The current (November 2013) issue of Yachting World contains a nice feature story I wrote about all the sailing I did on Lunacy last winter in the Spanish Virgin Islands. The theory, of course, is that this will inspire people to sail there this winter. When preparing the story, I therefore made a point of including an accurate map showing which parts of Vieques (a former U.S. Navy gunnery range) are still closed to the public due to the danger of unexploded ordinance. Believe it or not, I did have some trouble coming by this information when I was in the Spanish Virgins, and I impressed upon David Glenn, editor-in-chief at YW, that anyone visiting the area should find it very useful.
Of course, the comic didn't have space to print my map, so I thought I better post it here (see image up top), seeing as how I went to all the trouble of drawing it. If you do visit Vieques this year and somehow manage to blow yourself up, now you can't blame me. But on the other hand, if you want your visit to the island to be as interesting as mine was, you might want to forget to bring the map.
The Lunacy Report
My father has been unhospitalized, and I have resumed the aborted Fall Solo Mini-Cruise aboard Lunacy. I found this lobster yacht, provocatively named, in the cove just north of Malaga Island off Sebasco and thought it made an interesting contrast to the one discussed at the end of my post on Bustins Island. I like it much better--it obviously was once a working fishing vessel, but doesn't pretend to be any longer. The huge barbecue behind the house is a nice touch and makes it clear what the current priorities are.
I have a few distant memories of Bustins Island from when we used to visit my father's sister Cynthia and her family there. I remember Archie Ross, a larger-than-life character who used to run the little ferry boat that trundles back and forth between Bustins and nearby South Freeport. I remember walking in my bare feet from my aunt's cottage down a dirt trail to a little store where we bought ice cream in Dixie Cups that we ate with wooden spoons. This memory in particular still stands out in my mind as an epiphany of juvenile summer bliss.
I was out on the boat with my bride last week (hence the big void in the blog) and made a point of stopping in at Monhegan Island. We were last here eight years ago--aboard my Golden Hind 31 Sophie, with infant Lucy in tow--and I seem to recall spending several hours hiking some very steep technical trails with Lucy strapped to my chest. My very first visit, way back in the 1980s, was in an open 18-foot Drascombe Lugger. I spent the night trying to sleep in the bottom of the boat, worrying about my anchor dragging as a rising southerly wind set all the boats in the harbor pitching and rocking like punching clowns.
I spent Monday out on Lunacy again and revisited Wills Gut, or McMansion Cove, as I've come to think of it, for the first time in three years. Before the sun went down I installed the new "disc springs" on my Andersen winches, a seemingly easy job that turned out to be not so easy after all.
Last Wednesday, after sailing out on my own from Portland, I spent the night aboard Lunacy on a mooring at Cliff Island. I awoke the next morning to fog, thin tendrils that first filtered in from the east with the spreading sunlight then thickened and obliterated everything. Later, after it cleared off, I motored just a mile or so north to check out Eagle Island while waiting for the breeze to fill in. This 16-acre preserve, formerly the summer home of Rear Admiral Robert Peary, reputedly the first man ever to reach the North Pole, is now a state park and is open to visitors seven days a week from June 15 to Labor Day each year. There is a prominent dock where you can land a dinghy at the island's northwest corner and a collection of moorings that are available for day use.
I went out on Lunacy on my own on Monday afternoon and sailed up to Lower Goose Island, just across Middle Bay from Harpswell Neck. There's a cozy-looking anchorage here, just north of two ancillary islets called the Goslings, that I've spied from a distance but have never actually visited before. According to my copy of Taft and Rindlaub's Cruising Guide to the Maine Coast, this spot is popular on weekends, but empty during the week, so I was looking forward to some solitude. But no. By the time I got there, it was already filled with boats with out-of-state plates--Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, Rhode Island, New Jersey--a good mix of sail and power.
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