From Maine back home.

We headed home from Vinalhaven, Maine just as the sun was setting, around 7:30pm. We sorted everything for offshore sailing and were off!

Leaving Maine at Sunset

Brandon took the first watch from 2000-0000, I had no trouble going down for a solid 4 hours and with a little bit of coffee was able to give him an equal 4 hours of sleep by standing watch from 0000-0400. I am so glad we left when we did, we got to sail through the night in flat water and a nice 15 knot southwesterly. An upwind starboard tack set us right for the entrance to the Cape Cod Canal. 

There were a million stars out and a shooting star every few minutes. Brandon did a jib change around 2130 to put up the bigger jib (a 155) which I groggily helped with but he said, just before he did he swears he heard a whales’s blowhole spout off close by.

The trip to the Canal was mostly motoring. While Brandon slept in the morning, I managed to get the spinnaker pole up on the starboard side so we could at least go dead-downwind with the wind behind us, allowing us to head in the right direction. I should have set up the GoPro for that to comically show off how much back and forth I had to do from the bow to the cockpit as I kept getting my safety tether snagged. 

Finding a new spot in the cockpit to snooze

The day passed undramatically until we entered the canal at 1230 early on Saturday. We knew this was our last chance to get through the canal before the tide changed fully against us. Brandon filled the fuel from the jerry can of additional 5 gallons before we entered. However, just as we were passing the Coast Guard station and using the becalmed channel to switch back to the smaller job the jib, he was revving up the engine speed when it started to sputter.

We quickly turned and headed into East Boat Basin and landed on the fuel dock. A nice late night security guard asked us if we needed a slip but we said we just needed a few minutes to see what was going on with the engine. In less than 10 minutes, we had everything out of the locker and Brandon had the was inspecting everything. He says that because the engine was fine at low speeds that it was probably a fuel issue. He pulled off the fuel intake hose and found the fuel tank pickup’s filter (which apparently you don’t even need with diesel) was all clogged up.) He removed that off the end and away we went, thanking the security gaurd.

By this point, even just a few minutes make a difference, we started fighting the tide the whole way through. At one point, making just 2 knots over ground. It took us 2 hours to get through the channel. I went down for sleep after we got off the dock and did a sail change.

I came on at 3:30am and the wind was now up! Those 3 or so hours I was on watch, I had the current and about 20+ knots with me getting the boat up to 8 knots frequently – which is sporty for the C&C! By the time I woke up Brandon for the final sprint at 7am, we were out of Buzzard’s Bay and the sun was out.

We got married on the cliff behind us 2 weeks ago. A little less dressed up but even more happy!

A little after 9am we were turning the corner at Castle Hill, the skies were grey and it was very much northeaster conditions in Narragansett Bay. We decided to just grab our laundry and devices once we hit the mooring at 1000 and head home for some sleep and food. Come back and deal with the boat tomorrow.

It’s still hard to process this amazing honeymoon adventure. We did so much yet it was still relaxing to just be together away from the world. If you followed along, thank you. Mostly, this was just my way of documenting it all before I forget and sharing the stories with family and friends.

We know how lucky we are to have the opportunity to follow through on this long-held dream of ours. We have always held Maine in a special place in our hearts and now we have fallen even more in love with Vacationland. We can’t wait to plan the next adventure.


Long Cove to Carvers Cove via Hurricane Island

We went to sleep last night thinking that we would make the 15-mile trek southeast to Tenant’s Harbor to visit a market and get a hop on the journey south but when we woke up to pristine sunny and calm conditions we decided to save ourselves the laborious motorsail and continue to explore Vinalhaven. 

Persistence sitting off Hurricane Island

So after a relaxing morning of reading, swimming, and watching some seals fish around us, we motored through the glassy Hurricane Sound to Hurricane Island. This island, like many of the others in this area, has an interesting history. It was a booming quarry known for it’s polishing skilled labor in the mid to late 19th century. Less than a mile long, it once housed 1,500 immigrants working in the quarry and overnight the place closed turning it into a ghost town.

The quarry on Hurricane Island, they use this as their drinking source. They also use the face we are standing on as a rock climbing wall.

Eventually the outdoor skills program, Outward Bound made it’s home here but then as it expanded, it moved to the mainland for logistical reasons. Now the island is home to the Hurricane Island Foundation, which is a science, education, and leadership center. Apparently, it should be bustling with youth and corporate retreat summer groups this time of year but everything has been canceled due to the pandemic. There are still scientists here and the public is welcome to walk around the trails but they just ask we don’t use any of the facilities (and leave a donation). 

The view from the top of the cliff above

We grabbed a day-mooring that had an empty peanut butter jar attached to it to leave a donation for using the mooring. (They ask for $15 for day and $25 if you stay the night). We were the second boat to grab a mooring but within about a half-hour, about 3 or 4 others joined us. We went ashore and walked around the island. 

So many vistas on the hike!

One of the trails took us through the old quarry which has now filled with freshwater and the residents use it as a drinking source. Brandon was, of course, very interested in poking into every maintenance shed we found to check out the pumps, sisters, solar panel setup, etc.

Old machinery scattered throughout Hurricane Island

Scattered throughout the island are the remnants of past-working island’s machinery. Rusting cranes, boilers, shaped granite, and drilled cliffs ready for excavating are around each corner. We hiked through thick pine woods and open raspberry fields then climbed over boulders along the smooth granite shoreline before finally finding one sliver of a sandy beach we could cool off in. It was a very warm day with no sea breeze. 

The sandy beach on the island. I setup the GoPro to take photos while were on the beach every few seconds and it caught a bee flying in front!

By 1 o’clock, we were walking back the large grey mess hall where the few summer residents were having lunch. We waved and said hello and they asked us if we saw the great white shark! Apparently it was all over the radio that one had been spotted in nearby! We did see a bloody dead seal but did not investigate to the cause of the death. So glad I found that out AFTER my swim. 

We headed back to the boat and planned to skip just over to the next island to anchor in Reindeer Cove, dingy into Carver’s Harbor where the “downtown” of Vinalhaven resides to get a late lunch and visit the market to stock up for the trip home. 

But as plans go many times on sailing trips, they had to change. First, Reindeer Cove had three boats already in it which was it’s max. They also all had stern anchors out. We went around the corner to a spot that looked just as fine but then the Vinalhaven Ferry went by and we learned why no one was anchored there when the 4-foot crashing wake tossed us around like a toy boat. 

