Monthly Archives: August 2007

Lobster Cove


Good morning everyone. We have another beautiful morning here at
anchor in "Lobster Cove". I will keep its identity a secret but
suffice it to say the beach is long and sandy. After our picnic last
night we witnessed a beautiful moonrise over the bold cliffs of
Cadillac Mt. The Loons were calling at sunrise. I am heartened to
find a lonely place like this and having it all to ourselves
especially when we are so close to one of the most heavily visited
national parks around. I went ashore for a walk in the woods this
morning. Old spruce trees with branches bare and twisted in the shade
were underlain by a carpet of ferns and moss.

Around the corner is a small cove with a few moorings placed here for
cruisers by the family that owns the island. It is a very popular
place for one or two boats to lie in "God's pocket". This year the
family placed a third mooring with big bold letters identifying the
owners with "PRIVATE" stenciled right on there. A boat from
Connecticut came in after the two guest moorings were filled and
grabbed right onto it. I wanted to ask if they were the islands
privates. Seems like a good question given what it would take to pick
up this mooring if it weren't yours. I eyed that anchorage longingly
as we were readying to drop sails for the evening but left it for
those who have long forgotten how to anchor. If you detect a sense
of anger at the whole thing you are right. I am saddened to find
that each year there are a couple more moorings where there weren't
any before. I love this place. It is sacred and I am more offended
by new moorings than I am new docks. Please forgive my little rant
here. I don't mean to bring down the joy of the day. Change is
never easy for any of us especially so close to home.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

Everything We Need


Here we are in Mackerel Cove on Swan's Island this morning. We had a good sail yesterday when the wind finally arrived. We sailed with the
outgoing tide down to the Fox Island Thorofare and pushed for a few
hours while the wind made up its mind. Coming onshore in the late
afternoon we sailed right through diner to end up here.

The sun is setting noticeably earlier these days, before 1930 hours.
The nearly full moon rose above the tree line just as the sun set.
This morning we were ashore visiting Earl of Swan's. There is an
entire story there about this 90 year young wonderful man who lives
year round here and has just been acknowledged by the folks at
Harvard University for his contributions to the world with a
Doctorate of Lettuce. Earl keeps a modest garden where he grows
friends as well as vegetables and flowers. He sends a contribution
to Mary every time we are here this time consisting of swiss chard,
basil, and parsley as well a bouquet of roses, sweet pea flowers, and
baby's breath. I often tell guests before we go ashore about how
there is nothing here except a quiet place to go for a walk and a
loving man named Earl. What else could one need?

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

Passenger Poetry

My Tern Took a Turn for the Worse
By Flossie Pelitier
August 24, 2007

My dear Captain’s Barry and Jen,
I simply cannot think of when
I have had such a time
On a schooner so fine,
And I do hope we’ll join you again.

You said we could work if we choose
And cautioned against too much booze
So I chose not to work
Sail furling did shirk,
But drank no rum on this cruise.

Climbed out of my bunk on day one
And said, “Golly gee! This is fun!”
So I carved out a bird,
With hardly a word.
And thought that I soon would be done.

Now this Cap’n, he keeps a clean ship.
And my t’shirt was covered with chips.
So I ran to the side
Shaking chips to the tide
Gave my t’shirt one generous flip!

Twas then, to my total dismay,
Saw my thumb guard go blowing away.
I know I was done,
With carving for fun,
So I got out my paints for the day.

Still eager to work on my gull,
When the ship dropped her anchor, a lull.
On Day two I hacked,
At the head and the back,
But it seems now my knife was too dull.

Now the gull looked quite like a duck
Thought it seems that I still was in luck
So I carved her down small
Re-shaped wings, and all
But then on Day three ran amok.

That day while I carved out the bill
We were jibing our way through the swell
We were coming about,
When I snipped off her snout
So I whittled her down smaller still.

Day four I was sanding her sleek,
Still trying to fix up the beak.
The weather snapped cold,
I became bold,
And to my fellow shipmates, did speak.

“I see starboard head is quite warm,
cause Mary still cooks in a storm.
On the wall in that head
Is a bird chart, “ I said.
“That shows me the shape I must form.”

