We are back in Camden for Windjammer Weekend, and to meet up with cruising friends. The harbor is crowded, with all manner of traffic coming and going.
Most visitors take moorings, and the best anchoring areas are now festooned with mooring balls.
There is little area left to anchor, and yachts often put their hook down in the channel; the transgression seems to go unpunished. Camden is infamous for its roll, particularly if a southwesterly breeze – of course that is the predominate summer direction – is afoot. We are comfortable as both poles, flopper stoppers attached, are doing their job. Our neighbors, as you can see here, have a bit more movement with which to contend.
Camden offers many attractions, chief of which is boat watching. In particular, we enjoy the small traditional yachts plying their trade with paying guests, as they sail in and out of the anchorage.
You will see all manner of craft here, most of the larger of which have a commercial background. But there are also some lovely yachts, of which this Fife ketch is an example.
The other end of the spectrum is Rebecca, in our opinion the most beautiful of all modern mega yachts. She is a unique blend of design elements and we’ll do a post on her at a future date. She was in Camden briefly, which is probably good, as she is almost too attractive, and gets us thinking about sailing yacht design again.
There are the resident osprey, nominally nested on the channel markers nearby. When it is mealtime they often visit mastheads, the better to watch from. In this case the landing was aborted. Perhaps the lightning static dissipator brush was objectionable.
Speaking of which, we have had this weekend a display of Mother Nature at her finest.
There is a US Navy destroyer anchored near the channel entrance. They are giving tours.
Ashore the windjammers are lined up, open to visitors for a short period each day.
The youngsters in particular seem to enjoy the festivities.
The locals are dressed to the hilt, or perhaps we should say dressed to kill.
The occasional disagreement breaks out, settled with the challenged’s choice of weapons.
This being Maine, second amendment rights are taken seriously. Hunters and sailors are well heeled.
And if you want a touch of duck for lunch, stand down-range and wait.
There are booths with a variety of foods, a pancake breakfast, and a plethora of nearby eateries.
Including a variety of seafood restaurants, serving the freshest of fish, lobster, and other delicacies. Many appear to stay open year round, indicating there is a local demand for seafood.
If you want technical advice, say the latest in canon engineering, you will find that experts abound.
The newest anchoring systems are on display.
And there is music aboard the windjammers,
as well as the yachts.
The weather has been superb. Mainly warm and sunny during the day, with a bite in the evenings, reminding those with mobility that the time to move back toward the equator is close at hand.
Given the less than optimal motion at anchor when the prevailing wind is in force, it is surprising that there are just three yachts with flopper stoppers rigged. These are two of our neighbors. We last shared an anchorage at Graciosa Bay in the Canary Islands. Between them, Interlude and Moonshadow sport in the neighborhood of 250,000 miles and three circumnavigations.
Fog has been mostly absent.
Which makes the full moon more interesting.
At 2000 hours Sunday evening, the Labor Day weekend fireworks show commences.
You could call this a fitting end to labor day weekend, but we have an even better one.
How about a fresh southwesterly breeze, clear skies, and a brisk sail? Of course you have a bit of traffic to dodge on the way out.
And one must remove sail covers and retrieve the anchor.
But when you unroll the jib, sheet home the main, and watch the steam gauge climb, between the bite of the wind on exposed flesh and the power of the sail plan coming through your feet, you will be reminded of the allure of this mode of transport.
What more could you ask for?
Of course we are biased, but we rather like the sight of Interlude and Moonshadow slipping along.
The rigs which look so short at anchor compared to their neighbors seem just right powered up with a bit of breeze.
This is what we call a fitting end to the Camden WIndjammers Weekend.