Most of Saturday
it rained pretty hard, as the end of hurricane Hannah went through.
The timing was perfect for sailing, as the boat was being turned around
on Saturday evening/night when the storm went by Camden, ME.
we flew up to Portland, ME and picked up our little red car for the
drive to Camden. It was overcast, but plenty warm. On arrival, we
had blueberry ice cream cones for lunch. Good quality ice cream, but
not enough blueberry flavor. Then we went down to the dock and talked
with people waiting to go sailing. As you can see from the pictures,
there are several boats moored in Camden. The French is berthed between
the Mary Day on the south (right) and Angelique on the other side. I
didn't realize until I started looking through the advertising that
Evelyn brought home that the French was one of the smaller boats. Most
are about 20 feet longer on deck. But then they may carry more
passengers, too. You can get details on many of the boats at:
Perhaps that's why the "cabins" on the French are so spacious. :-)
So, our first night aboard went about as usual. We didn't sleep a lot,
but did get used to being on the water again. At least our cabin was
closer to the head than last time, so when we got up in the middle of
the night we only had to go about six feet up on deck. The lack of a
private bathroom is the only thing I don't enjoy about sailing, I think.
We enjoyed Blueberry Pancakes on Monday morning, just as we had on
Saturday. Different cook, same recipe, and much different than the
pancakes I make. I like my own better, but these were good. We
probably had bacon or sausage to go along with, but I don't remember.
Then we headed out. First the yawl boat pushes us out of the harbor,
and when we get clear of all the moored boats, we hoist the sail.
That's when the first thing went wrong. There was a good wind, so
we tried to put up the topsail, and a line got snagged in a block where
it should not have been. First mate Diane had to go up the rigging to
clear the snag. Everyone watched with interest as she did her job well
and got us underway shortly. We enjoyed a day of sailing under partly
cloudy skys with brisk winds. So, we eat, put up sail, eat, take down
sail, eat, drop anchor, eat, raise anchor, eat, sleep, eat, ...., eat.
The food was great. Hilary was a good cook, but didn't do the vegetables
as well as the rest. Not quite enough imagination there.
The next day it rained a bit, but not enough to get very wet. I had
three pairs of shoes, as I recall getting quite wet on the last trip.
I never put on the third pair, but wore the old tennis shoes or sandals
the whole time. I did wear my parka quite a bit, and I got out the rain
pants for the two half days of wet.
We were supposed to meet up with all the rest of the windjammers on
Tuesday at the Wooden Boat School, but because of the rain, we just
sailed and went to the school on Wednesday. That's where you see Evelyn
by a homemade kayak and the oil drum band. They were quite good, and
reminded us of our bell choir. The served muscles, which I enjoyed
until I got too much shell in one bite. Evelyn didn't. That evening
we rowed the small boat around one of the other ships. I think I took
the small boat out more than anyone else.
On Thursday, the morning was beautiful, but it was forecast to get more
interesting later in the day. So, we sailed about half a mile to a very
small island across from the Wooden Boat School for our lobster feast.
I had three lobster, but couldn't compete with Eric who had five. And
even at that there were several left over which went into our final
breakfast quiche. The pictures of Diane, Annika, and Hillary taking
the lobsters apart were the leftovers. Thursday night brought more
rain, but not very hard and just in showers. That night I was the last
one to bed, about 9:15. This was an early crew, although some may have
been reading in their cabins. We read each night, and I managed to
almost finish Walter Wink's "The Powers that Be" which I highly
recommend. I did finish it in the motel on Saturday night.
Our (paid) crew was very interesting. First mate Diane is an Outward
Bound instructor. She spends most of her working time with a dozen
students and another instructor teaching people to survive in a 30 ft.
open boat with sails and oars. And very little else. The class lasts
28 days, usually. That's a very long time to be on such a small boat
with the bare necessities. And, the next class is for older adults,
the average age will be about 55, I think.
Hilary taught French in the Peace Corps, and has the same no-glutin dietary restriction that
Evelyn's uncle has. So she can only eat part of what she cooks
on the boat.
Our third crew member, Annika, is 16 years old, and will finish high
school this year. I think she gets to take fall semester off because
she only needs a semester of credits to graduate. She was really
amazing for a person that young, especially in the way she interacted
with all us old folks. Perfectly at ease. On the last day she got to
instruct Dan and me as we furled the jib and staysail. She had never
done it before, so she was learning along with us as we went along. My
experience was limited to helping once three years ago, and Dan knew
what we were doing from sailing his own boat and four years in the
Coast Guard. But she did a great job.
Perhaps now that a few people have sent me pictures for the website,
more will be motivated and I'll get an even bigger collection of
pictures. And it's great because everyone is sending pictures that
include Evelyn and me, the only thing we would not normally have if
we post our own pictures.
And finally, my bag didn't make it home with me, either. That's a
40% loss rate.