Thursday, December 7, 2017

Manchester City Marathon 2017

I haven’t run a marathon where I was trying to do my best in over a year. And the last time I tried, Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth in 2016  the high rose to 78F and I had a horrible experience, crawling over the finish line in 6:18 and ending up in the medical tent.

I knew this race was hilly. But I was also hopeful that a November race would have temperatures more to my liking. And it was only 20 minutes away so no traveling, no hotel, and a reasonable race fee. It seemed like a good choice.

I used my coach’s training plan from Grandma’s, BUT I modified it to have a less ambitious time goal, one that I felt was more attainable. I also added a couple of breaks for the sailing cruises we did this summer. After the second break in September I did lose a little fitness and that worried me at first. But I quickly made it back up. I also had a small setback attempting to do a marathon pace run in Missouri in October when it was extremely warm and humid but my final marathon pace run a couple of weeks ago went great so I was able to put that worry behind me.

On Saturday Lee and I drove up to Manchester to the SNHU campus so I could pick up my race bib and t shirt and check out the expo. The expo was small, but that’s to be expected for a small race. It looked like there were about 1800 people signed up for the marathon, half and relay, but most of those people were signed up for the half. There were only about 450 people signed up for the marathon.

We met Paula and Rich at the expo. Paula was running the marathon too, but this time were weren’t running together. It was really fun running with her at Dopey but she is a little slower than I am and I wanted to try and see how good I could do. So we could hang out at the start and see each out at the finish line!

Sunday morning I woke up at 5 AM. I didn’t really need to get up that early; the race didn’t start until 8:50. But I wanted to eat at least 3 hours before the start. It was pretty cold, as predicted. It was supposed to be around 25F at the start, climbing into the upper 30’s by 3 pm. For the first time in my marathon history I decided to wear tights. I figured my legs wouldn’t get too sweaty no matter what, and I had read a little about cold weather marathons and some people said it was better to wear tights in cold races because then your muscles would be warmer.

I had on 3 shirts, sweats on top of the tights, a beanie, gloves and my sparkly visor from Disney. I also had a coat and more hats and gloves in the car for after. I opted to park in the garage connected to the Radisson Hotel, right on Elm Street close to the start. That way I could stay in the hotel lobby and stay warm and use their bathrooms instead of the portapotties! 

I stayed in the hotel until about 10 minutes before the start. Then I walked the 2 blocks to the start, put myself in the back with Paula, removed the sweats and the outer shirt. I wasn’t sure if the 2nd shirt would ever come off for this race!

The Start - Photo by Paula Adams

Ready! I set my watch and started. The first few miles were not that hilly, but I kept my pace conservative. I was determined to have something left at the end, and the only way to do that is to save it at the start. There’s no banking fast miles, as much as your body might want to GO! at the beginning.

We wound through a nice neighborhood and then down to the river and on to the first of several trails. It was pretty running along the river. We emerged from the trail and ran up Granite Street, our first big hill. Hmmm not too bad I thought to myself, but I did walk part of it. We went down Elm Street which is Manchester’s main street for the first of 4 times. We passed the 13.1 mile split for the marathon (we were at mile 5 or so) and someone joked about “the fastest 13 miles ever”. Then we headed down to the dreaded River Road. While River was still flat I stopped and removed my second shirt. Now I was down to arm warmers and a pink short sleeved shirt. I kept on my beanie the entire race, but took my gloves off periodically. My hands would get sweaty and then get cold and then get hot again, all through the race.

The actual hill on River Road wasn’t that bad. But even when we turned off of River onto the side streets the hills just went on and on and on. I continued to walk up most of them and made up time on the downhills. I tried to run the downhills with good form, not braking too much, not pounding. Its not easy to run downhill correctly!

There were plenty of spectators here and there. People had music, drinks and snacks. For such a small race I was impressed by the show of support. 

We dipped onto a trail along Dorrs Pond and I found my first pee tree. It was only around mile 6 but the cold weather makes me have to pee more. Really, its a thing. I was glad to discover it wasn’t just in my head. Down Belmont and into Derryfield Park. This is the park where we have gone in the past to do dog training. It looked familiar, and unfamiliar at the same time.

