Kittery Maine/Porthsmouth July 10th 2013 – We arrived in Kittery and had a great first few days, as stated in our earlier post. We met Gary’s cousin Ruthie and Jeannie for dinner and Dan for a walk in the park.
Now on with the story:
We entered the mouth of the Piscataqua River in the fog. Being from Florida we have not sailed much in fog at least not this thick.
The saying “thick as pea soup” is appropriate. We could not see 10′ in front of us, as we are trying to dodge lobster buoy’s which are everywhere. I stood on the bow of Dancer and directed Gary right or left to miss those little floating objects.
Kittery ME is on the north side of the Piscataqua River and Portsmouth NH is on the south side. This is the first port as you enter Maine. We originally were headed to York where there is another 470 owner. When checking for anchorages I found none in that area so we picked Kittery instead. As we entered, the fog lifted and we could see lighthouses on either side and forts to the left and right of us and one straight ahead. We anchored in front of Fort McClary and what a view this offered every morning and wonderful sunsets every night.
We met up with Pam and Dan Thursday night for dinner. They took us out for mussels, crab cakes and lobster. What a great time getting to know our new friends. They own Optimistic a 2003 Catalina 470 sailboat. They bought their boat 2 months before we bought ours. Though their boat is 3 years newer they are the same with a few exceptions. It is so cool to see other 470’s and what has been done to each to make it their own. Dan has added a remote to the auto pilot so he can change coarse from anywhere on the boat, Gary is so envious.
The next day Gary and I dinghied to Kittery and walked around the quaint town. Kittery is not very big and took about an hour. So we still had a full day to explore, we dinghied the 2 miles to Portsmouth NH. In the river there are several islands which can only be reached by boat or ferry. One of these islands is where the Naval Shipyard is and also houses the old prison. The prison is huge and abandon. It looks like a castle with barbwire fencing around it. Per Dan, they closed years ago. I would have loved to walk about that place. Gary and I found a spot to pull the dinghy up and walk to town. While in town I found a farmers market. Since we have started this adventure I have chosen to try new foods each night. So at that market I picked up Patty Pan squash, they look like UFO’s. We stayed in town about 2 hours then back to the boat.
When we arrived the fisherman were collecting their catch of the day. I flagged down the skipper and asked if they would sell a few lobsters. Skip replied sure, I asked how much, he said four fifty. I said what do you mean, he said $4.50 each. So I bought 2.
Now I have to keep these crustaceans alive till dinner, so I pulled out my 5 gallon wash bucket with the hole in the lid to house them for the next 6 hours. Floated them behind the boat on a line. It worked. Now we had lobster and UFS’s to cook for dinner. We boiled the lobster and grilled the squash.
We invited Pam and Dan for dinner on Friday so I had to get more lobster. I had not seen Skip Friday morning so I made Gary dinghy me over to another fisherman’s boat, he wanted $5.00 each, I bought 8. His were larger than the last ones, about 2 1/2 pounds. Now I have a problem, they won’t fit in my 5 gallon bucket. So I ran down below and retrieve the 2 milk crates we have on board. Gary and I zip tied these together to make our own lobster trap and float them behind the boat.
Pam and Dan arrived and the chatting began. I did stuffed mushrooms for an appetizer. Pam brought over a very large pot to boil the 4 lobsters, as mine would only do 2 at a time. I
made mashed potatoes with Parmesan cheese and acorn squash to accompany the lobster. After dinner we decided to re-christen the boat, since we were having such bad luck lately and the 470 group thought this was in order. They brought over a bottle of champagne just for this purpose. I pulled out the crystal wine glasses, pulled off the protective covers and the christening began. The next thing we knew it was 11:30 p.m.
Our new friends offered us a car to use for the week. What a treat. Gary and I are now mobile. So we are off the next day to find a few items we need. As I was getting into the dinghy I leaned over and in to the sea went my phone. So we add AT&T to our list. While out and about we came upon garage sales and of coarse I had to stop. Then I spied another farmers market, another new vegetable to try, a long skinny egg plant and zucchini.
Pam and Dan took us sailing on Saturday to Star Island. This island houses an old hotel and owned by the Star Island Corp. When we landed at the dock a young deckhand greets us (they are called Pelicans) and orients us to the island. Pam and I wandered, while the guys hung on the dock with Rio as he was not welcome. We move on to another island called Smuttynose where Rio could get off and do his thing.
Sunday we met up with Optimistic for steak dinner on their boat. With Monday being a work day for them, we made it an early night.
We are ready to move on but I have a problem, I still have 4 lobsters in my makeshift trap. So we Googled how to freeze lobster. Par boil them for 60 seconds, dip in ice water for 15 minutes, then freeze. So we have 2 more lobster dinners waiting for us in the next port.
We had a great time with our new friends and look forward to seeing them on the return trip. 10 great days in Kittery and we have our SSB back and installed again. Thanks to Dan and Pam for an address to receive mail. I made wine glass covers for Pam as she liked the ones I had on my crystal.
We departed Wednesday morning the 24th for Portland. It was extremely foggy that morning and we had to cross the river to the Yacht club to fill up with water. Gary was securing the anchor, when he yells “hard right”! A trap appeared out of no where and I had to avoid it. NOT – I caught it, luckily it didn’t get our prop. I watched it pull behind us for 10 seconds or so, then off it came. Whew!!! Sailed through fog for about an hour, then sunny skies for the rest of our trip to Portland.