Saturday, August 8, 2009

Rockland - Best Sail in Maine

Leathem started the day by taking a trip to the local bakery for goodies for breakfast, a great selection of pastries. Looking out, the day was bright and sunny and we had wind! The northwest wind we had yesterday continued into the morning. We were hurried on our way by the announcement that our slip was due to be occupied at 9:00 am by a large windjammer. Normally you're not expected to leave a dock until at least 11:00, sometimes later but we agreed to depart since we wanted to sail to Rockland anyway and see the boat show.

Off we set and I started to furl the mainsail but couldn't get it out! Inspecting the problem I found that the outhaul had jammed into the furling mechanism. The cause was that during the high winds yesterday, the loop of rope from the genoa line was thrown over the top of the furling line, pressing down on the furling line and causing it to slip off the furling drum. About 10 minutes with a screwdriver pounding on the line got it forced back into the proper slot and the sail worked fine since then.

After hoisting all the sails, we set forth south towards Rockland. The wind was 10 to 15 kts and we varied from a broad reach to wing on wing. A larger sailboat also set out about the same time and motored ahead of us. Once they set their sails, it was a race! They had an enclosed cockpit and could qualify as a motor-sailer but they had mylar sails and looked very efficient. However, we steadily gained on them and then passed them by. Bit by bit we left them behind on our 20 mile sail. At the end they were 1/2 mile behind.

The the boat show in full tilt, we couldn't get a dock and had to settle for a mooring at Beggar's Wharf run by a real character. Their "clubhouse" is all homemade. You pay for everything by leaving cash under the cash register with a note as to who it's from. The guy that runs the place is seldom there - it's a one man show. His brother will sometimes answer the phone but then he's in Florida. Oh well, it's conveniently located for downtown Rockland.

The boat show is typical Maine with lots of woodworking exhibits, lots of wooden boats and modern custom boats by Hinckley, Morris and others. You won't find any production boats at one of these shows. The insides of these boats are finished better than any furniture you would have in your house. The Hinckley Picnic Boat, for example, was finished with 16 coats of varnish, hand rubbed between coats. The interior was all custom made, nothing was bought and installed. The Morris boats were about the same, all gorgeous. We hoo'ed and aw'ed and just admired them all. They were way out of our price range. The Mehaffeys are pictured standing beside another great boat, a 52 foot Morris sailboat. Note the absence of side rails. The owner didn't think they looked good and spoiled the lines of the boat!

Back on the boat we uncorked the last bottle of the wine we bought in France and enjoyed the last night we had with the Mehaffeys as the sun set and the moon rose over the harbor. Just a lovely evening.