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
Photo by David BuckmanSailing in company with the likes of the schooner American Eagle always adds drama to a Downeast cruise.

Sailing with schooners

September 28, 2020 at 12:00 am

While cruising and solitude seemed a good strategy for steering clear of the pandemic this summer, there was no sailing away from the evidence of it in the light cruising traffic, abundance of vacant moorings, folks in masks, and the absence of the Penobscot Bay schooner fleet. We missed sailingRead More

Threading the needle

Threading the needle

August 24, 2020 at 12:00 am

Some of the coast’s most interesting eel ruts are invested of a particular attraction because only rarely do the tides, our timing, and the weather align, at which occasion we get to plumb the depths of interesting places like Pleasant Point Gut. Only a few hundred yards long, the slenderRead More

Blowing in the wind

Blowing in the wind

July 25, 2020 at 12:00 am

To those of us who set sail for Downeast and the Maritimes, the summer winds are our best friends and most demanding of adversaries. They fulfill our ambitions, deny our intentions, try our patience, keep us awake, lull us to sleep, and cool, chill and comfort us. Ashore, we hardlyRead More

Photo by David BuckmanThe silence of places like The Basin, on Vinalhaven Island, runs deep.

Into the quiet

June 22, 2020 at 12:00 am

Cruising under sail is one of the few places in life in which we can escape a world certain it has a right to be in our faces 24/7, to always be badgering us to buy stuff, act now, shape and share our views, to know our exact location, whoRead More

Photo by David BuckmanThe author explored the New England and Fundy coasts aboard this Lightning “Weekender” for many years.

Going to great lengths for next to nothing

May 18, 2020 at 12:00 am

By David Buckman In a lifetime of sailing there were no cruises richer in beauty, drama and intimacy than those we launched in the 1970s, when cash flow was tight, and we set out to discover the New England and Fundy coasts aboard an old wooden sloop I’d acquired forRead More

Photo by David BuckmanLeigh keeps watch as the Leight makes her way north in Eastern Bay off Jonesport, Maine.

A lament for the late, great, fog

April 20, 2020 at 12:00 am

A lot of coasters curse the fog. I miss it. Though a lifetime of sailing may be too brief a span to draw any reliable conclusions, it seems that the Gulf of Maine fog stocks are in decline, particularly during the last decade. During one cruise back in the ’80sRead More

Photo by David BuckmanTwo beautiful boats -- Briar Patch (left) and Appledore -- add drama to Perry Creek on MaineÕs Vinalhaven Island.

Of boats and beauty

March 16, 2020 at 12:00 am

By David Buckman For Points East There are few expressions of man’s genius more beautiful or enduring than a boat, and few endeavors more satisfying than boating. Anyone who’s drifted across the quiet waters of a lake, fetched along the coast, or crossed an ocean, knows this much to beRead More

What could be more annoying than waking to unforecasted storm clouds scudding low at Pickering Island in Penobscot Bay? Photo by David Buckman

Annoyed and annoying!

January 27, 2020 at 12:00 am

Sailing prose can be maddeningly upbeat. A good deal of it is about rising to challenges, the joy of discovery, life-changing revelations, the beauty of nature and people mending their ways. Well, I’ve been sailing for 79 years, reporting on it for a long time, and haven’t mended my waysRead More

An ode to slow

An ode to slow

September 23, 2019 at 1:15 pm

We awoke to the reflections of sunlit seas dancing across the cabin ceiling, a rich wash of blue sky overhead and the telltales hanging limp. The mate, who functions better than I in the early hours, pulled up a forecast. “Southwest 5,” she muttered sleepily as we closed our eyes,Read More

Ainsley’s excellent project (of mine)

Ainsley’s excellent project (of mine)

August 26, 2019 at 12:00 am

This is a follow-up and reality check to my mid-winter 2019 column, “Ainsley’s Excellent Project,” about the prospects of rebuilding my daughter’s 1960-something, Town Class sloop, which was intended to be a “we” enterprise, but for a number of perfectly good reasons, turned out more of a “me” task. ThatRead More