Monday, September 3, 2007

Biddeford Pool

Biddeford Pool Maine: Drift and Rhythm

The random noises seem a score. The rubbing of the jib line on the metal lifeline works like a bow on a string. The notes come in a quick group of three, a pause, and then two more, allegro. The wires in the mast snap like snare drums. The anchor rode squeaks in the chock. The water against the hull sings like a chorus, the hull works like a sound box and I find myself humming along, to my boat's anchored song. Underway it can be the same, the diesel plays a rumbling downbeat, the prop shaft an undulation.

I made a mistake two days ago and am paying now. When we had the strong NW wind we should have kept going Saturday evening on across Casco Bay. Now I am stuck for a day waiting for the wind to shift back to a more favorable direction. My timing was off yesterday, I got here a little too late in the day to make the next good harbor in daylight. That would be Portsmouth 30 miles down the coast. So now I sit and read and clean boat. I straightened up the cabin yesterday and then washed the dinghy. The good thing about being here is there are showers in the BPYC clubhouse. I have had two in the last 12 hours. The bad thing is there is no food in the local grocery.

Peter F ran out of time. I dropped him at the ferry dock at Chebeague Island about 8am and he arranged to be picked up at the ferry dock in Portland. He needs to get back. I am sure he's stayed longer than he planned. He is a good sport. By leaving him at Chebeague it allowed me to ride the last of the outgoing tide out of Casco Bay. I made good time until the SW wind started to blow in my face. Now it is howling, forecast 20-30 today. All the same if I can get away tomorrow. I should be back in Buzzards Bay by the end of the week.

After my nap yesterday afternoon it was dead high tide. I watched for my depth finder for a time, subtracting 10.5 feet for the tidal range and kept getting numbers too close to my 4' draft. So I hauled the anchor and moved myself further out. This is a difficult place to predict where the boat will settle: you need a lot of scope, it is windy and the current is strong. Having the wind and current at various angles leads to some peculiar situations. Last night the boat was being pulled one way and the dinghy another. The dinghy wanted to ride along the hull and bang it in the chop.

In the evening when everyone was out for the sunset I met the neighbors. A couple in a 28 Cape Dory just to my lee from York, ME. Their boat is same age as London - 30.
I got some good pictures of a group racing by in a dinghy and on their third pass they yelled over an email address for me to send them to.

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