Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Duckpunting HO! MRS MUMBLES on the loose again!

This is going to be very straightforward.  Any Intrepid Reader knows exactly how this is probably going to go, and I assure you that this crazy blog won't disappoint. I KNOW you've been waiting all year with heart-in-throat and I have pictures of sure proof that all is still right with the world: The sun still shines in your portion of the cerulean sky and we are not part of an extraterrestrial hologram.  Breathe that sigh of relief, Intrepid Reader, tuck your children into bed with joy, enjoy that whiskey by the evening fire, and rejoice! The Cold War is over!

And Dory Dan's duckpunt still leaks!

We gather to sail south, towards the Clamming Grounds.
This year, I brought my hypothermia kit.
Winds were honking when we got to the ramp, I'd say gusting to 20kts, a little more than we were expecting or asked for.  However, champs like us see this as an opportunity to test our mettle against the elements.  What are a couple of New Englanders like us afraid of?  We are sailors and gritty, and like it cold and wet. Our ancestors had it worse. Full speed ahead!  I brought my hypothermia dry bag in case I dumped it and went into the drink.  I'm glad, because I forgot my drysuit at home.  Dory Dan forgot his bailing bucket at home.  This induced a moment of extreme incredulous in me for as we may remember... the first sail of the season for his duckpunt usually means she has to "take-up" a bit.

He looked at me, I looked at him, and I promptly poured the rest of the contents of a windshield-wiper fluid bottle into a spare nalgene rolling around in my car (I'm not going to waste wiper fluid, I come from a long line of frugal Yankees) and then I cut the bottom off.  While doing this, Dan told me about the slick-seaming he did and how he left the punt outside this winter so it shouldn't be AS BAD AS LAST YEAR, etc., and then added: I have my clamming bucket, but it has holes in it, and other such gems of conversation. Anyway, I made the Instant Bailer, boom! This saved the expedition from more lateness to the Clamming Grounds, as the tide was about to turn in but a few moments and we had little to lose.

I sped off, making good time. The punt is exhilarating downwind! There was a small mudflat to my starboard and I put in briefly to re-arrange my living situation.  Dory Dan was close behind, charging hard.

Why so stern heavy Dan?

SAY IT AIN'T SO, DORY DAN! SAY IT AIN'T SO!
check out bailer in aft cabin

YES! The picture that begins the season for realz! DORY DAN BAILING HIS PUNT!
History! Intrepid Readers rejoice!
"I can see it coming in through the planks," he says!
Tumultuous crowds line the banks of the marsh to ogle!
Mayor proclaims May 17 as Dory Dan Bailing Day!
"It's coming in as fast as I can bail it out!" he mutters to himself!

Dory Dan finally southbound--
...still bailing...
Chasing Dory Dan downind. What a day! What weather! 

I hug a mud flat at machspeed-loony and watch the bottom go by, scant inches away.
This is sailing a duckpunt, in all it's glory. What fun!
For the record, this was a very difficult picture to take.
We arrived at the Clamming Grounds just as the other clammer-types were cleaning up their gear and heading home.  Dan anchored his punt and starting clawing away at the mud, making excellent time and many large holes.  This guy is Mr. Muscles, fo' sho'.  We had to quickly retreat into the middle of the flat as Dan was forced by the tide to leave behind one hole after another. Three holes he dug, in quick succession, throwing clams into his bucket. I watched the boats, now in the distance, slowly float and then become isolated beings in a sea of water.  As the tides closed over the mudflat, I looked around myself in a sweeping circle while standing in ankle-deep water, thousands of feet from the nearest shore and surrounded by the broad blue expanse.  The sun began to set beyond the clouds with golden fingers flecking the virgin green grass on the marshes.  Silence except for the wind washing across the sound.  This was certainly a moment of reckoning, of isolation, of mortality, as the water rose to my boot tops.  The siren song of the sea, I suppose, or something else.  So close to humanity and yet in that moment so far, far away.  'Twas a beautiful moment.

Back to the boats, and the long slog upwind to the ramp.


Dory Dan clams in the distance

MRS MUMBLES and Dan's Punt get cozy. They make a good punting team!

