We arrived in Great South Bay SS3 Marina in Lindenhurst and Nick joined us for dinner!

Our son, Nick, pictured here with his new ride! Mazda Six with all the trimmings.
Here he is with his mother back at the boat!
Later, his girlfriend, Desire joined us at the boat!

It was a great night.

Saturday: Brunch at Toast!

Rafted up with ‘Adverb V’

Today in West Neck Harbor we were joined by one of our new close friends and followers, Harry Verby and his GF Jill. Aboard his express cruiser Adverb V out of Riverhead, they picked up long time friends and dock mates Tina & Steve Romano. So we rafted up in this popular weekend anchorage.

Shelly, Ray, Harry, Steve
Tina & Jill soaking it up on the bow of Advent V.
Just the boys!
Shelly and her pumpkin muffins.
Gr8 pic of our boat.

Here is a video (below) of Advent V crossing our stern in preparation to raft up!

Click to see video.

This is a very popular weekend anchorage…

An entrepreneurial captain, to be sure.
Nearby Sag Harbor attracts some big pleasure craft (PCs). See the one above… outside our little anchorage, the 288 foot yacht Fountainhead. It is owned by American billionaire Eddie Lampert (Sears, Kmart, etc.).
Tough ol’ life. (For big boats … and for small!)

One of my favorite blog posts was written here about 5 years ago… on a less busy day … right here in West Neck Harbor: Https://

Girls & Boys out on the town in Mystic…

Shelly & my cousin Joyce
The boys gettin’ their hair cut by Karen!
I could tell Bob has let Karen cut his hair a couple times before. I think Karen and Bob both use the same florist to adorn their places of business! Beautiful touch.
She exclaims, “Its my personal mission to keep the men in this town as good looking as I possibly can!“

Karen did great with these two guys today.

After our haircuts, Bob Helbig gave me a tour of ALL the boatyards in Mystic and Noank. “I gotta keep an eye on my competition.” Because of his new car, no one recognized us or who he was… so we got to go in everywhere! LOL.

We also got to meet Ron & Andrew (Bob’s sons) who are General Managers for these three boatyards. Nice wheels!

Where we stayed for 2 nights.
Shelly, Ray, Joyce Jauch, and Bob Helbig heading in for some dinner together.

Cuttyhunk Island MA

Lots of people insisted, “You gotta stop at Cuttyhunk Island!” “Cuttyhunk is my favorite place on the planet!”

We reserved a slip last night at Cuttyhunk Marina. We found fixed docks which Shelly was able to negotiate to get on and off the boat. We assumed (never ass-u-me) that we’d find at least one nice sit-down restaurant ashore, easy walk from the marina, NOT.

Our departure for Point Judith RI was on-time this a.m. but once we cleared this island there was a 4 foot swell hitting us nearly broadside. So we turned back and anchored in the outside harbor with several boats.

Nice sunny day on the hook. Some much-needed rain yesterday was gone.

This yawl passed close to our stern this eve so they could make it into this blog post before the sun set.
We are glad they did!

Marina Sandwich

Tied up on the Cape Cod Canal, this is our first time hooked up to shore power in 12 days. We’ve been on Richie’s mooring or on the hook since leaving DiMillos August 10!

The solar panels helped with that run! However, they are not very productive this afternoon, as we are getting some much needed rain, heavy at times. We’ve observed that they don’t work at night either, for some odd reason.

The stern of our dinghy gets lowered so it does not collect rainwater.
Video above: Cloud to ground lightning strike captured by our stern-facing CAM. (Sorry, no sound. We cover the mic and speaker holes to keep the water out.)

Shelly was in the small building just to the right of the launch ramp when this hit.

Have you ever heard of Brant Rock MA?

How about Green Harbor?

Neither had I!

But this small, busy port is famous this week for having the cheapest fuel on the coast of Massachusetts!

Taylor Marine’s diesel is cheapest on the dock in the Commonwealth today! $4.65 ain’t bad when other docks are up above $6.00/gallon

This is a sweet harbor and beach community that no one has ever heard about! They even have a Safe Harbor (brand) marina a bit further up into the harbor.

There was no room to anchor, and no transient mooring balls. So, after taking on fuel and ice, we headed to the Plymouth-Duxbury Bay area and anchored in behind Clarks Island.

We have not paid under $5 since back in April in NY. (Only paid over $6 once! And that was by mistake. We had pulled in and fueled up as this other marina’s advertised price per gallon was very low. However, the outfit did not include tax in their advertised price… something that everyone else does. Very Shady.

(Naming names: May 22, 2022 at Safe Harbor Onset Bay, south end of Cape Cod Canal). Advertising low fuel prices that do not include tax, (to make them look lower). The customer does not find out until AFTER the fuel has been delivered. Not cool people!

Marblehead Light…

My brother Steve and I remember climbing on the base/structures of this lighthouse when we were young kids. One rounds this light when coming into Beverly, Salem, or Marblehead Harbors from points south (Boston, Cape Cod, etc).

Steve asked for pics of this when were coming north last spring. But we were already past it. Fortunately, this morning’s sunrise cast some great light on this same place burnt into Steve’s and Ray’s psyches.

Marblehead Light. Sixth-Order Fresnel lens, fixed (not flashing) GREEN light at 130 feet AMHW. Visible for 7 nautical miles.

How this Lighthouse appears on traditional NOAA charts.
It is often said one can walk across Marblehead Harbor by jumping from boat to boat! See above right to understand why!

So long to all the family we got to spend time with in Salem and Beverly this past week+. Thanks to all, but especially to Rich, Donna, Pam, and Peter.

See you again soon!

A while later, we saw the Provincetown Ferry blasting by us at 28 knots!

