Features

Photo courtesy Ben SteeleSpencer and Tess on the bow in Seal Bay, Maine (above), and Gannet waiting for her boom during commissioning. The aqua-colored decks have a distinctly 1960s feel.

Our first boat: Lessons Learned

September 23, 2019 at 12:00 am

After we sold Gannet, our 30-foot 1969 Pearson Coaster, last spring, we reflected fondly on the 24 years we owned her, during which she taught us how to cruise the coast of Maine.

A blazing beginning

A blazing beginning

September 23, 2019 at 12:00 am

 The move aboard Klang II was supposed to be the start of our live-aboard lives and, perhaps, some ocean vagabond years, but a boatyard conflagration made a grand attempt to intervene.

A gander down Bow Street in Portsmouth, which, especially on a nice day, always bustles with activity.

A quart in a pint pot

September 23, 2019 at 12:00 am

Sure, New Hampshire has a paltry 18 miles of Atlantic shoreline, but it packs a disproportionately wide variety of cruising sights and experiences in just New Castle and Portsmouth alone.

Photos by Lewis WheelerDesigned by C. Raymond Hunt in 1937, the Concordia yawl is considered one of the most attractive sailing yachts ever.

La Dolce Vita

August 26, 2019 at 12:00 am

And it was a sweet life indeed aboard the 41-foot Concordia yawl Dolce, on a delivery from Boston to the Newport Boat Brokerage Show to be sold. No one bought her, but that isn’t my story.

Comanche, one of the flashiest examples of carbon fiber's use. Image courtesy Billy Black/Wikipedia

Edison’s other bright idea

August 26, 2019 at 12:00 am

In 1879, electricity innovator Thomas Edison baked cotton strands and bamboo splinters at high temperatures in order to carbonize them into a filament that could resist extreme temperatures. Can you say “carbon fiber?”

Photos courtesy Joel GleasonIn Roque Harbor the author (above left) and his son just sat and contemplated life. Their only companions were a few terns that twittered nearby, and the occasional mosquito.

Now this is downeast cruising

August 26, 2019 at 12:00 am

Part 2: For years, son Randy wanted to spend just one night where no marinas, restaurants, or marine facilities existed, just wildness. Before we turned back to Marblehead, I took him to Roque Island.

Eastport's rebuilt downtown breakwater. There is also an industrial terminal at South End. Photo by Scott Snell, Blount Small Ship Adventures

Rowing Friar Roads

July 29, 2019 at 12:00 am

My fisherman ancestors were Campobello neighbors of Franklin D. Roosevelt overlooking Friar Roads, the open stretch of water between that island and Eastport, Maine. This day I’ll circle it in a dinghy and dust off my memory bank.

The antique steel railroad bridge (above), and a pretty little harbor in the lee of Wickets Island (below).

Charming the snake

July 29, 2019 at 12:00 am

The Cape Cod Canal separates the Cape peninsula from the mainland in serpentine fashion, and, as with the notorious reptile of Eden, transit requires numerous encounters with tidal temptation.

Looking west from the float at Carousel Marina. The marina's owner is an old highschool chum of the author. Photo by Joel Gleason

‘Now this is Downeast cruising’

July 29, 2019 at 12:00 am

Part 1: Glorious sunshine, water glinting like diamonds, spruces above granite-shored islands, a lobsterman’s windshield flashing in the sun. This is what we dream about on dreary February days.

Martha’s Vineyard ports-of-call

Martha’s Vineyard ports-of-call

June 21, 2019 at 6:00 pm

I’ve explored five Martha’s Vineyard harbors – Menemsha, Lake Tashmoo, Vineyard Haven, Oak Bluffs and Edgartown – and each seems to delight visiting cruisers in its own special way