July 23 - August 10, 2001
Javelin's Cruise to Maine
(If you like, you can skip down through the prose and go straight to the pictures below!)
The crew: Steve Blecher, owner of Javelin, a 53' J-160; Jim Fulton, Jeff Kenner, Ben Blake and Rick Van Mell, crew for the leg from Westbrook, CT to Northeast Harbor on Mt. Desert Island, ME, joined by Priscilla Fulton in Northeast Harbor for the Canada leg, and Hank Jonas and Brian Klinger, also in NE Harbor, after the Canada leg, for the J Boats Rendezvous and the leg home to Westbrook.
Monday, 23 July 2001
Pulling the electrical shore power cord, coiling it, and stowing it in the aft lazarette was the last task before casting off. Javelin was ready and scrubbed by the yard when, first Jim and Ben arrived and opened up the boat, followed by Steve, Jeff & Rick just after 1000 hours. There wasn't a lot to stow. Duffel bags and the initial food supply were quickly sorted out. One last stop at the fuel dock topped off diesel and pumped the holding tank. By 1100 we were under way.
A glassy sea and hazy, muggy weather made us appreciate the self-generated wind as we powered east, north of Long Sand Shoal against the flood tide. One by one Javelin's 8 knots passed boats - still looking for some wind to set sail. Finally, at North Dumpling Island at the entrance to Fishers Island Sound enough wind filled in to hoist main and jib, assisted for a while by the engine.
As we approached the Watch Hill end of the Sound, we were hitting 9 knots and more; the sleigh ride had begun. Increasing wind soon became a smokey sou'wester, dusting off the fresh whitecaps and slowly reducing visibility with a fine white haze all around. As we passed into Block Island Sound, the wind increased another notch, and we plowed on into a wet fog reducing visibility to a quarter mile or less. Radar picked up the few boats in the area as we surged over 10 knots on the building waves.
Etched on the radar screen, the rock breakwaters of Pt. Judith Harbor of refuge slid close abeam and astern, unseen though the fog. Then in five minutes, we emerged as through a curtain into a clearing revealing a large schooner offshore, and a few boats beating their way back west. With increased visibility, we set the spinnaker about 1700 and set course for the 20 miles to the entrance to Buzzards Bay. The knot clock hit 11 plus amid celebrations. Jim's lasagna and a big green salad did the trick for dinner. But by 1930 the wind was going aft and dying with the setting sun. So on went the engine, down came the sails, and the off-watch went below.
It was then that Rick discovered that the opening end of his duffel bag held a definitely damp pile of underwear and socks - the result, apparently, of being transferred between planes at O'Hare in a heavy thunderstorm on Sunday afternoon on the way east. Spread along the cabin's shelf, they slowly dried over the next two days.
Our good progress, the forecast for more SW winds followed by a cold front, and an arrival at the Cape Cod Canal before 2300 with the last of a favorable current sealed the decision to push on without the original planned stop at Scraggy Neck for about 6 hours of sleep. By midnight, we were through the canal and seven miles out into Cape Cod Bay.
Tuesday, 24 July 2001
Waking in his bunk below for the midnight to 0400 watch, Rick felt like the boat was quietly sailing along at a leisurely pace. On deck, it was blowing 21 knots and Javelin was reeling off an easy 9 and 10 knots. It was warm enough for a T-shirt, coupled with wet gear pants for a little warmth and to ward off the settling dew. The next waypoint was off Race Point, the far end of Cape Cod beyond Provincetown. Slowly the wind went farther and farther aft, the jib would get blanketed behind the main, and we slowed down. For a while we wung out the jib to weather, but the dying wind, remaining sea, and a dead aft breeze forced us to furl the jib and return to the engine.
Though the moon had set early, every star was visible. The top of the mast traced a rolling arc across the Milky Way, the Northern Cross high above to port, and, by 0300, Pleiades well up in the northeast to starboard.
By daybreak the wind had returned, sails were set, and away we went. It continued to build to 28 knots and one by one the cries went out: 12.2 knots! 13.3 knots! 14.6 knots! Jeff Kenner got the Tiller Tweaker award for that one - even the off-watch in their bunks heard the cries.
By 0800 the dead aft wind has pushed us 7 miles west of our rhumbline course, and we again tried to run wing and wing before the building seas and 20-24 knot wind. The small jib was no match for the 75 foot rolling mast and huge main and slammed from side to side on the largest of the rolls despite the best efforts of our very qualified helmsmen. Reluctantly we rolled in the jib, started the engine to keep up our blistering pace, and rolled dead down wind with the waves surging still to 11 or 12 knots. But by this time even that was not much to remark about.
Javelin's stern would rise to an approaching sea from astern, some running 4-5 feet. The bow would gracefully dip with a white mustache of foam in her teeth, then rise up and race down the face of the wave. Embedded foam bubbled in the green water plumes that rose to deck level as the roar built on both sides. For long moments the bow hung in the air as the numbers raced higher on the knot meter. And then the wave would move ahead, Javelin would settle back and prepare to race another wave.
By lunchtime, we already had Portland abeam, about 40 miles away to the west. Clear around the horizon a gunmetal ocean rolled with building swells and whitecaps. A hazy sky matched the forecast for 20-30 knot sou'westerlies and afternoon thunderstorms ahead of a cold front due by Wednesday morning. In the 200 square miles of sea around us, not a vessel could be seen. We raced on for Northeast Harbor. Our electronics predicting arrival time fluctuating by as much as an hour depending if we were racing down a wave, or "waiting" at a dull 8 knots for the next one. Would it be 1745 at the waypoint south of Long Island (one of many by that name), and 1930 at the dock, as the faster times predicted, or an hour later?
Our rock-and-roll ride down the waves continued in the building seas. Tricks at the wheel were reduced to 30 minutes as the exercise value increased. Slowly the wind veered toward the southwest, pushing us back east toward the rhumbline as we sailed above the 52 degree course to avoid accidental gybes. Despite our efforts, we still did one with a "bang" that shook the boat as the 30 foot boom slammed across. We gybed back and continued on. By 1700 we were steering 60 -70 degrees, no longer able to sail down toward the waypoint on a 52 degree heading, and moved east of the rhumb. Five miles later we gybed for Long Island steering 35-40 degrees, aided by a southeast current set.
We were still racing down the growing seas hitting 11, 12 and occasionally 13. With increasing wave height, the bow buried more, and the steering effort increased. Mother Nature then made her move with hazy stratus pouring across the sun and darkening the northwestern sky and obliterating the horizon. Good time to take down the main! Nicely accomplished with only one wave aboard, we sailed on under jib and throttled back engine, still hitting 9 and an occasional 10 knots.
Shortly after 1800, Long Island emerged from the gloom on the port bow. As the wind clocked farther west, we surfed the white breakers past the island toward The Drums, and slowly the seas subsided in the lee of the land. Whitecaps still ran high, however, hiding the lobster pot floats that now appeared in the shallower water. We overran one, hearing the telltale "thud" and saw it floating astern, snagged another that trailed astern for a short while like a hooked fish, and snagged one more before we were in.
