Fall sailing is for locals on the coast of Maine. - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 6 Old 09-29-2016 Thread Starter
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Fall sailing is for locals on the coast of Maine.

The summer folk have gone home, their boats hauled. Snowbirds and cruisers - winter on their heels, are fleeing Southward.

We’re lucky to have several favorite hideaways within a couple hour sail from our moored boat, close to home. An hour and a half after dropping our mooring, we’re sailing into Pulpit Harbor (a local favorite). Sailing off the wind - just the genoa and mizzen flying, it’s easy jibing our way in.



There’s relief inside from the growing northwesterlies out on Penobscot Bay. The big harbor - except for a few vacant boats, is empty. Even fishermen (nobodies fool when it comes to weather), are nowhere to be seen on this blustery fall day.

We duck into the narrow mouth of Ministers Cove. The wind eases it’s grip on the sails and our speed drops as we pass through the rock gateway. While the stiff wind roars over the distant treetops - high overhead, the calm on the water in the cove, is eerie.

To slow the boat down to a crawl, we roll the genoa onto the furler. The white sail disappears and the half mile deep cove opens up ahead.

Our mizzen behind jibes with a clatter and keeps our rudder - barely - steering. It takes ten minutes or so to slowly coast through. An Iphone in my hand reads: Boat Speed: .7kt, .6kt, .5kt, as we approach a well tested anchor icon I’ve placed sometime ago on the little screen.



Laying the anchor gently on the mud bottom, we hope we’ve slipped in without too much notice. We come to watch the wildlife. If we’re quiet, we’ll see more of it.

It was a perfect fall afternoon, then evening, with a warm fire below. We didn’t see another person.



At dawn the next day, from the cockpit, the dog and I counted 4 species of Raptors, including 3 Bald Eagles that were riding high in the stiff Northwest winds whipping the tops of the trees along the shore.

Tying in a second reef just before noon, I took it as a compliment when one of the three eagles descended below the tree tops and coasted by to take a closer look at us.

Curiosity satisfied, he effortlessly rose above the tree tops and disappeared with the wind. We’d soon follow.

Bound for home.


Tom Young sailing a 1961 38' Alden Challenger, CHRISTMAS out of
Rockport, Maine.
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Last edited by TomMaine; 09-29-2016 at 12:43 PM.
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post #2 of 6 Old 09-29-2016
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Re: Fall sailing is for locals on the coast of Maine.

Wow Tom that was a great read and great pictures! Thanks. Yes, I so look forward to fall sailing. No sweating, no bugs.

The water gets a dark glistening reflection or a silver grey when the wind is up. I also see more eagles and hawks and so glad the jet skiis, cigarette boats and New Jersey Express cruisers are put away. Even the bikini patrol keeps their boat parked at the station.

Yesterday the wind out of the east, I could tear up and down the river like a silent power boat , all alone, dark skies and small silvery waves. The wife brought some whiskey to set the fall mood. here is just a hint of fall color in the trees now. The Rondout creek is on the west side of the river so we sailed right into the inlet past the lighthouse and raced another sailboat at 3 knots all the way up the creek to our dock just at dusk.
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Re: Fall sailing is for locals on the coast of Maine.

Maine is re-appearing on our cruise list next summer! I need to be in Nantucket around the end of July. Direct to or from, either before or after, is my plan.
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Re: Fall sailing is for locals on the coast of Maine.

Nice write up, I always enjoy late season sailing our season goes into December easily without needing too much heat. We have a nice wine festival mid October Im done sweating finally.
Oh, and the new Cockpit looks great!!
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Re: Fall sailing is for locals on the coast of Maine.

Tom,

Glad to hear somebody's enjoying this weather! I have to . . . work. There, I said it! Sparrow is swinging on a mooring off the Eastern Prom, probably lonely there right now. Yes, the season is closing in on us. I do enjoy fall sailing though. A few years back, our last sail was November 16. It was gorgeous. One of those freak days of 55 degrees and the docks were still in for another week. On with the watch cap and the Bean's jacket. But not until after launch. Wading in thigh deep in November water is an eye-opener. At any rate, loath you entirely. Enjoy the days that us working stiffs can't.

Don
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Re: Fall sailing is for locals on the coast of Maine.

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Originally Posted by DonScribner View Post
Tom,

Glad to hear somebody's enjoying this weather! I have to . . . work. There, I said it! Sparrow is swinging on a mooring off the Eastern Prom, probably lonely there right now. Yes, the season is closing in on us. I do enjoy fall sailing though. A few years back, our last sail was November 16. It was gorgeous. One of those freak days of 55 degrees and the docks were still in for another week. On with the watch cap and the Bean's jacket. But not until after launch. Wading in thigh deep in November water is an eye-opener. At any rate, loath you entirely. Enjoy the days that us working stiffs can't.

Don
We have had some warm days in November, Don. I think I remember that stretch, 'A few years back'.

I've played the odds on season end in Maine for 15 years or so. Right now, there's a flurry of activity to decommission boats down in my harbor. There always is at this time! I ignore it.

I pull the boat at the end of October or early November. So far,... that's worked out well. Most of the boats are pulled but the docks are still in which allows me no crowds or waiting, to pull my sails, mizzen, that stuff.

Another benefit is my boat yards schedule is more flexible as most of the boats are hauled. That allows me to check the weather far enough in advance, to make haul out pleasant. So far, so good.

The downside is: Fall gales. Not unusual that I have to jump on the boat and find better protection for a day or two (those adventures have been fun).

I'm self employed which gives me some flexibility but it's mostly weekend sails for me in the fall.

Tom Young sailing a 1961 38' Alden Challenger, CHRISTMAS out of
Rockport, Maine.
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