HUMOR!
HAHAHA!




New England Sea Captain to his bones.


Dory Dan leaves the punt to take up over the week.

What joy, this duckpunting.
And, may I say with some humbleness, A GREAT LUNCH THE NEXT DAY!

New England Life 4EVAH





Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Good Poetry and Delightful Rosé Get Mixed Up With a Bad Crowd

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?
(from Leisure, WH Davies)

This got frustrating, so I quit doing it.
There comes a time in the year when every noble skipper and daring captain decides to prepare for the upcoming season.  In theory, this means a careful inventory of gear and supplies aboard the ship with some elbow grease thrown in for good measure while things are set to order, Bristol Fashion, etc. etc. I can see all you seasoned salts now, nodding your heads in collective agreement, stroking your fine beards and thinking of Preparations Past.

I strive to do the same, but fail on a regular, disheartening basis.  I am coming slowly to the point of accepting that I am a lazy, messy sailor, a somewhat indifferent boatbuilder, and while I may aspire to higher levels of exacting standards I'm almost positive that I'm only fooling myself.

SO I WENT SAILING! ALSO, I ONLY HAD CHOCOLATE AND COFFE FOR BREAKFAST!

Who wants to putz around the boat in the backyard on a beautiful spring day when there are ISLANDS TO CIRCUMNAVIGATE and BRIDGES TO DUCK UNDER and other such funness that is paramount to long and healthy life?!  It is mucho easier to pack the above mess back into their respective bags, compartments, boxes, and 5-gallon buckets and hitch the wagon to the black and dark and somewhat underpowered 4 Horses of Mazda and get the screw out of DODGE!  Vroooooom to Great Bay! It was ascertained by close examination of nautical charts that there were two islands that were begging for some hot NNECS action! (did not actually look at charts but happened upon islands that had been forgotten to the mists of memory and time)

The true nature of reality beckons from.... JUST BEYOND
(please someone pull the plug on TED... please, anyone, please)

NNECS' own Captain Callsign circumnavigates these two islands
in the western portion of Great Bay!
SCOUT READY!

With much bravery and gusto Lovely Wife and the dashing Captain Callsign hit the Squamscott River and motored north.  We had wind and tide against us and a low slung railroad bridge to contend with.  The Iron Mizzen started on the first pull with last year's gas (!!! huzzah, I say, this is where you should say "huzzah" as well), and we plowed northward into the beckoning and everlasting sky and the endless horizons that only salt water delivers.  SCOUT purred contentedly, afloat once more as she shook off her winter sentence of garagist isolation.  The garage is just the WORST.


We plunge into the open arms of the blue
The masts go up and sails roll out.
The flags fly and we power ahead, quiet now.
We sneak up on those islands.
One of the islands we circumnavigated.  The second one is in background.
Once we arrived at the islands the circumnavigation commenced.  We pull around the first one, and beat up the narrow channel while watching copulating horseshoes up on the banks.  The Lovely Wife found this oddly exciting. The channel was narrow and the tacking strategic, and I made a wonderful close pass of the weather end of the island, dodged some rocks and took off wing-and-wing back down the other side.  We pressed in close to the terrain, skimming the bottom by a few inches.  I love the Sea Pearl 21 for this! Whatta boat.  Lovely Wife finds it unremarkable as she knows nothing else but shallow draft.  "Is this something special?" she asks, slightly annoyed as I continuously point out the perilously close bottom that speeds by.  YES. YES IT IS. Shallow draft. Follow at Own Risk.

We glided into the lee of the first island and dropped the hook for a SCOUT special: Picnic On A Herreshoff Designed Cutting Board. Everyone knows how special this is.  Today's fare consisted of a prosciutto sandwich, a chicken shawarma burrito (you can find this delicacy at Wellington's in Concord, NH) and a "delightful" bottle of rosé by Famille Lafage... Miraflors 2015 from southwest France. Of course, it was kept cold, thanks to SCOUT's very modern high-tech cooler that is the envy of all other coolers.  I know a thing or two about coolers.  Also joining us for picnic was my new Mudd Knife, courtesy of Lovely Wife, and the book "Good Poems."