As we approached the Western Way entrance, the hot, 85 degree air from shore hit like a blast furnace, bringing a brief wind and rain squall. Rain returned two miles later, and at 2022 we had furled the jib and entered Northeast Harbor. Jeff and Ben, who were leaving the next morning, had their teeth set for a lobster dinner at the Docksider and we dropped them at the dock at 2030 to race for the last serving.
By great surprise, there were two open slips at the usually jammed dock. However, the dock man assured us that vessels were returning yet that Tuesday night and so we moved to the temporary dock to await the return of Jeff and Ben. A long discussion with the dock man and a phone call confirmed that one of the returning vessels would, in fact, not return, so we moved back to the original slip we had taken and secured for the night. That left time for Steve, Jim and Rick to sneak into the Docksider to join Jeff and Ben for desert of blueberry pie ala mode! Well fed, we all retired for a long and peaceful night's sleep.
Wednesday, 25 July 2001
All hands stirred by about 0830. Scrambled eggs, OJ, coffee, English Muffins, and a wonderful assortment of sweet rolls and muffins, compliments of Jeff's quick trip to the bakery, filled the inner man. Fortified, ships chores were started. The main was nicely flaked and the cover tied on Bristol fashion. On Monday night, when the jib was slatting behind the main and sailing wing and wing, the pin had dropped out of the tack shackle and a small tear had started at the bottom of the luff tape. It had been tied down and taped, but now a proper repair was completed when Jim found the right size pin at Brown's hardware. Jeff and Ben rented their car and departed about 1030, allowing time for a short tour of the countryside and Cadillac Mountain before catching their plane at Bar Harbor at 1400.
Steve swabbed down the stern, as usual, to banish the back diesel smudges after hours of running under power. Rick attacked the chrome with Never Dull, starting at the stern boarding ladder and working around to the lifeline stanchions and the bow and stern pulpits. Jim & Rick took the risk of making up a shopping list, prior to Priscilla Fulton's afternoon arrival, and then doing the shopping.
Hearty leftovers of the remaining lasagna and beef stew, with nibbles of carrots, celery and grapes provided a late lunch. Typical Maine weather it was not, however, with little wind and temperatures in the high 80's - and much hotter down below Javelin's wide, sun-drenched decks. Air conditioning was turned on below with a surge of relief appreciated by all hands.
Next on the list was reviewing the waypoints for the trip to Dibgy, Nova Scotia, and getting them loaded in both the ship's Northstar GPS, and the computer which displays the ship's position on a chart. Despite the humming air conditioning, it still seemed warm and humid below. The settings were OK, but little air seemed to be coming through the vents - particularly in the main cabin. A look at the unit showed it was covered in frozen condensation stopping air flow. It took half an hour for it to melt, then we started it up again. Much better, but still not terribly forceful. A bit of crawling around on the cabin sole found the air intake, and a flashlight told the rest of the story. Beautifully trimmed in cherry and securely screwed in place, the metal mesh filters had slowly collected dust since the boat had been built two and a half years ago. A Philips screwdriver and a little effort popped the whole unit out, and a strong hose on the dock washed away the grime so once again light and air could flow freely through the filter. Upon further inspection, the forward unit filter, at the back of the hanging locker, and the two filters in the aft cabins got the same hose treatment. In twenty minutes the boat was a cool 68 degrees, just in time for Priscilla's arrival.
A short cocktail hour, and it was time to walk up the hill to the Docksider and a great lobster dinner. Returning, we set up Javelin's surround-sound theater, driven by the DVD drive on the computer and the stereo system, and settled down to the James Bond Golden Eye movie. Popcorn in the microwave complemented the action. A gentle yawn, and off to bed about 2330.
Thursday, 26 July 2001
Not one forecast had mentioned a drop of rain, but Rick awoke to light drops around 0530, got up and closed the ports around the cabin. Rain continued and steadily dimpled the water through mid-morning. It was easy to stretch out morning chores below. Our departure for Canada had been variously set for anywhere from 1 to 5 PM, though we were "supposed" to check out of our slip by 1100. At 1120 we cast off and slowly made our way to the fuel dock. The rain had just stopped, and hints of blue could be seen far to the northwest. Topping off the fuel at Clifton Dock, Javelin was on her way just before noon. Another oily departure under power, course east - 100 degrees magnetic - for Digby, Nova Scotia.
Steve was determined to sail, and hardly had we cleared Lewis Rock when we set the main in about 7 knots of wind. With the wind aft we added the asymmetrical spinnaker and surged to almost wind speed. A pair of dolphins loped across our bow, perhaps a good omen. But, alas, the wind gods were not cooperating, first shifting forward, then aft, then going light. With 100 miles still ahead, we returned to engine power and headed off into the afternoon. Slowly we edged off the shore, giving great evidence to the expression of going "down East" in Maine. In the clearing air behind the rain, visibility was exceptional. Grand Manan Island, and other features appeared around the horizon at distances of 20 to 40 miles. Around 1600 we were approaching our Gannet Rock waypoint at the southern edge of the shoals south of Grand Manan. Tidal flow out of the Bay of Fundy here in the open ocean was just over 3 knots against us, dropping our speed over the bottom to around 4.7 knots, though the boat speed through the water was 8 knots.
A hearty spaghetti dinner fortified the crew as we carried our watch system into the evening. By midnight we had entered and crossed the commercial traffic lanes to and from St. John, checking in with Fundy Traffic Control by VHF radio on the inbound and outbound edges. The quarter moon set a little before midnight, leaving a spectacular star show under a crisp, clear sky. Though a northwest wind had finally blown in and we could have set sail, the tide had now turned and we were making 11 knots over the bottom on an even keel under power - a very easy ride for the two-person watches on deck. We closed slowly at a narrow angle with the Canadian shore. The visibility was so crisp that shore seemed almost alongside even when we were still 5 miles off.
Friday, 27 July 2001
While still two hours out, Steve called Canadian customs for clearance. Advising the vessel particulars, the names and passports of those aboard and our destination and plans, we were told to expect a call back in the morning.
Closing in on Digby, we received a call from Fundy Traffic advising that the ferry Princess of Arcadia was approaching from St. John and would arrive at the Digby Gut at about the same time we would. We had already spotted what looked like commercial traffic on the northwest horizon, but now could relate it to a 260 foot ship doing 16 knots headed for the same place we were. The Arcadia's skipper was called too, and we quickly closed the distances over the next 30 minutes.
We arrived about 5 minutes ahead as we roared past the lighthouse, almost parallel to the shore doing 11 knots with the current, and Digby Gut opened suddenly to starboard. While the outer coast was bare of lights, the Gut was rimmed with lights which defined its edges. The nav system signaled a sharp starboard turn, we let it, and watched as it headed the boat for the black, steep, 200 foot high western side of the opening. At first Rick thought this was just a compensation for the heavy current sweeping around the point and into the Gut, while Jim continued to note the unfavorable heading with increasing clarity. A punch of the button returned Javelin to human control and we headed down the center of the half-mile wide entrance, hitting 12 knots at the narrowest point. The Arcadia, bathed in lights, was pushing in right behind us. We popped through the Gut into the expansive Annapolis Basin and slowed down as we passed Arcadia's dock to concentrate on finding Digby wharf in the maze of lights ahead.
