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Ahoy from Portsmouth, NH!
I never thought that I would have considered Portsmouth, New Hampshire to be SOUTH, but after this trip, it is! On Sunday we made the 50 nm trip in single digit winds on the nose. It was so calm that the seas were glassy, but we had big swells on the beam, which made for a rolly trip. We took ourselves a few miles out of the way to Kennebunkport to view the Bush compound. There are a series of white buoys which outline the presidential security zone surrounding the compound. We made sure that we didn't cross them, and it was clear that the lobster boats didn't cross them either, as this was the only section of the coast that wasn't littered with lobster pots.
We planned our arrival at the Prescott Parks docks to align with slack tide due to the intense currents that flow through here. It's amazing how much current flows through here, and you don't want to be fighting it or trying to dock with the current ripping past you.
If you want to be near historic downtown (and you do), you need to find dockage near it. Most of the mooring fields are well away from downtown and the only anchorage is a long way away. I don't know anything public transportation in the area, but you had better be willing to hoof it or take a taxi if there isn't public transportation.
Portsmouth is a favorite city of Sue and myself. The downtown is full of galleries and shops, and if you enjoy historic homes, this is a great place for you. We've never had the time to wander around the town, but this time we picked up a walking tour brochure and really enjoyed our walk through the historic neighborhoods. I wouldn't want to live there due to the narrow streets and lack of parking, but it's wonderful to explore.
As far as restaurants go, you can find a set of suggestions from Randy, who's an ex-CIA agent and currently an assistant Brew Master and Tour Guide at Smutty Nose Brewery in the "for the cruiser" section.
From here (I think that) we're headed to Manchester by the Sea, which is about 30 miles from here.
-- Geoff & Sue
For the cruiser:
Dockage at Prescott docks is basically $2/ft priced on 5' increments. A 35-40' is $70. They doubled their prices from last year and the web site still shows the old pricing.
I always like to eat at Muddy Water for BBQ, but we've been told that there's a better place named Mo Joe's located at 212 Islington St, which is just a few blocks from Muddy Water. We also ate at Rosa Restaurant (80 State St) and had a very good, reasonably priced Italian meal. Other suggestions are the Blue Mermaid Grill, Stockpot, Chiang Thai, Jumping Jay's Fish Cafe, the Dolphin Striker (only when the chef is in town), Fat Belly's (burgers) and Margaritas (upscale Mexican)