U.S.A. Portland, Maine.........

SUNDAY  7th  AUGUST  2011,
 
Skipper almost forgot to mention Elaine Weintraub, Elaine is a history teacher from Mayo, but now lives in Nantucket.
Skipper got her contacts and email from the barman at the Yacht club in Nantucket..
Elaine is no ordinary history teacher, she specialises in Irish history and every year takes a group of children
from the US to Ireland to give them a real taste of Irish culture,
Todays kids are tomorrows tourists,  well done Elaine, skipper sent her an email with a view to meeting, but her reply
was from guess where, yes Mayo on holidays ! so it will have to be some other time...
 
Tuesday 2nd
06oo  Skipper decided to test the generator as it overheated and stopped last night,
It started ok and for a short few seconds all seemed well , then oil began to flow steadily from the sump hand pump,
ohhhh sh88** t  , S immidiatly shut down everything and began a messy cleanup which took about an hour,
then started the engine and left port for " Wentworth by the Sea" at the entrance to Portsmouth, a distance of 74 miles,
the weather was good, but little or no wind so we motor sailed all the way,
 
Thinking back over all the motoring, we must have motored 75% of our journey from Salvador in Brazil to here, a distance
that must be close to 4,000 miles, all because of either no wind, wind from ahead, wind from behind
but too light to sail, not to mention the amount of adverse currents,  however we had mostly flat seas to compensate,
Bloody hell, we would prefer the steady trade winds of 25 + knots and the moderate waves the wind brings,
 
Wednesday 3rd
Christines Aunt Jackie and uncle Bob brought our grandchildren Emily, Rachel, and Annabel down to " A Lady"
where they will stay with us and their daddy for the next few days,
The excitment all around was high, while the adults organised the bunks, clothes, food etc....
 
Thursday 4th
We all got up early, to be expected. and decided to go to Manchester to visit Christine's brother "Court" who
has the franchise in N.H. for " 5 Guys " hamburger restaurants, This food chain operate with fresh food only,
so they make their burgers and chips on site every day, therefore no preservatives, but would be a little more expensive
than McDonnells and the other fast food operations,  
Of course we all had to have lunch there and it was very good,,,,, yum yum,
 
Skipper rang his email buddy " Jan Langer" who works and lives in Manchester and who suggested to skipper last year
to call in and say hello when we got to New Hampshire, Jan reads " A Ladys" blog regularly and sends emails to skipper
on occasions,
We arranged to meet Jan at " 5 Guys " and to skippers surprise and delight, Jan was a good looking buisness woman,
Ohh god ! what a real surprise , skipper was knocked for six, but recovered enough to have an enjoyable chat before we all had
to go our merry ways,
We all returned to the boat where we had dinner before crawling into the scratchers, exhausted from a long day,
 
Friday 5th
We spent the day around Portsmouth, skipper had arranged for a mechanic to come and look over the generator
to discover that the heat exchanger was completly shagged and needed to be replaced, so this will have to be ordered
and hopefully will be ready for us in Booths bay, meanwhile of course we cannot use the generator, shucks,
 
By the way, I almost forgot, ( alsimers)  Aileens sister the lovely " Michelle" is getting married in Ireland next year, the poor
girl had given up all hope of finding a fellow, but then suddenly out of the blue, along comes Mr Knight on his big white horse
and sweeps the Lady Michelle off her twinkle toes,   thats love..... and it proves one thing, its never too late.............
 
Talking of love and all that stuff, we then got a call from " Hector" , thats Christines father ( Christine being our daughter
in law )  Hector would join us for dinner at the Wentworth by the Sea Hotel before going on from there to do some
late night dancing in Portsmouth, and Hector is in his 70's..............Isint that great, there's hope for us all yet.......
We had a kind of late night....
 
Saturday 6th
06.30hrs  We slipped our lines and motored out of portsmouth harbour and set a course for Portland in Maine,
a distance of 51 miles, the wind was 7 knots from behind and the seas were very loppy, the boat rolled so much
that even skipper took the tablets.  It was a rather uncomfortable trip for most of the journey, but we did see a few Whales
and managed to get the Kite flying off the back of the boat,,   This was a real Kite as opposed to our spinnikers which
we also call " Kites"
We arrived in Portland at 13.00hrs  , the landscape up around here is very different to what we are used to,
and the harbor is more like what we have at home in Ireland, plenty of bay's and places to stop and shelter. and for us, plenty
of deep water, The harbor has a number of derelict forts which looked like " Charles Fort" in kinsale but all on seperate little Islands
with lots of ferries taking the never ending stream of tourists back and forth for a look .not only to the forts , but also out whale
watching and fishing,
Christine joined us here, Later herself and paul went off for dinner to celebrate their annaversory while skipper and Aileen
looked after the granchildren with the help of Bob and Maggie who live in Portland and came to visit us on the boat, It
was great to meet them again, They also sailed around the world on " Ocean Jasper" ( the sundeer 60 ) , I'm sure you will
all remember our referances to them in past despatches / blogs.......
 
Sunday, 
Today, It was very wet all day, Aileen got up early and went to mass, while the rest of us pagans had a light breakfast
and fed the children, 
Originally we had hoped to take Aunt Jackie and uncle Bob , plus the rest of us out for a sail today, but the weather was too
miserable so we abandoned that idea,
After much packing and chatting, it was 14.30 hrs and time for our visitors to leave and head back to Merry meeting Lake,
Skipper and the second mate went for a walk in the mist around the town before having dinner " Ri Ra " an Irish joint,
the corned beef and cabbage was good , the pints of guinness were better still, and it was all good value,
after that, it was time to return to the boat and have a nap before doing the blog, filling up the water tanks, catching
up on the washing and all that kind of routine stuff .
 
The town of Portland is a very vibrant place, very, very diferent to the last few places we visited,
 
Thats all for now,
 
Signed :-   Stephen Hyde  ( Skipper )