It didn't take long for Steve, working below with the radar and GPS, to realize that our waypoints were not taking us where we expected to go and determined that the chart from which we had taken our points was based on an older geographic datum than the GPS. The major channel marks were easily found, and we closed in on the expected Dibgy wharf at 0245. With the last mark passed, Steve wanted to continue to the "next" finger of dock indicated on the chart. Rick thought that route looked like it had street lights and houses to contend with. The fathometer had dropped from 300 feet coming through the Gut to 75, then to 45 and now showed about 20 feet. Not bad, but Dibgy harbor has a 28 foot tide, and we were already well on our way toward high tide. Steve spotted a mooring buoy off the end of the dock we had just passed, so we swung around and secured for the night about 150 feet off the dock, near a well-used scallop boat. We all turned in for a few hours sleep, though Rick surprised Sandy with a call at midnight California time just as she returned home from her usual Thursday night chorus rehearsal practice.
Four hours of sleep recharged our batteries, and soon Steve was on the radio trying to contact the Digby marina. A tour boat operator responded and directed us to a berth at the end of a marina dock, now visible in the morning sun. As we worked our way the short distance in, we realized we were already inside the "farther" set of docks indicated on the chart. We later learned that the original dock had been removed about 6 years ago, and the "last" mark had been moved to the end of the remaining dock. None of which was shown accurately on the Canadian chart stamped "updated to 1999-09-10". Digby is on Atlantic time, an hour ahead of Maine, so the morning was fast escaping. Steve called to inquire about the rental car he had reserved, only to find it had been delivered and parked in the parking lot at the head of the dock earlier in the morning and the keys were over the visor.
Steve called Judy Sanders, his former employee, who had recently built a new house near Maitland, about 80 km down the coast toward Yarmouth. She was headed to the airport to pick up her husband in the afternoon, but we were invited for lunch. Interior Nova Scotia is rolling hills of mixed hardwood and evergreen forest, cleared only along the major roads. With perfect directions, we arrived just before noon to a spectacular view of the Bay of Fundy across a small pond and marsh, which formed the back yard. Panoramic windows overlooked the Bay from the dining room table as we enjoyed great sandwiches and cookies; however, the morning deer had already eaten their fill and departed before our arrival.
We drove on south (the road signs seem to call it West!) to Yarmouth, the largest city on the southwest coast, and the destination of the big ferries from Bar Harbor and Portland. Along the way we saw harbors created by rock breakwaters, often with a very narrow slot into an "L" shaped basin - a solution to 25-foot tides and high seas. Nova Scotia has limited the lobster season to 6 months in many places, and windrows of lobster traps lined many a wharf. Under crystal skies we worked our way back up the coast on highway 1 through the little towns. Nova Scotia's population is basically linear - houses spaced along the road with very few cross streets.
Arriving back aboard Javelin in Digby about 1800, we had an hour to spruce up before our dinner reservation at Digby Pines Resort. Perched high on the hills north of the town, it featured a golf course, pool, tennis, a delightful vista of Annapolis Basin and Digby, and the food a pleasure to the palate. Priscilla, unfortunately, is allergic to scallops, the hallmark of Digby, but Steve & Rick indulged in their curried masterpiece with great satisfaction. We returned to the boat and the boys finished off the evening watching the "special effects" section of the James Bond DVD.
Saturday, 28 July 2001
French toast with melon for breakfast gave a boost to the day. Our laundry plan was thwarted by someone filling both washing machines as Rick arrived, but Captain Blecher had plenty of scrubbing in mind for the crew as we washed down Javelin's topsides with a gentle bucket of suds and soft brush - making sure to get every inch of the waterline - then turned the boat around to repeat the process on the starboard side.
Having earned shore leave, we piled into the car and explored the little towns around the Basin. Bear River features a number of houses and shops built on pilings to accommodate the 30-foot tide range while still staying along the road. A curio shop stood on stilts almost at mid-bridge over the Bear River, and Priscilla boosted the local economy with a modest purchase. Despite her efforts to chat up the shopkeeper with encouragements of future growth, the words seemed to fall on skeptical ears and a face that never cracked a smile.
A dreamer might have been tempted by the real estate page on the wall, complete with description, picture of the building, and a price of $59,000. Outside, the boys, waiting for Priscilla's transaction to be completed, remarked at the peeling paint, and weathered cornices. Rick posed the question of how far a screwdriver might penetrate the wood, to which Jim calmly replied, "To the handle." We retreated the 6 clicks downriver, now almost dry at low tide, to highway 1 and continued toward Annapolis Royal. The way was dotted with the tiny linear towns of Cornwallis, Clementsport, and Upper Clements each like the last with small houses of peaked roofs, most with weathered wood siding.
Annapolis Royal was first settled by the French in 1605, reputed to be the earliest settlement in Canada. This Arcadian community slowly grew by 1636, yet fell to the British a hundred years later around 1749. Once in control, the British imported their own colonists, particularly a wave of 1200 souls to found the town of Conway, protected by Admiral Digby. In appreciation, they changed the town name. In 1755 the British decreed by proclamation the Arcadians must be deported -scattered in a dozen waves to the American colonies. Great hardship was wrecked on families banished to colonies that had no use for the French, and the most fortunate found their way to Louisiana. Following the American War of Independence, many British "Loyalists" emigrated to the area in 1783 -1786. In total, the area changed hands seven times over the centuries.
Today it is as much a tourist attraction as anything else - or as close as this area comes to having one. Over the ten by twenty mile span of Annapolis Basin's terrain, 30,000 people live in perhaps 50 towns. We first stopped at the ten-acre Annapolis gardens, once the province of the British Governor. It's beds and trees ranging from grasses to pines and spruce, from casual to formal rose gardens, and included a model Arcadian house with reed thatched roof and field stone hearth. Priscilla purchased a book on the Evangeline Trail, the tragic saga of a young bride's search of the American colonies for her deported Arcadian husband. Even today the French tricolor with a gold star outnumbers the Canadian flag on houses along the Nova Scotia shore from Digby to Yarmouth.
We passed up the grassy fields and cannon of Fort Anne on one side of Annapolis Royal, past the tourist shops of "antiques" and "crafts", to the farmers' market, just closing at noon across from the government wharf. Priscilla's contribution here was a wonderful box of fresh, organically grown, raspberries. These tided us over as we made a short stop at the tide-driven hydroelectric plant across the Annapolis River. Then back to Javelin for a late lunch, laundry, relaxation and log writing. Rick & Priscilla walked up the dock and around the corner to the commercial fish-house, buying fresh haddock and scallops for dinner. Sautéed in butter, sprinkled with garlic and dill, accompanied by broccoli and rice, and washed down with a fine bottle of St. Julian, it was a most pleasant repast. We strolled up the dock to hear the guitar player singing to an empty, grassy field except for the four of us. Then, compliments of Steve, we enjoyed ice cream cones on the only main street - curiously quiet at 9 pm on a Saturday night except for a handful of teenagers hanging around the video store. They too disbursed into the fading light as we returned aboard for a good night's sleep.
