Friday, August 31, 2007

Wooden Boat

Thursday, Wooden Boat, Brooklin, Maine

Today began in the fog at Northeast Harbor, on Mt Desert. The previous evening we'd had a spectacular dinner in the village at a tavern on main street. Both of our meals were so good, we soon forgot there had been no hot water for our long sought hot showers. It takes an effort to keep clean on the boat. I do have a sun shower, which uses solar energy to heat 5 gallons of water on a sunny day. In the past I hung the shower from a halyard and bathed atop the cabin in a bathing suit, but recently I hang the shower from the boom over the cockpit and sit in the bottom of the cockpit, naked, while underway and well out at sea. I then wash as if in the tub at home. Peter Fifield snapped some pictures of me doing this the other day while we made our way into Burnt Coat. He is planning to download his pictures onto my laptop when we find a USB cable. I think those shots may disappear in the process.

The moorings in Northeast harbor are still only $20 a night. In Maine we have found when we wanted to moor the price has been between $15 and $20 -- much less than we often encounter in Southern New England. But there has been a lack of showers.
Northeast harbor was packed with boats and busy with craft coming and going from the slips and moorings, many dinghies loaded with people and their dogs, all going to and from shore. The dinghy dock must have had 150-200 inflatable or hard shell dinghies tied up, often two and three deep. Avoid the interior corners. We saw one red faced man tossing and shoving dinghies out of his way as he struggled to push his way out .

Despite all the busyness, the harbor seems to run efficiently, a place where a radio call to the harbormaster will be answered. You see them about in their boats or ashore in the office on the waterfront. We heard a rumor over at Friendship, Long Island that the harbormasters here had just ejected Steve Forbes's yacht -- for excessive generator noise.
Rental buoys are marked with numbers assigned by boat length. I learned the mooring fee collection agents are all school teachers this year. It was she who told us about the new place to eat in town.
There is always some uncertainly in entering a new harbor in your boat. Will the place be friendly to a visiting sailboat or too busy with fishing or other commercial activity to help? Bringing a sailboat into water where there is limited manueverability can be a challenge, and means pulling in the jib and lowering the main sail and getting the engine on. London is small and easy to handle, but like all full keeled boats, can be unpredictable when powering in reverse. For this reason I have been using reverse in manuervers this trip as much as possible. Which way will she go?
Tonight we tried to moor at Center Harbor in the town of Brooklyn, Maine. We attempted to get both the boatyard and the yacht club on phone and radio with no luck, but spotting a free mooring off the boat yard, with no dinghy attached, grabbed it. I then rowed in and found an employee leaving for the day. He said the boat which belonged on the mooring was away and we would probably be alright for the night. Unfortunately while rowing back to London I was hailed by another sailboat who said the mooring had been promised to them earlier in the day by phone. We dropped that mooring, and not wanting to anchor in the exposed water outside, moved a few miles back up Egemoggin Reach toward the harbor Wooden Boat uses with the intention of anchoring there. Here we found a mooring clearly marked for guests and a launch to welcome us. We were opting for a mooring for the night as another cold front was expected with all its forecast thunder and strong gusts of wind.

Once settled we set off on foot for a pub in the basement of the Brooklin Inn. The walk was a good 1.5 miles, but we had only gone .5 a mile when a man in a pickup truck offered us a lift. We hopped over the tailgate, sat in the truck bed and hung onto the bags of cement on the floor as he sped into town. Later after an excellent and very reasonable dinner at the pub, we found Larry had also finished his dinner at a residence nearby and driven to the Inn to look for us. He whisked us back to Wooden Boat and then used his flashlight to light our way down the gangway to the dinghy dock. Awfully nice guy. Maine has been consistently like that.
The sailing today varied between terrific and then non-existent, when we slid into pockets of calm, dead air. There was thick fog in the morning and I used the chart plotter with its radar overlay to help guide our way out of Northeast Harbor and out through Western Way. By the time we were through Casco Passage and had started up Egemoggin Reach, the tide was running strong against us, so I manuevered to run alone the eastern shore near the Babson Islands and then up a real race, wing-on-wing between Torrey Island and High Head.
After our pickup ride we rowed back out to London on her mooring. I had left the anchor light and a cabin light on so we could find her easier in the dark, and the flashlight I keep stuffed in a cockpit locker again came in handy. The phosphorescnce in the water was spectacular. Swirling constellations of pale green globules in three dimensions. We swung the dingy round a few times just to watch the show.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Northeast Harbor

Wed Aug 30

Today my copy of the 'Field Guide to The North Atlantic' (Proctor & Lynch., Yale University Press. 2005.) surfaced from the recesses of an on board shelf. I had searched from stem to stern for it days ago, when trying to identify the diving birds off Muscongus Bay. We now are fairly certain they are Northern Gannets because of the spectacular dives and their large size. (e.g., wingspans of 72 in!). How a book could remain hidden in a 27 foot boat for 4 days remains a mystery.

