Restless Diary

Restless of Auckland
Roland and Consie Lennox-King
Tue 29 Nov 2005 19:32

Christmas 2004 we L-Ks were together at the Bay of Islands, New Zealand. Gilbert and Jacqui came over from Sydney, and we also had a group of RCC friends who had sailed out from England: Duet, Troubadour, and Nordlys, joined by Kanaloa for New Year. Some NZ friends came to have a ‘last’ Christmas & New Year with us.


We had found our dreamboat, ‘Restless of Auckland’, (a 51 foot S&S Fibreglass De Riveur Centreboard Ketch) in Grenada, Caribbean. We set off by plane from NZ on 16 Jan 2005, with a trailer-load of 8 sailbags, together with Olivia and her boyfriend, Regan, who were joining us for a month in the Caribbean. "Don't worry, be happy" sounded more like a threat as days turned into weeks at the Marina in Grenada, where we had the rigging replaced, and other jobs done. Olivia and Regan got a week's sail on a boat called 'Flightless' to Martinique, stopping at tantalising spots, then flew back to Bequia for a few days diving, before returning to Grenada where we were still on the hard, and back to NZ.


15 March we finally left Grenada, where "Grenada Maybe Time" is the local GMT, checking out at Carriacou island, going north to catch up with Roland's cousin Piers and Don, sailing together on 'Splash Tango'  to NZ (they arrived in NZ Nov 2005). We spent Easter with 'Splash Tango' in Bequia, and walked around the rastas market "Come on, girlfriend, buy from me, mangoes, papayas, pineapples, oranges, grapefruit, bananas, coconuts, watermelons.” Bequia Race Week was on with a reggae competition between steel bands, the air was filled with ganja and people were dancing in the streets.


2 April we set off from Bequia, past St Vincent and on to St Lucia, about 50 miles, where we met up with 'Oriole' (RCC).  We bought a new rubber dinghy and motor and had our liferaft serviced, before setting off for Antigua, which we reached 23 April. We anchored in Nelson's old hideout, in Ordinance Bay and heard 'HOT HOT HOT' echoing down from Shirley Heights. We found Rob, who joined us from NZ for 3 months aboard. On 28 April we picked up Ingrid and John from NZ from the airport, and after some sightseeing round Antigua, we cleared customs and immigration, and left Antigua to sail up to Barbuda and on to Anguilla, with Rob, Ingrid and John, and us aboard.


We were met in Anguilla by Helen, from Manila days, now the Governor’s wife, who took us all to the Governor’s mansion, for a swim, showers and lunch, and to meet her 4 dogs, 3 cats, and horse. They have 2 cannons in the garden, remnants from pirate days? Helen took us sightseeing, and we saw “Chattel houses”, had Nat’s famous ‘Johnny Cakes’ and lobster on the beach, and a barbecue with many of their friends. Ingrid and John returned to NZ, and Restless won a first prize!!!! A silver bowl with ‘Prickly Pear Course winner, Anguilla Race Week’!!! Roland was lucky enough to be invited to sail (in the "hotly contested" race) with the local boats, which are amazing: 62ft mast, 38ft boom, huge sails, on a 28ft boat with 18 crew - of which Roland would have been one of the lightest, on ‘Miss Anguilla’, and they won.


We left Anguilla 9 May, sailed to St Thomas, and then past Dominican Republic and up the Bahamas Channel, to  arrive in Miami on 17 May, with a freezer full of fish. 7 days for 1200 miles! We got our 2 crates of freighted gear thanks to an ex-Hong Kong 505 sailor, and took Rob out for his birthday dinner. We set off 22 May from Miami Beach, to Palm Beach, and then on to Cape Hatteras, 580 miles from Miami, sailing 100 miles in less than 10 hours, roaring along the gulfstream, to arrive in Beaufort.


After 2 nights in Beaufort we headed off to the Intra-Coastal Waterways (the ICW), at 5 knots, judging bridge opening times along the way, reaching Norfolk, Virginia, on 5 June.  We left Norfolk and sailed to Staten Island, New York, arriving on 8 June where C's twin Feyona and husband Andre drove to see us for a couple of hours on their way to Philadelphia. We set off the next day for New York City. We started off at 0500 and reached the Statue of Liberty at 0830 and Ellis Island, then passed through New York, seeing the famous skyscrapers, and the big hole of the Twin Towers. It was very exciting to motor through New York City


We carried on up Long Island Sound, stopping overnight at formidable Larchmont Yacht Club, passing Old Greenwich to see C's twin's old home. Stopped at Charles Island, Fisher Island, and then Onset, at the entrance to Cape Cod Canal. Through the canal to Boston, where we anchored at Hingham Bay Yacht Club, Rob went into Boston University to sit an exam on 15th June.


16 June Consie trained to Stamford and met up with Feyona and Andre and their friends Cherry and Hans in Philadelphia. Consie returned by train to meet Olivia on 22 June in Boston, and we had dinner with niece Anne in Harvard. 23 June RCC friends arrived from NZ, with their list of 5-star must-see Maine beauty-spots. Rob set off to see the sights of Washington, New York and Toronto, to return when his father Rory arrived on 3 July for 2 weeks aboard Restless. We sailed to Manchester and looked up Anne and Tom (RCC), who took us to our first lobster dinner, and advised us where to go in Maine. 


