David Buckman

David Buckman’s book,“Bucking the Tide,” is about muddling along the Fundy and New England coasts in an actual wreck of an 18-foot, $400 sloop. If you’re cool, you can get one for a mere $10. Send your mailing address to buckingthetide@gmail.com

Cruise of the Leight: Part 1

March 13, 2017 at 12:01 am

I was imagining my summer of cruising as a “sailabout” of sorts, sharing qualities of the aboriginal Australians’ walkabouts. I was seeking the peace of wild places, mysteries of nature, depths of solitude, and the incomprehensible energy of the sea. I wanted to lie in the sun, drink wine, read,Read More

Caught out

January 27, 2017 at 4:09 pm

Playing the weather cards in the Gulf of Maine can be an uncertain business, for the forecasts and local meteorological realities, particularly wind speed and direction, are at odds as often as they’re on the mark. Summer 2016 was a blustery one, the forecasts regularly calling for winds gusting 20Read More

On discovery and bar bullies

November 21, 2016 at 2:30 pm

Some say there are no wild places yet to discover in the Gulf of Maine, or wild times to be had in its ports-of-call. Nonsense!

The glow of slow

October 1, 2016 at 1:29 pm

Moores Head, the spruce-crowned jolt of Isle au Haut, was doubled on the water as the Leight’s bow cleaved satin seas, a faint chuckle coming from under the bow. We’d waited out three days of easterly weather in Seal Trap and were itching to sail, but only a few errantRead More

The accidental, absurd and amusing

September 1, 2016 at 1:46 pm

Humor is a rich, but all too rare a commodity among coasters, for we are a serious-minded bunch. Further, many amusing incidents have no witnesses, and a good bit of it is accidental. In 70-odd years of sailing, I have made just about every laughable gaffe there is to beRead More

What little I know about Pulpit Harbor

August 1, 2016 at 1:48 pm

Pulpit Harbor reminds me of a favorite aunt of mine, there being a pleasing disposition, interesting character, old-school charm, and sense of style to it that has aged well, and is a pleasure to behold. Though hardly wild, there’s a pleasing ruggedness to the spruce-crowned shore, and a sense thatRead More

Ragged Island

July 1, 2016 at 1:55 pm

Ragged Island, the farthest offshore of Maine communities, still seems possessed of the rugged character and drama invoked in Elisabeth Ogilvie’s “Tide Trilogy.” Pithy novels set in the early 1900s, when life 15 miles to sea was a stark and elemental business, the spectacle and gritty realities of the placeRead More


June 1, 2016 at 1:57 pm

I treasure islands. I own part of one off the Maine coast, if anyone can possess something as mercurial as a swell of granite amidst restless seas. Fact is, it’s more a matter of islands possessing me. Leigh’s an islander, too, having summered on one from infancy. We were marriedRead More

Discovering Smith Cove – again

April 1, 2016 at 1:59 pm

In the wake of a lifetime of sailing, the exhilaration of discovery remains a powerful notion, as the mate and I were reminded when we sailed into Castine last summer to take in the arrival of the replica 1779 French frigate, Hermione. We’d first called here in the ’70s, aboardRead More


February 2, 2016 at 1:27 pm

For all the joys of coasting – driving along handsomely before a press of wind, pregnant arcs of sail against a flawless wash of sky, there’s a particular pleasure to the quiet side of cruising that takes as much finesse to meld into the optimal temper of things as itRead More