Aug 23-25, 2009... Essex Still, Getting Closer to Departure

Sunday started the way all Sundays should. John dinghied into town for the New York Times and bagels, and we spent the morning devouring both. In the afternoon, after thanking the Essex Maritime Police for keeping boaters to the ‘no wake’ standard, we kayaked in the North Cove - swans, geese, white herons, blue herons, swallows, cormorants and ducks all making it home - and beautiful wildflowers everywhere. We also got to see the dock that would be our home during the windlass installation by Dauntless Shipyard. Ended the day with dinner in town at the Black Seal.

Finally - Monday arrived - windlass installation day. Piotr came out to the anchorage from the boatyard to help us weigh anchor. The current and the wind teamed up to make the process more difficult than necessary, but we got to the dock. Piotr went through the windlass box we picked up on Saturday and some necessary parts weren’t there. So back to Defender for us to pick them up while he started the install. Once back we figured leaving him alone was the best course so we hoofed it to the Colonial supermarket a couple of miles out of town. Filling four bags with provisions, we waited for the shuttle bus back to the boatyard. We checked on windlass progress and then took a walk to the River View Cemetery that we had seen from our Sunday kayak. About half the grounds have tombstones from the 18th and 19th centuries. And veterans from all America’s wars - Revolutionary, French & Indian, Civil, Cuba, and modern day as well. The family plots have generations of people whose names are all over this town. Really quite an education.

Monday night was our first time at a dock in 5 weeks. We took advantage of the marina showers and internet access. Both were terrific. But, sitting in the cockpit after dinner, we had a strange sense of being closed in. We had gotten used to the openness of an anchorage.

Tuesday. Another kayak this morning - this time around Nott Island - and we took the opportunity to photograph the Connecticut River Museum with the tour boat out front as well as a plein air artist working in a skiff! Never seen that before. Piotr closed in and finished the day with a big windlass finale. Doug (Brewer Dauntless Marina manager) stopped by to see how things were going. Tony ordered us a strap wrench that would fit the oil filter currently on the engine (of course when John went to change it, the wrench we had was the wrong size.) Everyone here has been so helpful through our windlass drama. We certainly recommend this as a place to stop when up the Connecticut River.

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