Maine Cruise 2004
Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3
| Week 4
Sunday, August 1, 2004
|There was a
fair bit if wind overnight, but the harbor was so protected that many of
the boats--including Glissando--would not, and did not, face into
the wind, town between the tides, currents, and variable wind directions
caused by our proximity to Harbor Island and the steepness of the
terrain surrounding the entire harbor. The mooring buoy to which I
was attached was the hard plastic type, and all night it managed to bang
and bounce against the hull, since the boat refused to pull away from
the buoy at all. The plastic buoy, transmitted through the hull,
sounded like it was surely made of concrete. In desperation at one
point in the wee hours, I went on deck to remove all slack from the
pendant, hoping that it would prevent the buoy from being able to
contact the hull. IT seemed to work OK for a while, but the buoy
continued to hit the hull as the boat gently rocked to the variations in
the wind and gusts overnight.
The wind was less in the morning, and I
had a relaxing morning on board. Just as I was cooking myself a
big breakfast, my first of the cruised--corned beef hash and
eggs--Heather's mom, "Bear", arrived in her dinghy (dubbed "the
Superdink") with some fresh blueberry muffins to share. Perfect
timing, and they were delicious, too. Thanks!
I dinghied over to Dasein
for a little hangout time, then it was back to the boat for more reading
and relaxing. It's a tough life, this cruising. The weather
was so-so, with some light showers, breaks of sun, less wind than
Saturday (thankfully), and, late in the day, the threat of
thunderstorms, though none materialized overhead. Earlier, Nathan
had called my attention to a boat whose hull shape he liked; it turned
out to be a Pearson Rhodes 41, which does indeed have a beautiful hull.
We both got to thinking that one of those would make a nice "next boat"
perhaps. Just what I need...
was invited, through Lucky Bear
and Dasein, to cocktails on board a Corbin 39, Yankee,
friends of Lucky Bear. I was pleased to accept, and spent
an enjoyable couple hours aboard with the pleasant owners Ronald &
Catherine Jacks. It's always fun to see other boats, and Yankee,
which was finished off by Concordia in Padanaram, was beautiful and
spacious inside, with wonderful wide, flush decks forward of the low
pilothouse. Coming from a small 28-footer like Glissando, I
always marvel at the sheer size of these larger boats, and often begin
to fall into the trap of dreaming how nice something larger might be.
Then I come more or less to my senses, and realize how perfect
Glissando is for us, in almost all ways. There's no denying
that additional storage and interior space, and wide expanses of deck
are wonderful. Of course, none of this could ever come, for me, at
the expense of overall aesthetics and classic good looks. But then
there's that Rhodes 41...of course, I'd have to gut the interior,
replace the ports (which just don't look good on that gorgeous hull),
redo any systems, the whole works. Ah, details...
After cocktails, it was over to Lucky
Bear again, for some fresh mussels and excellent bread from the
Bucks Harbor Market. Life is tough.
Monday, August 2, 2004
more day in Bucks, waiting for Heidi to meet me at 1500 this afternoon.
I was looking forward to seeing her, and having her aboard, though I had
had a fun week+ by myself. There's no question it is more
enjoyable with Heidi, though, as fun as it has been to this point.
In her honor, perhaps, the weather improved, with clear skies by 0800,
warm, light breezes, and temperatures in the 80s. Finally, summer!
Would it last more than a day? Only time would tell, but even one
superior day makes any number of lousy days previous seem insignificant,
spent part of the mooring readying the boat by topping of the water tank
with a couple of my deck jugs, then heading to shore to fill the water
jugs, buy ice, and fill my one empty diesel jug and dinghy gasoline can.
The fuel prices at Bucks Harbor Marine were high: 5 gal. diesel,
1.25 gallons of gas, three blocks of ice, and one bag of cubes totaled
The Thompsons and Sanborns departed in the morning, and I was once again
solo for a time. I cleaned up the dinghy, and spent some time
cleaning all the mussels from Pickering Island that were still hanging
in my mesh bag of the transom; I removed the beards and external
barnacles to make for better cooking later tonight. Then, I
settled down on board for a relaxing, fair-weather day in the cockpit,
filled with reading, some computer work (logs), and general enjoyment.
