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Javelin 2005 Maine Cruise
August 8 - 25, 2005


Steve Blecher, Rick Van Mell, Mel Converse, Paul Wharton & Hank Jonas take Steve's 53' J-160,
Javelin, to Maine. Hank departs Friday, 8/12 in Northeast Harbor as Brian Klinger comes aboard for the week until departing at Wentworth Marina (Portsmouth, NH), Saturday the 20th. Steve, Rick, Mel & Paul sail Javelin back down through the Cape Cod Canal for a visit with Jay and Hasty Evans at Scraggy Neck. Then they sailed on, rendezvousing at Martha's Vineyard with Jeffrey Blecher and fiiancee Jen Ende and her famliy before heading back to Javelin's home port of Westbrook, Connecticut. Rick, Steve, Brian, Mel, Jay and Jeffrey are all Dartmouth alums. Pictures (so far) by Mel, Hank & Rick


Monday, August 8, 2005

The door to Rick's room at Steve's house jars open at 0615 as Mel delivers a piping hot wake-up mug of Rocky Coast Roast. Not many seconds later, Steve's voice comes over the intercom, "0615, rise and shine!" "That's what friends are for," Rick remarks, and another year of Javelin's adventures to Maine began.

Easily by 0658 the SUV was loaded with duffel bags and the piles of groceries bought the night before. Steve had already called Muller's Delicatessen in Scarsdale to order the turkey, ham, roast beef and Swiss cheese we couldn't get at the Stop & Shop, and it was ready after a short stop at the now-open A&P for other items not available the night before. By 0725 we had picked up Paul Wharton in Edgemont and were on the road for Westbrook and Javelin

Steve's cell phone rang with Hank's call from the boat - he had slept aboard Sunday night - saying the refrigeration cooling system wasn't pumping water over the stern and was shutting down. Steve got the yard's mechanic on the horn, and, when we arrived at 0905, a broken pump had already been removed . A new one was promised by 1000, so we stowed the gear and food, then moved Javelin to the fuel dock to top off the two 45 gallon diesel tanks. The new pump arrived around 1020, and we were under way by 1103.

Visibility on Long Island Sound was variable with light southwest winds, sometimes down to a quarter mile, and radar provided eyes to watch for other vessels. After a sandwich lunch, Paul tried a sextant shot - the classic way to find your position at sea. Not that the other 6 GPS units aboard were not super-sufficient, but it was fun to try. The haze gave a poor horizon, and one attempt got us within, as Steve figured, about 458 miles off our position! Even this attempt at classic navigation was contaminated by modern electronics. Instead of looking up tables in the Nautical Almanac to work out the altitude and azimuth of the sun, then incorporating the index correction of the sextant and the height-of-eye dip correction in a long series of pencil sums, Steve tapped a few numbers into an electronic celestial calculator, pushed a button and read out the bearing and distance of the resulting line of position.

Navigation games quickly gave way to sailing at 1407 as a southerly wind filled in (and built, as Hank would point out) and we set main and jib, killed the engine, and enjoyed Javelin's seven knot reach behind Fisher's Island. Marine weather forecasting is often an art, and in these days of politically-correct, liability-averse government entities, many forecasts include a range the includes at least gloom-and-doom, if not pure apocalypse! "Partly cloudy, southwesterly winds 5-15, with chance of showers or thunderstorms, with high winds ( throw in "damaging", "hail", "gusts", etc. if particularly unsure) in the vicinity of thunderstorms", summed it up.

An hour later the wind had veered to the southwest so we set the asymmetrical spinnaker just east of Watch Hill, Rhode Island, and charged off toward Point Judith making 8.5 knots. It was a glorious ride as the wind increased to 17 knots and our speed over ground, with a tidal current assist, soared to 11 knots. This naturally invites predictions of arrival times at our next significant waypoint - the Cape Cod Canal. It is also very bad luck to predict an early and easy arrival - the wind died by 1720 and it was back to the engine and a droning 8 knots into the evening.

Watches had been started at noon, but the lasagna and salad dinner was served in the cockpit as we crossed Rhode Island Sound / Narragansett Bay, and slid on into Buzzard's Bay at 1930. When we entered the Canal at 2200, the flood tide sucked us in, hitting 12 knots SOG at one point, then flushed us out into Cape Cod Bay, where Monday gave way to Tuesday.

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Loading provisions
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Ginger Beer ...
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makes Steve smile.
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Hank prepares to cast off
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Time to go
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Headed for fuel
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Circle approach
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Dock crew ready
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Lines ashore
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Springs tight
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A beautiful day ...
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sleepy morning.
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Nav station ready
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Galley stocked
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Ice box loaded
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Freezer & fridg at temp
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Bunks made up
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Master Stateroom for ...
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JTB (Joey, the bird)
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Logging fuel
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Paul, Steve, Rick, Mel & Hank
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Outward bound
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Paul goes for basics!
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Where IS the sun?
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Got it!
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63 Degrees, 48.3 min
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Hank checks by GPS!
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Great sailing
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Hank calls trim
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Mel enjoys
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Steve supervises
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Nice speed
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Evening snacks
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When's dinner?
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Night coffee

Tuesday, August 9, 2005

A few stars poked through holes in the overcast, even Cassiopiea and the Little Dipper made a brief appearance on the midnight to 0400 watch. But generally there was limited visibility, and not even the loom of Boston, nor Gloucester, nor the tip of Cape Ann could be seen. Granted we were almost 40 miles east of downtown Boston, but on many a trip the tops of buildings stood out as sentries along the road.

The wind was in the 11 - 12 knot range, usually ideal for a fine sail, but it was from dead astern as we motored directly along the 130 mile course from the Canal to Boothbay, Maine on a course of 035 degrees. The resultant aparent wind was just 3-4 knots, and even trying to set just the jib resulted in a slatting sail as we rolled on the ocean swells. It was at least warm enough for shirt-sleeves or a light jacket, and even the cushions were not particularly wet from dew. Two fishing boats and one big ship, all at least a mile away at their closest approach, were the only other travelers on the waves this night. There was no sunrise, just a gradual brightening of a 360 degree gray circle of cloud and water.

It looked like another sailing opportunity when the wind increased to 17 knots so we killed the engine and set main and jib at 1038. With the wind aft, we started rigging the chute for another glorious ride - but the wind smoked in over 20 knots just as we were about to hoist - too much. Within the hour we also furled the jib which was blanketed by the main with the wind dead aft. By 1356 our speed was down under 6 knots, so the engine was started and we arrived in Boothbay Harbor two hours later, making landfall at Seguin Island, then The Cuckolds.

