Posts Tagged ‘travel’

IN THE FIELD: Sailing School

July 18, 2012 26 comments

Some of our favorite places to visit in Maine are the small quiet harbors away from the tourist areas.

One of our recent stops was a place named Sorrento Harbor. It is a small cove where both working boats and pleasure boats share the same anchorage. We arrived at the waters edge in late afternoon, just as the sun was beginning to cast a golden glow.

I was taking some shots of the boats in the water when a small school bus pulled into the parking lot. A dozen children and two adults got off the bus and walked out to the end of the floating dock which is just out of view in this photo. They paired up and got into several dinghies and rowed out to small sailboats moored throughout the cove. We heard the adults give some instructions to the children and they began to navigate their vessels around the obstacle course of the anchored boats.

Apparently this was the last class of the school day for these kids. How cool is that!


IN THE FIELD: Shiver Me Timbers

July 13, 2012 20 comments

In a previous post [] I described a small bit of my adventure on the Intercoastal Waterway. We saw watercraft of all shapes and sizes during our travels, but when we saw this ship early one morning we joked about how it looked like a pirate ship.

Since our youngest crew member was an eight year old boy and was totally fascinated with pirates, we pretended the buccaneers were still sleeping off the previous nights pillaging and rabble rousing. We told him no one was keeping watch and they would not notice our passing. But if someone had seen or heard us they would have sounded the alarm and subjected us to the pirates’ colorful language and less than civil behavior. And then they would have boarded and raided our boat

We pretended that the pirates most likely would have taken all our provisions consisting of seven pounds of fresh shrimp, three dozen eggs, some packages of carrots and celery, several jars of peanut butter and jelly, four loaves of bread and the multiple jugs of wine. And if we were really lucky they would not find our stash of numerous packages of Pecan Twirls and the full case of family size cans of Dinty Moore Stew. We kept up the fantasy going for quite sometime…after all, what would a boat trip be without make-believe pirates?

IN THE FIELD: Local Shopping

June 29, 2012 16 comments

When we are on vacation, we like to take some time out and do a bit of shopping for a keepsake to remind us of our visit. Rather than go to the gargantuan malls which are pretty much the same everywhere, we like to visit places where the locals shop.

And that could be an old fashioned hardware store, an artisan’s gift shop, or even the local farmers market. Interesting items made by the folks that live in the area are what attract us. We have come home with pottery, baskets, hand-made toys, foodstuffs, artwork, and countless other objects.

One morning while on vacation in Maine, we were out photographing various harbors way down east. The area is called down east because when you travel up the coast it’s almost due east, even though when viewing a map it appears to be a northerly direction.

Fishing communities dot the coast and are around every bend in the road, so finding something appealing to photograph is not difficult. One of our stops was Bucks Harbor Maine. It is a small fishing and lobstering village with a fish processing plant a few yards from the main dock. The aroma was distinctive. It wasn’t bad, let’s just say it was memorable. We got some shots of the boats in the harbor, old relics pulled up on shore that had seen their days out at sea, the iconic seagull standing on an old piling, and even the local dog who greeted us on one of the docks.

Leaving town in the opposite direction from which we arrived, we came across the shopping district of Bucks Harbor. Unfortunately, the place wouldn’t be open for business for another few hours and we had other harbors to visit. We often wonder what shopping opportunities we missed there.


June 27, 2012 22 comments

A number of years ago I was invited to take a trip down the Intercoastal Waterway (ICW), located on the eastern coast of the United States. The Intercoastal is comprised of waterways including rivers, bays and sounds that are inter-connected with locks and canals, and in some locations the open ocean.

My wife’s brother had been a sailor for years and he always wanted to make this voyage. Since he was moving to the Gulf Coast of Florida, this was the perfect time to cast off the dock lines and shove off. And I got to be first mate, cook, assistant navigator, and deck hand.