During picnic time there was much enjoying of the rosé, the sandwiches, and most deviously, the book "Good Poems." Clandestine-like at our secret anchor hide-out we read several poems to each other as we swayed in the quiet lee of the island. It was a devilish affair, very deviant, and dark.  The only other sounds were the lapping water, some seagulls, and the wind in the trees as it swirled complex shapes around this terrestrial obstruction, our island. AND OF COURSE we were serenaded by the continuous yapping of an obviously untrained derelict spoiled dog coming from the deluxe apartment compound on Moody's Point, just south.  'Merika.

Anyway, great book. Good poems.  Really.

NOTE: Mudd Knife. Herreshoff cutting board.
The book is not a joke. I carry books on SCOUT.
Intrepid Readers should know this by now.

Bound for Island TWO and then south to the ramp.
I scared the seagulls into lofty flight.
Lovely Wife rests in her world famous chair.
Boy oh boy, I hope we get back before last light.

I poet now!

Go sailing, Intrepid Readers. The Waters, they beckon you like songs from above and over the horizon, those songs that you can't hear but you know that they are there. Go, answer their call, their siren call. Lose yourself, just go, go now. Water is calling.... Answer!


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Seasonal Prep: Maintenance Kit

The sounds, smells, and sights of Spring are upon us, Intrepid Reader, and it is time to shake SCOUT out of her slumber and get her ready for what I hope is going to be an epic season of sailing, expeditioning, and other nautical delights!

In that light, I've decided to do a mini-series on the different gear I carry about my stalwart steed, and I strongly invite the reader to suggest other equipment that they may see fit. We start with the maintenance kit, which is a toolshed in a bag.



In the upper left is a bag of nylon webbing straps with bucks.  I somehow acquired a significant amount of nylon straps and buckles and cannot remember why or how.  They seem useful, so I carry them aboard Scout, but I've never used them. Below the bag of straps is parachute cord, sail thread, and twine. Adjacent is a sailmaking palm. Then, two boxes of screws, and Gorilla Tape, duct tape, and sail repair tape and a random cleat in case I want to cleat something in the head.... (sounds dramatic!).

Continuing counterclockwise, a wide assortment of carabiners, shackles, clips, blocks, fairleads, one camcleat, and a hundred plastic zipties.  The serious Intrepid Reader knows that I pretty much bend on all my sails (GIS and duckpunt) to their yards with zipties because I am lazy, they are cheap, and it works. I will never win a classy hoity-toity prize at Mystic, but I'm not in the sailing for the prizes. I'm into sailing for the BABES. This blog is not known for the babes, but I am ever hopeful that one day they will materialize and I will have the best blog post ever seen!

Next up we have a bag of leather (literally, a bag) from some of my favorite rum, leather strapping, a spare oarlock, and an extra propellor for the Iron Mizzen. Finally we rest our eyes on what I call "Tools in a Slightly Oiled T-Shirt." Pretty self-explanatory there.

Not pictured is a spare spark plug, and hose clamps.  

NOW, strictly speaking in a maintenance (not emergency) sense, what else would you include in the above kit? Anything you find indispensable that I do not have but should?

Saturday, January 2, 2016

TSCA New Year's Day Row in Camden


WOAH WOAH WOAH! 2016 already here in but a few breaths from the last time the date rotated a digit.  I muse over what these next twelve months will bring, and I contemplate the past twelve, and while doing so I completely forget the present, which is the only thing I actually have any meager semblance of control over. It is humbling to see another passage completed in such record time.  How, I ask in a futile moment of weakness, how can I move slower and appreciate this brief moment in the sun on this whirring blurring Machine Planet? Sail more? Throw out the anchor more? The concept of slow is relative, and I still want, nay- demand fast sailboats! Am I my own worst enemy? Yes, 6 knots! Get out of my way!

There is an antidote to my 6 knot obsession! I live in such a wonderful part of the world that there are at least 21 other people who think the same way, and they join forces under the majestic banner of the Traditional Small Craft Association- Downeast Chapter.  Every year, under that noble flag of flowing silk they look with steely eyes into the very watery depths of the New Year and see a wonderful opportunity to go rowing with friends! Yes, rowing! That mighty and subversive act of moving a transportation device through the water with your own body- human power, muscle power, it is the kin to biking and cross country skiing and it is good and it remains holy in our profaned world.

