A Down East Idyll, with Hurricanes! Page 3

We were ghosting toward the mainland, gybing back and forth to make the most of a faint morning breeze. The sun was out and it was hot. To the north I could see swells breaking over Horseshoe Ledge and a rock formation called The Drums. I was also keeping an eye out for lobster buoys. The tide was ebbing, setting up a wicked crosscurrent in spots, and I’d already been forced to alter course
Author:
Publish date:

After dinner, we went ashore to go swimming at the public beach just south of Hadlock Cove. Once again, we had the place to ourselves. There wasn’t a breath of wind, and everything was bathed in the warm late-summer glow that is so unique to New England. It seemed a shame there were so few people there to enjoy it. Although the mosquitoes became pretty ferocious as the sun went down, the water was warm and the beachcombing first-rate.

The next morning we listened to the weather forecast during breakfast, then started back to Southwest Harbor. It was incredible how few boats were still on their moorings when we got there. I wouldn’t have thought it possible to haul so many boats in such a short time. Once again it was sunny and warm, with just a thin, low haze. I felt a little guilty leaving Pattie and the rest of the crew to batten down the hatches, but she said not to worry. It looked like Earl was heading offshore. The forecast was improving by the hour.

In fact, it continued to improve all day. Even though we took the scenic route through Lincolnville, Camden and Rockport, which meant we didn’t get home until well after dark, we barely saw any rain—the perfect end to a perfect Downeast holiday.

Getting Your Bearings

When sailors go bareboat chartering, they typically rush straight to the boat, provision as quickly as possible, and then cast off lines. The idea is to get out on the water without delay and make the most out of the time available.

There’s something to be said, though, for taking things slowly and easing your way into a charter. Trying to rush the checkout process, for example, inevitably creates stress for everyone involved. Same thing goes for stocking up on supplies. I don’t know if I’ve ever been as hot, sweaty and grumpy as the time I was loading up a 35-footer one hot, breathless afternoon on Mobile Bay.

By hurrying onto the boat, you also miss the chance to get a feel for the area where you’ve chosen to go sailing. Before our Maine charter, for example, Shelly, Bridget and I all went camping for a few days on Mt. Desert Island. We visited Bar Harbor, drove up Cadillac Mountain, swam in Echo Lake and spent a morning looking for seals and dolphins off the rocks surrounding the Bar Harbor Head lighthouse.

Shelly and I have done the same thing on other occasions, in the Caribbean, down in New Zealand, in the Gulf of Mexico and on Lake Champlain. We’ve never once regretted the lost sailing time. When we’re finally ready to go, we’re not only more relaxed, we also have a much greater appreciation for the locale in which we are sailing. The result is inevitably a much richer experience afloat.

cruisenotes_large

Related

shutterstock_1158262783

A Catamaran Takes on the American Great Loop

After completing the European Great Loop on our 1987 40ft Catalac catamaran, Angel Louise, my wife, Sue, and I sailed home to the States and spent two years sailing up and down East coast between Maine and Florida, like migratory waterfowl. Eventually, though, we decided to ...read more

01-LEAD_Alex_Irwin

Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image Competition

The Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image competition once again captures the excitement that is sailing from around the world An impressive 109 photographers from 25 countries took part in last year’s Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image 2018 competition. And while Portuguese photographer Ricarado ...read more

judges2-1024x319-0219-600x

2019 Pittman Innovation Awards

For the past couple of decades, the digital side of sailing has become increasingly important, to the point where it’s now almost inconceivable going offshore, even aboard a daysailer, without at least a modicum of electronics onboard—a trend that has been very much in evidence ...read more

Nathan-Bates-San-Diego,-CA

SAIL 2018: Reader's Photographs

Are you out there sailing, cruising and living the sailing life? If so, we’d love to see it. Send your sailing photos to sailmail@sailmagazine.com And don’t forget to sign up for our free eNewsletter. Check back for updates! I took this shot from Cooper Island Beach Club as my ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Fall in line In the days before GPS, the best trick outside the book for finding a harbor in dense fog went like this: if it’s surrounded by rocks, forget it; if not, in you go, but never try to hit it ...read more

190115-Mark-Slats-Golden-Globe-Race2048x

Photo-Finish in the Golden Globe Race 2018

With less than 1,700 miles to go to the finish in Les Sables d'Olonne, France, second-place Mark Slats of the Netherlands has cut another 393 miles out of the lead held by French sailor Jean-Luc Van Den Heede in the Golden Globe 2018 race.  Jean-Luc aboard the Rustler 36 Matmut ...read more

06-Heineken-1-R2018_1March_©LaurensMorel_LMA5965_p

Post-Irma Heineken Regatta

Even more than a year and half later, the scars from Hurricane Irma are still all too visible on the island of St. Maarten. But if Irma couldn’t prevent the famed Heineken from taking place in the winter of 2017-18, you can bet it’s not going to put a crimp in either the racing ...read more