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Mary Day’s Sunset

Those who keep track of such things tell us that sunsets are the most photographed subject. Our life style makes it easy to contribute to the statistics. Our presence in Penobscot Bay also makes it easy to photograph windjammers as they are everywhere. We rarely anchor without a windjammer neighbor. They provide great background for us. I doubt we do the same for them.

The challenge is to avoid wearing out one’s welcome by showing too many sunset shots. Can’t have too many windjammer shots. They are so cool. So let’s focus on their moment and enjoy. The Mary Day came in to anchor after a lovely, blustery day on the water. First, the crew anchored just off the beach across the way at Babson Island for a cook out. Then they repositioned for the evening and for the sunset. This morning the folks will go ashore to visit the school and then be off up Eggemoggin Reach with afternoon breezes. Can’t have too much of that.

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Scrimshaw Beginnings

We have a request to show Dee in her scrimshaw class. So here she is. Long ago I learned that, when photographing anyone who does manual labor or a craft of any sort, go for the hands. The hands will tell a story.

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Back at WBS

We are back at the WoodenBoat School so Dee can do a week of scratching Corian for practice in a scrimshaw class. Yep, Corian is the training material of choice. But that’s not the story. Jim here is the story.

The last time we were here, I captured him working on a new figurehead. It turns out that he has just finished the figurehead. He is in the scrimshaw class. Finally, he is the one who campaigned for several years to get such a class into the catalog. All around neat deal. Dee gets a class she wants. Jim gets a copy of his working portrait.

Me? I get to hang out, to photograph in the shops, to ride around on the waterfront chase boats and to sail or row whatever is available. You see I created two new categories of camper/student/visitor here: self-appointed staff photographer pro tem and exalted alumni with privileges.

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Friendship Sloops

Race days for Friendship Sloops. A raging regatta this is not. The only egos on the loose are those of boys who, as always, feel the need to generate their own excitement in this case with pirate songs and water balloon barrages during the pre-start maneuvering. By all outward appearances we have a race. There are real race marks, a committee boat with the appropriate signals and the standard race start countdown. The first three legs of the race seem normal enough – sailing out of the harbor and then back. The bigger boats soon outpace the pack which becomes most unpack like quite quickly.
We didn’t know the race course so we would hang up sun at the marks and then move on the next one. The only problem was the faster sloops started doing sightseeing loops and taking side trips as they might do on a yacht club cruise. Seems that the rule of the day was not to get too far ahead. Pretend to charge around race marks and have fun. Seems to have worked out just fine. Did for us.

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My Bench

The base for our post cards is the image. From time to time we have a story but, lacking a compelling image, we do nothing. An image with a story is ideal. We have our image. At least I do. This bench is a dear favorite of mine – that’s my bench. And there’s a story here. We just don’t know what that story is.
Up towards the end of Winter Harbor on Vinalhaven is the massive slope of rocks you can see. All by itself with nothing around it sits a nice stone bench. The nearest structure is probably a mile away by road if there are still roads into its site. The head of Winter Harbor was once an active quarry. We can see the quarry cuts, left over stone and abandoned stone loading wharfs complete with a rusting out lift cable. So we speculate that the quarry folk made this bench. For a rest break? Could be. For posterity? Seems to have worked out that way. Just for me? For sure.

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The Morning After

All that is left for most windjammer guests to do is to enjoy the morning and pack. Logic would dictate that the parade be on Saturday until one realizes many windjammer cruises turn over on Saturday. So it’s a quiet lovely final morning for the crews and those up early. And early it is. This shot was taken before six. Already people were on deck with coffee cups in hand and unfortunately some cigarettes. The cooks were busy. We know that because we could smell the smoke form wood stoves. Many of these windjammers date back to the Nineteenth and early Twentieth centuries. Dated amenities provide the charm and romance of a windjammer cruise. Their presence is ample charm and romance for us.

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Windjammer Parade

Where would we be if tourist marketing types didn’t create hyped up events in order to attract attention? In this case the windjammer association stages a yearly jam in at Rockland, a windjammer parade. Mid afternoon windjammers come in to parade past the harbor’s light at the end of a long jetty. They spend the afternoon milling about repeatedly making their parade passes. It’s a good show. We benefit greatly because we need to work the boat crowd to line up shots without another spectator boat getting in the way or without an awkward background. So the windjammers mill about and we mill about. Everybody has a good time. And then some dozen boats anchor in a cluster at the south end of the harbor for an evening of socializing.

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What We Like

. . . about Maine. There is always another – island with a light, rocky cape also with a light on it, work boat or two showing off color and activity, backdrop of interesting light, fog bank to change the world, harbor to poke into – and another.

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First Light

First light, first day, first stop in Maine. Potts Harbor, Harpswell. Why here? Most importantly because we could see to come in. Last year we didn’t see Maine at all until hours after we anchored. We came in under white out fog conditions picking a relatively pot float free cove as our anchorage. Potts Harbor is surrounded by intense fields of lobster pots. Some boaters just plow through. We pick our way looking for random open water lanes. No place to be when visibility is severely restricted. Visibility was and is superb as a lovely Canadian high settled in on us yesterday.

The other reason to start here: for lunch. The waterfront restaurant serves a killer lobster chowder accompanied by blueberry muffins. Welcome to Maine. Thank you. Its good to be here.

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Love That Fog

Back when we were just talking about returning to Maine this summer, I commented on our sense of anticipation. “I look forward to getting back to fog.” This confirmed my status as being more than a bit off center.
Fog is marvelous. Yes, it does mess with one’s mind. The thought of not being able to see is disconcerting and trying to see in fog can be downright disorienting. Fog definitely messes with digital camera sensors. Sometimes the recorded color simply looks strange as in strong morning light making everything photographed look somewhat pumpkin orange.
The there are times when fog and camera produce subtle magic. Our last morning in Newport gave us clear skies, a few clouds and very low lying fog. Subtle magic.

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