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

Restless night. Honest work. Rafts of auks.

January 29, 2018 at 12:00 am

Cruise of the Leight, Part nine: I had imagined 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, write, muse on things – and do nothing at all. There are nights in the life of a singlehander when sleep is elusive and dreams vivid. Anchored near the head of navigation at Cutler, I’d woken several times at o-dark-thirty to see what the weather was up to, for morning would find me knocking on the door of the Bay of Fundy. As manyRead More

Fundy dream. Getting pushed. Mini epic

November 20, 2017 at 12:00 am

Cruise of the Leight, Part eight: I had imagined 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, write, muse on things – and do nothing at all. The Bay of Fundy is a stirring place on the best of days, and there I was, a marginally resolute singlehander, setting out for the tumultuous waters in a dungeon of fog. While the threshold of the bay was 25 miles east, the thrum of the world’s highest tides makes an impression far afield.Read More

Organic cruising. Time. Spectacle. Solitude

September 25, 2017 at 12:00 am

Cruise of the Leight, Part seven: Cruise of the Leight, Part 6: I had imagined 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, write, muse on things – and do nothing at all. Making the most of a cruise is a challenge for a singlehander of my low order. Playing the weather – current and future – my mood, tides, currents and especially time, is critical, for coasting is more art than sport and enhanced by an organic approach. Sole occupantRead More

Pieces of a puzzle. The Mud Hole. Silence

August 28, 2017 at 12:00 am

Cruise of the Leight, Part 6: I had imagined 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, write, muse on things – and do nothing at all. It’s 50 miles from Burnt Coat Harbor to the Mud Hole, and no clever timing would spare me the burden of a foul tide. The hour was early, dew sparkled on deck, and not a breath of wind was stirring when the Leight took leave of Swans Island. Powering through a mere gut ofRead More

Engine talk, ghosting, Burnt Coat comfort

July 24, 2017 at 9:07 am

Cruise of the Leight, Part Five: 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, write, muse on things – and do nothing at all. The engine was mumbling away contentedly as the Leight left the still waters of Seal Trap, on Isle au Haut, astern. It sounded like a verse about all good sailors needing to eat Spam. As much as I’m no motorhead, the little diesel is dependable, all nine horsepower of it, though a finicky bleeder.Read More

Northeast wind, Seal Trap, acute awareness

June 26, 2017 at 12:00 am

Cruise of the Leight, Part Four: 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, write, muse on things – and do nothing at all. Other than a flight of gulls tracing sweeping gestures against the leaden sky, Perry Creek was quiet when I took measure of the day. My bachelor’s breakfast included an industrial-strength donut of the sort that lasts for weeks and gives new meaning to the word “bland.” Munching and musing over a forecast calling forRead More

Sunday drive, color of money, Perry Creek

May 22, 2017 at 12:00 am

Cruise of the Leight, Part 3: 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, write and muse .

Late start, halting progress, Andrews Island

April 24, 2017 at 12:00 am

Cruise of the Leight, Part II: 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, write, muse on things – and do nothing at all. Morning was a surprise. It was dripping wet and deaf with fog when I turned in, but the mists had evaporated by the time sleep was chased away by water sprites dancing on the ceiling at the decadent hour of 8:37 a.m. I’d been vaguely aware of the Pleasant Point lobster fishers leaving hoursRead More

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, write, muse on things – and do nothing at all. As fully occupied as I was getting the Leight ready for cruising, it was only a few days before casting off that it loomed large that I’d be singlehanding for a month before Leigh joined me. Suddenly, it seemed like a long time. Too long, actually. Packing away the last of the stores aboard the 26-foot sloop, a silent riverRead 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 20 to 30 knots, which was a lively enterprise while we were heading east, but a grind when we began clawing westward. After waiting out two days of southerly weather in Corea, we were pleased to pull up a forecast that had downgraded a previous prediction for a 30-knot southwesterly to a decidedly more civil 10 to 15 knots, gusting to 20. Anxious to head west, our cups of hot chocolateRead More