Thursday, October 16, 2014


AHOOOY Intrepid Readers!

Yours truly is back and with a tale of journey to tell!  Actually, SCOUT and I have TWO stories, but they will be added in installments.  The first story is a four day trek on minimal left-over foodstuffs that spanned mid-coast Maine from Belfast-Castine-Brooklin-Castine-Belfast, or as I like to call it, the BCBCBfest! It almost sounds like a famous punk-rock bar that is now closed in NYC, but not quite and probably not as cool.

Let's get this party started, right here on your favorite Amateur Style network!

Red = Sailing
Black = Iron Mizzen
Yellow = Rowing


The first day minus one day was spent with Cap'n Jon of TWO HEARTED.  He has a new transportation device, an expedition length Old Town Canoe Tripper XL, henceforth dubbed, "THE TRIPPAH." We spent an evening on the Kennebec and trippahed down to a Reny's, which is a Maine Institution, like Hamilton Marine, but less marine-y.  I needed a pair of muck boots, and I definitely found them, and for the right price (15$)!  My life afloat has dramatically changed with these boots.  Why did I wait so long? Thank you Reny's! (No joke, life changing).

BOOTS! and Cap'n Jon sprawling around.  But the BOOTS!

Characteristically late, and catching the last of the outgoing tide before it became a threat to forward progress I sailed out of Belfast Harbor with a stiff Southwesterly sea breeze coming up Penobscot Bay.  Think:  Outgoing tide, incoming wind.  Since I was in a rush, I was in t-shirt and didn't button up the center cockpit under the tonneau cover.  Woops.

Half way across Penobscot to the north end of Isleboro, I ended up stuffing the bow into the chop.  The Sea Pearl has some great design features.  The water I was shipping aboard flowed back to the aft cockpit, and drained out the stern (I thoughtfully opened the plug), and so swamping wasn't too much an issue.  The bow-stuff maneuver was a first time event for me, and SCOUT shook it off and kept marching forward.  I ended up reefing multiple times as the further I left Belfast behind the higher the wind velocity and the steeper the chop.  It got to a point where I was taking so much water I put on my dry-suit.  My heart rate was up, a tad.

I stayed very determined on the north point of Isleboro, because I knew when I cleared that, the fetch would diminish significantly and I could enjoy some calmer waters.  The goal was Castine, and I planned to throw the hook in a little harbor between the Ram Islands.

Entering the lee from Isleboro and calmer waters

Everything is soaked.  Canvas bags worked! Sleeping bag dry.

Four wraps in on the mainsail reef.

Safe harbor in Ram Island with Castine in the distance.

Something big this way comes.

Did I mention my new boots?!  Life is awesome!


Up and at 'em early I motored out of the little bay and headed down south to enter the Eggomoggin Reach.  I was somewhat something kind of planning to head to Mount Desert Isle/Acadia and sail up Somes Sound, which I hear is legendary.  However, I was flexible and was going to let chips fall as they may.  Rounding the Head of the Cape the wind picked up and I killed the Tohatsu and fired up the sails.  We had a very enjoyable sail down the Egg Reach, under the Deer Isle bridge, and down to Center Harbor/Brooklin, where we had an interesting and unexpected meet up with the good people over at  They were sailing a 7-strake Caledonia Yawl, and were a little intrigued at SCOUT and I bebopping around the coast like a bunch of worthless bums.  We spent a few minutes discussing particulars, and there is a good chance we'll see some SCOUT and me over at  I will admit I was somewhat trepidatious, as SCOUT and I aren't the most clinical of sailing types, with sails and oar and sacrilegious motors and lots of loud opinions, but as Eric piped up, they are "off" Center Harbor, after all.  I was sold.

It's really a wonderful website with lots of great videos and I highly recommend the subscription, it's kind of like WoodenBoat/SmallCraftAdvisor but online and with videos.  Cap'n Jon certainly likes his. (and that's an endorsement!)  If you're an arm-chair winter-sailor like me, this is a great hint-hint for the better half.  Just sayin'.

Sea-side cabin
Fall is coming to New England.  You can't stop it.

Deer Isle bridge.  A rite of passage for all boats.

Apologies about the blurry but this is MARTHA, E.B. White's boat.  
This is his boat.  No joke. I pass close to legend.

A little Chesapeake skiff. 

I don't know what this is, but it looks fast, and it looks mean, and I want one.

YAY Beetle Cat! I love Beetle Cats. They saved me when I was lost.

Tom Jackson's FAR AND AWAY looking lonely under the green tarp. 
C'mon, Tom, let's go sailing!

