Sunday, November 18, 2012

Seguin Island - Day 1 Propeller Wrap Up!

In mid-October, when most people were heading south or prepping their boats for winter, s/v Neto Nomad and crew headed out for our last sail of the year. With frost covered docks shimmering in the early morning sun we cast off our lines and slipped out of Portland Harbor unnoticed by all save a few lobstermen. The crisp morning air gave warning that winter loomed just around the corner but the sun's warmth on our cheeks reassured us it wasn't here quite yet. We still had time for one last adventure.
Dreams of Down East danced in our heads like a beautifully choreographed Martha Graham number, but with time constraints and unpredictable weather we set our eyes on exploring Vinalhaven and Isle of Haut instead. Not a bad second choice. With the ocean promising swell we headed first for Popham Beach to check out a recommended surf spot.
Just north of Casco Bay, Popham was almost awarded the title of First English Settlement in the New World back in 1607. However winter struck that year with such a severe blow that it wiped out many of the settlers. When help came to replenish the village, those who had survived refused to stay another winter making way for Jamestown to become known as the first permanent English Settlement.

We arrived in the area close to 3 p.m. and decided to grab a mooring at Seguin Island, just about 2 miles off Popham, to check on a few things before heading in to check out the surf.

The thing about Sequin is that you can only take a mooring (when available) so we motored around to the north side and into the semi-sheltered cove. We slowly approached one of the moorings with Nick at the bow ready to hook the line and myself at the helm. Nick pulled the mooring line up on deck when all of a sudden it yanked down hitting the deck hard. Meanwhile, the waves coming into the cove gave just enough forward momentum to play havoc on us.

Nick yells back to me, "NEUTRAL!", but it gets lost in the wind and I hear "REVERSE!". As I reverse, the engine obeys and then suddenly stops... Nick looks up with a flash of concern as he finishes securing the mooring to the boat and heads back. "You didn't shut of the engine did you?" he asks, "no" I respond, "shit". When I reversed the dinghy line got tangled in the propeller. Double shit. After a (long) 10 minute silence, Nick was in his wetsuit and prepping to investigate. Luckily nothing was damaged and Nick was able to get the line out. Lesson learned, I am now hyper aware of that dinghy line at all times!
Ahhh, ok, catastrophe diverted, but now it's too late to hop over to Popham (bummer) so we decided to explore our tiny little shelter of an island instead with the last remaining light of the day.
The Light House on Seguin Island is the last electric powered light house in Maine (most others have been switched over to solar panels). However Seguin's rare Fresnel lens, which was first installed in 1857 to replace a series of mirrors, garnered enough community support to keep the light house as is.

We had the cove and island to ourselves since it was late in the season and we enjoyed hiking around and watching the sun set from the light house steps before heading back down to the boat for some dinner and a well deserved stiff drink.

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