Thursday, September 5, 2013

Portland almost to Seguin Island, and back.

Not my picture, not my boat
Before we get started on some SeaPearl 21 adventuring in Casco Bay, I want to point out Dave-in-NJ's blog about his Goatee Goat Island Skiff "Chivita" and some pretty damn epic sailing he did around New York Harbor.  It's somewhat of a departure from my Goat perched on a wild island in Down East Maine, but it is just as epic, if not more for the sheer stupendousness of that mother of all cities, New York City, and her crazy harbor.  Please see this post in particular.  If your heart doesn't get thumping, you must not like Goat Island Skiffs, and I question why you are here in the first place.

Dave, you go man.  You go.  Impressive.


Now for the main feature:

In which SeaPearl Scout and I sail around Casco Bay, meet a squall, and get boarded by fictitious pirates.

Red = Day 1, Yellow = Day 2.  Black = Iron Mizzen usage

I headed out of South Portland recently and met up with a Pearson 30 as she sailed north along the Maine coast, destination Brooklin and WoodenBoat.  I planned to be along for a day, maybe two.  The first night's destination was either going to be Damirscove Island or Seguin, depending on distance travelled.  I thought I could probably make Seguin via Half-Way Rock, but Damirscove was probably out for me due to the distance and my energy level.

The weather was fine, with a remote chance of thunderstorms, and calm winds gave way to a beautiful stiff breeze of the kind that you can only really find on salt water.

Scout moved along smoothly and with efficiency. I pushed her hard which means I pushed myself hard, and gave myself little time to eat, drink, pee, or enjoy the sailing, as I was intent on keeping up with the Pearson 30 (which I did, but jeez... enjoy the ride already, right?)

Blowing out to Half-Way Rock with nice water and a good breeze!

Pearson 30 
 After I had passed Half-Way Rock (no pictures, sorry, but lots of seals!) it started to become blatantly obvious that the slight chance of thunderstorms was going to probably become a very real chance.  In the deeps of my ears I imagined I could hear low-frequency rumbling, even though the sky still looked somewhat innocuous.  Soon however, it was apparent that we were in for a blow.

Trouble brewing
 I cracked down to make as much mileage as I could towards Small Point/Cape Small not in a vain attempt to outrun the storm, but to get closer to the shore so that if things went bad, I wouldn't be miles out to sea.

Behind me, the wall of bruised green and black advanced, with thunder filling the air.  It was on.  My buds in the Pearson 30 became insignificant by contrast.  I hoved-to and started preparations.

Trouble is creeping up on the Pearson 30! Run guys, run!
Battened down.  Small Point in the distance behind me.  Trouble is on it's way!
We tied Scout up and towed her behind the Pearson 30, which was actually a mistake.  When the squall hit she sailed on her own, and the skipper had to stay ahead of her.  It would have been far more desirable to hunker down in Scout and ride out the storm with her as it would have been significantly less nerve wracking.  Lesson learned.  When the storm passed the crew of the Pearson decided to make for Damirscove, and I broke off and headed towards Harpswell to a small island on the Maine Island Trail.

The Squall over, I take my leave of the Pearson 30 and sail out of the dark and into the sun.  This was a good feeling.

Wet, but pleased with this particular outcome
 I reached the island after navigating around and over several treacherous reefs (again, yes! 6" draft!) and found that there were few good access points.  I was somewhat chuffed at the description of this particular island as I was lulled into thinking I'd have a good beach, but with a stable west breeze, Scout was held perfectly in a small cove with a flat bottom so she could bottom out at low tide.  Exhausted after approx 22 miles of sailing, I ate some rice and crashed in my tent on shore.

Nestled in for the night... or is she?
My view in the morning.  Peaceful.  I am happy!
 I awoke the next morning to *BANG CRASH BANG* and the first thoughts in my tent was:

1. Raccoons are searching for tasty food morsels and ripping things apart
2. Crazy hobo person who probably lives on island is ransacking my boat
3. Pirates (this one bad)

With little fanfare (I'm pretty sure I was naked) I went running out of the tent down to the shore and around the corner, where I found Scout slightly south of her original position and bottomed out on a now not-so-flat bottom, her bow pointing skyward, and my booms sliding down to the stern of the boat.  No pirates, but a sorry sight!

It looked steeper in real life.   
When you are waiting for a tide to fix your sorry boat, you might as well make coffee.
 When the tide came back up and floated Scout into position, we hauled back for Portland.  Southbound, I had some of the finest sailing I can recount this year, making significant mileage against the tide with a steady breeze.  There was much hollering and hooting and, as with IAZ,P, lobstermen waved cheerfully as we passed.

Booming home.  
 The wind really picked up and we reefed down continuously as the day progressed, finally putting in at Fort Gorges in Portland Harbor where we waited for the wind to calm a bit so pulling the boat out of the water wouldn't be as dramatic.  Scout happily sat in the small harbor while I read my WoodenBoat and napped on the beach.  This is summer.  This is happy.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Jewell Island Redux 2013!

WING AND WING as we blow through Cocktail Cove on an evening stroll through the neighborhood.


