June 25 to July 8, 2009
I don't have pictures for the whole thing, but here's a not-so-brief overview of our June-July 2009 delivery and cruise:
GREYHAWK was launched in Marblehead, Mass., on the afternoon of Thursday June 25. After the yard crew finished stepping the mast, my delivery crew and I spent the rest of the afternoon rigging the boat, bending on the sails, and attending to other chores. Finally, we went out to dinner at Flynnies. When we got back to the boat at about 8:00 pm there was not much left to do but get underway, headed for South Freeport, Maine. We ended up motoring all through the night into the next morning, as there was no wind to speak of. While we had the Milky Way in full glory overhead, onshore all along the coast was experiencing a night full of thunderstorms that provided us with quite a light show. We learned later that microbursts in New Hampshire brought trees down. Friday morning (6/26) off Portland, the wind filled in enough for us to be able to sail for a while, then died and we motored again, then blew again allowing us to sail up Broad Sound, then died again and we motored into the Harraseeket and hunted for our assigned mooring. While we were motoring up from Marblehead, my wife and son drove over to my mother-in-law's house in Yarmouth. Wendy came down to South Freeport to pick us up, and we went up to Yarmouth for showers and dinner. The guys and I spent the night on the boat, while Wendy and Ben (and the dog and cat) stayed in Yarmouth and all came to join us Saturday morning (6/27), as we were entered in the Harraseeket Race -- a pursuit format.
The weather was fine, and eventually the wind filled in and we had a great race chasing the slower boats around the course, and being overtaken by the faster boats that started after us. In the end we were second in our class... After hanging out at the Yacht Club for a while, we retired to the boat for the evening, but upon listening to the weather forecast, we decided it would be better to motor up to Boothbay Harbor that night than the next day, so we off-loaded Wendy, Ben, the dog and cat -- as they would drive up to Boothbay -- and we set out. As the evening progressed, the fog settled in and the wind picked up -- from directly ahead, of course. So we motored all the way up to Boothbay Harbor, which is easy to enter at night, even in the fog, and made fast to our familiar mooring around 1:30 Sunday morning. Fortunately, I had managed the previous morning to finally get the GPS to talk to the Nexus NX2, which in turn was talking to my laptop running MacENC, so it was easy to keep track of where we were... (of course, I always bring my old manual chartplotter, often more than one of them, whenever we go sailing, too!)
After we all got cleaned up and had breakfast, we spent the rest of Sunday (6/28) shuttling the delivery crew back to Marblehead to retrieve their vehicle. And it rained a downpour -- we were all glad to be encased in a dry and heated rubber-gasketed steel and glass envelope rather than sitting out in the cockpit sailing into this stuff. Coming up the previous night in the fog seemed the better course of action...
Wendy, Ben, and I (and the dog) didn't get back to Boothbay until that evening. We spent Monday (6/29) and Tuesday morning (6/30) hanging out in Boothbay attending to various chores getting ready for our family cruise.
Tuesday afternoon we left Boothbay Harbor and motored through the fog to Harbor Island in Muscongus Bay, where we anchored for the night. Wednesday (7/1) we motored and sailed through the fog to High Island off the Muscle Ridge Channel. After exploring the quarry in the rain Thursday morning (7/2) we sailed up to Rockport. We met Tom Young there upon rowing back out to our boat after exploring the town that afternoon, which is when he took this picture:
Photo by Tom Young, who writes:
When a rare boat from away comes into Rockport Harbor, I know they're adventurists. Not the most protected, no easy stores or tee shirt shops, and not on the milk run 90% of the boats follow in any area, Rockport sees few transients.
But the Allens, now about a week or more out in nothing but rain, were all smiling yesterday evening. They rowed over to my mooring to introduce themselves.
Because they have company joining them for a race downeast, they're boarding their dog at a local kennel for a few days.
Having met them, even getting the big pooch onboard is no big deal, the Allens take it all in stride. Nice people.
