It ain't over yet in New England


It ain't over yet in New England
by Karl Ackerman

It's a cold rainy day and a gale is expected tonight. Not a good day for sailing but yesterday was a different story.

Yesterday I went sailing on what many would regard as an equally unfit day. But here in New England in November a 58 degree northeast wind at 10 knots looks pretty good if it's not accompanied by rain or snow squalls. The seas were running 2 to 5 ft. also from the NE from a storm that brought snow squalls earlier this week.

As we left Lynn Harbor the sky was cloudy and forbidding. We had occasional holes for a most glorious and warming sun to shine through on us. however, and we reveled in it while we could. Only one other sailboat was getting ready to leave the mostly empty harbor as we headed up the channel. They weren't about to miss this chance for a good day's sail either.

After making sail at the end of the channel, we close reached south on port tack down to the Brewster Islands. Then we ran in a bit towards the North Channel entrance to Boston Harbor proper. Then reached back north along Deer Island and Winthrop almost to Nahant Rock on starboard tack. The sun was particularly fine and while his son Joe steered my buddy Gerry Seaward stretched out on the port cockpit seat and caught some rays. They are coping with SAD (Sailing Absence Disorder) as there C&C 30 was pulled last week and is on the hard for the winter.

It was only around 1 pm and none of us wanted to go back in yet so we decided to beat out to the apply named Graves Light (it is littered with the wrecks of ships bound for Boston). Of course the wind was picking up a little as we went further out and with the apparent wind from being close hauled we needed to add another layer of clothes to stay warm. The Graves were impressive. The large swells crashed into them and over them with much spray. We got as close as we dared and they tacked and fell off on a starboard broad reach back toward Flip Rock off Nahant.

The sun was getting very low by then and setting a bit early behind the dense cloud banks in the west. So as it got dark, I gave up on my plan of sailing in the long channel to Lynn Harbor, and we lit off the trusty BigFoot and headed her up to furl the sails. That done and the darkness and cold increasing around our running lights and our happy crew, we made it back to our slip in good order.

The crew, well practiced from other sails in balmier weather, got the sail covers on and tied out the halyards while I flushed the engine, fussed with the dock lines, and got the ice box out and on the dock. It was the perfect end to a perfect day of sailing made all the more sweet by the snow earlier this week!

We will remember it this winter when our longing to be again on the sea in our boats in the wind and sun is as deep as the snow outside our windows.

Who knows, maybe we'll luck out and get one more day just good enough to steal away for another November sail here in the North East before I give up and pull "Andiranda" out to rest for the winter on her trailer in the back yard?