We spent a comfortable night at Burnt Coat Harbor on Swan Island last night and in the morning, after the fishing fleet had departed, we stopped for fuel and water at the Lobster Co-op.

According to the cruising guide the fishermen here have a hand in the mooring rental operation. This may account for their early morning courtesy. Often in working harbors, the morning starts with a roar of 50 diesel engines an hour or so before dawn, and the rocking of my little boat all their resultant wakes. At Burnt Coat Harbor I noticed the lobster boats crept out of the harbor with all the stealth of a husband trying not to awake his sleeping and cantankerous wife. The moorings are managed by Kevin, a proprietor of the Boat House, where they also serve food. Regretfully we had already dined on hot dogs on the way in. Pete tells me the Boat House also has music and Kevin plays a guitar and sings. He also fishes.

Both us rowed around the harbor to look at the schooners more closely. The Victory Chimes, Grace Bailey, Lewis E French, and Timberwinds were all in the harbor.

Tonight finds us in Northeast Harbor in Mt Desert. We went ashore for our long desired showers only to find there was no hot water. "Boiler out."

** quick editorial note:

1.) Several people have commented they thought some recent entries here had been written by Nancy. I think this confusion comes from the fact I am now travelling with a friend also named Peter and referring to him by name has obscured my authorial presence. To the best of my knowledge I have written all these entries and they are a reasonable, but imperfect, record of recent events.
2) Years ago I had another friend also named Peter, whose companion was also named Nancy. For some months I looked forward to going with them to some social event where I planned they would introduce themselves as Peter and Nancy. Then I would add, "And so are we."

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Burnt Coat Harbor

Tuesday August 28,2007

Duck Harbor, Isle Au Haut

Duck Harbor is a small place, just a cut between two granite walls filled with sea water leading to an inner cove surrounded by rocky beach. Dark green spruce surround the harbor where they can find soil between the granite outcrops. In some places where the soil is too thin for trees or they have been toppled by some storm, there are meadows of grass and low bush blue berry. A small landing protrudes into the harbor from the southern shore. The ferry from Stonington lands here several times a day bringing walkers to the National Park. Anchoring space is at a premium. We were one of half-a-dozen boats and there was space for only one or two more. Our spot was near the opening of the cove and would have been rolly (snogg if it had not been such a quiet night. I woke once as the tide turned after midnight to find we had swung on the outging tide and lay among quietly between the moonlight bathed outcrops which mark the entrance.

In the morning we walked the trail up which leads over the height of Duck Harbor Mountain at this end of Isle Au Haut. The mountain is not tall, perhaps about 400 feet, but the trail often leads up steep outcrops of rock where you must pick your hand and foorholds carefully, especially on the descents. I found this difficult, especially as I had sprained my right wrist when I tripped and fell walking to the outhouse in the morning and could not put weight on it. The scenary and views were spectacular. Peter Fifield and I set out before the first ferry of hikers arrived and so we had the place to ourselves. In several places we dropped off the granite outcrops to make our way through lush cool canyons among the spruce. White and green mosses carpeted the ground. After an hour and a half, perhaps two we emerged on at an open beach covered in cobbles on the south side of the island.

After walking along the coast for 15 minutes to the west we found the dirt road and followed it back to the harbor. Handling the dinghy lines and even getting into the dinghy revealed just how sore my hand was, but Fifield made an icepack, I took some Advil and an hour later the swelling had gone down and I was at the tiller again.

We sailed close to the coast and explored Moore's harbor. Here Pete saw some curious birds and more trees on shore decorated with lobster traps. (picture to come) After sailing through the Isle Au Haut thorofare with a nice following breeze and a quick reach up to Merchants Island, the wind died while we were admiring the schooners we would follow into Burnt Coat Harbor on Swan Island.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

On To Duck Harbor, Isle Au Haut

Monday. 27 August

During the night we awoke and shut all the open ports. The little breeze there was had died and the mosquitos attacked. After 20 years of living on two acres of wetland I have noticed that mosquitoes seek their prey by fluttering upwind, presumably following a gaseous carbon-dioxide trail to their warm fleshy victims. For this reason, and for reasons of freshness in our ripening boat, I insisted Pete leave the forward hatch over his bunk open during the evening, while I put netting over the compionway opening -- where the air exits. Thus we had a fair air flow through the boat until while we slept, until the breeeze quit and the bugs came at us every direction. In the dark we slammed the hatches shut and fell back asleep in our bunks.