Fuel and water tanks were filled and we picked up our reserved mooring at the Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club. Hank had observed (and started complaining about) low water pressure in the ship's water. Further, when a faucet was opened there was some initial pressure, then a thin stream and the system pump did not come on - until much later. After much discussion we surmised that the new filter, installed to remove "tank taste" was somehow restricting the flow. Pulling out the drawer in the port setee, we located the new filter and, with modest effort, removed the filter cartridge, which looked quite grubby. When all was reassembled without the filter, the water system worked as it has for eight years.

We settled in for our traditional steak, mashed potatoes and salad dinner, with Steve doing the grilling honors. Dinner was followed by show time - playing a DVD on the ship's laptop, with the audio piped into the stereo system for surround sound. Jim Carrey's, "Me, Myslef & Irene" was our feature - most of the crew made it through, but the credits were cut short. All hands were tucked in their bunks by 2230.

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Log entries
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Tuesday morning, 0800 ...
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Mel's watch ends.
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Practice # two
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Celestial calculator
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So, where are we??!!!
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What, me worry?
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Cuckolds landfall
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Local yawl
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Combined
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Computer view
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Lobster pot field
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Boothbay tourist boat
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Boothbay Harbor
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Yacht Club tender
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Hank sets up ...
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IPOD wireless for JTB.
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Is dinner ready yet?
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Ready to grill steak
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Cheers!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

A warm and clear sunrise with a glassy sea greeted Mel's signature delivery of Rocky Coast Roast to Rick in his bunk - that's what friends are for! All hands had finished off Rick's eggs and sausage breakfast, washed down with Mel's RCR and OJ, and were under way at 0804.

Our "delivery" push to get to Maine behind us, this was a day to play. Turning east through Fisherman's passage, we set sail for Monhegan Island. Monhegan was one of the first settled places along the coast - a fine place for abundant fishing, and perhaps enough dirt to grow a bare subsistence crop for a few settlers. Today it is little more than a rocky outpost, battered by ocean storms with a summer tourist crowd delivered daily from Boothbay and Port Clyde for day hikes or to fill a few B&Bs and the big inn sitting above the dock.

Javelin cantered over the swells at 9 knots, brushing a white mane of foam and made short work of the 15 mile run. Monhegan's harbor is open to the south with no dockage beyond the stone face of the tour boat dock. A few sturdy lobster boats bounce at moorings and the rocky shore is unfriendly for all but seagulls. Javelin circled slowly in the harbor, debating briefly if we wanted to pick up a mooring, blow up the dinghy and paddle ashore for a hike. But the blue sky, sparkling water and steady wind was more inviting, so we headed back to sea and set an almost reciprocal course for lunch at Christmas Cove.

Christmas Cove on the chart is a beautiful, land-locked pool protected by a narrow entrance with nice deep water. The trouble with well protected coves with water depths in the teens throughout Maine is that everyone has long since found them, and they are already packed with moorings and docks. CC was no exception, and we risked retribution by spinning to pick up a mooring just off the Coveside restaurant. When approached by a tender we begged forgiveness long enough to finish a bowl of soup for lunch before departing - permission reluctantly granted.

Expecting the morning winds to continue or build, we again turned east for the St. George River and Rick's choice of Pleasant Point Gut as an anchorage for the night. Aeolus, however, had other ideas. The morning's fresh breeze had died, dropping as low as 6 knots. We set the chute and reached up to fill it - heading 95 degrees, south of east - but still we bounced, and rolled and shook the wind from the sail. Slowly the wind increased, and nursing the sail with constant trimming and easing, Steve used each increase in wind pressure to steer a lower course across Muscongus Bay. As wind increased, we hit 8 knots and gybed north to Franklin Island, then east-northeast into the St. George River at Pleasant Point.

Furling sail we powered into the picture-perfect harbor, only to find it filled with a working lobster fleet. Returning to the river, we elected a power tour for the eight miles to the river's head at Thomaston, and the Lymann-Morse yacht yard. Naturally the wind piped up to a nice 17 knots (though again dead astern) which cleared the afternoon's heat and humidity and made for a refreshing ride up and back.

It was 1850 when we finally dropped anchor in Turkey Cove and settled in for a hearty spaghetti & meatballs dinner with salad. The evening movie was two episodes of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" - one of Hank's favorites. By 2000 all hands turned in.

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Wednesday morning ...
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Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club
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Paul checks
Monhegan course
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Monhegan Hbr Island
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Starboard view
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Harbor approach
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Looking west at entrance
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Contemplation
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Rocky shore
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Exposed view
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Open to southern swell
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Classic houses ...
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great character, & ...
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room at the Inn.
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Weather worn house
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Great lobster boat
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Swordfish hunter
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Monhegan astern
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Happy Camper Hank ...
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romping along ...
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at great speed.
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Paul's turn ...
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for fun.
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Mel at ease ...
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Steve checking course.
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Headed for Christmas Cove
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Yea! Presents!!!
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Heron Island
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Cove approach
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Lofty day beacon ...
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has a warning.
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Very tight
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Restaurant dock at ...
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Coveside
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Franklin Island Light
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Pleasant Pt. Gut is full!
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... but prettty.
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Real work boat
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AC draws amps!
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Cement Plant at Thomaston
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Lyman-Morse Yard
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Tall beauty
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ready for launch
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Thomaston harbor
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Let's go have dinner!
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Turkey Cove sunset

Thursday, August 11, 2005

As legendary as Wednesday was a sparkling clear Maine morning, Thursday showed its equally famous opposite - zero-zero fog. Even the boats anchored 50 yards away were hidden at times. Under way at 0800, we worked our way out of the St. George and through the shortcut past Port Clyde, across the bottom of Muscle Ridge Channel, and up the Two Bush Channel into Penobscott Bay. With Steve on cockpit radar, Mel at the helm, Hank & Paul as lookouts forward, and Rick on the computer and nav station radar, we picked our way from buoy to buoy. When radar echoes suggested other boats nearby, our speed was reduced and horn sounded. "Securite" calls echoed over VHF channel 16, particularly as we neared the popular Rockland to Vinyl Haven crossing into the Fox Island Thorofare.

Once north in western Penobscott Bay, both the traffic and fog thinned, eventually giving way to sunlight in time for our arrival at Castine. Once upon a time, well fortified Castine was a revolutionary war battleground - and some Loyalists even moved their whole houses north into Canada to remain under British rule. But today the fort seems to be in the wrong place, with trees blocking what once were commanding views of the bay.

We were early enough that Eaton's dock was remarkably free of boats, and our plan was to stop only long enough to take on some water, and most important, five big lobsters for the evening's dinner. Our timing allowed us to watch Kenny Eaton and his crew pull the mast from a little boat with a damaged bowsprit. While this is not normally a particularly interesting show to watch, this one had three unique features: the dock had to be taken apart to get the boat to the simple hoist to pull the mast; the lifting rig was a six-part tackle made up with big wooden blocks; and the little vessel as a classic gaff-rigged sloop with about 6 feet of bowsprit - which had encountered one of Maine's many immovable objects.