Packed Carver’s Harbor

Carver’s Harbor is apparently not very hospitable for yachtsman as it’s a working lobster and fishing village so we knew we couldn’t go in there. However, we saw another boat anchored just a way’s out so decided to go for it as well. When I pulled up the anchor using the windlass, the chain jammed and a part jumped out of its place. Luckily, Brandon fixed it after I fetched some tools and all was well again. 

By this time though, it’s getting later in the day and we’ve haven’t eaten so we bring our getting-close-to-hangry selves ashore to find nothing is open due to COVID except the market. So we shop while hungry and end up with a plethora of goodies from muffins to chocolate covered Oreos but also some food for the trip home. 

On our way out of Carver’s Harbor, we hopped over to Green’s Island in the dinghy to explore another gunkhole that we noticed had an old beached fishing tug, as we got in there, we found quite a few sunken ships and a few tucked away homes. It was a cove on the chart I didn’t understand why it wasn’t recommended because it looked so protected. Now we understood!

Why not to anchor in Green Island’s harbor across from Carver

Our plan at this point is to get a good night’s sleep then take off on Friday morning for the 36-hour trip back to Rhode Island. Unfortunately, the breeze looks light until Saturday and while another day in Maine would be nice, getting in late on Sunday night does not. We know we have just enough fuel to motor sail if we have to.

Dinghy ride through another gunkhole on Green’s Island. Scouting real estate

As we sipped our evening cocktails after a dinner of fajitas with homemade guacamole watching the sun fall behind Camden Hills (and wallowing in a few more times in lobster boat and ferry wakes), we decide to just send it now. There’s a nice sea breeze still blowing so that will help us get south before we have to inevitably motor sail tomorrow. 

And just like that there was no time for nostalgia that the honeymoon in Maine was over, it was time to pack up and head south for the last part of this adventure.

Just before pulling up anchor on a 2-week adventure in Maine.

Isle au Haut to Long Cove, Vinalhaven

Everytime we think the next day can’t better, it has. I know, this sounds like a load of &!$!, but it’s honestly been an adventure every day that leaves us speechless.

We did wake up very early in the morning to breeze-on and hearing the auto pilot on (?!) Turns out the towels we drapped to dry over the helm were damp enough to turn it on! So the auto-pilot was attempting to keep us steady around 5 am. It was shockingly also blowing 18 kts at 5am.

Within a few hours, that settled so we slept our tired muscles in late (the hike yesterday took a lot out of us). I made omelets because I could only buy a dozen eggs yesterday at the market instead of half dozen so what does one do with a bunch of eggs…make omelets.

Leaving Isle au Haut

We made plans for the west coast of Vinalhaven because we are now trying to make our way east and south but also trying to continue to avoid populous spots. I read about a few interesting anchorages over there. Since it was already blowing from the southwest and our destination was the same direction, we decided to head back the direction we came and go back through the Fox Island Thorofare.

Fox Island Thorofare

We also knew there was a boat yard in North Haven in the middle of this channel with diesel and water, both of which we needed to replenish before we head south. So pulled up to JO Browns Boat Yard which actually has a self serve fuel station much like you would have at any gas station for your car: put in your card, the pin, and then flip the handle to fill. There was also a hose on the dock to fill your water tanks.


However, they also advertised lobsters so I donned my face mask for the first time in days and walked up the gang plank to the office. She first explained the self service of the fuel/water which we wanted to confirm and then introduced to me to her 6-year-old grandson who would help us with lobsters. The little boy dressed in a bright tie-dyed t-shirt introduced himself as Sigmund and led me to a row boat on the dock with a salt water pump. This adorable dock hand asked me to help him open the hatch containing the lobsters but then asked me which ones we wanted all the while pointing out the ones he thought we best.

I relied on this little lobsterman’s opinon and watched in awe as he dunked his little hands into the tank to grab one that weighed 3lbs! We knew just how to flip it and get into the bucket. He advised me and caught one more then scurried away to weigh them before presenting them all wrapped up for grandma to ring me out. I left a tip for the kid to get some ice cream!

Once the boat and the galley was topped off we headed out east through the rest of the throrofare and turned south. We passed next to a few islands and through Leadbetter Narrows before turning into Long Cove. This recommended anchorage’s name is exactly what is. The cove extends into the island of Vinalhaven a quarter of mile but is barely 100 yds wide. All the way in, there is one boat on a mooring but we anchor just north of the mooring balls in 20 feet.

Long Cove is tucked back there

It wasn’t long before another 4 boats shuffled in behind us but everyone grabbed a mooring. We heard these private moorings can become $$$ if the owners come to collect so opted for the less of a gamble. It was sunny and warm and no wind in here. I read my book for a bit basking in the sun like a day at the beach.

Around 5pm, which was also high tide, we decided to explore the nearby Basin we read about and saw on the chart. This “tidal lake” has a small entrance of only about 20 feet wide where the current runs strong but then opens to 1.5 mile long by .5 long (at it’s widest) cove that is at points 111 feet deep! Apparently you can sail in here at high tide, we opted for the dingy.

Entering the Basin in the dinghy at high tide, apparently you can sail in here…

As we approached, you could see the water in the Basin was lower than the sea, so no wonder the current ran strong. We were just 45 minutes shy of high tide and still it was running strong.

The Basin

We stayed to the shoreline and explored the entire “lake.” There wasn’t a dock, a boat, or a person in site. It felt truly remote. We finally see a family on the shore line, a handful of kayaks, and then some fishing seals but that’s it. As it’s hot even at 5pm, we tied up to a sloping granite shelf to go for a swim that felt like swimming off a sandless beach.

The “beach” in the basin
The tidal lake

We wound around the shoreline into even more coves but eventually headed back to the entrance where the tide was now slack. We concluded we could have brought the boat in here…next time.

After heading back the mooring, I made up some coleslaw and pasta salad to accompany yet another lobster dinner. If anyone asks us if lobster has gotten old, the answer is no. We are 3 for 10 nights so 30% is deliciously a good percentage of lobster.

