30 September 2023

Brothers singing.

Brec had asked our BBF if he would make pancakes for breakfast last night, so this morning after a good nights sleep where some of the weariness in his bones was eased he got up at 07:30 hrs to make breakfast. He prepared pancakes, bacon and eggs, laid the table and then waited for the other humans to rise. Sandy woke and came for coffee. Alan made some apple pancakes and some plain and kept them all warm in the oven. The Morgan men slept in and eventually our BBF called up the stairs, “Morgan men, show a leg, breakfast it ready!”

The conversation at breakfast was easy and light hearted with much laughter. Brec and Geoff sat and played songs and sang to their guitars. Geoff had written many of the songs himself.

Leaving the brothers playing their music Sandy and our BBF went shopping. He doesn’t have many days left for one of his favourite activities now.

They went to the Trumball Mall in Bridgeport where Alan found a number of things he wanted and spontaneously bought a few others. Sandy went for a pedicure while our BBF shopped.

He then need a coffee and a doughnut and went to Dunkin donuts in the Mall as he has discovered the Boston Cream donut which he likes. Sandy joined him there and they then drove home. It was still raining and the Freeways were chockablock with cars, it now being the rush hour traffic on a Friday night.

Back at home Sandy and Alan cooked the evening meal, after which our BBF shared a glass of Writers’ Tears with Brec and Geoff, who then played and sang some more.

Brec is taking Geoff to the airport tomorrow early so we all said our farewells before going to bed.

29 September 2023

A Morgan Family Birthday Party on the Lane.

Our BBF was the last up this morning, the other humans having gone about their business. He spent some time in the shower and then trimmed his pirate looking beard to that of a gentleman. He made himself bacon and eggs for breakfast and Sandy retuned as he finished it. 

Sandy had done most of their laundry and our BBF could now do ours. We have to comment on the size of these huge machines, compared to the one Alan has these are industrial size which the picture does not do justice to. Sandy then left again to help her sister-in-law with the preparation for the family birthday party that evening.  Our BBF sorted out his stuff so that he could better find things. His suitcase had been a bit of a mess, but now there was some system to it.

Brec returned from having worked on the boat getting it ready for the winter. He made himself some lunch and after a shower the men left to go to New London to visit the Thames River Gallery where Brec has many paintings in their show.

Our BBF was now able to view the painting done by Brec which is the  star of the show. 

Our BBF looked at some of the other artists paintings and then discovered a book.

We had no idea that the US Coast Guard had a Bear as a mascot. He asked if he could buy the book and the owner John Johnson said no he could have it and pass it on to his grandchildren. Little does he know that we Bears will keep the book for a while first.

The men then drove to the Lane in Waterford to John’s house to help celebrate his 70th Birthday. Brec went looking for his brothers and after saying “hi!” to the woman Barbara and Sandy took a walk down the Lane to say goodbye to the Ocean.

The sun was setting and the wind was blowing cold so our BBF did not stay long, just sat and thought what an incredible adventure we had all had.

John the birthday boy and his older brother Brec chilling after a tasty meal of twosorts shrimp with two sorts of rice and sauce with beans and roast cauliflower.

Our BBF was now also introduced to Geoff, Brec’s other brother who is a gifted song writer and guitarist. He had written a special song for John’s birthday and now sang it to him.

The candles on the cake were  blown out in one puff so wishes can come true. John now opened his presents and one of the first was the Tower of London mug our BBF had found in an antique shop in Lunenburg. John now surprised Alan by giving him a present!

John had had a number of glass globes made with the logo of Brec’s circumnavigation inscribed with his time in New Zealand for family members. We were there at the same time and Alan was now very emotional at this generous gesture.

The last present John opened was a small version of the larger one of the Lane in the Gallery, signed also on the back with some personal words from Brec.

Geoff then sang another song he had written about the front room of the house the humans were in. Back in the day when the Morgan’s were children it was their grandmother’s house and it was a lovely tune which invoked the love of the Lane and the times the brothers shared on it. One line of the song mentions how their mother would bring the children tuna sandwiches for lunch down on the beach. So now we know where Brec got his love of tuna from. 

This was just a Morgan family affair and our BBF felt privileged to have been included in it. The party ended and the humans returned to Milford, bringing Geoff with them. On Saturday there will be a formal large party to celebrate John’s 70th. 

