East Coast Ocean Sailors

by Leslie Godfrey in ,

August 2009

In August, we had a trip planned to Maine to see Andrew's family and attend one of his cousin's weddings.  The plan was to fly in early and drive from Boston, up the coast of Maine and to the camp for the wedding.  We reserved our slot at an awesome place in Boothbay Harbor that we lovingly refer to as adult summer camp.  There, we had access 9 ft dingy sailboats, kayaks, a swimming pool overlooking the ocean, breakfast, lunch, and dinner served in a large dining room with your camp buddies, a tennis court, hiking trails and plenty of beautiful Maine scenery.  We weren't about to let an opportunity to sail in a (calm and protected) ocean pass us by.

The first day there, we rented one of the 9 ft dinghy and sailed around the little island not too far away, dodging lobster pots to avoid getting tangled up.  Little did we know, our camp buddies were watching us - trying to gauge if the new kids were the ringers for the upcoming sailing race we knew nothing about.  That night at dinner, we had plenty of friends at our table, coyly inquiring whether we had a third for our team of three.  We said "no", but that we would love to race.  Our new friend Joan jumped at the opportunity and volunteered. 

The next day, we got our boat assignments and headed out to adjust the sail settings and get ready.  Andrew took the role as helmsman, I was tactician and port sail trimmer, Joan was starboard sail trimmer.  As we wove through 10 boats during the start sequence, I spotted our line and gave Andrew course recommendations.  Off we went, not first through the line at the horn, but not last either.  

The majority of boats went to the left of the course, and we found ourselves on a "Wayne-Flyer" (The notorious tactic taken by our race captain's dad in which he goes the complete opposite direction of the fleet, most of the time.)  Pretty soon, however we were positioned on a Starboard tack while the rest of the fleet were trying to cross our path on port.  "Starboard!" we called, clearing right of way while muddling up our competitor's plans.  Our closest competitor dipped behind us, and we took a sudden tack to blanket his wind.  Our timing was perfect, our course was perfect, and things were going swimmingly. Unfortunately, our tack threw our third crew member spinning into the cubby hole beneath the bow.  

She recovered, none the worse for the wear, thrilled only by the fact that we had taken a decisive lead.  Scurrying back to her post, our only concern now was getting caught up on a lobster pot and being stopped in our tracks.  We dodged and weaved carefully, adjusting our sails as necessary.  We crossed the finish line in first, a success!  

So there you go. Now, we are East Coast racers.  We celebrated with a beer by the pool and mussels in white wine sauce.  The next day, we had to leave and carry on Northward to the wedding.  Joan asked if we would be back next summer, but alas we said probably not.  I hope Joan is still doing well.  We had a great time.