3rd lobster boat dinner

Long Cove is a beautiful spot. The boat next to us arrived with three young boys, one is fishing off the bow, another is hanging from a hammock he strong up himself, and another took their rowing dingy to go fishing. It’s been comical to watch thier interactions which included one hooking the other by the t-shirt while casting. Clearly we have found a pristine spot to just enjoy. As I was writing this, Brandon said to pop my head outside, it is a clear night and you can see every star and the milky way perfectly.

Sunset in Long Cove

Tomorrow we will be headed to Tenant’s Harbor about 15 miles southwest to head to a grocery store and maybe even a restaurant (our first of the trip!) before we head back to Rhode Island on Friday morning which should take us 36 hours. Trying not to think about that part yet. Just keeping the adventure alive until then…

Basin dinghy ride

Seal Bay to Isle au Haut

If we thought yesterday was foggy, then today it was a white out. When we woke, we were barely able to see the top of the mast looking through the hatch. Therefore, it was a great morning to stay cuddled in the V-berth, catch up on reading, and wait for it to burn off. By 9am it was slightly more visible so we unwound our track into Seal Bay, now at low tide exposing many more rocks than we witnessed on the previous day’s dinghy ride or entrance.

The fog lifting from Seal Bay showing many more rocks than yesterday!

We headed the 7 miles southeast across Isle au Haut Bay in THICK fog using just the electronics and dodging MANY lobster pots. At one point it was hundreds and all Brandon could say was “this seems excessive.”

So many lobster pots to avoid!

We decided to sail down the Isle au Haut thorofare and anchor just off Point Lookout. As soon as we got close to the island, the fog dissipated and we sailed down this narrow channel passing the town dock and approached a dredged channel. There was mixed reviews of how deep the dredged 75 yard channel is – some say 5 feet, some say 6 feet at low tide. It was one hour past low tide and we draw 6… but we decided to go for it at a very slow speed and held our breath. I stood on the bow looking for possible rocks and we watched the depth sounder go as low as 2-feet below the keel but we made it out the other side and found a mooring that even said “Guest” which is free but still decided to tuck into the cove more and anchor.

Point Lookout – This is where the Wilson family stayed in the 1970s.

I just wanted to take a moment to talk about anchoring… We heard a lot about how we would have to seek out moorings everywhere we went in Maine because it is really rocky up here and anchors don’t hold well. I don’t know if it’s just where we have been going and its a coincidence, but everywhere has been super muddy and great holding ground. So far we grabbed one mooring and that was more because it came with trash removal, showers, and a dinghy dock with access to lobsters.

When we anchor, (we have mostly been in 20 feet) we put out 100 feet of chain and have a Rocna anchor and we have yet to have it not set on the first try (knock on wood…) Brandon and I have our system down pretty well where he drives and I set the anchor on the bow using our windlass. We spraypainted the chain every 25 feet in a pattern of “red, white, and blue” so red is 25 feet, white is 50, blue is 75 then 100 is a little red then white, 125 is blue then red. So I just need to keep saying “red, white, blue” to myself to know how much is out. I then add a snubber which is a hook that attaches to the chain that splits into two lines (some people do just one). This takes the load off the windlass by distributing weight and adding a stretchy aspect to the anchoring in variable wind strengths.

At anchor in Isle au Haut near Point Lookout

Okay… back to the day. Isle au Haut was on my list to visit because I had heard about it for many years from the Wilson side of the family. Especially from my grandmother, Betsy Wilson who passed away earlier this year. My father and aunt also always spoke of it so fondly and I had seen many photos. Last year, just a few weeks before Betsy passed, I was telling her about our plans to cruise Maine. She had me pulling out photo albums to talk about all the places and people of Isle au Haut. She had cancer in the 1970s and after her surgery, she came here to recover with the family but then returned for many years after. She said it “restored her soul” and anyone who visits this corner of the world would be hard-pressed not to feel that way.

Betsy with her corgi, Edward, at the cliffs

My aunt, Cicely, even texted me these photos today which was a nice reminder as they were the same ones I reminisced with Betsy just a few months ago.

Taken over 20 years ago of my aunt and grandmother, we are anchored just over Cic’s shoulder right now.
Close to where we hiked today of the Wilson children and my great-grandmother. And Ann the dog!

Most of Isle au Haut is part of the Arcadia National Park and I really wanted to do a hike. The cruising guide recommended Duck’s Harbor to the south for hiking but there was still access to the park from the town so we opted to go for the town because I wanted to see the places I heard so much about. I also read there was a shack that served lobster rolls. So I planned the afternoon: lobster rolls and hike to a summit and down to a lake.

The Post Office

Well… my romanticized plans of the afternoon did not exactly come to fruition. The lobster shack is only open Thurs-Sunday and the market is pretty sparse so I bought some crackers, prosciutto, cheese and an apple for which turned out to be $33 – but at least we had sustenance (and supported the local economy that is clearly hurting right now due to lack of tourism) before the hike which I THOUGHT would be 3-4 miles.

Fresco lunch at the General Store

Turns out my map reading skills were amiss as well and due to Covid, the ranger station was closed so we couldn’t ask anyone for recommendations. We hiked to the summit through a thickly wooded path that turned out to have NO lookout. We were just now 400 feet higher than we started and still surrounded by the same trees at zero feet!

The Summit, the view was “amazing”

At this point it was more like 3 miles in so we abandoned the idea of the lake and got back to the road instead of the trail. All in all, it was more like 6-7 miles and while I love running distances, Brandon is not the endurance athlete in the couple, yet still, it was not worth something I would recommend either. So we can tell you where NOT to go on Isle au Haut now. Follow the tips from the cruising guide: go to Duck Harbor and hike south to the cliffs! Skip Bowditch trail!

Happy campers hiking down hill finally!

We went back to the market to get some refreshments and ice cream before heading back to the boat for the evening and making plans for the rest of the trip. It’s sad but becoming a reality. It’s Tuesday and by Friday we need to be heading back South. The plan is somewhere on the East side of Vinalhaven then Tenant’s Harbor (a bigger harbor) to refuel before we head home. The good news is that Friday/ Saturday should be a following wind to send us away from Maine but don’t need to think too much about that yet, at least two more days of adventures await.

