Tuesday, August 29, 2017
A Thousand Miles
A nautical mile is 1.2 times the length of its cousin, the statue mile. It is a minute of latitude and since latitude is read off the side of a chart, it is a convenient mile marker. Latitude is the horizontal marker of the world. The lines run parallel east to west, and are measured north to south from the equator.
All this is to say that Carrie Rose passed the thousand nautical mile mark this year. Chesapeake Bay, where we began, is but a distant memory. To date we have anchored, moored, or docked in 35 different harbors, coves, rivers, cities, etc. If all goes well the final number will be 36 when the fine folks at Atlantic Boatyard pull Carrie Rose out of Herrick Bay.
Herrick Bay is as far out of the way as any place we have stayed. The bay dries out at low tide revealing many extra feet of the bottom. There is a dock but it is only for the dinghies of everyone out on moorings where it is easier to deal with the 11 foot tides. When the tide is out the ramp from the dock is at about 45 degrees. The walk up shortens my breath and the walk down is dangerous.
Before we left on our present cruise to Northeast Harbor on Mt. Desert Island, I hung over the rail at low tide and had an enlightening conversation with the boatyard’s manager. He is a big strapping guy who looks comfortable in his ever present Hawaiian shirt. I fired off one question after another trying to familiarize myself with this newfound place.
I asked about lobster fishing and he spoke of being a lobsterman. I asked about all of the critters that came up with the mooring line and he named them with their biological names, the knowledge of which he had gathered during gaining a degree in marine biology. I self diagnosed my engine problems, and he quietly listened much as I did with my know-it-all patients, and then steered me confidently in the correct direction.
Once on the hard we will spend another few days tidying up, which is to say change the oil, wash, wax and buff the hull and deck, oil the wood inside and out, try to repair the poor dinghy’s varnish, and replace the weeping fiberglass exhaust tube. There is more but I won’t bore you with the details.
Of course, Carrie Rose is an inanimate object but objects can have personalities. And those personalities, whether we like it or not, become part of our psyche either driving us forward to explore, or to seek shelter and lick our wounds.
This all comes with this year’s thousand mile cruise, which began south and finished Down East. Carrie Rose is a striking boat but also an aging one that has been crossing the parallels of latitude and the meridians of longitude for 27 years, and hopes to continue doing so.