April 14, 2007 and 2019

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On April 14, 2007, Elizabeth and Norm went to Housatonic YC in Stratford, CT and met Averisera in the water for the first time. Moved aboard and sailed away the next day. It was a wild ride and the storm came to be known regionally as the Tax Day Storm.

Today, Averisera sits quietly on her hard-stands in the Queen Anne Yard awaiting the water.... and some varnish, polish, paint, love.  Be still my beating heart!

Road Trip!

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Last couple of weeks we've been to Marblehead, Pelham, Annapolis, Apex and back to Marblehead. All good!  Nice to visit with E's brother Rick, his wife, Darien, mom, Marilyn. 

Marblehead, drop off sextant for repair.
Pelham, visit with family.
Annapolis, visit Chesapeake Light Craft and lose Norm's credit card.
Apex, visit with Norm's sister and her family and friends.
Marblehead, pick up repaired sextant.

CLC Boats in Annapolis. Super tour of the place and we may have picked out our next project, a Jimmie Skiff II

Patience got an enormous SUV with more screens than we own. 

A beautiful view. The barn was designed by our dad.

Trent and Eileen's house next door to sister Patience's home.

Patience and Elizabeth rowed into the pond to investigate some strange doings. It was amusing. Trent and Norm had a cigar on Trent's porch and watched.

My sextant, originally bought by Grandfather Captain White, used by dad Pete Martin and then by me. Now lovingly restored by Ridge White of Robert E White Nautical INstruments in Marblehead.

Cats vs Monos, observations.

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Norm here.  I had some time in the BVI a few weeks ago to binge watch YouTube on cruiser/voyager topics. I focused on the discussions between the catamaran proponents and monohull advocates. 

Just for the record, Norm is a mono guy and, even worse, a skinny mono guy! A very good sailing channel on YouTube is Patrick Childress Sailing aboard his Valiant 40 sloop, Brickhouse. Lots of useful content about voyaging any type of vessel. His happens to be a monohull.

A channel on YouTube, Sailing Zatara is worth viewing. A family buys a monohull for an around the world voyage and halfway along switches to a multihull. You must watch the channel to get the whole story. Basically, they needed more room and a more stable platform. Their story is worth the time it takes to view.

I recently sailed a new Lagoon 450. Some pictures and comments follow.

Wide tacking angles! maybe 150 degrees? We tacked up the Sir Francis Drake Channel from Norman Island, upwind and upcurrent. It was a pleasant sail with little forward progress after 5 hours so we switched into the Yanmar gear and motored to North Sound. The sailing of the cat was fun and fast. Most cats are observed sailing for a few hours and then motoring in to harbors.

The boat is 45 feet long and 24 feet wide, draft is under 4 feet. The yacht is comfortable for living aboard, entertaining, lounging, and taking in the Caribbean scene.

One corner of the main salon. The galley area is aft, behind the picture and runs the full width of the salon along the back wall, so to speak. Opposite the dining table is an office table/navigation station. The bridge has a full suite of navigation screens and electric winches.

Cats are spacious. The little bedroom (shown) has a dressing area, ensuite toilet and stall shower, hanging lockers and many electrical outlets for 12v DC and 120v AC along with nice lighting.  The salon was gracious. 

In almost every anchorage the ratio of cats to monos is 2 to 1. That is Anegada Harbor off the Potters Dock.

So... what is the story with monohulls? Well, they sail upwind better. They heel. For a given length, they are pretty small. The Beneteau 44 we use, No Regrets, is a very nice boat and about half the size of a 44 or 45 ft cat. It, too has three cabins and three heads. everything is just smaller.  Some pictures of the boat.

Standing in the same place looking forward and looking aft. Nice boat, fun to sail on the ocean.

What does Norm like? (I knew you'd ask.)

The one on the left is our baby. The jib of a leeward boat is visible and looks like a staysail on Averisera. It is not! Thanks, Spike, for the picture.

Three weeks in the BVI for Norm

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February, Norm went to the BVI to do some work for Rob and Gina of Swain Sailing. It was an interesting trip.  I got seated in a middle seat on both long legs, out and back. Book earlier next time? E and I drove to Providence, stayed overnight at a hotel and I left the next morning at 0400... with Elizabeth's car keys in my jacket pocket. Darn. Big razzle dazzle to get the spare set to E at our hotel. Thanks Jeanne and John for your help. An inauspicious start. Words and pictures follow.

I worked for three weeks. The first week, Norman and Evan (Rob and Gina's son) worked on the company's Beneteau 235 sometimes referred to as Tiny Girl or Baby Girl or the little boat. In any event, we cleaned off the falling vinyl liner, painted those now bare surfaces, and generally dolled up the boat. The end result was super. The work is similar to some work Norm and Elizabeth had done on their own boat, Averisera, some years ago. The next week Norm sailed a Lagoon 450 on charter. Norm does not like charter cats so we'll leave it at that for the moment. The final week was a quiet one as Norm and Evan did some boat work while Evan's dad, Rob, took a charter on their Beneteau 43, No Regrets.  Norm flew home, middle seat to Philadelphia. The onward leg was cancelled due to weather in Providence so Norm spent 18 hours at PHL before getting a ride home on Amtrak. Again, thanks to friend John for his driving Norm from Providence trains to meet E at the Sagamore Bridge. The next night, we treated John to hospitality at our home. Thanks, John.

