There is a distinct playful, childlike pleasure to be found in sailing a small boat. Sailing a bigger boat is blissful, calming, empowering, but it requires serious prep, planning, and attention too.
When Miles woke up on Monday morning and exclaimed “Today looks like a GREAT day for sailing,” I immediately petitioned the Interwebs for local friends with boats. You can imagine my elation when, a few hours later, a Facebook friend (Diana Roberts) offered up Liliana, a Herreshoff 12.5 (aka, Buzzard’s Bay Boys Boat) for our pleasure.
We made our plan for Tuesday and got up and out early enough to catch the 10am ferry to Islesboro. Unfortunately that ferry was over capacity and we had to wait for the next one. Diana’s son Ben met us near the ferry terminal on the island and escorted us to the Tarratine Yacht Club. A curious aside, Ben was a fellow Malrlboro student. This is especially noteworthy since Marlboro College is a school of roughly 350 students.
I was delighted by how quickly Liliana was brought from rest to sail. From the moment that we boarded to the moment the wind filled her sails couldn’t have been more than a half hour. That included the stowing of gear, hoisting and backing of sails and paddling out to the wind line.
Another thing I forgot about small boats is their relative range. In looking at charts I naively expected to circumnavigate one of the smaller islands. We sailed for a little over two hours and never left Dark Harbor. This was, as it turns out, not at all disappointing. The kids both had a turn at the tiller and Ruby had an immediate affinity with the small craft. Just seconds after taking the tiller she notified us that she was going to “head up a bit” (the perfect response to our sail trim and position from the wind) and pushed the tiller to lee. My heart swelled with pride.
After our sail we headed over to Pendleton Yacht Yard for a visit (Diana’s husband Stan owns the yard) and then followed Stan back to their house to hang for a while with the whole family. It was without qualification a fantastic day. A scenic drive, two ferry rides, messing about in boats, trip to a yacht yard, and visiting with warm interesting people is just about all a vacationing soul could ask for.