Cruise Log:  4th of July Cruise
July 2 - 6, 2008

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

With a very busy year at work, we hadn't had too many opportunities to get out on the boat--only a couple days since late May.  So with the 4th of July conveniently falling on a Friday, Heidi decided early on to take Thursday off, and managed to persuade me to take a long weekend as well.

We departed our home in Whitefield late Wednesday afternoon, and after a shopping stop at a convenient grocery store in Bucksport, arrived at Bucks Harbor at about 2030--past sunset, and fairly dark on what had become a foggy evening.  My plan was to get out to the boat and bring her in to the dock in order to load our substantial haul of gear (there was little of anything on the boat).  I had hoped that we'd arrive before dark, and this was pushing it.

Fortunately, it remained light enough for long enough that the round trip to the dock was no problem; shortly after arriving back on the mooring, though, the fog closed in again, and it made a dark evening even darker.  I was glad to be on the mooring, and we spent some time putting away the food and other stores before finally managing to have a relaxing dinner (store-bought rotisserie chicken and fococcia bread) at around 2200.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Overnight, the fog disappeared, and it was a beautiful morning.  NOAA was predicting very strong winds for the day, however--30 knots--so we had planned, more or less, on staying put, though if the forecast changed (or, more likely, parted with reality), we might head off somewhere.

The beauty of mooring in Bucks Harbor is that when we arrive on the boat, we're already cruising; home port or not, this is one of the destinations we used to always choose, so here we were.

Fairly early in the morning, the wind began to pick up and showed all signs of being serious about it.  By lunchtime, it was blowing pretty hard, right out of the southwest--the most exposed sector of the harbor.  I was actually happy to be aboard during a blow from this direction, since I was anxious to see just how protected our new mooring was.


The day wasn't particularly noteworthy, other than the strength of the wind.  It was great to relax for a bit and just enjoy being aboard.  During the afternoon, the wind picked up further, and at various times the seas would pick up in the harbor a bit--but they never had a chance to become more than a steady 6" chop, with occasional "rogue wave" of about 12".  The boat didn't pitch much, and I figured this was about as bad as it could ever get in here--which wasn't bad at all.  At our old mooring in Falmouth, a standard afternoon fair weather seabreeze would kick up larger waves than these.


The afternoon's entertainment came from the Bucks Harbor Yacht Club juniors, who were out sailing their 420s.  Towards the end of the afternoon, the wind became extremely blustery, the heaviest of the day, and the kids looked like they were having a great time--capsizes notwithstanding, though those come with the territory.

The carnage began when they tried to sail back to the nearby storage float, located a few boats upwind of us.  One of the three boats made it back unscathed, but the other two began a cycle of capsizes and rightings that must have become rather tiresome even for these enthusiastic kids.  The wind was so strong that they'd get the boat righted, only to immediately have it snap back over the other way and turn turtle again, from the force of the righting moment.

We watched with interest.  No one was ever in danger, as there were several chase boats with instructors around, so we just sat and enjoyed the show.

Two 420s turtled to windward

Upright:  finally!

Oops--over again!

Back up...

...and over she goes, one more time!

Mast pointing the right direction...

...but only for a split second.  Over again!

Finally righted, and sailing in to shore for good.

Late in the afternoon, with the wind still very strong, I watched the schooner Heritage sail in and anchor in the harbor.  She tore into the entrance under full sail (minus topsails) and with a bone in her teeth, and executed a flawless anchoring well to windward of us, in the lee of the western point.  Heritage is my favorite windjammer around here.



The wind died enough in the evening to allow me to light the grill and cook burgers for dinner, and eventually died away completely overnight.

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Glissando, Pearson  Triton #381

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