Some pictures and comments in the rough order of arrival to departure.

I like this view from the balcony of the Petite Pump Room Bar near the ferry at St Thomas. In the far distance is Yacht Haven, now greatly restored. In Norm's youth, the 1970-72 era, it was a wild place for yachts and yachties. Now very elegant.

Over in Road Harbor, Tortola, the Mass Maritime Academy ship was in port. Here she is turning around to depart. Our neighbor in Harwich has a kid aboard as a midshipman. The vessel used to be a Lykes Lines ship which Norm put cargo aboard back in the 1980s. 

Below are some pictrues of the restoration work done to the Beneteau 235. The yacht went from ugly to pretty in a week. Just before Norm departed the BVI, the new mainsail arrived from Doyle Sails and we fitted it. It is a good sail, so our thanks to Bob at Doyle BVI.


Amazing what can come out of the cockpit locker!

The new main, fitted for a teaching boat.

A few pictures of the Lagoon 450 catamaran
In closing, the yacht is a small one, in Anegada with a couple aboard. The yacht is a bit longer than Averisera and set up in a sea going manner. She definitely sailed here on her own bottom, as it is said. An opportunity to visit did not present itself.

OK, not quit the end.  The trip home was bizarre as the Philadelphia to Providence leg was cancelled due to weather. Norm spent 18 hours in PHL before finally getting aboard an Amtrak train to Providence. The airport life is amusing, after a fashion. The best thing is a place called Minute Suites. I rented a little room for 8 hours at about $20/hr and slept like a baby.  
More to follow.

New Boat?

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Allied, Tartan, Cal...?
The Plan, in brief, is to find a boat with headroom and living quarters that sails fairly well, is shallow draft (under 5 feet) and can be enjoyed by our extended family of children and grandchildren who sail. Other considerations are length and price. We have a mooring that will accomodate a 37 footer at most and we need the boat to be inexpensive. Norm wants to keep Averisera and has a plan for that which is a big secret. The new boat would occupy Averisera's mooring in Stage Harbor.

Jan 14: Mama and I went to look at two Allied Seabreeze 35s. One is in Yarmouth Port, near us, and the other is in Rockland, Maine, about 5 hours away. We had a look at the nearby boat which is yawl rigged. The drive to Maine was a nice three day diversion from Cape life. The Maine boat is a sloop. Both boats looked solid and unloved. Lots of renovation time and money required.

Above: Allied Seabreeze 35 view from astern showing her full bodied hull and 4 feet draft.

Below: By comparison, our Aphrodite 101, deep and narrow.

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Squat versus svelte.  Deep keel and slack bilges, be still my beating heart.

Fact is that we love Averisera but she is too deep draft for the Cape area and too small below for cruising with family. We love svelte but may have settle for not-svelte. Looking at the choices.

So... a couple days later. Norm went over to Marion MA to meet with John from Lawson Yachts and they looked at a 1969 Tartan/Blackwatch 37, hull 22, designed by Ted Hood. A day later, Norm and Elizabeth met John at the Hood for a first look for Elizabeth and a second for Norm. The boat is not tired or unloved. It is absolutely stunning. Move aboard and sail away. No renovation money required beyond normal spring commissioning.

Some pictures in no particular order.

Very refined shape for a full keel hull.

Some old guy tried to sit in Elizabeth's preferred seat. Visualize knitting and a cuppa.

The next day, Elizabeth, no knitting and no cuppa. Too tight.

Transom berth in the pulled out position. we removed a drawer and looked behind the seat back to find the entire upper berth is removable by undoing a couple of bolts at each end. This means the upper can be either made narrower or deleted so the lower settee can be widened.

Same old guy slouching on extended transom berth.

Beautiful joinery

Instruments backs are behind a nice bit of cabinetry. Replace the mirrors, of course.

Old fashioned electrical panel. Behind is the wet locker with room for four sets of gear and boots! How about that? 

A hand hold runs the full length of the cabin at a convenient level. It also serves to redirect any drips from the ports away from the berths. Very seaman-like feature.

No rock dings!

Owned by the same family since new. Indoor storage for many years.


So kids: If you love Averisera so much how about her near sister the Bianca 111? (PHRF 93!!)


Jan 23, Norm went to Mattapoisett to check out a Cal 34 built in 1977. It is right with regards to length for our mooring, size of sails/rigging, and draft of 5 feet. Nice boat, very simple. The price is right but... don't you hate the "but" statement?  But... the gelcoat is in poor condition. Interestingly, the stanchion bases show no crazing and below there is only one place showing weeping. The boat seems really solid and may be worthy of a full refit.

20190123_122421.jpgTypical Cal-design, flat bottom, 1960s era longish fin keel and spade rudder. Shows hull form for a lot of room below decks. 

This is the pose: can Elizabeth sit comfortably on the settee and knit? This one is pretty comfy with sloped backs and wide seat.
The all important had rails below. Not too high. These are reachable.

