Island Updates

Apprenticeshop Sailing Week

Post by Oakley Jackson, Program Instructor

We set sail aboard the Twins on a four-day orientation voyage with seven apprentices from The Apprenticeshop in Rockland this past week. Departing from Hurricane Island on Monday afternoon (September 22, 2014) we were met with strong gusting winds from the North West. Many of the apprentices had prior sailing experience and we were confident the Twins could handle the 20-knot winds. The Twins proved to be sturdy vessels and we made good time up the Eastern shore of Vinalhaven before reaching the narrows between Leadbetter and Vinalhaven and deciding to tuck our tails and make the down wind run back to the shelter of Lobster Pound Cove on Greens Island.

 Sam works with students to determine the course

Sam works with students to determine the course

By the time we sailed away from Greens on Tuesday morning the wind had picked up to a steady Westerly breeze. With the wind behind us we skirted out past the Southern end of Vinalhaven, passing the outer islands of Brimstone, Hay, and Otter. Once around we pointed our bows North and made one long tack along the Western shore of Vinalhaven, past North Haven and all the way to Butter Island, which neighbors Eagle and Great Spruce Head Islands. As we entered the cove we were met by schooling mackerel chasing their prey along the surface. Despite our best efforts we did not get a single bite on our hooks. It was a picture perfect day and we all expressed our immense gratitude to the weather gods for giving us such a fine day of sailing.

 Sailing the twins, Castor and Pollux, in tandem

Sailing the twins, Castor and Pollux, in tandem

We awoke to a calm sea on Wednesday morning. Manning the oars we began the laborious task of rowing the high-sided Twins. Rowing beneath the lichen covered cliffs of Hardhead Island I felt as though I had been transported to the coast of Ireland or some other far-off land. To our delight the wind stiffened out of the East and we were able to make use of the sails to push us through the Little Thoroughfare into the North Haven Thoroughfare. After picking up two more crew from the ferry we tacked our way out past the stone monument off of Crabtree Point on North Haven and on across the bay to Monroe Island. Our last night was spent ashore on Monroe before making the final passage into Rockland Harbor and returning the Twins to their home birth at the Apprenticeshop. 

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