Monthly Archives: June 2007

Lighthouses Everywhere


Good morning everyone. We had a great sail yesterday along the outer fringes of Penobscot Bay from the Fox Island Thorofare to Rockland and up the shore to Rockport. We beat across to the islands, Mark, Saddle and Laselle which lie just east of Camden before running up to anchor through the Bracketts Channel. Bracketts is a very narrow passage squashed between Job Island and Islesboro. Those on shore saw a parade of sail as we followed the schooner Stephen Taber and were chased by the Lewis R French.

At one point half way between Vinalhaven and Monroe Island we counted 8 lighthouses visible from where we sailed. Brown’s Head, Heron Neck, Two Bush, Whitehead, Owls Head, Rockland Breakwater, Indian Island, and Curtis Island lights were all clearly visible though a few were admittedly only visible due to the crazy refraction of light coming over the horizon. Still, had it been a dark night, the beacons would have done their job.

We will sail about 93 miles by the time we get back to Camden this morning. We have all run out of film. We have had uncountable laughs. This has been a great cruise by all accounts.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

More Lighthouses

Good morning everyone. We are again on a 4 day lighthouse cruise
having departed Camden under sunny skies and light winds yesterday
morning. The wind was light easterly all day so we rode the tide up
Penobscot Bay. With lobsters on deck in the day tank we had a great
day for lobster picnic. The wind shifted in to the west late in the
afternoon behind a cold front that had passed offshore earlier in the
day. The wind and tide carried us up to Fort Point. The sand spit
at the point gave us good shelter from the wind and Ranger Cole
opened the light tower to us once again. And we feasted on lobster!

As many of you know the last cruise was a fundraiser for the Maine
Lighthouse Museum and the American Lighthouse Foundation (ALF). We
visited the museum, which is the home of the ALF, to present Bob
Trapani, the executive director, with a check for each organization
totaling $2,000 in memory of CWO Ken Black, the original Mr.
Lighthouse. The local news reporter asked why this was so important
to us. The answer is simple in my mind.

We need more lighthouses. Lighthouses bring out the best in us.
While built to protect commerce the people who have worked at
lighthouses, then and know, have given selflessly to help others in
time need. To launch a small boat in a gale of wind to save some poor
soul whose ship is breaking up underneath them… well, that is courage
and compassion that money just can't buy. To hear the stories of
folks who are trying to save lighthouses that is in peril today…once
again, courageous and selfless. So lighthouses not only guide
mariners along their way to safety, they also guide our conscious.
They help us stay in touch with our long history of helping others in
time of need. There are many lighthouses still in peril as demands on
government funding force small communities to rally around the task
of raising awareness and funds to answer the SOS calls of their local
lights. With the support of the Maine Lighthouse Museum and the
American Lighthouse Foundation groups find vital support for their work.

Have a great day. Be well. Go Good.

Run for Cover


Good morning everyone. The National Weather service forecast about says it all:
ANZ081-041430-
GULF OF MAINE TO THE HAGUE LINE
400 AM EDT MON JUN 4 2007

…GALE WARNING…

.TODAY…SE WINDS 20 TO 30 KT INCREASING TO 25 TO 35 KT. SEAS 5
TO 8 FT BUILDING TO 10 TO 15 FT. NUMEROUS SHOWERS AND TSTMS WITH
PATCHY FOG…OCCASIONALLY REDUCING VSBY BELOW 1 NM.
.TONIGHT…S TO SE WINDS 25 TO 35 KT EARLY…BECOMING SW AND
DIMINISHING TO 20 TO 30 KT LATE. SEAS 11 TO 15 FT SUBSIDING TO 8
TO 12 FT LATE…BECOMING HIGHEST E. NUMEROUS SHOWERS AND TSTMS
BECOMING SCATTERED WITH IMPROVING VSBY LATE.
.TUE…S TO SW WINDS 20 TO 25 KT. SEAS 7 TO 10 FT…HIGHEST E.
ISOLATED SHOWERS AND TSTMS.

While I am honored to have the second tropical storm of the season named after me it looks like a “toad soaker” for the state of Maine today. It is a lucky day to be at the dock. We have lots of projects to take care of aboard. Kids are back to school for a couple days this week and we have a million things to do in the office.

The 4 day lighthouse cruise we just returned from left us all pooped. Great guests who have give us so much joy leave us wanting more. But joy is hard work sometimes so we are appreciating a day to recover our juices. We will be going out again on Wednesday on another lighthouse cruise. If you have never been aboard with Ted and Jo Panayatoff, they are wonderful folks and Ted’s knowledge of lighthouses is just amazing. He is a good storyteller and brings life to the history of the Maine coast lights.

The photo of seals on the ledge by Jen is just one of many highlights of this cruise. The seal pups are abundant.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

Lighthouse Report

Good morning everyone. Another great day of sailing. What can I
say… it is all good!

Starting out from Fort Point at 1100 and beating upwind to Camden can
make for a really long day. We were very lucky to catch a little bit
of an easterly slant on the wind and managed to get up the West Bay
(that is the part of the bay just west of Islesboro) in jig time.
The wind came up to 15 -18 knots just as we were conducting a "man
overboard" drill. The crew scrambled to take in the jib topsail in
the building breeze and the schooner was hove to like a champ. The
yawl boat Arno is our rescue craft and Becki and Sara were off to
save the victim fender once again. Sara even provided CPR on the
return trip. The boat was hauled clear of the water and away we
sailed with darkening clouds in the western sky. The radio crackled
with warnings from the National Weather Service about severe
thunderstorms. I hate thunderstorms. Talk about a sitting duck.
Our radar picked up some light rain; nothing too crazy but I wanted
to get to a nearby secure anchorage just in case.

We sailed right up to the anchor in Gilkeys Harbor just as the rains
became more serious. Awnings up, we retired to the main cabin for
Ted's slide show about lighthouses. A roast pork dinner with all the
trimmings and hand cranked ice cream for dessert. Does it get any
better? Actually yes, Our assistant cook Jake pulled out his dobro
guitar and played some very good music. Now that is a windjammer
cruise…. good people, good food, good sailing, good music. Last
night we had a spectacular light show as lightning flashed in the
clouds all around us.

To complete our adventure we have a light fog and an easterly wind
this morning to sail home in. We call it atmosphere. How romantic.
And with any luck we will find the bell off of the Curtis Island
Light and be safe in the harbor by noon.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

Lighthouses


Good morning everyone. We are having a quiet morning here at Fort
Point Cove at the mouth of the Penobscot River. We are on the first
of 2 four day lighthouse cruises this week. Though the forecast was
dreary we have actually had surprisingly good weather and have seen
10 lighthouses so far.

Today we will get up in to the lighthouse here at Fort Point. Ranger
Terry Cole was stationed here in the 70s and will give us a guided
tour. This park is one of the gems of the state park system. The
grounds of the old fort date back to the Revolution and are just
beautiful with wild flowers everywhere in bloom. I took the kids for
a walk and we just couldn't get over the aroma of the deep woods with
their tiny little flowers carpeting the forest floor.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

PS I was finally able to get a picture from our cruise on here. This is the Eagle Island Light. Notice the lack of an attached keeper’s house. The government burned it to prevent vandalism. No comment.