Down East Dreamers and Doers
You can explore Maine forever and still miss an anchorage or two. Passage Notes from our August 2011 issue.
Having visited more famous cruising grounds farther north, the Armors still prefer Casco Bay. “I like Casco Bay better,” Jeff declares. “There’s more variety. Between the seals and the bunkers and all—we don’t find that in Penobscot and Acadia.” The bunkers he refers to range from 1800s stone forts to World War II emplacements; other Boundless favorites include Eagle Island, the home/museum of Arctic explorer Robert E. Peary; secluded bays bursting with blueberries; and the brick-lined streets of historic Portland. “The people are wonderful and welcoming,” says Jeff. One bayside resident even rowed out to greet Boundless with freshly baked cookies.
The Armors dream of cruising abroad again, as do native Mainers Tracy Adams and James King. “Tracy wanted a summer cottage, and I wanted a boat that could sail to Antarctica, so we compromised!” says James with a laugh, and so they bought Island Girl, a 1987 Ericson 35. The couple was enjoying their first week aboard in the Bahamas when Island Girl was struck by lightning. Insurance paid for replacement electronics, but Tracy ran out of vacation time and had to return to the pottery studio she runs out of an 18th-century farmhouse near Bath. That left James to bring the sloop up the U.S. East Coast with a young crew made up of Tracy’s college-age daughter and friends. In an offshore storm, bad went to worse when James heard a pounding noise: “I took the cover off and saw the engine sitting four inches back!” James recalls. Luckily, he was able to bring Island Girl in to Southport, North Carolina, safely. Heeding a ticking clock, James trucked the boat home to finish repairs. “B-O-A-T,” he says, spelling the word. “It means Bust Out Another Thousand.”
A less optimistic pair might have been discouraged, but not they. Island Girl now earns her keep with charters, but the couple reserves time for themselves, most recently with an idyllic cruise to Isle au Haut, Matinicus, and Vinalhaven. “You could sail in Maine for years and still not get to all the islands,” says Tracy, who makes a point of exploring ashore each morning. “It’s always an adventure, and that’s what I like about coastal cruising.”