Sunday, November 30, 2008

Our Guests Walk on Water!

We get the coolest, most talented guests on the Evans! It's a little hard to see but there are two people walking on water! The photo is taken from Potato Island and behind our two miracle workers (Marc on the left and Greg on the right) is Sprout Island.

Okay, obviously there's a sand bar that makes across between the two islands but it sure looked cool as they walked over at low tide. They would have had to swim back if they had spent much time there are all. The Evans has a shallow draft (6') but I don't think I'll ever try to sail between the two islands....even at high tide!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Pre-Thanksgiving Storm

The wind howled through the mid-coast on Tuesday night and, though I had planned a day of baking prior to heading off to my parent's house for Thanksgiving, we woke to a day of boat work instead. We had checked the schooner and Rendezvous before going to bed and tossed and turned all night as we listened to the wind rattle the windows (sustained winds of 40 to 50 mph were clocked along the Maine coast, according to the National Weather Service, with some higher gusts). We lost power through-out the night and many were without power even into Thanksgiving Day.

At first light we drove to the shipyard to see how we had fared and found that a 43' lobster boat had run aground on the rocks by the railway. No one was around so we called Doug and Linda who own two-thirds of the shipyard and live just up the hill and they came down to see the damage. About a half-hour later you'd have thought there was a 4x4 truck meet at the shipyard. You couldn't drive through for all the trucks!
Prock Marine didn't take any time at all to come and pluck Provider off the rocks on the coming tide. Notice the plastic on the boat in the background...in the night it was thrashing about.And then the containment and clean-up begins. John and Jamie are shown here running a containment boom around the slick.
There was a lot of fuel and/or hydraulic fluid on the water. Some bait fish had spilled and washed ashore too and the seagulls were feasting on them.
Thankfully, the Provider seem to come into the cove without hitting the Evans. If the wind had been from a different direction, it could have been a totally different story. We have nightmares about it happening a different way where she runs into the Evans and sits there all night just pounding away. But, we were lucky. The storm caused some damage to the front section of our cover, our Christmas lights (that I was smart enough to put up on a warm day this month!) needed a little attention, one of the fenders between the Evans and the Heritage had popped, and the impeller on the bilge pump had sheared off. There were four boats aground in Rockland, two in Owls Head, and boats toppled off their stands in Camden so, all-in-all, we made out all right. And I was able to make a pumpkin pie and an apple pie that afternoon after taking care of boat stuff that morning!

We hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving!

Ode to the Isaac H. Evans

We had a couple join us this summer that had sailed on the Evans in 1973! Lois and Brown of Bedford, MA, came back thirty five years later and brought some friends with them. They also brought a folder full of all their correspondence with Doug and Linda (who owned and operated the Evans in the 70s) and news articles that they had collected about the boat over the years. The letters were typewritten and the pages brittle and yellowed. I felt like I was getting a fly-on-the-wall view back in time.

What I also received was another affirmation that the Evans has touched many lives in many ways. Some people come aboard for a trip and we never see them again but, more often than not, we see guests over and over and over...and not always on board. For example, Rich and MaryBeth sailed with us years ago and now have a young son. He's only two so he's not old enough for a sailing adventure yet but they stop by every summer just to say hi on their way to explore other Maine venues. There are always cards and letters and packages reminding us that people think of us and their trip long after they have joined us. People send books for the ship's library, poems that they wrote, drawing and paintings that they created, and lots and lots of photos. It's easily one of my favorite parts of being the temporary steward of the Evans. She changes people's lives.

In the folder that Lois and Brown brought with them, I discovered a poem that Lois had written on September 30, 1973, and Lois graciously let me copy it:

All aboard the Isaac Evans
Schooner life's the life for me - -
Sun and sailing, wind and water,
The weather, fun and friends are free.

Eat your chowder in the sunshine
Count the lobster toggles, too;
After dark, start counting star-tracks,
And trace the moon, if it's on view.

Learn the tricks of schooner travel:
Save on power, hoard the drink.
Eat a lot of Linda's cooking
Buoyancy won't let you sink!

In the "head", develop muscles,
Pump the necessary strokes,
In the battle of the sexes
Different strokes for different folks!

Huddle by the stove's pot belly
Hear Doug's tales of Maine and men,
Plan right now to come next summer,
Schooner-sailing once again.