Lovely Wife and I went rowing in Camden, Maine to herald in a new tour around our Sun.  We rode into this port town in company with the illustrious Cap'n Jon and the legendary TWO HEARTED, his Phoenix III. I took THE BEV, a Beverly Dinghy built out of polyester resin in the late 50s/early 60's for the Beverly Yacht Club as a club tender for racing and learning to sail.  She's 11 1/2' long, carries a wood half-wishbone boom with a rotating mast, and has been in the family for decades.  I believe this is a first appearance for THE BEV on GISAmateur Style! HUZZAH!

I wish a most happy new year to all my Intrepid Readers! Join me and go outside more. Weave together the stories of today that you will remember tomorrow. Watch the sun pass by once in a while and remind yourself of the hurtling speeds we are doing on our little rock. Hoist your sail or dip your oars and watch the waves your little craft makes as she plies the waters. Such small wakes we leave in the oceans.

The New Year's Row in some pictures:


Tom Jackson in his famous Bolger Gloucester Light Dory



Do you remember Pirate Joe from SRR 2011? He's in that little black dinghy center right!

Jonathon and Betsy in their sweeeet canoe! This thing was beautiful.

Here, Cap'n Jon takes our Ex-Fearless Leader Jack aboard TWO HEARTED from Ben Fuller's North Shore Dory. This could be called a risky maneuver amongst amateurs and those perpetually bound in their lazy-chairs, but it was executed with precision and panache befitting professionals and no one got wet.

THE BEV! (thanks to Cap'n Jon!)

The famous Marblehead Gunning Dory, REPUBLICAN under the Curtis Island lighthouse.




Cap'n Jon and his BLING

NNECS representing as Cap'n Jon and I chime and cheer in the New Year with a most solemn ceremony while afloat in our boats.  Probably no better way to start off a new heliocentric journey.

Under muscle power (Cap'n Jon)

THE BEV up on the beach. 

A Paul Labrie pulling boat in the background, and the 3-strake planked North Shore Dory belonging to the enigmatic Ben Fuller.
Landing Beach on Curtis Island



Friday, August 28, 2015

Cured Meats and Soft Cheeses: Around Great Island

It smelled like old Wendy's fast food that lay smoldering under a Las Vegas highway overpass, somewhat wicked but rapidly desiccating into something oddly familiar and satisfying. Much like a flatulence that waffles between pride and disownership. The desert dries all things with a hint of sage and concrete, as does the mystery powder in the bottom of the Doodie Bag (but without the sage). 

I was contemplating this and other mysteries from the toilet lid of a 5 gallon bucket amongst pine needles and the quiet lapping of water on a Maine island.  The flies were already moving onto my location and unbeknownst to me and my buzzing friends, so were 10 college women (and some men) intent on preparing a campsite for a Freshman Orientation Week.

This can only mean one thing...

Sea Pearl SCOUT IS BACK OUT ON THE PROWL!

ROAAWWRR


AHOY INTREPID READERS!

I welcome you back to another wonderful and beguiling installment of GISAmateur Style!  This has been a tumultuous year of tribulation, complete with physical ailments, professional shakeups, ponderous tragedy, and mighty little sailing. (We missed the Small Reach Regatta, horrors!).  Last week however, SCOUT and I went cruising, and we did it in company and we did it well and BY POSEIDON and his graciousness and his fury we had a goddamm good time and some great sailing!

-Commodore Hazard! and his lovely sneaky fast Coquina SLIFPER
-GreenMountain John and his one-and-only lug rigged yawl Ilur in the world, WAXWING
-Cap'n Jon, of Pheonix III fame but in his newly acquired SeaPearl 21, INDIGO
-And me, Captain Callsign, with of course, SCOUT.

Our objective was the circumnavigation of Sebascodegan Island, or Great Island, which I did solo last year.  You can read this account here. We decided to do it again because it is just such a groovy trip, with varied sailing, nice little holes to duck into, and it was in good proximity to the four of us and our schedules.