Holy SHAMOLEY I finally did some camping on the new SeaPearl21, SCOUT that I purchased in a drowsy fit of self-imposed moping over my stagnating professional career back in April.  Sometimes, being a cry-baby pays dividends.  In this case, I have secured a long mean fast camping machine that just CHEWS up the water like a hungry waterborne horse striving forward to see what comes around the next island!

It's been a few years since VisionQuest/ManQuest2010, (here, here, and here) and I thought that maybe a good introduction camping trip in Maine this year would be to march back to Jewell Island and spend a few days puttering around and shaking out the bugs.  Jewell is far enough out to offer wildness, while busy enough to provide support if needed, and Cliff Island with ICE CREAM is nearby!   There are multiple campsites, with beaches, coves, and of course, underwater obstacles just waiting to stove a plank or two.

Lt. Presto and I came out of South Portland with it's fabulous municipal ramp, and moseyed our way out to Jewell in light winds.  They were so light, I fired up the Iron Mizzen (evil but awesome) and positioned Scout in a way where she benefited from rising offshore winds, and we just started moving!  We were parallel with something that looked suspiciously like a Compac 23 (not sure), and it was no contest.  Sorry Compac 23.  With steady winds we blew into the Punchbowl beach skimming over the outer rock wall with 8" of water at high speed (YES shallow DRAFT!) and impressing all onlookers with our prowess... or stupidity.  First camping trip, and I'm already pushing the boat.

Red: Sailing Day 1
Black: Using the evil, yet nice, Iron Mizzen
Orange: Sailing home Day 3.

(Small Day 2 trips not shown)


Inbound to Jewell 
Beached out.  Lt. Presto's tent is set up at the high tide line.  He snores.

Lt. Presto and the emptied out cove on the NE beach.  Note 150' haul-out for Scout.

Tide's coming back in.  Rock wall on right was sailed over at high speed!

Evening is setting up nicely.  WHAT A BOAT!
Lt. Presto enjoying the Punchbowl is it fills in.  (Beach and boat behind us)

As my intrepid readers will remember, my camping style mandates chaos.

High class, honest.

Note Scout quietly at rest on her haul-out.

The most amazing thing to have whilst camping on islands.  Espresso maker for one.

Tied up at the dock on Cliff to get ice cream.  Ferry from Portland is in.  

Lt. Presto navigating Scout to safe harbor!

Captain Callsign just slaying it!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

First Sail in Sea Pearl "Scout"

Sails good.  More to follow.  Note 1991 Tohatsu 3.5hp long shaft outboard.  Holy baloney, outboards can be very, very nice.  And evil.  But nice.

Friday, May 24, 2013


I purchased a scullmatix for my boats, and I gave it a whirl in the local pond.  My lovely wife took a picture of me sculling through the fog on IAZ,P.  It works... but I need more room to get it really going, me thinks.  I'm primarily going to use it for the Sea Pearl 21.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

RePost from Planing Around

SimonLew in Florida has decided to cater to his aesthetic sensibilities and is resurfacing his Goat to make it run-free, as posted on his excellent blog.  This works well for round birdsmouth masts.

The video link is below.  I would have embedded it in this post but Blogger is apparently at war with me right now and won't allow it.!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Change is in the air...


Days are longer, sun is hotter, sailing weather is here!

So I went ahead and bought a Sea Pearl 21.

This is "Scout" and I am her new custodian.  She does NOT replace the Goat Island Skiff, but she augments it.  I have found myself either pondering or actually undertaking passages that were a tad too oceanic for the Goat, and then there are days when I want to cruise and not be cramped, or take out several adults.  Enter, Sea Pearl 21.

Look, the Goat Island Skiff is obviously a fantastic mostly-sheltered water cruiser, as evidenced throughout this blog.  I would also say it's a squeeze for two people and 5 days of gear, and it's a little hairy 6 miles offshore in the Atlantic.  I wanted something that was a little more seaworthy if I was alone and undertaking an adventuresome passage, and I wanted something I could sleep in, or take several adults for a day cruise.

I do lose the easy ability to move the boat around on my own, since the Sea Pearl weighs in around 650 lbs, but I gain some other things.  Hence, the Goat Island Skiff and the SP21 are boatmates and will compliment each other in such a way that there won't be too much stepping on anyone's toes.

NOW, do I post Sea Pearl 21 adventures on this blog or do I post them on another dedicated blog?

What sayeth you, intrepid reader?

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Count Gregoire de Frontenac Goes On Adventure

Intrepid readers will remember my crewmember during BILTrek2012, the highly esteemed Count Gregoire de Frontenac!

Lord of Manor

Count Gregoire de Frontenac is currently sailing his own Ship of Tubes and Plastic Bags from Boston to a destination called "Health and Home."  Here he is with his ship:

Where's my caviar?

Sure is fancy-pants looking!  Only the best for Count Gregoire de Frontenac!

If you so choose to follow Count Gregoire de Frontenac's journey, you may on his and his wife's blog (sorry ladies).   Counting Up From Zero

Join me in wishing Count Gregoire de Frontenac fair winds!

(Goat Island Skiff posts will resume shortly)