October 19, 2013 along Portsmouth, Virginia's riverfront.

"One of the Greatest Gathering of Schooners in the World" featuring participating schooners from the 24th Annual Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sailing With the Privateer LYNX. Destination: 2010 Schooner Days, Portsmouth, Virginia

The LYNX sails along side of the PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II.

Sail along with the Privateer LYNX as she makes her way south to Baltimore, Maryland to participate in the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race and then to Portsmouth, Virginia for the 2010 Schooner Days. You can follow her daily travels by visiting the track finder site at http://www.sailwx.info/shiptrack/shipposition.phtml?call=WDA988  Please enjoy reading a few recent ship reports written since her departure from Montreal. You can also visit the Privateer LYNX website at  http://www.privateerlynx.com/

24 September, 2010
Day Four: Montreal, Quebec to Gloucester, MA
45�40.0'N x 061�26.4'W, In the Canso Lock
164 NM Run since 1200, 23 September.
Barometer at 1029Mb and falling slowly
Breeze at Force 4, NW
Seas: Calm in the Lock
Sailing between 6-8 under Fores'l, Stays'l Foretops'l, Jib and Main, until approaching the lock.

Our last lock - another "control" lock with little to no elevation change, is behind us and Lynx is on the Atlantic Side of Nova Scotia. The lively conditions of yesterday and the day before mellowed out into splendid sailing weather under a glimmering full moon last night. The breeze stayed with us right on to the Strait of Canso - which divides Cape Breton Island and Nova Scotia - where we were obliged to take them in for maneuvering into the lock.

Had conditions kept up the favorable outlook, we would have reset them just past the lock and sailed down the Strait to Chedabucto Bay and out to sea. But the forecast for tonight and Saturday is calling for strong contrary winds. Trying to make Lunenburg Harbor would have been quite a stretch, and there are few other very protected places for a Southerly going Southwesterly. Fewer still that are familiar to us.

So we anchored at 1450 EDT in an area off of Inhabitants Bay called, simply, The Big Basin. True to its moniker, it is a large, protected and lake-like piece of water ringed by forested islands and sparsely populated hillsides. The entrance channel was unmarked and slightly tricky, but the pay off is 360 degrees of sheltered anchorage. Sharing the anchorage are our friends aboard Pride of Baltimore II, so we must present nearly as pretty a sight to shore as the shore is showing us.

With over half the distance to Gloucester covered, we'll comfortably sit tight here tonight and tomorrow, then hope to take advantage of the Easterly and Southeasterly winds in the forecast to make tracks toward the U.S. again.

All best,

Jamie Trost and the crew of Lynx, snugged in at The Big Basin.

The Privateer LNYX  under sail. Photo taken from the deck of the PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II.
26 September, 2010
Day Six: Montreal, Quebec to Gloucester, MA
1200 EDT 45�26.8'N x 061�05.1'W, Sailing out of Chedabucto Bay
Sailed off Anchorage in Big Basin this morning at 0900, 15nm run.
Barometer at 1029Mb and rising
Breeze at Force 3, NE
Seas: 1-2'
Sailing Broad between 5-7under Fores'l, Stays'l Foretops'l, Jib, Jib Tops'and Main.

I imagine it is a rare occurrence for one Baltimore Schooner to be anchored in the Big Basin of Inhabitants Bay, Cape Breton Island, let alone two. And for the two to both sail off their anchors in quick succession is certainly something rare. But that is exactly what happened this morning when first Pride of Baltimore II (being further West and so less deep into the Basin) and then Lynx got underway.

Aboard Lynx we were appreciative for the respite of a quiet, wooded anchorage after so many hectic weeks and months of tightly scheduled port visits, tours, and daysails, and the recent brisk weather. And the boat was better for it too. It is not like sailors to sit idle while aboard, and so we spent Friday afternoon and Saturday on rigging projects and intense cleaning. Hosting thousands upon thousands of visitors over the summer was showing its wear on Lynx, and an intense morning "field day" got the ship back to gleaming in her compartments. We also took the afternoon to review safety procedures and drills, as well as wrap up some outstanding projects.

The day was the warmest we'd seen since leaving Montreal - woolies we shed in favor of t-shirts and though foggy, the Basin was serene. The offshore buoy reports indicated lump and grumpy seas with winds to match, but our little anchorage was quite peaceful

After dinner, we hosted several of the crew from Pride II over for an early evening tea and social call before both boats snugged in for the night and waited for the Northerlies to come.

Now we are still in sight of Pride II, sailing in company down Chedabucto Bay to Round Cape Canso and start, for the first time in six weeks, heading West.

All best,

Jamie Trost and the America bound crew of Lynx

27 September, 2010
Day Seven: Montreal, Quebec to Gloucester, MA
1200 EDT 43 44.8'N x 064 08.04'W, South of Lunenberg, Nova Scotia
183nm run since 1200 EDT on 26 September.
Barometer at 1029Mb and steady
Breeze at Force 4, SE
Seas: 3-4'
Motorsailing Broad on a port tack between 7-8 under Fores'l, Stays'l Foretops'l, Jib, and Main with maximum pitch and minimum rpm.