Friday morning (7/3), we walked the dog up to the Camden Hospital for Animals to board him for the weekend, and then set off for Deadman's Cove on Eggemoggin Reach, first motoring in fog (surprise, surprise), but eventually we were able to sail the rest of the way. We spent two nights moored in Deadman's Cove visiting with Wendy's relatives for the 4th of July, but got underway again after Brunch on Sunday (7/5) and sailed back to Rockport. The weather was fine, and the wind was such that we made good time and got in sufficiently early that we were able to retrieve the dog from the kennel that afternoon.
In fine weather on Monday (7/6) we sailed across West Penobscot Bay to the Fox Islands, motored through the Fox Island Thorofare, and then sailed out the east end down to Seal Bay where we found a spot to anchor.
Better than TV:
Leaving Rockport, the dog happy to be back with us:
While in Seal Bay, we hauled Wendy to the masthead to help re-lead one of the recalcitrant spinnaker halyards:
She doesn't mind going up there -- she enjoys the view:
The cat stayed on the boat the whole time:
usually sleeping on Wendy's bunk:
After walking the dog that evening, I noticed the sun was about to set and illuminate the boat with a special light, so I rowed back out with my camera:
The place we chose was a narrow slot between two islands, so we set a stern anchor as well as the bower.
Then it was Ben's turn to row around:
and he took this picture of the dog, the cat, and us watching him:
Tuesday (7/7) the forecast was for winds out of the east again bringing showers for the next several days. So we decided to make our way back to Boothbay Harbor, perhaps a bit more directly than we originally planned. Upon leaving the protection of Seal Bay we found that the winds really were blowing pretty good out of the east, and had built up a pretty significant chop in East Penobscot Bay. Ben was not too happy. Eventually Wendy convinced him to let us set some sail, starting with our smallest storm jib. As we turned more of the corner around Vinalhaven, and the wind came further aft, we coerced him into letting us upgrade to the heavy weather staysail. Finally, when we were running dead downwind, and while he was occupied with something else below, we quickly unrolled the 135 genoa before he could raise any further objection. When he realized the speed it had gained us, and how clever it was to be running with the staysail sheeted out to windward and the genoa pulling to leeward, he came up smiling despite the rainy day.
There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing! So, make sure you're well equipped with appropriate clothing:
(Wendy does enjoy sailing fast!)
It was still raining when we arrived in Port Clyde, but the dog still needs to go ashore, and Ben was very interested in the military surplus amphibious landing craft that was parked on shore.
Here I am with the dog, standing next to one of the tires for scale (again with the appropriate clothing):
Wednesday (7/8), we sailed on back to Boothbay Harbor, again with easterly winds bringing showers, and then drove home to Keene that evening.
Since we've been back home, the weather has of course been great, so we've made much progress converting GREYHAWK's old tent into a skateboard half-pipe!
You can see that the old south wall of the tent has yet to be taken down....
One of my projects in June was to take down the tent I had built almost three years ago. GREYHAWK would be going back in the water at the end of the month, and getting the tent out of the way might make moving the boat easier for my trucker. With help from my Dad (of engine pull fame), we rigged a bridle from the rafters on the south side, over the ridge pole, to a block and tackle hitched to a tree up the hill to the north. The idea was to pull the whole tent over to the north side, where it might be easier to disassemble on the ground rather than 15 to 20 feet up in the air over the boat (the way I had first assembled it). We added some bracing between the north wall and the roof structure, and disconnected the rafters from the plate at the top of the south wall. Before pulling the thing over, we added some "rails" from the south wall across the boat to support the roof structure so it wouldn't drag across the boat in case it decided to dip instead of swing up and away when we pulled it over.
With everything set, and all bystanders well out of harms way, we started hauling in on the block and tackle. The roof lifted and the wall tilted and everything came down with a crash. The tent actually rolled onto it's roof with the wall up in the air!
Here is the boat, with the rails, unscathed:
We spent the rest of the day disassembling the tent and by the end of the day the boat was sitting there surrounded by nothing but lawn, and we had a big pile of 2x4 lumber tucked off to the side. We also re-built the stairway I had for getting up on the boat, this time as a free-standing unit rather than tied into the boat tent. Stairs are much more convenient than ladders, especially when your deck is 10 feet off the ground.