I had mixed feelings about the trails. It was nice to have things changed up, getting off the streets and into the woods. But it wasn’t much fun to have to suddenly deal with different terrain, rocks and roots, and even sand at one point. I have a dread of falling and doing myself some serious damage so I slowed down and tried to really concentrate on where I put my feet.

Around mile 11 we left the park and turned onto Hanover Street. Suddenly I saw a sign. “Go Lynn…” huh I thought someone else named Lynn is running. Then I read further. “Go Paula….” wait, what? I looked at who was holding the sign. STEPHANIE!!!! And Rich, Paula’s husband! I literally screamed, “Stephanie! OMG!” I was so surprised and delighted to see her! I gave her a big hug. It was SUCH a boost! Thank you Steph!!!!

Rich and Stephanie! - Photo by Paula Adams

A few more hills and then a big big downhill back to downtown Manchester. At the corner of Hanover and Elm the half marathoners went left and the marathoners went right. It was clearly marked, no confusion. But it was so weird once the half runners were gone. When I turned the corner onto Elm there were no other runners around. I couldn’t see anyone in front of me, OR behind. It was like I was running all by myself. I honestly worried for a moment that I had somehow gotten off course. It was a really unsettling feeling.

The faster full marathoners were just approaching the finish line as I was heading toward mile 14. They could run a full in less time that it took me to run half of a marathon! Definitely awe-inspiring.

Lee was going to try to meet me around mile 13 but he was nowhere to be seen. I sent him a text and continued on. Oh well! Turns out he had trouble getting downtown because of all the road closures. We would try to meet up at mile 25.

Right before we crossed the river I jumped behind a retaining wall and peed again. I hoped this would be the last time but you never know. Once over the river there were more neighborhoods, and more hills. Dang I thought the hills were just in the first half! Nope there were hills all the way up to the entrance to the Piscataquog and Goffstown rail trails. Miles 17 through 24 of this race are all run on trails. Parts of this were really neat, except for the footing issues again. Its an out and back part of the race, so it was fun seeing the faster runners heading back to town as us slower runners headed toward the turnaround at mile 19. And one other thing. You can’t see it on the trail, but miles 16-19 are a gradual uphill. My times slowed and there was no way to make it up. I had to make a decision whether to keep trying or save my strength. I decided to let my times slide for awhile and hope I would be strong by mile 23. I’m grateful to Paula for warning me about this because otherwise it would have been very discouraging.

At the mile 19 turnaround they had a timing mat set up with snacks and an announcer cheering us on by name. It was encouraging and energizing, AND there were orange slices and bananas too. Yay!

After the turn around I could speed up a bit. I was tired, of course, but I still felt strong. I knew from experience that the wall can hit suddenly, but I’d been eating my gels and drinking at least a little water at each aid station. I started holding back less and seeing what would happen. I also started muttering to myself “no wall, no wall, no wall”. Ha, I’m sure it didn’t hurt! I’d been using a 45/30 run/walk ratio for most of the race but at mile 23 I changed to 60/30 and was able to speed up a little more.

I saw Paula when she was at around mile 17 and I was at 22. She was tired and her legs hurt but she was determinedly trucking on. She’s one tough woman. Love you Paula!

Caught me during a walk break!

At mile 24 we crossed the river and headed back to Granite Street. Damn that Granite Street hill! I walked it  but I hated it at that moment. When I turned onto Elm, there was Lee with a hug and encouraging words. He thought I was doing good. I thought I was too, but didn’t want to get too excited yet. Two miles is a long long time at the end of a marathon. Down Elm, and back across the river on Bridge street. There was a slight downhill but I knew that meant there would be a slight uphill on the way back. Now my mantra changed to “Meb, Meb Shalane, Meb, Meb, Shalane”. I just kept thinking about those two inspiring runners and how they never ever give up. Our goals may be wildly different, but if they could keep trying then so could I! 

