This online document is a means of sharing the adventure of traveling on America's waterways with friends and family. Last Dance is continuing to take her crew to historical, natural, beautiful, and interesting places. Enjoy the ride.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Maine - Encountering Wildlife

One of the interesting aspects of the Maine coast is the wildlife encounters: whales rolling a few miles offshore; seals sunning on a rock exposed at low tide; the checkered back of a loon floating on the water or the haunting call of the loon onshore; bald eagles soaring overhead, an osprey shaking the water off his wings after catching a fish; the tiny, dark Maine porpoises playing as the boat passes; colorful and swift Puffins flying around an island wildlife preserve.

Near Belfast, a baby Harbor Seal was taking a nap along the shore.  The babies require rest and the mothers need to search for food, so the babies are left along the water's edge.  In this image, the little seal stretches before falling back to sleep.  After a night's rest, this guy returned to the water and, hopefully, reunited with his mother.

While a wildlife encounter can be an exciting highlight of the day, one in Boothbay Harbor was not a positive experience.   The seagull in this photo has what he believes will be his dinner. The problem is that the crew of Last Dance had recently believed that the pork chop he is holding in his bill was going to be their dinner.  Pork chops were on the grill, nearly done when this seagull, a larger variety than ply Florida's waters, swooped down and plucked the biggest one.

In seagull society, what one has is up for grabs to any other seagull believing they are stronger or craftier.  Soon, a discussion evolved about which seagull deserved to have the pork chop for dinner.  During this deep discussion, the fact that neither seagull had teeth required to eat such a piece of meat must not have been addressed.  In the end, the pork chop sank in the harbor and was not a feast for man nor fowl.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Rockport, Massachusetts

This boathouse wall with the lobster trap floats is the most photographed spot in all of Massachusetts, at least according to local promotional materials.  Well, it has been photographed again.  This spot has other significance to the Last Dance crew.  When this photo was taken, Last Dance was anchored off a nice sand beach in the large open cove just west of here.  Late afternoon swells with large undulations began moving through the harbor, greatly rocking the boats at anchor.  Not wanting to spend an uncomfortable night, Last Dance was moved to this motif, their term for a rock quay.  This inside harbor was quiet and calm, but it is impossible to tie a boat to a rock wall, in a harbor where tides exceed 10 feet, without having to retie and adjust the lines in the middle of the night.  Rockport was a good stop - it is about halfway between the Cape Cod Canal and Portland, Maine, and it provided an opportunity to visit with a friend from high school days.  Connecting and reconnecting with friends is one of the greatest joys of cruising.

Cape Cod - Sandwich

The small town of Sandwich, MA, is located on Cape Cod Bay at the east end of the Cape Cod Canal.

One of the interesting architectural designs in town is this brick church.

Except, it is no longer a church.  The building now functions as an inn and bistro

Another repurposed building in Sandwich is the old school house, which now serves as a private home.

This house, built in the Cape Cod style "five over four" - five windows upstairs and four windows downstairs - also features another New England tradition - lap siding on the front and cedar shakes on the sides.  Two other facts make this house interesting: 1) it was built in the late 1600's and 2) it is for sale.

Terminology in the American version of the English Language varies by region of the country.  In New England, a warning for drivers that the small road they are traveling is coming into a populated area, necessitating reduced speeds and increased caution is: Thickly Settled.

Although New Englanders spell English words the same as the rest of the country, they pronounce them differently.  That sought-after water bug is pronounced "Lobstah."  By the sign on this barber shop, hair clippers are pronounced in a different manner also.

Beauty and barber shops are creative when selecting a name for their establishments - Northern Exposure, A Cut Above, Curl up and Dye.  The list seems endless.

Sandwich: another tiny New England town with interesting places and people.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Long Island Sound to Buzzards Bay - Architectural Details

In New Bedford, the town across the harbor from Fairhaven, best known for their whaling museum, is a warehouse filled with architectural details from old homes and churches.  Want to restore an old home, or maybe add some interesting details to a house you are remodeling?  Many options await you here.

Stained-glass windows in a variety of designs and sizes to add color and texture to light entering your home.  One of these is now traveling on Last Dance, not to enhance the boat decor, just the beginning of its journey back to Flagler Beach.

Maybe a beveled glass front door could enliven your entryway.

A more bold design statement could be made with a large stained-glass window of vibrant colors and lively geometric patterns.  Place on a west-facing wall for colorful sunsets indoors.

Have a bathroom plan that calls for a clawfoot tub?  They have you covered.  (Claws are stored inside the tubs.)

Do you know someone interested in the history of trains?  What better architectural detail in the home design than a railroad station ticket office?  For the model railroader, the ticket office as an entrance to the track layout room would be the ultimate statement.

Interested in some built-in storage with character?

Want to display your patriotism with a statue in your backyard garden?  This reproduction of the Lincoln Memorial, in reduced size, of course, would make that statement easily recognizable.

Only a small sampling of opportunities offered by the stock that fills many thousands of square feet in this old brick warehouse have been displayed in this post.  Before a house plan is drafted, a visit to New England Demolition & Salvage could stimulate a plethora of ideas.