Sunday, 29 July 2001
Departure from Digby. A simple breakfast of English Muffins and fruit, fill the water tanks, toss the garbage and we were under way before 0830 under a bright sun and light, cool morning breeze. On the way out we reset the waypoints, catching the beginning of the ebb as we cleared the Gut into the Bay of Fundy. After checking in with Fundy Traffic, we set main and jib on a sparkling sea, close hauled doing 8 knots across the bay for Campobello Island. Our pre-cruise plan included a stop at St. John, New Brunswick, but Steve thought the logistics of our 75-foot mast, a 25-foot tide, a 60-foot bridge clearance and no options if we missed the tide suggested Plan B. So under perfect sailing conditions, we sliced our way westward.
The conversation turned to solving the problems of the world. "Why do men fight?" was good for half an hour - unfortunately without resolution. Equally perplexing and unfathomable was the corollary, "If one man knows others of the group are doing evil, what should he do?"
Javelin, above the fray, sailed a beautiful, graceful and peaceful close reach. "Look-ma-no-hands" sailing under instrument control locked Javelin in on the rhumbline using the ebb tide to propel us over the bottom at up to nine knots. Crisp and cool air curled around the dodger, offering the option of sun and warmth at the forward end of the cockpit, or a bracing breeze back aft. As we closed with East Quoddy Head at the north end of Campobello a lobster boat tried to out race us, only to give up after about a mile and turned away to the northwest. We hardened up at the Quoddy Head light and beat southwest through Head Harbour Passage doing about 7 knots. With water depths over 100 feet almost at the rocky shore, we thrilled fishermen and landlubbers alike with tacks within a long stone's throw of the rocks. At Windmill Point we furled the jib, dropped the main and started navigating into the serpentine unnamed bay penetrating Campobello, marked with numerous fish weirs, and ending a mile past the only navigation buoy in the rock-bound pool marked Harbour De Lute. Rick worked the GPS position on the computer, feeding Steve new headings at one-minute intervals. We threaded our way around the weirs, past rock ledges and dropped the hook at low tide in 14 feet of water at 1615. In six hours we would have an additional 16 feet of water to float in, and the rocks and stakes now visible would be hidden at varying depths from benign to deadly.
Priscilla doing a little reading, Steve polishing the oil lamp and cleaning the dodger, Jim re-drilling the flag staff to tighten the luff, Rick updating the log. Dinner was defrosting. Wavelets lapped the hull with gentle slaps as the flooding tide turned Javelin 90 degrees to the wind. All was good with the world. So good in fact, that Steve hoisted Rick aloft in the bosun's chair on the main halyard for a picture. From 75 feet off the deck, Javelin stretched gracefully across the dark water, her sleek lines converging at the bow. To the south, our anchorage ended in the calm fingers of water cradling a small wooded island.
Dinner was a simple spaghetti and sauce, but accompanied by Proscuitto and melon, and tomato and mozzarella with dill and olive oil for a veg. With the dishes done, the theater was once again open for another Bond experience - perhaps the worst of the bunch - Live & Let Die. Not only did we rate it one star, we endured about 20 minutes of a terrible picture before we realized that the angle of the screen to the audience was badly distorting the color and contrast at frequent intervals. Wrapped between a clear sky and serene anchorage, we drifted off to a long and peaceful sleep.
Monday, 30 July 2001
Breakfast was the do-it-yourself variety, and late by cruise standards. It was 0930 Atlantic time before we slowly pulled up the anchor. Our secure stay was accomplished by an anchor and chain well buried in mud. Fortunately, Javelin's pressure sea-water hose forward enabled us to blast away the mud, link by link, as the chain came aboard. Retracing our waypoints, we headed for St. Andrews. Light winds, under power, we worked our way around Deer Island, running parallel to and just east of the US-Canadian border, letting the autopilot do most of the work. Ahead a small runabout with two men aboard was waving an oar in the air. We slowed down and learned they had run out of gas, and we took them in tow, we thought for St. Andrews. As they realized our destination, they waved and explained that it would be better for them to be at their home dock at Robbinston on the US side of the border. We powered the extra 6 miles with them in tow and dropped them at their dock before turning back around Navy Island into St. Andrews Harbour. A pod of dolphins gamboled around us as we went.
Our reservation turned out to be a mooring, not the dock we had anticipated - there were no docks to tie up to other than the limited space for charter boats to take folks whale watching off Campobello Island. We inflated the rubber dinghy and headed ashore after a chicken chow mein lunch. Steve and Jim remarked at how the town had been improved since their last visit ten years (or more) ago. It was clearly set up for tourists with shops along Water street in fresh coats of paint, flags on the lightposts, and knickknacks for sale at every door. We walked on up the hill to the Algonquin Hotel and enjoyed iced tea and lemonade on the balcony. On the way down we looked at several churches. For a town of about 1800 souls, they had at least six churches - maybe lots of saving to do. St. Andrews was founded by British Loyalists who had lived in Castine, Maine but did not want to be part of the revolution. So they packed up their houses, some literally, moved north and re-erected them in St. Andrews, Canada.
Our shore brigade split up, with Jim & Steve headed more directly back to the boat, picking up fresh lobster along the way, while Rick & Priscilla ransacked the local market to replenish provisions for the next three days. Back aboard it was time for relaxation and log writing before Priscilla dispatched the lobsters in two large steaming pots. Recording the cooking and the table for posterity, we devoured the crustaceans with glee. Satiated, we again "went to the movies" to watch the Andrea Gail sink into the eternity of The Perfect Storm. And so to bed, perchance to dream.
Tuesday, 31 July 2001
An early start left St. Andrews astern by 0730. A glassy morning under power against the incoming tide across Passamaquoddy Bay and again down along the US - Canadian border, still on the Canadian side. A seal looked us over before going on about its morning hunt. Rounding East Quoddy Head the Bay of Fundy looked most like an ice rink, rimmed on the eastern side with a white fog bank on the horizon. A light breeze filled in and Steve ordered all sail set. Up went the main, then the spinnaker. But once again the wind gods were scared away and departed leaving us to drop sail and return to engine power. The current had now turned in our favor, so we rolled down the coast doing about 10 knots over the bottom.
As we crossed the border back into US waters at West Quoddy head, Steve called in to request return clearance, only to be advised customs would not clear us under way, so we picked Cutler, about 12 miles ahead, to put in and call back. It took five minutes and we were under way again, pausing only for lunch. Still with little wind, Captain Blighecher ordered all hands to set the spinnaker, so up it went. Then it hung. In one momentus burst, we reached 3.7 knots. The rest of the time Rick stood on the foredeck holding the skirt out of the water, Jim tried to steer to catch the zephyrs, and Steve worked the sheet in and out. After about an hour we gave up and powered the rest of the way to Mistake Harbor.
