Segment One:  June-August, 2003

 

We spent the entire month of June in preparations.  John’s surgery the last of May turned out to be a bit more painful than he’d anticipated, but he recovered just the same.  A quick trip to Houston to change domiciles, rewrite wills, etc. became a sort of “mini-reunion”; both John’s brothers live in Houston, and his sister, Madeleine, and her husband came down, too.  It was great to be all together, even for a short time.

Back in Connecticut, Joe Viviani had completed the brightwork project, and Boy!  Seraphim shines like new. 

 

John and Sharon spent the rest of the month varnishing (Joe didn’t have time to do everything), cleaning and stowing.  We never thought we could get so much stuff into Seraphim.  But in it went.

We “officially” departed on June 30, just two days behind the schedule we’d set so many months earlier.  Down the Connecticut River, where we saw two adult Bald Eagles in one stretch of river, and out to Block Island for the night.  The stars must have been aligned, because we anchored right next to another Shannon.  Next day, we were off to Martha’s Vineyard.  A beautiful day, even if we did have to motor some of the way.  Just as we were entering Vineyard Haven to drop anchor, we came across S.V. Sarasota, and snapped a photo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Next day we made Stage Harbor in Chatham on Cape Cod.  Bernard and Judy met us there, and we stayed through July 4th (we ran into Laurie and Herb at the Independence Day Parade!).  We “dressed ship” for the Fourth, and Seraphim looked wonderful.  See for yourself.

The next few days we daysailed with Bernard and Judy on their boat Royalist, complete with a new set of tan-bark sails.

July 8 was foggy, but with clearing in the forecast.  We were off the mooring at 0830, and left the fog behind as soon as we got into the Atlantic proper.  Just about dusk, as Sharon was settling down for some rest before her Midnight-0400 watch, we came across a pod of whales.  The first “clue” was two whales surfacing and blowing about 40 feet off the port beam.  That does get your attention, I can tell you!  We saw several others, but not as close, before darkness settled in.  We had a great overnight sail to Biddeford Pool, ME.  Sharon’s brother Timmy and his family were vacationing there, and we practically pulled into their back yard.  (OK.  Maybe a mile and a half away.)  As it turned out, three of her siblings were there at the same time.  Debbie and her husband Bob have a house in Cape Porpoise, about 20 minutes away, and her older brother Johnnie and his wife Katie were visiting for a few days.  Another “mini-reunion”.  We stayed a few days, then moved Seraphim up to Portland, to be closer to John’s daughter, Kelly, and her family.

Now, some family matters cropped up that required our attention.  So we stayed in Portland for a few more weeks than we’d originally planned.  We were ready to get going in late July, but then the weather moved in.  Those of you living in New England will probably remember the rain and overcast; in Maine it was mainly thick fog, and occasional showers and thunderstorms.  Not conducive to sightseeing!  So we stayed put.  Fortunately, Kelly, Chip and Ian were close by, so we spent quite a bit of time with them.  Chip deployed for a while, and by the time he returned, the weather broke for a few days, and we decided to take advantage of it.  But first, we had to stay long enough to attend Chip’s promotion ceremony at NAS Brunswick.  Lt. Commander Muir, now.  Congratulations, Chip.

Fearing we could get caught in another long-term weather pattern which would leave us even farther east, we headed south, back to the comforts of Cape Cod.  The trip (154 miles) was uneventful, with clear skies, calm seas, and no wind!  But we motored through the beautiful, flat sea, and made pretty good time.  About 0545 the second day, just off the eastern shore of Cape Cod, Sharon saw another pod of humpback whales. Ho, Hum.

We’ll poke around here for a while, then head south for real sometime in mid-September.  (By the way, the weather has finally turned nice, so we probably could have explored farther east in Maine, but we’ll save that for next time.)

All is well.  We are well.  Seraphim is functioning well, and we’re really enjoying this live-aboard lifestyle.

A Bientot!