180 degrees of wake up


The summer comes to a clapping close when the winds turn from the southwest to the northeast. Just like that, we’re heading south again.

Right after we picked up Dena’s new books from the local post office (sent to her general delivery) we left Winter Harbor astern riding a light nor’easter.


By sunset we were back on Swans Island, only this time we shagged a mooring on the northeast side at Minturn in Burnt Coat Harbor.

A gentle windless night awoke to a choppy nor’easterly fog in the morning so we tucked in a couple of reefs and headed out early to weave our way through the rocky islands of Toothacher and Jericho Bays.


Unlike the photo above we never once saw the sun during our brisk sail over to Stonington from Minturn. We rocked and rolled into Stonington Harbor in the Deer Isle Thorofare (yes, it’s really spelled like that) before noon on a freshening broad reach and a racing flood, picked up another free mooring, and whipped up some burritos. The town is nicely vertical and easy on the eyes. After lunch we rowed into town for some groceries and some light Hollywood entertainment then it was back to the boat where the sleep was constantly interrupted throughout the night by the local lobster fishers coming and going. Stonington claims the biggest haul of lobster in the world with an annual income of over $57 million just in lobster alone!


With the cooler winds coming down from Greenland we are stacking on the layers as we make our way back to warmer climates. But it promises to be a long adventure before we can catch some of those balmy trades that are calling us south.

The nor’easters are still short and unpredictable, so we’re bouncing along the coast in short hops instead of heading out a faster way. Besides, with Heart of the Liliko’i completely finished and the guide book edits turned in, this is basically a vacation now. If we do a couple-three hours of travel each day, we won’t exhaust ourselves going against the wind while seeing even more of this coast than we managed on the way Down East.

Though it’s hard not to get wound up in planning the rest of the year (what route to Key West, stopping where for book events, what will the weather do), we’re trying to stay in the moment. This is the point. This, right here, making our slow way with the connivance of nature and our hard-won skills, is the prize.



  1. These beautiful bruised skies are so melancholy. Time to write some poetry. Here’s your prompt: “Autumn turns by the breath of Greenland, freshening broad the Thorofare…”


    Key West, is it? Take your time, dearies, and stop by the Chesapeake for a toast.

    (pssst…I hear there’s some gayz down there, you guys. And manatees. Prolly the gayest manatees ever. Doing Rubenesque Burlesques and synchronized sodomy. Beware!)

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