Windsong Sailing Academy
|Join us as we follow Kim and Pierre Russell and their 5 yr old twin boys during their dream voyage aboard their 41' Lord Nelson, Victoria. We will post their journal entries as we receive them over the coming months as their journey unfolds. Join us regularly as we live "Vicariously" through their stories.|
1st - 4th, 2003
Nick invited us to his house for a family BBQ late Monday afternoon. Itís so nice being in a place where you have friends, especially during a Holiday. We felt right at home cutting up with Nick and his family.
We found out that the alternator part was sent out Tuesday and probably wouldnít arrive until Wednesday or Thursday. This meant we probably wouldnít be able to leave Portsmouth until Friday. We were enjoying our time here but were also anxious to get up to Acadia National Park, Maine before it gets too cold.
On Tuesday we decided to drive to
the L. L. Bean store in Freeport, Maine, about an hour and a half from here. We stopped in
along the way and the boys got to ride the narrow gauge railroad train which
runs along the waterfront. They love trains so this was extra special for
It was nice to be able to spend
the day in
Our alternator bracket arrived and we brought the boat back to Nickís dock so Todd could install it. To our dismay, the new bracket arrived broken, in the same location as ours. Todd suggested taking it to a good machine shop and they said they could effect a repair to the bracket that would be as strong or stronger than the original. Only time will tell.
September 5th, 2003
We discussed our options about our
cruise to Mount
We decided to take it easy and left Portsmouth at noon and headed for Portland.
As we sailed north, every sailboat we saw was heading south. We may be a little late getting up here but at least we may have missed the fog. The cruisers we talked to said that the fog was terrible this year and was present for most of July and August. Several said September was a nice time to cruise Ė itís cooler and most of the crowds are gone. The hardcore cruisers will typically stay up here until the first part of October.
September 6th, 2003
We got into Portland last night after dark and spent the morning cleaning up the boat. Pierre took the boys to town with him to do laundry. I spent most of the afternoon sitting in the cockpit under a brilliant blue, sunny sky watching the boats sail by as I worked on the journal.
We went to town for dinner with plans of leaving Portland tomorrow.
September 7th, 2003
I thought I would be able to get
up early and finish the journal before
so we could leave for our new anchorage but finishing this journal took longer
than expected. We wanted to get it done before we left
We were also told that they have very few cell towers and even ParticipationGuidelines.htmlike Verizon and Sprint have trouble connecting. We elected to spend another night and get an early start in the morning.
much for leaving
our haircut we were able to grocery shop and stock up on marine supplies at
Hamilton Marine. We splurged and bought a Magma propane gas grill which
can attach to the aft or side rails of the boat. It will be nice to cook
There is a scenic bike/running path that wraps around the coast just off of where we are anchored. It is perfect for the boys and their Razor scooters. The only thing that slows them down is when the narrow gauge railroad train comes by along the track that parallels the running path. Iím not sure what it is about boys and trains but they are transfixed at the site of a train.
September 9th, 2003
reminds us of the
nice thing about this place is it doesnít have all the tourist souvenir shops
like most busy coastal towns. It is a blue collar town with a touch of
granola. There are a couple of neat pubs, nice restaurants and many
specialty shops, including an L. L. Bean outlet.
anchored just off of Portland Yacht Services which is a couple blocks from
downtown. Their moorings are $35 but the holding ground is good so we
elected to anchor instead. The anchorage is bumpy most of the time since
it is just off the main channel.
we arrive at a new town there are usually a couple things we look for initially.
On Saturdayís itís finding a place to watch Georgia
have become our second home. The boys go straight to the childrenís
area, Pierre to the periodicals and I to the internet computers.
Itís nice to be able to check email and do some surfing for free versus
using the overpriced internet cafťís. Having a laptop is nice but it is
hard to find places to plug in to the internet. While in
was afternoon by the time we pulled up anchor to head to Potts
I couldnít stand looking at the birdís nest on my head any longer. Once we were anchored at Potts, I got out the scissors and attempted to cut my hair. Cutting your own hair in a mirror is very awkward but in the end, my hair looked much better than when I started. I sure do miss Cheri, my hairdresser.
September 10th, 2003
woke up early in Potts
we returned from our walk we met a nice young guy named Hank and his boxer puppy
Shackleton. He and his new fiancťe Jill were on their way back to Boston
after cruising for a couple weeks on the Maine
coast. Hank was a sailing enthusiast and had a lot of good information on nice
anchorages and marinaís. We exchanged information and hoped to catch up
with them again if we stopped in Boston.
was still obsessing on the fact that our engine seemed to vibrate more than
usual. The water was crystal clear and we could see some debris around the
prop but it didnít seem to free itself when we put the engine in reverse so Pierre
felt it was necessary to go underwater and remove the debris by hand. We
thought it was a long shot but maybe it might help stop the vibration.
