Yours truly is back and with a tale of journey to tell! Actually, SCOUT and I have TWO stories, but they will be added in installments. The first story is a four day trek on minimal left-over foodstuffs that spanned mid-coast Maine from Belfast-Castine-Brooklin-Castine-Belfast, or as I like to call it, the BCBCBfest! It almost sounds like a famous punk-rock bar that is now closed in NYC, but not quite and probably not as cool.
Let's get this party started, right here on your favorite Amateur Style network!
|Red = Sailing|
Black = Iron Mizzen
Yellow = Rowing
DAY MINUS UNO (-1)
The first day minus one day was spent with Cap'n Jon of TWO HEARTED. He has a new transportation device, an expedition length Old Town Canoe Tripper XL, henceforth dubbed, "THE TRIPPAH." We spent an evening on the Kennebec and trippahed down to a Reny's, which is a Maine Institution, like Hamilton Marine, but less marine-y. I needed a pair of muck boots, and I definitely found them, and for the right price (15$)! My life afloat has dramatically changed with these boots. Why did I wait so long? Thank you Reny's! (No joke, life changing).
|BOOTS! and Cap'n Jon sprawling around. But the BOOTS!|
Characteristically late, and catching the last of the outgoing tide before it became a threat to forward progress I sailed out of Belfast Harbor with a stiff Southwesterly sea breeze coming up Penobscot Bay. Think: Outgoing tide, incoming wind. Since I was in a rush, I was in t-shirt and didn't button up the center cockpit under the tonneau cover. Woops.
Half way across Penobscot to the north end of Isleboro, I ended up stuffing the bow into the chop. The Sea Pearl has some great design features. The water I was shipping aboard flowed back to the aft cockpit, and drained out the stern (I thoughtfully opened the plug), and so swamping wasn't too much an issue. The bow-stuff maneuver was a first time event for me, and SCOUT shook it off and kept marching forward. I ended up reefing multiple times as the further I left Belfast behind the higher the wind velocity and the steeper the chop. It got to a point where I was taking so much water I put on my dry-suit. My heart rate was up, a tad.
I stayed very determined on the north point of Isleboro, because I knew when I cleared that, the fetch would diminish significantly and I could enjoy some calmer waters. The goal was Castine, and I planned to throw the hook in a little harbor between the Ram Islands.
|Entering the lee from Isleboro and calmer waters|
|Everything is soaked. Canvas bags worked! Sleeping bag dry.|
|Four wraps in on the mainsail reef.|
|Safe harbor in Ram Island with Castine in the distance.|
|Something big this way comes.|
|Did I mention my new boots?! Life is awesome!|
Up and at 'em early I motored out of the little bay and headed down south to enter the Eggomoggin Reach. I was somewhat something kind of planning to head to Mount Desert Isle/Acadia and sail up Somes Sound, which I hear is legendary. However, I was flexible and was going to let chips fall as they may. Rounding the Head of the Cape the wind picked up and I killed the Tohatsu and fired up the sails. We had a very enjoyable sail down the Egg Reach, under the Deer Isle bridge, and down to Center Harbor/Brooklin, where we had an interesting and unexpected meet up with the good people over at OffCenterHarbor.com. They were sailing a 7-strake Caledonia Yawl, and were a little intrigued at SCOUT and I bebopping around the coast like a bunch of worthless bums. We spent a few minutes discussing particulars, and there is a good chance we'll see some SCOUT and me over at OffCenterHarbor.com. I will admit I was somewhat trepidatious, as SCOUT and I aren't the most clinical of sailing types, with sails and oar and sacrilegious motors and lots of loud opinions, but as Eric piped up, they are "off" Center Harbor, after all. I was sold.
