July 25th, 2016

Whales, porpoises and seals have enlivened our travels. Ben spotted our first whale in Massachusetts Bay, and then saw six more in rapid succession: flipping tails and diving. Our first porpoises and seals were in the Gulf of Maine.

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A Whale of a Tail, Photo by Ben

One late afternoon, we dropped our anchor between two islands, at the northern end of Penobscot Bay, not far from a rocky ledge covered with basking seals, just at the water line. As the tide rose to cover the ledge, they disappeared. But the next morning at low tide, I counted 36 ( another boat counted 42) sleeping high and dry. It was wonderful to study. them: every now and. then one would awake and awkwardly move to another spot on the rocks. one or two were swimming leisurely. At nine a.m. we suddenly heard a loud splash as ALL of the seals, simultaneously, from some mysterious signal, dove into the water to feed. There were seal heads spread out all around us for a bit, and then they all disappeared again.

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Seals Basking on Rocks, Holbrook Island

We have been sailing in company with ARAMINGO and meeting up with other friends on boats as we go along, peaceful partying!

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Bob and Wendy: dinner on DOVKA

Porpoises hold a special mystique and we cannot help but think spotting porpoises gracefully arching through the water is a good omen. Today as we motored out of Belfast Harbor, having left DOVKA there over the weekend, we saw several pairs of porpoises, black skin glinting in the sunlight.

They seemed significant to us as we had just returned from a quick and sad trip to Philadelphia to celebrate the life and mourn the death of Ken Bookman, our niece’s partner of 30 years and an important person in our Shaw family.

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Somehow all this animal life puts our place in the world into some kind of perspective.We are now, once again, on a mooring off Warren Island State Park off Isleboro in the middle of the Penobscot Bay. Three other boats we know are here. The sky is clear blue. We have had the usual summer pattern of morning calm followed by building afternoon southwest breeze.

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Afternoon at Anchor

It is delightfully comfortable lying in the cockpit with the sunshade in place: viewing the boats, the islands of evergreen, and the gentle activity surrounding us.

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