With light winds and sunny skies, today is an ideal day to travel. But first, the luxury of a slip demands that we give Cutter Loose a bath…a decision that we would later regret.
The short option for today is Portland. But the favorable weather motivates us to reach for Gosport Harbor in the Isles of Shoals. We are familiar with this anchorage having visited this harbor for a few days in mid-July. Our late departure from Boothbay will translate into a late arrival in the Isles of Shoals. This is risky because there are no lighted aids to navigation to ease our entrance into Gosport Harbor. But we decide to give it a go with the backup plan of entering the nearby harbor at Portsmouth, NH which is well marked with lighted aids.
As fate would have it, the boat wash back in Boothbay turns out to be for naught. Throughout the afternoon, a pesky swell from the south causes seawater to lick the bowsprit and foredeck of Cutter Loose. We are still 5 miles from Gosport Harbor as the sun disappears below the horizon. A prolonged dusk and an early moonrise would be a nice touch at the end of this long day. But to our dismay, a layer of low clouds brings a rapid conclusion to the supply of daylight. Using electronic charts and radar, we enter the harbor in near darkness. All of the moorings appear to be utilized, so we opt to drop the anchor just outside the mooring field. The anchor is down in total darkness at 8:40 PM. If we had dispensed with the boat wash in Boothbay, this landfall would have been much less complicated.
Nevertheless, we accumulate 75 miles for the day and sharpen our navigation skills in the process…a reasonable accomplishment under any circumstance.