Monthly Archives: September 2012

Standing Watch

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An osprey standing watch at sunset.

Good morning everyone. We had an especially vigorous low pressure system blow through Maine last nite. We hunkered down near Castine with the rest of the fleet while winds blew 25 knots steady and gusted well into the 30s all night long. And as usually happens the tide is turning and a new weather pattern is setting in for the day. Clearing skies and NW winds should dominate the weather scenario for the day. It is clearing to the west’ard as I type.

“Constant vigilance is the price of safety.” And vigilant we were through the night responding to every twitch of the anchor chain, every gust of wind. Of course prior planning positively prevents poor performance so there really wasn’t much we needed to do but watch for anything out of the ordinary. We had 250′ feet of chain payed out and good stout anchor in the mud. Deck chairs had been battened down. Topsails had especially tight furls and a few extra gaskets were put around the headsails. Nothing is worse than trying to secure things after the blow has started. With Mary Day’s high bows she tends to hunt back and forth at anchor on these windy nights. The sound of the anchor chain rubbing the bobchains as we stretched back in the gusts made for very little sleep in the fo’c’s’l. But as they say, there will be plenty of time to sleep in November or when we’re dead, whichever comes first.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

Flyin’ Downeast

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Look at her fly!

Good morning everyone. We had a fabulous past couple of days sailing. Sunday night’s rain broke into a sunny Monday. The fleet left their respective harbors and away we all went…downeast. Which of course means down wind and headed east. Remember that Maine trends east and west from Penobscot Bay, not north and south. Just check the compass next time you are aboard.
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Bear I. Light, at the entrance to Northeast Harbor, is one of my personal favorites

Northeast Harbor, a new anchorage for me, was where we went ashore for walks before dinner. 44 miles, 6.5 hours, 1 amazing sailing day. This being our last 6 day trip of the season I was quite aware that I would be leaving Mt Desert astern for the last time this year.

Yesterday afternoon we anchored with the fleet at Great Cove, Brooklin, Maine for the Maine Windjammer Association’s annual Wooden Boat Rendezvous. Dancing to steel drum music, steamed mussels, the Wooden Boat School to tour, a fabulous sunset and a star-filled sky. What else could anyone ask for?

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

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Leaping for joy!

Maine Lighthouse Tours – The Spark Plug

windjammer-visits-goose-rock-light_edited-1Good morning everyone. Last week we completed our second lighthouse tour of the 2012 windjammer season and we did it in fine fashion. Pharologist Ted Panayatoff was in great storytelling form and we had a chance to get up close and personal with 11 coastal lights here in Penobscot Bay. Thankfully we had a wonderful mix of weather including a morning of fog just to make sure we understood the genuine significance of these coastal beacons.lighthouses-in-mainemaine-lighthouse-tours-goose-rock-light
On Friday we left Isle Au haut after seeing the Isle Au Haut Light at Robinson Pt and we motor sailed across the bay to the east end of the Fox Island Thorofare. We could hear the signal blowing at the Goose Rocks Light, what we fondly call the Spark Plug. Built in 1890. this caisson light is built with a cast iron housing filled with concrete. The original cistern for fresh water is still there. The keepers quarters are beautifully appointed by the Beacon Preservation Society, the private non-profit that makes this light available as a sort of B&B.lighthouse-tours-in-mainemaine-lighthouses
When we anchored 5 young “keepers” had just arrived that morning for a couple nights stay. They were pretty darn excited to see a schooner anchor off and quickly invited us to come on up for a tour. On the coming tide the fendered ladder was on the down stream side of the current hitting the base of the light. Of course, we reciprocated by having the “keepers” aboard. They were just as in awe of the schooner as were with the chance to see the light up close and personal. It was truly a once in a lifetime event.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.lighthouse tours, maine lighthouses, maine windjammer

The 50th Birthday Party and Present: Photos

The crew posed with Belle after the rain cleared.

Over Labor Day Weekend, we had our 50th Birthday Party for Mary Day.

And we installed and unveiled her Birthday Present: a six-foot, hand-carved wooden eagle for the transom, lovingly carved, painted and gilded.

Photos by JimDugan.com