There weren’t very many runners around me but there was one old guy ahead of me on the bridge. I was able to pass him and he said I was looking good. I waved and smiled at him but really couldn’t talk by then. 

I saw Lee again right before mile 26. At mile 26 I was ready to run all out to the finish line. It wasn’t fast  but I made it! Boy was I glad to be finished with that race! It was really hard, but I ran smart which was my main goal.

Charging Toward the Finish Line!

I grabbed a powerade and a water and wrapped myself in a heat blanket. Then I headed to the timing tent. Holy smokes! I came in 2nd in my division, women 60-69! And I PR’d, beating my time from NYC in 2014 by 30 seconds. 5:31:44. I literally burst into tears and hugged Lee hard. I work so hard at this running thing, I just couldn’t believe I’d managed to run a PR at 65 years old. After the disaster of Duluth and the fun of Dopey it was a very satisfying feeling.

I went to the car and got my coat, went back to the finish line area and got some chicken noodle soup. Boy did that taste wonderful. I wanted to wait and see Paula at the finish line and then head home.

This was a great, challenging race. It was fun to run a little marathon, fun to have a good race plan and be able to stick to it for the most part. I was very happy with my time of course. I would still love to break 5:30 someday but whether it ever happens or not I’m happy that I can still run. I’m going to keep at it as long as I can.

Today (the Monday after) I’m really really sore, more than usual after a marathon. It must be all those hills. I’m going to do some walking this week but no running. I’ll start back running slowly and decide on a new marathon goal soon.

At the Finish Line with Paula and Our Medals!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

RVing and Leaf Peeping in the White Mountains

On  a Thursday afternoon in late October we hitch up the RV and drive to Danforth Bay RV Park on Lake Ossipee, New Hampshire . This is a very pretty RV park. Although it is late in the season the leaves are still very peepable . Should be past peak but it’s been warm.

We set up the dog pen by the fire pit overlooking the lake. Pretty! Lee cooks chicken for dinner and we fall into bed early.

In the morning I do a short run around the park. It’s big, twice around gets me 3 miles.

One of the things we want to do while we are up here is drive up the Mount Washington Auto Road. But it’s awfully windy on Mount Washington today, with gusts to 95mph! Mount Washington is notorious for crazy weather. It holds the record for the strongest winds ever recorded in North America, 231 mph back in 1934. In the winter the combination of very cold weather and crazy winds can result in wind chills in the  -40 to -50F range. Its nothing like that today, but still 95 mph winds could very easily blow our little dogs away, to say nothing of us! So instead we go for a hike. We decide to hike to Champney Falls off the Kancamangus Hwy. 

The leaves are just spectacular along the Kanc, even though it is late. The hike goes gradually up, up, up for a couple miles. Our dogs are so game. They trot right along, happy to be out in the woods with all the interesting smells. The falls are a bit of a disappointment; it’s been dry. But I get some good pictures of falling water all smoothed out.

We meet Carol and Joe for dinner at Jake’s Seafood. Yummy! Carol and I split a hot fudge sundae for dessert. Oh my.

On Saturday the weather cooperates so we drive to Mount Washington. This is a nice drive through Jackson and Pinkham Notch. 

The Auto Road from the Summit

I elect to be the person to drive up the auto road. The road is very narrow and very steep. Meeting other cars descending the mountain is terrifying in a white knuckle sort of way.  Its hard to believe that they hold a road race here every June. The incline is at least 8-12% and in places reaches 22%! At over 6200 feet, Mount Washington is the highest point east of the Mississippi. The road travels seven miles to the summit, passing the tree line and entering an alpine meadow. When we started our climb the temperatures were in the 70s. By the time we reached the top it was in the 40s with 40 mph winds. We park, and put on down coats, hats, and gloves. The dogs are game at first then not so much when they realize just how crazy the weather is outside the car.  We climb the steps to the summit where it is even windier. Heather balks about half way up and I have to carry her part of the way. After taking their picture at the summit sign they are grateful to get out of the wind and back in the car.

After the dogs are safe I gingerly get out my camera and snap away. I can hardly walk and can picture it flying away and me with it.

