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.

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!

3:30pm ET – our refrigerator-freezer is hooked up to solar power!

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.

Solar has arrived!

One of three 200W solar panels ready to be installed on Shellerina.
The two others.
Two controllers. One for the bow unit, one for the two going on the stern.
This is what the one up forward will look like. Despite appearances, it misses the hatches. It’ll have its own MPPT controller.
This one aft will have a second one just like it along side and just aft of it. Antennas will have to move. People 6 feet tall will have to duck coming up the stairs.
These two will be wired in series, and share their controller. The radar mast can still be lowered and it’ll miss the panels.
Shelly shows off the final configuration.

We still can lower the radar mast if necessary, and we have not lost our sun deck space!
A teak frame built above the starboard railings are what we attached the PV panels to. is the manufacturer of these nice cast and polished stainless steel railing clamps. Rockland Maine.

All the final mountings of the two aft panels have been completed with the help of our dear friend Linda Klein. We forgot to take pics with her. So we hope to make up for that tomorrow.

No loss of use of the sun deck. We still can lower the Radar mast

Brackets for the forward panel were cemented to the deck this morning. After 24 hours the 3M 5200 quick cure should allow me to attach that panel to the deck/brackets. Wire was “fished” for aft and forward panels, again, with Linda’s help. With luck the solar controllers will be mounted and wired up in the a.m.

Up forward too.
A bit more mounting hardware was added for longevity, as shown below.
Good friend, Linda Klein came to assist with the installation. Thank you Linda!
We also got a chance to jump into warm 77F ocean water here in Maine, and have some of the local fare. ($4.99 / pound!!!). Uncommon numbers in both cases.
$4.99 # Lobsta!

Addendum Tuesday Aug 2:

After work, I finished hooking up all the wiring in the engine room then connected things up at the aft panels. The aft two panels started producing right away, even at 5:30pm.

Two aft panels are now feeding the system! 75-130W even late in the day!

It was too dark by the time I finished the forward panel. We’ll see what time it kicks in in the a.m. Very exciting. This should make anchoring out easier and more economical.

There is still “clean up” and “finishing touches” on some of the wiring to give everything a professionally done appearance. But functionally it is all working and so far, everything tests out great.

Tomorrow, I can’t wait to move the 12vdc fridge circuit over to the Port Bank… the one which these solar panels charge.

Pumpkin Muffins!

Shell succumbs to one of her favorite high calorie foods… burnt into our boat’s culture.

Shelly aboard Pumpkin Muffin.

To be clear, we also have healthy foods aboard:

We even have an herb garden!

Nonetheless, we are both looking forward to breakfast tomorrow!!!


Barrows Boothbay Bash (cont.)

Another day begins with the Barrows at the head of Linekin Bay. Video above of the sun rising.

Grammy Barrows (aka Aunty Peggy) (88) comes down the gangway to join in the fun!

Aunty Peggy with the rest of the girls on the dock!

After boarding Shellerina, Peggy signs into the log book with everyone else!

Later in the day, Shelly was zipping around in her skiff, the “Pumkin Muffin”
Colin taking it all in!

Click for video below:

Later, Colin, his Mom and sister hang out on the bow for a tour of Boothbay Harbor, a small, little known anchorage just west of Linekin Bay.
We all took a sunset cruise on Saturday night too! Bill, his wife, Marie, and Shelly.
Maisey & Shelly on the sun deck.
It is hard to wear out these Barrows’es. Last night they continued their traditional “Burmuda Triangle” … a tour of their 3 favorite establishments in that tiny Boothbay Harbor anchorage.

Thanks to Julie for all these extra pics!!!

Cousins Reunion at the head of Linekin Bay!

Bobby, Shelly, Colin, Jenna, Maisey, Ryan, Heather, Ray, James, Jess, Billy, Janelle, Johnny, Marie.

Not shown are photographers Grammy Peg and Julie! Thanks you guys.

Maisey and Colin with Dad, Bobby.
Maisey at the helm of Shellerina
Clearly a young lady who means business if entrusted with the controls!
Colin stands his watch at the helm too, as Capt Ray needed an extended break this afternoon.
Jenna and Heather hang onto their younger cousins as fierce waves were breaking over the bow.
Ryan and Janelle were hanging out up on the sun deck!