DAY 1


For better viewing:

SCOUT and I were the last to arrive at Bethel Point Marine, which has parking and a slimey ramp. Overnight trailer parking can be tough to find, and Bethel Point offers it at $6 a day per vehicle. Don't screw this up! Everyone was already in the water, sprawling around their boats and looking suspiciously content. Commodore Hazard came bouncing up the ramp and greeted me to watch SCOUT while I parked the trailer. We had little sunlight left and in a jumble of camping gear and badly stowed rigging, we set forth for our first anchorage of the night, tucked in just west of Yarmouth Island.

Cap'n Jon took this picture click for more
Commodore Hazard and SLIFPER
Cap'n Jon took this picture click for more
We rafted up for dinner, and quickly bonded over a love of literature, food, exciting beverages to go with said food, lantern light and starlight. MAYBE we talked about boats, too! We bedded down in our steeds open to the night sky and we watched the celestial dome spin about our paltry selves.  I lay for a while staring at the Summer Triangle directly overhead musing to myself that this was the first time I was seeing it this season. It was an old friend that meant camping and warm nights, mosquitoes and high adventure.  In that moment I missed the Triangle terribly and was glad to see it against the backdrop of the Milky Way. Palpable relief settled upon me, and as a few stray meteorites streaked into their hot oblivion, I fell deep asleep. We were under the stars again and life was made right.

I awoke way too early in the morning with Commodore Hazard and GreenMountain John shouting at each other across the anchorage about what a "GREAT DAY" it was. It was 6am. Maybe 5. It was early. I don't know. Some people work for a living.

We rafted up for breakfast, and planned to go around Orr before heading up the west coast of Sebascodegan.

DAY 2: THE EPIC RUN


Red arrow lower left: Lunch
Red arrow upper right: 2nd Anchorage
Yellow: Rowing
Tacking is approximate
Commodore Hazard was ready to go about an hour before anyone else.
If this is Retirement, I want some.

No one else is ready.
We tacked out of our anchorage and quickly realized we missed the slack tide.  It was now flooding, we were beating upwind, and our plan to round Orr Island was looking like it was going to take a while.  Having spent the past several months chasing schedules and moving at the speed of modern transportation, I admit my brain was not running at the same time/distance equation as wind, water, and tide. This mental disconnect with the pace was unnerving, full of internal conflict. I seriously contemplated screwing the plan to go around Orr and running down Gun Point Cove like I did last year, but Hazard kept doggedly marching south and so I did too.

We put in at Cedar Beach on the northern tip of Bailey Island to break down the rigs to get under the the bridge between Bailey and Orr Island. Cedar Beach is a touchpoint on public access to water. I have said this before and I will say it again... access to the water is part of our American Birthright, and we let it slip away to private interests at our peril!


HISTORIC first picture of SCOUT and INDIGO together!
Cap'n Jon celebrates in the background!
SCOUT and I rowing underneath the bridge.
It looks like a bunch of jumbled concrete, right?
Cap'n Jon took this picture, click for more

NO it's lincoln-log stacked blocks of granite! This didn't take any work, I'm sure.
More here
 On the other side of the Bailey Island Bridge we rowed up to Cook's Lobster House. This was fortunate because it was lunch time. It was also unfortunate because it was lunch time and the ferry from Portland just regurgitated about 120 people whose sole purpose in life was to eat at that very moment at Cook's. Fortunately, GreenMountain John was able to sweet talk Cook's into giving us take-out and they happily obliged! Cook's is now on the approved Lobster Eating-Place List here at GISAmateur! Congratulations Cook's!

After lunch, we spun out and then began one of the most incredible downwind runs I have ever had the pleasure to enjoy. The tide and the wind were at our backs, the breeze was building, we were four well matched boats, and the sun was out and we were going somewhere!


Small boat friendly beach!
WAXWING

A Rozinante... it was a real treat to watch Commodore Hazard and SLIFPER spin around her.

Hazard plays around with just the Main, and scoots along just fine.

WAXWING, SLIFPER, and INDIGO coming out from under the Mountain Rd. bridge 
and into the Ewin Narrows.

Shipshape, honest.