We awoke in the anchorage at Harbor Island in Muscongus Bay at dawn as the front we have danced around all weekend finally shifted offshore and cleared with a fresh breeze from the North. This is the only direction the anchorage is not protected from. It quickly became choppy. We set off dressed in fleece and long pants. Once out of the narrow ledge strewn harbor we raised London's sails in the first yellow light of the day and slid off quickly to the east. By 7:55 am we had past Port Clyde and south of Mosquito Island entered Penobscot Bay. We made out way up through Muscle Ridge channel and slipped across the tide, south of Vinelhaven.

At mid-afternoon we stopped at Vinelhaven's Cutter's Harbor for ice and provisons. I asked a fisherman to point us to a free mooring we could use for an hour. As Pete grabbed it another fisherman yelled at us "To ask before we take a mooring." This is a busy short-tempered harbor at 3 in the afternoon. Fishing boats race in, stopping at the lobster docks to unload their catches and then rush to their moorings with the crewman on the foredeck with his boathook extended. Engine off and in moments they are both in the launch heading for shore. Lobster boats move in all directions, cutting through the mooring field and spinning in sharp quick turns. Everyone seems to move at full boor. The air is thick with the roar of deep powerful diesels. After Pete made it back with our ice and 'tube steaks' (hot dogs), we set off for Isle Au Haut. Tonight finds us in the snug Duck Harbor, on the south western shore of Isle Au Haut.

On our quiet sail across Penobscot Bay I noticed the sounds underway. The clanging of a bell buoy, the orgasmic squawks of sea gulls, the sounds of the rigging stretching and squeaking -- the rustle of the water on the hull.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Weather Fronts

I think you have to be on the prairie or at sea to observe a slow
moving weather front. The approaching cold front with its reported
hail, violent wind and lightning died out last night just the other
side of Booth Bay. We watched the light show, prepared for the worst
and then went to bed. There was a splash of rain. No more.

This morning I was eager to get the boat tied to the dock at the boat
yard so we could get her cleaned up. I'd spotted a hose on the floats
the previous evening. Once tied up Pete scrubbed the waterline and then
foredeck while I wrote on my laptop. Later I flushed and scrubbed the
cockpit and filled the water tank while Pete wandered around the boat
yard taking more pictures. Somehow being among all those pretty boats
made it a necessity to clean mine. We were on our way at ten, with the
first morning breeze from the Southeast.

We sailed today, all day. The day started tacking downwind and with us
still believing the wind would reach its forecast 15 knots with some
gusts to 20. The swells were still out there. Big waves rose abeam and
made new sudden horizons of jagged water on our horizon. Off Pemaquid
Point we watch Gannets dive into the sea from 40 and 50 feet with such
violence the sea surface exploded and sent a plume of salt water high
into the air along the track of their attack. We also saw seals and an
unidentified fin.

But the real interest today was the front stalled overhead. We must
have crossed back and forth through it two or three times today. On one
side the wind would be cool and from the southeast, on the other, warm
and from the north west -- off the land with the scent of pine pitch and
sand. At other times the division obscured and one moment warm 80
degree puffs of air would warm us, a moment later we'd drift into pockets
of cool air, still damp from offshore. The light was a Luminists dream:
glassy and ominous, colors vibrated with new vividness. Islands shook
in the thermal haze. Mirages rode the waves and fell back into the sea.
Islands and sails came and vanished in sea bound fog.

We anchored tonight in Harbor Island in Musongus Bay.

Linekin Bay

Facing an approaching cold front and a strong wave of thunderstorms we stopped early for the night at the Paul E. Luke boatyard. The yard lies along the eastern shore of Linekin bay and is distinguished by a large Travellift and a series of sheds. The float is connected to the land with a covered gangway, much in the style of a New England covered bridge and weathered to a silver gray. It also seems to be used for storing masks and fishing gear.

This is one of those places where on a weekend, calling the office or hailing them on the radio does not seem to get results. So we first grabbed a mooring and I rowed to the floats find someone in the yard. The water at the float was so clear I could make out every peeble on the bottom.

