Venturing out in November (Richmond Island, Maine)

We thought we might have seen the back of our sailing season, but we snuck another weekend in…
Portland Harbor on a November Day

Left our “summer slip” for the last time (we’re in our “winter slip” now, much closer to shore and a little more protected from big weather — shrinkwrapping is not far away!)
Brio's last day in her summer slip at DiMillos

More Leah artsy attempts

November sailing!

Not leaving until mid-afternoon meant I had all sorts of opportunities to take sunset pictures πŸ™‚ Winch and the sunset


Although we did manage to get the anchor down before the sun completely disappeared…


Giving us a chance to try out our Newport Dickinson for *real*… One fun side effect of running the heater is we can boil water on top of it — this is my first cup of “heater tea” for the night.


Tea aside, we got completely COOKED by the heater — 80*F in the cabin after 4 hours of continuous running — so turned it off and went to bed. Woke up freezing (as expected), and started her up again.

(By which I mean, I laid in bed under the covers while Jon started the heater and made the first few cups of coffee, stalling for the approximately 30 minutes that it takes to get the whole cabin warm again before I dared venture out from under the down duvet!!)

Brio at anchor at Richmond Island

Richmond Island is a beauty, connected to the mainland by a LOOOONG breakwater.Β  Richmond Island, Maine

We ventured ashore in the morning to explore a little, landing on the super nice sandy beach…

Landing - beautifulΒ Β Β Β Β Β  Richmond Island, Maine - Trail Leah and Jon on Richmond Island, MaineΒ  Richmond Island, Maine

Of course by the time we’d finished our explorations, the skies had darkened, the anchorage was a lee shore and we had 15-20 on the nose. “The Windex Points The Way” seems to always be true on the good ship Brio! Or maybe it’s operator-error…. πŸ™‚

Leaving- here come the headwinds

We had a bit of an “energetic” bash back to Portland, including a nice little hail storm to round out our weather conditions…

November sailing in Maine - hail

But at the end of the day, it’s the sunset sails and the morning explorations that you remember, not the hail and the headwinds… right?? πŸ™‚


I really want to talk about heat (in Portland, Maine)

I want to write pages and pages about our Newport Dickinson heater.

Dickinson Newport Diesel Heater - Heating a Sailboat in Maine Winter

We just installed a fuel-tank pickup and pump, so we can now run this beauty 24/7 without worrying about trying to refill a too-small tank (awkwardly mounted on the wall in the bathroom, cuz we never had a great home for it).

Portland Harbor, Maine

You can’t imagine how nice it is to be TOO WARM without being plugged into shore power. We are literally self-sufficient (until the diesel runs out, I guess πŸ˜‰ ) which is exactly the feeling that we’re going for in this whole “let’s be Maine liveaboards” thing πŸ™‚

Sailing in Casco Bay

But I’m not convinced that anyone is as interested in the temperature of our little home as I am, so I’ll stick to some pretty pics from the last few weeks instead…

We got super lucky with another beautiful day

We got super lucky with another beautiful day of sailing

Side note: I think living on a boat makes you HYPER attuned to weather. And maybe more likely to complain about it when it’s not exactly perfect. But also SO grateful when it magically is perfect – 10 knots of breeze, blue skies, and not so cold that we need toques just yet πŸ™‚

Coffee + Fruit Crumble = Heaven

Coffee, fruit buckle and sailing on a gorgeous sunny day!

Portland's skyline - this is an awesome place to daysail :)

Portland’s skyline – this is an awesome place to daysail πŸ™‚

I like sailing

I like sailing

We did have one day of gale-force winds. Brio does not usually tip over this much in her slip!

We did have one day of gale-force winds. Brio does not usually tip over this much in her slip!