A fantastic venue at 87 Murray Hill Road in East Boothbay, Maine. Head of Linekin Bay.
James, Julie, Shelly, Bobby coming up from the boat.
Grammy, Jess, Colin at the park.
The Aylwards: James & Julie!

Day ends with a camp fire and a moon rise.

Heather, James, Julie, Jenna, and Jess!

Cuckolds Light & Fog Station

One of Ray’s favorite light houses, Cuckolds is on the southern most tip of the Boothbay peninsula in Newagen / Southport Island Maine. 2 white flashes every 6 seconds.

Cuckolds Light- Remarkably close to sea level.
Click for video of Cuckolds above.
Soon after we left Cuckolds, we saw the Isaac Evans, skippered by friend Captain Josh Jacques exiting Linekin Bay where we were headed.
They had an impressive full boat on this Friday morning.
This shows the relative position of Cuckolds to our destination for the day. The entrance to Boothbay Harbor is right in between the two.

Andersons board Shellerina today!

Ray, Ernie, Tammy, Shelly, and Britta with M/V Shellerina in the background today.
At anchor: The Andersons of Harrison, Maine on the fly bridge.
A mini tour of Harpswell by water today. Breezy conditions kept us constrained a bit. But it was a beautiful day on the water today.
Britta & Shell.
Shell & Tam!
Ernie & Tammy.

New H.Q. for the next month or so…

We landed on the morning of July 4 here at Safe Harbor Great Island Marina in Harpswell Maine.

Click on video above.
Great Is is also known as Sebascodegan Is. (Pronounced: sebASco-DEEgan according to the locals.)

Orrs Cove – my guess is a sunrise time of day looking SSE. (Pre-2022, before construction of the TravelLift began this spring).
Slip D3 is ours till August 9. (We will be taking some trips from here too.)
This is Martha Simpson with me on Christmas Day in 2016. She and her husband Gary had Shelly, Nick, and I over their house for Chriistmas Diner, on Long Island NY. Today, they had Shelly and I over for July 4th Dinner at their retirement home very close to us here on Sebascodegan Island. Needless to say, we know how to pick our ports! This morning Gary shuttled me over to Wiscasset to pick up our Prius.
These two are the most generous hearts, and we promise you all more pics and stories in the weeks ahead as they come out on Casco Bay with us!
If you are STILL trying to figure out where we are, here are the coordinates! Sequin Light and Cape Small to lower right. Merrymeeting Bay (where the Androscoggin River meets the Kennebec River to the upper right, and most all the other islands of Casco Bay are on the lower left!
Brunswick-Topsham are immediately north of us, Bath just NE of us.

Possible swim when we get to The Basin !?!?

If the sea water gets up to 70F, I’ll be going swimming! My instruments are giving me conflicting readings.

Confuscious say: Man with two watches never knows what time it is!

Well, I jumped in twice! Didn’t stay in for long though. Let’s call it 66F, (averaging the two instruments) 4 degrees below my normal limit. Now hangin’ … up on Shelly’s sun deck listening to tunes and soaking up the sun. She’s a great DJ!
The Basin
This famous “hurricane hole” place is much larger than I expected.
Click to see video above.
The highlighted “blue dot” shows where we dropped the hook for the day and tonight.

This fine and popular anchor spot is just a bit less than 6.5 nautical miles north of Cape Small, the eastern most point in Casco Bay. You’ll pass Sebasco Estates on the way in.

Sequin Island Light is to the lower right of this pic; the mighty Kennebec River goes north just above it. One can get all the way to Augusta on that river, passing Bath Iron Works halfway.

Our stats from Wiscasset to The Basin today. (Report automatically created by Nebo).

Dinner out!

Water Street, Wiscasset
Our view 1: Shellerina … Right across the tracks!
Our view 2: The only span that crosses the Sheepscot!
Good French vino!
We liked the decor. Timeless! (large clock parts)

Their answer to Maryland Crab Cakes: Maine Land-locked “Haddock Cakes!” We loved!
Antique drill press.
Another elegant antique drill press…


Our view 3: The walkway back to the boat! Appetizer choice + wine and decor were great. The rest was fair at best.