INDIGO rounding the corner at Doughty Point
with the Long Reach in the background.
GREAT SAILING
INDIGO

Cap'n Jon doesn't just sail
He slums it. 



Wing and wing down the Ewin Narrows

Cap'n Jon took this picture
Cap'n Jon took this picture, too!
Striking the rig down at Gurnet Straight.
In some wild way, we timed the tide exactly as planned and hit the notorious Gurnet Straight at full slack. We struck our rigs and rowed under the bridge which delineates the northern tip of Sebascodegan Island. We convened on the other side and decided to push further west and tuck in on the east side of Merritt Island and anchor for the night. This small section really became a booming reach with fast sailing and a circumnavigation of Merritt itself, which revealed to us that the "bar" connecting Merritt to the mainland is not sand but rocks, and it's also not charted. We all bumped boards but escaped any serious damage, and dropped our hooks in a little calm paradise. This is where we all couldn't agree how to best anchor and enjoy the boats and the shoreline.

GreenMountain John decided to rig an outhaul, which as my Intrepid Readers will remember, is usually some sort of exercise in frustration, and this was no exception. I swore at this moment that I am finally going to get around to getting that Anchor Buddy, which would solve a lot (not all) of our shore/tide problems. That being said, there's something humorous about watching two sailors tangle with outhauls.

SLIFPER awash in green

Something is rotten in the state of Outhaul.
Commodore Hazard attempts to rectify the issue.

Now the outhaul is hopelessly wrapped around SLIFPER's rudder.
Still working on it.  That Commodore Hazard is persistent, he is.
Hey...Who's outhaul is this, anyway?

I was forced -against my will- to take this picture of the final successful outhaul attempt.
This success came at a great cost of time, took two people, two boats, and much
editorializing from the Peanut Gallery (me).
I salute GreenMountain John for his fortitude and persistence in seeing this through.
They do work sweet, when they work.

FINALLY we can get down to eating!
Most bad-ass raft up ever.

Chef BoyardJohn just slayed this dinner for us unthankful compatriots:
Spirali and pesto sauce with smoked scallops.
Paired with his home-brewed beers.
Luxury.

Cured meats and soft cheeses.
Commodore Hazard enlightening us on the subject of boom crutches and Other Exciting Subjects.
Cap'n Jon listens politely to his superiors. (Smart, Cap'n Jon!)

DAY THREE


So it came to pass that we awoke to a more humid and less sunny day than Day 2. We decided on a humble goal of making it down to the The Basin and tucking in there for the afternoon.  We would have the tide and wind slightly against us, and we just went ahead and enjoyed the sailing it would provide.

Of course this morning after my coffee I headed onto Merritt Island to enjoy my morning constitutional. It was foggy and midweek and who would show up at 8am?, I thought to myself. I dawdled and certainly did not conceal myself, planting my 5 gallon pail right on a major walking thoroughfare from the north end to the south end of the island. I was a king, and this was my land, dammit! I leisurely finished up and turned around just to see a group of college girls (and 2 dudes or so) come walking over the landbridge from the mainland! Forty seconds later, and they would have received what I would imagine is a very unpleasant site of me with my pants bunched around my seaboots cleaning up. My timing was as close as close could be. I walked by the happy group, Doodie Bag in hand, while they cavorted over to the island where moments ago I was most vulnerable.  I'm almost regretting my great timing, I feel I robbed them of a good story to tell over the weekend to their classmates. Maybe I would have said something pithy too, just to spice up their story. (probably not)

Sailing wise, at times the wind was fickle coming through the narrows, but it picked up just fine later in the day and we made good time. We stopped for lunch for more cured meats and soft cheeses, of course. INDIGO and SCOUT had an epic tacking battle into The Basin that wowed the locals who motored over later to talk to us champion sailor types. Then we settled in for another evening of eating.  I think at this point we were beginning to feel it.

Waking up on Day 2 was a little more peaceful, less shouting and the like.

"Hey! You kids! Get off my lawn!"



GreenMountain John sculling WAXWING and showing us all how it's done.
In the background you can see Commodore Hazard preparing for his morning constitutional,
after the college group had left, of course. He either has better timing, or less sense of adventure. Not sure which is better.


