As you may recall, we attempted visiting Boothbay by boat twice. In 2017, we set off in Vigilant and lost the first day due to a nasty northeast’a and only got as far as a picnic off Kittery.

In 2021 we planned to leave Memorial Day Weekend and once again hit an extended northeast blow and ended up in Provincetown.

Mrs. Horne was pregnant with our daughter Natalie when we last visited Boothbay (August 1986). And with each thwarted effort to return, she grows more anxious!.

So I was determined to pull it off in 2022!

My recipe for success was simple:

  1. Leave in midsummer; less chance for extended stormy weather.
  2. Set aside two weeks to provide layover days in case we hit bad weather.
  3. If we get a good weather day, just keep going and skip ports.
  4. Visit popular spots midweek to improve the odds of getting a slip.
  5. Bring along Peter – it’s hard not to relax and enjoy the moment when you’re around Peter.
Mrs. Horne and Peter

There is one problem with jumping in the boat and heading north in mid-summer – you may not be able to get a slip or dinner reservations. So I needed a plan with booked marinas and dinner reservations.

Marina Booking with Opening Days Cancellation Windows
Dinner Reservations with Links

The tricky part would be parlaying the marina deposits if the plan changed, but based on my experience canceling the 2021 Maine trip at the last minute, I wasn’t worried.

First Day Change of Plans

I booked Plymouth for day one and Boston for day two, knowing it would be unlikely that we’d actually do both. I figured we could do the 45-mile run through the canal to Plymouth in any weather, but if we did, we’d probably shoot up to Portsmouth the second day and skip Boston.

Yesterday turned out to be an incredible morning on Cape Cod Bay, so we skipped Plymouth and came straight to Boston.

Cape Cod Bay – 10:00 AM July 18

We made the 80-mile trip in 2 hours and 45 minutes despite 9 miles at ten knots going through the canal. We burned about 130 gallons of diesel and ran from the mouth of the canal right up to Logan Airport at 32 mph.

Here are a few of the sights along the way…

One of my goals in visiting Boston was to meet Dan Lagan face to face. Dan is the CEO of Congress Asset Management, his folks have been managing our largest portfolio for 25 years, and despite hours on the phone, we’ve never actually met face to face.

The Congress office is in The Financial District, so I booked us at Rowe’s Wharf and invited Dan and his head of Research – Todd Solomon, over for cocktails at 4:00.

Rowe’s Wharf

Rowe’s is a fairly small marina, and it looks like most of the boats are smaller and likely seasonal renters; and we do have an excellent view of Boston Harbor and Logan Airport.

It’s literally in the heart of downtown, so it’s noisy, and we do rock a little every ten minutes or whenever a big ship passes through.

It’s roomier and offers better views than Waterboat, but it’s a little longer walk to Faneuil Hall and the North End. But we’d “been there, done that,” so we decided to try some great restaurants at this end of town.

Sea Grille, Rowe’s Wharf

Peter had a client who worked in the office building, and his favorite restaurant was the Sea Grille. After washing down Relentless, we took the short walk around the building under the most enormous American flag I’d ever seen.

The Sea Grille is just off the hotel lobby and very stylishly decorated for the Boston seaport setting.

Rowe’s Wharf Sea Grille

I’m pretty much a dedicated hazy IPA drinker these days, but the only one they had was Cisco’s Wandering Haze, which is pretty lame for a hazy IPA.

There was one other IPA on the menu – something called a Lunch India Pale from The Maine Beer Company. The server said it was very popular, so I ordered one.

Love the Motto – “Do What’s Right”

What a great find! It comes in an ice-cold 16-ounce wine bottle, and while it’s not hazy, the mix of fruit and hops is just perfect. I’ll be looking for some in Boothbay.

The food at Sea Grille was excellent but, as one might expect, pricey!

Here’s a quick gallery of our sumptuous lunch.

Oysters on the Half Shell at The Sea Grille Rowe’s Wharf
Clam Chowder at The Sea Grille Rowe’s Wharf
Grilled Shrimp Cob at The Sea Grille Rowe’s Wharf
Half a Cheeseburger at The Sea Grille Rowe’s Wharf

One of most interesting things was the eye dropper on the oysters.

Mignonette at The Sea Grille Rowe’s Wharf

It contained the mignonette, which was really clever (there was also one for hot sauce). It enabled me to perfectly season each oyster without removing them from the shell and spilling the nectar.

Meeting Dan Lagan Face to Face

In 1998, I exercised my first stock option with Aspect Development. Sequoia Ventures had led our IPO, and they sent an estate planner in to “advise” me. It turned out he was just looking to skim 1% as an Asset Allocation Advisor. His plan was to send me to a money manager who would also charge me 1-2%.

I figured this out and thanked him, but before I did, I asked him if I could keep the money manager brochures he had presented.

I looked them over and picked Congress Asset Management because they were in Boston! I picked up the phone, and Dan Lagan answered.

Dan’s dad Alfred was CEO back then, but somehow I ended up with Dan, and he’s been one of my most trusted financial advisors for 25 years. We talk about markets and strategies by phone several times a year, but last night was the first time we met face to face.

Congress VP of Research Todd Solomon and CEO Dan Lagan
flanking The Captain

We enjoyed two hours of great conversation in Relentless’s salon watching the rain come and go on Boston Harbor.

We even cracked open the French Grenache Shatter that my friend Harris turned me on to – delish!

Smith and Wollensky’s

We were thinking about heading to the North End for Italian, but the rain was threatening, and it was a 3/4’s of a mile walk, so we stayed close to home and walked over to Smith ad Wollensky’s.

Smith and Wollensky’s Boston Financial District

After a great lunch and a Relentless cheese board, we weren’t super hungry, so we skipped the $89 steaks and feasted elsewhere.

Spoon Off Bread at Smith and Wollensky’s
Mrs. Horne’s Caesar at Smith and Wollensky’s
Crispy Shrimp and Negimaki at Smith and Wollensky’s
Veal Chop at Smith and Wollensky’s
Massive Onion Rings at Smith and Wollensky’s
Cheesecake at Smith and Wollensky’s

Everything was quite good, but the Veal Chop, Onion Rings, and Noodle side on the Negimaki were exceptionally delightful.

Relentless at Rowe’s Wharf Boston

We got back to the boat just as dark was setting in. Peter and I polished off the Shatter Grenache and watched a little Below Deck.

Tomorrow’s Plan?

We’re not sure where we’ll end up tomorrow. If the Small Craft Warnings hold all day, we may stay in Boston. If not, it’ll likely be Marblehead or Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Stay tuned…