WHITEHAWK! ERR! And a Little More DEVA….

I have to confess:  this is one of my favorite weeks of the year… the lead-up to Eggemoggin Reach Regatta.   Another confession, though:  Ever since greatest friend John Hanson went to the dark side and got a ‘glass boat (albeit a wonderful one:  a Vineyard Vixen), it hasn’t been the same for me.  I think John got tired of losing to Deva and then to the $6,000 International… proving that ERR isn’t just for rich people and boats…..


(Photo courtesy Eggemoggin Reach Regatta — erregatta.com)

So, Boat Heaven at WoodenBoat awaits the arrival on Friday/early Saturday of perhaps 100+ drippingly gorgeous wooden boats, and almost as many ungorgeous spectator boats.  Not that’s there’s anything inherently wrong with the Carvers and Bayliners of the world……  Lord, never consider me uncharitable.

ERR is so unlike other regattas.  No protests.  Minimal damage.  Other than a few flamers, generally no shouting (this should be the next regatta rule).

And what should I see today with my amazed eyes… but the ultra-gorgeous WHITEHAWK, at the Trident Marina in Rockland.  How could anyone not fall totally in love with her at first sight?  Truly, Bruce King’s masterpiece.  Will she be at ERR?  I won’t digress right now to tell you about the year I ran the fleet the “wrong” way, down Egg Reach, under the Deer Isle Bridge — which neither WHITEHAWK nor PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II could clear.  Some of the crew members of those two boats still have the froth of their anger ingrained on their chins.

(I didn’t have my phone with me, so you are spared another of my poor pics.  But trust me:  WHITEHAWK looks better than she did on launching day, lo’ those many years ago — geez, 1978.  But that’s a whole ‘nother story….)

Here’s her pic, from the Register of Wooden Boats



And I know you’re all wondering about DEVA.  Here’s what D.N. Hylan’s website has to say today (third item down):

“Her canvas deck covering was stripped and the decking and sheer line were faired. A layer of 1/4” plywood was put down over the existing sprung deck to provide dimensional stability for the new deck covering of [D]ynel cloth set in epoxy.

All of her deck hatches were removed and replaced with new hatches built to LFH designs. She will have new toe rails, trim, moldings, grab rails, cockpit cap rail and more. Her hull will be stripped faired and re-painted. All of the hardware was removed from the main mast, it was stripped, repaired and refinished, and the hardware was re-fastened. The rig was altered slightly to more resemble the original LFH sail plan including removal of a stainless steel bowsprit, new chain plate locations, and removal of extraneous rigging from former rig configurations.”

And this the amazing crew has done.  Check her out:

Deva at Doug'(Photo courtesy Kit Macchi)

I picked up her new sails today — from Doug Pope in Rockland, ME (www.popesails.com).  They are incredible craftspeople.

So, we’re in good shape:  Shakedown sail tomorrow, and the regatta on Saturday.

And maybe this will be the year…. the starting sequence begins….. 30 seconds to go to the gun……..

We yell out to WHITEHAWK — “Starboard.”

If she doesn’t slice us in half, that is better than victory.

Thanks for reading.  And see you on the starting line of the best race in the world.  Please comment below.






Posted in My Wooden Boat of July 2014 | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

A Tale of Two Islands; Sailboats Vs. Powerboats; DEVA — Call It “Ramblings”

Today (Monday) has been one of those days we cherish most in New England:  Absolutely stunning light, the wind soft, temperature the same.  It’s the type of day we remember in February, something we strive to attain.  It gives us reason and hope.

A confession:  I grew up in southern California, where every day it seemed like God, she put her hand on the thermostat and set it at 75 degrees.  Fog in the morning, and good sailing (to no place) in the afternoon.

We spent three-four summers in Maine when I was a kid… enough to make me wish I had grown up here instead.  But I wasn’t able to pursue that dream until I was 18.  A day like today reawakens that rememberance.  I don’t mind the cold, bleak winter days when I can look forward to a day like today.  Even the bugs take the day off, seeming to rejoice in the singular pleasure that a day like this brings.

Over the course of the past two weeks, I’ve spent equal time on an island in Buzzards Bay (MA) and on another island in Penobscot Bay (ME).  On the first, we’d wake to sit on the porch and plan our day of sailing, swimming, and watching the fleets sail by, off to the race course:  50 Optis, a dozen or so 420s and Beetle Cats, half a dozen Sakonnet 23s, and myriad fishing boats and the occasional other sailboat.  Temps in the 80s, high humidity, and winds in the 20-knot category.  The human company was excellent and exceptional.  Water temp:  perfect.

The Penobscot Bay island was equally fabulous, but I think with light that is unmatched anywhere than perhaps Scandinavia this time of year.  Light almost dripping, I think.  Even the water temp wasn’t that bad.

Back here in Brooklin, I went powerboating yesterday aboard the beautiful yacht AVELLAR.  Just buzzing about, and visiting DEVA as she now sits proudly on her mooring in Benjamin River (ME).  We bent her sails on today, and I’ll give you an update of her next week — after her extensive renovations this winter/spring/summer by the great people at DN Hylan’s.  If I said she’s now the most gorgeous boat I have ever seen, you’ll please excuse me — I’m just her steward.

Deva 2014(before her booms and sails were on)

As much as I love the powerboat (see previous posts on AVELLAR) — and I do — it seems, for me at least, powerboating is about getting from Point A to B.  With sailing — again, for me — it’s about the travel, not the destination.  For me, it’s the feel in the tiller, the sails perfectly aligned, the gentle slipping through the water, the seabirds and seals and porpoises… the ultimate quietness.  And I get to do this in the unbearable beauty of the incomparable Eggemoggin Reach.

I know I’m in heaven.  This is why I exist.  Does it ever get better than this?

Please add your comments below.  And thanks to all who commented on the last post.  And thanks for indulgence.


Posted in My Wooden Boat of June 2014 | Tagged , , | 3 Comments