We left Manchester with a 90 mile motorsail up to Maine, arriving in Booth Bay Harbour, Muscongus Bay, then headed for Seal Island via Round Bay, and on to Harbor Island and Hall Island. 26 June we motorsailed through fog to Hog Island, and on to Port Clyde, where we had lobsters ashore. Next day in more fog, we reached Tenants Harbour, in Penobscot Bay, then through more fog to Cabot Cove, in Pulpit Harbour on North Haven, and on the 30th sailed to Buck’s Harbour. 1 July Tim ironed out our C-Map problems as we motored through pea-soup fog to Sylvester Cove. We motored to Rockland in more fog, past islands, lighthouses, and lobster pot-buoys. A last dinner with Tim and Ginny at Contes restaurant at Rockland, with schooners tied up alongside, readying for the 4 July schooner-race.


3 July Rory arrived from NZ, and his son Rob returned from Canada. The next day we sailed along with the schooners racing past Rockland lighthouse to Castine, for 4 July celebrations, unfortunately cancelled due to a pyrotechnical injury.  We sailed on to Pumpkin Island, where we anchored next to the light house. On 6 July we sailed to Bucks Harbour, and on to Center Harbor, then on to the Wooden Boat School. Then to Swan Island, past Burnt Coat Harbour lighthouse, where we bought 5 enormous lobsters and some crabs, and had a huge cook-up aboard. Next day we moved on to Frenchboro, leaving the next morning in fog for Southwest Harbour. It was time for Livi, Rob and Rory to return to NZ, so we hired a car and drove to Boston, about 600 miles round trip. We had 2 days in Boston and met up with niece Anne who walked us round Harvard, a long-term wish of Rory’s. We drove back to Mt Desert Island, where we had left Restless, which was covered in bird-poo, and needed to be scrubbed off as R’s brother Oliver and Jane were arriving the next day. We needed to clean the "ICW smile" off the water-line. 


Oliver and Jane arrived in Somesville 17 July, and it was foggy so we went sightseeing around Mt Desert Island. We dinghied into South-west Harbour, and bought 4 (more) huge lobsters for dinner.  20 July the sun shone and we set off past the Hinckley Boatyard, Bass Harbour Lighthouse and into Bass Harbour, then had a gentle sail to Buckle Harbour. We found another Maine hazard in Blue Hill. We left the dinghy at the town dock, only to return to find it high and dry. We went and had a lobster dinner in a nearby café and came back at 2030, still no water, went to a bar as it was dark and cold and persuaded the bartender to stay open until 2230. The bartender told us a person from Maine is called a Mainey or a Mainiac! We eventually got back to Restless, and awoke to discover we were in a giant rockpool. We then headed back to Mt Desert Island, Abel's Lobster Pound, where Oliver and Jane set off for their trip back to Toronto, 600 miles.


1 August we picked up Consie’s twin Feyona and husband Andre from Bar Harbor, Mt Desert Island, and cruised down Somes Sound to Brooklin boatyard. The Eggemoggin Reach Wooden Boat Regatta was on, and 100 wooden boats arrived; Roland was invited to race on 'Cuilaun' a 55ft varnish McGruer ketch, with Brian (RCC). We went to the BBQ and Roland chatted with 97-year old Olin Stephens, racing on Falcon. Olin designed our yawl ‘Reverie’, and also our current ketch ‘Restless’; a special day for Roland. 7 August we motored to Buck’s Harbour, again, then on to Castine, where friends invited us to dinner, and lent us their car for the day, and we drove down to Stonington. 11 August we sailed to Camden, and awoke to the most beautiful fiery red sunrise. We then went to Rockland, for the Maine Boatshow.  We left 14 August, past Rockland, Owls Head and Brown’s Island Lighthouses to Northhaven, and up Perry Creek, on Vinalhaven.  We picnic’d at White Islands and then stopped for a quick look at Carver’s Harbor, Vinalhaven, before anchoring at Seal Cove, Winter Harbor.

18 Aug was Feyona and C's birthday, and we went for a 20 mile sail round Isle Au Haut, returning to Stonington for a lobster birthday dinner and blueberry pie followed by midnight phonecalls to family in Australia and NZ from a phonebooth. We sailed to a group of islands nearby, to anchor at Coot Island, with Camp, Bold and Devil Islands, and ‘Hell’s Half Acre’ nearby, and roast lamb on board for dinner. 20 Aug we motorsailed to Deer Isle, and anchored at Northwest Harbour, another giant rockpool. With Feyona aboard, every spare minute was spent sketching and painting. We went back to Deer Island and then returned to Rockland on the 22nd, in time for them to catch their flight. We sailed back up Eggemoggin Reach to Brooklin Boatyard, where we left Restless for 2 weeks in the yard, while we flew to Oakland, San Francisco for the Etchell Worlds, where Roland was racing with Bill and Simon, from 3 to 12 September. They had some great sailing in sight of the Golden Gate Bridge. Ashore it was great to catch up with friends from the past. Annabelle and Consie went sightseeing and shopping in San Fran and went to Sausalito's Art Festival.