Settee backs lift to provide generous berth width or stowage. The nav table has drawers under and lifting top. The quarter berth is generous and has an outboard bin for personal gear. Nicely thought out family boat.

New Garden Shed at 288

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Pine Harbor Sheds made us a garden shed and here it is!


All we have to do is paint the doors and trim. the doors we can bring inside the house. The trim will wait for spring.

First snow of the season.

Boats and Farms

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A thirty five foot sloop is being restored in Chatham. The shed is a work of art and will be shrink wrapped soon. The yacht is a Sparkman and Stephens design built by the Knutson Marine Boat Yard on Long Island. The yacht is similar in design to the Hinckley Pilot.

There it is a couple weeks later, all covered and snug.  Averisera would look good in such a shed!

Cape life revolves around boats and farms. In the old days, as Norm heard it from his grandparents, it was a bit less touristy and more small family operations just a bit more than subsistence work. Norm's family was in the tourist business as summer camp operators. As a kid in the 50s and 60s, he saw a lot of boat yards that built boats and farms that grew food. Now boat yards repair or restore boats and farming is more landscaping and gardening.

While on a walk out by the Penniman House in Eastham, we saw a scene from the old Cape.

There are a lot of garden centers and landscaping firms on the Cape and still a few working farms. A couple of working farms from Norm's childhood, Lake Farm and Mayo's Duck Farm, are now subdivided into homes as are many of the old hay fields. The commercial fishing business is still strong and supported by boat yards. Not many boats are built out here any longer. many work boats and yachts are restored.

December, Chatham, Harwich, Brewster

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This would be a good time for a Christmas Letter. But... we'll put up some pictures of the Cape at this time of year. In the run-up to the holiday, things are pretty quiet and there is no snow. For the story of 2018, scroll and scroll.

This the view from the scenic overlook on Route 28 overlooking Wychmere Harbor. No snow!

Sesuit Harbor images. Norm is looking at boats. Elizabeth is looking for winter ducks. The view off to the East along the North side of the Cape is desolate. Probably not much changed over the centuries.


Yesterday, 20 Dec, was a stunning day and I got over to see the boat and snap this picture of her all shrinkwrapped. A day later we are looking at rain. Tomorrow, it may be sunny. New England weather.


A couple pictures from a quick look at the Atlantic mid-December. It was so peaceful. From the bluff at Chatham Light we could not even hear the surf offshore. The entrances are shifting a lot. The North Cut was created in 1978 and is enlarging. The old entrance off the lighthouse is shoaling and moving South. Sand everywhere.

Days like this make us want to launch one of our rowing boats and head out for a look around.

Chatham Fish Pier looking North

Chatham Fish Pier looking South

Low tide at Outermost Harbor Marina. Last year the channel was visible at low water all the way out to Fool's Cut (created on April 1st). Filling in a bit.

tags: Chatham 12-15-18

Winter Season... again

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Back on her jackstands awaiting Spring.

Another Sailboat Ride

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Norm made another delivery from Newport RI to Tortola, BVI this Fall. This time aboard a Beneteau 43. The trip was uneventful in most ways. The wind was not too strong and only from the wrong direction for a few days. The crew were darn nice guys. 

It would have been much wetter aboard Averisera and the actual sailing would have been way more fun. However, Averisera was not going South and the Beneteau was! So... we sailed the big boat.

Some pictures and a few words about each: 2018 delivery

I was able to sail the boat for a few days before the delivery and the pictures are from a quiet anchorage in Sakonnet River. The pre-deliver experience was helpful at learning the boat.

The Beneteau specs are here:  https://sailboatdata.com/sailboat/beneteau-43

Alongside us were two boats well suited for ocean voyaging, a Swan 48 and another similar size boat of a type I do not know. The Beneteau is a lot wider and I think not as speedy.

Departure day, October 29 at about 4PM. Newport astern and Pt Judith and the Atlantic ahead. We arrived in St George's Bermuda on Saturday the 3rd. Out on the 4th by noon.

A small double ended dinghy, similar to our skerry, sails in St Georges Harbour. It had me thinking about our grands and the boat we built for them. An early morning picture of the Beneteau at rest in the transient docks. By the way, customs and immigration in Bermuda are first class. 

We did our laundry, had dinner at the White Horse Tavern and left the next day for the fuel dock and departed Bermuda.  Years ago, 1971, Norm was in St Georges for a six week refit of the boat on which he worked. The Tavern was frequented.  Fun to be back after so many years. Yes, it is completely different. 

Crew Leandroe. Nicknamed "Autopilot."

Crew Don. An accomplished seaman and navigator.

Crew, Evan... fussing with a recalcitrant circuit.

Aside from some lumpy seas the first few days, things were pretty quiet offshore.

And then we got to our berth at Village Cay Marina in Road Town, BVI. One tavern to another.

Awoke and had a look around. This is an unusual sight to see at the marina docks. Someone planned an early departure or sail-check or something. An odd sight, none the less.

OK.... we tried out the new Willie T now in Great Bay, Peter Island.

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