Strider's 2010 September Cruise

479 miles in 16 days. Poor weather kept me from seeing as much of Canada as I hoped but I actually had great weather luck considering the overall pattern since the nice periods came just at the right times.

Days shown in alternating red and white tracks

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.

Facebook Photo Album of September Cruise Photos

Anchorages & Distances

(Distances are GPS track lengths)

Portland - Start
Ebenecook Harbor (Boothbay on the Sheepscot) – 39 nm
Rockland – 42 nm

Crossing Jericho Bay on a hull speed broad reach on a perfect day, I could count 10 windjammers, mostly working their way up into Eggemoggin Reach but a few headed elsewhere. There wasn't another pleasure craft in sight and it could have been 100 years ago.

Mackerel Cove (Swans Island) – 30 nm
Bunker Cove, Roque Island – 51 nm
Head Harbor, Campobello Island – 41 nm (two nights)
St. Andrews, NB – 16 nm (two nights with 16 mile daysail)

Five days Portland to clearing into Canada. Not too shabby I think for a single hander anchoring every night, even if I am not at all hesitant to take advantage of the fact that Strider makes a great little trawler yacht and motor sailer as well as sailboat.

Cutler by way of Lubec to clear back into the U.S. – 47 nm

I had to cut my time in Canada short to get back down the Grand Manan Channel before big swells and forecast days of strong winds hit. Just made it.

Secret place too wonderful to disclose – 17 nm.
The Mud Hole with stop at Roque – 16 nm.

Indian River, Jonesport – 15 nm with 3 nm false start because of severe conditions.

I got suckered by a long lull in the wind and went around the outside of Great Wass Island under power in the swells from Igor and it was lively. Nearest buoy said 18 gusting 20 with 8 foot waves but those conditions sure look like more than that in the essentially open gulf conditions of deep water with tide running. Boat did great. I used a little too much power going over one wave I thought might break and she fell off the wave onto her bilge with such an impact that I saw the rigging go slack on one side. That tossed her over onto the other bilge so hard I saw the rigging go slack on that side. About at that point, I was saying to myself, “Me boy, mistakes have been made here.”. I don’t carry as much rigging tension with my deck stepped mast as I would with a keel step but I’m going to tighten things up more if I go offshore or try anything like this again. Other than that, little pounding and relatively dry.

The way to accurately estimate wave height is to adjust your height of eye so you are sighting across the tops of several waves or a crest to the horizon when you are in the trough. I saw some crests where the horizon was just aligned while the boat still had a long way to go down. I think some of the local waves were well over the buoy report.

Valley Cove by way of Northeast Harbor for fuel – 38 nm.
Mackerel Cove (again) – 16 nm
Merchants Row – 8 nm
Turkey Cove, St. George River – 39 nm
Robinhood Cove – 30 nm
Portland – 34 nm

Canada and Passamaquoddy Bay are wonderful and, NO LOBSTER TRAPS! I got just another taste this year but plan to spend the entire summer up there next year. My GPS trip odometer now ways 2116 nm for the season. With almost 2000 last year, I’ve seen enough of Maine for a while.

Never snagged a pot, nothing broke, had adventures, saw incredible sights and sunsets, ate lots of lobster, cruising about as good as it gets.

Cabin Heat

Cruising life is definitely divided into (B)efore(H)eater and AH epochs. The Dickenson Newport mostly ran 24 hours a day filling the cabin with cheerful flickering light all night like a fireplace. I always took the sticky damp of cruising for granted. Having everything in the boat dry and crisp, almost like clothes when you take them out of the dryer, is life changing. Dry dish towels – all the time! Dry clothes! Coming down after a long, cold leg into a 70 degree cabin, closing the hatches, and then sitting around in light clothes at 80 degrees watching the jewel like flame floating in the heater – heaven. It made me feel warmer at the helm just looking down and seeing that dancing flame.

My hot water systerm works better than I ever hoped.

I thought all summer that the loop to the regular pressurized water heater wasn’t going to work very well because I never ran the heater very long and the lines didn’t seem to get hot. I was surprised to turn on the tap though and find comfortably warm water after only a couple hours and hot in about three. It’s even better than home where you have to fiddle with the knobs to get the right temperature. It stabilizes at just the right temperature full hot for a perfect shower, just turn the one knob. I took a real shower with shampoo about every other night. Luxury cruising.

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