getaway

One night a week we sail out of the relatively quiet marina and drop anchor by one of the many small islands outside of Boston. It's like a mini cleanse for body and mind as nothing makes you sleep as well as gentle rolling and the sound of nature does. Especially after two-three hours of physical exercise that is called sailing. The Boston Harbor Islands are strategically positioned and formed in a way that we can always find protected spots to anchor, no matter wind direction. Love watching the planes land North of the city and the city lights exposing themselves by sunset, without actually having to hear the noise of it all. 

new canvas onboard

Having sailed with old baggy sails since we changed boats and bought Duende in December 2011 (some 5000 nautical miles ago) - it was pure pleasure hoisting the new ones up the other day and getting to experience just how much good they do to the boat. 

We have quite a substantial spinnaker collection onboard and we're not shy to use them, but given its easier set up, we have missed a gennaker. One that we had on Caos back in the days if you remember. This new blue and white asymmetric was just what we were looking for. Works well from 60-150ยบ off the wind up to 18 knots and is easy to set up, using a jockey pole as a bowsprit now to begin with. Though knowing Alex, he'll probably produce a carbon one in a very near future.

The beautiful new mainsail has three reefs, which was something we missed on our previous two reef sail, and its balanced shape also helps decrease the weather helm issue a bit. 

With half of the summer remaining, it seems a good idea to slow down on the, until now, intense work tempo. And make sailing a higher priority again. Maine and Long Island are two of our prospectives for this season.

Thanks to North Sails Denmark for great service!

fuel to fire

days pass, time flies. soundtrack of right now:

this

this

this

or anything equally sombre and melodic by danish singer/songwriter/pianist agnes obel

across the bay

This past year of living in the United States has been one of the most productive of all our nearly five years as live-aboard-sailing-gypsies. There is so much to say about the variety in culture and society of each place and part of world that you visit. But truth is, nowhere can you get stuff done as efficiently and quick as in America.

That truth has kept us occupied to the extent that we have barely had time for many of the things that we love, as they've been pushed aside in favor of other, currently more necessary priorities. Sailing is one of the occupations that have had to suffer the most. One could perhaps suppose that living on a boat is equal to a very active life on water, with sailing and other forms of water sport activities included. And while that is the truth when in vacation mode, it's less so in times of non-vacation. 

Besides the three day stay in NYC and the vacation mishap in February, this past weekend was the first long weekend of three consecutive days that both Alex and I could take off at the same time in the year of 2014. Given that summer finally is here, we naturally decided to spend those valuable days at sea. Ironically enough, it was also the weekend that this summers first hurricane was selected to hit our exact position of the coast. We've been chased by them on several occasions while we sailed the Caribbean islands 2011-2013, but to expect them up here this far North was not a concern we've been preoccupied with.

As with most topical storms that serendipitously reaches this high in latitude, this one too died out at sea before it managed to create too much of damage. Nonetheless, it brought the typical tropical storm downpour that lasted for 20 hours and put a damper on our first day of mini vacation.

With two days left, and the sunshine and fair winds that the following day brought with it, we pointed our bow to the tip of Cape Cod and its quaint little beach town called Provincetown. Ptown as they call it (Massachusettees' like to shorten words), is considered a gay mecca, and has throughout history been a tolerant and accepting haven for the gay and lesbian community.

As our hours were limited and we had to return to mainland by Sunday night at the latest, we did out best to squeeze in as much as we could in two days (dedicating 8 + 9 hours of them to sailing across the bay and back).

One of the best things with living and traveling on your own boat that is also your home, is that you have all what you need within an arms reach which makes arriving to a new destination all the more efficient. Food, wine and cold beers in the fridge to set the tone for the night. And your shower and wardrobe makes it easy to slip out of your bikini and jump into evening clothes just in time for arrival.

All prepared to get to shore, we tied up to a mooring ball at 9.30 pm, perfectly timely for the fourth fifth of july fireworks (the hurricane urged many coastal cities and towns to postpone the fourth of july festivities to the following day). And we managed to call the launch service of Provincetown marina just in time to be able to arrive to a restaurant for a much longed for dinner, right before the kitchens closed for the night.

I always say that food and drinks never tastes as good as they do on shore after a long day at sea. This time was no exception, and I had a wonderful mushroom risotto and a couple crispy sweet peach mojitos to go with it before we headed back to our boat in the bay.

More pics from Provincetown coming up shortly…  

summertime

Teak varnishing, beer drinking, wood shaping, trim grooving, bicycling, feeding our bird neighbors French cookies, drinking healthy organic fruit and vegetable smoothies, exploring beaches and working on the tan is what summer has been all about so far - or not exactly all about as you can tell on my, still, excessively pale skin. It seems I'm turning Irish, living on the Irish Riviera as they call this stretch of coastline. Or maybe I just have to find a way to drag my ass from indoor and computer related activities and out into the sun some more. Soon!