28 September 2023

The last day’s sail!

It was a quiet night and the humans slept peacefully. They arose at 05:00 hrs and prepared for sea. Our BBF made each of them a thermos mug of tea and then they slipped in the dark through the rail bridge which opened for us out into the harbour. The sky was clear of all clouds and first light promised a fine day ahead.

There was little wind at this stage and the humans were wrapped up well for the cold.

Brec navigated well again we have to say and our BBF was the voice activated Autohelm!

As we came up to the Lighthouse at the entrance to the channel we were over taken by two fast US Navy Patrol Boats armed to the teeth clearly going out to escort a Submarine into Harbour. 

Then suddenly it was there coming in at a fast rate. One Patrol boat put itself between us and the Sub and gave us a toot, but we were already turning onto our course for Bridgeport. Alan gave them a friendly wave and then they rushed off to protect the Sub.

The sun then rose out of the sea in a blaze of glory.

It was still very cold, but the moral of the crew and us Bears was great. We had not seen the sun since before the Hurricane Lee caused us such grief two weeks ago now.

Brec set the Genoa and we motor sailed initially at over 7 knots later it came down to just over 5 knots which we managed to maintain over the whole voyage.

Brec served breakfast to his autohelm and then we passed the beach at the end of his family Lane where so many memories for him lie.

Brec had made a larger version of this painting which is the centre piece of a Gallery exhibition in New London  entitled, 

Brec deep in memory of his boyhood spent on the Lane. We too have been privileged to go there and share in annual Family picnics and stroll on the beach.

As the sun warmed up the day the humans were able to shed clothing and throughly enjoyed the last sail of this great adventure.

The wind was light and as it turned the Genoa was poled out.

First one side and then the other. Brec served lunch and made a Hot Dog Sandwich for his helmsman which would sell easily in New York on one of the many Stands there. Brec said that the Hotdog Stands Salesmen were very enlightened as Buddhist Monks would go up to then and say, “Make me one with everything!”

More clothes were shed and soon we saw the entrance to Bridgeport. Brec admitted that this was one of the fastest passages from New London he had ever made.

The sun on the last voyage of the season for us bears was great too and soon the humans made up on OTTER’s home slip at the East End Yacht Club. We had sailed in eight days a total of 497 Nautical Miles from Lunenburg, Nova Scotia to Bridgeport, Connecticut in all weathers including a Gale!  Brec then shared out the last can of beer and the men toasted their achievement. Our BBF was emotionally tearful, both happy and sad it was all over! 

The men then packed their things to begin getting off the boat. Brec went to get his car, but the battery was flat. The alarm had gone off while we were away! Brec called AAA to come and start it this took a bit of time. Our BBF did what he could in Brec’s absence to pack and clean up. Then we too were off the boat and in the car back to Sandy in Milford.

Sandy had prepared a lovely meal of really thick lamb chops with fresh asparagus. An excellent red wine was drunk and ice cream was served after.

Brec unwound from his adrenaline rush by playing guitar softly.

Our BBF was a tired Teddy so went to bed early and slept the deep sleep of sailors home from the sea.

27 September 2023

A quiet sail to New London.

On the floating jetty in Galilee where we made up in the dark, as the wind was blowing us onto the jetty,  the feeders squeaked, which made for a disturbed night. The humans got up at 06:30 hrs and our BBF made tea and breakfast and the men discussed the next passage over it! 

A power boat next to us asked if we could move back as the bowsprit was sticking out preventing him from leaving. The men jumped to do that and no sooner were they below when they noticed him leaving! They realigned the boat and got ready for the passage! 

The day was cold grey and overcast with a promise of rain in the air. Outside the harbour Brec set a reefed Genoa and we were off, sailing! The engine was turned off and peace reigned over the boat.

We were protected from large following seas because of the land so it was good sailing were it not for the cold.

As we drew closer to Watch Point and the Passage round it, the seas began to build again. Thankfully the wind was not more than 18-20 knots perhaps gusting 25 knots at times.

You can just see Watch Point over the Starboard side on the horizon!

Fans of Bonnie Tyler may know that she has a house on Watch Point and it is the big white one you see in the middle of the photo.