“So if you have need in the night
and see through the window a light
Just knock once or twice
And I’ll exit so nice,
Cause to sleep there would not be polite.”

On day five in a 20 knot wind
I thought I would try once again.
In the cabin below
As we rocked to and fro
My little gull got very thin.

A hummingbird, I think is nice
Lady bugs crossed my mind, once or twice.
If there’s a chip’s in the bed
Tell the next quests I said,
“My bird carving turned into mice!”

This entry is from all the passengers
August 19th, 6 day cruise

Nary a day goes by
When the crew hasn’t done more than try
To bring us to tranquil blue skies
And a view of life on the ocean blue tide.

By the light of the silvery moon
Barry and Jake carried a seaworthy tune.

Dove and Jessica had special talents
Barry said he would try his best.

Puffins, whales, and seals, oh my!
And then the next day- man did we fly!

Pat and Ron were scared of the head,
The cabin, their packing, were they in over their heads?
Not to fear, not to fuss – they both pulled through by a hero named Gus!

Flossie and Roger painting all we explored.
Both exclaimed, “Let’s go see the fjord!”

Sandy and Fred were inspired
As they found all the birds they desired.
Puffins, eagles and osprey abound
Which both were thrilled that they found.

Mary does wonders on her stove fueled by wood
We all exclaim, “Jeepers! That was WHICKED good!”

Gertie and David are very KUHL
Buzz wanting to know what we all learned in school.
Gertie playing spell check by her hubby’s side
“Thank you my dear,” he tells his beautiful bride.

Fifty-five years Fred and Fay have been married.
Watch out below! Fay refuses to be carried!
Squeek! Squeek! Squeek! We all know that’s Fay!
Fred follows behind, admiring the bay.

Tom and Susan have made this trip number 19!
With all the knowledge we needed to know
They were a strong part of the team.

Judy and Joyce, our quiet nurses on board
They left their guys safely at home
While these wives go off on the Mary Day
Free to explore and roam!

Earl and Carol were watchful of all passengers aboard
We put on quite a show especially when moored!

David, with his Jean, was lost in Harry Potter
If Jean had gone overboard, we surely would have caught her.

Walther and Beth came along to sail away.
Both being judges of that sweet maple treat.
They both can hoist the sails,
Which was quite the mighty feat.

Dan polished the deck, oh my how it shined!
The moon glistened off than oh how he pined.
He inspired us all as he dove off the deck,
Then Jessica said, “Oh what the heck!”

John and Jessica the honeymooners of the bunch
We can only hope they come up for lunch!

Walther with his handlebar mustache and camera in hand.
Elaine shouts, “Get a shot of that land!”
With six rolls of film that sure beats the band
Almost forty years married and happy in hand.

Dove tucked away in her little mouse hole
Pigeon she was called by David or Ira
Whatever name he holds!
She knew when the coffee was up at seven
That Bailey’s is out- oh good heaven!

Good golly miss molly
Ollie and her maps!
Pulling down all the flags
While Dove tried to play taps
Checking with the skipper as he changed all his hats
On her night watch, guarding all
Even Gussie the cat!

Hannah and Jennie, last but not least,
One helps Mary keep us well fed
The other keeps that mast
All slick and greased!

Barry and Jen have shown us a WHICKED good time,
We would all come again even to pull that line!

Up the River


Good morning everyone. We have been burning way too much diesel this
week in dreadfully light winds. The wind finally did its thing
yesterday and carried us all day long. Down the Reach, under the
bridge, around the corner, and up here to Fort Point Cove under full
sail all the way. This morning it is breezy and the showers have
moved off to the north. We should enjoy a lively sail with the wind
predicted to be gusty southwest this afternoon and tonight. Hang on
to your hats.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

Mt Desert


Good morning everyone. We have started our week with a couple of good
days sailing "down east". The winds have been wicked light but we
managed to get 35 miles on Monday to Burnt Coat Harbor on Swans
Island. Yesterday morning we pushed across to neighboring Frenchboro
on Long Island where we hiked out to the back beach. Not that we
haven't seen enough of the ocean but the view from the granite cliffs
is extraordinary. The cobble and boulder beaches are not uncommon
but are difficult to access in most places because of the wave
action. The boulders on "Little Beach" have been tossed and polished
for thousands of years. I had to place a ten pound limit on
returning "souvenirs".

