Whalechaser's Musings

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sailin' on a Ketch in Penobscot Bay, Camden, Maine

During the week of September 13th through the 19th we enjoyed an Elderhostel program featuring a week of sailing on a 125 foot ketch, The Angelique, anywhere in the 1,000 square miles of Penobscot Bay out of Camden, Maine. It was a new experience for me...never having been on this type of vessel before. I was pleasantly surprised that I could spend a week on water and not feel the least bit seasick. I remember many fishing trips to Long Island Sound that did not end happily. Anyway, the weather was great; only one or two very short periods of rain. It never got too hot nor cold to interfere with the activities of the day.

Since this was an Elderhostel program we could participate as much or as little as we chose, in raising/lowering the sails, rowing to shore or any of the vessel related activities. We learned a lot about how the boat functions and the enormous effort required to keep her in tip-top shape. Operating a vessel of this magnitude is truly a labor of love and it is very apparent in the attitudes of the crew and the captain. But I suppose the best part was enjoying the silent progress the boat made once it was fully under sail. It is amazing how quiet and not windy it is. Since we were travelling at the same speed as the wind it was breeze-less on deck while we were moving.

We visited several little harbor towns and assisted in rowing to shore. We joked that by the end of the week we would challenge the Harvard rowing team. Not to worry, I don't think we could have really been a threat, but it was fun trying. It was amazing how fast eight people could learn to row together!

Here are a couple of shots I took from the boat to give you a taste of what we saw:

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