Wintering Well at Rockport Marine

Surprise seems to be enjoying this unusual Maine winter as much as we are.  Our winter cover allows lots of ventilation and whether the temperature is unusually cold as it has recently been,  or during those occasional thaws,  we are able to go onboard and do some projects while planning others which will have to wait until spring.  It just feels good to look around at the spacious deck of Surprise and realize how fortunate we are to be able to take care of her.  She is inches away from the water on her port side and inches away from the skilled craftsmen at Rockport Marine on her starboard side.  Thats a win-win. Now that the Holiday is behind us and we were warmed by some great family moments shared around the Christmas tree and the dining table we turn our attention toward planning our 30th season in Camden.  Wow !  We certainly have shared some great times with all of you and we are looking forward to sharing lots more when the sun completes its trek northward.  As always our opening weekend will be Memorial Day Weekend but there is lots to do before we have YOU help us raise those sails.  In spite of some snowfall during the night we have the heat on in the shop and Capt. Jack will be starting to take apart every one of our twenty-four blocks so he can grease them before we put the rigging back together.  Even with the shop quite cozy during the day for projects we cannot yet think about varnishing anything because our night-time temps still...

Welcoming a New Year !

We start 2011 on a bright note with another one of Michael Salmon's fabulous recipes.  We are proud owners of both of his Hartstone Inn cookbooks which have consistently made us look like we really know what we are doing in the kitchen.  We had  enjoyed great success sharing our table with our children, spouses and grandchildren over the Holiday and this was a quiet treat for the just the two of us.  Thank you to Chef Michael for starting off our New Year with chives...

Holiday Greetings

HAPPY HOLIDAYS We wish you and your family many special moments together as you celebrate the  season and the hope for a peaceful new year ahead !  We are hunkered down for the Maine winter after completing a new post and beam barn for Surprise behind our house in Camden.  We enjoyed a busy and productive summer thanks to the weatherman.  This seemed to be the year people really wanted to enjoy all that the Maine coast has to offer.  We are looking forward to having three of our four children and their families under our tree at various times throughout the holiday.  The Mauians hesitate to leave their island paradise at this time of year.  It is hard to believe that our oldest grandchild, Malia, is graduating from Lahainaluna High School this year and heading off to college....possibly in British Columbia.  At the same time, our youngest grandchild, Owen Tucker, will complete the first grade in Bath, Maine.  He plans to attend Bowdoin College in Maine where his dad works.  Owen will major in skateboarding as far as we know.  The rest of the grandchildren are active in school and sports.  Owen’s sister, Katy, invited us to her Holiday choir concert this week which was fantastic.  Cara’s children, Brendan and Becca continue to skate fast and furiously with their hockey teams.  Since Joshua and Kristin live here in Camden, we get to enjoy Max and Sophie who skillfully helped us decorate our Christmas tree which we had cut down on our land in Cushing.  We have made the decision to rent our house in Cushing next summer.  Our...

Curtis Island at last!

On a beautiful Wednesday, the day after the elections, we finally launched our dinghy and rowed out to Curtis Island.  This year it became even more important that we visit the island and the lighthouse since we had recently attended a memorial service for "Connie" Conover who had, along with his wife Deede, been the keeper of the Light for over thirty years. This was the first time in our 27 years of living and sailing here that we had stepped foot on this beautiful place.  As we walked the island wondering how many eagles and osprey had nested there over the years, we encountered Deede and a friend who had also rowed out to take down the flag which had been flying at half-mast during the past weeks in tribute to Connie. Living in Camden gives you the chance to observe the natural beauty around you and also to reflect on how things continually change  and yet the island remains very much like it was when settlers first arrived in the eighteenth century.  We are certainly blessed to live and work...

Windjammer Festival and Hurricane Earl

Despite the clear threat posed by Hurricane Earl, the Camden Windjammer Festival took place on Labor Day weekend.  Friday festivities were cancelled since Earl was expected to hit Friday night into Saturday morning.  We brought Surprise to our mooring in the outer harbor and spent the day Friday preparing for Earl.  We removed sails and stowed them below decks.  We also added extra lines to our mooring and chafe gear to prevent lines from wearing due to rubbing on the rigging.  Once all the preparations were completed, we repaired to shore and waited for Earl. Fortunately, the steering currents of an approaching cold front brought Earl far out into the Gulf of Maine and the Bay of Fundy.  We received some heavy rains and some vey impressive ocean swells that made their way into the mooring area.  Surprise danced mightily but her lines held and we were able to withstand the onslaught.  We spent all day Saturday and early Sunday morning undoing all the extra precautions and we were able to resume our trips on Sunday afternoon.  Meanwhile, festivities on shore resumed at 4 pm on Saturday with model boat races, a pirate invasion and lots of shoreside demonstrations.  The highlight of the weekend was a spectacular fireworks display following Gordon Bok's great concert of acoustic folk songs in Harbor Park. All in all, a great Windjammer Festival for 2010...
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