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On Willard Beach

The Monday sail on Labor Day weekend was the best sail of the season thus far, with good company, great weather, and just the right amount of wind. The wonderful mood was only slightly tempered by the ongoing body search in Portland Harbor. In fact, a fellow our age had fallen into the drink the previous evening - off one of the party boats that ply the harbor, filling tourists with a different drink.

Yawl in the Willard Beach mooring field

The coast guard was doing its best and divers were scouring the area around the ferry terminal where he was last seen. Even the folks on the beach were asked to bring their kites down, so as not to interfere with the helicopters.

My boat and a smaller day sailor on the hook with a Coast Guard chopper circling to the left

We got the sails up and headed out towards Portland Head Light in an attempt to catch some bigger wind, but we didn't really have any destination or route in mind. After a relaxing sit, we broke out the beers and had a day of it. We even had a few impromptu photo shoots.

The traffic was interesting, too, with a lobsterman working the middle of the channel and tankers heading in and out of the harbor. At one point, a fishing vessel approach us from astern and got so close that I thought I was doing something wrong or that perhaps they needed something. Pirates?

After they got close enough, someone stepped out of the pilothouse and informed us that they were just swinging past our stern and, in the end, they snapped some up close disposable-camera pictures of us.. Maybe Galatea looks better, less dirty, and more polished from a couple dozen yards away.

You can see a tanker in the background making its way out to see with the Spring Point pilot leading the way. They got awful close to us too, the pilot, and then the tanker disappeared over the horizon a whole lot faster than we would have guessed she would.

We even have some silly hats on board now, left by the Canadians who visited, so we can pretend we're real sailors..

Or just real silly..

The farthest out we got was a few miles from Portland Head Light. Not too far, but given that it was basically a three hour tour..

When the Coast Guard helicopter had enough of the search and needed to return to Cape Code, it thundered directly over us.

Now that it was getting later in the evening, the sun was setting and the colours were a bit warmer and we had a little bit more privacy.. the perfect time for another photo shoot.

the bottom of this picture was cut off due to the inappropriate nature of the subject matter that was going on "down below"

And that, my friends, was the end of a beautiful day.

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Check out heroecs, the robotics team competition website of my old supervisor's daughter. Fun stuff!
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