Saturday, December 27, 2008

Don't Know Much About History...1971....

We don't have a lot of historic documents relating to the Evans but we do have some pictures and some facts. This brochure is what was handed out to curious people during the rebuild. The photo on the front of the brochure is from 1939 when the Evans still had her sailing rig.

It's hard to see in the picture but that's the Evans with a pilothouse and oyster gear. It makes me wonder how she felt about moving around with fossil fuels instead of the wind.

What vision and energy the Lee's must have had to see the potential for this old oyster dredger. And I'm thankful they did! They bought the boat during the summer of 1971 and by October she was hauled out at the Percy and Small Shipyard in Bath with the pilothouse, oyster gear, tanks, and engine already removed. She started sailing again in June of 1973. I know how I feel after an off-season and months of spring outfitting. I can only imagine how great it was to see the vision become a reality and shout, "Ready on the throat?" for the first time that season.

I know I've seen what the prices were that first summer but I can't seem to put my hands on them right now. My memory tells me the fare was around $250 a week. They only offered week-long trips and no children were allowed under the age of 16. I have a brochure that shows the prices in 1983...ranging from $330 to $400 a week. And here we are 25 years later at $950 a week. Still a reasonable price for a priceless experience!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tree Hugging Healthy Builder!

My friend Tracy has a list of 101 things to do in 1001 days. Apparently lots of people do. One theory behind the list is that if you don't identify your goals, how are you going to achieve them? So, recently, I started compiling my list of 101 goals. I've identified 37 and completed one already (that I have to replace with something else to get to 101!) Tracy's list is public but I'm not sure I'm going that route. There are lots of people that have shared their lists online and I've visited some sites for inspiration. That led me to where I took a "personality test" and these are the results:

I took the 43 Things Personality Quiz and found out I'm a
Tree Hugging Healthy Builder

They indicated that 0% of the 9,140 people that have taken the test are like me! Cool! My mom always told me I was special!

Monday, December 22, 2008

See a seal....guaranteed!

Penobscot Bay hosts a variety of wildlife and one of the cutest is the seal. It's uncommon for us not to see a seal right at the dock on boarding night....almost like they are there waiting to hear everyone say how cute they are. When we are underway we often sail by rock outcroppings and islands where numerous seals can be seen soaking up the sun.

During our 2009 sailing season, we are guaranteeing that our guests on every trip will see at least one seal!

If they don't, we will make a donation to the Marine Environmental Research Institute (MERI), a non-profit organization that is committed to the health and well-being of marine mammals around the world.

One might think that after 15 years of sailing in and around Penobscot Bay another seal would be just another seal to me, but because our guests get so excited at each new sighting, I get the opportunity to see it through their eyes and that keeps it exciting for me and the crew, too.

I was a volunteer for a few years for (the now defunct) Marine Animal Lifeline and did stranded seal pup rescues during the winter months. They are adorable from a distance but, trust me, they have very sharp teeth! That cute puppy face is deceiving so we keep our distance. Also, under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, it is illegal to disturb or harass seals and other marine mammals in US waters. So we point and exclaim how cute they are, take a photo or two, and quietly sail by leaving them to relax peacefully in the sun.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A microwave on the schooner??!?!??!

Not every schooner cook gets a microwave in the galley....but Margi kept asking for one last year so I had to come through for her. With the help of some very creative guests, we didn't leave the dock with one but we had one by the end of the trip! Now, let me tell you, it's not easy to make a microwave out of just spare stuff that's laying around, but we did it and we've got proof.

First we scavenged an industrial sized Quaker Oats box and then dug through the boatswain's locker for tape, surgical tubing, and some other miscellaneous stuff. Then we dug through the toy box where we found a supply of Play-Doh (no microwave is complete without food, right?!)

Most schooner cooks rarely get to see the light of day so our construction started on deck by the helm. Several guests helped cover the box in white duct tape and then Rob wielded his black Sharpie to add the details. Here's the Kenmore "Messmaster" Galley Slave II. You can see the photo was taken at 4:47...presumably the time that Margi discovered the microwave. The two options below the number pad are "Lobster Bake" and "Scorch".

While he was doing that, we set to preparing some "meals" overseen by our March of Dimes Chef Duck:

We made a lobster, a pumpkin, and a hot dog complete with mustard. (I'm not sure what restaurant would serve that combination, but that's what we made!)

Then we made spaghetti and meatballs, green beans, and peas and a carrot. (Another delightful combo, huh?!)

Every microwave needs several warnings and this model was no exception....

We planned to install the microwave in the middle of the night while Margi was sleeping...10' away from where we were going to install it! There was much muffled laughter and much noise as the tape was peeled from the roll but we finally got it installed (lacking finesse, I know, [check out the tape job] was dark!) Thankfully there was also much snoring from said schooner cook!

When Margi woke to start to wood stove, there was her microwave! And inside were her eggs and a strawberry!