Bretton Woods in the Distance

The views are amazing but it’s very intense.

Then we go to Carol and Joe’s for lunch. Our silly dogs are delighted to play with their dog’s toys and chase the chipmunks in their yard. Ruby and Pia regard our dogs with mild interest and can’t figure out what they are so excited about.

Left to Right: Heather, Harper, Ruby, Pia, Cosmo Staring at Chipmunks

We drive home that afternoon on a very warm fall New England day. We’ve managed to experience a 40 degree difference in temperature in the course of a single day without a front blowing through. Impressive.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Elsa and Sam’s Wedding and a Few Other Detours

This was written back in October.

Thursday, October 5th.

Here we are in Columbia, so familiar even while it continues to grow and change. We came in yesterday, got up early to take the dogs to Diane’s, then drove through rush hour traffic to Boston to get on our 11 am flight to STL. 

I’m sorry there wasn’t time to see Nancy and my cousins and aunt and uncle and friends Sarah and Jay. We would have had to come in a day early to do that. Instead we hopped right on I70, with a stop in Wentzville for Culver’s ice cream.

We are staying at Gail and Phil’s so that there is room for the kids to stay at Joanne’s and nobody has to get a hotel. In the evening we go over to Joanne’s and then to see if we can get a table at Flyover, a new restaurant that everyone is raving about. The wait is only 30 minutes so we sit outside on their porch and enjoy some adult beverages while we wait.

They have really good cocktails, but I stick to a glass of wine since I have a long run to do tomorrow. But Joanne gets their special Manhattan and wow! It even smells great! Something about setting the orange rind aflame seems to do the trick.

This restaurant serves small plates to share. I’m very hungry and jump right in, saying let’s get the chicken fried cauliflower, the spinach salad and the hanger steak. Nobody minds my pushiness and it’s all delish.

Friday, October 6th

I get up at 4:30. It’s warm,  it’s humid, and I have 20 miles to run. I’m supposed to run 18 of them at marathon pace, but it only takes a couple miles before I decide that’s a terrible idea. The humidity is so thick that I quickly decide to run as slow as I need to to make it through without collapsing.

That turns out to be very very slow by the end of the run. I maintain a pace for as long as I think is safe, and then reduce the run part of my run/walk segments until my heart rate goes down. By the end I’m running only 15 seconds and walking 30, but that’s okay. I get the miles in and I don’t pass out.

When I start it is just pitch black out and it takes at least an hour before it gets light enough so I can see without my phone flashlight. Normally I would have used my headlamp but I didn’t think to bring it to Missouri.

I run on the MKT rail trail, all the way to the KATY rail trail along the Missouri River, and then another mile toward Rocheport before I turn around. From the time I leave the Columbia city limits until I head back toward town I don’t see another living soul. Until it’s gets light it’s kind of creepy, and even then it’s a little unnerving. And the mosquitoes in the river bottoms along the KATY are terrible! My legs are covered with bites. I didn’t think I could possibly need bug spray on a run in October, but I guess I was wrong. It’s rainy, cloudy and so very humid. I’m just a puddle by the time I finish.


Lee gets me Sub Shop sandwiches for lunch and now I’m resting, so hopefully I’ll be able to stay awake tonight and be up for Shakespeare’s pizza with the fam.


I actually took a nap! It was a real nap, about an hour. It even registered on my Fitbit.


Daniel gets in around 5. We go over to Joanne’s to say hello, then we head to Shakespeare’s. There has been a lot of development in downtown Columbia lately. Some parts were almost unrecognizable. Lots of tall modern buildings. Even the building that Shakespeare’s was in is now a 10 story apartment building. But Shakespeare’s itself had been recreated to look just like the same old place.  I’m glad; it’s a Columbia institution!

Lee finds a table and I get in line for the pizza, while Daniel makes sure Joanne get into the venue for the rehearsal dinner safely. They are holding the rehearsal dinner for the wedding at Shakespeare’s too! The three of us eat our pizza while we wait for Sarah and Erik to appear. When they are about 30 minutes away I order them a pizza too.

