This can only mean one thing...
Sea Pearl SCOUT IS BACK OUT ON THE PROWL!
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.
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
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
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 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.|
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!|
|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.
|INDIGO rounding the corner at Doughty Point |
with the Long Reach in the background.
|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.|
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?
|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.
|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!)
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!"|
|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?
DAY FOUR: FOGGY FINAL COUNTDOWN
|East arrow is lunch time at Cundy's Harbor, west arrow pull-out in Bethel|
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."
|(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
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