Thursday, September 9, 2010


After my solo Casco Bay trip it was time for my great friend Jason and I to do some nifty sailing together and answer some of Life's Big Questions (ketchup was not the answer).  We loaded up "I Am Zinea, Pterodactylus"  and set sail!

Day One:  South Portland (A) to Bangs (B).

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This was an evening sail.  We enjoyed the tail end of a blustery day and made good time behind Long Island into Chandler's Cove and out up to Bangs.  The northernmost campsite was occupied so we turned upwind and rapidly moved southward enjoying some amazing bioluminescence as we sailed along under a moonless sky.  The rudder stock glowed an unearthly pale blue while bright sparks outlined our wake.  A magical few moments, indeed!  Rowing into harbor each oar splash sent off a swirl of luminescent water.  The Milky Way and the Andromeda Galaxy lit our campsite as shooting stars streaked over the dome of sky.  I couldn't have asked for a better way to start the trip!  I only have one picture-- the examination of our bottle of rum:

Day Two:  Bangs Island (A) to Eagle Island (B) to Jewell Island (C). (might have to zoom out on this one)

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Up after dawn the next day, we patched the sail which suffered a rip when it snagged a piling in South Portland.  Nothing a little duct tape can't fix!  We sailed off of Bangs Island and reached out to Eagle Island, which is a Maine State Park (reached by boat only) and used to be the summer homestead of Admiral Peary, the first person to make it to the North Pole.  How could two adventuring buddies resist visiting this beautiful island once inhabited by such a fascinating adventurer!?

Duct tape sail patch
Lobster boats
Ready for adventure!
Admiral Peary's house on Eagle Island
The view North, on Eagle Island
Goat Island Skiff from Adm. Peary's library!

After our visit to Eagle Island, we sailed upwind to Jewell.  The wind was around 17kts from the South East, and with such a large fetch we were definitely riding some nice large rollers from the Atlantic.  We would high point on one, surf down the backside in the trough, lose sight of some rock we were trying to avoid until we were hoisted again up on high.  It was an exhilarating, fast, and wonderful sail.  Our destination was a small beach next to the Punchbowl on the Northeast side of Jewell, where we were going to camp for the night.  Unfortunately, no pictures between Eagle and Jewell since we were so busy sailing.

On arrival on the beach we found two large parties underway with local families.  One gentleman went above and beyond the call of duty, and when everyone was done with their fill he brought us over a pan of mussels, harvested in the Punchbowl just hours before.  OH MY WORD-- after a cold wet sail, this was an amazing gesture that we will not forget!

On the Beach on Jewell
The Punchbowl, apparently the largest tidepool in Maine
Nature's bounty-- mussels!

After our mussel feast, we wandered about Jewell.  This island used to have a military installation on it for defensive purposed during WWII.  This means observation towers, battlements, and batteries.  Kinda cool!

Looking north from the WWII tower
WWI tower from WWII tower, South
WWII Tower
South End of the Island
Evening.  Notice the disappearing sea wall with high tide...
That evening was windy and wet.  It spit rain, the wind picked up, and the boat got really bashed up on the beach as the tide came up.  The small protective wall went under water and the Atlantic came rolling right into our cove.  The decision was made to decamp for day three to Cocktail Cove, a beautiful and protected anchorage on the other side of the island, with camps that are located higher up from the water underneath pines.  A great spot.

Day Three:  Jewell Island to Cliff Island for sandwiches, and back to Jewell.

After moving camp, we sailed to Cliff Island next to Jewell and then back.  The rain and clouds moved out.  The rest of the day was spent snorkeling in the Punchbowl, swimming, enjoying the post-Labor Day serenity.

The Punchbowl

This cove will fill right up at high tide
Six Sailboats shared the cove for the night.

Oh yeah, there was a sunset.

Day Four:  Jewell Island (A) to Little Chebeague (B) to South Portland (C)

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The next morning saw passing showers, reports of isolated thunderstorms, and fog rolling in and out of the different islands.  This was go-home day.  We got up and after the rain decided to make a run for it.  The tide was up, the wind was whipping up whitecaps and pretty good rollers from the Southeast.  We decided to stay inside Casco Bay and go back to South Portland via Little Chebeague instead of the open-ocean passage.  In hindsight, it probably took the same amount of effort since the wind variations in Casco Bay actually left us becalmed for a bit.  A more consistent wind with albeit more effort on the Atlantic side would have yielded the same result:  tired yet happy crew.

The tide's up in the cove-- before the wind and waves...
Camp Three, fog in distance
Drying out on Little Chebeague


  1. Oh my those sunset pictures are publishable.

    Let's plan to do this trip next year in tandem. It is exactly how I saw using my Goat when coming up with the yawl idea.