You can't see it very well, but the microwave was installed on the foremast, complete with an "outlet". The outlet was a three prong and the microwave plug was a two prong. Margi managed to keep the meals coming anyway!

Margi was so happy! Already given to singing, she was seen dancing with joys several days later!

Cook Margi and Mess Mate/Deckhand Patti, smiling, smiling, with not a care in the world now that they have their microwave!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Tsunami in Maine?

Someone sent us this article and associated comments. Although it's "old news" (this weird event happened in late October, 2008) it is certainly very interesting! What do you think?

BOOTHBAY HARBOR (NEWS CENTER) -- Some boats were scratched and docks damaged Tuesday afternoon when low tide became high within a matter of minutes.

Locals in the area say it happened about 6 or 7 times throughout the afternoon. They say it surged in within a matter of 5 minutes, then flowed back out just as quickly.

The National Weather Service says the cause "remains a mystery and may never be known."

The National Weather Service in Gray released the following public information statement regarding the event.



...Tuesday's Unusual Tide Fluctuations Along The Mid-Maine Coast...

The cause of yesterday's unusual tide fluctuations along the mid coast of Maine remains a mystery...and may never be known. Significant rapid rises and falls in tide levels were observed around 3 pm in Boothbay Harbor, Southport, and Bristol. Only very minor fluctuations were noted at tide gauges along the coast.

There are several possible explanations for yesterday's event. Rapid surges can be caused by the underwater movement of land, most often due to an earthquake, or due to the slumping of sediments along a steep canyon or shelf. No earthquakes were reported in the area yesterday. In rare instances, large and rapid surges can be generated by storms. In either case, the bathymetry of the ocean floor reflects and refracts the wave energy and can causes significant variations in tide levels along the coast...and rapid changes in tide levels at a particular location. These surges are quite unlike the much slower surges normally associated with coastal storms.

Eye-witness reports from several locations indicated that water levels fell and rose from 4 feet to as much as 12 feet along the coast during the event. These rapid changes in tidal levels generated the strong currents that damaged piers and boats in the area.

Although these events are rare along the Maine coast, they have occurred in the past. On January 9, 1926, an event similar to yesterday's event was observed in Bass Harbor. During that event, the harbor drained rapidly and then was followed by a 10 ft surge of water, followed by two other smaller waves. There were no earthquakes reported on that day. No one was injured in that event but about 50 fishing boats were hurled ashore.


dbvoice wrote:

The scientific consensus for this event by oceanographers reviewing this matter is that it was caused by an underwater landslide/mudslide. Given the depth of the Gulf of maine.

"A tsunami is a wave produced by a disturbance that displaces a large mass of water - usually a result of geologic activities such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, underwater landslides, or in rare geologic cases, meteor strikes."

Please see this article for explanation:

and this one about mudslides:

11/4/2008 9:43 AM EST on

carddetective wrote:

I agree with Sciencefan that you were the victim of a Tsunami. Things would have been a lot different if it had struck at high tide. I live in California and the same thing happened in Crescent City, CA in 1964.

11/2/2008 11:58 PM EST on

sciencefan wrote:

The Coast Guard was hasty in ascribing this unusual wave set to a storm surge. The behavior of this wave set is not consistent with Storm Surge, which is typically a single surge at the front of a storm. This was a series of waves of great wave length, entirely consistent with a tsunami. Locals observed the surge fall and rise, fall and rise, over a height of up to 12 feet, for 5 or 6 times, in a little as five minutes. That behavior is consistent with tsunami, and inconsistent with storm surge, because storm surge does not have a long wave length. Of course, if there were no earthquakes in the area on October 28, as the weather service says, that means nothing. Tsunami travel the entire world. Most people didn't know it, but the great earthquake of Indonesia that generated the devastating tsunami a few years ago actually made it to the Gulf of Maine, and was recorded as nearly 2 feet in height as it passed the buoy at Georges Bank, which could have translated into many more feet at the shore line. The weather service was misleading you. There indeed were several earthquakes on October 28 elsewhere in the world, including the huge 6.4 earthquake in Pakistan (which was not seaside, and did not create a tsunami) but also including a 6.0 on the coast of New Guinea, and quakes above 5.0 in the Philipines, Figi, and the day before in Philipines and Indonesia. Any of those coastal and island nations could generate tsunami that could reach the coast of Maine. Also, any number of "soft" forces could have created a tsunami without creating much seismic voice, including a slumping of mud walls of the continental shelf, a meteor striking the ocean, a vent or seabed releasing gas, or, to a smaller extent,ice sloughing off an ice sheet. Yes, it remains a mystery, but lets move away from the storm surge hypothesis and get real. A tsunami struck the coast of Maine, and luckily it struck when the tide was low. If that same phenomenon had struck at high tide...

Monday, December 15, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

We got our Christmas tree this past weekend and things are looking festive in our home. Last year we discovered a cool little tree farm that has red and green carts with bells on them. You grab a cart and a saw and head out into their trees, jingling all the way, to pick and cut your own. We've decided that this will be our traditional tree selection method and can't wait until we have little ones to help pick out the tree!