Good night from Isle au Haut


  • Breakfast underway: Blueberry pancakes and bacon with bloody marys
  • Lunch: Prosciutto, crackers, local cheeses, and an apple
  • Dinner: Mushroom risotto with chicken sausage with a balsamic glaze with a side garden salad and lemon balsamic dressing

Pulpit Harbor to Seal Bay, Vinalhaven

We finally experienced fog in Maine. We honestly came here expecting it as a daily occurrence but it took 7 days for us to witness. However today, we only planned to travel 8-9 miles to Seal Bay from Pulpit Harbor so we were fine with letting it burn off while I caught up on writing and cooked a rich, delicious breakfast of leftover lobster tail eggs benedict.

Foggy morning

The Boat Galley Cookbook recommended a “Whole-Egg Hollandaise” which I attempted and then took my eyes off it for 10-seconds and it turned to scrambled eggs. So after a small frustrated tantrum, I gave it another shot and it came out great! A little butter and lemon added to an egg you keep whisking makes a great sauce to top a poached egg (also learned that if you poach in salt water with a little milk, it holds the egg whites better and I would agree!) with leftover lobster and a toasted (we broil in the oven) english muffin.

Lobster Benedict and Mimosas

It was sometime between 11am and noon that we headed out of Pulpit into the glassy east passage of Penobscot Bay, we motored around North Haven to the entrance of the Fox Island Thorofare. By then the sea breeze filled and we were able to sail through the channel that winds between North Haven and Vinal Haven. The shoreline is filled with long docks reaching out to moored boats, stunning homes, and a thousand color lobster pots with cruisers and working fisherman traveling both directions on their ways to all the ports this area hosts.

Fishing before we left Pulpit Harbor (no catch gained)

After we pass through the 4 mile channel, we turn just south to sail upwind for a bit to Seal Bay when it happens, we caught our first lobster pot. Thankfully not with our keel, rudder or prop but just with the dinghy’s bridle. However, it was enough that the pot flopped over the tight line and we started dragging it. I was driving and was able to flog the sails so Brandon could come up to muscle in the tow line to free the trap.

We raced this schooner through the thorofare and won. I don’t think they knew we were racing, though.
The town of North Haven in the Fox Island Thorofare
Goose Rock Lighthouse at the East end of the thorofare.

A mile later we were entering the Seal Bay, a winding mix of islands in coves in Vinalhaven’s East Coast. We found our own slice of heaven behind the Burnt Island and cannot even see another boat due to the weaving spruce-lined landscape.

The only boat in Seal Bay

As it was hide tide when we anchored about 3pm, we took the opportunity of high water to hop in the dinghy right away to explore the area. We were actually able to circumnavigate the Penobscot Island which lays in the middle of the bay (the western end is dry at low tide). On our trip we saw a Bald Eagle, my first in the wild, a few seals, and numerous coves which all seemed to hold stories.

Dinghy ride around Seal Bay
Seals in seal bay
Seal Bay, Vinalhaven
A bald eagle!

We passed the Starboard rocks, a cliff that reminded me of Fyre’s Leap/ The Images, from my Camp Wawenock days back on Sebago. We saw one solo yacht anchored area called Winter Harbor with the owner sleeping in a tube off tied 50 yds off the stern…ie living their best life. We passed a few rocks with bathing harbor seals and a couple of wrecked rowboats on the shoreline but mostly it was undisturbed nature as I am sure the Maine Coast Heritage Trust, who preserves most of this land has worked hard for it to be!

The cliffs of Starboard Rock in Winter Harbor on Vinalhaven.

After our trek, we returned the boat for swimming and a quiet evening in our personal cove. About 100 yds to stern we watched about 40 seals beach themselves on the rocks and as the sun dropped, it looked like the Pride Rock of seals. As the sun set, we continued to marvel in the awe of the absolute beauty we have surrounded ourselves with, we concluded it wasn’t such a bad Monday…

The seals through the binos

Tomorrow the adventure will take us back east just a few miles from where we made land fall just a week ago in Isle au Haut…

Sunset in our slice of heaven in Vinalhaven.


  • Breakfast: Lobster Eggs Benedict
  • Lunch: Wraps
  • Dinner: Appetizers – Stuffed Mushrooms leftover from wedding, baked brie with hot pepper jelly followed by the ol’ Mac N’Cheese with hot dogs.

A look back on a foggy morning

Well it finally happened, we have been visited by Maine’s infamous fog. I was shocked once again when I peeled back our hatch curtain to see blue skies. However, once I turned my gaze from the sky to the horizon at the mouth of Pulpit Harbor, I no longer could see the towering Camden Hills behind Isleboro as we could last night. By the time the coffee was ready, we were socked in. However, the sun was still high and the fog was low, so somehow Maine has managed to make fog still beautiful.

I figured I’d take this lazy morning to reflect on how we got here. We are only able to sail from scenic spot to scenic spot and even voyage through the “offshore” conditions in the Gulf of Maine because of all the hard work my husband, Brandon, has put into Persistence to get it where it is today. 

To take another step back, for those who don’t know Brandon was actually raised on 63-ft Lemsteraak called Brandaris (yes, he is actually named after the boat) which was has a rich history as one of the Little Ships of Dunkrirk before she ended up in Wickford, Rhode Island where Brandon lived and worked aboard from birth to 21.

So he grew up maintaining and fixing boats where he acquired many skills. He is also a master of researching and self-teaching. As many of our friends can attest, he spends his downtime on cruising forums or YouTube learning about the next project. In 2006, at 21 he started as a mechanic at Jamestown Boat Yard – where he still works today and we keep the boat. A year or so later, he acquired a Pearson Triton, a 1968 28-footer that he stripped completely and refit and named her Persistence after all the hard work it took to get her launched.

In 2010, my friend from college, Morgan, moved to the area and became a launch driver at JBY. She met Brandon and went for sails onboard Persistence. At the same time, I was also fixing up a Triton and by summer of 2012 was living aboard with a boyfriend in Newport Harbor (if you want to put a relationship into a pressure cooker, move on a 28 footer!) Morgan had always mentioned that we should all meet up because we had the same weird old boats. Ours was one of the first hulls made by Pearson which was just around the time they were starting to use fiberglass so it was a solid piece of yachting history. The design had both querks and a following of loyal sailors. I can’t tell you how many places we’d go and some older passerby would say – “is this a Triton?! I loved this boat/ had this boat / grew up on this boat…”

Morgan and I sailing on Persistence in 2012 with Gussie, back when we were both single and Gussie was an only child. (This was when I only knew Brandon as Morgan’s-Friend-With-a-Triton)

It was years before our acquaintance turned into a romance, but it was a joke that I must “have a thing for guys with Pearson Tritons.” About a year or so after we were dating and had been cruising the first Persistence around Rhode Island, we started looking for something bigger. In the Fall of 2014, a 1978 C&C 34 popped up on Craig’s List asking $10K. (Boats on YachtWorld are listed for ($18-25K) so we decided to take look to see what was wrong with it for the price and if it was fixable.

