I love it when a plan comes together!

I woke up around 4:45 with some strange lower back pain. I hobbled to my coffee, grabbed my iPad, started checking weather forecasts, and took in the picturesque scenery of Manchester-By-The-Sea.

The forecast looked perfect for the 120-mile offshore run to Boothbay. Peter got up a few minutes later, and around 6:30, I jostled Mrs. Horne and told her, “We’re leaving in 30 minutes.”

Since we’d been on the generator all night, the departure was simply a matter of dropping the lines. We were underway before 7:30 AM.

Peter On Deck

After helping Mrs. Horne stow gear, Peter joined me on the Flybridge as I picked my way out of the tiny harbor, and I said, “I think this is the most scenic harbor I’ve ever been in.”

Here’s a little gallery I shot on the way out to sea…

120 Miles in Under 4 Hours

We cleared the outer harbor around 7:50 AM. I engaged the autopilot, lowered the flaps, and took us up over 30 MPH. The seas were nearly flat, and there weren’t a lot of other boats off Gloucester.

About 20 miles into the route, we cleared Rockport and banked north, and I looked at the screen and saw we were going be on the same course for 93 miles and three hours and eleven minutes.

Beware Of Chum Balloons!

Ten miles north of Rockport, I was shocked to see a handful of smaller boats sitting and fishing. I noticed that the ocean depth had come up from 400’ to 275’.

We were on autopilot, and well clear of their bows by about 1,000’. Suddenly, the guy in the first boat raised his arms like he was showing me how big his fish was. Then I realized he was giving me the double finger.

Thirty seconds later, we passed the second boat and once again got a double salute. I looked back, and our wake was flat and clearly dissipating before it reached them.

What made them so angry?

I still had 5G cell coverage, so I posted the question on the Buzzards Bay Boating Facebook page. Within 5 minutes, I had my answer (along with a ton of troll wisecracks.)

I concluded they were fishing for tuna using chum or scum. I guess if I ever watched Wicked Tuna, I would have known to steer clear. Oh well…

Within half an hour, we were well offshore, and we could no longer see the New Hampshire coast. I looked at the clock on the Garmin and realized we had entered the Atlantic time zone, Pandora shut down, and we had no bars on our cell phones.

At this point, we were outside US Territorial Waters. For the first time as a captain on smooth waters, I felt a little anxiety – kind of like when you are flying to Europe, and you realize that you are 500 miles south of Iceland. I started staring at my instrument gauges and sending a little prayer to Ned and all the folks who maintain Relentless.

Shark Eating Breakfast

About as far away from anywhere as we were going to get, Peter spotted a fin dead ahead just as I saw a large fish jump clear out of the water and quickly disappear under the waves.

I immediately backed down the engines to neutral and grabbed my phone. It was an enormous shark, and we were watching him eating breakfast.

Boothbay Finally

At around 11:00, we entered Boothbay’s outer harbor and headed for the marina. Like Manchester-By-The-Sea, the marina is tucked all the way to the back of the harbor.

Boothbay Harbor Marina sits immediately in front of McSeagulls restaurant. It’s managed by Kim, who does an outstanding job.

Kim at Boothbay Harbor Marina

Kim also has an infectious personality, is always ready to help, and is deep in local knowledge about restaurants and such.

Mine Oyster Company

Kim recommended Mine Oyster Company for lunch, and we took her advice.

Mine Oyster Company Boothbay Maine

Kim told us they’re obsessed with oysters and get them fresh off the boats daily.

Bags of Fresh Oysters at Mine Oyster Company

They have a dedicated Shuckmaster holding court over the ice bath all day long.

I’m a huge fan of large, plump oysters, but he had some jumbos that were absolutely frightening.

Lunch was very good…

Oysters Rockefeller at Mine Oyster Company
Oysters on The Half Shell at Mine Oyster Company
Clam Chowda at Mine Oyster Company
Taco Salad at Mine Oyster Company

The Po Boy came with Homemade Kettle Chips, which were incredible, crunchy, and thick.

Dave The Musician

As we got up to leave, we spotted this guy with a walking cast hobbling out with a guitar on his back, carrying three bags. We immediately offered to help and carried his bags to his car.

Dave Gagne has a bit of a Jerry Garcia look. He’d performed at Mine Oyster Company the night before, but someone asked him to play for seniors in the local nursing home, so he’d come back to get his gear.

He told us he was coming back at 6:00, so we pushed out dinner and returned to see him perform.

I asked Dave what kind of music he played, and he said, “Everything.” And he did.

Dave is an accomplished solo guitar player who performs without backing tracks or a looper. He has excellent pitch and covers all the Jimmy Cliff high notes well. His natural voice is very much Willie Nelson, but his Elvis and, of course, Jerry Garcia are all good,

After Dave’s show, we went across the town footbridge to Coastal Prime for dinner.

Coastal Prime

We were happy to sit inside since we’d been outside most of the day. The inside dining room is decorated like a classy steak house.

While the outside dining area provides a perfect seaside Al fresco setting for a sunset dinner…

Inspired by the atmosphere, we ordered a couple of classic cocktails and “non-steak” dishes.

Mrs. Horne’s Lime Spritzer
Justin Cab
Bombay Sapphire Martini
Bread Service at Coastal Prime
Clam Chowder at Coastal Prime
Lazy Lobster at Coastal Prime
Beet Salad at Coastal Prime
Lamb Chops at Coastal Prime

I had the lamb, and although it was called Lamb Chops, it was really a Rack of Lamb sliced in two. The sauce was a béarnaise, and it complimented the lamb perfectly. They were accommodated by perfectly crisp fingerlings and a Tzatziki cucumber salsa.

We’ve dined in several great restaurants this week, but I have to say Coastal Prime was the best.

The food was great, but the service was even better. Our team was led by a charming man named Goran. He’s from Serbia, and he’s been in the US for two years.

As the sun set on Boothbay Harbor, we had a delightful stroll home.

Could This Go Viral?

On the way back across the footbridge, we noticed some kids swimming, and I quickly grabbed my phone and shot a 15-second video that I’m sure will go viral on Tik Tok (if you’re on Tik Tok, click here and share.)

If not, simply enjoy…