Cruising Sailors Forum Archive

Photoday! Fall sailing is for locals.

The summer folk have gone home, their boats hauled. Snowbirds and cruisers - winter on their heels, are fleeing Southward. We’re lucky to have several favorite hideaways within a couple hour sail from our moored boat, close to home.

An hour and a half after dropping our mooring, we’re sailing into Pulpit Harbor (a local favorite). Sailing off the wind - just the genoa and mizzen flying, it’s easy jibing our way in. There’s relief inside from the growing Northwesterlies on Penobscot Bay. The Harbor - except for a few vacant boats, is empty. Fishermen (nobodies fool when it comes to weather), are nowhere to be seen on this blustery fall day.

We duck into the narrow mouth of Ministers (Cabot) Cove. The wind eases it’s grip on the sails and our speed drops as we pass through the rock gateway. While the stiff wind roars over the distant treetops - high overhead, the calm in the cove is eerie. To slow the boat down to a crawl, we slowly roll the genoa onto the furler. The white sail disappears and the half mile deep cove opens up ahead. Our mizzen behind jibes with a clatter and keeps our rudder - barely - steering. It takes ten minutes or so to slowly coast through. An Iphone in my hand reads: Boat Speed- .7kt, .6kt, .5kt, as we approach a well tested anchor icon I’ve placed sometime ago on the little screen.

Laying the anchor gently on the mud bottom, we hope we’ve slipped in without too much notice. We've come to watch the wildlife. If we’re quiet, we’ll see more of it. It was a perfect fall afternoon, then evening, with a warm fire below. We didn’t see another soul.

At dawn the next day, from the cockpit, the dog and I counted 4 species of Raptures, including 3 Bald Eagles that were riding in the stiff Northwest winds whipping the tops of the trees along the shore.Tying in a second reef just before noon, I took it as a compliment when one of the three Eagles descended below the tree tops and coasted by to take a closer look at us. Curiosity satisfied, he effortlessly rose above the tree tops again and disappeared with the wind. We’d soon follow.

Looking toward home.

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