It’s Monday morning and just a little over two weeks until I head to Maine aboard Pandora. The plan is to participate in the annual cruise of the group The Corinthians, a sailing club that Brenda and I have been members of since 1996, 20 years. That’s a long time.
Our boys, Rob and Chris, grew up sailing with other kids in the club and the week long cruise each summer was a major event for them as they loved hanging out with the 20+ children that would be along for the week.
This year, as we spend so much time aboard in the winter, Brenda will stay at home and I’ll go with my two friends, Craig and Rodney, fellow Corinthians, for the week of cruising in Maine.
It’s been nearly twenty years since Brenda and I first cruised Maine waters aboard Elektra, our Tartan 37 and perhaps 5 years since our last trip there. All and all, I believe this summer’s run will be my 16th. That’s a lot of cruises “down east” and perhaps more surprising to me is that I have been around long enough to have cruised that many times anywhere, much less Maine.
Back in my last life, pre-retirement, the two week run to Maine was always a rush as I assembled crew to do an overnight from Norwalk Yacht Club, where we were members for many years, straight to Camden or Booth Bay. I had to get there quickly, rain or shine, as there was so little time to waste in getting to the business of cruising. Getting there and back home again was a delivery and nothing more. I am happy to say that cruising is a lot less hectic now but the “leisure” of it all is tempered by the much longer runs, well that’s what Brenda would say for sure.
The club cruise this year will center on Acadia National Park, a place that Brenda and I have spent much time enjoying over the years. This post from 2011 shows some of the beauty along with another of our favorite harbors Camden and points in between.
However, post or not, a few photos from our last visit there in 2011.
Here’s “old” Pandora in Five Island Harbor near Booth Bay Harbor. A lovely spot.And what’s a post about Maine without a schooner shot? This one takes guest out for day sails out of Booth Bay Harbor. Of course, then there’s the “big girls” that take folks out for a week at a time. Her captain and crew are “hot dogging” into a harbor under sail to drop the hook, under sail, to spend the night. All sailing isn’t about going anywhere in particular. This sweet Friendship Sloop, a type named after the town of the same name, was not in any particular hurry the day we encountered her.
Of course, there’s really nothing more “Maine” than Andrew Wyeth, and here’s his widow Betsy sitting on the porch of her summer home on Allen Island. The family provides a few moorings for cruisers to tie up to in the sheltered cove in front of their home. Their hospitality is a far cry from the unfriendly locals in Florida that have worked so hard to successfully ban anchoring in many harbors in Ft Lauderdale and <Miami. And, perhaps the most Maine of harbors, Camden and a few of the schooners that call the harbor their home. Of course, the most iconic image of all is lobsters waiting to head to market. Yum. We certainly had plenty of Caribbean lobster when we were in Cuba last winter and I look forward to a “taste test” to see which wins out. I expect Maine lobster will carry the day. Anyway, my nominal departure day will be the 26th of July and that run of less than 200 miles, after our last four winters south, will seem more like a short “day sail” and not much of a run compared to my 1,000 mile voyages from the Bahamas or Florida back to New England. In early years, I did the run with a crew of 4, sometimes more. This time, just two, me and Rodney. That’s particularly fitting as we started sailing together years ago on a run to Maine. Besides, it’s only a single overnight. Funny how perspectives change.
In any event, I am very much looking forward to reconnecting to a group of sailors that have been a part of my life for so many years. Hopefully, Brenda and I will have time to do a bit of cruising together for a week or so prior to bringing Pandora back.
An interesting rub that came up yesterday that will have a big bearing on when I’ll bring Pandora back from Maine and has to do with the nuclear Submarine USS New Mexico. Yes, a rendezvous with a sub and Pandora. How’s that for a segue? Pretty good, right?
You may recall that I “ran into” the USS New Mexico off of New London last summer and have been corresponding with representatives of the boat since then. This was the post that “started it all”.
A few months after that chance encounter, Damon, my contact with the sub suggested that I might be able to join them for a “VIP day sail” aboard the New Mexico and we have been staying in periodic contact since then with the hope that an opportunity might arise.
Well, the opportunity to spend time aboard the New Mexico hasn’t surfaced yet (pun intended) so I decided to arrange a visit aboard Pandora and reached out to Damon and the Chief of the Boat, Norm to take some of the crew out sailing aboard Pandora. I sent a note suggesting that I bring Pandora to New London while the New Mexico was in port and take some of their crew out for short sails.
Happily, as of last night they have confirmed that they’d like to move ahead with my offer and hope to have me visit in August. So, that means that Pandora will be headed back from Maine in late August. That should work well for me and I am very excited. Details to come…
Well, I had better get to work on our bathroom now as the project isn’t going to finish itself and the new shower had better be “ready” by the time I leave for Maine. The plumber Brian is coming here mid morning to put in the pan liner and it’s never a good idea to leave a plumber “on hold”.
That’s all for now.