Armed with a moisture meter – a tool to sense if there is water in the core of the boat that can’t been seen – we headed just over the border from New Hampshire into Maine to check out Shiobahn which had been living high and dry in a boatyard away from the waterfront for a few years. Turns out it was the original owner, who just used it around Portsmouth, and his family was not interested in sailing anymore. He tried the yacht broker track and deals had fallen through, so he just wanted to see her go to a good home. We offered him a price and he accepted it, I think he was just thrilled to see it go to a young couple who would use her. (We hope the couple we met back in McGlathery who knew the boat and the previous owner passes on that she is loved and used!)

We had her trucked back to Jamestown and luckily we were able to sell the Triton not too soon after to a young guy in the Chesapeake with the dream of sailing it with his fiancé to the Bahamas. (Hope that worked out, he sent messages for a year or so showing us some upgrades he did but soon after lost touch).

Then so began the work on new Persistence. That first winter Brandon (and I help where I can) stripped out nearly every wire, hose, floor board, faucet, oven, and more that can probably not be named. Nights and weekends were spent replacing it all and bringing her systems up to the 21st century. 

Here are some of the highlighted projects just that first winter:

  • Stripped the bottom down to the gel coat and barrier coated the bottom
  • Splurged on the B&G Zeus system; so had close to top of the line electronics. We figured these can go out of date quickly so we started with the best of the time (and it’s true in 2020, there have already been leaps and bounds beyond 2015).
  • Converted the engine from sea water cooled to fresh water cooled which streches the life of an older engine a little bit more
  • Upgraded the alternator for more charging capacity
  • Installed new batteries 
  • Created a new electrical panel – which in my opinion, looks like a work of art as its so well laid out with colorful wires and fuses, labeled, and organized as opposed to the firetrap/rats nest that lived back there before 
  • Made the bilges accessible by unscrewing the floor boards, sanding & varnishing them back to show off the teak and holly woodwork
  • Turned the ice box into a refrigerator with isotherm air cooled refrigeration 
  • Put in a propane tank in the aft lazertte for the stove with an additional hose to attach to a rail mounted grill
Taken September 2014, the first day we looked at the boat. The cushions remained for one season. We regret not keeping at least a little bit of fabric to make a pillow to pay homage to the original 1970s style.

By the time we launched mid-June 2015 on a rainy and foggy day, you might not think we did anything by first glance. The bulk to the changes were hidden from view. The sails were in decent shape and looked like one had never even been used. The cushions were good but were still in the fashion of the late 1970s (who thought Salmon and Trout made for a good pattern?!). The varnish was dull and cracking everywhere. I designed a new logo for the stern that a friend printed for us paging homage to the Atlas statue of holding up the world showcasing the Persistence if took to get this boat launched in just 6 months. That summer we took her to Block Island, Cuttyhunk, and all the way to Gloucester (for Morgan’s wedding) all the while making the project list for Winter ’15-16. 

New logo on launch day (in the pouring rain).

Over the next two winter haul outs  we worked on the cosmetics and creating other efficiencies: 

  • Auto pilot for making long cruises less exhausting 
  • Water heater for hot showers 
  • Solar power to keep up with the fridge – so it could stay on and we would always have cold beer when we got onboard. Also so we did not have to run the engine as much to charge batteries while cruising 
  • Windlass for anchoring via push button versus muscle power 
  • Varnished the interior
  • Re-covered the cockpit cushions and interior cushions & new sail cover (thanks to Brandon’s Mom)
  • New mattress and sheets cut to shape the v-berth 
  • A new canvas dodger for wind and sun protection in the cockpit followed the next year by a bimini over the helm for sailing sun protection soon followed by canvas to connect the two for ultimate sun protection while on the mooring or anchor (can’t sail with connector due to boom height.) This was all done by Neil Thurston of Thurston Canvas in Bristol who does an AMAZING job. The only thing we have outsourced on the entire boat.
  • New deck layout/configuration to replace the “winch farm” of many small winches with a bank of clutches and organizers for all the halyards and sail controls along with all new lines. 

The project list as gotten smaller these last few years so luckily launching just requires a new coat of bottom paint, buffing/waxing the topsides, and commissioning the engine but as anyone with a boat knows, the work list never ends. To get ready for this trip to Maine, Brandon added:

  • Heater that pulls from the diesel for drying and warming out the boat on wet cold days
  • Welded a new aft railing for holding the grill since the new bimini blocks where we used to keep it
  • Two new solar panels to the top  of the bimini thus doubling our precious capacity 
  • A new jib to replace the old 135 (thank Paul Tingle at Quantum!)
  • New main sheet system so we can control it from behind the dodger
  • Jack lines for safety offshore (thank Neil Thurston)
  • Some upgraded galley tools on reccs from the Boat Galley Amazon Store: new knives with sleeves, a silicone strainer, and more efficient galley storage tupperwares 

I’ve been writing this as we waited for the fog to lift and it’s been fun to reminisce over all the hard work (and persistence) we’ve (especially Brandon) poured into her these last 6 years. We have been dreaming of this trip and now to enjoy all the fruits of the labor makes the adventure all the much better. 

Cradle Cove to Pulpit Harbor, North Haven

Thankfully we have a blackout shade in the V-berth which allows us to sleep in past the sunrise at 5:30 am. So when we finally peel back the velcro that seals out the sun at around 8 am to reveal yet another sunny morning we emerge well-rested appreciating the fact this is such a rarity back in our real-world lives.

After our usual coffee and breakfast, we set off on a dinghy adventure heading north around the private Spruce Island back to the cove we passed on the night before and docked on the state dock of Warren Island. The island is a State Park with campsites scatter throughout. Apparently in the early 20th century a wealthy Philadelphian businessman, William Folwell, commissioned the building a 100×100 foot log cabin on the island. He unfortunately never saw it completed in his lifetime and his family used until 1919 when it burned. Eventually the land passed to the town of Isleboro who donated it to the state “for the benefit and enjoyment of visitors to Coastal Maine.”

