From the glorious J-class sloops, we move on to the even more compelling fishing schooners, such as Columbia (above). This Sterling Burgess design (he is the creator of Ranger, the fastest of the Js) represents a combination of speed, beauty, and purpose matched in our minds only by Donald McKay’s extreme clippers.
We have moved on to Gloucester (think of the movie Perfect Storm)…
…where the Harbor Master and his crew are the first of many friendly locals you will meet.
Gloucester has a lovely mix of old and new, a working fishing fleet and the folks who service them, along with tourists and land-based enterprise.
We have stumbled onto another event: schooner week. There is also an opening for the tuna fleet, so the boat watching is at a premium.
There will be contests of course.
And the contestants are out practicing.
Schooners have come from all over for this get together.
And we love watching them reach back and forth across the bay.
The weather is changing. There is a hint of fall in the air. Aboard Cochise we have the diesel boiler now taking the chill off in the morning. It is looking like an early fall after a cool New England summer.
We move from the packed anchorage within the town basin to the outer anchorage for a little more swinging room and a weather shore, to give us a bit of protection from the northerly winds and the forecast front. As a bonus, we have a ringside seat for the most spectacular fireworks show we have ever seen from the deck of one of our yachts.
This Labor Day weekend celebration is totally appropriate for the crew of Cochise. The two of us met and fell in love over Labor Day weekend 50+ years ago at Catalina Island. Our friends and crew for this cruise, Michael and Nancy Morrell, likewise met over Labor Day weekend.
Given that history, and a bit of Dashew family lore, we think it appropriate to close with this 1937 Friendship sloop. It is rumored that Steve was conceived aboard the family’s Friendship sloop on Long Island sound.
That gaff rig may look ungainly, and the beamy, shallow draft hull a bit slow, but we can verify that this restored model is slipping along very nicely in the building sea breeze.
The front has passed, the wind has swung to the southwest, and there is a traveling moon. Cochise is headed further east. We are going to see where the impending surfing takes us. Nova Scotia? Or perhaps further. Time will tell.