Hypocrites

Finally I got out of the river for a week, sailing Tycha with Annie then Quan on Penobscot Bay.  Making my way home on my own for a few days, the winds were light and variable so I made my own adventure.  On the last morning though, the dawn flew in from the north, driving silver scud like scrubbing brushes across the sky above Monhegan.  By the time I finished breakfast the boat was pitching fore and aft.  I set the jib and mizzen only, leaving the large main furled, sailing upwind in long tacks straight into the wind over Pemaquid Point.  On my side in the sea of heaving green, I was quite comfortable though unable to leave the wheel for more than a few seconds for the three hours it took to make it to the Hypocrites.

It seemed to be abating, so I put up the main to sail up the river to home.  Immediately regretted it. The northerly funneled down between the banks of trees, slapped me sideways with water coming into the cockpit over the coaming.  Every tack was a mind-rattling fight for control of the sheets.  The water was tropical green now, but with white spume coming off as gusts topped 30 kn. in gusts.

I veered off the wind a little and limped into Jones Cove – rested, ate, shortened sail, and skittered up river on the last of the flood at 7 knots with no more than a working jib and the mizzen.

Needed a minute to stop shaking after I made the mooring – such was the nature of the exercise.  The wind is quite solid at that speed, and it’s good enough if nothing goes wrong.  But my boat is old and that’s a tall order.

But funny to have made a cruise where I first time soloed my way onto Brimstone to collect rocks, and explored the coves on the swelly east side of Ragged, and did the Turnip Yard upwind by sail (that was with Annie – wouldn’t have done that alone).  Finally, after a full summer of doing nothing but going up and down the river, I have a cruise – and the biggest challenge of the week is coming back upriver.

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