We had visitors today!

My brother Steve was up early to come visit us here in Wiscasset. Then my Dad, Albert Sirois came as well. Nice visits! Thanks guys.

“Dad” & “Shelly”
We also had a visit from a freight train! It was a lot noisier than our other two guests. I’d like to have its loud horns here on the boat!


Back in Boothbay Harbor today…

We are fortunate to have front row seats to the festivities afloat tomorrow!

Our mooring ball for a couple days! It does not get better than this.

Shelly and Ray hanging out after work today on their sun deck.
Nearby moorings disabled by the Harbormaster to ensure room for the Windjammers tomorrow.


ATONs (USVG aids to navigation) coming into BBHbr.

Burnt Is Light is a single red flash every 6 seconds… unless you are properly in one of the the two major approaches, (from Cuckolds or Ram Island), in which case you’ll see this lighthouse’s light as bright white!

As it appears on the chart.

At night, buoy G9 shows a green light flashing every 4 seconds.

The ATON lights are all configured differently so you know which one you are looking at in the dark! I did a lot of night boating around here in my youth. Great fun.

Above, G9 as it appears on the chart.

There is one more important ATON in between these two that does not appear in the photo: R8 off the west side Tumbler Island. You gotta go around that too.

There are a bunch of “No Wake” buoys out here as well.
Above: Well, this pic shows that it’s now tomorrow! The Windjammers have arrived safely having followed all my instructions.
Above, Boothbay Harbor public landing. Site of Shelly and my first kiss and a few years later where she said, “Yes!” (There were fewer people on the dock for both of those memorable events, as I recall.)

Below a video of Peter, our dockmaster of the Tugboat Inn. We have Peter to thank for these front row seats today at one of his “TBI” marked moorings!

Video below too
Great revolutionary era music was played aboard this excursion boat today.
Above: in a crowded harbor this Windjammer captain confidently steers with his feet ultimately to make a dock landing at the public float.
One of my favorite shanties anywhere in the world. Chip Griffin and family. Sometimes the big mansions are not as impressive to me. My classmates enjoyed hanging in this place as seniors in high school. Classmate, Chesca is Chip’s sister. (I think!).


Above, David Jacques, Capt Josh Jacques’s dad with Shelly on the sunset deck. Thanks for your visit Dave!
It wouldn’t be Windjammer Days without fireworks.

Live Blues @ Coveside !

Great “Blues” sound filled Christmas Cove all afternoon today, from Coveside Restaurant. It was a hopping place of business by land and by sea.
Kim and my brother Russ joined us by boat for the most aesthetic afternoon. Shelly had enough viddles to take care of us all.
Russ and Adam’s latest addition to the collection. Seems like a solid buy.

Christmas Cove…

Some unique architecture in this port… This home’s color works well with the natural surroundings to enable this cove live up to its name.


An enduring work of art, really.

Another example of people who care.
West side too!
The boats in here are nice too!

A camera can’t capture the soul of a port like this one.

Fogged in Monday eve…

Then sunrise Tuesday morn…

The fog lifts, and the clouds begin to break for a new and beautiful day!

Tugboat Inn & the schooner Isaac Evans

Kay Brown performing at the Tug Boat Inn, the rigging of the schooner Isaac Evans can be seen in the background.

In the pilot house, the view to starboard, Commercial Street of Boothbay Harbor from
the helm of the Tugboat Inn!

Ray has not been up here since high school!
Looking aft:
Electrical panel and a view back downstairs to the dining rooms.
The view to port includes the upstairs outdoor dining deck.

Right next door:

Shelly aboard the schooner Isaac Evans.

Capt Josh Jacques owner/operator briefing the passengers. Shelly and I have known Josh and his parents since he was about 40” tall. Now he’s in charge of the largest windjammer homed here in Boothbay Harbor.

We are now back at the Tugboat to experience Kay Brown’s entertainment in about a half hour. She and I used to work the crowd at the “Tin Inn” across the harbor in the mid 1980’s. I was the bartender, she was the entertainer! Kay’s daughter, Bonnie, is the GM here at the Tugboat; Bonnie and Ray were classmates at Boothbay Region High School just a few years ago.

