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
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



July 29, 2019 at 12:00 am

The ebbing tide leaves Seal Trap, On Isle au Haut, as snug an anchorage as you could imagine.With leaden clouds scudding low, rain blustering and soundings declining to seven feet, it was a relief to gain the quiet waters of Seal Trap on Isle au Haut and wait out aRead More

Photo by David BuckmanCruising without refrigeration is no hardship, as the bounty of the sea is easy to come by.

In search of clarity

May 20, 2019 at 12:00 am

Our coasting adventures always seem to be in a certain state of flux as we fathom new ways of addressing the epic sweep of them, and meld into the tried and true. Touching on life’s largest themes and nature’s most powerful forces, it’s about seeking a certain clarity of thingsRead More

Photo by David BuckmanDoing dishes aboard the Leight meant leaning over the side of the pocket cruiser and maintaining a firm grip on one's crockery.

Cruising the margins

April 22, 2019 at 12:00 am

There was a time when being told that some of my ideas were impractical, or just not done, proved no small incentive to do them anyway. Mostly I was just annoying, but did get on rather well with irregular behavior. Then I got it into my head that I shouldRead More

Of the colossal, organic and abstract

Of the colossal, organic and abstract

March 18, 2019 at 12:00 am

There are few pursuits in this world more profoundly dramatic, organic and poetic than coasting. In an age when algorithms divine the way of many things, fetching alongshore is still an ancient occupation that demands discipline, a grasp of various arts, instincts and the abstract. Cruising under sail is generouslyRead More

Ainsley’s excellent adventure

Ainsley’s excellent adventure

January 28, 2019 at 12:00 am

Fixing up old boats is a family tradition. Back in the day, various seafaring relatives spent a good deal of time keeping their vessels afloat, while more recently my father and I bought beaters of sloops for next to nothing, fixed them up and pursued a life of modest adventure.Read More

Photo by David BuckmanThe mate Leigh, and lobsterwoman Dianne Ames of Vinalhaven Island, catch up on the past yearÕs news and events.

The way of the coast

September 24, 2018 at 12:00 am

  I was startled by the hostility of our encounter with the lobsterman. It’d been a good while since we’d felt the burn, and I was reminded of the ’70s when the world was beating a path to buy Downeast vacation homes and a tide of anti-incomer sentiment was runningRead More

Whether you climb, hike, meander, walk or ramble -- it's about cultivating a certain tone.

Mountains by the sea

August 27, 2018 at 12:00 am

Maine’s mountains by the sea are possessed of a particular gravity, and taking to the trails on a Downeast cruise both adds an expanded dimension to your travels and helps maintain a level of conditioning. Although coasting can be a relatively sedentary business, conditioning is a valuable asset when ridingRead More

In praise of ‘good enough’

In praise of ‘good enough’

July 30, 2018 at 12:00 am

The maintenance of a sailboat is possessed of a certain intensity for those of us who are marginally mechanical. Demanding a keen eye and a grasp of the nature of a wide variety of materials and complicated technologies, the cost of failing to act prudently can range from annoying toRead More