They finally make it to Shakespeare’s sometime after 8:30. Poor things! Just a very long rainy drive through Iowa. It’s great to see them both, including Sarah’s darling pregnant belly. It’s hard to believe that in less than three months my first grandchild will be here!

Saturday, October 7th, the Wedding.

We’re all watching the weather forecast anxiously. The morning is rainy but it’s supposed to clear up in the afternoon, and around 12:30 that starts to seem like it might very well be the case.

At around 2:15 we head for the Becker’s. All the rain has passed and it’s a beautiful sunny day! We pick up Sarah and Erik at Joanne’s on the way. Daniel has already driven Joanne to the wedding earlier. The Becker’s have arranged things so guests can park on Warren’s property across the road and then take a golf cart to the Becker’s.

At the Becker’s the tents and flowers are just amazing. We can get a rosemary grapefruit cocktail or another beverage. I opt for the cocktail and its very good! We gather in the front yard where the ceremony will take place. As Elsa and her parents come down the aisle I start to get tears in my eyes. Of course! I almost always cry at weddings. 

The ceremony is just beautiful. When it is over we retire to the backyard to toast the bride and groom, shower them with soapy bubbles from little champagne bottles, and snack on flavored popcorn.

Then it’s time for dinner. Mark and Mary are friends with people that own a restaurant in town and boyoboy that is the best wedding food I have EVER eaten! Skewers of chicken, pork and veggies, with amazing dipping sauces for each. Roasted potatoes. Spinach salad. Quinoa salad. French baguettes. I get a glass of a Grenache with my dinner and let’s just say it was a very generous pour. One glass is plenty, thank you!

Dessert includes an amazing apple crisp with caramel sauce, rosemary shortbread cookies, and a bit of very intense chocolate. No wedding cake, darn it! My only complaint. I think for our 40th wedding anniversary we need to have an anniversary cake. Or something.

Then of course it’s time to dance. It turns out my brother-in-law Mark can really dance. He twirls his daughter around the floor much to our delight. Pretty soon everyone is out there dancing away. One thing I like about my fam, even though we’re not great dancers we generally get out there and wiggle around. Daniel and I try our best to dance together but I keep stepping on his toes. Oh well!

Elsa belonged to a sorority in college and her Kappa sisters sing her some traditional sorority song. I don’t exactly get it but they gather in a circle and serenade her. And so does Joanne! She told me later she just got her 60 year pin and couldn’t resist.

We are back at Gail and Phil’s by 8 pm and I’m in bed not long after. I sleep a good 8 hours  and wake up still feeling groggy.

Sunday, October 8th.

There’s a brunch at Mark and Mary’s this morning, a variety of egg casseroles made by Joanne, donuts, fruit salad, juice and coffee. We sit in the sun under the tents and relax. They have a huge mess to clean up, I don’t envy them. One of the disadvantages of having a wedding in your own backyard for sure.

Around noon Sarah and Erik and I get in their car for the long drive to Minneapolis. I want to go up to Duluth on Monday and meet my new great nephew Harrison, Nicole and Tom’s new baby. The drive to Minny is long, but the sun is shining and we have ice cream for lunch. Frozen custard, a Missouri / Iowa thing. I have a turtle sundae; I’m hungry!

Sometime close to 7 pm we stop at Lund’s for a carry out dinner. We eat and not too long after I fall into bed, exhausted.

Monday, October 9th.

Monday morning I get up and go for a 7 mile run on the nearby Luce trail. The air is crisp and cool and it feels great to run, much better than last Friday! I love running in Minnesota but I’ve never tried it in the dead of winter. I’m afraid I’d have to spend way more time on a treadmill than I would prefer. I suppose I will be even more grateful to escape to Florida.

Sarah and I leave for Duluth around 10:30. We are there by 1, with a quick stop at Northern Waters Smokehaus for sandwiches. They specialize in smoked meats so Sarah has to nuke her salmon a bit b4 she can eat it. All the things they do nowadays that improve mother and baby safety! 