Nice license plate holders!
Bonnie and mom, Kay Brown. Tugboat Inn.
DJ Kelly, Kay Brown, and Megan Kelly.

DJ and Megan are grandchildren of Kay.

Their mom, the late Liz Brown (Kay’s younger daughter) (as a 9 ?!?! Year old) swept this whole town off its feet some 45 years ago with her singing and dance number “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy” to win the Miss Shrimp Pageant, Windjammer Days mid 1970’s. ((As personally witnessed and recalled by blog author, Ray Sirois.))

Back to the present:

Chris Kenniston plays her well-tuned bass “gut bucket” to accompany Kay on the piano this evening as she has clearly done many times before.
Chris and Kay… half decent view too.
Gerry Gammage of Southport Island,
Diane Vernesoni of Topsham, Kay Boothbay of Brown Harbor, and Chris Kenniston of Boothbay Harbor, Maine.

Kay is not afraid to share her stage with some of her talented friends, so long as they make it through her rigorous audition process.

Kay Brown live at the Tugboat Inn, Boothbay Harbor, Maine
Far right, matriarch Laura Arsenault of the Arsenault Family led the whole tavern with (her favorites) … songs which Kay figured out as they went along.
Laura dancing!

Ray remembers playing ice hockey with Laura’s offspring up in Augusta some 40+ years ago.

Those Arsenault boys would be proud of their “Ma” tonight, fer sure! Maybe even proud of their older brother, Billy shown below.

Hiedi Dunn of Gray, Billy Arsenault representing Laura’s Arsenault offspring, and Gerry Gammage from Southport Island (of course) accompany Kay Brown here at the Tug Boat Inn, west side of Boothbay Harbor, Maine.

FYI: Billy Arsenault claims that he taught his younger brothers Gary and Ron how to play ice hockey. (This detail was unable to be independently verified at press time.)

Below, Ramona Gaudet, of Southport Island harmonizes with Kay Brown with one of Kay’s performances tonight. Ramona worked at the Southport Elementary School for 5 or 6 decades. That small school house is reportedly STILL in operation today for K-6. Back in my day (1970’s) the students from that small Southport elementary school always stuck up for each other once they made it to Boothbay Region High School. They were like family for each other. “Don’t mess with a Southport student if there was another Southporter around.”

Chris and Don Kenniston round up my final pics for the night. Don’s mom was the well respected (and well loved) Betsy Kenniston, a realtor for decades in this region. His dad is reportedly the craftsman who made the “half hull” shown on the wall here. No additional details are known yet. But: Stay tuned!
Kay Brown performing at the Tug Boat Inn
Our next door neighbor, Ellen, chats with Tugboat Inn dockmaster Pete, as we begin preparations to push off this morning.

Naples Maine Music Fest 2022!

With lifelong friends: Tammy, Britta, Jake, Shelly, Ray, Ernie

Packman Dave on guitar till 8:00

Freedom Cafe, Naples Maine


Robin + son, Jake!
Packman Dave is back!


I cannot tell you how much deep personal history we’ve experienced at this venue in past years.


Ray with retiring owner of this establishment, Darryl Murray. Darryl’s right hand, Dana Barrows, takes the reigns this season as GM. Darryl let us tie up to his docks here at Freedom Cafe many times over the years, as many life decisions were made to move on to other (bigger) waters.

Darryl has purposefully built-in a culture among his staff that I will elaborate upon later. Stay tuned.

See you at Windjammers Days in a couple weeks, Darryl!

Next door:

Brother Fleckers (former Sandy’s Flight Deck)

Tammy, daughter Britta, Shelly
Jordon Kaulback plays for us… they have ample parking for boats, planes, and cars here! Naples (Maine) Causeway.
Father and Son-in-Law seem to be getting along!
At least Ernie is in-focus!


This sign used to be on the dock dedicated to seaplanes.
Owner, Susan Fleck, daughter of James Build, shows off some of the historical memorabilia that she hung in Brother Flecker’s on the Causeway.

Wiscasset Harbor this hour

This is a pic of what we see from the town dock in Wiscasset this hour. What do you see?

I’ll tell you what I see….

