Portland to P-Town

I (James) really do have to admit that after two weeks of living under the highway,


…in the flight path, and next to the construction site, it was a stretch, even for me, to say we were enjoying our million dollar view.


There was that really cool Peregrine Falcon that lived under the bridge that had the coolest screech!

…And Chief, the bent ear’d guard-dog!


…And all the cool folks that we partied with the night of the Lunar eclipse, but by the time we got underway we were (once again) done with Portland, ME!

Don’t get me wrong. We made some great connections and I’d even say some lasting relationships but two weeks is a real stretch for us. We had to get underway!


We didn’t plan on staying even two days but right after we tied up to the South Portland free-dock we started getting reports of fierce weather coming our way.

A weak low pressure zone built up way down in the Caribe while a strong Nor’Easter hammered down from Greenland. That week low pressure built up to Hurricane Joaquin and that Nor’Easter reminded us what that actually meant, holy shit, that’s why people fear these things!

That free dock pounded and squealed for three days after the eclipse and the big seas didn’t get below 10 feet until the morning we left Portland. The seas that Joaquin left behind were still pretty big (in the 7 to 10 foot range) but the winds had died down quite a bit, meaning, it was time to put a serious charge back on our greatly depleted battery bank.

Being under that bridge only gave us about two good hours of sun a day and that was when the sun was actually shining, which was rare. Anyway, we needed the power so we motorsailed almost all the way to Kittery from Portland.


We definitely weren’t behind schedule on getting to P-Town for Dena’s book release (as long as we pushed on) so we shagged the same mooring that we picked up in Kittery at the beginning of the summer, had a wonderful night’s sleep and pushed on first thing in the morning to Gloucester, MA, with the tide.

It was an intense sailing day dipping in and out of the big swell, clipping along the coast of Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts all day long.


Just before sunset we rounded up on Cape Ann…


…and got sucked into Gloucester Harbor where we put the hook in some good holding sand for another night of perfectly silent (compared to South Portland) anchorage.


It took all of five minutes after we entered the inner harbor for the Harbor Master to come buzzing around asking us what we were up to. We smiled and pretended we were happy to see him, told him that we were just looking for some fuel and an anchorage. He did inform us that we were too late for fuel (everybody closed at 5pm) but if we wanted to anchor in the “Special Anchorage”, right-smack-dab-in-the-middle-of-town, we could fuel up and be on our way first thing in the morning.

I (James) got the feeling he was very nicely trying to get us (the fuck) out of his town. I guess our yacht wasn’t “super” enough for his tastes.

We were up before the sunrise and got to watch Gloucester come alive. There were lots of old two, four and six seat lapstrake row boats coming by us giving us a hardy “Good Morning!”, and of course the lobster boats all take off before the sun.

While you’re sailing by, it’s impossible to find those antiquated dividers called state lines but what is easy to feel with all of ones senses is the obvious effects of going south. In Gloucester it was not only noticeably warmer but the air was dryer with a crispness to it that seemed to say, “You still got some time!”

Once again, the seas were really big once we entered the Atlantic Ocean but we maintained a good clip under sail only for most of the day keeping the silhouette of the Boston skyline off our starboard quarter until finally dropping off the edge of the Earth at around 1400.

On my (James’) watch through the Stellwagen Banks (an off-shore marine sanctuary for whales of all kinds) I saw three Humpback Whales, two adults and a baby, being tirelessly followed by two whale-watching boats and a fuck-ton of plastic destroyers. I didn’t even change course to get out of the traffic, I just plowed on through, hoping to give the whales enough block to make an escape from the gawkers.

It didn’t work.


As the sun was setting over Cape Cod we rounded up on Long Point Light. We had the hook buried in 20 feet of sand just outside of the Provincetown breakwater by the time the sun had steamed off the horizon.


P-Town, here we come!

Now it’s a week of book events and women womyn womon. The wind keeps kicking up hard and we just keep hoping we’ll be able to get into town when it comes right down to it. The first row (for groceries) was a brute. The second row (for this blog post and other internet work) was half a brute, but now we have to get back…against the wind.

Wish us luck.



  1. Luck, of course! But you’ve got all you need to make P-town work, I wish you that it also ends up being really enjoyable. And I wish you calmer winds. All that rowing makes a great story for the ladies, though. Who are going to eat you right on up anyway.
    Whales! You saw whales! Oh, I could swoon.

  2. Update…
    Our row turned out to be a truly epic exparament in the mortification of the flesh.
    Dena rowed out from the breakwater and only got about a quarter of a mile before taking some seriously big waves over the bow and right over her back as she rowed… she was drenched!
    We then went back to P-Town ate a great big celebratory meal… had some shots and tried it again a couple hours later.
    Well, of course we made it but… ow, my aching hands…back… et-cetera

  3. This is from Heinz, the person who is still working at West Marine with other Managers. Just want to say take care of yourself, things might get rough this winter again. Go further south it is warmer there.
    Happy Sailing and let me know when you can come to close to Baltimore. W.M. did not have an Tent at the Anapolis Boat Show. To expensive, also no advertising anywhere in the local papes etc.

  4. Mr. Heinz!!!
    WM does not deserve you!
    I’ll let ypu know when we get close to Baltimore for sure!
    we will most likely be anchored downtown close to Mr. Joe’s store and sneeking in to the showers at BMC!

  5. Only you , my friend can shutdown my brain . That is the part of my life, that I continue to search for. I just got back from visit to the in-laws in Japan. But of all the things I check is YOU. I’m really tired now , but want to say the facoln pix was really cool. Birds are my soft spot. Wow my english really sucks. going to bed …. Aloha

  6. Hey Tom,
    I was just writing a letter to the magazine that published the story Dena and I wrote about sailing to Hawaii and of course I can’t think about Hawaii without thinking about you! Every time I read one of your comments on these pages I can’t help but think about those few weeks that you and I spent breaking our backs for Etoen… Some of the best and most exhausting memories I have of Hawaii were spent in your company and I will always thank you for that.
    …I guess I don’t make it sound very good but, you know, I know you know!!!

  7. We did have some hard times, but I really enjoyed that time the most of my 7 years there. Especially the juice battles. Hey , you headed for a warmer climate ? I can’t imagine going thru another winter, after last years world record snowfall. I hope to have permanently sworn off any involvement with snow. Have a great one, and make it count. Aloha my friend

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