Gloucester to Kittery

We depart at 7 to take advantage of the tide and current situation in the Blynham canal. This is a

short section of the ICW allowing one to cross Cape Ann peninsula. To enter we must pass through the Blynham Bridge. It looks like it’s barely wider than Tivoli and is known for a strong current. We wait for downstream traffic to pass then throttle up to run through the narrow opening.

Soon we are on the other side and relax a bit as we negotiate the canal’s twists and turns. What a beautiful run; the canal winds through the hilly and wooded countryside and is lined with waterfront homes with their boats on mooring balls in the canal. A couple of skinny water spots but a lovely stretch of water.

Soon we reach the end and enter the Atlantic bound for Kittery Maine. The day flashes by

As we approach Portsmouth, NH/ Kittery, ME we notice a column of black smoke on the horizon. Soon the VHF crackles to life with a captain reporting a fire onboard. The fellow was very calm, he indicated he would be using fire extinguishers in an attempt to put out the blaze but would appreciate some assistance. He soon reports the vessel is completely engulfed. We wonder if they’ve jumped overboard in 60 degree F water. Apparently they were picked up by a passing vessel and were being transported to shore. By the time we arrived the fireboat had arrived and was putting out the blaze. A sobering reminder we travel on flammable fiberglass boats carrying 1400+ gallons of fuel. I will review the status of our fire fighting equipment when we arrive.

We arrive at Kittery Point Town Wharf where we had made arrangements for a slip. We are in Maine at long last! We tie up and are impressed with the new docks and quaint surroundings. We enjoy lunch at the marina’s restaurant and head back to the boat. It is rocking and rolling in the slip. Winds are in the worst direction, SSE, and swells rolling into the harbor enter our little bay and make life uncomfortable aboard Tivoli. We inflate our big Aires fenders and end up with 10 fenders deployed lining the entire length of the boat. We double up on our mooring lines as well. Interestingly, Tivoli is sitting in place and rolling but rarely hits the fenders or tests the dock lines. The currents in here are just strange. At times, the dock wallows around so badly it is difficult to walk on. The roughest seas we’ve experienced on this trip were at the dock at Kittery! This isn’t good but it’s now late and moving to a mooring ball would be tricky in the dark. We decide to tough it out and move in the morning. Fortunately, the swells diminish over time and we have a reasonably quite evening.

First thing in the morning we pull up our 89 fenders, stow our dock lines and head out to a mooring. After tying up we think this will be better; still rolly but at least not tied to a fixed object. Wish we had flopper stoppers.

We launched the tender, went and picked up our friends on Sea Dweller and ran into Portsmouth for the day. A beautiful, old, quaint New England town. Had a great lunch, stopped to pick up a few provisions on the return and were back aboard by 2:30 PM. The boat was rocking wildly, but by 5 PM had settled down. We may move again tomorrow or we will stay put here until the seas subside a bit; planning for a Wednesday AM departure.

Rocked and rolled all night. In the morning I took the tender to shore; paid our bill and returned to the boat. We hoisted the tender aboard in a swell; never again. It swung dramatically close to the starboard side of Tivoli several times and there is no way to prevent it. Fortunately, there was a lull in the swells and we managed to get it aboard and stowed safely. We are starting to rethink the hard fiberglass tender choice we made several years ago. While the Rigid Boat is stable and fast and very comfortable for longer tender trips, it certainly could do some major damage when being hoisted aboard.

We motored 2.5 miles across to Little Harbor and tied up at a slip at beautiful Wentworth by the Sea Marina. We thoroughly enjoyed a peaceful dock and nice amenities. Slept like a rock.


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