A Down East Summer Cruise

The crew of Land's End is cruising at last.

Kittery Point Yacht Yard

Elaine Lembo

The prospect of sailing Land's End, our 1935 Crocker ketch, out of Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, for years, for many reasons, seemed an elusive one---until we committed to enter the annual S.S. Crocker Memorial Race (www.sscrockerrace.com) in Manchester, Massachusetts, in mid July 2012.

Once we’d pulled off that miracle arose the inevitable: What next? Go cruising, for goodness sake, everyone told us.

Elaine Lembo guides Land's End_ through Bigelow Bight, Maine_

And so, we are. After orchestrating a spider’s web of last-minute logistics, we are under way. This coastal adventure is a two-parter. As I write, we’re waiting for the incoming tide to float our girl out of the Kennebunk River, Kennebunkport. Harbormaster Ray, buzzing around in his new inflatable, was most accommodating. He met us the other day as soon as we’d transited the jetties into the narrow channel and escorted us to the town’s lone transient mooring, T1, available for $25 nightly (reach Ray at 207-205-0991).

When Ray, the Kennebunkport harbormaster, isn’t keeping order at this popular tourist stop in Maine, he’s sailing in the Caribbean.

We'd come 20 miles by jib and jigger in light easterly winds of 8 knots after an overnight in Kittery, Maine, some 40 miles from Crocker's Boatyard in Manchester. Admittedly, we were winging it in terms of anchorages, and consulted an old edition of Hank and Jan Taft's A Cruising Guide to the Maine Coast that sat on a shelf in the conference room at the Cruising World offices until we cadged it.

Our stop at the Kittery Point Yacht Yard (kpyy.net) was a pleasant surprise. My other half, skipper Rick Martell, had fond memories of childhood years spent in nearby Portsmouth, New Hampshire, during his father’s naval career. We’d no idea where we’d plop down, and finding KPYY was a huge help. Mooring, shower, ice, garbage disposal---they had it all

A singlehanded sailor rolls out the jib as he sails out of the harbor at Portsmouth, New Hampshire/Kittery, Maine.

The Maine Yacht Center (www.maineyacht.com) in Portland, Maine, is our next port stop. Land’s End and Rick get a rest while I fly out to San Francisco Wednesday to help Sunsail (www.sunsail.com) celebrate the opening of its new base and its new fleet of Sunsail First 40s in Sausalito, and we’ll resume our cruising over the weekend. Our goal is to make landfall in Friendship, Maine, for a long overdue reunion with old friends who, yes, have a mooring to spare. What a great trip!

High summer in Kennebunkport, Maine

Captain Richard Woodman offers daysails aboard the schooner Eleanor.

Read Part 2 of 'A Down East Summer Cruise' here.
View a photos of the trip in this gallery.