Tuesday, July 25, 2017

1983 (4) – The Great Schooner Race

Sunset, Pulpit Harbor, North Haven

To go to the beginning of this book, Tropic Moon: Memories, click HERE.

We heard that the annual "Great Schooner Race" would be starting at 10:00 a.m., July 8th, from the main harbor on North Haven.  We decided to anchor in Pulpit Harbor, and walk across the island to watch the start of the race.  North Haven looked pretty narrow on the chart, about 2-1/2 miles across. 

Ed, waiting for the start of the Great Schooner Race

Three people left Pulpit Harbor on foot just before us.  As we didn't have a map, and assumed they were also going to the race, we just followed them when they made decisions at the forks in the road.  Fairly close to our destination, we caught up with them - an older couple and their grown daughter.  They were running out of steam, and were hoping to be offered a ride.  The man said something about the unlikelihood of five people being picked up, so we took the hint and started to pull ahead.  I turned back to say there was only half an hour left till the start of the race.  I got a "What race?" in reply.  The man couldn't believe they'd start a race of the big windjammers from little North Haven.  He bet me a nickel I was wrong.  A short time later they passed us in a truck that had stopped for them. 
Another shot of the Great Schooner Race

As we approached the town, we could hear the roar of cheering from the harbor.  I asked the first person I saw where the race would be.  She led us along a dirt road to a public boat launch.  We had a ringside seat, gazing out on the twenty or so large wooden schooners taking part in the activities.  (The people we had met on the road watched the race from town, and I never did get my nickel).  We had binoculars and camera with us, and lots of time to catch our breath, as the race started an hour late.  A booming cannon signaled the start, at which point the captains rowed out from shore in their dinghies, to board their ships, and begin the sail to Rockland, a couple hours away.

Tomb with a View

 Our walk back to Pulpit Harbor was more leisurely.  We stopped several times to take pictures of scenes we'd noticed on the way over.  I was particularly drawn to the beautiful old cemeteries that were set in incomparable scenery.  One cemetery overlooked a lovely cove, and was surrounded by the piney woods.  I started taking shots of these cemeteries, and was toying with the idea of a series called "Tomb With a View."  The road across the island was lined with thousands of daisies, and passed through heavily wooded hills.

Tomb with a View

Monday, July 24, 2017

1983 (3) – North to Maine

The anchorage at Monhegan Island, Maine

To go to the beginning of this book, Tropic Moon: Memories, click HERE.

Our winter, working as weavers at Nantucket Looms, was followed by a marvelous summer of cruising in Maine.  We left Nantucket on June 11th, crossing Nantucket Sound, and putting in at Hyannis Port on the southern coast of Cape Cod.  Traveling west along the southern Cape, we spent two nights at Hadley Harbor near Wood’s Hole.  Our next leg took us up Buzzards Bay to Pocasset, where we spent another couple nights before motoring through the Cape Cod Canal.  After crossing Cape Cod Bay, we entered the harbor at Provincetown.  We were there for almost a week, waiting for the fog to lift.  Leaving Provincetown, we headed into the Atlantic, motoring for 24 hours, to reach Monhegan Island, Maine, on June 22nd.

Monhegan Island.  We're the sailboat out in the anchorage.

Though we anchored in over twenty different harbors and coves, we explored only a small section of the Maine coast, which included both the Penobscot Bay and Mt. Desert regions.  The summer was filled with sunny days, blue skies, little fog, even less wind, spectacular scenery, and friendly, small towns.  Seeing the wildlife, exploring small islands, and hiking on hilly trails was our excitement for the summer.  

Monhegan Island

There was very little wind and, for all our cruising, we only had three sails either of us considered decent.  We took up a new sport - drifting!  We'd go from place to place when the tide was favorable.  More than once, the 1-2 knot current was the only thing moving us along.  We spent the summer sailing slowly, drifting lazily, or, as a last resort - resorted to fairly frequently - motoring to our destination.  I think the lack of wind had a lot to do with my serenity, peace, and contentment.  The scenery ranged from very nice to spectacular, and the wildlife was plentiful.  We saw whales, dolphins, seals, osprey, cormorants and eagles.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

1983 (2) – Spring in Nantucket

Mickey and Minnie in the Daffodil Festival parade.

To go to the beginning of this book, Tropic Moon: Memories, click HERE.

When spring arrived, Ed was spending all his free time working on Tropic Moon.  So many boat problems cropped up, Ed was starting to wonder if we’d ever be able to leave Nantucket.

Daffodil Festival Parade, Nantucket

Sending out samples of the wall covering fabric worked a charm.  By early April, Nantucket Looms had orders for 1500 yards of the linen/ramie material.  We had planned to leave our jobs at the end of April, but Ed offered to continue weaving through May, on a rainy-day-only basis (when he couldn’t work on the boat).  The owners gave Ed bonus checks, as enticement to continue with the project.

The three children were daughters of Nantucket Looms staff

At the end of April, Nantucket held their annual Daffodil Festival, which was a series of events to celebrate springtime awakening on the island.  Included was an antique car parade.  Nantucket Looms was open on Saturdays, so while we were all there to work, not much got done as we spent most of the morning watching the parade.  A tailgate picnic in Siasconset followed the parade.  Bill and Andy (the owners), locked up The Looms, and we all took food we'd prepared out to 'Sconset for the picnic.  We had about twenty in our group.  There were several hundred people at the picnic.

Bill, one of the owners of Nantucket Looms
When May 1st rolled around, The Looms’ had orders for 500 yards of the linen/ramie that were due June 1st.  That meant six warps, with Ed doing one or two of them, and another four weavers taking on the other four warps.  Only Ed wove fast enough to do two of the warps in one month.  Ed’s salary went from $6/hour to $14/yard.  (The wall covering sold for $100/yard.)  Since I’d stopped weaving, I’d go in to The Looms to wind bobbins for Ed.  In 45 minutes, I’d wind enough bobbins for Ed to weave for three hours.

At the 'Sconset picnic.  Andy, the other owner of Nantucket Looms,
is on the right, Sam is in the back, and Philip is bent over the food.

The extra money Ed earned was much appreciated.  As we well knew, Tropic Moon embodied the definition of a boat:  a hole in the water into which you pour money….

Winner for Best Window Decoration during the Daffodil Festival