Presently, I’m at a dock in Gloucester. It’s visiting central, which has been very nice. This morning Susanne Altenburger, of Phil Bolger and Friends, came by, and I had the best time getting to hear creative ideas about ways that this boat could be modified for further adventure. I’ve wondered for ages about how to manage ice – as in, the ice that one would encounter by sailing further north – and Susanne very generously shared a fantastic set of thoughts. Now the wheels are turning!

    And tomorrow Suzanne Jean, from home, is coming by briefly on her way to Maine. And yesterday, family. And nice neighbors here in the marina, who today helped with getting the mainmast bolt back into its proper place. Thank you Lisa and Andrew! Most especially for that beautiful stainless wingnut that means that this particular task is completely done.

    A plan has been made for putting the boat on its trailer, in two weeks. So now there is a shape to the next while, which I am planning to spend in this general area. Maybe the Merrimack River, and I want to go into Plum Island sound. I’m sad not to get back to Rhode Island and Connecticut this fall, but daunted by the prospect of getting to the other side of Cape Cod, and a bit tired! So I’m taking this opportunity to more thoroughly explore the area here. Some of that has happened already:

    A few days ago, after leaving Rockport, the wind was perfect for going into Essex Bay, where I had also never been. This is the water in back of Castle Neck and Crane Beach, with its beautiful dunes. The bay is all sandbars and channels, with a narrow cut to get in and out from the open water of Ipswich Bay. Fascinating sailing! And handy to have a push pole… The particularly interesting thing is that if you want to come out of Essex Bay and go into the Annisquam River, you have to leave Essex Bay at the end of when the tide is going out, so that you can then go into the Annisquam also with a favorable tide. I’m happy to say that this worked! In spite of tacking out of Essex Bay at almost low tide. There might be more to say about this, when it’s not the short version…

    Meantime, I expect to be here at the dock until Tuesday, and then hope to be somewhere nice with sandy beaches and a well protected cove for some time after that. The idea is to settle in for several days of enjoying the warm weather that is forecast – I’m hoping for swimming. Joanne, who sails the Pacific Seacraft 25, sent a beautiful poem recently – I’m copying it here, with her permission:

    Ahhh, for a year of septembers…
    Such a sweet time
    Full of memories of the summer
    And here in the month of transition
    I am reminded once again to
    savor every minute of warm sunshine and
    every gentle breeze..
    As if it were the last.

    – Joanne Moesswilde