Strider's 2009 September Cruise

If this cruise track looks a lot like my May Cruise, it's because it was a trip to resample the areas Mike and I collected data on for UNH as described in the September 2009 issue of "Points East". This 575 nm trip was very work focused, if cruising in Maine can be called work. Since it was my third round trip between Portland and Canada of the season, I didn't mind rushing past a few spots. It was still a great cruise though.

Facebook Photo Album of September Cruise Photos

Click the Picture for a Google Earth File*

* Note on Google Earth. Be sure you have the most up to date version. There is now a slider in the upper left corner with two movable tabs that will let you select portions of the route. You will have to move one all the way to the right and the other back to full left to see the whole route.

Old friend, Susie Downs came with me for the downeast leg to help me get down to the most critical sampling areas as quickly as possible. We left Portland at 2:00 pm and 24 hours later were sailing along the cliffs of Mt. Desert on as perfect a a day as was ever made for that view if you like a one reef breeze to give the experience a little spice. Roque Island the next night (I'm losing count of my stops there this summer) and we then spent a day doing the science sampling in the Machias River and Grand Manan Channel motoring in dead flat calm. We were in Eastport Saturday night where Susie caught the bus. Sunday, I motored from Eastport to the Cows Yard without seeing anything until the cliffs at the mouth of Head Harbor loomed out of the fog. I have come to love radar.

I then ran my sample stations down the coast generally along the 50 fathom curve with a stop for fuel and ice in Manset. After a night in Head Harbor, Isle Au Haut (names repeat a lot on the Maine coast) I sailed off the anchor and around to Duck Harbor in a two reef breeze. I walked the park trail in reverse to figure out how I got so lost with near disastrous consequences in May. (See "Points East Story") It turned out to be embarrassingly simple. I came down the trail to the road ahead of the others and then paced around in circles trying to stay warm. When the others showed up, I simply headed down the road the wrong way. When the road ran out, I was already befuddled with the onset of hypothermia and picked the only available trail instead of realizing my mistake and heading back up the road. It was a perfect, sunny, fall day for this walk and hard to imagine the conditions the last time I was there.

I then had a grand reach up to Haycock Harbor across from Castine. Heavy clouds had moved in but the boats speed and a parade of windjammer schooners coming out of Merchants Row made it a memorable day. The next day was spent entirely under power running a line of samples down from the Penobscot River mouth halfway out to Matinicus and then returning to Rockland.

I always like anchoring in Rockland because I can sit on the boat and look at one of my designs the Island Transporter tied up at Rockland Marine. This time, there was also a large sailing ship I designed up on the railway.

(Click Picture for More Info)

I then went next door to Jim Sharp's Marine museum and the first thing I saw was this boat on display in front.

I built the hull of that boat in Chet Rittal's yard in Boothbay Harbor back in 1972. Doesn't it make me feel old to find boat I built in museums! I spent a day in Rockland visiting the "Cramer" and the shipyard and looking up old haunt in another town I used to live in.

The final sailing day was a grand 50 mile close reach up the coast to Boothbay with two reefs in the main and three in the jib still struggling in 30 knot gusts. The winds had turned light and right on the nose the next day and it was time to be home so, once again, I deadheaded the 33 miles under power back to Portland.

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