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Down East Maine Sailing Escape from Pandemics and Hurricanes

Maine has always been an escape from the summer swelter of Boston, New York and Philadelphia. This year it’s also a Down East sailing escape for Stan and Sally Honey, who revised their Bermuda Race plans to cruise the coast of Maine, and for the Milum family of Mill Valley who, as the islands closed down, cut short their Caribbean cruising to head north. You can read about the Milums in Latitude 38’s August issue. Other Californians recently arriving on the Maine Coast include Greg and Debbie Dorland aboard their Catana 52 Escapade and Paolo Sheaffer aboard his Catana 471 Carlota’s Promise.

We learned to sail on the coast of Maine and have managed to make it an annual summer escape ever since. Typically our Maine journey is filled with large family reunions and afternoon daysails. This year it’s just sailing. It reminds us why sailing anywhere is always a great escape, and of the unique character of sailing in Maine.

Schooner Alert
The schooner Alert crosses tacks with a small wooden dory on her way back to the harbor.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John
Stuart Knockabout
We passed just astern of this pretty Stuart Knockabout out for an afternoon leisure sail.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John
Sprit sailed dory
This wooden sprit-sailed dory is one of the endless classic boats you’ll find along the Maine coast.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John
Max & Lynnie Fletcher
Due to the pandemic, our friends Max and Lynnie Fletcher were not able to return to their Nordic 40, Juanona, in Spain. They ‘retrofitted’ this runabout into a tented ‘coastal cruiser.’
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John
For us it’s household sailing on this 1966 Pearson Ensign, bought from Cal Adventures in Berkeley 27 years ago! It included a trailer to tow it back to Maine. 
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John
Maine scene
Serene sailing on the coast of Maine.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John
Greg Dorland & Debra Macrorie Escapade, Catana 52
Greg Dorland & Debra Macrorie, with their Catana 52 Escapade in the background, stopped by as they looked for refuge from Hurricane Isaias in nearby Quahog Bay.

Given Maine’s recognition as a home to so many classic boats. it could be easy to forget that it is also a hub of high-tech boatbuilding. Hodgdon Yachts built Comanche in East Boothbay, ME, and Brooklin Boatyard built Harvey Jones’ Botin-designed Outlier, written up in our June issue in Brooklin, ME.

High-tech or low-tech, East Coast or West, hoisting sails on a bay anywhere is always a welcome relief.

1 Comment

  1. milly Biller 3 years ago

    Beautiful for sure, but nota lota breeze.

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