Mistake is made up of several individual little islands, some almost connected at low tide, sitting right on the edge of the ocean. The southeast swells, though very low, broke with white water on the ocean side, while we sat calmly at anchor inside. It was a picture moment, so Rick jumped into the dinghy and rowed out for a shot or two. Next, Jim and Priscilla rowed off toward the lighthouse on Moose Peak island, one of the group that made up the harbor.
Wednesday, 1 August 2001
A nice west wind greeted us at breakfast time, but faded away with the heat of the morning as we powered once again westward. First stop was Winter Harbor for fuel, then around into Frenchman Bay and the tiny harbor of Sorrento to find Tony Waldeck and Adrian May. Steve radioed ahead to ask if they would like to go for a sail since the wind had finally come up. They jumped at the chance and climbed aboard as we made a pass alongside. Out in the bay we beat upwind, closing with a nice 30 footer. We tacked astern and to leeward, then sailed right up across her stern and on into Bar Harbor. We met our match, however, as the big catamaran ferry from Yarmouth came roaring in across our path. A picture showed it to be a perfect vessel for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. We set the chute and tacked downwind back to Sorrento, the wind failing as we arrived.
Dinner was hosted aboard Adrian May. Great dinner, great conversation and great people. We finished the evening back aboard Javelin, rafted alongside, with a round of song.
Thursday, 2 August 2001
Under way at 0630, we pushed the 15 miles back to Northeast Harbor so Jim and Priscilla could reclaim their car and drive seven hours home in time to host guests for dinner. Steve and Rick turned to with bucket and brush to scrub Javelin fore and aft. Having done the deck and cockpit, we scrubbed the topsides, then turned the boat around to do the other side. Hank Jonas arrived just as we were finishing - and offered to help! Hank stowed his gear, we took an iced tea break, then headed up to the Pine Tree Market to do double duty - laundry in the basement and shopping at street level. Clean and restocked, we were ready for lunch and the beginning of the J Boat Rendezvous. So ready, that Steve had all hands dress ship for the occasion.
Brian Klinger arrived at 1630, stowed his gear, and we were ready for dinner at the Asticou Inn organized by the J Boat Rendezvous. It was a fine buffet with music for dancing - though our crew was rather short on partners!
Friday, 3 August 2001
Scrambled eggs, OJ and English muffins readied the crew for race day. All hands set to making Javelin race ready. WE removed the dodger to reduce windage, rigged the barber hauler sheets to trim the jib to the rail off the wind, and ran through all of the control lines for sail shape. At 1100 we shoved the dock and headed for the starting line in the middle of the bay between Northeast and Southwest Harbors and Great and Little Cranberry islands to join the 24 boat fleet.
It was a start on corrected time, with the smallest boats starting first, followed by each boat at its handicap allowance. In theory, all boats would reach the finish line at exactly the same time if their rating were correct and they were sailed to their potential. The fleet ranged from J 105s (10.5 meters) on up through J 37s, J 42s, J44s and the Javelin size J 160 (53'). Our course was south about 3 miles out into the ocean through Western Way, then slightly west about 3 miles to round Little Duck island to port, another 3 miles to leave the Baker Island gong to port, and return to the finish.
Because the other two J 160s were both deep draft (9 feet vs Javelin's 7), and one was flying a larger jib, each of us started at a different time. Steve sailed us nicely across the line 26 minutes after the first boats had started, with the second J 160 2 minutes, thirty seconds behind us, and the last one another 2.5 minutes back. The smaller boats had started with a modest NW wind blowing through the starting area, and we could see that they had encountered some flat spots before picking up the southwest wind in the ocean.
We stayed to the west as we sailed the first 3 miles hoping to catch the SW wind first, and ghosted through the flat spots into the new wind just before the red and green buoys at Western Way. Excaliber, the Canadian J 160 which had just won the Marblehead to Halifax race about two weeks ago, was tucked safely to leeward as we beat past the rock ledge outside the cans. Javelin roared along at 8 knots as we closed on Little duck. The smaller boats had worked out a good 2 - 3 mile lead, and it was a slow chase to try to catch them.
We rounded Little Duck with Excaliber about 4 lengths astern and bore off on the downwind leg to Baker gong. The course was dead downwind - Javelin's worst angle since we were limited to working jibs and no spinnakers for this race. We chose to tack down wind and held to the ocean side of the course for the first 15 minutes. We gybed over and closed with Excaliber, still holding a small lead. The last J 160, September Morning, was flying a large genoa and now was sailing wing and wing straight down the course and gaining on both of us. When we approached the starboard layline, Excaliber gybed first. We crossed just ahead of her, then gybed to take the inside track to the mark. Unfortunately, she was just enough lighter (no generator or air conditioning) to slowly slide ahead. In the exchange, we were sailing within feet of Excalibur's leeward side, and Beth Apold was quite vocally exclaiming that this was the part of racing she didn't like - having big boats so close together - to which her skipper husband Will remarked, "Then go below and cook." Needless to say that remark made it's way around the fleet! When we all converged at the gong, September Morning was about a minute ahead, with Excaliber about 30 seconds ahead of us.
Though we had closed with the smaller boats, they too were all still ahead of us. From the gong, the course was "to the finish". But there was a choice, you could sail around the Cranberries and up to the finish, or back along the outside of Great Cranberry and back in through Western Way. Since we had nothing to lose, we took the outer route while the rest of the fleet went around the islands. We hoped they would encounter lighter winds and have to beat, while we held a close reach and a broad reach. Unfortunately, the wind held inside the islands and they didn't have to tack either, so we finished dead last. As we were working our way toward the finish, and could see that the rest of the fleet was getting there well ahead of us, Hank suggested several alternatives - like the engine, or flying the spinnaker. Brian chimed in with, "Which would you prefer, a DNF, DSQ or l-a-s-t?" Bob Johnstone (brother of Rod Johnstone the designer of the J boats) won with Iona, while his son, wife and baby daughter ran the race committee from their powerboat Grace. They were kind enough to wait for, but were pulling up the anchor as we passed.
Undaunted, but with plenty of jokes, we returned to the dock - unfortunately the first and most visible spot in all of Northeast Harbor. With air conditioning running, we cleaned up the boat, took showers and were ready to board the Sea Princess along with the whole rendezvous - about 60 people - for the ride to Little Cranberry and a wonderful lobster dinner. Bob Johnstone presented Steve with an old pair of binoculars to see if he could find his way better next time! By 21:45 we were back aboard Javelin and all hands turned in for a good night's rest.