I noticed with distaste one boat sporting the dreaded "Death Star"
burgee (that of the rude, pushy, arrogant, and inconsiderate New York
Yacht Club), but they departed the harbor in a rush in mid-afternoon, in
Heidi arrived right on time at 1500, chauffeured by my mom. The
afternoon had turned gorgeous, with a light breeze to cool off the 80°
temperatures. I ferried Heidi and her gear--plus Mom--out to the
boat in several trips (glad to have that dinghy outboard, though I could
have brought the boat to the dock if need be), and we relaxed for a
while before Mom had to head back home.
A pair or rafted boats, each with
double headsails and lazy jacks, reminded Heidi and I of the new cable
stay bridge in Boston (the name escapes me now, but it's the one north
of the Big Dig...Zagaro, Zagut...something.)
On a beautiful, still evening, we enjoyed more mussels (this time with
bread to soak up the juice) and hit the rack early. It was calm
all night, with nice stars and, later, moon.
Tuesday, August 3, 2004
Bucks Harbor -
Buckle Island Benjamin River (8.04NM
It was another beautiful morning, and with
a relatively short day planned (just over 15 miles), we departed when
the time seemed right--which ended up being about 0945. Our course
was to take us down Eggemoggin Reach, across Jericho Bay, and to the
edge of York Narrows, where Buckle Island lay.
The wind was light, and was forecast to remain so. We headed
southeast down Eggemoggin Motor (I mean Reach), and before long, the
tide was against us, lowering our speed to about 4.2 knots over ground.
What a bore. The wind remained light till we passed beneath the
Deer Isle Bridge, when it began to come up directly from the
southeast--exactly where we were headed. Earlier, we had noticed
fog out in East Penobscot Bay, as we were leaving Bucks, and I figured
we would likely run into fog once we exited the Reach into Jericho
Bay--not a problem, since at that point we'd only have a few miles
though, the southeast wind--right on the nose--began to build, and,
despite NOAA's predictions, was shortly up to around 20 knots, bringing
with it the expected chop that slowed our speed to just over 3
knots--excruciating. We might have sailed, though the Reach at
this point was narrow, and we would have been tacking till next week.
As we discussed what to do--after all, we didn't have to go to Buckle
Island--suddenly the fog began to roll in with a vengeance, pushed
forward by the fresh southeast breeze. Heidi said, "Abort!", I
quickly seconded her opinion, and we headed off the wind for a
brief--yet extremely pleasant beam reach--to nearby Benjamin River,
where we had been previously and always like. Almost immediately,
as we reached the narrow entrance, the fog closed off all visibility in
the Reach, while it remained hot and sunny--and windy--in the attractive
harbor. It was most definitely a good move to head in, even though
we had only covered about half the intended distance. Near the
entrance, we passed the ketch Angelique as she was just departing
Benjamin River; she presently disappeared into the rapidly-descending
it ends up blowing 20 knots (and higher) from the southeast, at 11:00 in
the morning, when the forecast called for 5-10 SW becoming south 10-15
in the afternoon, is beyond me. How can NOAA possibly be SO wrong,
SO frequently with these forecasts? I accept that any forecast
beyond today's is changeable, but can't they do a better job for the
immediate 12 hours?
any event, we always enjoy Benjamin River. Heidi steered us up the
narrow channel to the beautiful, quiet, and spacious inner basin filled
with interesting boats. The crop this year included two Concordia
yawls (one a 39, the other a 41), two Rozinantes, a sleek traditional
sloop, three Bridges Point 24s (including one with the small cuddy cabin
that was a large inspiration for my
project) and a number of other interesting boats, including the
always-favorite sardine-yacht Grayling, and even a Pearson 300--a
fortunately rare and odd pilothouse 30-footer built on a Coaster hull.