We met many interesting people along the way who were all heading south for various reasons. A number of folks were sailing the ICW and retiring to points south, and others were making the trip just because they could.

Some individuals were in sailboats or small powerboats and others were in mega-sized yachts. Our boat was 33 feet long which was adequate for the trip. Although, we felt rather puny compared to the military vessels, freighters, and cruise ships we passed by.

We ate and slept onboard, except for one night when we found a marina that served family style meals. We met up with a lot of the boaters we had been seeing along the way, and hung out together for hours telling stories about experiences and sights of our adventure.

The journey started in the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, and 11 days and close to 1200 nautical miles later, we pulled up to the dock in Florida.

This is an ocean going tugboat I photographed in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay, which is really like a small ocean. I was especially drawn to the the colorful paint on the boat with the background of blue sky and water.



February 1, 2012 38 comments

The Kancamagus Scenic Byway traverses the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire for 34 miles. It is like traveling back in time because there are no services such as gas stations, hotels or restaurants. Several campgrounds are in the area along with numerous trailheads for hiking and a few pull offs to take in the scenic views.

My wife and I had been hiking one of the numerous trails in the forest and we realized the water supply we had with us was getting low. We could hear water tumbling over rocks nearby so we thought we would have a look and fill our canteens. As we headed off the trail towards the sounds of cool refreshment, we were stopped suddenly in our tracks.

About 15 feet in front of us, the underbrush started to move about in an unnatural way. Out from behind the curtain of green popped a fully grown adult male moose. It’s antlers had a spread of about five feet. Male moose can weigh between 800 and 1500 pounds, and he was at the upper end of the scale.

He looked at us, tilted his head to the right, then tilted his head to the left, then gave a loud snort. Apparently, we interrupted his refreshment time. Needless to say, we cautiously reversed our heading. Since we were there right in the middle of the rut season, giving a wide berth to the big guy was a wise idea. Male moose can become aggressive during this time. And after all, he had his priorities.

After the moose decided we were not his competition, he took flight deeper into the woods and we made our way to the stream to fill our canteens. Partly, so we would have water for the way back, and partly to quench the instantaneous dry mouth we both had developed from startling a moose 15 feet in front of us.

Making our way back towards our starting point, we met three hikers about 200 yards from the trailhead. They were heading towards moose land. We tried to explain to them about the moose but they didn’t speak any English. I resorted to putting my arms up in the air pretending they were antlers, thrashed around in some saplings, and repeated the words “600 kilos” several times. They got the message. We never saw those hikers again…not even back at the trailhead.

IN THE FIELD: The Language of The Lost

January 27, 2012 41 comments

I rarely have concerns about getting lost traveling around the United States, since I figure we all speak the same language and I can always ask for directions. Although, there have been times when I did wonder if I was in a foreign country, or even in the Twilight Zone. Because I would hear the words, but they wouldn’t make any sense. It was as if they were spoken in a completely different language that only a local resident could understand.


Here are a few of my all time classic responses when asking for directions:

Yeah, just follow the signs…[why would I be asking you for directions if I could find the signs?]

Just go down the road a piece…[how big a piece?]

It’s real easy to find…[then why am I lost?]

What do you need directions for? [Because I have been driving around the same city block for what seems like an hour.]

Just on the other side of town…[is that the right side of town or the left?]

Follow this road to the second stoplight, turn right, no go straight, no maybe its a left [bye-bye.]

Well…ya can’t get there from here…[then how did I get here?]

You’re looking for what? You want directions to where? [bye bye]

Just down the road a ways, ya can’t miss it…[well, apparently I did, which is why I am asking.]

Which way are you heading? [If I knew that, I wouldn’t be lost.]

Do you want the long-cut or the shortcut? [Dude, I just want to get there…]

Go to the last traffic light in town…[ah man, you gotta be kidding…you do know I’m from out of town, right?]


Problem: Strangers and directions can be like oil and water…not always a good mix…

Solution: Bring a map, compass, or GPS…