Just a short ride from historic Castine, Holbrook Harbor is a one of those few well-protected pools that is not developed - largely because it is an island, and now a wildlife preserve. Ospreys, and perhaps a loon held sway with swooping flights along the tree and their haunting calls ranging over the water. A few pockets of boats nestled in the smaller coves around the edge, as we chose an open area in 22 feet of water - over 31 feet at high tide - and settled our anchor in the soft bottom.

Steve's friend Dan Paduano, with his son Dan and girlfriend Nancy, had been in radio contact and pulled alongside for a short visit with their custom lobster-boat-style beauty Top Hat around 1600. After mutual tours of each boat they headed on their way and we turned to the serious business of a lobster dinner.

Trying to squeeze almost ten pounds of reluctant lobsters into two pots of steaming water called for some sequential cooking. The rice was done first on one burner while the two pots came to a boil. While the lobsters turned from green to red, the veggies sauteed on the third burner. Butter melted in the microwave, and Rick INSISTED that the generator and air conditioning were on until the bubbling cauldrons yielded their treasure to the beaming faces around the table.

Even though there might have been time for yet another moving, the conversation lingered around the table even after the dishes were done - and the shells returned to the deep. After another photogenic sunset, and by the earliest measure yet, the crew turned in at 2130.

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Port Clyde spirit catchers
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Driving by the numbers
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Fog lookouts forward
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Tiptoe through the passage
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Port Clyde light
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Overtaking a great ...
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Concordia yawl.
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Head boat leaving Castine
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A Castine B&B
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Merchant Marine
training ship ...
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rarely leave the dock!
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We pick up ...
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water and ...
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something very ...
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good ...
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to add to the ...
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fridge for ...
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dinner!!!
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Ready to ...
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enjoy!
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Holbrook sunset.

Friday, August 12, 2005

French toast and sausage stoaked the crew for the day's efforts - the first of which was a debate on which way to deaprt Holbrook Harbor. Both the northern and southern entrances are guarded by rocks, with the advantage of a buoy over the rock in the middle of the northern one. Rick & Mel were confident that GPS and the computer would guide us safely between the twin rocks at the southern entrance, and had so laid a route on the computer. Captain Steve, (whose boat it is after all) decreed, in no uncertain terms, that we would exit to the north - and on the "correct" side of the buoy this time, since we had snuck in on the "wrong" side yesterday. Our departure at 0750 proved totally uneventful in any case, and once again we were owering through a calm sea on our way east.

Rounding the bottom of Cape Rosier, we entered the top of Eggemoggin Reach and slipped Javelin's 75' mast under the 80' clearance bridge. Going down the Reach we passed two more of those nice protected coves, Benjamin river and Center Harbor, both filled with beautiful wooden boats and yards with the skills to build or repair them. As most boats continued southeast for Casco Passage, Javelin swung to port and nosed between Smuttynose and Mahoney islands, above Poind Island and below Ship and Barges Ledge as a shortcut to Bass Head passage.

Always ready to sail, Steve sniffed a little breeze just east of the passage, killed the engine and had the crew make sail. Perhaps thirty minutes of nice sailing ensued before once again the wind went light and we powered up Western Way into Northeast Harbor. Steve did his usual masterful job of backing Javelin's 53' alongside a dock designed for 40 footers, as his adroit crew casually snubbed bow, stern and double spring lines to hold her in place. Brian Klinger arrived with fresh meat and guitar to replace departing Hank Jonas within minutes after the dock lines were secure. While Paul, Hank & Mel turned to with scrubbing gear, Rick Steve & Brian headed for the Pine Tree Market to replenish the ship's larder and start loads of laundry. With all secure it was time to relax, bring the log up to date and prepare for the ritual dinner at the Docksider - reservations for 1830.

A local accompanied Paul & Rick as they walked up the middle of Sea Street to the Docksider. A big red fox, with a tasty morsel clamped firmly in its jaws, trotted out of the bushes to starboard. He walked alongside for about twenty feet, then decided he was not going to cross in front of us, turned and passed astern going down into the buses below the Municipal building.

All hands ordered steamers and lobsters, got appropriately sticky hands, enjoyed their meals and finished off with the Docksider's signature homemade blueberry pie ala mode. Returning to Javelin, Steve chose one of the three movies Brian had brought for the evening show. We all settled back and drank in Gregory Peck's 1956 version of "Moby Dick." Lights out at 2245.

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Holbrook sunrise
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First light
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Beautiful morning
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The easy way out ...
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the hard way ...
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How many men to ...???
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Crew's choice is
the hard way ...
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Steve's choice!!!
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Eggemoggin bridge ...
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cats cradle web
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Northeast Harbor ...
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Asticou Inn ...
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great sail & ...
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megayachts ...
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and office.
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We fit right in.
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Water fill
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Brian joins us

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Well, if the weather had to be poor one morning, this was a good one. Thick fog and no wind wrapped Northeast Harbor in a damp and dripping blanket. A leisurely steak & eggs breakfast provided the energy for another round of laundry. A trip up to the Chamber of Commerce office enabled Rick to upload the initial cruise log and about 120 pictures for family & friends to enjoy. Their wireless system is not yet powerful enough to reach to the harbor.

However, Mel was able to pick up the Harbormaster's new WiFi signal directly aboard Javelin - for free. This enabled us to get direct updates on the weather and particularly keep an eye on hurricane Irene, turning, in Linda Greenlaw's dreaded Television Weatherman words, "safely out to sea." Irene, certainly no "Perfect Storm", was initially projected to come ashore in the Carolinas. Then the models and the predicted track bent to the north, offshore of Cape Hatteras and made an abrupt turn, almost right angles, east away from land. By today, the northward turn had already started, but the turn was less sharp, though still diverging from the US coast which angles northeast.

For perspective, that dismissive "safely out to sea," for Irene works out something like this: today it's over 700 miles away from us in NE Harbor, Maine; Monday - Tuesday she will be at her closest approach to us at about 200 -250 miles (if we assume (and that makes an "ass" of "u" and "me") she completes her turn as projected); and that results in our long-range weather prediction of northeast winds and showers. We'll see.