Once through the Passage we were into Long Island Sound and the following seas were much calmer and we were able to roll out a bit more Genoa!

As our BBF was on watch Brec made some sandwiches for lunch which we ate as we passed Seaflower Reef Light!

It was then just a couple of hours more to New London. The Genoa was rolled away when  we got to the entrance and the engine put back on. We have made up in Crocker’s Boatyard again. 

Would you believe the sun came out after our humans had showered!

Brec then showed us a horrid  bruise he had discovered on his arm which he probably got this morning pushing the boat off the jetty! 

The humans, clean and refreshed went ashore for a meal! Tomorrow will be a sparrow fart start so they will be in bed early for tomorrow is going to be at least a ten hour sail to Bridgeport. 

A bumpy cold wet ride to Galilee!

The humans were awake at 06:30 hrs. It had been planned to leave then, but with the wid howling Brec fancied a lie in till 07:30 hrs. Our BBF made tea and then made breakfast after which they put on their oilskins and set off into the grey windy day. Gale warnings had been given for small craft in Buzzard’s Bay, so we knew we were going to have a tough day!

With just a scrap of a Genoa and with a little engine we motor sailed out of the canal into Buzzard’s Bay!

As the day wore on the wind got up to 35 knots and so the scrap was reefed, and still we were going at 5 knots with big following seas! It rained and blew cold most of the time too! 
It reminded us of the Atlantic crossing with our BBF after which he said never again! So 25 years later we have to ask what are we doing here!

Supporting our BF Brec is the answer! He admitted too that today was not a nice day. With poor visibility strong following seas and winds of 35 knots it is stressful for the skipper/navigator who bears the full responsibility of ensuring a safe passage! All our BBF has to do is steer and keep watch and cook! 

After some 45 nm we made up in Galilee just behind Point Judith for the night! Our BBF cooked the evening meal and then we all fell into our bunks as it had been a long hard day! 

A wet ride to Onset Bay

The wind which was promised howled in the rigging all night, but we Bears and our two humans slept well as we had all had a long hard day yesterday! Both humans were awake at 07:00 hrs, but turned over thinking, “ I don’t want to go out there!” 

They finally surfaced at 08:00 hrs and Brec made a cup of tea for all. The men then discussed the plan for going forward. We then dropped the mooring and moved to the fuel dock to top up with diesel, get blocks of ice and top up with water.

On the dock the humans met two Polish guys called Mark and Al on a large yacht called ALRUNA. They were trying to close the circle on a voyage which started in Newport went via Chicago, down the St Lawrence and they had left from Halifax a few days ago. A light lit up for us as this must have been the yacht that was following us on our first two days out of Lunenburg! They too wanted go through the Cape Cod Canal today. 


After filling with fuel OTTER was put back on the mooring and our humans went ashore for breakfast at the Post Office CafĂ©. 

 A big breakfast of French Toast with bacon an egg defeated Brec, but our BBF licked the platter clean! 

Back at the dock Brec agreed with ALRUNA how to stay in radio contact! ALRUNA left first but Brec being the good navigator that he is tuned it all perfectly! 

Here you see him in his armchair position at the wheel. The day was grey, overcast with light rain and poor visibility.

Outside the harbour Brec rolled out a well reefed Genoa and we were able to turn the engine off as we were making 5 knots. There was a following sea and with wind and rain from behind. 

Our BBF sat in Brec’s armchair and kept watch all day while Brec navigated. As we progressed towards the canal, ALRUNA called and had got there too early, their wind over tide situation made the entrance very lumpy and they thought OTTER would have difficulty with the situation. 

Brec, however, had timed the passage well slowing down or speeding up as necessary. As a consequence we arrived at just the right time to go through with the current. Our BBF with his Eagle eyes spotted the buoys well before Brec could and then hand steered through the canal taking only a break to use the heads when Brec steered.

As the unseen sun went down visibility deteriorated. Our BBF on his iPhone has an App called iSailor and has now bought the charts for this area. He has discovered that it works well as a navigation tool and now used it to good effect to steer the boat into Onset Bay in the dark.

You can see here the track we took to get out of the canal at the bottom right of the picture to the  blue arrow which is the boat at anchor.

Once Brec put the anchor down our BBF went below dried himself off and cooked the evening meal. The two men shared a beer to celebrate another successful passage.