2007 New England Reports
Schedule of Courses
Ocean Training Cruises
CRUISE! ACADIA NATIONAL PARK to MYSTIC!
This cruise was an extremely rewarding experience.
We found it memorable for all it had to offer.
More fog presented some navigation challenges, and clear days offered
spectacular views of the Maine coast and other New England vistas along the way.
Night passages gave us plentiful opportunities to practice using lighted
navigational aids to guide us through tricky areas. And visits to some storied
New England ports provided more sight seeing than we could have hoped for.
Wednesday, July 18:
Maintenance And a Pleasant Visit
July 19: Arrivals
Friday, July 20:
Northeast Harbor to Seal Harbor
Saturday, July 21:
Seal Harbor to Friendship Harbor
1200: The fog is burning off a bit as we make our way
across Penobscot Bay to Camden Harbor, which we entered and cruised around
admiring the variety of vessels docked and moored there. We continued on to cruise through Rockland Harbor under sail,
and then headed out to the Mussel Ridge Channel and on to our destination for
the night in primarily working Friendship Harbor, where we arrived and anchored
at 1920 with plenty of daylight left. There
Bob demonstrated his culinary skills preparing a fine stirfry chicken dinner,
which we enjoy under clear a sky… a nice change.
July 22: Friendship
Harbor and then to Sea
1430 We enter Potts harbor, find a suitable anchorage, then settle in for afternoon naps in preparation for our next overnight voyage.
1830: I put together a spaghetti and meatball dinner while
Stu and Bob plan the passage. We
leave the harbor at 2030 so we still have some daylight left with which to
negotiate this serpentine, fish trap strewn channel out of the harbor into Casco
Bay and on to the Gulf of Maine.
2130: We are passing Halfway Rock Light to port and head
south on a course of 210° M and are well on our way to our next destination,
Monday, July 23:
Gloucester, MA and Marblehead
0700 found us just off the coast of Cape Ann with
Gloucester in sight. The wind
picked up to over 10 knots and stratus clouds closed in threatening rain. So we secured the engine, rolled out the headsails and tacked
into Gloucester Harbor. Once there,
we doused sails and cruised through the harbor, sightseeing as has been our
wont. We decided to continue on to Marblehead Harbor to spend the night.
Bob has a cousin there, whom he called on cell phone.
And this fine cousin, Art Capstaff, helps us arrange for a mooring with
Boston Yacht Club; and then with his wife, Diane, treats us to a fine barbeque
dinner at his own Eastern Yacht Club, one of three major clubs in Marblehead and
one of the oldest yacht clubs in the country. This visit was the highlight of
the cruise. Art seemed to enjoy
hearing about our voyage and the Maryland School's many ocean adventures, and we
thoroughly enjoyed hearing about his sailing adventures and the history of EYC
and touring of this splendid facility. We experienced
the kind of instant bonding that sailors enjoy, the “gamming” Herman
Melville was fond of discussing in his maritime novels.
Tuesday, July 24:
Marblehead to Provincetown
1515: We are in Provincetown Harbor, moored, and Stu and
Bob are getting ready to go ashore for a bit of a tour. This is Stu’s first time in Provincetown.
While they enjoy the town, I enjoy some chores on the boat then a bit of
Wednesday, July 25:
Provincetown, Buzzard’s Bay
We started off early rising at 0500 and getting underway by
0520. Last night Stu and Bob had
calculated that the best time to transit the Cape Cod Canal was 0930 during the
ebb current which flows toward Buzzard’s bay. We motorsailed the Cape Cod Bay
leg in light winds taking advantage of the clear weather to practice more
coastal navigation techniques, taking bearings to establish LOPs and fixes along
0900: We're approaching the Canal and prepare for the
transit by dousing the mainsail. We
have timed our arrival perfectly and enjoy a 2+ knot following current. As local
knowledge in the cruising guide and Coast Pilot predicted, winds in Buzzard’s
Bay proved stronger than those in Cape Cod Bay. So once clear of the restricted waters of the Canal we
hoisted the mainsail and unfurled stay and genny, and got into sailing. We
had good wind in the 11 to 15 knot range, but unfortunately it was out of the
SW, exactly where we wanted to go. But
we enjoyed the challenge of tacking and making good progress to weather.
We even entered a tacking duel with an IP 38 during the afternoon.
1800: We are in the vicinity of Cuttyhunk and decide to
continue on to Newport. Both Stu
and Bob want to have time to spend ashore there. So we sail on out of Buzzards
Bay on into Block Island Sound.
2200: We practice a night entrance into a new harbor at
Newport. I don't think I've ever
entered it at night as a matter of fact. We
are approaching Brenton Reef of Newport, with Beavertail Light and Castle Hill
Light in view. We negotiate the
waters entering Narragansett Bay using these and the lighted buoys to round the
point at Fort Adams and find our way to our anchorage.
2310: We enter the harbor and anchor in the designated
anchorage on the south side of the harbor, and set an anchor watch then get some
Thursday, July 26:
Newport Liberty Call! Overnight
1930: Stu and Bob return from their shore leave and
sightseeing in Newport and we prepare to get underway.
I’ve already hoisted the dingy aboard so all we have to do is weigh
anchor, which is accomplished quickly now that we’ve practiced many times.
2000: We're rounding Fort Adams and I take the first watch
since I’ve had a chance to nap this afternoon.
Bob and Stu hoist the mainsail and we set off on a course of 180° M for
the first leg. The southwest winds
demand we make this course motorsailing with
the mainsail to make the most efficient use of wind and motor until we can fetch
Point Judith to our west.
2200: Well past Point Judith we tack over to a westerly
course, secure the engine and sail and begin enjoying the peace of an engineless
passage for a change. We resume the 3 hour watch schedule that we had used on
our previous overnight passage; Stu will take the midwatch and Bob will take the
0300 to 0600.
July 27: Newport to
0600: I assume the watch again and we have little wind.
We are motorsailing on a course for the Race, intending to take Race Rock
to starboard then turn into Fisher Sound charting a course between the Dumplings
at the west end of Fisher Island.
0800: We cruise past our planned anchorage, just off Mystic
Shipyard, and scope out depths planning where to set the hook, then go off to nearby Brewers Marina for fuel where
we take on 60 gallons. Yikes, much
more than we’d like but we’ve had to motor much more than usual due to
foggy, no wind, low pressure for much of the voyage.
0920: We drop the hook in the designated transient
anchorage just off Mystic Ship Yard at buoy 30 in the Mystic River.
Here HALIMEDA will rest
until we can take a berth at MSY on the 31st.
We lower the dink and head to the marina for showers.
I then take Stu and Bob into Mystic to have a bit of a tour, which
included some time in that wonderful museum.
1930: I get a call from the boys ashore and dink down town
to pick them up at the draw bridge. They’ve
had a good time. We return to
HALIMEDA to pack, turn in and
get ready for yet another early morning to get Stu to his 0600 train on time.
Saturday, July 28:
The northbound cruise to Bar Harbor has been an especially
pleasant experience for me. I had
sailed to Maine and Nova Scotia a few times before and knew these waters would
present extraordinary navigational challenges and spectacular vistas, as well as
some special ports of call for our students to experience and enjoy.
I was not disappointed. So we plan continue offering these cruises in the
Captain David Appleton