The Lunacy Report

LOBSTER YACHT VARIATIONS: Research Continues

Lobster yacht quarter

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.

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CASCO BAY CRUISE: Bustins Island

Lunacy at Bustins

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.

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MAINE COAST CRUISE: Monhegan Island

Monhegan Is. harbor

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.

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CASCO BAY CRUISE: Eagle Island

Eagle Island dock

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.

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CASCO BAY CRUISE: The Goslings

Goslings anchorage

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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FOURTH OF JULY: Cruising Across Casco and Back

Lucy on Lunacy

Unlike last year, when we were beset with fog entering the Kennebec River on our annual Independence Day cruise to Popham Beach, this year we had good visibility and even some wind to carry us across Casco Bay from Portland. It was just me and Lucy aboard Lunacy, as Clare was plagued with work and had to drive up from New Hampshire later in the day. Though the wind was relatively light, the screecher made the most of it and we made good time, taking just five hours in all from mooring to mooring.

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ALUMINUM HULL ANXIETIES: Return of the Leaky Rudder Skeg and More Bottom Paint Rumpus

Lunacy hauled out

Lunacy got hauled out at Maine Yacht Center soon after we arrived there from Bermuda last week, and yesterday I went up to have a look at her. As you can see in the photo up top, there's very little bottom paint left on her nether parts. She's been mostly bald like this for most of the winter. Since taking her down to Puerto Rico last November, it's been a battle keeping the growth off and she's had her bottom scrubbed five times--three times by me and twice by divers. Besides being too soft to stay on the boat for a full year, or after a few scrubs, the ablative copper-free Ultima Eco paint I had on didn't seem to be an effective deterrent to life in tropics.

So I was wrestling with the big question: do I finally abandon my quest for an effective copper-free paint? Is it time to resort to the "nuclear option"??? The MYC service manager Jeff Stack and I discussed what would be involved, i.e., lathering on more barrier coating in hopes of keeping a hard, or semi-hard, copper paint separated from Lunacy's vulnerable aluminum self.

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NORTHBOUND LUNACY: Bermuda to Maine

At sea

Just arrived yesterday in Portland, Maine, with crew members Billy "Swizzle" Springer and Adam "Twinkletoes" Cort after another reasonably fast passage on Lunacy. This time we covered a distance of 820 miles in 5 days 6 hours, again without using too much fuel for motoring--just 13 gallons. Which means in all, moving the boat 1,670 miles from Puerto Rico to Maine via Bermuda, I used just 18 gallons of fuel. Not so much because I got lucky with wind, but because I had light-air sails (see photo up top of Lunacy ghosting along under her screecher) and was willing to use them.

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