After I arrived at the WoodenBoat School I learned that I was just in time for two great events. One was the Eggemoggin Reach Regatta and the other was the Small Reach Regatta. I’ll show you the second in the next post.
The WoodenBoat School is located on a beautiful 60 acre waterfront site, that also houses the WoodenBoat Store and the publication building of WoodenBoat Magazine and Professional BoatBuilder. Everything appears in great shape and well organized. Every week there are many different classes, most of which are fully booked. Some students camp on site and some stay in student housing just up the road in Brooklin. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served for whoever signs up. Staff is very friendly and professional. Quite a place indeed.
Down at the water there is a beautiful boathouse where the on-the-water classes are based. Out in front is a whole assortment of wooden row and sail boats tied to there moorings, that are used for classes during the day and are available for students after 5 PM. Launches zoom back and forth bringing students to there boats and back. Fetch gets launched and I get the use of one of the guest moorings, so I don’t have to worry about my anchor holding. Schooners (windjammers) from Rockland come in in the afternoon to have a sunset lobster dinner on the beach across the bay.
I went by the Brooklin Boatyard on a foggy day and enjoyed the waterfront of Center Harbor. I visited Eric Dow’s shop just up the road. Eric was my instructor in Seattle Center for Wooden Boats years ago. For a long time he specialized in building Havens, but now he focuses on winter storage and maintenance. I stopped briefly by Brion Rieff’s shop where several new builds were underway.
The day of the Eggemoggin Reach Regatta began with no wind and rain. Fetch couldn’t part take because one has to be at least 26′. About 100 classic wooden boats gathered for the start and I tried to stay out of the way with Fetch, but at some point I accidentally drifted over the start line; oops. The first classes started with a fair amount of wind, but by the time the bigger faster boats went over the line the wind had pretty much died. Millions of dollars worth of boats were just drifting about. Gradually the sea breeze came up and finally built to about 18 knots. By now the boats were really going. Just in front of me a beautiful big yacht, carrying a huge spinnaker, was heeling so much I thought it was going to put the mast in the water. Suddenly the boat just popped up after the spinnaker blew right in half.
After the regatta hundreds of sailors gathered on the lawn at the waterfront for a BBQ and award ceremony. The day ended with an amazing sunset flooding a whole fleet of anchored classic boats in golden light. What a day!