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  1. TomY

    Gusting over 25kts, we were sailing by rocks I sunk the boat on 21 years ago. A message popped up on my phone, "Your Navionics acct has expired"

    21 years ago, I was eyeball piloting on a paper chart in my lap. I'd been through the opening (plenty wide, about 300 yards), many times. The rocks I hit are well marked on the chart, but they go underwater about 2/3rds of the tidal change. The only problem then was, I wasn't where I thought I...
  2. TomY

    I am the Boat Battery Executioner.

    I buy my house batteries, Grp 27 lead acid - lowest price, in pairs. I place them - once, in their position beneath the galley next to the engine. I charge them fully twice a season - spring and fall - with an auto charger. I leave them disconnected over the winter. I check the fluid level...
  3. TomY

    CHRISTMAS is 60 years old this season.

    What a great boat! One of the more peculiar sailboat builds from the last century, Alden Challengers had their fibre glass hulls and decks cast in the UK. Then the hull and attached decks were shipped off - along with a thick roll of hand-drawn blue prints - to wooden boat builders around the...
  4. TomY

    August 14, 2020, 3 or 4 knots of wind,...

    ...was just enough to lift the genoa and draw us quietly out of our anchorage. A mid-morning zephyr pulled us off the beaten path and into a maze of islands ahead. We trailed a handful of kayakers until we could clear a granite island coming up on starboard. Sailing slowly is an acquired...
  5. TomY

    Maine is open to visiting sailors in 2021.

    Our governor has lifted travel restrictions: Effective March 5: Travel from Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island are exempted from Maine’s test or quarantine requirement, joining Vermont and New Hampshire. People who have either had COVID-19 in the previous 90 days, or are fully...
  6. TomY

    Cold war

  7. TomY

    Screens:

    The sun's setting. Anchor is set(chk), halyards tied off(chk).... "OW!" -- slap!. Screens!! From the Bahamas to Canada, nowhere I've sailed was completely bug-free. The witching hour for mosquitos is sun-down. On our first couple of coastal sailboats, we used various velcro screen...
  8. TomY

    The sailors mountain.

    I haven't put my tray on for three years. But it was 3 against 1 today. The hardest part was putting the damn snowboard on. Use it or lose,...I kept thinking,....and how come she's not groaning? We were joined by our daughter and son, both of which moved back to town this year. It was like...
  9. TomY

    My Penobscot Archipelago.

    I live on the edge of Penobscot Bay on the coast of Maine. My home sailing area for the last 20 seasons is a vast archipelago containing many more miles of island shoreline than mainland coastline. It takes two small scale approach charts, which we have hanging in a hallway, to cover my...
  10. TomY

    Reindeer on my roof.

    It's been reported that we're spreading more holiday cheer this season. It must be so. I lashed a small Christmas tree to my roof and strung it tightly with 400 LED lights. The little Scotch Pine thumps like Reindeer hoofs way up there when the wind gusts rise above 30. Christmas day is...
  11. TomY

    The strangest thing I saw in season 2020.

    Sitting in the cockpit in my harbor at dusk this past season, a Loon surfaced nearby with something big in it's bill. Good divers and fishers, they have their pick of the daily catch. But that was no fish. Close cropping revealed it was a live lobster of at least a pound. Fair enough. I'd...
  12. TomY

    2020 haul out.

    2020 includes, of course, Covid-19. Our country is in the midst of a raging spike that we're even feeling here in Maine. 2020 is still all different, onshore at least, so it was nice to have some capable help along in my daughter. She took all the pics, starting with this one; a selfie of her...
  13. TomY

    They all come to an end.

    At least for most of us in New England. Halloween 2020 began below 20F. So we waited until after noon when the sun had warmed things up. Not surprisingly, there was no wait for dock space. I had some great help stripping off and flaking sails, removing booms and running rigging, and finally...
  14. TomY

    Anyone recognize this gaff-rigged Catboat?

    It was sailing into the launching ramp in our harbor at the beginning of the season. Looks like you could fly a jib.
  15. TomY

    The lost art of 'sailing in' is alive and well aboard a few ancient sailboats on the coast of Maine.

    The Schooner Stephen Tabor, built-in 1871 had sailed into Pulpit Harbor and was already on her second tack through the harbor when I came up from below decks. You can see the captain has his eye on a spot ahead and the crew has the port anchor hanging by a lashing ready to deploy. Despite her...
  16. TomY

    If you're familiar with a coffee roast named, Lobster Butter Love, odds are good that you're from Michigan or you've been to Frenchboro Maine lately.

    We've never seen so many people at Lunt's Dockside Deli in Frenchboro as we did in season 2020. We had stumbled in on Story Telling Night. Locals; many of who fish and don't care for lobster (blame them?), were enjoying Lasagna. Boaters were there enjoying lobster, of course. John (from...
  17. TomY

    John Alden Co. of Boston drew up design # 989 for Pearson Yachts in 1964. The result was the Pearson Countess 44.

    59 of these unique sailboats were built from 1965 to 1970.
  18. TomY

    ECHO, Alden Challenger design number 949R, turned 60 years old this season!

    The fiberglass hull and deck were cast at the Halmatic Yard in the UK in 1959. The hull was then shipped to the LeComte yard in the Netherlands to build the rest of the boat in wood, she launched in 1960. She has been owned by the same family for 60 years and it's probably safe to say that the...
  19. TomY

    Wednesday is Cruising Photo Day - 2020!

    After two decades of living on the edge of Penobscot Bay, we haven't run out of new waters to sail,... ...islands we've never combed,... ....and fresh anchorages to spend the night,... ....all within 20 miles of our home.