SCOUT hiding behind Little Hog

Sunset over the Egg Reach. 
Home sweet home.  Cooking up some random rice bag found floating in the bilge and enjoying
the heat from my German lantern.  Go lantern, go!  Keep the cold and humidity at bay! 


This was day four without a shower and since OffCenterHarbor was coming my way I took a sponge bath of sorts which was cold and exhilarating and brutal all at once.  I will say, that my view from my morning constitutional was fantastic, however.

The view from The Can.
OFC and I did a little sailing and a little video and then I went off to the holey of Holies, Wooden Boat where I totally clinched my "Small Boats" collection with the supposedly LAST 2008 issue left in inventory!  YES!  Years of searching and waiting all for this very moment! Victory is mine with a capital V!  Then there was some more sailing around Center Harbor, specifically with a gorgeous Herreshoff 12 1/2 from 1928 (I may be off on the date but I'm damn close, thing was old!) and we had some great sailing together.  She was a beautiful boat and SCOUT totally cleaned her clock. That being said, sailing with a boat almost 100 years old is humbling in ways that is tough to describe, cleaning of the clock non-withstanding.  I don't have a picture of the 12 1/2, and I find this very sad.  I was enjoying the moment, and didn't get the camera out of the bilge.  A win for my memory, a loss for all your intrepid readers.  Apologies.

After some more sailing in Center Harbor I headed back to Castine for night, and ran into a dead calm.  The Tohatsu answered the call to putt-putt, and we motored almost all the way back to Ram Island.  More blasphemy? Or more cruising? I don't judge, too much.

Another perfect morning in Brooklin.
Where were you waking up?
tic toc tic toc tic toc, time waits for no man. etc. etc. etc.

Back under the Deer Isle bridge bound for Castine, under Iron Mizzen power!

Into the sun. Not enjoyable.


So back to Ram Island SCOUT and I awent, where we spent the night again.  This evening was largely burned up listening to people on a beach party, which brought to mind this post from 2012. Read the paragraph below the ferry.  My feelings haven't changed. What is with people and noise? Seriously.

After waking up, we waited for the tide to come up across the bar by Nautilus Island, and headed to Castine.  The waiting of the tide clearly illustrated the benefits of the Sea Pearl 21.  I came across Penobscot Bay in a blow and steep chop with little worry, ghosted down the Egg Reach, effortlessly motored back to Castine, and I can cross a bar in 6" of water.  That's all I need to find a snug anchorage and get to where I need to go.  Six inches of water.

I was tipped off by Cap'n Jon that Castine is home to lots of Elm trees that somehow escaped the blight.  I found this fascinating, because I grew up listening to the Olde Popster who would tell me about Elm trees that would line all the main streets and provide shade and so on, and how they have all disappeared with the Dutch Elm Disease, and how he would chase ice carriages in summer time for ice-chunks to suck on, and Ye Olde Dayes were not like today with you and your kids and your refrigerators.  And behold, Castine has Elm trees, and they are great to see, as Olde Popster said they would be.

Waking up to more dew and a paradisio anchor hole.  Good holding ground, well protected, morning sun.

All that separates me from Castine

Give me 10 minutes.

Starfish a-plenty! This one is blue.

Crossing the bar with 6" of water.  YES shallow draft!

Castine Town Dock.  Everyone stop. SCOUT has arrived.

ELM TREE and Congregational Church. Is there anything else more New England?

Another Elm Tree!

Not an Elm Tree.

Sigh, catboats.  So wonderful.  I love New England.

PRESTO? Let's face it, I love sharpies.  Is this the Presto 30?  It has 4 windows instead of 3. Not sure. Regardless, beautiful and capable.  I.Want.One. You want one! This boat also has the Australian rudder-cassette design a-la Goat Island Skiff.  Very excited I was, to see that on a large production vessel.  If anyone knows what this is, please advise.
After breakfast in Castine, I motored out of the harbor, ran out of gas, and ended up rowing most of the way to Belfast.  That was a lot to row, right across the top of Penobscot Bay.  Dead calm, and just me.  Harbor porpoises, seals, birds, and a run in with a fellow TSCA member which precipitated a mid-bay messabout.  Afterwards, a quick stop at the legendary Young's Lobster Pound, and off to the boat ramp, ending 4 days of wonderful mid-coast Maine cruising.

Rowing weather.  Jeeeezum, it's flat. 
I'm really not that excited. CCBB represent.

Mid-Bay Messabout.  That's the tip of Isleboro I was so happy to see three days prior.

HOWEVER THERE IS A DAY 5 (6)! Stay tuned! SCOUT and I got to Massachusetts land of aggressive driving, lights, noise, Berkshires, Boston, and DAN NOYES New England Dory Man!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Small Reach Regatta 2014! Return of The Hog!