September 11th, 2003
though we are in this spectacular place, it is hard not to forget about the
victims of 9-11. A doctor I worked with at Kaiser lost a sister in 9-11
and my thoughts were of her and what she and her family were doing today. We
were able to watch a little of the remembrance ceremony on TV at the resort
It was a sunny, warm day and the boys had fun riding their scooters around the resort and playing at the playground. Pierre and I got in a game of tennis before having lunch at a restaurant that overlooked the harbor. In the evening we went to the game room where they had an old time candlepin bowling alley. The place was packed with men at a conference but they opened up a lane for us and even paid for our games. The balls were slightly larger than softballs which were perfect for the boys.
September 12th, 2003
We motor sailed about seven hours to Port Clyde, a small blue collar fishing town in a harbor filled with working boats and a general store at the base of the town dock. The general store has a good supply of groceries and even makes their own pizza. We made it easy on ourselves and brought a pizza back to the boat for dinner. Our meals on the boat resemble that of a college student. We tend to eat things that are relatively simple to cook. Basics like spaghetti and hamburgers frequent our menu. Breakfasts are usually cereal or oatmeal and lunch consists of sandwiches most of the time. Mac and Cheese and Spaghetti Oís keep the boyís happy. I would love to have elaborate meals but we tend to get lazy after a full day of sailing and take the easy way out.
Iíve been trolling when we are sailing but so far I havenít caught any fish. I was told that blue fish and mackerel are prevalent here but I troll for hours and come up empty every time. I ran into a local man at the dock who said he was going fishing in the morning. I asked him for some tips on catching fish and he informed me that I needed a ďBig MacĒ lure. He tried to explain what it was and then told me he would leave one for me on the dock in the morning.
was close to
when we arrived in Camden. The 1,385 foot Mount
met with Brad after the game at the local bar/restaurant. The boys became
an instant hit the locals playing pool. They kept giving the boyís
quarters to play a race car arcade game which kept them entertained while Pierre
and I visited with Brad.
and Pierre used to work for the same yacht delivery service in Connecticut
and theyíve kept up with each other over the years. Bradís the
skipper of a 1.2 million dollar Hinckley 57 called Bandera.
Heís captained Bandera for almost 7
years. He moves the boat to the Caribbean
in the winter and back to New England
in the spring and does approximately 15-20 charters a year, both in the Caribbean
and New England. Must be a really great gig for Brad, as heís good with people and
lives the free, easy life of a bachelor.
when we left the restaurant. Brad is full of energy and had fun running
around with the boys in a park overlooking the harbor. We played
hide-n-seek before taking the dinghy back to our boat.
September 14th, 2003
were surprised to find that the Camden
library was open on Sunday. The library is on a hill that overlooks the harbor
and has a wonderful childrenís area, equipped with puppets, fish tank, Thomas
the Tank Engine trains and track and a play lighthouse. We spent a couple
We havenít had access to a cell phone since leaving Portsmouth, N.H. We have calling cards and spent part of the day making calls to family and friends. Iím sure many people would envy not having a phone. There are definite advantages, such as not having your dinner interrupted by telemarketers.
Monday, September 15th, 2003
this AM in the fog. Itís scary when you know there are rocky ledges
around and you canít see them. Luckily the fog cleared up after a couple
is worried about Hurricane Isabel. It is a category five storm now and
forecasters are saying it could hit as far north as
decided to go to Billings Diesel and Marine Services in
September 16th - 15th 2003
Isabel Is Coming!
in the morning I make my way down the ladder, carrying our pee bucket and my
shower gear and make my way across the boatyard. Iím sleepy-eyed with a
bad case of bed head and have to face all the workers at the yard as I make my
way to the showers. These guys are always so cheerful to me in the
morning. My biggest fear is that someone is going to ask me ďWhatís in
guys in the boatyard have an incredible work ethic. Many of them work from
in the yard and then head out to haul lobster traps. One man and his wife
haul 100 traps every day after work. I saw them coming back to the dock
one cold, foggy night wondered how they could do this everyday.
spent the first few days in the yard without a car. I needed a few
groceries and road about 2 miles on a Razor scooter to the only food store in
were not the only ones living here. There were a couple luxury motor
yachts tied up to the dock at the marina. We were fortunate enough to have
met Larry and Edda, a couple in their early 60ís, on the 70-foot yacht Pelagial.
