Day of Rest ~ St. Michaels

Talbot Street, Saint Michaels



Miles River Traffic, The Patriot


Friday is my favorite day of the festival. Mostly because, technically, it isn’t part of the festival. Nothing is scheduled, no crowds, no events, no pressure. Friends who arrive earlier than me are out on the Wye Island camping trip,  leaving time for unhurried conversations with those who remain behind. It’s the most peaceful day of sailing, too, when the weather is good.

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Saint Michaels, Maryland

Fogg’s Landing


Arrived after dark in St. Michaels. The Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival will ramp up in another day or so. Already meeting old friends on the docks.




Steve’s on sailor’s time, near the end of an 18 day solo trip to the north end of the Chesapeake, arrived here today. He turned in before I got here. We’ll catch up tomorrow. Wondering how well he’s sleeping with the sudden influx of people everywhere, conversations going late into the night on the docks right next to the boat, after so many days of quiet and solitude.

I managed to pitch the tent in the dark, had a dinner of canned sardines and a local IPA from back home. I’ll sleep well, for sure.





One if by Land, Two if by Sea

Most of the reasons travel by train is so pleasant are also true of ship travel. Not luxury cruise liners, of course; but humble ferries and merchant ships. Same esthetic. Same qualities of time and pace and the people you meet.

Add weather and wildlife.

postcards from the road

Maine ~ on Isle au Haut

Lighthouse on Isle au Haut Thorofare


There’s a welcome party on the docks at Isle au Haut. Families here to greet relatives, fishermen to collect gear ordered from the mainland, others just to see who or what the tide has brought in. I recognize the Mayor and Mrs. Mayor from the short film I saw a few years ago, the one that made me want to come here.


The dinghy dock at Isle au Haut




Rubber bands for binding lobsters’ claws for market.


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Maine ~ to Isle au Haut

Stonington Harbor, Maine


With the passing of the Small Reach Regatta I realize I never finished the posts from Maine over a year ago. Nice to be able to go back to it now.


A light rain is falling as we pull onto the town dock to board the ferry. Attendants wave cars to park out on the wooden pier over the water. Another cautiously directs us into a small slot, the cars packed in so tight T has to get out before I back in.

There’s a notable mix of vehicles: old rusty pickups, almost as old as I am, with Maine plates. Next to those a brand new Lexus or Mercedes with out of state plates. Repeat. Like much of coastal Maine, people with homes on Isle au Haut are either true year-round locals, people who make a living on or near the water, or wealthy summer people from away, their second or third homes out on the island.



I chat with the fellow who waved us in. He’s friendly but his accent seems off. Says he was born here but grew up away, a teacher. Now he comes back every summer and works odd jobs for the season to be near home, his parents aging. Says he misses it so much that he comes back every year.

We rent bikes there on the dock to take with us on the ferry. A dozen or so are arranged in a large empty warehouse once used for sorting and loading fish; it too is out over the water. We try the bikes for fit and finish, and I ride figure 8’s through the big echoing space that once was bustling with people and cod and lobster. It’s clean, the cement floor smooth for riding, and the walls smell faintly of fish. Light filters in through tall salt-crusted windows. Gliding in big looping circles, murmurs of conversation, rain pattering on the tin roof.

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