Did I say that "ten-foot-itis" is a real thing? This is proof. But this was also a very good reminder for us of why we LOVE our current boat and need to continue appreciating what we've got rather than giving in to the consumeristic "bigger MUST be better" mentality

Did I say that “ten-foot-itis” is a real thing? This is proof. But boat-shopping is also a very good reminder for us of why we LOVE our current boat and need to continue appreciating what we’ve got rather than giving in to the consumeristic “bigger MUST be better” mentality. This is an easier-said-than-done, continuous-struggle that we are currently winning against but I imagine at some point may give in to πŸ™‚ In the meantime…. #withbrio

Maine beaches are quite pretty all year round

Maine beaches are quite pretty all year round

We did a pretty decent pumpkin job this year, if I do say so myself

We did a pretty decent pumpkin job this year, if I do say so myself

Don’t worry, I’m sure the next post will be all about how it’s snowing and #winterishere and why-oh-why did we ever leave the tropics…. but for now, life is good πŸ™‚


Sailing the Southern Coast of Maine (Portland, Muscongus Bay and the Damariscotta River)

It’s not for everyone. Some days it’s not even for me πŸ™‚ But when you get off the dock and out into the world, exploring and sailing and waking up every morning with “what should we do today?”… well, then the boat life is pretty damn awesome.


It was a joint birthday-sail and “belated summer cruise”, so we’d been looking forward to this for a LONG time…


The weather gods decided to celebrate my birthday with me πŸ™‚ We turned the corner out of Portland Harbor and into a beautiful broad-reaching breeze, sun shining, flying along at a solid 6-7 knots, tunes playing, foulies out, ocean to ourselves….


That feeling? The physical untying of lines and sailing off towards the horizon? It doesn’t get old.


It was chilly, but it was great.


Brio was pretty excited herself. 2016-09-25-16-57-24-1

Have I mentioned how much this boat likes to sail?

Every time we start to seriously think about buying a bigger boat (ten-foot-itis is a real thing people!) we’re reminded of just how good we have it.

Yes, she’s small, and yes, I’d love another cabin, and yes, we have Brio II dreams, but this boat? She’s strong, fast, pretty, and OURS. I don’t know exactly what the future will bring, but the present has this boat, in this place, in this life, and for that I am thankful.


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Since it was birthday girl’s pick, I chose the basin again. I love this place. 2016-09-26-10-40-33

Fall sailing in Maine is definitely not tropical… *cue the chimney*… but there’s something extra cozy about having an anchorage to yourself, flat calm beauty under a starry night sky, and being WARM. 2016-09-26-11-22-52

Muscongus Bay was a corner of the coast that we hadn’t explored, so the awesome Harbor Island was our destination.

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I’m always impressed at how much the coast can change just a few miles down… from rocky ledge to smooth rolling granite to sandy beaches, to everything in between.

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Jon picked me a pretty little bouquet for the bud vase. He’s a keeper πŸ™‚



Jon was convinced that “sea peas” were a thing…


I took this picture just in case it killed him. For identification purposes πŸ˜‰


Jon is an annoyingly excellent stone skipper.


Did I mention the weather was wonderfully cooperative? On the water we pretty much live and die by the weather, so blue skies and regular breezes are a serious dream.

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We put my birthday present to *very* good use… I can now highly recommend grilled apple, zucchini, red onion and cantaloupe πŸ™‚

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I failed selfie-school:

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Reading a book in the hammock while Jon fishes in the dinghy is my idea of a perfect afternoon…


*THIS* is why we do it. This is why we live in a tiny space, fight prop problems and forever maintenance and don’t ever want to live in a house. This is our little version of freedom, and it certainly feels like paradise to me…

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Oh, and on the boat upgrade list? We’re getting fancy around here πŸ™‚

We upgraded from having our “chartplotter” on our iPhones to having the app on an iPad. The addition of a fully adjustable iPad mount in the companionway means we’re pretty seriously electronically advanced now, AND we can navigate while still looking at where we’re going!


If you’ve ever wondered if there are a lot of lobster buoys in Maine…


I’m pretty much a fair-weather sailor who REALLY likes to go far away places. So when our forecast started including solid 20+ knot days, we opted to exploreΒ  Damariscotta rather than bash our way further downeast.

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A highlight for me was lunch at the King Eider pub — where the regular keep their mugs on hooks in the ceiling. I could take up serious beer-drinking just to get my hands on one of those mugs!!


The actual Damariscotta River was equally beautiful…

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Peep those leaves!

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It was a great week πŸ™‚

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