Warren Island State Park pier

Enjoy it we did. Thanks Mr. Folwel. We circum-traversed the island quietly hiking passed a few occupied campsites speckled with tents and covered picnic tables. We were greeted to the island by a posted warning that there is an invasive species of caterpillar on the island that is actually harmful to humans. Their “hairs airborne can cause respiratory illness” – so we have avoided coronavirus by staying away from people but now must also keep 6 feet from a small insect. Great…

The invasive species moth/ caterpillar that can make a person very sick if the touch or inhale their hair. I imagine they are saying “coronavirus, hold my beer.”

Once again by 11am, we were back on the boat and pulling up the anchor. Our next destination now just 7 miles away – barely a sail compared the days of our last week. We head south and upwind past Camden and past one the largest superyachts previously owned by my boss Larry Ellison. The 454-ft Rising Sun, now owned by Hollywood mogul David Geffen, dwarfs the nearby islands and looks very out of place here. (Apparently, he got heat early in the pandemic for posting online that he was quarantined onboard).

454-ft superyacht Rising Sun

We continued upwind, then we cut south of Lasel Island and across east passage of Penobscot Bay into Pulpit Harbor. This little slice of Maine paradise is sought by cruisers due to its near 360° of protection on the northwest side of North Haven, another island in the Penobscot Bay Area. 

Brandon had a long time colleague, Vic, who was from North Haven and left the boat yard about 6 years ago to return back to this island. We all lost touch so we had the thought: “maybe we will run into Vic when we are here.” 

Well… as we entered the harbor, the distinctive hulking stance of Vic was on the closest lobster boat to us. We dropped anchor just south of the morning field and hopped into the dinghy yelling “Vic!” so he could hear us over the lobster boat’s roaring diesel engine. 

“Is that fucking Brandon Somers?!” he says. “I knew I’d see you sail in here one day. Follow us to the town dock.”

We caught up with Vic in the shelter of the northern part of Pulpit Harbor and met his now 9-month old son and wife exchanging updates on each other lives. Being a Sunday, he had some family engagements but without hesitation gave us the keys to his car for us to explore North Haven.

Brandon and Vic catching up. Our North Haven host by surprise.

“We got 20 miles of road so you can’t get lost but check it out,” he said. 

We asked him where we could get some lobster and it said it would be tough late on Sunday but he would see what he could do the next day. 

We hopped in the car and checked out North Haven by car. Brandon knew from visiting Vinalhaven just to the south that everyone waved so with every passing car it became evident that a passing wave was expected to all walkers, bikers, and drivers. As we waved and weaved our way around the island’s roads, it was a chance to see Maine from the land looking out to the sea as opposed the opposite point-of-view afforded to us the last few days. 

North Haven’s rolling fields and farms

Log cabins, cottages, and farms peppered the landscape with vista views of the surrounding islands and mountains. Maine’s quaint lifestyle is alive and well here. The downtown featured a ferry landing, a few shops, and plenty of flyers about art gallery openings or the next farmer’s market. In the middle of the island, the grocery store was stocked with anything we might need so given the opportunity to get a few supplies (and a car to haul them) I re-provisoned a few items to set us for another few days comfortably.

We returned the car to the town dock and left the keys in it per Vic’s instructions and headed beaded back to the boat. Soon after we settled into our evening routine (me: journaling, Brandon:  tinkering) Vic appeared in a rib with 5 gallon bucket filled ice a couple of lobsters and a bottle of chilled champagne. 

None of this was planned, this was just friendship, adventure, and the magic of Maine all at it’s core…


  • Breakfast: Breakfast Sammies of Egg, Ham, and Cheese on English Muffins
  • Lunch: Crabcakes (leftover from wedding) on Cucumber  
  • Dinner: Lobstah! With asparagus and macaroni salad

Bucks Harbor to Cradle Cove, Isleboro

Today was a “mellow day” but that might be because the days have a routine-like feel to them. We wake up to blue skies and a light breeze, have some coffee and breakfast, and then go for a walk ashore followed by sailing for the rest of the day before dropping anchor in a new picturesque spot followed by dinner under a breathtaking sunset and finally relaxing onboard reading (or in Brandon’s case – optimizing OpenCPN and our navigational network devices.) 

We continue to be blessed with clear blue skies and a daily building sea breeze that maxes out around 15 knots every afternoon. We won’t even utter the “F word” onboard for fear it will hear us and appear. So “the-weather-phenomena-that-shall-not-be-named”, has yet to make its grey sea smokey presence known so far and for that, we are very grateful. 

The route from Buck’s Harbor to Cradle Cove

A mooring at Bucks Harbor comes with showers and trash removal – both key on a small boat. While we do have hot water and good water pressure on board via a cockpit shower, nothing quite beats a cascading shower nozzle you don’t have to hold. So our morning contained both a shower and another visit to the market. We heard about their fresh pastries and didn’t want to miss out. Turns out you have to get there early on a Saturday and 9am is too late! We still got some day old goodies that weren’t that bad either. 

By 11 we left the mooring and plotted a course for the west side of Isleboro, a 10 -mile-long island  in the middle of Penobscot Bay. We had a generous offer of a mooring on the east side but we wanted to take in the sights of sailing north around the island and had read there was some good hikes on the other side we wanted to try. (Thanks Ginny and Mike! Next time!) 

As the winds were light, we motored until the northern tip (Turtle Head) and then seabreeze came in nicely straight down the east passage of Penobscot Bay. Normally, going to windward back home in Narragansett Bay or Rhode Island Sound means trashing into waves making the ride uncomfortable, but here the waters are flat and our little C&C 34 loves it. She works to windward like it’s what she was built to do and our 135-jib is also made for these conditions making the sail relaxing and enjoyable.

Sailing up the west passage of Penobscot Bay

It still took us a few hours and quite a few tacks but was still sublime sailing. There were not as many lobster pots so we could relax a bit more and let the auto pilot do it’s thing. I was able to sit back and finally finish the book I started on the trip up. (Summer of ‘69 by Elin Hildebrand). 

