Originally Posted by camaraderie
Nirvana...it is different in Maine. I sailed LIS for about 15 years and no problem. In Maine...imagine the harbor is a 10x10 room with blue carpet. Now open three family sized bags of M&M's and scatter them randomly on the floor and also in all doorway openings....and of course you can't see the blue M&M's. Now you know what Maine is like!
With all due respect Camraderie it's not that bad! I have over 25,000 nm just sailing Maine alone. These nm's do not count my time commercial fishing which is probably close to 15k nm. While I have snagged a few, here and there, it's a fairly rare occurence. I have only once had to cut a line due to a snag, on my sailboat, which I could not re-tie. This was due to the current and I could not hold on and re-tie so I had to let it go. Many of the lobstermen in Maine have a buoy at either end of a string of traps because so many get cut by careless pleasure boaters (mostly power) and not re-tied. I even know of a few careless and ignorant power boaters who have pissed off just a few to many lobstermen and they took matters into their own hands.
The intentional sinking of a pleasure boat is not as uncommon as one might think here in Maine. The funny thing about it is that the insurance company usually calls it a leaking stuffing box. Sure it just got loose...?? These guys are the last true bad ass cowboys so you don't want to piss them off trust me!
If more pleasure boaters were courteous, and re-tied, there would most likely be 50% less pot buoys (one at either end of a string)..!! As any good sailor knows you need to pay attention to the current, wind and tides. These three things will tell you the lay of the line and which side of the pot to pass. As for the double toggle bouys in Penobscot Bay you need to look for the coresponding toggle to the main buoy, it's easy, and then go around the leeward or down tide/current buoy or cut throught the middle, giving a little favor to the uptide/wind toggle. This is the deepest spot to pass between the main buoy and the toggle but remember the current and drift you don't want to end up on the down tide main buoy!
Last season I logged 2600nm in Maine and snagged only one around my rudder and a quick tack sent it on it's way. Oh and I don't sail one of those full keelers with the attached rudder! I guess here in Maine we are just more used to paying attention to the surroundings what with all the fog, rocks and lobster pots. I actually like it because it keeps the novice boaters away... In Maine cocktail time is at anchor and you need good eyes when sailing. Sure I've sailed in many locals where you can go below and fix a grilled cheese sandwich while on autopilot but you can't do that here in Maine..
As for any buoys that are unmarked they may be only temporary because one was cut off. I used to go into the season with about 20 buoys painted and marked. Some years I would not use them all and some I did. If I used all my back-ups I had to use a generic with my license number in permanent marker until I could paint and engrave more pots. I can't imagine a lobster man spending the thousands of dollars in gear and then not marking them. If you come across an un-marked think to yourself that perhaps this guy has had so many cut this year that he has run out of back up pots... Here in Maine it is legal to place pots/traps where ever the lobster are. I know this is a pain, and it's ridiculous, where some guys will drop them but the law is on their side. If you get caught molesting gear (that's what they refer to it as) you will get a heafty fine and possibly scuttled if you're seen.
So bottom line is pay better attention. If I can sail a fin keeler with spade rudder here so can you...