-For Linda and Doug Lee

And not long after their trip we received a letter in the mail with another lovely poem:

Sailing, eating, talking - - heavens!
We must be on the Isaac Evans.
Leaving Rockland, hoisting sail,
Seeing other boats to hail.
Spotting island, seals, and shore,
Drinking coffee, juice, and more,
Adding sunscreen over lotion,
Makes us know we're on the ocean.
As evening sunset fades to dark,
Mosquitoes group to find their mark.
As stars come out and lamps are lit,
The fog comes creeping, bit by bit,
And passengers may go to bed
After paying visits to the head.
Some go to sleep as bod meets bunk,
While others dream of ships long sunk,
Of pirates' treasure, Evans' ghost,
Of early traffic on the this coast,
Of times when schooners ruled the sea.
And had no passengers like me.

Russ Island hosts our lobster feast:
The most good eatin' in the East.
Some test the waters with a swim,
Some solve puzzles NOT for the dim,
Some doze on deck with books on tummies,
Some brave the chill while wrapped like mummies.
The younger set climb masts, do chores,
While older folks dodge swinging doors.
On one pursuit we all agree:
It's fun to spend four days at sea!

Thanks, Lois!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Road to Hana


This is Brian's first blog entry....yeah!

One of our days in Maui was spent driving “The Hana Highway”.

You can drive on the Hana Highway (route 36) heading east from just outside the airport in Kahului. After mile marker 16 it turns into route 360, and that’s when the infamous curves begin. The word highway is misleading as the speed limit is usually 15 MPH once route 360 starts.

We were staying only a few minutes from the beginning of route 360, so we got right into the curves early in the morning.

We were fortunate in learning from our research that the goal is not to rush to get to Hana (32 miles), but rather to enjoy the journey, not race to the destination. (Just like windjamming!)

There are 59 bridges (46 are one-lane only) on this stretch of road, and most of them offer a small pull-off for parking so you can enjoy the views, go for a hike, or jump in a beautiful mountain stream.

Among our favorite stops were:

Ching’s Pond, a beautiful pool for swimming which is also a common spot for locals to jump off the cliffs. (We were just getting back to our car after a great swim when one local guy did just that. He walked over to the cliff, crossed himself, and jumped...okay, it's only 25' but it was a very narrow target area! Then he climbed up the other side and did it again! A spectacular free show that only a few people got to see. Here's the picture...the guy jumped from up next to the bridge. And one of those heads in the water is Brian.)

Keanae Arboretum, a lush, quiet sanctuary for many plants, including the painted eucalyptus tree Brenda mentioned in an earlier post.

Keanae Peninsula, which was an amazing lava-rock covered piece of land. We stood here for quite some time mesmerized by the heavy surf pounding against these rocks and exclaiming as each wave leapt high in the air upon contact.

Honomanu Bay, a quiet black-sand beach.

It took us 6.5 hours to drive the 32 miles to Hana. This is probably longer than most visitors, but we found the scenery and stops along the way to be more enjoyable than Hana. The entire trip was amazing. There were times when we were deeply inside a lush forest and times where we overlooked the wide-open Pacific Ocean. This is the windward side of Maui, so the waves were impressive.

I was so inspired by the road, I wrote this little ditty, to the tune of the Armour hot dog song.

Hana, the road to Hana

What kind of curves are on the road to Hana

Big curves, twisty curves, curves that double back

Blind curves, one-lane curves, even curves that cause a heart attack

Going to Hana

The road to Hana

With curves that never end.

Speaking of the famous Armour hot dot song from my kidhood*, it is so un-PC it would never make it on the air these days.

“fat kids, skinny kids…” I don’t think that would go over too well.

How about “Even kids with chickenpox love hot dogs…”

According to the Health Insurance Portability Act of 1996, disclosing any confidential records of ones medical treatment is illegal, blah, blah, blah…

*Editor's note...I know "kidhood" isn't a word but Brian insisted that it stay. It's one of his favorite (non)words. Heck, he also always says "nakidity" instead of nudity...but I love him anyway.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Old Schooner Parts


One of the dangers of owning a schooner is all the old parts that accumulate through the course of regular maintenance. Unfortunately I am the sort, as most schooner captains and owners seem to be, that doesn't throw much away. I have several items in my "historically significant" pile and my "might need that someday pile" and my "I'm not really sure what this is so I shouldn't throw it away" pile. Sadly, one of the biggest piles is the "I might have to replace this someday and although this one is not exactly new they just don't make them any more so I have to hang on to it just in case" pile.

Jim Sharp has put together the Sail, Power & Steam Museum on Mechanic Street in Rockland and now I have an outlet for some of my nautical "stuff". We recently took a big chunk of wood over to Jim and, fearing rejection, asked him if it might be something he wants for the museum. He smiled a big smile and said "Sure!". Our sighs of relief at not being rejected followed. Things are just getting going over there so I'm sure one day this piece of wood will find its way to the dump but for now it can be a doorstop and a conversation piece.

