Monthly Archives: September 2007

Isle Au Haut

Good morning everyone from Isle Au Haut. I have been here numerous
times over the years though less and less these past few years as the
tiny anchorage at the village has gained a few more moorings. We did
not have much wind yesterday and pushed most of the afternoon. We
managed to squeak in to anchor at one end of the thorofare and get
ashore for a walk before dinner. The kids and I visited the church complete with its traditional New England codfish wind vane on top and some lovely stained glass windows. Built in 1857 it is a spiritual place on the hill overlooking the bay. I read the proverbs while the kids played preacher in the pulpit.On this day I am especially conscious of how fragile our lives can be. I am thankful to be here, thankful for the guests that share themselves with us, thankful for the life in the bay. It is all good, even on a rainy day like this.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

Photos by Neil Parent.

Shining Bright

Good morning everyone. The winds lightened up quite a bit despite the forecast for 15-20 knot winds. They just never came. So much of the day was easy sailing back and forth, upwind towards Camden. The heat and humidity have settled back in to the state as one more (final?) blast of summer temperatures settles back into Maine. Even the deer take a dip in the water, swimming from one island to another. A fabulous event to behold!

The cormorant I mentioned in yesterday's entry spent the night sitting on the boom. Jen finally woke it up during washdown when it stretched slowly, nodded its head, and gracefully flew off.

This has been a wonderful week. Great people are the name of the
game for us and this week has been no let down. We have sailed many
miles, seen many lighthouses, and had many laughs. I was up on deck
last night and the canopy of stars reminded me of the richness of
what happens here. When I look up I can either see the sky as a flat
assembly of twinkling lights or if I squint just right I can sense
the 3 dimensional richness of the universe. I see these windjammer
cruises as 3 dimensional. I see lights sitting all over the cabin
houses, the rocking chair, the lazarettes, around the tables at meal
time. Everyone aboard has richness and texture that I will never
know fully but which I am privileged to be touched by. I get
overwhelmed by it all. Just like the lighthouses along the shore
there are many stories to be discovered in the lights aboard. Some we
see from a distance, some we get to know up close. It is all very

Have a great day. Be well. Do good. Shine bright.

Photos by Barry & Jen.

Standing in the Wind

Good morning everyone. This has been the windiest week of the
summer. The fall winds have come on as if someone threw a light
switch. We passed our weekly average for miles sailed yesterday
morning. As for the lighthouses, well, one guest has counted 25 thus
far, although some of those were just visible with binoculars. We
went ashore yesterday at North Haven and sailed down wind all day to
Fort Point Light where we will get ashore this morning.

A cormorant has been sitting on the tip of our main boom since we
arrived here yesterday. Go figure. The bird doesn't appear injured
nor does it mind having its picture taken. I admired its balance in
the gusty winds we had last night.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

Photos by Barry & Jen.

Distant Lights

Good morning everyone. We had a another wild and wooly sail yesterday. After a walk ashore we left Bar Harbor with a reef in the mainsail. The wind had come NW and was gusty at times, maybe blowing as much as 20 knots. Our sail of Frenchman Bay took us quite close to Egg Rock. The once painted red roof was faded by the elements. A lone bald eagle was keeper of the ledges.

I had grand hopes of getting out to Mt Desert Rock but alas the wind and tide had other ideas. So we tacked offshore as far as I dared in the confused swell caused by the previous day's SW wind. We did get a not-too far-off look at Great Duck light and a a very distant glimpse of Mt Desert, 13 miles away! The cold air next to the horizon was bending the light in just the right way that we could see the tower and keepers house. Once again gannets were everywhere.

I feel like the lighthouses are more elusive this week just because this is a lighthouse cruise. The wind and tide are what they are making for great sailing but challenging to easily get to the 22 possible lighthouses in our area. But as I told folks Monday morning before we departed, we are going to see lights the way they are meant to be seen, from the deck of a vessel under sail.

Last night we sat in the calm harbor called Burnt Coat under Hockamock Head Light on Swans Island, its beacon plainly visible between the spruce trees. This morning we will be going up to tour the lighthouse restoration project currently under way.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

Photos by Barry & Jen.

What A Ride!

Good morning everyone. We had a great sail yesterday. We left
Camden with the a promising forecast and it came true. This week is
our fall lighthouse cruise and we have aboard with us Courtney
Thompson, author of several books on lighthouses including one on the
Maine coast. She has been in most all of these lights and we are
delighted to have her here.

The incoming tide and south wind began shortly after leaving Camden
and 7 hours later we were anchored for dinner in Bar Harbor, 55 miles
from our home port. I think that means we averaged about 8 knots all
day. The kids were laughing hysterically at the smother of foam and
spray at the bows that we experienced from time to time.
We did manage to see a few light as well…Curtis I, Deer I, Bass Harbor Head, Bear I, Baker I and Egg Rock.

We do not get to Frenchman Bay often so
seeing Egg Rock was a rare treat. Frenchman Bay was filled with
gannets diving head long from high above the water like avian
missiles. At one point we were scooting along at 11.6 knots over the
bottom driving up Frenchman Bay against the outgoing tide. My guess
is we were doing over 12 through the water, certainly the fastest we
have seen this summer. The cliffs and mountains of Mt Desert are just
awesome. Today a light NW wind should carry us back out of Frenchman

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

Photos by Barry & Jen.

Windjammer Weekend

Good morning everyone. What a beautiful week we have had and this weekend just keeps the trend going. All of the windjammers came to Camden harbor this weekend for the festivities celebrating the windjammer fleet. There was a parade of sail outside the harbor around the USS Oak Hill, a 600′ naval vessel anchored here for the weekend.

There have been a ton of festivities ashore including an open house aboard the windjammers yesterday and today. Mary Day’s guests and crew performed for the crowd in the “Schooner Bum’ talent show. The guests did a great job hamming it up despite a few passing showers.

There was also a “ditty bag” competition which Sawyer entered his own bag in and won honorable mention. Afterwards there was a spectacular fireworks show over the outer harbor.

For me Windjammer Weekend is really about the people most responsible for keeping these windjammers alive, the guests. I beat this drum frequently but it never grows old to my ears. You who are reading this are the reason we exist. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. This weekend I celebrate your sense of adventure. I celebrate your willingness to leave it all behind ashore and let the week be what it will be. When creature comforts and distance from nature seem to be the trend you defy all odds and chose to live most deliberately embracing whatver it is the wind and tide bring us. Yahoo for you.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.