1. The nearly full moon is reflecting upon the ocean water. Isn’t that nice! ((Both my writing teachers and those of my son, Nick, instructed us to NEVER use the adjective “nice” as good writing should be more specific and descriptive. Tonight, I take license to use the prohibited word because there are things about this pic which are MUCH more interesting than the “nice” moonlight!

2. The boats in close to us are pointing in a different direction than those out further. One in the middle is “undecided”. Why?

3. The current of the flooding Sheepscot River is driving those boats to have their bows pointing into the current.

4. The current isn’t as strong in here, closer to shore. So the wind direction is more the influence. The boat in close points into the wind, and the other halfway in between, predictably, is half and half!

Isn’t it fun to see this kind of thing?!

Diamond Cove… a favorite spot!

NE end of Great Diamond Island in Casco Bay. Very picturesque spot. Very protected spot. Not much room for anchoring, but lots of mooring balls to pick from (20+).

Here for a week or so if the borderline Internet keeps working!

Ferry traffic makes some wake, but we’ll survive. 5-Star Diamond Edge restaurant might get a visit when the open up on Thursday.


Well, Diamond Cove has lost favor with us. Nights 2 and 3 were too rolly, and the Internet was simply not cutting it. We had to move.

The swells come in from Hussey Sound and bounce right into Diamond Cove. We only realized this after several nights.

Shelly’s siblings together on board Shellerina this evening! ((and more!))

Jackie, Nicole, Rich, and Shelly. Andre lives in Rockland Maine, so we’ll have to get a pic of him later this month.
Also tonight, Shelly and I (mostly Shelly) polished off this box of Hobbsies popcorn from Salem Willows. It is indisputably, the best popcorn in the WORLD!
Shelly and cousin Donna Lambert spent the afternoon together. This box was a going away gift to Shelly from her cousin.


Tammy and Ernie called (actually Facetimed us) from their deck on Edes Falls Road, Harrison Maine… walking distance from where we used to live.

Ernie and Tammy with Shelly and I on Facetime tonight.

We will be navigating to Maine over the next two weeks, and we’ll be guests in Ernie’s and Tammy’s home. (Tammy promises to TXT me driving directions to their house.)

Tide Menders!

These Tide Menders, gift of dock-mate Steve Romano, have come in very handy! There is a stiff breeze out of the north this morning, so instead of giving our PVC fender-boards a workout, the Tide Menders get to show off a bit!

The 8 foot tide here makes this a practical necessity at least in this slip.

Without them we’d have to adjust the lines every couple hours, or beg for a larger slip (not readily available here.)

Sand Dollar Cove – outer harbor, Manchester by the Sea (MA)

Kyle and Ida joined us for this Memorial Day in this sweet cove!

We found Donna and Tiger and crew (Sarah, Mark, Avery, Parker) and rafted up next to them. Tiger & Donna knows how to put out a spread as you can see below!

Sarah with her daughters and Dad on the swim platform of Good N You. 65F seawater on this Memorial Day. Air temps are in the low 80s ashore, but it is nice out here.
Back to Kyle & Ida!
Sarah with sleeping Avery.
Tiger, Donna, Mark (Sarah’s hubby) after the big buffet was cleaned up and put away.
Parker & Avery with Pepere and Memere.
Avery & Sarah
Parker & Mom!
This is Avery. This is the grand child who, on Friday, ran to get her lifejacket just as soon as she heard Pepere’s boat was launched for the season!
Here they are together! On that boat, WITH that life jacket on!


Great Misery Island

Un retouched color!

Video above. Shelly directs me through the fleet at Great Misery Island to find My Shadow at the head of the cove, with whom we rafted up. We had Nora and Pammy aboard. TJ had Shannon, Quinn, Matt, Emi, and Evi for his crew, plus the boat-savvy Ashley who catches the painter thrown by Shelly in the video.
Video above. Rafted up with TJ and family in the popular cove at Great Misery Island. Not many people pics here, Ray?! What’s up with that!? At least Shannon, Quinn, and TJ make the frame at the end of this video above.

Panoramic view
Look at how clear this ocean water is!!!
Video above. Nora and Pammy supervise our slip landing at the end of a fantastic day! It was so memorable having them aboard! They enjoyed themselves muchly!