Lunch time! Yeah!
This is where the immortal "Captain F***Head" (as christened by the Commodore)
motored by with a big wake bashing the Coquina's rudder onto the rocks,
forever turning "Slipper" into "Slifper" as the pintle rubbed the paint off the transom.
...And if you think about it,
SLIFPER is just so much cooler, because now there's a story.

Tied up in The Basin in triumph. This is what it looks likes, when one triumphs at life.

This is what not-so triumphant puzzlement looks like.
How do I get off the rock and into the boat
without doing what I did last year to myself?

Making the dinner, again! Tonight, it was Cap'n Jon's turn.
He added a special fiberglass ingredient to his dish after he dumped dinner into his bilges.
This does not bother sailors like us, this only makes us
more resilient! Delicious boaty taste, hmm hmm good.





DAY FOUR: FOGGY FINAL COUNTDOWN


East arrow is lunch time at Cundy's Harbor, west arrow pull-out in Bethel
During the night in The Basin we were hit with a particularly hard yet short rain shower which tested all of our tent designs.  Cap'n Jon and I have the convertible cabin that comes with the Sea Pearl, but mine is 29 years old and showing it's age and the leaks to prove it.  It is definitely time for a new one.

We all woke up around the same time and slowly made ready to ship off.  Cap'n Jon was adamant that we stop in Cundy's Harbor and scour the landscape for food, and we all thought this a fine idea and did not oppose him. Jon carries the Tome of Tomes: The Maine Cruising Guide. How he keeps it dry and in good shape I have no idea, because my MITA guide makes it about 4 trips before becoming a sopping mess.  This year, it made it three days since I left it on deck and we had the aforementioned rainshower.

Regardless, Cundy's Harbor is home to Holbrooks Lobster Wharf which is another fine dining establishment with a small-boat friendly dock. Sailing in New England can be boiled (steamed?) down to one goal: Lobster-Hopping and dammit, if it isn't good! It makes us New Englanders strong.

Preparing to leave The Basin

ANNIE, cute schooner from Greenport, NY

After some fine sailing we alight at Cundy's Harbor

Commodore Hazard makes it quite clear how he maintains discipline and order in the fleet!
This is not a man to be trifled with.  He is retired, and he rows, and his name is Hazard.
All fury, all the time.

Here I attempt to explain complicated seafood math to the flustered Commodore Hazard, and how: 
(Steamed Lobster + Steamers) = Steamed Combo.
I am quickly rebuffed by the Commodore and reprimanded, "That's not MATH, that's ARITHMETIC. I'm getting the Lobster Quesadilla."
(Cap'n Jon)

(Steamers + Lobster Roll) +2(Sea Pearl)+2(Boats of varying types) = AMAZING TRIP

4 Skippers + 1 Camera + Timer = Class Graduation Photo.
(Look at the Commodore's muscles! and that steely gaze framed by the wise beard)
Cap'n Jon took this photo
 After lunch it was time to put this circumnavigation to bed.  The wind was rising, the humidity was increasing, and we had heard ominous rumors of thunderstorms to the west approaching our location. We hopped in the boats against an increasing flood tide and onshore breeze.  Time to get moving! We quickly encountered the fog and picked our way around Cundy's Point.  We hove to, and regrouped to make sure no one was left behind.  Then, it was a quick scuttle back to Bethel Point with the wind and tide pushing us along.  Commodore looked over at me with a look of exasperation, "I can't believe it's over.... Let's do it again!" I looked at him hard... I had the food and the water to do another one, and who could fault us if we had? We were a tight group. We all sailed very well, had excellent on-the-water skills, could handle our boats, and we got along swimmingly.  I am proud to be acquainted with such top-notch gentlemen sailors and I have difficulty expressing the great time I had.

What wonderful sailing!
What a wonderful group of sailors!
What great boats!
What a coastline that we have in our backyards!
WHAT KINGS WE ARE!







SCOUT and SLIFPER
Cap'n Jon took this photo

THE END
If you found this interesting, GreenMountain John has posted a thread at Wooden Boat with another perspective and his pictures.