera.

On the way up, we ran into this HUGE sail race/regatta type of thing. It put us off course a bit as we had to go way out around it. There were tons of cool looking racing boats.

Here is us coming up on them. It was very very hazy out on the way up Saturday. The temp on land was up over 100 F. We were happy to be on the water, but I think it was so hot everywhere that it was just an all around steamer. This pic shows the haze pretty well.
Here, we have made it around the regatta and are continuing on our way.

We got into Gloucester harbor around 6:30 or so pm and had to hail the harbormaster to come out and direct us to a mooring. He was a funny guy who told us we were welcome to get drunk and run around the top decks naked since nobody in Gloucester would care. We declined.

Once we were moored, this party boat that was sort of a tallship came up and moored next to us for a while. Very pretty boat. It actually ran all its sails up to sail away. Very neat looking.

This pic is kinda too far away, but this was our view of downtown Gloucester.

Apparently I was happy to be there.

So was Jenny. And everyone else.

Jack and Jess made us a great dinner of grilled bacon wrapped scallops followed by alfredo noodles and chocolate cheesecake. And of course plenty of beer and wine was drank.

After such a long day of sailing the aft berth Jenny and I were staying in couldn't have looked more comfortable, and indeed it was. I slept like a rock. Despite the 20 mph winds outside and occasionally choppy waters.

The morning was cool as, being such an infamous fishing town, we got to see plenty of fishing boats heading both in and out.

After breakfast it was back out to sea.

I don't really have too many return trip pictures. Lots of water to see and that was about it. Except for one very exciting and unfortunately undocumented moment. In keeping a lookout for lobster pots and bouys Jessica yelled, "Hey there's something in the water ahead of us, but it just went under. I think it was a bird!" No, it was a whale. It was way cool. We actually all got to see it. Just after the glimpse of it that Jessica had seen went away it came back up to breath we all saw it break the surface and blow air/water up in the air, then slowly submerge and retreat to the depths again. We had hoped for another sighting when we all had our cameras ready but it must have swam away from where we were sailing. Very cool to see even once though. (and to be fair to Jessica, the cormorants are big black birds out here that are all over the place and often dive down for fish. Only seeing a glimpse of whale fin, it is not so ridiculous that she mistook it for a diving bird. However, we still made fun of her plenty).

After that, it was down to figuring out how to best approach the harbor with the given winds and whatnot.

My one pic of Elton: exhausted and asleep under a seamanship manual.

Pulling back in the harbor a cruise ship was leaving.

Well, that was about it. It was an awesome trip. Gloucester looked like a very pretty town. Next time we'll have to take a dinghy and go ashore. I'd like to see the place. Jenny and I learned quite a bit about sailing this time and how it all works. A sailboat is definitely an option for sometime in the future. We'll see.

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