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OCC report from NE USA

by Dick & Moira Bentzel 13 Jun 2019 21:11 UTC
RRC report from NE USA, Dick and Moira Bentzel © Ocean Cruising Club

Although it might say we have reached spring according to the calendar, the northern part of our region is still caught in winter's grip while the southern area is seeing temperatures in the 60s. We have heard some folks have started preparing their boats for the upcoming sailing season, but our boat still remains tucked under its winter covers.

A welcome break to the long cold winter was a combined OCC/CCA casual gathering that was held on Saturday, March 23, at the Maine Boatbuilders Show in Portland. There was a terrific turnout of 52 members and guests who enjoyed drinks and appetizers which were supplied by the show organizers. Several new members participated in their first OCC gathering. Also in attendance were Rear Commodore Zdenka & Jack Griswold, RoRCs Pam MacBrayne & Denis Moonan, Port Officers Belfast ME Pip & Judy Wick, Port Officers Camden ME Paul & Marty Rogers, former RoRCs Scott & Kitty Kuhner and us.

Coming up:

  • High Latitude Adventures Presentation by Steve Brown, Friday June 21, Camden, ME. OCC members are invited to attend a "Sunset Seminar" at the Camden Yacht Club to hear Steve speak about his remarkable sailing and climbing adventures while sailing through the Northwest Passage and in Antarctica. His sailboat, Novaro, an unusual aero rig in a two masted steel schooner will be dockside for inspection. The evening will start with a pot-luck happy hour at 5:45 followed by the presentation at 7.

  • Southern New England Cruise, June 29 - July 11, Newport, RI - Marion, MA. The Southern New England Cruise starts in Newport and ends in Marion, MA in Buzzards Bay. Mike and Jane Eslinger, Jammin, are once again the leaders of this cruise.

  • Rockland OCC Get Together, Thursday, July 25, Rockland, Maine. This will be the 2nd get together held the day before the Seven Seas Cruising Association Penobscot Gam.

  • Nova Scotia Southern Coast Cruise, July 26- August 11, Halifax, Nova Scotia to Southwest Harbor, Maine. The cruise will end with a celebration at the Southwest Harbor home of PO Susi Homer. PO Halifax John van S and RRC Dick Bentzel are coordinating the event.

  • Maine OCC Rally, Sunday, August 18, Camden Yacht Club, Camden, ME, keynote speaker and fellow OCC member, Dr. Charles Starke (6 books of his photographs published: Antarctica, French Polynesia and the Galapagos Islands) followed by a catered lunch of Maine lobster.

  • Maine Mini-Cruise, Monday, August 19 to Friday, August 23, Penobscot Bay, ME.
We travelled to Halifax, Nova Scotia in January to meet with several of the Port Officers from Nova Scotia to discuss the cruise planned for that area this summer. We had a wonderful working luncheon organized by John van-S at the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron. The beginning portion of the cruise will be in company with the RNSYS and then we will divert to start heading west. We are excited that the POs from Mahone Bay and Shelburne will be organizing activities when we are in their area. The dinner in Shelburne will be held at the Yacht Club and will be a combined event with the Salty Dawg Cruising Rally. PO Susi Homer in Southwest Harbor has agreed to not only hold the ending event at her home but has already started to coordinate efforts with Customs to help boats clear in there.

On Saturday, March 30, we were the keynote speakers at the Change of Watch for America's Boat Club in Portsmouth. The event took place at The View in Kittery Point, Maine. Our presentation was titled "Expanding Your Cruising Horizons" and we focused on changing from coastal to blue water sailing and highlighted some of the areas that we had visited. It seemed well received and we are planning to meet with some cruisers from this group later this spring to answer questions and help them prepare to start cruising.

Port Officer Reports for NE US and Atlantic Canada

From Peter Watkins, PO Lewisporte Canada:
Our Friend Bob Flynn is now an OCC member and we have been promoting OCC to our other local sailors. OCC Commodore Simon and Sally Currin SV Shimshal wintered in Lewisporte Marina/ YC and should be back in May. We have had a number of OCC cruisers visit/call for maintenance and repairs. Over the winter here Lewisporte has been a staging area for Intl Cruisers preparing for or returning from the High Latitudes.

From Dick DeGrasse PO Isleboro:
Kathy and I are home again on Islesboro, hopefully for the rest of the spring and summer and fall. I will fly our Islesboro OCC Port Officer flag and will check our Islesboro mooring, dinghy line and all. Our boat is in Florida. We welcome OCC members. Call us at 207 734 6948. There is a dinghy dock at Grindel point not far from the house.

From Peter McCrae PO Rockland/Thomaston:
Panacea and I will participate in the July 29- August 12 RNSYS South Coast Cruise from Halifax to SW Harbor. Peg and I will support the Maine Cruise visit to Thomaston August 22-23.

From Maggie Saulter PO Portland, ME:
Three boats who were on the Suzie Too OCC Rally are planning to sail to Maine this summer. They will have dinner with us before the lunch in Camden.

Places for sailors in Maine to visit...

  • Community Days on North Haven (second Saturday in August) is always fun and charming: parade, codfish relay, blind rowing races etc. Get a mooring from J.O. Brown or anchor in Perry's Creek and come over by dinghy.

  • Sweet Chariot Music Festival in Burnt Coat Harbor on Swan's Island is the first full week of August.
  • Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Gardens in Seal Harbor, Mount Desert Island
From John van-Schalkwyk PO Halifax, Canada:
I met with Gustave Brax and Anna Zackariasson on the Swedish boat MUCKLE FLUGGA who were in Halifax waiting for weather to continue east to Newfoundland. They were in need of propane and I drove them to fill their bottle and buy a backup.

I have been corresponding with Randall Reeves on MOLI several hundred miles south of Halifax. He was heading for St. Johns, Newfoundland, but has suffered damage to his wind vane steering and is diverting to Halifax. I have sent him marina and customs information that he requested.

I have been corresponding with Martin Bevan who has just sold his boat CADUCEUS in Spain to a Canadian buyer and needed Canadian yacht insurance information. I put Martin in touch with a local agent who has been corresponding with Martin and the buyer.

Paul Rogers PO Camden, ME:
Marty and I are sailing our other Canty in Scandinavia and will return to Camden August 1. We plan to Join the OCC Camden event and part of the cruise that follows. In past years we have hosted OCC land travellers at our house in Camden and will make our house available again this year.

From Peter Dodd and Terry Folinsbee POs Mahone Bay, Canada:
We received a request for Cruising Guide recommendations from Colin and Anne Glennie who are in Maine and planning to cruise Nova Scotia in June and July. We and John van-S responded, and we hope to see them if they get to this area.

On May 27 We received an email from Randall Reeves, who is doing a solo Figure 8 circumnavigation of Antartica and the Americas ( He has storm damage to his wind vane steering. He requested recommendations and information on diverting to Halifax or Lunenburg. We and John van-S both recommended Halifax, and he is proceeding there.

We are planning a pot-luck dinner at Young Island on July 28 as part of the OCC/RNSYS Cruise. We hope that 10 or more Squadron and OCC boats will come.

This article has been provided by the courtesy of Ocean Cruising Club.

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