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In early April we took our first cruise of the spring on Chaos. The route was from Stonington to Montauk on Long Island to Block Island, to Newport. We found the usual assortment of missing items, loose screws, and assorted issues for fixing and fine tuning before starting off on any more lengthy trips. Spring school break leaves a good couple of weeks for all the fixing to go on after this trip.

In early may Michael and I sailed from Boston to Portsmouth on the way to Maine where we planned to spend the spring and early summer sailing season before going back to Nantucket.

We stopped in Salem, Newburyport, and sailed by Isles of Shoals on the way to Portsmouth. Salem rose far above expectations. I had expected a very touristy town, but The Peabody Museum had a fascinating collection of material from the China clipper days, as well as antique navigational and other nautical instruments and tools.

Newburyport was a difficult place for a sailboat. The currents in the Merrimack River were treacherous, and a breaking sea  seemed to build at the mouth in even mild winds. A number of mooring balls were buried in the river because of the strong currents. There were quite a few rocks to keep track of on top of everything else. The dock was filled with powerboats once we managed to settle into our slip. It was an interesting exercise, but I'm not much encouraged to return there.

Isles of Shoals was a curiosity, as it was a stopping place for Captain John Smith and Pocahantas, if I understood the guidebooks. It had a hotel that was a celebrity hang-out in the early 20th century and is now a convention center run by a private corporation. It seems like a place that could be terrifying in a serious storm, surrounded by rocks and ledges and not much real protection.

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We had some wonderful sailing weather.

P5090007.JPG (40499 bytes) Rounding Cape Ann.

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Isles of Shoals.