As our reward for completing chores and consuming luncheon sandwiches, the sun peaked out around 1300 so we got under way. After a stop at Clifton Dock for fuel, we powered out into Western Way and hoisted main and jib. Though light, we slowly picked up speed, hitting 4-5 knots with seven knots of wind in Southwest Harbor. We eased away to the north and set the spinnaker for a run into Somes Sound. A gentle thermal wove between the steep green hillsides of this unique North American fiord. As it shifted a little west of south, we headed for the left shore to gain speed, then gybed onto starboard tack as the wind was deflected east of south at the narrowest point. Another pair of gybes brought us to the northern end of the Sound after dodging a fleet of seventeen International One Designs enjoying a glorious racing day.

Dousing the chute, we tacked our way back south, perfecting our tacking skills along the way. By the time we cleared Somes back into Western Way, the wind had decided it was finished working for the day, so we too stowed sails and motored back to our slip.

With the wind gone and the sun out, heat and humidity ruled at the dock. The air conditioning purred to life and we enjoyed an early cocktail hour of cheese and crackers, peanuts & pretzels, washed down with Dark & Stormys or Scotch. Not really in need of more food, we none the less trudged the short walk up Sea Street to the Docksider and restrained ourselves with burger orders. That is until dessert, when once again it was blueberry pie ala mode for all hands. It was early when we started "Master & Commander, The Far Side of the World", but Hank departed for his bunk at 2040, Brian followed by 3130 leaving Rick, Steve and Mel to see "Surprise" sail to victory before retiring at 2215.

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Paul is ready
to tack ...
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"Ready here," ...
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"Break," ...
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fine trim.
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Steve ponders.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Our usual stirrings around 0600 were greeted with an overcast sky, but no fog or wind. Oatmeal breakfast and a last garbage run were completed, and the shore power cord and water pressure hose stowed easily before our 0807 departure from Northeast Harbor. Neither Paul nor Mel had been east of Northeast Harbor, and Steve wanted to show them the wild glories of Maine beyond the tourists.

"Down East" in Maine is not just a colorful expression for tourists. With 15 degrees of westerly deviation, steering a boat for Canadian Grand Manan Island is not, as you might expect, going north, but 90 degrees on the compass - due east. Further if the prevailing summer southwest winds are blowing, you would be sailing "downwind". Thus "Down East".

Remember our friend Irene? Well, as of this morning her envelope is still tracking offshore, but her influence seems to be arriving. Rain showers wash the boat occasionally and the southwesterlies have given way to calm and oily seas with gentle swells rolling in from the southeast.

Our course is for Cutler, the last harbor on the eastern face of Maine before it turns north at the Canadian border. Cutler is a picture-perfect, rock-bound, colorful-cottage rimmed lobster harbor, complete with towering dock pilings to hande the 15' tides.

The long bar off Petit Manan Point runs south just about three miles to the lighthouse on tiny Petit Manan Island. There is a short section where there is 13 feet of water over the bar, just inshore of its midpoint, but for most of that three miles rocks lurk just below the surface. While the sea surface can look clear of obstructions and inviting, crossing the bar without very careful navigation can result in a sudden stop at best and a nasty sinking feeling at worst. Standing 123 feet off the water at the southern, deep water, end of the bar, the lighthouse on tiny Petit Manan Island is a great navigation point - it's light can be seen twenty-six miles. That is, in good weather it can be seen for great distances. But this day it was just visible in the haze as we passed about a mile farther offshore at the buoy marking Simms Rock.

Equally wispy was the Moose Peak Light standing 72' tall on Steele Island as we passed headed on east for Cutler. Oily swells threw haphazard spray on the broken rocks of Western Head, but the battered first row of trees attested to the shrieking pounding this coast gets in cruel winter storms. We rounded north past Little River Island and back west into Cutler. It was chilly damp, even with the wet gear and sweaters the crew had donned on the way east, and mugs of hot chocolate returned some warmth to fingers, toes and ears.

With pictures taken of the docks and lobster boats, we returned to sea and headed back west for our evening's anchorage behind Cross Island. At this point we were our farthest north and east - about six or seven miles from Canadian waters, we had sailed the entire length of the Maine coast.

Visibility was still limited to about a mile as we picked our way around the green cans marking the Cross Island Narrows, and turned south around Mink Island to anchor in a quiet cove for the night. We treated Brian to a "first night out" traditional steak, mashed potatoes and salad dinner. A rousing songfest with Rick playing Brian's guitar wrapped up the evening.

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Simms Rock buoy off ...
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Petit Manan
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Foggy going
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And drippy too ...
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Staying dry ...
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no wind ...
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some lobster pots ...
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pushing on ...
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are we there yet?
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Almost!
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Western Head
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Little River Island ...
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and lighthouse
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Lots of broken & ...
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weathered rock.
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Fish Farms
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Downtown Cutler
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Lots of dock showing ...
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all around ...
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the harbor.
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It's half tide - max is 13.4'
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Picture taking ...
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time.
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Strickly for the birds.
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Warming thoughts
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Old Cutler Lifeboat station
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Navy communication towers
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Approaching our anchorage.
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Old Cross Island
lifeboat station

Monday, August 15, 2005

Waves of rain pelted down overnight making for cozy sleeping. But there was still no wind at sunrise and light showers dappled the water’s surface. Steve declared a "wait and see" morning – there appeared to be a hint of a break to the northwest. Bits of kelp floated slowly with the tide from the small old abandoned Coast Guard lifeboat station on the Cross Island shore, past Javelin and on through the Narrows into Machias Bay. A man with his young son at the helm of their thirty-five foot centerboard yawl cruised through the anchorage and headed on for a cruise in Canada.

At 1130 we hoisted anchor, pointed at the 26 radio towers comprising the Navy’s long range communication station on Cutler Peninsula, and slowly worked our way through the Narrows. The rain had stopped and hints of blue sky slowly worked toward us as we powered down Machias Bay and threaded our way past Starboard Island and through Foster Channel – a narrow passage through a field of underwater rocks.

Though visibility was generally two miles or so, unusual thin whips of fog curled along the contours of the low islands. With no wind, they hung maybe ten feet above the ground and were perhaps five to ten feet thick. As we crossed the remaining four miles to Roque Island, the warmth of the sun evaporated the fog and found its welcome way to Javelin.

Roque, though mostly one good-sized horseshoe-shaped island, is a wealth of anchorages for a cruiser. Lakeman Cove is a small pond almost fully enclosed near at its eastern end, formed with the junction with Lakeman Bar and Marsh Islands. It is relatively shallow, with depths of 7-8 feet which is fine for most, but uncomfortable for Javelin’s seven foot keel. We slowly and carefully poked our bow into the 20’ depths of the entrance far enough to show it off, then eased back out into deep water.