When we turned past the Isleboro Ferry landing off Grindel Point we had to decide between two nearby anchorages: the space between Spruce and Warren Island or around the corner at Cradle Cove. As the winds were still up and more SE, we opted for Cradle Cove over the more exposed former. When we got around we found it actually very full of anchored boats and no one was using the moorings from Dark Harbor Marina. (Why pay when it’s good holding ground and you’ve got an anchor?) Once we settled, we questioned whether to move anchorages to avoid this crowd of a dozen or so boats, but we decide to stay.

Sunset in Cradle Cove

I noticed many of these boats were flying the same burgee (Yacht Club Insignia flag) from their side stays. It’s blue and yellow with a flying fish. So I google “flying fish burgee” and discover it’s the Ocean Cruising Club, and according to Wikipedia, you have to have skippered at least a 1,000 mile ocean passage to join. Most of the boats to appear to have older couples aboard 40-50 footers that looked like they had some sea stories to share. We heard them hail on the radio that there would be a “crab finding contest” in the morning followed by a “lobster bake by campfire.” Sounds like a good time.

We also saw a fleet of 15 or so boats racing by that had “DH” on the sail. So another google search rabbithole taught us that the Dark Harbor 20 was commissioned by the Isleboro-based yacht club, Tarratine Yacht Club, in 1930s designed by Sparkman & Stephens. They have raced every Saturday since.

We relaxed for the night watching the sunset and I started the latest Elin Hilsebrand novel (28 Summers). All in all the sense of adventure of Day 6 in Maine felt almost normal as we continued to just enjoy ourselves and the beauty around us.


  • Pre-Breakfast: Apple Turnover (Kate) and Cinnamon Bun (Brandon) from the Buck’s Market
  • Breakfast: Blueberry pancakes with Bacon 
  • Lunch: Chicken Salad in a hot dog bun
  • Snacks: Cheese and Crackers with Salami and a Cranberry Relish
  • Dinner: Chicken with Yellow Squash and Zucchini in a Butter Marsala with a little too much Sriracha added (whoops!))

Merchant Row to Buck’s Harbor

My family has always had a dry sense of sarcastic humor. Wo with that in mind… my first words this morning (in a complaining tone) were “Well, it’s another fucking gorgeous morning in Maine!”

Persistence on mooring in McGlathery Cove

Seriously though… it was warm, sunny, and no wind, (and no fog) at 830 when we finally left the V Berth. After coffee, we decided to make breakfast so we could “walk it off” before exploring the island we just sought refuge behind. I made baked some bacon (yes baked because it’s less messy and greasy which is key on the boat!) and cooked up some pancakes using Bob’s Red Mill Mix and fresh blueberries. When we downed then with Maple Syrup in the morning sunshine we were just in awe of the luck in weather we have had. (Side note: Squuezeable Maple syrup is also key on the boat!)

The paths on McGlathery are marked with “upcycled” shoreline debris.

We went ashore to explore the paths a fellow sailor recommended. At first it was funny that the trails were marked with shoreline debris. A lobster pot here. A bait bag there. A random rope. A shell. “That’s cute,” I thought. Then it was a savior. I thought I knew where I was going but realized I lost the the upcycled trail blazes and had to double back! Eventually our Hansel and Gretel path led us to the other side of McGlathery Island which was beach mixed with Granite, Sandy swaths, and wildflower lain marches.

Monarch butterfly in the McGlathery Island Meadow

By the time we explored the island, the sun was high and it was time for another refreshing dip off the deep beach we tied our dinghy up to. Our fellow boaters we shared the anchorage with came in as well with their amazing boat dog – which only made us for the 100th time feel guilty for leaving Scruffy behind on this adventure. We learned they had trained their dog to swim and use the bathroom if they ever went somewhere without a beach! These fellow sailors also recommend their homeport of Buck’s Harbor as a great stop. At this point, we were considering that as our next refuge so this put us over the edge.

Just before morning swim post hike. Persistence to the right. Only neighbors boat to the left and they are rowing ashore behind us.

We pulled up anchor at 1100 but didn’t want to make the most direct route, we want to take in the islands and views of the Deer Island Thoroughfare- another passage among the small islands off the coast of this northern Maine area.

As we passed between all the islands, I held the chart on my lap and consulted the Maine Cruising Guide or googled the islands name to read aloud the facts of the area that surrounded us. We are both history buffs so we want to take in both the vistas but the stories behind them.

Sailing through the islands with the chart in hand.

This area is known for it’s Granite. These islands have been scoured for their distinctive mineral rocks and have formed the structures, facias, and verniers of the most important buildings of our country: the US Capitol, the Supreme Court, the Library of Congress, the Statue of Liberty (repairs), and many prominent others. Workers from around the world would come here to mine and procure these hunks of rock through rudimentary methods from hammer and chisel to dynamite. Only one island is still operating (and only because the Philadephia Mint required repairs that matched the original quarry) but the cranes and barges are still observable off Crotch Island.

The Granite Quarry on Crotch Island
cut granite pilled up on island

After we passed these quarry islands and travelled north-ish east through the Deer Island throughfare, we made it to the Eggmoggin Reach. I have heard of this stretch of water for so many years. I have worked for the Classic Yacht Owner’s Association for a couple of years now and have many classic yachting friends and only heard about the regatta the first weekend of August called the Eggmoggin Reach Regatta which is the “most beutiful race” up this peice of the world.

Approaching bridge in Egg reach

After experiencing it, I understand. Any sailor would agree that reaching is the best point of sail. For the non-sailors reading this, it is our easiest way to sail. the sails are relaxed yet the boat goes fast. There is no “tipping” or “bobbing” which can be the more uncomfortable ways of getting from A to B.

Eggmoggin Reach is 10 miles of picturesque and amazing sailing. The narrow straight held a variety of wind strengths but generally held a westerly direction. It kept it on our toes for sail trim which made for a fun sail. The eastern side had many lobster pots which we had to bob and weave but midway through the reach were gone.

Then it was easy sailing that let me grab a book!

We ended up our day at Buck’s Harbor on the Northeast sode of egg reach. We looped through the harbor and realized there wasn’t a great place to anchor and a lot of empty rental moorings. So we called Buck’s Harbor Marina and got a ball. (Our first of the trip.)

Persistence at first mooring in Buck’s Harbor

The Marina had a small shop and lobsters. We also learned there was a Market up the road. So we went ashore to make it all happen. We needed a few provisions (note: always pack more toilet paper than you think you need!) so walked up there then also got some lobsters.

Finally! Lobster Dinner on Board!

