We used to post poetry in these pages and even had a poetry section. But the submissions began to dwindle and we have not posted any in the past couple of years. But this one was too good to ignore and we are happy to present it here.

Hi Chuck,

I took  a short cruise a few years ago on Penobscot Bay and Eggemoggin Reach.  John Welsford writes about designing Walkabout specifically for cruising Midcoast Maine. His design eliminates most of the problems I had with the Typhoon; sleeping aboard, launching, reefing, and looking for fuel.

Still, it would be churlish not to appreciate the boat that did in fact save my butt. I notice that I start off writing about “I” and “me”. Later on when the ship might hit the span, so to speak, it’s “Crabby and I” and “us”. Throw some trouble my way and it’s, ”You and me boat, we’re in this together”.

Poetry happens,

Tim Ferguson
Thetford, VT



At Logan Airport kissed my family goodbye.
They flew off to Norway’s bright summer.
I couldn’t get the time off from my job,
But I figured I’d do me some sailing.

Took the state ferry to an isle in the bay
There was a boat I could use for some days.
I thought that I’d cruise down east to Blue Hill
Then like Chichester circle the globe.

The bosun’s pipe sounded as I went up the side
The crew lined the deck and saluted with pride.
I read my commission, woke up, turned my head,
And saw Crabby propped up with stands in a shed.

She’s a Cape Dory Typhoon eighteen foot or so
Her bunks hurt to sleep on, she’s wide and she’s slow.
She’s got 500 lbs ballast in a 3 foot full keel
And will stand in a bit of a blow.

I scraped and I painted her bottom alright
So no barnacle dare on its surface alight.
The boatyard crew said they’d launch her next tide
Then the launch cradle’s transmission died.

I hung ‘round the boatyard day after day.
I painted and varnished to pass time away.
Daydreamed of an old Chevy truck I once had
Whose transmission would fix the launch cradle.

The island’s south end is a great big flat rock
Halfway between Equator and Pole I took stock.
The islands and channels glowed gold in the sun
On God’s own chart I was the pencil.

The yard got her in, I got ready to sail
I iced up the cooler with cheap ginger ale
Untied the dock lines and set out alone
From the island I’d tried to call home.

I motor sailed north up the bay.
It ain’t refined sailing but you make more headway.
The wind died as I cleared the island’s north end
And the bay got as flat as a pond.

I motored to what might become Pond Island’s lee.
Set both my anchors scientifically
The air didn’t stir from darkness to dawn
But the set would have held in a hurricane.

Next morning two lanes of yachts were displayed
The Summer Weekend Eggemoggin Parade
On a southeast reach I joined in the line.
The fancier yacht crews were frosty.

I picked up a mooring, rowed into shore
Walked into Brooklin, bought gas at the store.
An old sailor gave me a lift back to the cove.
We talked pros and cons of motor sailing.

I took a look into Blue Hill Bay
The wind was increasing tearing white caps to spray.
A panicked looking yachter nearly ran down my ding
I decided to high tail it home.

The yachts got fewer as I reached northwest
The crews who stayed out were friendlier.
I went into East Penobscot Bay by myself
And saw that I was in trouble.

I couldn’t maneuver, I had too much sail.
Couldn’t tack back for cover, couldn’t run in that gale.
I held my course dumping all the wind I could.
The main popped like firecrackers.

I’d dreamed of this trip for 3 months or more
Now the minutes slowed down and turned crystalline.
I thought of my family on a fiord’s bright shore
Pleased that Crabby and I were still sailing.

Islesboro lay ahead North to the South.
I hoped to run into some sheltered cove’s mouth
I looked at the dinghy trailing behind.
If the painter broke, I’d never find it.

The main didn’t shred, the painter stayed whole.
The waves rolled beneath us, didn’t fill up the hold.
I picked up a mooring and rowed into shore.
Glad to be living and healthy.

That’s my adventure, take what you will
Didn’t circle the globe, didn’t get to Blue Hill.
Didn’t pay for not reefing in the water so cold
So Crabby’s a hero of mine.

She’s a Cape Dory Typhoon eighteen foot or so
Her bunks hurt to sleep on, she’s wide and she’s slow.
She’s got 500 lbs ballast in a 3 foot full keel
And will stand in a bit of a blow


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