Roque is unique as one of the few islands in all of Maine with a sand beach – and not just one, but two, The "Roque Harbor" beach is a long, sweeping mile-long curve open to the southeast. Its mirror image on the northwest side of the island is Shorey Cove. Between them they would provide good anchorage for any given wind. A narrow "Thorofare" cuts through the southwest arc of the Island, with depths of 8-11 feet, but there is an asterisk on the chart (a rock) right in the middle at the outer end. Locals, and those who have the patience to work past it a foot at a time, use it to head on west.

We idled just off the Roque beach eating roast beef sandwiches capped with an obligatory round of Oreos and soaked up the sun. Steve was unwilling to do more than sniff the entrance to the thorofare, but we turned back east and circumnavigated Roque to pass through Shorey Cove before continuing on into Eastern Bay.

Jonesport sits at the top of the Bay protected by big islands Beale, Great Wass, Head Harbor and Steele, and perhaps a hundred rocky bits that pierce the surface at low tide. We powered two and a half miles west to the Jonesport bridge, then returned most of that distance, turned south and threaded our way around the rocky bits into Mistake Harbor.

Three other boats were already there, so we anchored in slightly deeper water which would have been a bit exposed if a southwester had been blowing, but the wind gods remained asleep. A lasagna dinner and another songfest wrapped up the evening.

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Hauling anchor
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Departure route
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Old Lifeboat station
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Stone I. fish farms
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Approaching Foster Channel
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Wierd fog ...
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lying low.
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Foster channel
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More ...
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fog.
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Lakeman Hbr approach ...
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entrance ...
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P8150271
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Hard at work
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Roque Hbr. Beach
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Circumnavigating Roque
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Jonesport spire ...
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protected basin.
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Strange ship ...
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go figure.
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Threading the needle ...
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like this.
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Close watch ...
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Location, location, location.
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Playful ...
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seals.
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Anchoring at Mistake Hbr.
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Other boats ...
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up close.
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Peaceful.
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At half tide ...
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at full tide.
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The route.
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Log work.
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The sun is over
the yard arm.
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Sunset ...
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time.
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Full Moon.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Under way in fog again at 0758. Moose Peak was invisible about 200’ abeam as we slipped out into the ocean and turned west for Northeast Harbor. The routine continued. Lookouts calling lobster pots, eyes glued to the radar and computer screen, and the helmsman watching the autopilot course and dodging pots as they were called. The trickiest calls were "toggled" pots – a lobster pot with two floats joined by about 25’ of line. In theory, the first floatation marker – the toggle – would keep the line relatively vertical at low tide and sea conditions, while the bigger, colored float with a little stick on top would be visible at high tide and higher seas. Our problem was guessing correctly which of the plain white toggles were tied to which floats.

A wrong guess and suddenly both toggle and float, one on each side of Javelin, would accelerate toward the boat and get pulled under water as our keel snagged the connecting line. If we were lucky, the pair would slide down the forward side of the keel and rise slowly enough that the deep rudder would pass over them before they surfaced. If not, there was a sudden, sickening bang followed instantly by a rough vibration that shook the whole boat as the "cutters" on the propshaft tried to cut the line before it wrapped many turns of line completely around the propeller and shaft.

The adroit thing for the helmsman to do was to grab the throttle and pull it upright to neutral, let the boat coast and slow way down, then carefully shift into reverse briefly to untwist any remaining bits. Assuming this all worked, we would then shift into forward and slowly apply power, testing for any vibration that would indicate line remaining on the shaft and prop. So far this cruise we’ve done it, successfully, twice.

Petit Manan light stayed hidden in the fog this time, but the sun came out as we crossed Frenchman Bay. Ripples flecked the sea surface as breeze filled in from the south. We set sail and with 8-9 knots of wind, Javelin easily coursed ahead at 6-7 knots. Though we were quickly into the Eastern Way approach to Northeast Harbor, our frustrated sailing urges demanded satisfaction. We hardened up after passing Sutton Island and beat our way south, taking tacks on the approach to Southwest Harbor and several more as we eased through the narrow gap between Mount Desert and Great Cranberry Islands.

With more sea room, we eased off slightly to pass below South Bunker Ledge and held that course until we could bear away and set the spinnaker to round Baker Island. Between Rick & Steve that time came quickly and up it went. They freed up the two sheets in the cockpit, then worked their way forward, slipping their single turns off the midships cleats. Steve released the tack line and pulled the long sprit to its full seven foot extension. Rick unfastened the sheets from the bow pulpit, pulled one sheet around to the leeward side, opened the forward hatch and settled on its edge to attach the three corners of the sail.

Rick tied a quick bowline with the tack line through the tack of the sail, then Steve pulled it out to the end of sprit. Next Rick fastened the two sheets to the clew of the sail. By then Steve was handing him the end of the halyard which he snapped onto the head of the sail. The sail went aloft, wrapped in a long sleeve or sock, as Steve stood at the mast and pulled the halyard hand over hand while a third crew member pulled the resulting slack line through the stopper. With the top of the sail at the masthead, Rick held an endless line that would now pull the sock up and release the sail while someone in the cockpit trimmed the leeward sheet.

The colorful yellow, green, orange and red sail filled in the ten knot wind and away we went. We held northeast until we could gybe to the northwest and sail along the back side of Baker Island back into Eastern Way, thus circumnavigating both Cranberries, Baker and Sutton. The racing spirit prevailed as we closed with and finally overtook a hundred foot tourist schooner as we completed our loop.

Fresh tomatoes and orange juice were about all the reprovisioning needed at the Pine Tree Market. Dinner was just down the street at The Colonel’s restaurant, and the evening movie was "The Magnificent Seven", though Brian skipped the flick and headed for his bunk at an early 2012!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Long lost Irene’s name cropped up in the morning weather report – still a hurricane out over the Grand Banks, but about to be degraded to an extra-tropical low. Without being dangerously greedy, we wished she had come a little closer. Fog (what else) hung over the water as we departed Northeast Harbor at 0722. We chose the outside route, picking our way down past Swan and Long Islands to open ocean where other boats and lobster boats would be relatively few and far between.

A pod of a dozen porpoises crossed our bow, with one passing directly under the boat. They arced off to starboard and disappeared in the fog.

First patches of blue sky, then a few high clouds could be seen, but on the surface visibility had only improved to a quarter or half a mile. Then in a minute, it was clear for miles. Isle Au Haut, Vinalhaven and Matinicus Islands popped into view, each about five – six miles away. We were, as we had planned, basically alone on open ocean, making eight knots on a magnetic course of due west.

Then the fun began. With fine visibility and about nine knots of southwesterly wind we set sail at 1405. It was one of those perfect days for sailing. Javelin is so good she sails almost up to wind speed and was quickly making about seven knots. Half an hour later the wind quickly veered to the northwest, so we tacked and sailed west parallel to the general shore and south of Muscongus Bay. With increasing wind we were able to sail at eight knots and above and continued until we could tack and sail up Johns Bay on the west side of Pemaquid Neck. Blue water, brighter blue sky, just a few flicks of white on wave tops and the crisp set of sails starched against it all. Everyone was all smiles.