Ashore I found a group sitting under the trees at the top of the bank overlooking the bay. A man with weathered gray hair and a ruddy complexion rose and came across the yard to meet me. Freindliness seems endemic up here. Frank Luke is a friendly man.

"You can stay right there on that mooring. 20,000 lb granite block on those. The ones further out ride smoother. Where'd you come from?"

"Near New Bedford."

"That's a way."

When I gave him the $15 dollars for the mooring, he said.

"Now that money is going from your vacation fund, into my vacation fund. He slipped the bills in his wallet and winked.

After we'd been on the mooring a bit we began to see the boats around us. Several wooden classic in tip top condition including a Herreshoff ketch and a gaff rigged schooner. We watched the many osprey dive and swirl in the air calling to one another with their peculiar chirps.

Today was humid, but out on the water it stayed cool. In the morning as we left New Meadows River the seas built to a good six feet, with a slight breeze out of the South. The motor stayed on all day to keep our speed up, we were eager to round Cape Small and get in on a mooring before the afternoon thunderstorms. Nancy had left in the car at 8:30 for Boston and Pete and I were off the mooring at Cundy's Harbor by 10 am. We passed Seguin Island at 12:30. In at the mooring here about 3pm.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Nearly Back To Sea

Our week in Cundy's Harbor is nearly over. We have had riotous dinners with all 7 of us every night and up until yesterday, a series of warm sunny days and cool clear nights. Now we are back in the humid summer murk, with thick morning fog. Pete and I are getting ready to re-board London and head North. Looks like we will have plenty of wind this weekend.

Here are a few photos from the week.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Cundy’s Harbor

There are waves under my mattress. I swear. Like the broad back of a relentless sea serpent, it sways and undulates beneath me.

Four days from Fairhaven, MA to Cundy’s Harbor, Maine. It could have been three but I slacked off after having Cape Elizabeth in sight, and being suddenly ahead of schedule.

The morning after the storm, Biddeford pool looked like this.

The weather man in his local summary said "Yesterday a cold front triggered wicked thunderstorms across New Hampshire and Southern Maine.”

Underway at 9 am I used the channel which led me across the mouth of the Saco River and out onto Saco Bay. The morning sparkled with a nice northeast breeze. I motor-sailed (What a euphanism!)… With the main up I powered into the swell and the breeze until I rounded Cape Elizabeth and turned into Casco Bay where the wind completely died. I could see the agitation on the glassy sea to my south east trying to reach us. Finally after lunch the motor went off and the sails went up. The rest of the afternoon I made my over to the entrance of Broad Sound and into Potts Harbor for the night. Had a great dinner plate at the Dolphin Restaurant ashore - grilled haddock and vegetables, fresh blueberry pie. In the morning a friend came out from Falmouth and met me at 7:30 for breakfast in the same place. I was on my way by nine.

During the night there had been more squally storms, distant thunder and in the very early morning, while it was still dark, much torrential rain. The sky was black to the north east, clearing to the south and west. I was to go north east. There was wind, lots in some places, none in others. When we’d walked out to the meadow on the point beyond the boatyard, the air was rushing down Broad Sound, rushing hell bent for Halfway rock out on the horizon, shaking the bushes on the bank over the water. Yet in the harbor, at the fuel dock it was still. There are currents of air in the sky, swirling up and down, eddies and pool, just like flows of water in the depths of the sea.

After I picked my way along the curvy channel out of Potts, I hoisted only the jib and flew out past Mackeral Cove and the end of Bailey's Island. Among the pines I could make out the houses where my cousins and I stayed when I was a boy. I learned to row out on the ledges and among the rock week round here.

Once inside Baileys and then Orrs islands the wind dropped off a bit and I rolled in the jib so I could hoist a single-reefed main and then let the jib out again. In this way I sailed across the mouth of Quahog Bay among the islets, until near the mouth of the New Meadows River I found myself surfing from one wave top to crash into the next: the jib fat and full, the bow down, the stern quarter up and the rushing of water all around. As I reached spot where I would turn upriver, I broached once and then again. It seemed I was in as much wind as I'd ever been in.

Upriver was a beat, close to the wind and London was sailing like a dinghy. One moment the mast would be vertical and the next, bang, we’d be heeled well over. She likes a lot of wind, expecially like now, when the water is flat. She can really point in conditions like this. I was having so much fun I almost past the entrance to our cove near Sheep Island.

