A very warm summer in Maine has passed and fall has arrived. For the first time since May, I have traded my shorts and flip flops for flannel shirts and pants. Despite many days on the water over the past few months, I can count on one hand how many days that I have worn my Atlantis WeatherGear. Now at the end of September, the air is getting cooler, leaves are dropping to the ground and the weather systems moving through the Gulf of Maine have more oomph.
Presently, Thorfinn, is in the shop at Ryder Boats getting ready for the Annapolis Boat Show on the Chesapeake. We will be displaying our Presto 30 all 5 days (Oct. 7-11) and after the show we are available for demo sails. The Presto is a fun and unique boat and it is definitely the type of boat that people have to experience to truly appreciate. I have really fallen in love with Thorfinn and I have a blast sharing the boat’s high-performance attributes with others.
After Annapolis we will return to Maine sailing for some burly fall sailing. Personally, I love fall sailing; more wind, less boat traffic and generally there is a “raw” feeling in the atmosphere. You have to bundle up a bit but you can experience some phenomenal days on the water.
Our winter plans are beginning to take shape. After doing mostly day sails during our first summer, we are going to now focus on developing exciting multi-day expeditions. In mid-January I will haul Thorfinn south. We are currently designing two prolonged expeditions, one in Florida and the other out to the Bahamas. Thorfinn is perfectly suited to Florida and the Bahamas because we only draw a foot of water if we pull up all of our appendages (centerboard, rudder, and engine). We can explore anywhere!
Both expeditions are considered “recon” trips. My primary goal for this winter is to design expeditions that will cover a broad area and allow us to really pinpoint our plans for the 2011/12 winter season. I am really excited about our expeditions this winter because it is really rewarding to experience new areas, meet valuable individuals and gain local knowledge. There is a lot that goes into designing successful trips. You have to analyze access and logistical issues, prevailing weather, hazards, all sorts of fun stuff. You often spend a great deal of time simply talking to people and it is those relationships that can prove so invaluable to future expeditions.
Our Florida Expedition will start on the first of February. We plan to depart from Miami and make our way across Florida Bay and down the Keys, possibly as far as the Dry Tortugas. We will then turn back towards Cape Sable and head up the West Coast to St. Petersburg. We are currently working with Belle and Richard Ryder (our builders–www.ryderboats.com) to set up some more demo sailing opportunities during the Florida Expedition. After getting up the west coast we will load Thorfinn and trailer back to Miami where we will store the boat for a few weeks.
In Late March we will head out to the Bahamas. We will have to pick a solid weather window for our Gulf Stream crossing to the islands. It has been several years since I spent any time in the Bahamas so I am really stoked to go back. I am already day dreaming about pulling the boat up on the beach, snorkeling and living the island life.
Soon we will post on our site detailed expedition plans. While both trips will take several weeks, we will design defined legs that would allow participants to join us for short blocks. Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. if you are interested. Both trips are considered “recon expeditions” so we will keep the costs down. Participants for these trips need to be extra adaptable due to the fact that we will be operating in new areas. I can certainly promise some real adventure!
In addition to our winter plans, we are also developing next summer’s schedule (2011). We will block off time for expeditions and day sailing. Most of our multi-day expeditions will be offered in Maine but we will design one in Atlantic Canada, most likely this trip will be in September on the Bra ‘d Or Lakes! Stay tuned…