We had not selected a destination when we started this day, and it was probably around 1600 when the endless discussion of possible coves for the night settled on Poorhouse Cove. Rick & Mel in particular sought new spots to explore, and this one qualified. We sailed up to Pemaquid Fort, held at various times by the French, British, Indians and Americans, then motored north into Johns Bay and turned left into the tiny Western Branch and Poorhouse Cove. Using the GPS plot on the computer screen, Rick guided Steve around the corner and between the unmarked rock ledges to a fine anchorage protected on all sides.

It was still such a nice day, with about 12 knots of wind still blowing, that we had cocktails in the cockpit, followed by a pork roast with apple sauce & horseradish, accompanied by green beans almandine. An almost full moon cleared the treetops shortly thereafter and was captured by every camera aboard. The movie was "The Deep."

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Breaking out ...
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of the fog.
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Below Penobscott Bay
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We've got wind!
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Let's go!
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Seguin Island
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There's a boat ahead ...
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passing to leeward
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That was fun work!
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Close hauled ...
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going fast ...
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up Johns Bay
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Old Fort Pemaquid
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River narrows ...
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to Poorhouse Cove
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Setting the anchor ...
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and riding sail.
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Lots of pots.
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Nice on deck ...
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and good eats.
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Gentleman sailor.
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pork roast ...
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coming up.
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Good too.
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Moonrise.
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Evening espresseo

Thursday, August 18, 2005

With no particular target for this day either, we hoisted anchor on a pristine morning at the relatively late hour of 0845. Our first goal was a stop in Boothbay to refuel, get water and dispose of garbage. Then we tried to explore up the Townsend Gut as we had in previous years. Must have been a jinx because the bridge was half covered with painters cloths and its opening times restricted to 5 minutes every two hours – we weren’t waiting.

We powered south clear of the land and, as the log recorded at 1120, "set all plain sail" and came to a close hauled course to the west against a seven knot SSW wind. The wind slowly built as the day went on. One tack was required to go south and clear Seguin Island and Cape Small, but then it was a romp to the west at 8 knots. No Chamber of Commerce could have written a description of this second perfect sailing day – no one would have believed the superlatives.

Our course took us almost to Half Way Rock – half way between Cape Small and Portland. It was a game to catch and pass other boats, reminding us of the basic definition of sailboat race – two boats within sight of each other. We had passed several before we eased off and set the spinnaker for a run back north and east headed for Quahog Bay. With wind peaking at 14 knots, Javelin skipped along between seven and nine knots with the well aft.

We threaded up the deep water passage through lobster pots and avoiding the many ledges close aboard on both sides. Even moored lobster boats were an obstacle at the narrowest passage. But we finally turned into the 14 foot deep, well protected pool and anchored for the evening. A few chores, log writing, and reading filled the hour until the sun sank below the yardarm.

Cocktail hour found the crew discussing the finer points of the US Coast Guard Captain’s License exam. Both Mel and, recently, Brian are licensed CG Captains, and Brian is currently now giving parts of the exam to new takers. Such arcane questions as, "What is the difference in lights carried at night by hovercraft that are operating in displacement and non-displacement mode?" (A flashing 360 degree yellow light is added to the standard lights when in non-displacement (high speed) mode.) After wrestling with the various lights for tugs and tows until that subject was exhausted, the "easy" final question is, "What is three green lights in a triangle?" – A minesweeper.

Steve’s requested spaghetti & meatballs, with green salad stuffed the already stuffed crew, but they managed to stay awake for the evening flick – "Something’s Got To Give". A special extra was noticing that the full moon appeared in the port directly above the movie screen!

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Townsend Gut bridge ...
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doesn't open.
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Twilight at Quahog bay
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Cool evening ...
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nice company ...
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sun dog.
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Moon over movie!

Friday, August 19, 2005

Mel masterfully poured a thin stream of steaming water carefully around the edge of the open conical coffee filter to wash the grounds from the first filling down into the filter and extract every burst of flavor from the morning Rocky Coast Roast.

After a leisurely breakfast we headed for sea and turned west into Broad Sound at the eastern end of Casco Bay, aiming for South Freeport. There we pumped the mid-ships holding tank – the at-sea discharge pump was not picking up suction.

A fine southeast wind had set in by the time we returned to open water, so we sailed southwest at almost 9 knots, then tacked and reached back into Harpswell Sound. We eased off into Harpswell, gybed over to pass in front of Leighton & Karin McIlvaine’s house, then rounded up smartly and dropped sail – ten minutes before our scheduled time to pick them up at 1400.

Leighton & Karin rowed the short distance from their dock to their 25’ Summer Girl on her mooring where there was enough water for Javelin to come alongside and take them aboard. Hoisting sail in front of their house, we sailed back out of the Sound and romped away for an hour and half before retracing our steps. It was another sparkling day with 13 knots of perfect breeze.

The crew enjoy their hospitality on their deck overlooking anchored Javelin, Harpswell Sound and the panorama of rocks, trees and houses that identify yet another special Maine scene. Leighton gave Paul a complete tour of the many additions and special feature of their beautiful home and adjacent office/guest cottage.

We all climbed aboard Summer Girl for the ten minute ride to Morse’s Lobster Pound, docking right alongside the floats where the lobsters were brought ashore. Getting a table sheltered from the cool evening breeze, we settled in for a feast of seven lobsters and ears of corn, topped off with either blueberry crisp ala mode or brownie sundaes.

A nightcap and short songfest in Javelin’s cockpit finished off the evening.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Our early departure was only a bit delayed by an egg and sausage scramble, and we were anchor up and bound for Portsmouth at 0645. At first it seemed our good fortune would continue with a fresh easterly breeze that had us reaching away to the southeast between eight and nine knots.

Our luck, however, was beginning to run out. Both the wind slacked and the sun was swallowed by a gray stratus blanket. Steve was determined to make the best of a dying breeze so we set the chute 1105. We took it down at 1116, as the wind died away and fog marched toward us. Back in serious navigation mode, we passed Cape Elizabeth (Portland) and Cape Porpoise (Kennebunkport), then worked slowly from buoy to buoy across the entrance to Portsmouth into Little Harbor and Wentworth marina.

Along the way we crossed paths with a whale, probably a right whale, headed in the opposite direction. It crossed from starboard to port a short way in front of our bow, blowing about half a dozen times before vanishing among the waves.