OOOOooooHHH SNAP! It's that time again!

It's the Small Reach Regatta 2014!

TA Ta TAAAA! (trumpets)

Yes, I took this picture swimming.

ENTER Stage Left: CIRCE, as she enchants Odysseus' sailors!

"She opened her gleaming doors at once and stepped forth, 
inviting them all in, and in they went, all innocence... 
She ushered them in to sit on high-backed chairs, 
then she mixed them a potion--cheese, barley 
and pale honey mulled in Pramnian wine--
but into the brew she stirred her wicked drugs 
to wipe from their memories any thought of home.
(The Odyssey ch. 10, Fagles)

Of course, the worldly Intrepid Reader of GISAmateur Style knows that soon after the sailors were turned into little piggies and run into pigsties,

"...sobbing, squealing as Circe flung them corns, cornel nuts and mast, 
common fodder for hogs that root and roll in mud.
(The Odyssey ch. 10, Fagles)

This year the SRR was again held at the Hog Island Audubon Camp where we checked our humanity at the door and wrestled, rowed, and sailed our boats up and down Muscungus Bay!  Snort-snort fellow piggy sailors, it's sailing time!

Scout and I arrived at Muscungus Bay a few days early, and met up with GreenMountain John who has just finished an absolutely stunning Fran├žois Vivier Ilur! Heartstopping is an adequate word to use on WAXWING. She is the FIRST and so far THE ONLY Lug-Yawl Ilur on the PLANET. You saw it here first, folks. And lots of other places too.

GreenMountain John rowing in, like a BOSS


The only Lug Yawl Ilur... IN THE WORLD
Just two boats, cruising in Maine.
On Wednesday other boats started showing up.  The Small Reach crowd is pretty core.  A few trailers came in with technical issues, from blown tires to the axle falling off one trailer, but they still made it. Broken trailers are not an issue for a Small Reacher, it is imperative that the Regatta is reached! All solutions are acceptable, including lashing the axle back on.  Who needs U-bolts?

Don't despair, Lashing Man is here!
So I'll be honest here, this year I have some fewer pictures than usual since I was having some camera battery issues.  Also, this year the Regatta was a little more calm and I just enjoyed the splendid company, good food, and wonderful water-time with friends I see once a year.  Lots of repeat boats this year, a few new ones, and we did enjoy a visit from a Tancook Whaler.

The first day was a long row (about 4 miles or so) from Hog Island to the southern tip of Friendship Long Island to a little cove that is protected by the Maine Coast Heritage Trust on Ned's Point.

Cove at Ned's Point.  Very pretty.

NO SRR is complete without the legendary WOLFISH, Crazy Charlie's Washington County Peapod

Super Salty Mike with his well traveled and storied Melonseed, PEPITA
I LOVE this boat, and Mike is just the greatest saltiest sailor evAR!!!1!!
(Intrepid Readers remember PEPITA from this picture in 2013)

El Jefe Professor Denis and his Carpenter.  More on this later!

Funky-Funk Andrew and PHOEBE!
Andrew is my homie. (homey? homee?)

Cap'n Paulie and Goat Island Skiff KATHLEEN MARIE
After a year in exile, they return triumphant to the Small Reach Regatta

Sausage Brian returns with KEEL BASA, his Lillistone Flint.
Sausage Brian is eating sausage in this picture.  Circe got him realz good.
KEEL BASA is the first lug-rig Flint IN THE WORLD!
After lunch, we had some breeze and sailed back to Hog Island.  As I was walking out to SCOUT who was bobbing merrily on her anchor I got distracted talking to our Fearless Leader Tom and slipped on a rock.  No big deal.  I got wet, but saved the bag, and climbed into Scout and got her ready to go for some sailing! As I was about to retrieve the hook, I looked down for something and noticed that there was red water in my aft cockpit and my legs were a little worse for the wear...


So that was fun.  These guys wouldn't stop bleeding either.  Blood on my towel, blood in the aft cockpit, blood in the bilge, my new shiny floorboards, everywhere! I just mopped off and went sailing. Sometime later, one of the many medical professionals at the event gave me some cream to put on them, but I had already given them a good scrub in salt water.  Remember: I Viking! (I took the antibiotic cream anyway, barnacles can be full of nasty).

Enough pillaging, back to the sailing!

Sweetest boat, Hylan Beach Pea, steered by oar.  Really wonderful boat in so many respects.
New addition to the SRR.

Matinicus Peapod.  She leaves nary a ripple in the water, as it closes up right behind her.