It's really a wonderful website with lots of great videos and I highly recommend the subscription, it's kind of like WoodenBoat/SmallCraftAdvisor but online and with videos. Cap'n Jon certainly likes his. (and that's an endorsement!) If you're an arm-chair winter-sailor like me, this is a great hint-hint for the better half. Just sayin'.
|Fall is coming to New England. You can't stop it.|
|Deer Isle bridge. A rite of passage for all boats.|
|Apologies about the blurry but this is MARTHA, E.B. White's boat. |
This is his boat. No joke. I pass close to legend.
|A little Chesapeake skiff.|
|I don't know what this is, but it looks fast, and it looks mean, and I want one.|
|YAY Beetle Cat! I love Beetle Cats. They saved me when I was lost.|
|Tom Jackson's FAR AND AWAY looking lonely under the green tarp. |
C'mon, Tom, let's go sailing!
|SCOUT hiding behind Little Hog|
|Sunset over the Egg Reach.|
|Home sweet home. Cooking up some random rice bag found floating in the bilge and enjoying |
the heat from my German lantern. Go lantern, go! Keep the cold and humidity at bay!
This was day four without a shower and since OffCenterHarbor was coming my way I took a sponge bath of sorts which was cold and exhilarating and brutal all at once. I will say, that my view from my morning constitutional was fantastic, however.
|The view from The Can.|
After some more sailing in Center Harbor I headed back to Castine for night, and ran into a dead calm. The Tohatsu answered the call to putt-putt, and we motored almost all the way back to Ram Island. More blasphemy? Or more cruising? I don't judge, too much.
|Another perfect morning in Brooklin. |
Where were you waking up?
tic toc tic toc tic toc, time waits for no man. etc. etc. etc.
|Back under the Deer Isle bridge bound for Castine, under Iron Mizzen power!|
|Into the sun. Not enjoyable.|
So back to Ram Island SCOUT and I awent, where we spent the night again. This evening was largely burned up listening to people on a beach party, which brought to mind this post from 2012. Read the paragraph below the ferry. My feelings haven't changed. What is with people and noise? Seriously.
After waking up, we waited for the tide to come up across the bar by Nautilus Island, and headed to Castine. The waiting of the tide clearly illustrated the benefits of the Sea Pearl 21. I came across Penobscot Bay in a blow and steep chop with little worry, ghosted down the Egg Reach, effortlessly motored back to Castine, and I can cross a bar in 6" of water. That's all I need to find a snug anchorage and get to where I need to go. Six inches of water.
I was tipped off by Cap'n Jon that Castine is home to lots of Elm trees that somehow escaped the blight. I found this fascinating, because I grew up listening to the Olde Popster who would tell me about Elm trees that would line all the main streets and provide shade and so on, and how they have all disappeared with the Dutch Elm Disease, and how he would chase ice carriages in summer time for ice-chunks to suck on, and Ye Olde Dayes were not like today with you and your kids and your refrigerators. And behold, Castine has Elm trees, and they are great to see, as Olde Popster said they would be.
|Waking up to more dew and a paradisio anchor hole. Good holding ground, well protected, morning sun.|
|All that separates me from Castine|
|Give me 10 minutes.|
|Starfish a-plenty! This one is blue.|
|Crossing the bar with 6" of water. YES shallow draft!|
|Castine Town Dock. Everyone stop. SCOUT has arrived.|
|ELM TREE and Congregational Church. Is there anything else more New England?|
|Another Elm Tree!|
|Not an Elm Tree.|
|Sigh, catboats. So wonderful. I love New England.|
|PRESTO? Let's face it, I love sharpies. Is this the Presto 30? It has 4 windows instead of 3. Not sure. Regardless, beautiful and capable. I.Want.One. You want one! This boat also has the Australian rudder-cassette design a-la Goat Island Skiff. Very excited I was, to see that on a large production vessel. If anyone knows what this is, please advise.|
|Rowing weather. Jeeeezum, it's flat.|
|I'm really not that excited. CCBB represent.|
|Mid-Bay Messabout. That's the tip of Isleboro I was so happy to see three days prior.|
|THIS IS HOW YOU END JOURNEY. LOBSTER.|