Saturday, 4 August 2001
Blue skies at sunrise gave way to fog by the time the breakfast dishes were done. Hoping not to spook the wind gods, Steve delayed removing the sail cover, but we did once again dismantle the dodger to reduce windage and improve visibility. By the noon start, the wind was very light and the fog in whisps around the islands. We drifted toward the starting line with 12 minutes to our start, and just picked up a little wind with 6 minutes to go. The smaller boats had some wind and were 16 minutes ahead of us. Today we were the last boat to start because the other two J 160s weren't racing. We beat right up against Sutton Island, Hank watching the computer plot down below at the nav station and calling the tacks within yards of hitting the bottom. We played the shifts in fog around Sutton, then emerged into sunshine as we approached East Bunker gong. Today we had already caught three smaller boats, and Bob Johnstone, leading again in the sleek J42 Iona, had rounded only 8 minutes in front of us. We had made up half our time on the first, and shortest, leg of the course. Things looked good.
But things don't always work out that way. We should have known that Bob would have a few tricks up his sleeve. Returning past Sutton for the leg through Southwest Harbor, it looked like the little boats were running out of wind and reaching up for speed. We played a streak along the side of Sutton, on a direct course to the next mark. But as our wind died, the leading boats picked up a southwesterly coming in from Western Way and disappeared into the fog. We slatted, then picked up a little and inched away from five boats we had already passed. With our taller rig, we quickly picked up speed and left them slatting a mile astern as we took aim at the boats ahead.
Iona and Indulgence rounded the corner at Greening Island ahead of the pack and started on the 5 mile leg up Somes Sound. We caught one more boat rounding Greening, then started tacking downwind into the Sound after the five boats still ahead. A stern chase is a long one, particularly in light wind with only a working jib for a headsail. We all gybed back and forth slowly closing the distance as the wind increased at the head of the Sound.. At the mark we caught one boat, then Steve slammed a neat gybe tight around the can to harden up on port tack inside Sidewinder and Eight Bells. Javelin powered to weather sailing faster and pointing higher than the smaller boats in the new wind. Eight Bells, dead astern of the smaller Sidewinder, soon tacked onto starboard to get out of bad air and we were able to clear her by about 30 feet. We carried Sidewinder almost to the rocky shore, then tacked for the finish line, Sidewinder tacking as soon as we did. One short tack across the finish line secured our third place finish, and we dropped sails and picked up a mooring off Williams Boatyard.
Our sister ship Excalibur, who had pleasure sailed for the day, tied up alongside to starboard, while Maine Sail, Dick Green and Paula Ray's J 42, tied up to port. John and Amy McKenna, from the J 37 Zafu, climbed aboard from their dinghy, and we laid out an impromptu cocktail party until it was time to go ashore for the 6 pm official rendezvous dinner. A wonderful beef and salmon dinner was catered by Jonathan's Restaurant of Blue Hill, and held in one of the boatyard sheds.
Bob Johnstone again passed out awards, declaring that a) he could not accept a first place, and b) that yesterday's "winner" (because Bob again refused 1st", was not eligible to win again. That meant the third place finisher was declared the winner - Javelin. Rick received a J Boats duffel as the person in the fleet who had come the farthest to participate. Before dinner, Rick had been talking with a number of the boats, and it turned out that many of the wives were new to racing. (Many of the boats were sailed by husband and wife teams.) Three in particular included Beth Apold of Excalibur, Carol Willauer of Eight Bells, and Paula Ray from Maine Sail. So Rick commented to the crowd about how women had not been allowed to skipper in collegiate sailing when our Javelin crew first sailed together at Dartmouth. And how Steve played a role in getting women accepted through the women's regattas Steve hosted which became the original New England Intercollegiate Women's Association. The evening ended early, and we were back aboard Javelin tucked in our bunks by 2200.
Sunday, 5 August 2001
Even at the head of Somes Sound the fog was just above the masthead, and steadily lowered as we departed at 0800 for our rendezvous with Mel & Molly Converse in Castine. We picked our way from waypoint to waypoint with the autopilot, dodging lobster pots continuously out through Western Way, across Blue Hill Bay, Casco Passage, and the turn up Eggemoggin Reach. By then the fog had lifted enough to see shore on both sides as we approached the Eggemoggin bridge. Mathematics said our 75 foot mast, plus two feet of antennas and wind instruments would slide under the 85' bridge clearance, but we still approached at the center of the span at dead slow speed to slip under. Just beyond Buck's Harbor, we rendezvoused with Dan & Nancy Paduano's brand new 38 foot power boat Top Hat. She is a custom 38' cruiser built on an extended lobster boat hull with extensive woodwork in the style of power yachts from the 1940s. The beautiful skylight and round portholes gleamed with many coats of varnish, as did all of the woodwork aboard.
Whim was already tied to the dock at Eatons in Castine when we arrived. Mel & Molly grabbed our lines as Steve once again backed Javelin neatly into a tight space. We filled the fuel and water tanks, hosed off, did a little log writing, then took a hike up through the town. Castine was the last of the British forts to be surrendered, first at the end of the revolutionary war in 1779, then again in 1815 after the war of 1812. All that remains of Fort George at the top of the hill are the earthworks and parts of a brick blockhouse. What makes it even more unusual is that there is no view in any direction because dense stands of trees have grown up around the whole area, not to mention a road and houses. When originally leveled, the hill would command a view up and down the water on all sides of Castine, surrounded on three sides by deep water, and on the fourth by a small tidal flat and causeway.
On our way back to the boat, we walked through Maine Maritime College, shopped for provisions, and grabbed ice cream cones. Mel & Molly stepped aboard promptly at 1800 for cocktails, then we walked up to the Castine Inn where Mel generously treated the crew to a wonderful dinner. Again, we retired by 2200 for a sound sleep.
Monday, 6 August 2001
Mel knocked on Javelin's hatch promptly at 0700, fresh pot of Rocky Coast Roast in hand. Rick was working on the log, and soon the whole crew indulged in OJ, Steve's raspberry Danish twist, and fresh coffee. Outside, the fog was a cold, wet blanket around the boats, harbor and shore. We stowed the shore power cable and hose, picked up fresh lobsters from their floating pen, Molly snapped a quick picture, and we shoved off for the long haul to Haprswell Sound.
Even radar failed to pick up a little harbor boat crossing our bow, but by 0804 we cleared the channel entrance buoy and were on our way toward Harpswell Sound. The radio was filled with security traffic as vessels announced their positions and courses for others to pick up. Radar picked up the black blips on the green screen and Steve tracked them from below with the master radar unit and maintained radio contact with large vessels nearby. Brian worked with the radar repeater in the cockpit while Rick took the helm and autopilot controls. Many a time the throttle was cut back to drift and listen to horns and engines passing close aboard. But not one actual hull was seen until the fog began to lift at the seaward end of Penobscott Bay at little after noon.
The last of the fog cleared quickly, almost as fast as soup and sandwich did for lunch. We pushed on under power into the SW headwind along the offshore route to minimize lobster pots, and in hopes that the last legs of the trip could be done under sail.