Tancook Whaler VERNON LINGUINE bearing down on us!

VERNON LINGUINE passes us in her slippery noodlely way
Denis and his Carpenter under sail AND oar because let's be honest, it's a lifeboat.

OOoooOOOoo 18' Joel White Shearwater OCARINA.
I love this boat for it's simplicity, it just speaks.

Piratey Ed in his Ness Yawl ghosting alone. Ed lives in NH, which means we should go sailing!

Cap'n Jon FINALLY makes an appearance in TWO-HEARTED (Phoenix III)
He's sailing with his FIL, Hank, who was kidnapped by Cap'n Jon
from his grandfatherly duties to go sailing. Atrocious crime!

PHEW there are a lot of grey skies going on in the above pictures.  I need some SUN and BLUE MAINE SKY, Hmmmmm Hmmmm! On the second day we sailed back down to Harbor Island which has a beautiful beach and harbor and is a great place for lunch! No camping, but the beach is available for day use, and there are trails around the island with cliffs on the east side with some beautifully clear water which probably has great snorkeling.  The bottom of the harbor seems like it is good holding ground for those that sleep aboard.

Scout is at anchor at a distance.  Goat Island Skiff BLEAT is foreground, right side. PEPITA is on the left.
The pulling boats always get to the beach first, notice the three in the foreground.

Susan with her Yawl-Dory ELYSSA

YES I love this ghetto style! There is nothing more sacred than utilitarianism. It works.

So here's another Dennis in WHISPER a modified Tom River Skiff.
Unfortunately, I did not get a good long look at this boat, and didn't get to sail it either.
I regret this, because it looks like a lot of fun, and it has a lot of sail.
More downhaul might be a good idea on this rig, but Dennis knows his stuff.
Look at that sky!

Cap'n Jon, my Lovely Wife, and myself stopped by at Broad Cove Marine and grabbed
some tasty lobster rolls ($10!).  This is now one of my favorite lobster stops.
We left the regatta and renegaded this much needed lunch stop!
Note Scout down on the dock.

On the last day, we did some very interesting sailing.  It was a long summer sail-day, with many circumnavigations of islands, and a nice beach lunch stop.  This was the end of a wonderful week on the water.  I spent three days sleeping in the boat, three sleeping ashore in a tent in a wild patch of woods with my Lovely Wife, and I left feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to rock for some more sailing!  Sailing! I want mooooorre!

Fleet working up between Oars Island and the mainland.


This is the kind of shot that really symbolizes the SRR for me.
Lots of beautiful small boats, great scenery, and fun times.
What more could I ask for during my vacation?

Cap'n Nathan ghosting along in his lovely Kingston Lobster boat.
He can really sail this thing, he would ghost in and out of tight harbors with current, no problems.

So, here's a Sea Pearl 21 and a Herreshoff Carpenter.  Many people will often name drop Herreshoff
and Sea Pearl 21 in the same sentence.  Well, Ron Johnson is the designer of the Sea Pearl 21,
and he was "inspired" by the Carpenter, but the Carpenter was designed as a lifeboat. The Sea Pearl is a machine.
The Carpenter rows OK,  needs wind to move under sail, and it very stable, but it's not the Sea Pearl.
They may share relatively same hull shapes (flat bottoms, etc) but performance wise it's another story.
They are different boats, and to mention Herreshoff and not Ron Johnson is disingenuous. 

Another comparative picture for those Sea Pearlers that are interested.
The Carpenter is a lovely boat, but it's quite specific.

Cap'n Jon FIL Hank flying wing-and-wing in SCOUT!

After all that sailing, it was high time for the legendary last night lobster-fest.  This is where we get together in a communal fashion and eat, drink, and be merry together before parting the next day.  Lobster, chowder, and puffin are usually on the docket, all delicious foodstuffs after a great week of sailing.  Funky-Funk Andrew is all about pairing wine with puffins, for instance.  There is music and song, stories and laughter, biting mosquitoes and starlight.  We bond over our plates, our love of sailing, and our shared communal spirit of sailing small boats.  Small Reach Regatta is the high point of my sailing season, and it comes slow, passes quickly, and leaves me stoked until the ice clogs the rivers and bays.  

Cap'n Jon piles his plate high with food, and carries his lobster below, opening up valuable plate space!
Take note, rookies!

"I am going to eat your babies."
(Real quote from Funky-Funk Andrew while eating the lobster roe)
The crowd gathers around the dessert and to hear GreenMountain John play some pipes!


"This wine pairs wonderfully with puffins!"
Funky-Funk Andrew sends it home again!

Until next year, SMALL REACH REGATTA!