passed a relaxing afternoon, and I took some time to fit the dinghy
spars into the brand-new mast bag that Heidi had made (yay!!!)--they
were a perfect fit. The new bag should protect the spars in their
exposed forward position, as well as make the bundle less of an eyesore
on deck. In addition, since stowing the three sections previously
required substantial lashings to ensure that all three sections were
well secured, the new bag might make using the dinghy for sailing more
frequent, since the spars would be easier to prepare and stow back away.
cocktails and dinner, we had some light rain showers, followed closely
by the sun's reappearance. This created a beautiful full rainbow;
I couldn't capture the entire bow in one photo, but it was an excellent
one. Actually, I noticed while working on this photo that there
was actually a double rainbow; I hadn't noticed it at the time, but it
is clearly visible in the photo.
Wednesday, August 4, 2004
Benjamin River -
Buckle Island Somesville (27.2NM
Buckle Island simply can't get a break: again today, the pretty,
granite-filled harbor was our original destination, but we decided to
take advantage of a nice day (with a couple unsettled and rainy days in
the forecast hence) to continue on to Somesville instead. Buckle
Island is nice, but we could come back there later in the trip, once we
have our easting out of the way.
departed Benjamin River around 0900, in bright sunshine and on the heels
of a pleasant 12 knot northwesterly breeze. Unfortunately, the
wind died as soon as we got out into Eggemoggin Reach, so we were forced
to motor yet again. And so it went: very little or no wind
for the entire day. Once clear of the reach, we passed Andrew
Breece on his Cape Dory Angelina, heading back to Bucks Harbor.
We hoped to have a chance to catch up with him later on, if we made a
second stop at Bucks.
approached our supposed destination, Buckle Island, at about 1100, after
an uneventful and fast (with the tide in our favor, amazingly) passage
down the remainder of the Reach and across Jericho Bay. After some
discussion, we decided to push onward to where we had planned to go hte
next day anyway: Somesville. Given NOAA's propensity for
missed and blown forecasts, we decided to enjoy the very pleasant (sunny
and hot, if windless) day and make the longish trek up to beautiful and
than take the usual course through Casco Passage, I decided to continue
through York Narrows--the pass directly north of Buckle Island
Harbor--and then through the narrow pass south of Orono Island and
through Mackerel Cove on Swan's Island. It was beautiful, and we
had the benefit of more favorable current.
wind never picked up, so we continued motoring across Blue Hill Bay and
across Bass Harbor Bar, where there was a very distinct tide line:
on one side, the western side, the water was choppy and confused; while
on the other side of the line, it was completely calm and glassy.
Most interesting. The tide bucked us for a time here, but
eventually it returned in our favor as we entered Western Way and,
finally, Somes Sound.
some reason, I was fairly exhausted--hot sun, I suppose, combined with
mindless motoring--yet I still decided to take the route south of
Greening Island and through Southwest Harbor, hoping for a glimpse of
some beautiful Hinckleys. Well, I was so fed up with the traffic,
clutter, wakes, and so forth that I pretty much ignored the moored boats
and concentrated on getting away from the confusion. Yuck!
Southwest Harbor is basically untenable now.
trip up Somes Sound was beautiful, as always. And, also as
always--I'd be disappointed if she wasn't there--we saw the schooner
Tabor Boy, on which I used to crew, tied up in Valley Cove, in her
usual spot. I swear she has been there every time I have been by
was beautiful--as usual--yet surprisingly crowded with several
40-50-something sailboats. Hoping for a secret anchoring spot, we
motored way up in the harbor with one eye on the chart plotter, but at
that end of the harbor, any navigable water was filled with moorings.
Thus, we returned towards the mouth of the harbor and found a good
anchoring spot amidst several moorings and anchored boats.
took trash ashore--thank you to the Somesville Landing Corporation (a
donation is on its way)--and the remains of the afternoon passed
pleasantly. (We arrived about 1430.) I decreed an early
cocktail hour at the shocking time of 1600, and by 1900 we had eaten and
were watching what ended up becoming a gorgeous sunset. The
evening was calm and beautiful.
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