It was thick fog right to the fuel dock – you couldn’t even see the shore when tied to the dock. After topping off the diesel, Steve spun Javelin around in the strong ebb current at the dock, got her moving backward against the tide, backed into the fairway between two long docks, then spun, stern first, neatly into a slip with about 18" clearance on each side. Our crew stepped ashore with the dock lines and secured her as Steve brought her 53 feet to a stop perfectly positioned in the slip. The Wentworth dock crew stood there with their jaws open. "I’ve never seen anyone do that!" remarked one. Just another average day on Javelin.

Lise Klinger arrived minutes later, and while Steve, Mel and Paul cleaned up ship and did laundry ashore, Lise took Brian and Rick back to their house in nearby Rye. With a load of laundry in their washer, Brian & Rick took off for a shopping run, then returned in to time to fold laundry and depart in caravan with Lise back to Javelin.

Brian and Lise treated the crew to a fine dinner at The Oar House in downtown Portsmouth, which was bustling on a Saturday night.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

At 0500 the mice were stirring, and Javelin was under way at 0535. Though the air hung like fog and thick dew wetted every surface, the setting moon glowed to the west, and shortly a yellow sun, almost as dull as the moon shimmered in the east. Surface visibility was remarkably good – we easily picked out the Isles of Shoals over three miles abeam as we turned south for Cape Ann. Our course appeared to advance us to the edge of clouds above and slowly the sun grew brighter. Just when it seemed we finally had blue sky and a warm sun, the black shield to the northwest raced overhead and smothered the sun.

It was a race to Cape Ann. Javelin was making about eight knots with the towering light houses on the Cape coming quickly toward us. But inexorably the black clouds raced along the shore and rain started falling before we turned for the Cape Cod Canal.

Showers were generally brief, though a few were heavy. Mel, and then Steve, retreated to their bunks for a while, and when Mel return to the deck, Paul took a short nap. But all were up by noon for lunch. The showers had passed, the seas slowly subsiding, and the eighty miles to our destination slowly bled away as we motored into a modest headwind.

Between having glorious sailing, great fun with Leighton & Karin, and two long days under power with fog and rain, the cameras remained tucked in their cases.

Catching a favorable current at the Canal is always a plus – it saves an hour to have it with you rather than against you. The electronics had calculated arrival times between 1500 and 1600 as our speed over the bottom changed with the headwinds and ocean currents. We finally arrived at 1543 and entered with a favorable 3.2 knot current that swept us under the bridges as Sunday strollers watched from shore.

We covered about eight miles in just thirty-seven minutes, hitting eleven knots at times. But the rush of water, cold Cape Cod Bay water, running smack into the typical hot, humid southwesterly blast at 20 knots created sea smoke the rose into a pervasive blanket of fog. And, at three knots, the current set up standing waves so boats trying to get into Buzzards Bay pounded like a bicycle on a washboard road. Falling over the crest of a wave resulting in a jarring deceleration that shook the whole boat and rig. Many boats simply can’t move forward in these conditions.

The radio was alive with calls about boats turning back, "Securite" calls of large vessels moving, unseen through the fog, into the channel. Only with radar and visibility of about one boat length did we punch our way down the channel. As we turned east to reach Scraggy Neck, we popped out of the fog and proceeded to drop anchor in front of our friends Jay & Hasty Evans’ house.

Before our socializing could begin, however, we had a little problem. We couldn’t turn off the engine. Neither the usual stop button, nor the backup one in the engine compartment would bring it to a stop. We searched for a manual cutoff, and read the engine manual, but no simple solution could be found. We though perhaps the stop button switch was bad, so Rick crawled into the aft lazarette and tried shorting out the contacts. Working slowly with Steve on the outside, they even managed to unscrew the whole fitting and push it out into the cockpit side and tried to short it again – all to no avail. Finally, we resorted to the emergency stop procedure found in the manual. We backed off the high pressure fuel lines to the cylinders and the engine slowed and stopped.

By then we had already lost precious social time. We’d arrived at 1700, but by the time a round of drinks were served in the cockpit, complete with a great bowl of shrimp Jay & hasty had brought when they rowed out, it was 1830. Rick was way behind getting dinner prepared, but eventually the rice was simmering away, the mixed veggies were ready to stir fry, and, after fighting the wind for a while, Steve & Hank had managed to light the grill on the stern pulpit. The chicken went on and all seemed well.

That is until Rick realized that the Veggies weren’t sizzling any more because the flame had gone out. Wind? Snap. Snap. Click. It would not relight. "Could we be out of LPG?’, Rick called to Steve. "Naw, it was full at the beginning of the season." "Is your grill still burning?" Rick countered. "Nope." Steve confirmed. Another delay while the tool box was dug out, a wrench passed up, and Steve changed over to the spare tank. But it sure was good when finally served with all of us gathered around the table below.

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Approaching Cape Cod Canal
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Canal Current
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Current & sea smoke
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spectators ...
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marvel at ..
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our speed.

Monday, August 22, 2005

The first problem was to start, then find a way to stop, the engine. It took a couple of tries, including switching to the house batteries to start the engine, but now we could get to a boatyard and search for a solution. Steve contacted Concordia boat Yard in Padanaram, and backed up the call to his own yard back in Westbrook. We arrived at Concordia at 0900 after a beautiful ride under a bright sky and calm water.

It took the mechanic less than two minutes to show us where you simply push in the piston on the shut off solenoid, which immediately stopped the engine. This had not been mentioned in the manual and was recessed in an area the uninitiated would hesitate to explore on a running engine, at night with just a flashlight. But this still did not explain why the button on the control panel would not do the same thing.

About an hour’s exploration by the mechanic discovered that a junction point for a total of five wires on the solenoid on the starter (on the opposite side of the engine from the cutoff solenoid) had both loosened and bent to create a short when the wires were moved. Separating the sets of wires and tightening the connections restored both consistent starting and the ability to shut off the engine. Finally, one of the shorts had blown the fuse on the backup panel, and when it was replaced, it too was start and stop the engine.

We were back out on buzzards Bay at 1051.

Our rendezvous for the day was at Vineyard Haven where we would meet up with Jeffrey Blecher, his fiancée Jennifer Ende, and her family. The route was through Woods Hole, noted for its fast currents, high traffic, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, plus the jumping off point for tourist ferries to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. We arrived at Woods Hole at 1224 and rode a favorable current through with lots of traffic, hitting 10.8 knots over the bottom.

As we approached Vineyard Haven, Steve, as usual wanted to sail, though the wind was barely 5 knots. We agreed that no day was complete without our Skipper putting the crew through the "raise and lower sail" drill, so we hoisted sail and turned off the engine – with a minor celebration.