We were underway before lunch and headed off shore for Mt Desert
Rock. This was our first trip out there this season. The "rock" is
13 miles from Frenchboro or about 18 miles from Southwest Harbor.
Folks haven't been seeing many whales this year. Some fear over
fishing has taken away the food source that has drawn them in years
past to this place where a great upwelling of water is created by an
offshore shelf the rises hundreds of feet from the ocean floor.
Puffins were seen everywhere as soon as we cleared Frenchboro and we
saw too many to count.

Gannets were also abundant. Later in the
afternoon as we reached the rock we saw the first of many spouts.
And then "there she blows!" was shouted from the foredeck. Sure
enough a finback whale was seen after several spouts of spray. There
was also a minke whale feeding not too far from us, providing us many
chances to run from port to starboard. It truely was an amazing day.
A long tack back to shore and we were anchored at sunset at Little
Cranberry Isle, one of our favorites. We'll see what tomorrow
brings….definitely another day full of wonderful treasures.

Have a great day. Do well. Be good.

Celebrating the Past, Present & Future

Good morning everyone…. We apologize for the week off from the blog. Big week for us as a family. Our anniversary popped up (you know the years are adding up by seeing the cars in the background getting older)
as well as Sawyer‚Äôs 8th birthday. It seems like just yesterday when he came aboard… It‚Äôs been a week full of reflections for us, seeing the past going bye so fast and watching Sawyer anticipate his big day was more than we could handle. Handling schooners are sometimes much more easier!

This seal was found while visiting Stonington this week. Not sure if he or she has only one eye, but it seems to be a reminder to us to stop and view things slowly, take it all in while in the present, so soon will it be gone. They do grow up fast and we just keep getting older…
We did get a chance to have our picnic in Dogfish Cove which provided us with an opportunity to see the past, present and future all at once.

The tide was low and a cool rocky shelf gave us a chance to row under it and view the underwater life from below. Many sanddollars and muscle shells found, starfish clinging to the seaweed waiting for the tide to come in as well as egg cases hanging from the shelf…..we all wondered what may hatch from these??? Wicked cool.

So we head out today for another week, full of surprises yet to unfold. We’ll keep both eyes open looking in all directions taking it all in, hoping to remember it all.
Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

Windjammer Friendships

The interesting observation was made yesterday that in this day and age a windjammer vacation is quite unique. Truth be told, this vacation is not for folks who want to remain anonymous. On the large cruise ships one can literally disappear in a crowd of thousands but not so on a windjammer cruise. Part of the magic here is that we get to know each other with all our beauty and foibles and humor. When this schooner was launched she boasted 6 three person cabins. It was a day and age when folks didn’t mind sharing space. We still have a couple of those cabins and folks still share but not to the same extent they used to. Personal space and boundaries are different today than they were 45 years ago. (Does it strike any one else as ironic that the website My Space is actually a big community forum where we can share ourselves and is not really my space at all?) But one thing hasn’t changed. People still like to laugh. They still enjoy the friendships they find here. And as the schooner week goes by the boundaries break down and a sense of friendship builds. It is OK to come up on deck in your pajamas in the morning, complete with bed head, and try your luck at the head. We quickly realize that we are all quite human and to share that is a real gift. It makes me think back to the day our friend the Major passed away, surrounded by compassionate friends holding his hand, talking quietly, witnessing and sharing his humanity. Why live anonymously if you don’t want to die anonymously? Aboard a windjammer we find humor and compassion and beauty everyday. And that is very cool to share.
Have a great day. Be well. Do Good.

Wild Weather


Good morning everyone. We had a real toad soaker yesterday here in
Maine. The forecast was for up to an inch of rain but I don't
believe we had that much. Just the same we had a few periods of
heavy rain with light showers in between. After morning walks ashore
in Brooklin we sailed off the hook. I am always amazed how
adventurous our guests are. I never thought everyone would come up
in the rain but pile on deck they did and we had a lovely sail. In a
day and age when some folks idea of adventure is the Holiday Inn I am
heartened to see adventurous humans who don't mind the idea of
feeling all that nature has to offer. At one moment as we passed
under the bridge in Eggemmoggin Reach the thrill of the wind and
weather was quite exciting. Oddly enough with all the talk coming
from the National Weather Service of how "bad" the weather would be
we spent the afternoon in bright sunshine and got a great walk in
ashore.