This is Brian with our tree this year.

And this is Brian with our tree last year. Note the ground covering!
It was actually a little more fun last year crunching through the snow to find just the right tree!

Our tree is decorated with the starfish favors from our wedding. We made 200 of them and had just under 150 guests at the wedding so we had lots left over. We have a silver star at the top of the tree, silver and blue ribbon wrapped like garland, and all of the starfish with our names and wedding date. Perfect for our first Christmas as husband and wife!

With the last of our CSA share at Weskeag Farm we bought some balsam tips. I made four kissing balls and two wreaths...and still had enough left over to share with a friend.

I also made and decorated rice krispie treats. Yum!

Here's our house with the kissing balls hanging on the porch and the wreath on the front door. The wreath has one of our wedding starfish, too, and obscures our brass door knocker that I had engraved with "Thomas". The walkway is lined with beach rocks that were used to decorate the tables at our wedding and I made Christmas ornaments with the sea glass from the tables, too.

And a close-up of the wreath.
The tree, unlit, per Tracy's request!

You can even see the kissing balls through the window. I'm taking them down today (1/6/09). I may even get around to taking (and posting) a picture of the sea glass ornaments.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Just for fun...

Kim, Vicki, me, Tracy, and Ro

Not everything I do has to do with boats!

It was girl's night out and we had an Italian dinner at Vicki's house. Vicki's husband was kicked out of the house and he took Tracy's kids (his grandkids) with him. A few months ago, Tracy (my maid of honor!) started the idea of a once a month theme-based cooking night and hosted the first one at her house...Japanese...think sushi and sake! The second was French night hosted by Ro.

The next one (after the holidays) will be hosted by Kim and it is India night. I'm supposed to bring a dessert. Oh, and one of the "rules" is that you are supposed to cook and bring something that you've never cooked before.

It's so much fun with lots of great food (we all took home a big container of food for the next day!), great company, and laughter...oh, my goodness, lots of laughter!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Food, glorious food!

Pancakes....Brian's favorite! Cooked to golden perfection and topped with fresh berries, whipped butter, and local maple maple or blueberry syrup with sausages on the side. Mmmmmm!

Often lunch on the first day of our trips is what we call "Deli Lunch". It's a smorgasbord of assorted bread, rolls, and wraps that you fill yourself with lettuce, onions, tomatoes, deli meat, tuna, chicken, or egg salad, cheese, mayo, mustard, or hummus. There are pickles, olives, and potato chips, too. Pasta salad goes well with your sandwich and brownies make the perfect dessert! This is the perfect lunch for departure day because the cook makes one last trip to the grocery store for produce and dairy before we go. It's a hectic morning of making sure we have everything on board and it can be hard to throw a hot meal together. HOWEVER....we are contemplating removing this from the menu and replacing it with soup, chowder, or chili and having "Deli Lunch" only on our week-long trips and/or our sailing and hiking trips. What do you think?

After a day of sailing, we all have huge appetites. As you can see, we eat buffet-style on deck. This particular evening Eileen supplied us with:

Roast Pork with Wild Maine Blueberry and Rosemary Glaze
Creamy Risotto with Wild Mushrooms
Green Beans
Apple Salad
Zucchini Bread
Lemonade and Iced Tea (you can always bring your own wine)
and we had hand-cranked ice cream for dessert!
Good Morning....who's hungry? I don't care who you are, the sea air always seems to make you ready for the next meal! This morning we started the day with Breakfast Burritos:

Heated Flour Tortillas
Scrambled Eggs
Sauteed Onions and Peppers
Shredded Cheese
Chopped Tomatoes
Sour Cream
Hot Sauce
Home Fries
Banana Bread
Slice Watermelon
Granola and Yogurt
Assorted Cereal
Part of the fun for every meal is the menu board. We've only been doing the board for a few years and it makes it so much easier when you go through the buffet to know exactly what is going, as you may have noticed, it gives the crew (and, in this case, the captain!) a creative outlet. We had just visited Wooden Boat and had enjoyed a steel drum band ashore. The harbor was full of windjammers and we had a delightful dinner with the best view possible!
This is the menu board for lunch on a sunny day when we must have been sailing down the Eggemoggin Reach. That's a drawing of the schooner and the bridge (in red)! Just in case you can't read the board, we enjoyed:

Tortellini and Italian Sausage Bake
Caesar Salad
Roasted Garlic Bread Sticks
and Lemon Bars

I can almost guarantee you there was some on-deck napping that afternoon!

That's a plate full of food! Brunch that day included:

Bacon & Tomato Quiche
Broccoli & Onion Quiche
Lobster Risotto
Baked Apple Pancakes
Lobster and Avocado Salad
Blueberry and White Chocolate Bread Pudding
Pigs in Blankets
Fruit Salad (with fresh pineapple!)
granola and yogurt
O.J. and Strawberry Raspberry Juice

Who's hungry? No one was after that brunch!

Lobster....need we say more?