New “suicide knob”

I ordered this new S/S knob for the steering wheel on the upper helm. They are not legal in cars for most states (thus their nickname), but they are perfectly safe and legal in boats.

(Slightly retouched photo)

I had to choose between one of my favorite manufacturer/vendors [Edson] for marine equipment, and an inexpensive alternative on Amazon. $150 vs $16… I went with the inexpensive alternative, and I love it. Smooth turning, no wobble or “play”, polished 316 S/S knob. Thanks to Donna for taking delivery of all our packages this week!!!

So much better than no-knob!

Someday, maybe I’ll have $150 I don’t need for fuel, and get the Edson. Maybe Edson will lower their price due to very respectable competition!

Dinner aboard with the Barrows Bunch!

We finally get Sue McKay and Peter Barrows out on Shellerina!
Chef Shelly, Marie Barrows, Sue McKay, Peter Barrows. Sue & Peter were not in Maine last month so we invited them out for Friday dinner. Marie & Bill became welcomed stow aways! Shelly prepared plenty of Chicken Parmesan; but everyone brought something to contribute. Needless to say, “Nobody left hungry!”
Just the girls!
Bill and Marie!
Bill & Ray… Sue is really good at finding unique composition shots. The new lead off pic on this blog post was also taken by Sue this eve:
It was nice to let others take all the pics for a change!
The sun didn’t stay up forever.
Here is a pic of Shellerina after dropping off our guests at Beverly’s nice public dock.

Productive work + projects day!

We had two good customer calls this morning, then I tackled 3 electrical projects that I’ve been equipped to complete, but have not been able to fit them in.

Power analyzer by Powerwerx installed today on our largest DC load: our fridgerator-freezer.

Over a relatively short period of time, this gadget will tell me exactly what the Amp-Hours consumption is for our biggest consuming DC appliance when on the hook. This will help finalize the battery storage requirements.

Also shown above is a separate volt meter to show me, at a glance, what the voltages are for the house and starting battery banks.

We have also been carrying this device around with us for MONTHS! Finally, it is deployed. It is a battery switch which is down in the engine room, but the remote switch is up here in the salon. Low current wires between the remote switch and the beefy relay battery switch down in the engine room is all it takes. There is zero consumption of energy with this device inserted in the circuits, other than the momentary switch action.

Solar Controllers are not like multi-bank chargers. They only charge ONE bank. So if you want to occasionally charge two banks a DC to DC charger is commonly used. But those are “one-way” devices. They assume one bank is ALWAYS going to be the one charging the other. Contraire mon Frere! There may be times I want the starter bank to get a boost from the house, and on cloudy days underway with the alternator running, we may want the house to get a boost from the starter bank! This switch enables me to control it either way.

These are great additions to our boat’s operation that I have wanted for a long time. Finally, these projects are DONE! And they enhance to current use of solar and planning our next steps with that system.

DiMillos Marina!

Long Wharf, Portland Maine
Floating restaurant can be seen on the right.
As seen from the restaurant. We have come here countless times over the years, always looking forward to one day coming by boat! Today is the day! On Shelly’s 60th birthday!!!
Shelly’s usual when we come here: cup of clam chowder + steamers

Generator rehab…

Rick, our mechanic, is here installing a “like new” heat exchanger and new impeller on our generator. The flow should be substantially increased once he is done. We had an anomaly with the thing shutting down after 30-60 minutes (4 times in the past month). There are no gauges or indicators to tell us why. So I’m hoping the apparent low flow of cooling water was the culprit, and this should fix that.

Rick is going to see if there is a way to hook up this generator “backwards” so that it produces diesel fuel from the excess solar power we have on sunny days. That would be sweet!

Our refrigerator-freezer is hooked up to solar power!

Photo by Sue McKay!

It is official now, one of our biggest goals has been accomplished. The large load of our refrigerator-freezer is now powered by the sun!

When out on the anchor for the day or for overnights, our batteries really take a beating from the fridge. This afternoon, we have totally isolated that load, as well as my work’s laptop and monitor, and all the Internet connectivity. That stuff is no longer on the boat’s main battery bank.

At some point, I’ll move the cabin lights off too.

The aft two panels are producing 4.7A at 35 vdc, the solar controller converts that to a voltage that the boat and battery can safely use (12.1A at 13.26 vdc).

Below you can see the battery is fully charged so only a small amount (0.76 Amps) is flowing into the battery. The rest of it is being consumed by the fridge, laptop, monitor, Internet routers, etc.

Key components of the solar project:

Qty 3 Solarland Monocrystaline Panels 300 watts, 19 volts, 13 amps, 61.8 x 27.8 x 1.4 inches (rigid panels), 25 year warrantee. $367 ea ($1.835 per watt)

Victron MTTP 150/35 Solar Controller max 150 volts input, max 35 Amps output. This is hooked up to two aft panels wired in series (36vdc/13A). $323.

Victron MTTP 100/20 Solar Controller max 100 volts in, max 20 Amps output. This is hooked up to the third panel up forward. $167.

All the wire, mounting hardware, taxes, and shipping added up to another grand. So, it was a $2500 project. The vendor, had the most helpful website, and knowledgable staff to assist in the system’s design.

The storage was already on the boat: one Interstate 8D flooded lead acid battery (2 years old). Estimated 300 AH (150 AH useable). With the ability to temporarily jumper it to a second bank when needed.

When the time comes, the 8D battery will be replaced with more capacity. Our current yacht insurance (Markel) is not “friendly” to Lithium batteries. So, my guess is QTY 4 Group 31 flooded lead acid will be what we go with. 6vdc golf cart batteries will also be explored. Our agency is exploring other carriers as well.