In the wind I missed the mooring on the first pass. On the second I got it with the boat hook but could not lift it. On the third I hauled the mass of heavy orange goo encasing the mooring line up from the sea. The line was so heavily overgrown I could not find the loop and had to settle for tying onto the thin toggle line at first. I used a bread knife and rubber gloves to hack at the mess and cut the crud off the line. Pounds of orange sponge, mud, seaweed, sea squirts, mussels and other stuff went over the side. Little marine centipedes wiggled on deck among the gravel and broken shells. The foredeck was a mess and as I moved around the deck the mess spread like a virus. Muddy footprints down one side. Mud splattered white cabin from cutting and hacking in the wind. Tiny dams of dirt and pieces of vegetation in the spaces between the stanchions and rail from flushing the deck with gallons of seawater.

But from ashore, Nancy waved from the cabin door. In only two trips I handed her my gear, moved out of the boat and into our cabin for the week.

Friday, August 17, 2007


When you think about it is seems absurd. A single strand holds us in place. A braided line, some shackles, a length of chain. At the end a device forged from the best steel in some pre-hensile earth gripping shape, and engineered so the metal will dig into the earth and hold.

I last night awoke a few minutes after midnight in another, more violent thunderstorm. In the dark I could hear an ominous dripping. The wind hissed and then rose another octave. Rain drove against the cabin top.

“Oh no,” I groaned.

All I wanted was to stay in my sleeping bag, close my eyes and just make it all go away. My boat tore at her tether, swung and jerked again.

Standing in the gangway I could see in the flashes of lightning the cutter anchored next to me. We were both holding our ground. I began to worry how I would manage if the anchor broke loose. I’d have raise the anchor up, get the engine and electronics up and going, and do it all by myself, before we blew into Stage Island to the lee or the ledge that stretches out to the East. To my horror I saw another boat, a 35 footer which had been anchored well upwind drag between the cutter and London, as if she was steering a careful coarse between us.

There is something unreal about a boat dragging. Its anchor line still extends from the bow as if tied down, and yet the boat slides past, stern first at 2 or 3 knots. This one was dark. Her crew still asleep. Another crack of thunder and a blue flash that seemed to light everything for an instant. Didn’t they see? Stupid with sleep I could not think what to do to help. The squall was furious. If I went after them I would quickly be in trouble.

I grabbed my air horn and gave two blasts, waited and then another longer three. The drifting boat remained dark. I used the radio to call for the harbormaster. When it seemed as if the sailboat should be on the rocks, I saw its anchor light dart forward and then the navaigation lights came one. Incredibly it surged forward. I turned on my deck lights to give them a point a reference and went up on deck to lengthen my own line and watch them navigate by.

I had trouble falling asleep after that. An hour later it was nearly calm, and an hour after that foggy and still. This morning I was awakened by the putter of a diesel and a woman's voice calling: "Thank you, London.”

They circling my boat again.

“Did you sound the alarm? If it hadn’t been for you…”, and she trailed off.

I told them quickly about my own experience being aground not 1/4 mile from here. The loberstermen saved me. I was glad to be able to help someone else, especially so close to where I hit rock.

Not a bad way to begin a day, eh? “Thank you, London.”

Otherwise, just some log notes from yesterday. Motored most of the day in dead calm at 5 knots from Rockport, till the wind came up strong enough so I could maintain my speed. We past Boon Island at 12:30 and briefly got wireless signal. I was off Cape Porpoise by 3:05, sails up a bit later and at Wood Island by 4:30. I came into Biddeford Pool under sail and with no moorings available, set my anchor at 5:15 in 12 and a half feet of water. This was reduced to seven something a few hours later at low.

I took a sun shower by hanging the shower from the boom and sitting in the bottom of the cockpit. When I took my drying swim suit off the life line two moths flew out.
First seal of the trip splashing among lobster traps. A small one off Cape Porpoise.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Bigelow Bight

As I pulled into Rockport's Sandy Bay to anchor a guy yelled over from a boat which came in to anchor right behind me.

“I read your book! I loved it. Especially the part about the… Maybe we can get togther later.”

Jim’s boat is also a Cape Dory 27, with a radar mounted like mine on the pole at the stern. But there the similarities end. His boat has a wheel, cushions in the cockpit and a teak floor in the cabin! My floor is white fiberglass.

Jim and his crew were all from the Tufts Medical School, two professors of Public Health and a recently graduated student. A fine ship with a friendly crew.

