Berth of Cool
Last night, while hanging out on the foredeck with Shelly and the cook, Chad Pelletier, I expressed an interest in going aloft. In this mad, season-long quest to experience firsthand the knockabout lives of schooner bums, I’d logged — at least to my mind — some notable achievements: I’d tacked headsails in a gale; demystified the myriad lines of standing and running rigging; climbed the head rig to furl canvas while underway; practiced all manner
The weather forecast for the next few days is “unsettled”—a polite euphemism for wet and dreary. For the time being, however, it’s merely cloudy, so it’s a good time for a midday lobster bake. Captain Mike motors his Angelique out of Mt. Desert Island’s Southwest Harbor and heads for nearby Placentia Island. As we putter along the calm channel waters, we pass Great Cranberry Island, the lobstering community portrayed in
An hour before breakfast, Captain Mike motored the Angelique out of Swans Island’s Burnt Coat Harbor and into the Gulf of Maine. We’re heading toward Mt. Desert Rock, a tiny island roughly 15 miles offshore.
Today is our whale watch, but Captain Mike is already downplaying our chances.
Every year, Captain Mike schedules a whale watching trip, but for the past two years, Mike’s
The Angelique is quietly bobbing in a dead calm off the northern tip of North Haven. The Lewis R. French drifts slowly to starboard; the Mary Day drifts to port.
The weather all around us is unsettled: to the west, scattered showers wash over the Camden Hills; to the north, anvil-shaped storm clouds rake eastward over the mainland. Here, in our tiny pocket of sky-blue stillness, we swelter under unfettered
As the joke goes, Maine has two seasons: winter and the Fourth of July. Today is Independence Day and the old adage proves true. It’s a beautiful summer day: last night’s high winds and storms are long gone; Mackerel Cove is flat as a fritter; the air is hot and still.
Captain Garth takes passengers on shore trips to the Public Landing near the Swans Island ferry terminal. I tag along.
Last night after the lobster bake, we motored through drizzly darkness and dropped the hook in Allen Cove near the town of North Brooklin. Yesterday’s weather had alternated between rainy, foggy, and overcast, so when I woke this morning to bright blue skies and warm temperatures, it was as much a shock as a relief.
After breakfast, Captain Garth tunes to the weather band and gets today’s forecast. The barky, computerized
Today, we’ll be having a lobster bake.
Often, windjammer crews will load lobsters aboard their vessels before they leave homeport: The bugs will sit on deck in a covered aluminum basin until its time to cook them. It’s crucial to keep the lobsters alive during transport — a dead lobster quickly develops toxins that ruin the meat — so a hose is employed to disgorge a continuous stream of oxygenated saltwater into
“We just crossed the starting line,” Captain Garth Wells announces to his passengers. “We’re in the lead.”
This is surprising on two counts. First, Captain Garth had been modestly downplaying his Race Day chances since the start of fit-out season back in April; his bone-deep modesty had convinced me we’d be reading transoms all day. Second, and more surprising, is the simple fact that the race is
I suppose after a few years in the windjamming business, you get the return guests you deserve. Folks get a sense of who you are, and, if their personalities fit well with yours, they’ll come back year after year. It’s appropriate then that Captain Garth Wells’s passengers are exceedingly outgoing, nice, and polite.
I’d barely hustled onto the deck of the Lewis R. French — just a few minutes
When the morning fog burns off, the sun shines brightly from a deep blue sky, the air is calm and hot, and the water around the Heritage is glassy still.
It’s a lazy morning: a few passengers row around Long Cove; ospreys chase bald eagles over spruce trees on the nearby shore; and Jan Czasak sits on the quarterdeck and plays an unhurried set of chanteys on his beat-up guitar.