Maine’s Magic

I learned of the Small Reach Regatta from folks I met last Fall at the Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival (that is UNA in the background of their banner photo). I enjoy Spring or Fall sailing on the Chesapeake most. With July’s broiling temps in VA, Brooklin, Maine seemed ideal. With a rented diesel truck packed with groceries and gear, we hauled UNA and 2 SOF kayaks north. After staggering tolls in New Jersey and New York (highway robbery) we then faced a slow crawl along what seemed to be Connecticut’s only road. So, we stopped in Stonington, CT for the evening. Visiting the harbor we found an LFH “Araminta”, a sprite work boat and others.

L. Francis Herreshoff’s Araminta.

This classic work boat out-shown the inflatable and twin engined plastic boats with ease.
Adding 6 more hours of road time the following day delivered us to cooler temps, pristine air and Brooklin. Our 1905 cabin was perched on Center Harbor. This must be the birthplace for Beetle Cats and Herreshoff 12 1/2’s. Easily a dozen of each swung at their moorings.

Our cabin.

The town is home of WoodenBoat and its surrounds feature famous boat builders and celebrity boats alike.

Dinghy pier.


Beatle Cats in the morning fog.

With a +/-9 foot tidal range, floating piers are ringed with dinghies to ferry owners to their boats large and small.

Brooklin Boatyard’s floating dinghy dock.

Our backyard fit UNA perfectly. She rode her mooring for several days of sailing prior to the SRR. There was one beauty after another sailing or moored in the harbor. Some you may recognize.

walk to the cabin


UNA at mooring.


another true Rozinante.

Sailed against the WoodenBoat Calendar cover girl Perch one day. I have watched the OCH video a dozen times. UNA seemed to match her pace and weatherly ability. She continues to amaze me.

Covergirl Perch. Herreshoff Fish Class.

The weather was varied the whole week. Fog would burn off with the sunrise. Fresh breezes every afternoon. The only rain fell overnight twice. Lows were in the 60’s. Highs barely scared 80. The kayaks allowed for nearby island exploration. Clambering out of a kayak into UNA was a trick. No dunking occurred though. Sailing amongst beautiful boats was marvelous. You’ll never see these beauties at a US Sailboat Show.

water bug.
On arrival day for SRR, I cast off UNA’s mooring on a pea soup morning to sail her through Naskeag Harbor and around the point to our host site at Atlantic Boat Company on Herrick Bay. Atlantic specializes in motor launches to yachts, is family owned ,and proved a great host for the 4-5 days our 50+ boats swarmed around the piers. It was a great venue for several days of group sailing, eating, and general fun. Will post pics from the event later-

4 thoughts on “Maine’s Magic

  1. I suspect the water temp kept the air temp “just right”. I wrestle with getting images and text here sometimes and have to step away. I'll post pics and a brief write up on SRR soon. If you can, go next year. Good fun and great scenery.

  2. First came across your blog via the Small Boat Monthly feature. I am dying to go to Brooklin, alas it won't be this year. However, perhaps by next year I'll have my (lug/sloop rigged) Ilur finished. Planning to start the build in March. Your blog is wonderful and inspiring. UNA's color scheme is stunning. I have cruised the Chesapeake in my own (now sold) San Juan 21 and larger chartered boats. Once Ilur is finished I will definitely head there as well. I have also paddled my Night Heron in some of the fabulous tributaries. Mattaponi is an all-time favorite. Bon vent!

  3. Thanks Chris. Last year was my first SRR. Wonderful. Bit of a drive, but may go this year too. Guess you know John Hartman and his Ilur. These small boats are full of adventure. That Night Heron is slick too. Is your Ilur build the one on WBF?

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