This morning we are anchored up in Fort Point Cove with a good NW
breeze that promises to carry us back down the bay. Last night she
really blew although the darkness often makes the wind feel stronger
than it is. Just the same we dropped a second anchor the keep the
bow from "hunting" back and forth in the breeze. The mud here is some
of the best around for anchoring. I was telling guests on the
quarterdeck about how the schooners of the late 1800s used to anchor
up here in Fort Point Cove by the dozens carrying lumber out of
Bangor, just 23 +/- miles up the Penobscot River. Once the lumber
capital of the world, Bangor was a wild town in those days. A good
NW wind like this was a god send for any captain wanting to carry a
deck load of lumber to Boston or points west. We'll get ashore
again for a hike at the state park here before we go and then like
the schooners of 130 years ago we will spread a little canvas to the
sky and ride the wind and tide a new anchorage.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

Out of Control


Good morning everyone. We enjoyed quite the sail yesterday. The
weather was mostly cloudy all day with rain holding off until late
afternoon. We put down 36 miles in about 5 1/2 hours. You do the
math but including our slow start out of Camden and some calm winds
north of North Haven we spent the better part of the day reeling off 9
+ knots. The amazing part is that here in the bay there are no
waves. One guest commented about how there was no big ocean swell as
you might find in other places. We anchored in the afternoon with
thunderstorms looming near on the horizon but managed to get the
sails furled and the awnings set with alacrity. In a few short hours
the rain had ended and games by the cozy fire was welcomed after dinner.

It is amazing to think that our season is half way through already.
The weeks just fly by.

According to the log we have sailed about
1600 miles so far this summer. That is quite good considering that
we have not been across the Bass Harbor Bar into the heart of Mt.
Desert yet. I was gunning for it yesterday but the weather had other
ideas.

When I tell folks that we move to the rhythm of wind and tide I
really mean it. I often get the response, "Oh, you know where we are
going…" Many folks initially can't believe how Zen this sailing
thing is. Every time I try to make a plan the universe seems to
laugh and have its own way. I generally find that pushing back does
not work too well. If I had pushed yesterday I would have found
myself managing a strong 180 degree wind shift in the middle of the
narrow Western Way entrance to Mt Desert. So I am humbled each and
every day. Wouldn't it be nice to have control? Or would it? Not to
say that I am a victim of the universe. The point is this: sailing
forces one to respond to a bunch of uncontrollable factors and the
only thing I can control is how I use those factors to get 36 people
safely from point A to point B, wherever that might take us. And in
the end, everywhere we get to is good.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

Sweet Chariot Folk Festival

Good morning everyone. We are anchored up here in Blue Hill Bay
taking time for a swim call. The hottest day of the summer is
supposed to be here today so we will especially appreciate the cool
sea breeze that has already started. After a great sail yesterday we
anchored off of a long sandy beach where we picnicked last night and
where we are swimming in the "pool" this morning.

Tuesday was a relatively calm day with the yawl boat getting more of
a work out than we would have liked. At least the fog cleared off so
we were happy to see the islands of Merchants Row. We anchored early
in the afternoon and were regaled by the musicians of the folk
festival as they went chantying around the harbor. As an added extra
treat the musical entourage stopped by our beloved schooner and spent
a half hour aboard singing and filming the musicians at work. We
enjoyed dinner on deck and a leisurely walk to the Odd Fellows hall
before the show began. By all accounts the show was great. The
performances were an eclectic mix of traditional and not so
traditional folk music, humor, african drumming, and more. I am not
sure how show producer Doug Day pulls this whole thing together. His
imagination is his only limitation and given how wild that is he is
certainly one to pull off what looks, from the outside, like a
miracle of coordination and inspiration. The show is not so
different than a schooner, a joyous celebration of what folks can do
when they put their minds to it.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.