I bought the schooner in 1999 and in 2000 did a fairly large rebuild project removing and replacing the dead wood, shaft log, rudder post, several planks, and several frames. The shaft log was installed in 1946 when the Evans had an engine. The shaft log is a 10" x 10" piece with a metal lining where the propeller shaft exits the hull and terminates at the propeller. How could I possibly ditch this piece of history?!?!??! Oh, if you could only see my other piles! Well, maybe you will someday....if you visit the Sail, Power & Steam Museum!

http://www.sailpowerandsteammuseum.com
The shaft log piece I couldn't bear to throw away.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My (current) Favorite Joke(s)

A snail was mugged by two turtles. The investigating officer was asking questions and making notes.

Investigating officer: So, can you give me a description of the turtles that mugged you?

Turtle: Gee...I don't know it all happened so fast.

Oh, man that cracks me up! (almost as much as this one:)

What did the snail say when he was riding on the turtle's back?

Wheeeeeeeee!

A Good Day to Be Home Watching a Movie and Eating Popcorn!

The ocean is a powerful creature and wins most battles she sets out to. Our world climate is changing, ice caps are melting, and storms are getting stronger. This past weekend we were glad to be all covered up with a warm blanket, snug at home watching a movie and eating popcorn instead of out on the Bay battling wind and waves with a boat full of guests.

Many of our guests walk the breakwater either before or after their trips with us but no one was out there this past weekend. The combination of a strong storm and astronomically high tides filled the Gulf of Maine and the breakwater was awash! High tides averaged a foot to two feet above what was forecast.Photos by Bob Trapani.

Read the Village Soup article here: http://www.knox.villagesoup.com/community/story.cfm?storyID=135020

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A day on the Bay

Not every day on Penobscot Bay is bright and sunny. (*Gasp*, say it ain't so!) But we are out in the weather every day. Was it L.L. Bean that said, "There's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing." ?

Becca Glaser sent us this picture from a September sail...it must have just rained or was threatening to because we're wearing our (yes, matching!) foul weather gear but we're not wet. I love this picture because it is colorful, Brian is at the wheel, and our wedding rings are so visible. Thanks, Becca!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sailing

It's sunny and 39 degrees this morning....brrrr. We have some long, cold months ahead before we get to go sailing again. Will pictures like this be enough to get us through? This was a sunny June day with a great breeze...captured by Dave Johnson. Thanks Dave!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Road to Hana - Painted Eucalyptus

The Road to Hana on Maui is a treacherous road...worth the drive only because of the spectacular scenery and waterfalls along the way. At one point we drove through a grove of trees that looked like they were from an animated movie. They are painted eucalyptus. From a distance it looks like they truly are painted but up close you learn that the different colors are created by dried and peeling bark. The tree is that bright green color covered by an almost paper-thin skin that dries and peels away. It gets darker the dryer it is...the varying degrees of browns and reds.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My First Tattoo


We snorkeled a lot during our honeymoon in Maui and we got to swim with turtles on several occasions. So here's my first tattoo ever! Don't worry...it's just henna!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Honeymoon Is Over!

We have returned from two fabulous weeks in Maui! There's so much to tell about our time there so this is just a start.
This picture was taken on the deck of the house where we stayed. It is called Maui Tradewinds and it was very nice and private. We started and ended each day on this deck in the jacuzzi with a view of 10,000' Haleakala to the left and the ocean to the right.

What can I say....that's my handsome hubby! That's Big Beach behind him. Oh, the beaches, the sand, the sun, the water, the snorkeling, the body surfing...just what we needed!

We got up early one day and drove to the top of Haleakala to see the sunrise at 10,000 feet. We were above the clouds and it was about 40 degrees...not what you expect for Hawaii temps! We met a great guide from Pony Express at the top and rode horses down into the crater. So, we were up at 3:45 am, drove a windy road up to the top of the crater, saw the sunrise, then rode horses down to the bottom of the crater, had lunch, and rode back up. We didn't get off the horses until about 4:00 pm. It was a long day but sooooo worth it. And, again, thank goodness for the jacuzzi! So, that's me on Bennie and Brian behind me on Adam. Thanks to our awesome guide Ra for taking pictures. We don't have many of us together!

It wasn't all fun and games and relaxation. One day we volunteered with the Maui Coastal Land Trust at the Thomas Waihe'e Refuge. We spent several hours picking invasive species from an area that they are trying to preserve and planting ahu'awa....a native species. Then we went to this point with Hawai'i's leading bird expert to band sandpipers but when we got there we discovered that all the birds at this particular site had been killed by feral cats. Very sad.

Their development director Diane took the above picture of us together. Thanks Diane!

Here we are planting young ahu'awa plants and then there's a picture of a more mature plant that volunteers introduced last year.