They were extremely friendly to us. Edda cooked two delicious meals
for us and Larry helped me with some electrical problems I was having on our
boat. Larry, an former Navy officer, is the captain for Pelagial
which is owned by the heir to a pharmaceutical company. He said there is
always work to be done on a boat like this so they spend several months here
each year. Larry is a whiz with computers and electronics and has this
boat equipped like none Iíd ever seen. He has large two large computer
screens on the bridge which show him anything he needs to know about the systems
of the boat. He has satellite TV with TiVo and recorded a
jovial personality and big hugs made her a favorite with Thomas and
Patrick. She invited them over to watch cartoons, took them on walks and
even offered to watch the boys one morning for four hours while Pierre and I
participated in a round robin tennis outing. This was the first time we
had been away from the boys since we left South Carolina. It was a real treat for us and we met some neat people at the tennis
club. Most of the people we met summered in Maine and lived somewhere warm (usually
Florida) in the winter. Pierre and I were amazed at one older gentleman who
played great tennis with a Jack Kramer wooden racquet. He said heís been
waiting for it to wear out before he gets a new racquet but it never wears out.
rented a car to explore the area since it would take at least a week to finish
the boat repairs. We met up with
spent the night at a hotel in Ellsworth, a town half way between Stonington
have been so impressed with the residents of Maine. They are the most friendly and unpretentious people. When we were
driving back to Stonington
from Ellsworth, on a dark two lane road, an old pickup truck appeared behind us
flashing his lights. My first thought was that Pierre
must have cut him off. He continued to flash his lights so we pulled
over. The older gentleman informed
us that we didnít have any tail lights. He then turned around and went
on his way. Not all the drivers are that friendly though. We heard
about a case a road rage reported on the radio. A man armed with a rake
got into a scuffle with another driver with a hammer in the parking lot of a
Wal-Mart. In Georgia
shotguns would probably be the weapon of choice.
boys were a big hit at the boat yard. Richard, who works in the yardís
marine store, invited us to the Deer Isle fire station. Heís the former
fire chief of Deer Isle. The station was manned by volunteer
fireman. The boys had quite a time climbing in and out of the fire trucks.
David our mechanic worked on the propeller shaft, Pierre and I did some teak
deck repair work. Jim, the chief carpenter of the yard, came over and gave
us some great advice on the fine points of teak deck repair.
were also able to get our home
Billings, the owner of the boatyard, was as nice as his crew. We needed to
return our rental car to Ellsworth, approximately 45 minutes from
was refreshing being around so many friendly and helpful people. I really
enjoyed our time in the yard and hope we will be able to make it back here again
Friday September 26th, 2003
was early afternoon by the time we set sail for SW harbor, approximately 20
miles to the east. Our route took us through Deer Isle thoroughfare, then
over to Mt.
came here because we needed to get our mail. Susie Flach, a friend of a
friend, has a home right on the harbor and let us send mail to her house.
When I called Susie she was on her way out the door but agreed to meet me with
our packages at a marina dock. It was dark by the time I headed back to
our boat in the dinghy loaded with our packages. Itís always exciting
when we get a mail shipment in. It had been 3 or 4 weeks since we last had
mail so we had a lot to go through. My Mom and sister had sent care
packages for the boys which included some warm pajamas, books, sparklers and
other neat things. The boys were as excited tonight as they were on their
Saturday September 27th, 2003
Isabel Is Coming!
took the dinghy to shore and the boys and I went to the Oceanarium and Pierre
went to browse the shops around town. The Oceanarium was small but had a
nice touch tank with many neat creatures that the boys could pick up such as
starfish, horseshoe crabs and sea cucumbers.
for lunch, made some phone calls and wore the boys out on the local playground.
Sunday September 28th, 2003
It was a cool, windy and rainy day. We spent the day doing odd jobs on the boat, reading and listening to the radio. We never left the boat.
Monday September 29th, 2003
Visiting the Rockefeller's and Martha Stewart
woke up to a brilliant blue sky with lots of sunshine and decided to head
over to NE Harbor, just over a mile away. This harbor is very scenic
with luxury homes nestled on hills of pines overlooking the water.
NE harbor is home to some prominent names such as the Rockefellerís,
Mellonís and Martha Stewart.
picked up a mooring for $20 a night and learned that on Oct. 1st
the price will drop to $5 since it is the off season. They had
shower facilities but once again it was a timed deal - $1.50 for 3 Ĺ
city also has two tennis courts adjacent to the marina but the charge is
$10 an hour if you arenít a resident.
advantage of this harbor is that a free Acadia
shuttle stops right at the marina and will take us to the hiking trails in
the Park and also
Tuesday September 30th, 2003
our quick showers, we caught the
shuttle to Jordan Pond, a 3.5 mile hike around a blue-green mountain
lake. The boys hiked the trail unassisted and had a great time. We
We returned to the dock by We were walking on the dock toward the dinghy when I heard a splash and a scream. Patrick was in the water, his arms churning as fast as he could as he belted out screams that could puncture an eardrum. Luckily, he had his lifejacket on and Pierre was able to pull him out of the 58 degree water within a half a minute. The poor boy was cold and wet on the dinghy ride back to the boat. We stripped him in the cockpit, warmed him up and put him in his new fleece pajamas. I think that incident really showed us the importance of having lifejackets on them at all times. Patrick said he tripped when he went to look at something in the water.