The day after we arrived in Smiths Cove we decided we'd move closer to the shore. The anchorage was deserted but with the week.end upon us we expected boats to start arriving. As we dallied we saw at least 3 boats, albeit without masts, approaching. They came past us, waved and continued on to a set of mooring buoys close to the shore. Once they were finished the handlers came by us in a tender to have a quick chat. One of them, Ken Eaton, turned out to be the owner of a local boatyard and suggested we might take up a very heavy mooring that was vacant. All the gear, he assured us, had been inspected recently and we would have no problem. Normally we're lary about using moorings but with this assurance and the fact that they were much closer to the shore and trees than we could safely manage under anchor persuaded us. So safely connected we made storm preparations; removing the stays'l, lashing down the main and mizzen to stop gusts loosening the sail. The next few days passed and we watched the few boats come in, recognising several from Belfast. In the event the storm really didn't account to much. Some gusts - the strongest just 39 knots an anchored boat recorded but with such good tree protection there was no fetch and whilst sleep wasn't that easy to succomb to at least it wasn't a terrifying experience. Ken, on his first sortie by us, had told us that there would be a sack of wood waiting for us on the dock and when we motored across to Castine town dock there was. Hours later a local couple had confirmed with the harbourmaster that we could stay on the dock for the night and another local came to tell us he had a further two bags of wood we were welcome to. The offer of the night on the dock was extended to a Dutch boat with two young children aboard; they were over the moon as it was Halloween and they would be able to join in the festivities. Welcome to Castine!
Whilst we'd been waiting for Sandy to arrive we'd been in contact with David and Susan who'd left Belfast a few days before we'd moved across the bay. They ended up in Oyster Bay at the western end of Long Island so very close to the mayhem that was about to occur. In the end they dragged, spent 5 hours motoring into the wind (holding their position), blew out isinglass panes in their sprayhood but survived the 62 knot gusts.
Thursday morning arrived and Bee with that familiar look of bargain hunting that crosses her face went immediately onto the internet before coffee was poured. Seems Job Lot, a store in Belfast, post their bargains on a Thursday.....The list scanned and checked it was declared that at least 4 items were staples for us and had been reduced significantly and our destination was decided. After chatting to various locals we cast off to follow another Belfast bound boat back. Little Bear, the other boat, was being single-handed so motored whilst we had a glorious sail back under all canvas. True the sun didn't shine but with few lobster pots and the bay to ourselves it was a wonderful few hours.
The much awaited northerlies are here, bringing their cold winds but as the south beckons we can put up with them for the next few weeks/months. With luck we'll get down to Cape May avoiding the Cape Cod Canal but that always remains an option.