This rant has to do with my long standing desire to go sailing up along the coast of Maine.
Actually, I've been sailing along the coast of Maine several times. The problem is that the last time I went was in 1994 and I've been grousing about going back ever since.
My first trip...
My first trip was in the late summer of 1972 after I had just moved out to Portsmouth, NH from graduating from college in Illinois. While looking for housing for the start of graduate school at the University of New Hampshire, I was trading baby sitting and house painting for a small cot in the corner of the Registrar's home in Durham, NH. Les had left the family at home and had rented a 30' sloop with two other couples. After he had been gone about a week, he called and asked if I'd be interested in helping him sail the boat for the next week because one of the couples with him had to return home and they were the only ones who knew anything about sailing. I consulted my schedule and agreed that would be a marvelous thing to do!
He told me to meet him in "Bah-ha-ba" on Saturday. Immediately after hanging up, I grabbed a map and began searching for "Bahaba, Maine". No luck! I checked every where. Finally, in despiration I stuffed my crumpled map in front of Les's wife's face and exclaimed, "Les wants me to meet him in Bahaba, Maine on Saturday and for the life of me I can not find Bahaba anywhere!
She took the map from my hands, carefully spread it out on the dining room table and pointed to a spot on the map. "Here it is." she said.
"But that's Bar Harbor, not Bahaba!". "Right. Bah-ha-ba. That's what I said. That's it." My first introduction to the "Downeast Maine" accent...
Needless to say, I made it up to "Bah-ha-ba" and had an absolutly terrific time sailing all around Penobscot Bay and Arcadia National Park. And I was totally hooked on sailing on the Maine coast...
One of my most memorable moments was pulling into Camden Harbor just as a fog bank was settling over the area
very similar to this recent webcam photo.
I have vivid memories of rowing ashore, wandering the streets of Camden, buying several books in an old book store, having dinner, and then rowing back to the boat in pea soup thick fog.
After returning to the boat, I went out alone in the rowboat and lost myself in the darkness and silence of the fog and watched in fasination as my oars turned the dark water into a bright green irridescent glow from the sea plankton. It was a defining moment in my life- a moment that has so far been, and will continue to be, one of those unique points in ones life that causes a centering of interest and passion.
My other 2 trips...
The next time I was able to get up to the Maine coast for a sail was in 1993. I was working at my friend Dan's software engineering recruiting agency. His friend Bill had a 25' sloop and we all thought it would be great to head up there. Bill moored his boat in Newmarket, NH off of Great Bay. He motored up the Piscataqua River and parked for the night at the Prescott Park Docks in Portsmouth, NH where we met him the next day. From there, it was a 2 day sail up to Penobscott Bay.
It was an emotional momemnt for me as I rowed the dingy ashore in Camden harbor to the very spot where I had landed 20 years before on an extremely foggy and misty night. We spent several busy days cruising Penobscot Bay, and then 2 more days sail back home.
We had so much fun that we decided to do it again the following year. Unfortunately, Bill was unable to make it, but offered us the use of his boat. Dan and I grabbed another friend, and headed up. Bill had rented a mooring for the summer in Booth Bay Harbor, so we drove up and spent several days cruising Muscongus Bay. We even visited Friendship, ME- home of the Friendship Sloop, my absolute favorite boat design.
Good question. Who does care? Well, I care and I want to get back up there as soon as I can. Dan and I keep telling each other that this is the year, but something always seems to come up.
So, what am I gonna do?
Well, another good question. One major problem is that both Dan and Bill have sold their boats. I suppose I could buy my own boat- something that I have wanted to do since right after I got my old (very old) 1972 18' O'Day daysailor. The daysailor is nice to charge around on in the Piscataqua River bay (Pomeroy Cove) that I live on, but I wouldn't take it into open water. I need something just a little bigger with a small keel and enclosed cabin with area for cooking and head. There have been a few boats for sale, and my son Colin has been after me to splurge and to "just do it dad!"
But, I dunno. I have mixed emotions about that. It would be just one more thing to complicate my already complicated and busy life, not to mention drastically increasing my maintenance and carrying costs from zero to at least a couple thousand dollars a year- on top of the initial cost of the boat. I dunno... But I really, really would like to. I dunno...
Thus, this "Rant Concerning Going Sailing".
Update: Christmas 2000!
In early December of 2000, Colin spotted this 23' South Coast Alberg sloop for sale in the Great Bay Marine yard. Here was the "dream" sitting right there!
Excellent! And then, since I had just got a new job as a Senior Software Engineer at Equant Application Services in Burlington, MA starting 01/02/01, I got the "ok" Christmas Day to get her!
This is a Christmas Day "reality check" picture- wearing Pat's new light-up Santa cap! Colin insisted on going over and "checking her out". Though really cold and windy, it was great to stand next to "my boat". The dream has become reality! Life is good...
Now all I need is Spring!
For the continuing adventures of my sailing life on this Alberg sloop, you can go here.
Update: July 2002!
Well, I finally made it back up to sail Penobscot Bay! Only took until July of 2002! But hey, I got there and had a ball so I'm not complaining!
My friend Dan bought a 30' Catalina last winter and it came with a mooring in Rockland Harbor- gateway to Penobscot Bay.
We have been plotting this trip ever since! I think the anticipation was every bit as much fun as the trip itself.
For the continuing adventures this sailing trip, you can go here.
The Going Sailing Rant Registery of Fame...
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