By the time sails we were, it was blowing 6, and before long 7 knots. Javelin rose to the challenge and clicked along at 6.2 knots. We eased past some smaller racers – well OK, it was fast, but it was towing a dinghy. Then, as with wind went a little lighter we tacked and saw coming out from Vineyard Haven the tall profile of real racing machine. Speculation mounted about what it could be – an old America’s Cup boat seemed a real possibility.

We had eased off to close the distance between us, sailed across her bow on starboard tack, then tacked to port directly upwind – the classic commanding racing tactic. Her red hull glistened with a crisp white waterline, a shiny, thin aluminum spar held a classic three-quarter rig, and it was immediately clear that we were now matching speed with an America’s Cup Twelve Meter. We eventually identified her as American Eagle, once Ted Turner's boat. We took turns at the helm enjoying the competition, holding our own against this beauty, while taking pictures of each other at the helm with her safely tucked to leeward. Javelin rose to the occasion and marched along mile for mile with her, it was one of those great feelings in sailing.

Finally we tacked away, waved a fond farewell and headed back for Vineyard Haven. On the way back we saw two other 12s, but both under power. The harbor was packed with some great schooners and classic big boats, and tricked out racers too. Two were flying giant "blackdogtallships.com" flags. They were crewed by the full range from Outward Bound types to rock stars with bikini babes!

We found our reservation at Tisbury Wharf, then set about hosing off the salt from yesterday’s bashing out of the Canal, generally tided ship for the arrival of guests, took showers and waited for the evening to begin.

Jeffrey Blecher picked us up at the dock a little after 1800 for the short ride to the house the Endes had rented for the week. Jeff’s fiancée Jen Ende, her parents Jack & Pam and brothers Alex and Ben welcomed the Javelin crew. A gentle breeze, warm but not humid, made for a perfect gathering on the back yard deck to get acquainted. Jack cooked up a dozen perfect hamburgers with special sauce, and we polished them off with the ten of us a two tables inside. Jeffrey drove the crew back to the boat around 2200 at the end of a delightful evening of friendly and lively conversation.

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Repair time
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Nice ...
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berth.PICT2282
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Stbd. side ...
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Oil filter hides ...
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cutoff solenoid
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Port side ...
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starter wires.
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Approaching Woods Hole ...
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with traffic ...
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and bigger ...
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things, all at ...
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high speed.
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Where's the wind!
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A postcard day for ...
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Nobska Light.
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Someone to play with!
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Rick's got her covered
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so does Steve ...
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It's American Eagle
once Ted turner's
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Paul does too ...
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Mel finishes them off.
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Vineyard Haven Harbor
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Alabama
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Shannendoah &
racer ...
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Solitude ...
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and crew.
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Nice yawl ...
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and schooner.
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Hungry youngster

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

One last eggs and Little Smokies with biscuits breakfast satisfied the crew. Some shopping, a visit to the handy West Marine store, and reading a New York times filled the morning. Rick begin the lunch preparations by filling bowls of olives, carrots, pickles, radishes, and grapes, then finished rolling turkey wraps just as Jeff and Ende family arrived for a sail.

With little wind, lunch was served on the foredeck while slowly powering into Vineyard Sound. As if Steve had made prior arrangements, a little southwest wind filled in at the end of lunch. Sails were set and Javelin eased along at six knots in seven knots of wind. As it strengthened, we tacked back toward Vineyard Haven, and approached the two headlands that for the harbor – West Chop and East Chop.

Racing along now with 12 knots of wind, and avoiding several sailboats and the big Martha’s Vineyard ferry, we suddenly ran into a ninety degree windshift to the southeast. Bearing off to port, we trimmed for the new wind and navigated around the end of Hedge Fence ledge and then tacked back when we reached L’ Hommedieu Shoal. Again tacking east, we rounded an anchored cruise ship and reached back toward the harbor chasing a big beautiful schooner and two classic yawls. Alex, Ben and Jack took turns steering and enjoying the perfect weather.

Once again eastbound, with a freshening southeaster, we were clear of East Chop when a gust flipped Jack’s hat overboard to leeward. Using the moment for a "man overboard drill", Jeffrey, who was at the helm, spun the wheel, sails eased and steered us back toward the still-floating cap. As we came alongside, Rick swept it up with the boathook, we trimmed sails and headed on our way.

Returning to the harbor, we stopped at the fuel dock to top off the port tank, and the Endes went ashore. We moved Javelin the short distance to our berth for the night, then Jeffrey came back an picked up Steve for another evening with the Endes.

Rick, Mel & Paul had dinner across the road from the boat, then settled in for our last movie of the cruise – James Bond – "Tomorrow Never Dies". Steve returned just as it was ending.

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The Endes are aboard!
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Nibbles & ...
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wraps.
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Jen asks, "Where's ...
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Jeffrey!"
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Father Steve
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Father Jack with
Alex & Ben
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Alex drives
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Jeff, Ben & Jack relax
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Pam's all smiles
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the whole crew!
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Ben drives
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Jack takes a turn.
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Local traffic ...
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foreign traffic.
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Management discussion
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East Chop light
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Ende siblings
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Jeff's turn

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Under way at 0518, Javelin flew down Vineyard Sound under power with a good push from the current making 11.6 knots over the bottom. Above, the few clouds were edged in red and gold as the sun crept above the horizon. We cruised west with the north shore of Martha’s Vineyard to port, and the Elizabeth Island chain to starboard. This string of cruising haunts holds names familiar to most cruisers: Woods Hole; Hadley’s Harbor; Robinson’s Hole; Quicks Hole; and Cuttyhunk.

Again as Steve had ordered, the wind filled in from the northeast at ten knots at 0715, so it time for the main and spinnaker. Javelin sped like her namesake making over eight knots through the water, and with a push from the current, we were making ten knots over the bottom. With just the right trim on the main, and easing the sheet for balance, Javelin slid almost effortlessly through the water. At the helm a single spoke of turn kept her easily on course, with finger-tip nudges as she surged on the small waves. It was one of those etherial moments when the power of 34,000 pounds charging along was both awsomely powerful, and delicately balanced.

After 32 miles of joyride, the wind slacked and we resorted to power while keep the main hoisted. Shortly after lunch, as Mel tried to use his computer while the boat was level, the wind returned from the north. Out went the jib and again we were charging along at eight to nine knots. A mix of clouds and sun made the temperature just right too.

At 1530 we sailed into Westbrook harbor, tied Javelin safely in her slip, washed her down, and stowed our gear. As Steve calculated when we returned to Westbrook, we covered 999 nautical miles, and ran the engine for 104 hours over 17 days at sea. Another great cruise was at an end. Now to plan next year's.

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Final sunrise
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Early company
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Glorious, fast ...
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spinnaker ride.
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Homeward bound.