With favorable breezes, for now, Lynx is making speedy tracks Eastward. With a forecast of contrary breezes in the Gulf of Maine later this week, we are resisting the temptation to continue purely sailing, but have put to work Lynx's versatile power-train to help keep an aggressive speed of advance toward the US. As I have discussed in previous blogs, Lynx has a variable pitch propeller that comes in very handy in motorsailing instances. The sail plan we have has shown itself good for 6-6.5 knots, but by making the pitch as aggressive as possible we can add 1-1.5 knots to that speed with the engine in dead slow ahead, thereby maximizing fuel economy for speed. It isn't the most traditional or "romantic" way to go about things, but it works to get us on the move for our destination when conditions aren't completely ideal.

The breeze is supposed to fill in and allow for us to actually sail, but in the meantime we are entertained by a few marine sightings and the novelty that we have not set foot ashore in seven days. The sky is graying up, and the coming forecasts indicate some rain and fog, as well as a veering of breeze to South and then southwest. South is workable, southwest, will be a headache. For now, we are sailing WSW and putting some southing in the bank. Ahead of schedule, we can also afford to bear away on the breeze toward the North, and hide out somewhere again until it becomes favorable for getting down the coast.

All best,

Jamie Trost and the still dry crew of Lynx

28 September, 2010
Day Eight: Montreal, Quebec to Gloucester, MA
1200 EDT 43- 30.4'N x 067 - 57.8'W, Crossing the Gulf of Maine
166nm run since 1200 EDT on 27 September.
Barometer at 1018Mb and falling steadily
Breeze at Force 4-5, SxW
Seas: 3-4'
Sailing on roughly a beam reach between 7-8 under Fores'l, Stays'l Foretops'l, Jib, and Main.

Despite the soggy, foggy forecasts, the day has been pretty glorious. We were socked in a few times last night, but with the dawn the visibility has opened up beyond the forecasted limits for most of the day, and the breeze is a pleasant 16-18 knots, instead of the 25-30 predicted.

In short, we're pretty lucky. After an approximately 50/50% mix and match of sailing vs. motorsailing over yesterday afternoon and evening, we have been sailing since 0900, and making near eight knots most of the time.

Even with the more favorable conditions, this is not the breeze to get us to Gloucester. It already has a touch more West in it than anticipated, and is forecast to continue out of the South & Southwest. So rather than beat our way to Gloucester, we are making for the coast of Maine to wait for the wind to cooperate later this week when a cold front should bring the breeze North of West.

Unfortunately, the Coast of Maine wasn't designed for anchoring in southerlies, particularly ones with a touch of West in them. Sure there are coves and tucked away places if you travel up the Sheepscot, Kennebec or Darmiscotta Rivers far enough, but we also have the added wrinkle of wanting to clear customs and so maximize our detour. That leaves only Portland and Rockland as feasible options. Portland, terrific town that it is, offers little in the way of anchoring in a southerly, at least not close enough to town that a customs official would want to ride out in our rescue boat. And, with the westerly element in the breeze, it isn't easily reachable.

Rockland it is. Complete with a designated anchorage area just in front of town and well protected from the South. We should be there a few hours after sunset. And if not actually standing on U.S. soil for the first time in over two weeks, at least hook down in it.

All best,

Jamie Trost and Rockland bound crew of Lynx

Privateer LYNX sailing with the PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II

29 September, 2010
Day Nine: Montreal, Quebec to Gloucester, MA
1200 EDT 44 06.1'N x 069 05.7'W, Anchored in Rockland Harbor
60nm run since 1200 EDT on 28 September.
Barometer at 1018Mb and rising steadily
Breeze at Force 4, SSW
Waiting at anchor to clear customs

Rockland Harbor is a good anchorage in most winds. Which would explain all the mooring fields inside the breakwater. Those add an element of complication to sailing a Baltimore Schooner onto her anchor in the dark. The mooring fields cover most of the best anchoring ground, so the best a large vessel can do is get close. But not too close or there won’t be room to swing when the breeze shifts. And not in the middle of the entrance channel to the inner part of the harbor.

So on a breezy, rainy night we managed to dodge all those obstacles and execute the classic Tops’l schooner round up, whereby you fall far off the wind to get the fores’l into the lee of the mains’l and brail it in, then take in the heads’ls. Once they’re in, pivot around by putting the helm hard down and overhauling the mains’l to weather. As the ship comes head to wind, naturally losing speed already, the foretops’l goes aback and really puts the breaks on. Then, before she gets sternway on, let go the hook and take in the tops’l.

If it all works out right, you’re exactly where you wanted to be anchored. Or, maybe a touch close to the channel, but still pretty good.

That’s about how it worked out last night, which is a great show for a recently turned over crew who’ve never done it before as a team. And with two shots of chain out we had a relatively mellow night of it, despite the gusts and rain. But as of noon today, we are still under the “Quebec” flag – not the one we recently flew in Montreal, but the plain yellow one indicating we are eagerly waiting to clear customs. Rockland is a port of entry, but it is managed out of Bangor, where the small staff is largely focused on clearances at the airport there. For us, someone has to travel down to the coast, then out to our anchorage via our rescue boat. Luckily, the weather has cleared and it won’t be a wet ride.

All best,

Captain Jamie Trost and crew of Lynx, patiently waiting under quarantine.

The Privateer LYNX is the Recipient of the American Sail Training Association's
Transpacific Yacht Club's

The Lynx Educational Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, educational organization, dedicated to hands-on educational programs that teach the history of America's struggle to preserve its independence. For donation information, please contact the Lynx Educational Foundation 1-866-446-5969 509 29th Street, Newport Beach, CA 92663

No comments:

Post a Comment