Indeed it was a beautiful sail, 8 knots on a smooth sea, close hauled. A chickadee joined us for about 20 minutes, resting on the rig, then flying off and returning. At one point it settled on our main halyard winch, next to the companionway under the dodger just long enough to snap its picture. Even dodging lobster pots didn't seem a chore after the friendly visit.
That is until we bore off at the sea buoy into Harpswell Sound. Paved with pots would be a close description. After discussions of sailing to Leighton McIlvaine's mooring, the wind went light as we threaded the pots, so we rounded up and dropped the main, then powered on in. Finding lanes among the pots simply meant keeping them about a foot off either side as we tried to keep a relatively straight course, but at any one time there were perhaps four pots within 15 feet on each side of the boat. We rounded up quietly and picked up the mooring at 1744, just fifteen minutes before our planned arrival. Leighton was soon on the dock and rowed out to join us for dinner.
Cheese and crackers in the cockpit, a drink to wash them down, then a lobster and corn on the cob dinner below. By 2200 we bid Leighton a safe row the 30 yards to shore and settled in for the night.
Tuesday, 7 August 2001
Underway at 0703 under a hazy sky and calm winds, we set our course from cape to cape southwest for Portsmouth. First we watched Cape Elizabeth slide by, then Wood Island and Cape Porpoise. A nice westerly set in and we romped along hitting 9.2 knots past Kennybunkport and within a mile of York Ledge before the wind died away and we continued under power. As we closed the last miles into Portsmouth, the hot air from the land greeted us like a blast furnace. Record temperatures of 96-99 were being set all along the coast, and we had sailed into it.
We topped off the fuel tanks at Wentworth Marina, pulled into our slip and immediately started the air conditioning. We scrubbed down fore and aft while things cooled off below. Lise Klinger picked up Rick & Brian at 1530 and headed back to Brian's house. Rick threw in a load of laundry and finally made e-mail contact with the world again, uploading the web page for the cruise and about half of the pictures. Brian showered, and then R&B made a shopping run to reprovision for the last days of the trip.
Back aboard just after 1800, dock neighbors and J boat owners Arnie & Ronna Ziegel and Chuck & Sandy Mayer were settled into the air conditioning with Steve. Brian served as host bartender and we enjoyed swapping sea stories until time to leave for dinner at 1915. Lise had selected the Carriage House in Rye, and a delightful meal it was, compliments of Brian & Lise. Well fed and sun-weary, Lise dropped us back aboard for another 2200 sack time.
Wednesday, 8 August 2001
Rick rolled out of his bunk at 0545, dressed and had the coffee water on by 0600 while Steve was washing up and Brian was stirring. A long 80+ mile day lay ahead, down around Cape Ann, past Boston, and into and through the Cape Cod Canal. Ideal target time at the canal would be 1600 to catch the maximum current west into Buzzards Bay. By 0643 breakfast was done, water and power connections stowed, lines cast off and we were under way. Glassy swells and a light fog started the trip. Half way down the 26 miles to Cape Ann, we set sails along with the motor to pick up a few tenths - and help to make that target arrival. The wind was still light, 7-8 knots, but being the compulsive racers we are, we still wanted that extra tenth of a knot. Unspoken, but perhaps a part of it was working to catch up with Arnie & Ronna's Metaphor who had departed about an hour ahead of us and were originally about eight miles ahead.
We pulled alongside to leeward at 1213, exchanging greetings, offers for lunch, and snapping pictures. Not really meaning to add insult to injury, we then hoisted the spinnaker and quickly opened the distance between us doing 9+ knots. Rubbing salt into the wounds, Steve then shut down the engine, and we continued on still making over 8 knots and enjoyed a few hours of fine sailing.
Once again we were visited by things with wings, but this time we wished the chickadee were here to help. Flies, and a number of large moths blew aboard on the wind. Steve attacked with his "Special K' hat, even being so forceful that repairs were necessary to the clasp. This caused Brian some anxiety, since Brian had provided all the crew with these hats named after his boat, and sported an embroidered DCYC flag. When Steve retreated to the nav station below, he was commissioned to use the fly swatter, and soon the air rang with calls of vanquished insects. Those Rick & Brian didn't dispatch themselves on deck, they scared down the hatch were our brave and valiant captain delivered the coup de gras.
Closing the bottom of Cape Cod Bay and the Canal, the wind went light, then north, and around to the west. The chute came down quickly and we resumed our course under power. Though not the primary objective, we passed between buoys #3 and #4 at the canal entrance at 1600 and 30 seconds. Just another average day for our crew as the current grabbed us and we were quickly slingshot into the canal increasing from 8 to 11 knots over the bottom.
We popped out the other end, 7 miles later in 38 minutes after averaging over 11 knots. Proceeding down the western entrance, we rounded east and headed for the Evan's cozy anchorage on the north side of Scraggy Neck. We dropped the hook in 21 feet of water and settled back on the anchor for the night.
As quickly as the anchor was set, we started the generator and powered up the air conditioning to banish the continuing 90 degree heat and high humidity. Rick readied a steak for the grill, then whipped up mashed potatoes and salad while Steve did the honors on the grill at the stern. Rick & Brian worked a short course home to Westbrook on the computer, daring to challenge the Chief Naviguesser's assertion that it was 100 miles home. While discussing the alternatives of tide and current, Steve remarked, "The tides go up and down, the currents go back and forth, and so do we." We countered that it made for a bad day when the tide went down, but the boat didn't! With much tweaking, the distance was reduced to 89 miles - without having to portage the boat at any point. Well fed, but also well baked, we read for a while, then Steve retired at 2030, Brian at 2130, and Rick at 2200.
Thursday, 9 August 2001
For the last time, the typical morning routine was repeated. Rick rose at 0600, brushed teeth and washed hair with little water by hanging his head over the sink and using the hose faucet. Dressing with the clothes laid out the night before, he stepped into the cabin about 0615, snapped on the LPG gas control switch for the stove, filled the kettle with water and started it heating. Next the coffeepot was topped with paper filter and 4 scoops of coffee. Two small and one large glass, and two coffee cups were pulled from drawer and shelf and setup on the galley counter. OJ came out of the icebox to wait next to the glasses, and this morning the last of the eggs, butter, celery, red pepper, and onions were piled on the counter. The chopped veg started simmering in the frying pan, while the last package of English muffins was sliced and committed to the tray under the now lit broiler.
We temporarily suspended breakfast to haul up the anchor and get under way at 0700. Rick cooked up the eggs, finished browning the muffins, and fed Brian and himself. Rick relieved Steve at the helm to eat, while Brian started his routine galley clean-up. The southwest wind picked up to 12 knots, but right on the nose, so we powered on.
Radio traffic included a couple of exchanges with Metaphor who had risen very early at the east end of the canal, rode the current through and were once again about 7 miles ahead of us. They had also decided to head for home given the continuing forecast for record oppressive heat and humidity. The Coast Guard reported a dead whale in Narragansett Bay, about 1.6 miles north of our planned course. The USCG square rigged Eagle reported entering Narragansett Bay, but too far ahead of us for a sighting.
