Down East Dreamers and Doers
You can explore Maine forever and still miss an anchorage or two. Passage Notes from our August 2011 issue.
The couple dreams of faraway landfalls. “I’d like to buy a 40-something-foot steel boat and go north,” says James, intrigued by the thought of sailing to Spitsbergen, Norway. It seems these two never stop dreaming of the next horizon; it’s exactly why we seek their company. Like our other Maine friends, they exude a zest for life and the ability to look on the sunny side of the waves.
Tom Mahoney, who sails Orinoco, a 1986 C&C 38-footer, is another sailor who enjoys Casco Bay but thinks of the big beyond. “It’s a beautiful bay, with a large number of really nice anchorages. There’s great wind. The breeze comes in the gaps between the islands.” Even if the ocean is rough, he says, “You come around Portland Head Light and it’s almost like coming into a big lake. Calm and flat.”
Crewing for Tom on Orinoco are several friends. Cracking a constant stream of jokes, they call themselves the Bimini Boys. No, they’ve never sailed to Bimini, in the Bahamas. They just think the name sounds good. Last year, the gang took second place in Cape Cod’s Beringer Bowl, an overnight race from Marblehead to Provincetown, Massachusetts. Having cruised throughout New England, Tom thinks of going farther afield. “I’d like to do a couple of ocean passages and sail to Bermuda,” he says.
“We’re ready, Tom!” the Bimini Boys call out.
We also dream of tropical landfalls free of lobster pots and mosquitoes, but in the meantime, we thrive off the sight of green pines and the tantalizing, open waters of the Atlantic. Maine is an inspiring place in which to bide our time, thanks to the dreamers and doers here. When we do get the chance to push off again, you can bet we’ll first make time for a Down East cruising adventure of our own!
CW contributor Nadine Slavinski is cruising in Maine with an eye toward heading to Panama soon. She’s the author of Lesson Plans Ahoy! and runs Sail Kids Ed (www.sailkidsed.net), a website about educational resources for sailing families.