Consie’s mama had a heart operation in Sydney on 22 September, and sister Bonnie was there to look after her.  It went well, a seven hour operation, but she spent only 4 nights in hospital. Consie’s brother Willem had a serious bicycle accident, but luckily lived to laugh with the ambulance men.


We were glad to be back home aboard, and once Brooklin Boatyard had finished the many jobs, we sailed to Rockland, to collect our new navy dodger and awnings, and had a last Maine dinner with Michael & Sarah of Hallett’s Canvas. The weather was colder and a couple of fronts came through, so we went into Seal Cove for shelter, and left Maine to sail south on 30 Sept, 130 miles of motorsailing into a light wind, to Cape Cod Canal. 4 hours motoring through the canal to a peaceful night in Onset, another beautiful 50 mile motorsail and a night in Point Judith breakwater, and then south to Long Island Sound. 3 October we caught a fish which we enjoyed aboard with another niece, Sarah, now studying and teaching at Yale. The next day we set off for Oyster Bay, and as another front came through, we made new blue curtains for the saloon. The next day we motorsailed down to Manhasset Bay, close to the entrance to Manhattan, and again sewed.


7 Oct was overcast, but with many fronts around, we decided to get through New York.  We were at Hell Gate at 1300 for the tide, and raced through Manhattan,  took more photos of the Statue of Liberty, and went into Great Kills Harbour, Staten Island, putting out 2 big anchors and lots of chain with another front expected. A chance to finish off the curtains and Roland serviced the port-loo. The weather reports were not great, but with a cold northerly coming, we decided to take advantage of the following wind, and set off 10 Oct from Staten Island, got out into the Atlantic to catch the tide south in cold, fog, mist, rain, big rolly sea and lots of wind behind us. We surfed all the 100 miles down to Cape May through a sunless day and a moonless night, arriving at Cape May at 0700, in time to enter the bay and beat the 50 miles up the Delaware, to the entrance of the Delaware Chesapeake canal. At 1700 we caught the flood through the 12 mile canal, going 8 knots, and cleared the canal at dark, edging into Piney Cove. Gale warnings out at sea, so glad to be safe with a hot dinner. 12 Oct we set off south, to the mouth of the Sassafras River, a resting point for the ducks and swans flying in large V Vs alongside us. We sailed out of the river past Gunpowder Point and the Aberdeen Proving Ground, US Army base, with bombs going off every 1/2 minute. It was rainy cold windy and misty, and we sailed the 50 miles in a fast 6 hours, wearing longjohns, wet weather gear, etc. We settled for the night in a very protected spot in Mill Creek near Annapolis, which turned out to be a very sheltered anchorage to sit out the side-effects of hurricane Wilma roaring up the coast. The U.S. had a record 22 hurricanes this year.  


The next morning Roland’s cousin Caroline found us and took us home to Washington for a few nights with all the taken-for-granted luxuries of life ashore. She found some oddjobs to keep Roland busy, and started making us a Christmas cake, soaking the ingredients in rum for a week. Consie went to Caroline’s Quilting group, and Roland walked their corgi, Tigger and put up a new trellis on their verandah. Back at the boat, 25 Oct we explored Annapolis, which has the biggest U.S. naval academy. The Governor's mansion had a huge blow up pumpkin and witches' brooms and skeletons climbing out of their tombs,  ready for Halloween.


We left Restless at a marina near Annapolis, while we went to Toronto for 10 days in November, to stay with Oliver and Jane, and to renew our U.S. visas. Jane and Consie went to the Catherine the Great exhibition, Roland and Oliver went to an ice-hockey match, and we went to a vineyard, their cottage on the lake, a friend’s farm, Chinatown, and caught up with many friends met on previous visits, all with autumn leaves falling. Back to Washington, and Caroline had found a place to cut a new mattress for our main bunk aboard. Consie covered this while Roland did oddjobs. We knew it was time to leave Washington and Annapolis when we woke up to find ice on the deck and our NZ ensign frozen to the deck. We headed south to Norfolk where our 2 curved windows would be fitted, but planned to drive back to Washington for Thanksgiving, with Jane and Oliver and the cousins, 24 Nov.


Thankgiving was memorable, snow fell the night before, and we 10 sat down to pumpkin soup, turkey dinner with a huge selection of vegetables and 3 pies, with only 1 true American at table, Duncan! Back to the boat on 26th, with ice on the deck at Great Bridge, Virginia, windows ready to be fitted on Monday. Then we are heading south through the ICW to Beaufort, and possibly further south in the ICW, before crossing the Gulf Stream to Nassau, Bahamas to meet Olivia 23 Dec for 2 months and Gil and Jacqui on 4 Jan for 1 month.


We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Consie and Roland. 

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