The Hinckley Pilot 35 came with a lofty pedigree, but her master -- at the beginning, anyway -- was a classic greenhorn.

Baptism by fire, Part II

November 23, 2020 at 12:00 am

Part 2: Some hairy autumn sea miles remained between Sea-Finn and her Midcoast Maine destination, including a forecast of 17- to 20-foot waves, 65-mph winds – and infamous Kennedy Rock.

Mojo: Maine or bust

Mojo: Maine or bust

September 28, 2020 at 12:00 am

Part 2: Contending with windless seas, tipsy restaurant diners, and the threat of leisurely breakfasts and shopping sprees, the J/30 Mojo finds herself near the doorstep of the Maine coast.

Photo by John QuirkThe author in a rare selfie. An ill-advised trip? Perhaps. But the experience gained will serve him well in the future.

Baptism by fire

September 28, 2020 at 12:00 am

Part 1: With crew unavailable, the author, a relative cruising greenhorn, chose to singlehand to Downeast Maine from New York. He reached Kennebunkport, learned a lot, and nobody got hurt.

Photo by Diana DonahueThe author at Mojo's helm. The boat's small diesel was a welcome change from the outboard on his last boat.

Mojo bound for Maine

August 24, 2020 at 12:00 am

Mark and the indomitable Diana set sail from Buzzards Bay’s Red Brook Harbor aboard the J/30 Mojo, destination Mount Desert in Downeast Maine. The first leg, to Gloucester, was almost flawless.

Photo courtesy LVRA/WikipediaThe O'pen Skiff is a boat that kids worldwide love to sail. This regatta, in France, is in light air.

Pocket school ships

August 24, 2020 at 12:00 am

New England sailors, coaches and instructors share their thoughts about the boat designs, makes, models, rigs and sizes that have proven best for teaching all ages and abilities to work the wind.

Saquatucket Municipal Marina (top), the Harwich Port harbormaster's office (right), and the view from the author's boat (above).

Harwich Port, Mass.: Home away from home

August 24, 2020 at 12:00 am

Home: safety, quietude, belonging. Port: haven for mariners and vessels. Saquatucket Harbor, in Harwich Port, Mass., has been our home port – away from our true home port – for 20 years.

The shack that launched 1,000 images: Rockport's iconic Motif #1 fish house, and (inset) the view of the harbor there from inside "the claws." Photo by Marilyn Pond Brigham

Rockport on my mind

July 25, 2020 at 12:00 am

When I think of this Bay State port, I recall rocky beaches, lighthouses, lobsters, a vibrant downtown, rich commercial and political histories, the iconic Motif #1 fish house – and a brief moment of panic.

The author's "new" boat, Mojo, and (inset) her happy helmswoman Diana Donahue.

A new boat for Diana

July 25, 2020 at 12:00 am

I promised I’d buy a bigger boat, with a standing-headroom cabin, if she survived a summer cruising on my J/24. She not only endured, she thrived. The ball was in my court. Big time!

Force 8 Cape Cod

Force 8 Cape Cod

July 25, 2020 at 12:00 am

June, 1994. 200 miles south of The Cape. Wind 40 knots, gusting higher. 20-foot waves. Water north of the Gulf Stream 50 degrees. Destination, Spain. This is the story of how we almost got there.

Everyone wants to know when the golf cart parade starts in town because no one can quite remember from last year. Dale, the harbormaster, always knows.Photo by Chris Birch

You’re a grand old isle . . .

June 22, 2020 at 12:10 am

And what better place to celebrate the Fourth of July than Cuttyhunk, an old-time, back-to-basics island seven miles off the Massachusetts coast that simply reeks of independence from life’s complexities?