Windjammer Festival and Hurricane Earl

Despite the clear threat posed by Hurricane Earl, the Camden Windjammer Festival took place on Labor Day weekend.  Friday festivities were cancelled since Earl was expected to hit Friday night into Saturday morning.  We brought Surprise to our mooring in the outer harbor and spent the day Friday preparing for Earl.  We removed sails and stowed them below decks.  We also added extra lines to our mooring and chafe gear to prevent lines from wearing due to rubbing on the rigging.  Once all the preparations were completed, we repaired to shore and waited for Earl. Fortunately, the steering currents of an approaching cold front brought Earl far out into the Gulf of Maine and the Bay of Fundy.  We received some heavy rains and some vey impressive ocean swells that made their way into the mooring area.  Surprise danced mightily but her lines held and we were able to withstand the onslaught.  We spent all day Saturday and early Sunday morning undoing all the extra precautions and we were able to resume our trips on Sunday afternoon.  Meanwhile, festivities on shore resumed at 4 pm on Saturday with model boat races, a pirate invasion and lots of shoreside demonstrations.  The highlight of the weekend was a spectacular fireworks display following Gordon Bok's great concert of acoustic folk songs in Harbor Park. All in all, a great Windjammer Festival for 2010...

Fitting Out

In the sailing world the rites of spring always include lots of scraping, sanding and painting as the weather warms and day lengthens.  This is especially true for wooden boats owners like ourselves.  Since Surprise is proudly celebrating her 92nd year we are vigilant about maintaining her to the highest standards.  Our National Register status does not limit us on choice of paint color or any restrictions like that but we keep our maintenance schedule in line with her historic character.  Soon we will be sailing that history once again on Penobscot Bay.  We hope you will get to enjoy it with us and evaluate our painting for yourself.  Now it is time to change the sanding disc on the orbital...

A Michael Salmon Feast

After our recent success during this Christmas holiday feast, which was inspired by Michael Salmon's cookbook (In the Kitchen with Michael Salmon), we celebrated the arrival of spring this week with another one of Michael's delicious recipes.  This time it was "Flounder  "Oscar" with Maine lobster (see p. 155) and we served it to two other sailing couples, our relief team of Capt.Perry Davis and his wife Bethany McNelly  and Capt.Robert Burns and his wife Kelly Fales.  We celebrated the near completion of our Camden house renovation and  toasted to the sailing season ahead.  Soon we will be far too busy with boat preparation to have such fun with Michael's recipes.  Then we will be able to sample them from his own hand as we make reservations to dine in the exquisite and friendly atmosphere of the Hartstone...

Sails for Haiti

Several sailors in Southern Maine organized a collection of used sails to be sent to Haiti to help supply temporary shelter for the many thousands who lost their homes in the earthquake.  We were able to donate four used sails which we brought to Pope Sailmakers in Rockland.  They drove them to Portland last Friday from where they will be shipped to Miami and then Haiti.  Many other windjamming captains were also able to donate sails to this great...

Safe Anchorage for the Winter

Although much of the heavy snow has hit south of us (poor New York and D.C.), the Maine coast has received many winter gales so we have been quite happy to be hauled out at Rockport Marine only a few feet from the shoreline but happily "high and dry".  Spring will be here soon. We are also making great progress on our house renovation project and hope to celebrate soon with a romantic dinner at the Hartstone Inn which has just received another distinctive award.  They have been named as one of the top 10 romantic inns in the U.S. by the American Historic Inns and iLoveInns.com.  Congratulations Michael and Mary Jo...

Christmas Eve at the Harbor

We stopped late Thursday afternoon on Bay Road to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate before going home to wrap the last presents.  The sun was low in the sky and cast some great shadows on the windjammer fleet and Mount Battie.  Merry Christmas to everybody.  We hope your New Year will be peaceful, happy and...