We finally got our lobster dinner. This is night #4 in Maines and we haven’t had lobster ye! We knew to bring a pot big enough to cook two lobsters so we boiled the 2.5 lbs on lobster down below and feasted on them with potato salad and fresh corn from the market. We toasted with one our favorite beers, Maine Beer Company’s: Lunch, then pulled out the chart to make plans for tomorrow’s adventure: Isleboro.


  • Breakfast: Blueberry Pancakes with Bacon
  • Lunch: Chicken Salad in Hotdog buns with hummus and pita chips
  • Dinner: Boiled Lobster with Potato and Egg Salad and Corn

Somes Harbor to Valley Cove to Southwest Harbor to Merchant Row

Not sure what day it is but we woke up before our alarm to a Loon call right next to our boat which was loud yet peaceful. Ahh Maine…

Then just as we were lulled back to sleep, someone hit the Distress button on their VHF which lets out an alarm on anyone’s boat nearby that is pretty jolting. You have to get up and press stop. You are supposed to wait for the Coast Guard first before you respond – which they did and it all turned out to be a false alarm. 

Okay then!…we’re up. 

We pulled up the anchor by 7:30 and headed back down Somes Sound for Volley Cove with the plan to hike to the top of Flying Mountain before it got too hot or crowded. Our friends on Star from JBY passed us on the way out for another friendly chat. On the short trip (30 minutes) I made breakfast before we anchored off the beach of Valley Cove, which very deep and  surrounded by giant Granite faces.

Steak and Eggs on Avo Toast

We decided instead of going ashore in the dinghy and having to haul it up the beach, since we were so close, we would just use a dry bag and swim to shore. It was brisk and refreshing but also nice to get some exercise. It was about 50 yards to shore where we doned some sneakers to start the trek. 

Valley Cove with Persistence in the background

The trails were so well maintained and it was only at 10 minute hike straight up to the top of Flying Mountain that had an picturesque overlook of Somes Harbor and out to Catallic Mountain. Our plan was to also go explore Man O War Brooke which is a freshwater stream that runs into the Sound. Apparently it’s so deep alongside that ships would pull right up to it to fill with water back in the day. So we headed to that path only to find out that it’s closed for another 10 days for nesting of Peregrine Falcons. 

View from the top

By this time is 0930 and families are starting to come to the beach, so we are happy to got here early to avoid the crowds and finally stretch our legs. So after another “refreshing” swim back to the boat we made plans for the rest of the day and headed down the sound. 

Next we stopped in Southwest Harbor to get some fuel and water. According the guide, Beal’s had both and monitored channel 16. Turns out only one of those is true. We just docked ourselves after no response and filled the diesel with 8 gallons. (We haven’t had to motor very much).

A cruising tool we need to add is a hose. Turns out places have water but its’ BYO-Hose. They pointed us to another Marina who would have water. That marina also has West Marine which we needed anyway because we actually don’t have a paper chart for this area. That is not really something we want to admit because you should never rely 100% on technology for charts. Also it’s really nice to have them just for helping you reference something you don’t have to pinch and zoom. (For the record, we have two individual devices with charts that are independent of each other and charts for the rest of our trip, just not Mount Desert/ Blue Hill.)

So I called the other Marina who said we would have to wait 2 hours to get water because some super yachts had appointments to fill up 3000 gallons of fuel (as you would). Then I asked if I could just land a dinghy there to go to West Marine. She said that was fine. As soon as I jumped in the dinghy, I could see half the marina was empty and there were hoses everywhere. So when I landed (Brandon is just doing circles as this point off the dock) I asked politely again in person and the General Manager said “Yea grab that spot and fill up, no problem.” (At this point we have just used up one of two tanks for the trip which is 40 gallons but not sure when will get the chance again so just trying to be conservative.)

Well once again we learned that you need to still have your own hose, we borrowed one from a super yacht parked near by and Brandon filled up while I went to West Marine. Turns out West Marine doesn’t sell the Chart Books for their own area. I could buy Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands  but they didn’t realize they were out of this area. They had individual charts, so I did get one but I had to laugh…

Having accomplished replenishment of our boat and a hike all before noon, we set off on our next destination…which still was yet to be determined but we knew we wanted to go west and south.

So of course, as is typical of Maine, the wind was from the south and west but luckily the water was flat. We sailed out of Mount Desert, back across the Bass Harbor bar and then sailed upwind to Casco Passage, a narrow channel north of Swan’s Island where we made landfall the first night. By this point, we have made a little circumavigation of Blue Hill Bay and Mount Desert. 

From the other side of Casco Passage, we made the plan to sail the 4.4 miller to Merchant Row and McGlathery Island. From there, we had the best sail I have ever experienced (yesterday was the best and then it was dethroned). We sailed upwind through Merchants Row which is a channel between numerous islands tacking every few minuted meandering our way through lobster pots and wind shifts. Checking the chart frequently to avoid shoals, ledges, and rocks, we managed to dance our way south and west to eventually find a bight between McGlathery and Round Island.

At first, we didn’t want to anchor because there was one other boat anchored so peacefully in the dropping sun. But we decided to join them anyway and were quickly followed by one other boat. The bight has a beach on one side and was still very warm at 1800 so we poured two to-go cocktails and some towels and headed in for a swim and a sunset drink.

Towels and cocktails in the dinghy

We met the two other couples on the beach who passed along cruising tips (there is a camaraderie here among sailors cruising). We even made the small world connection with another couple from Portsmouth, NH that they knew the previous owner of Persistence as he was from their home club.

Under another setting sun, we came back to the boat for what I call “lazy man’s lasagna” where I buy frozen stuffed shells (or ravoli) then cook some sausage (in our case chicken sausage on the stovetop) then spinkle the sausage on top of the pasta then top with tomatoe sauce and bake in the stove. The hearty comfort food was so good that Brandon didn’t make it much past dinner.

I took the night to post all these blogs. If anyone ever reads them, that would be great but is also just so we have a record of everything we are doing each day! Now off to bed for tomorrow’s next adventure.


  • Breakfast – Avo Toast with Steak and Eggs
  • Lunch – Crab Cakes (leftover from wedding) topped on Cucumber with Siracha Mayo
  • Dinner – Lazy mans lasagna – Stuff shellds with chicken sausage and sauce


Lunch! Leftover wedding crab cakes