The sandwiches are yummy, Nicole looks great, and Harrison is just adorable! Nicole seems to really be enjoying mommyhood. Harrison just turned two months old. He has Tom’s dimple in his chin and is just starting to smile. Sarah and I hold him a lot. I’ve forgotten how to hold a baby, especially such a rolypoly wiggly one! 

Nicole puts Harrison in a snuggly, we put Jennie their rambunctious dog on a leash and go for a walk in nearby Chester park. What a beautiful park! It even has a little ski slope! We walk along the rim and then back to their house. It’s time to get back on the road and return to Minny. I like Duluth but man it’s ccccccold!

Tuesday, October 10th.

I drive Sarah to work so that I can have her car. Lee has scouted some properties, mostly land, in the area, and I’m going to check them out. One, only a mile from Sarah and Erik’s house, is really nice. It’s for sale by owner and he has actually RAISED the price. It’s been on the market awhile and I bet the guy is some kind of nut cause otherwise it should have sold. Another one, in Excelsior, is also attractive. It’s a corner lot, a tear down, and requires a little more imagination to see it as something we could make our own. 

Then I get Sarah’s car washed and vacuumed and go buy some Dogwood coffee. I’ve drunk up most of their coffee, since they don’t drink coffee at home very often. I split a bag with then so I can take some home too.

We meet Sarah at a ramen place close to her office for dinner, Ramen Kazama. Ramen is not something that easy to find where we live, unless my very talented husband makes it! The restaurant scene will be one of the big advantages to moving to Minnesota.

Wednesday, October 11th.

I have to get up very very early for my flight back to Boston. I call Uber and he shows up right on time and gets me to the airport without any trouble. Security is slow even with TSA Pre, and I need to grab some breakfast before I get on the plane. First I try Surdyks but his cash register stops working and he has to shut down. I get in the line next door at Carabou Coffee. Its long and slow. By the time I get my coffee and banana bread I only have time to walk to my gate and get right on the plane! Well at least I didn’t miss my flight. 

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Sailing in the Storm with Gail and Phil - Part 2

The conclusion of our aborted sailing trip back in September:


We drove up the coast, first to Rye for lobster rolls and haddock sandwiches at the Beach Plum. Then through Wentworth by the Sea, Castle Rock, and Portsmouth. We hopped on the interstate a bit, long enough to get to York. We went to the Nubble Lighthouse and admired the huge waves safely from the shore. We drove up to Ogunquit and walked the Marginal Way. On our way back we stopped at Stonewall Kitchens for jams and free samples. It was a very nice day, even if we weren’t on a boat.


Our friends went to Cambridge for the day while we tried to figure out a plan for at least a few days of sailing. First we thought we'd go to Rockport and then on up to Newburyport and get the boat out of the water. But they can't haul it until after October 15th and there's no place to leave it there until then. So now we think we will go down and spend the night on the boat Saturday and then get up early and go to Plymouth. This has been a very frustrating experience, but there's nothing we can do. We’ve invited people to go boating with us many times and this is the first time our plans have been thwarted so thoroughly. SIGH!


Finally! Saturday is beautiful, warm and sunny. The seas in Mass Bay are still rough, but we go ahead and get ourselves packed and back down to the boat Saturday afternoon. We settle in, eat dinner, relax. It's actually warm and we have to put up the sunshade. There is a bank of fog way off outside the islands, hopefully it will stay far out to sea. Tomorrow with any luck we'll make our way to Plymouth. We have a slip at the Brewer Marina there. Time for our luck to turn!

It's Phil's birthday, and we have bought cake at the store, slices of raspberry, chocolate, and carrot. We have candles too, so we sing happy birthday, and eat cake on the boat, lots of cake!


The fog lifted and finally we were able to show our friends a nice day on the waters of New England. The last vestiges of Jose had drifted out into the Atlantic and the seas had moderated. Out in the middle of Mass Bay there were 2-3 foot swells, somewhat disorganized but smooth and gentle. There was no wind and not many other boats, except commercial fishermen. We saw several large ships, steaming this way and that, probably in a hurry to make up time after the storm.

