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.
Sunday 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.
Lunch time.