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.


  1. I know you were at your height of glory! Being prepared is what you and the crew do, but it is very interesting to those of us who don’t have a clue. I miss the Mary Day!!! And all the rest of you!

  2. have been with you hunkered down near Castine before & rocked to sleep… Glad last week was just perfect SAILING weather !! all 190 miles worth..

  3. I recall hunkering down for the night on Mary Day off of Pretty Marsh on the west side of Mt Dessert Island under much the same conditions – 20+ and lots of rain from the north. Must have been 10-15 years ago about this time of year. Might have been a hurrican remnant – I don’t recall. Nervous time for the skipper and crew standing anchor watch, but an interesting time to be aboard.

  4. We left Portland headed south to Atlanta late afternoon on the 18th. Our flight took an extra half hour because of all traffic being routed west to get behind the front. Even with that it was a turbulent flight, especially over the Chesapeake Bay Area. I guess nature will always be a factor no matter whatever way we travel. Part of what makes life interesting.

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