For the last week there had seemed to be a much higher frequency of calls for assistance, including an EBIRP alert 123 miles east of Cape Ann on the 6th. It turned out to be from a fishing boat on the Grand Banks that was apparently run down by a ship. Only the captain was rescued alive, one dead crew recovered, and two crew not found. On the way into the canal yesterday, a 36' powerboat, the Stemwinder, called for assistance, saying it was drifting without power. Sea Tow, sort of the AAA of the water, responded, and we could see them getting towed in as we approached the canal. Perhaps another half dozen calls to Sea Tow were heard as well.
At 1000, three hours under way and clear of Buzzards Bay, Steve declared it time for an Entenmann's Raspberry Danish Twist break. All hands dutifully complied. With the electronics predicting an 1800 ETA at Westbrook, the next challenge was whether we would try to beat the change of current at The Race, or slide behind Fishers Island.
It was once again a race between lunch and overtaking Metaphor. This time the ham & cheese on rye were ready just before we converged. Taking advantage of our being temporarily preoccupied, the wind both increased and moved aft. Steve polished off his sandwich and dashed to attach the main halyard. Not to be so easily fooled, the wind immediately backed off. And we held off hoisting. In fact, it went so light, Steve suggested the only way to trick it was to take the halyard off again.
It worked about half an hour later. With sails set we roared down the course at 8.7 through the water and 9.4 over the ground. We rigged the block and short sheet to lead the jib to the rail and sat back for a great sail. Mother Nature didn't take too kindly to our expectations, and slowly went light and forward again. In came the jib, though we kept the main up and started the engine. Seeing that we were determined to keep on schedule, even without their help, the wind gods relented and again filled in with a nice 12 knots. Out rolled the jib and off we went at 9 knots, still on schedule to slip through The Race with the last of the flood tide at 1530. At this rate, an 1800 arrival at Westbrook is still the ETA.
Into The Race with the last of the current on schedule at 1530 with the wind holding about 14 and Javelin galloping for the barn. The Boys alternate on the helm, each having more fun than the next. Out comes the camera to record their homecoming smiles. New London passes abeam, Long Sand Shoal only 2 miles ahead. Brian & Steve are already talking about putting cushions below and hosing down - Steve declares it's too hot to polish the chrome and stainless with Never Dull tonight. Rick runs through the dinner menu in his head, glad that the air conditioning will be running all night tonight while cooking and sleeping.
We furled the jib at 1554, followed by the main, and at 1801 we were powering into Westbrook Harbor. Steve slid Javelin into a narrow berth on the inside of the fuel dock, we topped off and secured her in her berth. A fresh water hose down cleared the deck and topsides of salt, and, with electricity now hooked up, we headed below into air conditioning to relax.
There is a certain satisfaction to the end of a cruise. As we enjoyed a table of snacks and dinner, we figured we had sailed 990 miles, enjoyed many days of great sailing, and had not once been hit by heavy winds or rain storms. A great cruise, with great friends, new and old.
Click on images to enlarge, click "Back" to return. Photos by Rick.
E-mail to Rick Van Mell
Fuel and water going aboard at Westbrook, CT. Ready to cast off. Steve gives the crew instructions. Checking to see if the crew is following instructions! The main is hoisted and we are under sail. Adding the spinnaker makes it more fun. Steve is still at it. Ben cleans up after lunch. Harnesses for night safety. First sunset. Steve can't seem to get away from the office. Jim and Ben on watch. 33 hours to Northeast Harbor. Air conditioning on and pressure water connected. Under power and jib for Digby, Nova Scotia. Jim & Priscilla enjoy the calm passage. The main bank of sailing instruments. True wind direction and speed. Autopilot controls. The compass. About halfway to Digby, Jim at the helm. Some whispy cirrus. Sunset astern over Maine. Friday morning on the mooring off Digby wharf. Digby waterfront going into the marina. Digby's marina - note the 43 steps down to the dock at low tide. Tide's in, all 28 feet of it. Tide's out! Judy Sanders, Steve & Jim at their house near Maitland, NS. The new house. The back yard and Bay of Fundy view. The harbor from Admiral Digby park. Digby is famous for scollops. Here's where we got our fish for dinner Saturday night. Departing Digby on Sunday morning. Digby Pines Resport where we ate Friday night. Digby Gut looking out toward the Bay of Fundy. Looking back at Dibgy Gut on the way to Campobello Island. Jim & Priscilla enjoy the ride. A picture perfect sailing day. Just the way it should be. The south end of Wolf Island under the boom. East Quoddy Head light. The computer's view of our way into Harbour De Lute on Campobello. Javelin from aloft. A seagull's view of the foredeck. The masthead up close and personal. Tranquil cove at south end of De Lute. Being good samaratins on the way to St. Andrews. The boys had run out of gas. St. Andrews, New Brunswick dock. St. Andrews had 7 churches for 1800 people. Priscilla does the lobsters. The big one comes out of the pot. Lobsters for dinner! Followed by James Bond, Live & Let Die on the computer. Tranquility in St. Andrews harbor. St. Andrews sunset. Mistake Harbor looking out to sea. Looking northwest in Mistake. Javelin in Mistake Harbor. The only wooded shore in Mistake. Jim & Priscilla come back from a row to the shed on shore. Sunset in Mistake. Captain Nemo's new craft????? The Yarmouth ferry crosses our stern in Bar Harbor channel. The smaller dock in Northeast Harbor. Javelin dressed for the J Boat Rendezvous. Steve at the helm on the Friday race. Sister ship and Halifax race winner Excalibur still astern. John & Amy McKenna's Zafu. Excalibur catches us tacking downwind. Checking out Excalibur's cockpit crew. Can't quite read their lips. The Saturday crew - Rick, Steve & Brian, photo by Hank. A light and foggy start. Winner of both races, Bob Johnstone's (ie. "Mr. J Boats") Iona The smaller boats returning from East Bunker gong. Cocktail party on Javelin with Excalibur, Zafu, and Maine Sail crew. The Excalibur Kids. Beth Apold's great goodies. Paula Ray and Amy McKenna have all the answers. Dan & Nancy Paduano's brand new Top Hat ties up alongside off Spectacle Island. We get the grand tour. Steve is glad Javelin's mast cleared 85' Eggemoggin Reach Bridge by a few feet. Whim and Javelin rendezvous for dinner in Castine. Cocktails on Javelin before dinner at the Castine Inn. Molly's pic of Rick, Mel, Brian & Steve (and lobsters) about to depart Castine in the fog. Chickadee mascot aboard for 20 minutes headed for Leighton McIlvaine's in Harpswell Sound. Waiting for the pot in Harpswell Sound. Overtaking Metaphor at sea off Boston on the way to the 'Cape Cod Canal. Arnie & Ronna Ziegel obviously enjoying the ride. It's bridges time on the Cape Cod Canal. Rick navigates the last bridge doing 12.9 knots over the bottom with the current. Javelin gallops to the barn with Steve at the helm. Steve has her in the groove. Brian's turn. Rick is having way too much fun.
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