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Michael considered fate at 13:21   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment

awesome!'s so sweet! i can't wait.

South Freeport to South Portland, Saturday, August 11th, 2007

All photos courtesy of my pal Mark - I was too busy sailing.

Hope Island

Saturday was "the boat day" and despite best intentions we had a late evening on Friday to celebrate. Nevertheless, we rallied it together and ran all the errands we needed to do in the morning, getting all the screws and cotter pins and safety equipment we needed along with some food and water to sustain us along the way, then we drove up to South Freeport to get on the boat.

Eating a burger as we leave South Freeport

We spent a solid hour on the mooring trying to figure out a few piles of block and tackle that were supposed to make their way onto the booms as the mizzen and main sheets. As I'd never rigged this boat before it was a crap shoot. We finally figured out some sort of workable system and then, after we got underway and headed out of the mooring field it was discovered that two completely different sets of sheets were hidden in a storage compartment and, clearly, were the lines meant for the mizzen and main. In the end we had blindly devised a system of pulleys and blocks that matched the real lines quite well, so we left what we had made and got on to sailing.

The new (old) dinghy came with us and didn't cause us any problems. You can see what is most likely Bustins, French, and Lower Goose Islands in the background.

It was about 5:15pm when we cleared the mouth of the Harraseeket river - a bit late in the day to start a 15 mile journey, but what the hell.. While it was a beautiful day there wasn't a whole lot of wind. It was probably about 5 knots. We got the rear sail - the mizzen - hoisted up and sheeted to the mast without much trouble. The tracks are a bit gunked up with varnish and that could certainly use a little work but it is usable. The crew insisted I hoist the main, so my buddy Mark could get some action shots. I didn't even bother to bring my own camera since I knew I would be busy trying to figure everything out.

Despite what the pictures here suggest, we had a mostly cloudless day. We watched one formation cruise in from West Falmouth to the South West of us and pass in front of our bow but it was long gone by the time we caught its track.

The mainsail went up just fine, though you can tell from the picture that I need to figure out what is going on with the bottom of the sail. There is a rope adjustment at the bottom leading edge of the sail and it was a bit loose. Oh well, like I said.. we had little wind to waste in the first place - what difference did it make?

We spotted our first seal among some lobster pots on the northwest side of Hope Island. Then we got out into Luckse Sound on the ocean side of Chebeague and Long Islands, got the 150 genny up, and shut the motor off. Earlier in the week I had my roommate pick up some jibsheets from the marine store but I bobbled the specs and she got 3/16" instead of 3/8".. so we picked up the right size on our errand run in the morning.

We probably made 3 knots at best, but we were sailing under our own power at the end of an amazing August day in Casco Bay, watching the sunset over the twinkles of the Portland city lights. For a second all that sweat and work was almost worth it.

Peaks Island

Mark brought cheap champagne along but I couldn't bring myself to smash it against anything and, at the end of the day, it wasn't a real traditional launch - more just a maiden voyage of sorts. I shook it up real good and popped the top over the gunwales anyway.

We found the new mooring without much trouble and as we battened down for the night we watched a ginormous tanker trudge slowly through the channel. It was all a little surreal at the end of the day, sun-stroked and tired as I was. It was a long row back to the beach and a long walk to the car.

Cushing Island

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