This time we stayed at the Plymouth Brewer Marina, on a slip. Slips are so convenient, shore power, easy on and off. The dogs were happy to get off the boat and go for a long walk around Plymouth. We showed our friend's Plymouth Rock, walked up to the old graveyard and back through the park. For dinner we decided on Surfside Smokehouse again. This time I got the lobster Mac and cheese, which was very yummy. All our meals were enormous. Gail got salmon tacos, Phil got fish and chips and Lee got fried chicken.


We awoke to a beautiful sunrise. Lee took the dogs for a nice walk, we ate breakfast and took our time. It's not far from Plymouth to Scituate. First we decided to get pumped out. We needed to go to the town dock to do so, but a motor boat snuck in right before us. He filled up on diesel, and then proceeded to hose off his boat as well. Meanwhile we motored around in a circle, waiting.

The approach to the town dock was very narrow. Lee ended up backing into it; I was very impressed. Fortunately there was no wind, otherwise it might not have been possible.

Once pumped and with our fuel topped off we headed out of Plymouth harbor and back into Mass Bay. Lee wanted to go out a bit and see if maybe we could spot a whale. We went out about five miles and then turned toward Scituate. Nothing, the water was calm, there was no wind. It was very warm, and there was very little shade.

The surf at the entrance to the harbor was surprisingly fierce. The sea wall had big crashing waves, even though the swells were only 2 feet max. We could only surmise that it was due to the angle of the waves, pounding directly on the wall. Later talking to the launch driver, he said the wind just howled last Monday and Tuesday, and they could see towering waves high above the sea wall at the entrance to the harbor.

Finally we were in Scituate Harbor. Always a lovely place to be. Once on our mooring we could set up our sunshade. In a little while we went into town. I took the dogs for a nice long walk. Back on the boat it cooled off rapidly once the sun went down. I went from shorts and a tshirt to a sweater, long pants and even a fleece, before we decided to go below for dinner. Lee made pork burgers and sweet potatoes and it was delicious.


We woke up to thick fog, again. Not quite as bad as last time, but bad enough. When it was time to go we turned on the AIS, took down the Westie flag, and hoisted the radar reflector. We can receive AIS signals but we don't transmit, so other boats can't see us.

At first we used the air horn every two minutes. Poor Cosmo, he truly detests that horn. He was shaking and looking at me in distress, since I was the horn blower. We used up one air horn, and since we only had one more we went to every four minutes.

Motoring through fog in calm seas is so boring, and stressful too. It's like sailing around in a circle of water ringed by a cloud. The cloud shifts and changes a bit, but not very much. Everyone tries to keep a sharp lookout, cause there could be other boats out there like us that don't transmit. As we approached Marblehead finally the fog began to lift and suddenly it was another beautiful sunny hot day.

We packed up the boat and headed home. We were all very tired, and Gail and Phil had to get ready to fly home tomorrow. We still need to get the boat up to Salisbury at some point, but probably not for another week, or two.

We certainly learned things on this trip. I kind of shudder at the thought that we almost decided to go ahead and go down to Plymouth before Jose hit. The boat would have been stuck there for a week anyway, and we would have had to figure out how to get home. And the winds there were strong enough that we saw some boats down there with damaged sails.

I learned that if you accidentally leave the ignition switch on after you turn the engine off it makes a very annoying clicking sound. I learned that the water heater switch on the power panel is only for use when we have shore power. And I also learned that if you leave that switch on overnight when you DONT have shore power you will be awakened in the middle of the night by a very loud high pitched squeal, as the inverter runs out of battery power. 

I wonder if this is the last time I will ever go out on this boat. It is for sale, but it may take awhile to sell, larger boats often do. It's probably our last sail boat, but certainly not our last boat. My husband loves the water way too much for that to be the case. But sailing is a lot of work and more and more we don't bother to put up the sails unless conditions are perfect. But motor boats that are large enough for cruising are very expensive to buy, and to own. So who knows what will end up happening!


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