Family Magazine

A New England Summer Aboard

By Behan Gifford @sailingtotem

A New England summer aboard

DSC_9224

DSC_9688
Our summer in New England is half over: flying by! Dangerous, as we have a long list of projects and repairs to do on Totem…but before digging into them, we had a few people to visit, places to see, presentations to give.

FullSizeRender (2)

It was a great experience for all of us to share our stories at Falmouth Academy to a mix of people, instead of a more exclusively “cruiser/sailor” audience. The questions are great! It also afforded our kids an opportunity to get in front of a crowd, one of the ‘normal’ kid experiences ours don’t often have. But the pressure of getting up and speaking in front of a roomful of strangers is something just about everyone needs to learn, they’ve now had three chances to do that since we got back. Each time, it’s a little smoother – a little easier – a little less stressful.

For us, the loop around this corner of New England and our first busy weeks have been about much more than speaking opportunities. It was also a great way to meet up with old friends…those we’ve known from our pre-cruising lives, and those we only knew through email/blogs while we were away…like Rebecca from the catamaran Summertime Rolls, who set us up at the Nantucket Yacht Club.

DSC_9593

Backyard lounging at the Vaughans with Rebecca & Brian, and SV Calico Skies’ Grace and Bill

We’ve been lucky to see some of the best of the region, iconic names and places.

DSC_9579

Nantucket’s ridiculously picturesque lighthouse

cuttyhunk

Looking towards the mainland from the high point of Cuttyhunk

The Mata’irea family treated us to a spread from the Cuttyhunk Shellfish Farm’s Raw Bar service. Call them up on VHF 72 for boat-side delivery of the sweetest oysters!

DSC_9684

There were two different tours at various Woods Hole institutes–coordinated by our friends at Falmouth Academy. Inspiring for anyone, and pure gold for the ocean lovers on Totem.

DSC_9524

BIG resident stripers outside WHOI’s Marine Biological Laboratory

DSC_9522

This isn’t even biologist humor! Only at MBL.

DSC_9557

Totally lucked out: ALVIN was in residence, preparing to ship out. ALVIN!!

The spin up to Massachusetts gave us another chances to be in range of my brother and his family for an additional round of “cousin camp.” Another is already planned!

DSC_8993

Last night, we picked up a mooring near Noank again. We’ll be here, in/around the Mystic river, for another month—hunkered down to projects done now.  Watching the Poet’s Lounge sailing charter go out for sunset cruises in the evening, while we welcome our own from Totem’s cockpit.

poets lounge

DSC_9811

And at the core of it all, time with family and friends. Jamie is originally from Mystic; much of his family is sprinkled between southeastern Connecticut and Rhode Island. I’m so glad Niall can get schooled on how to shuck oysters and clams from his great uncle Lance – I don’t think it’s something he’ll ever forget.

DSC_9766

Family time. #1 reason we’re here.

DSC_9770

Jamie’s aunt and uncle are here from South Africa, and we’ve been out on Totem with cousins who flew in from California.

DSC_9880

Jamie’s cousin Hillary (who I swear could be MY cousin) and her son Noah

And there’s something great about circles coming around, being out with the adult kids of dear friends… who are now some years older than Jamie was when he met their parents. 

DSC_9797

It will be nice to slow down for a few weeks, where morning walks with Jamie’s sister and her dogs are one of the few things scheduled.

DSC_9855-2

lets meet
In a couple of weeks, we’ll host an open boat party on Totem in the Mystic area. I don’t expect to post the location here, so if you’d like to join us (August 13, anytime between 3pm and sunset), get in touch! Low key hanging out, trading stories, enjoying a sunny summer afternoon.

Maintenance and repairs will keep us busy enough otherwise: we’re dogged by charging problems that started in the Caribbean and have only gotten worse. The broken stanchion is still broken. The “clears” on our dodger…aren’t. And then there’s the matter of kayak replacements. I need to replace all my Nikon gear, two bodies and three lenses, because it has a fungus that has twice defeated a professional servicing. ouch.

Come September we’ll begin our southbound journey, by way of many stops along the US east coast. Maybe by then we’ll have a better idea of our route for wintertime and beyond. At this point, it is still best summed up as “Cuba sounds great!”

DSC_9800


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :