'Til the butter melts

Pursuing the cruising dream in 32' of sailing ketch

Pulpit Harbor to Pemaquid Point


August 19th:

We allowed ourselves a slow start from the mooring today – and in fact I went for a row in the dinghy to a couple of the other boats anchored there, introductions and plans shared all around. Everyone else there was just on a short cruise locally – a few days or a week – and would be heading back to their version of the real world within a few days. When we told our plans, there was universal envy and curiosity: “How did you manage that?” Being a common question. “Well we worked our butts off for three years getting ready” is our stock answer. This response is usually more easily swallowed than the more accurate description I’d prefer, which is:

“We just made up are minds to make this cruise our reality, and here we are.”

That one gets a lot of blank stares.

But I do believe it’s true. If you really, honestly in your heart-of-hearts believe that you could never step outside the “normal” box and do something like this, then you won’t. But if you DO believe you have a choice, reality shifts and…

Enough pontificating. We had to motor south the first 2 hours due to a lack of wind (that’s August in Maine!) but had a pretty delightful sail from then on down the Mussel Ridge Channel, and into the lee of Little Burnt Island, south of Port Clyde. On the down side, I (Keith) passed too close to a lobster buoy which I didn’t see until the last minute, and snagged it on the propeller. On the plus side, the engine wasn’t on, so we didn’t wrap the line on the prop shaft. To the negative, we hooked it good, and just as we were passing on the windward side of a ledge. The danger of being swung into the rocks by the trap line was real and very much on our minds, but Nicki jumped to with the boat hook, pulling the line up enough that I (still sailing the boat away from the rocks as best we could while dragging that lobster-trap “anchor”) could finally cut the line. I hate to do that, but to save the boat…

However I suspect we didn’t get away Scott-free. We now have a slight but persistent vibration throughout the boat while motoring, and I fear we may have bent the propeller slightly. Sigh…

It took us two tries to get the anchor to set, but we rode out the night in comfort, free of the sounds of human activities until morning. Long day, we were both tired and a little cranky, until the Rum Punch arrived. This is the same beverage we had available at out wedding reception, and we remember it as we learned it- with a rhyme:

One part Sour
Two parts sweet
Three parts strong and
Four parts weak.
Five drops of bitters and nutmeg spice
Serve well chilled, with lots of ice.

Sour is fresh lime juice, Sweet is simple syrup, Strong is rum (plain, not spiced, we like Cruzan which isn’t expensive), Weak is a mixer, (we use a blood orange soda but fruit juice or ginger ale would work), and Bitters is only Angostura Bitters, please!

Sailed 31 nautical miles today to cover 24 miles over the ground. Wind is almost always against you this time of year if you’re headed south-west.

August 20th:

The day started with fog! Again, typical Maine. We waited it out, and by 11am it was moving back north where it belonged, and we got underway. The wind was easterly, bit unusual, and it gave us our least favorite point of sail – the wind right behind us. Sionna doesn’t perform particularly well down-wind, so we didn’t arrive in Pemaquid Harbor until about 3:30pm, after a rather slow downwind sail/motor (I hate motoring!). We found a place to anchor just off the beach and in the shadow of the Colonial Pemaquid museum, and dinghied straight in to make the mile-plus hike in for provisions – “groceries” in land-lubber speak.

C.E. Reilly’s Market is amazingly well stocked – we even found almond milk! Plus a delightful bunch of produce and bread and all. Supper was salad and bread and olive oil, and a delightful evening breeze. I took the dinghy back to the docks while Nicki put the provisions away, and scored both a dumpster for our trash AND three gallons of fresh water from the bar at the restaurant for our drinking supply. (We can drink the water from the onboard tanks, but it has a musty flavor until we’ve run a few tankfuls through.)

I attempted to fly the large “Drifter” sail today, since we had light winds that would have been perfect, but discovered that I need to invent a different attachment system for the foot (lower forward corner) of the big sail before we can try it. Disappointing, but that’s the nature of boats – there’s always something!

Author: s/v sionna

Living the dream in 32'. We left Maine on August 18th, 2016, and have gradually worked our way south until we felt warm enough. After spending the summer in Maine, working to replenish the cruising kitty, and rehabilitating an old house. we’re headed back on the boat, bringing Sionna back home to northern waters. Follow our blog here!

4 thoughts on “Pulpit Harbor to Pemaquid Point

  1. There is always something, indeed. Good you got the lobster pot out of the way early on. 🙂 We snagged a crab pot in the Chesepeake Bay early on our – what would turn into eight years instead of one year – trip. It slowed us down tremendously and we had to jump in the water to cut it free while underway. Glad you guys are on the way now!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, we’re keeping fingers crossed that we didn’t bend the prop – but won’t know for sure until we haul in Florida in April. There is a minor vibration under power that I don’t think was there before, but I’m not positive…


  2. Keeping fingers crossed that there is no damage from that lobster pot. We have crab pots up here. Sometimes hundreds of them, so I feel your pain. But you are off and sailing! Woo hoo!

    Liked by 1 person

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