Yesterday, sailing here, I wished I had a crew. Before setting off I had sent out an email to about a dozen sailing friends, but all the responses I got were for the return trip or the later cruising in Maine segements. I was to have picked up one old friend in Portsmouth, NH today, but his band scheduled a gig and that was the end of that.

Yesterday morning as I passed Plymouth and moved along the coast toward Scituate the wind really began to blow. Fortunately it was all from astern, but I still reefed the main sail so Autoleena could steer. A broad reach is her weakest skill. The rolling swell didn’t help either. With a fluxgate compass and a computer chip for a brain your options are pretty limited, not that Autoleena isn't a wonderful instrument. I could not be out here alone for days on end without her. Autoleena is my auto-tiller and has been like an extra right arm to me for nearly 8 years now.

So while I was struggling to get the boat to sail herself and the forecast was getting more ominous, I remembered just how hard this it. It's scarry sometimes alone out here, living with that last decision: the poor anchorage selection which leaves you tired, the realization you’ve gone too far and it is going to get dark or stormy before you can tie up again. Guess that's why I love it.

This morning I left Rockport a bit after 6 am, probably just about the time Nancy’s alarm is going off at home. Again I had the main up and the kettle on as I raised the anchor. It was calm so I could go below and pour the breakfast tea while we motored. The sea is glass, the sky hazy and humid. Now at 8:30 am I am 8.5 miles NNE of Rockport - steaming at 4.8 knots. I just went over an underwater hill. The depth went from 320 feet to 179 in the space of 1/4 mile. Moving on out now over the deep Scantum Basin.

A small brown bird has landed in the dinghy I am towing. I often see creatures land. Yesterday in all that wind a monarch butterfly managed to settle on the sail. These little passengers are welcome. I try not to disturb them.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Begin The 2007 Maine Cruise Journal

Aug 15, 2007 - Fairhaven, MA.

So many bags. A cooler, a tote with dry food, one small duffel of underwear, t-shirts and even a few white socks. My old and trusty Mac laptop and a PC. Books, bits of string, mineral oil for the depth finder. One entire bag of drink: mostly seltzer and diet coke, but yes, two and one half bottles of red wine. So it is, that the detritus of land follows me afloat.

On the drive across Massachusetts to the marina I was thinking about being on the water. There in the car, racing down the Buzzards Bay watershed, in between cell phone calls, it seemed to me that boating -- was all about floating. The rolling undulations are what we seek and bring us back. The frictionless glide across the surface layer where the mediums of liquid and gas meet. So blue. Always new.

I dropped my mooring pendant at West Island in Buzzards Bay at 1:50pm. The day was gorgeous, the wind out of the north-east. By 4 pm we were nearing Hog Island channel and by 5 entering the Cape Cod canal itself and doing about 4 knots as the last of the ebb current gave way to flood. By the time we were expelled out of the Canal into Cape Cod Bay, London was doing 7.5 knots over the ground. Time 6:40 pm.

The canal and Buzzards Bay were full of schools of blue fish and flocks of terns and gulls. I practically had to kick the birds out of the way to get through. In one case the fish were leaping completely out of the water. Silver fins sparkled in the air.

Once on Cape Cod Bay the immediate problem was to find an anchorage At this end of the canal there are not many choices. I should have opted for the beach off Peaked cliff, but I kept on, and soon encountered larger rollers from the north east. I had left the shelter of the long arm of the Cape and was exposed to the north-east swell. I decided on Manomet. I would just make it, in twilight.

The last time I stayed behind Manomet point the sea was still. Although the breeze was still from the east/south-east it was forecast to come round to the south. This I was sure would settle the waves.

You can pack a lot of stuff in even a small sized sailboat. And when you roll the boat violently from side to side or tip it from bow to stern or do both, the stuff comes loose and bangs around. Imagine rolling 30 degrees one way for 2 seconds and then back for two seconds. Add to that a bow to stern tip and yaw on a three or four second cycle and you have my evening of rattling motion. A few times after a particularily violent roll, I got up and looked out at the night, thought about moving, then made myself contemplate being out there in the dark, on watch again and I crawled back in the bunk and held on. Sometime after midnight I fell asleep. I woke once about 2:30 and the sea was nearly gentle, by morning quite calm.

This morning I put the kettle on for tea and then raised the anchor. Under sail we bobbed out between the Mary Ann rocks and red nun 17. Our course is 2 degrees magnetic which will bring us to land again near Gloucester.

Wind just came up – now making 4.1 knots. Time to sign off. The time is 8 a.m. Broad reach. Off Plymouth.