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Waiting out the storm at anchor in Portland

PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II rests at anchor in Portland Harbor, Maine after sailing in at 0800 hours this morning (Saturday). Rain and wind that started around 0200 hours out in the Gulf of Maine created a decent swell that caused quite a bit of heaving and yawing for PRIDE while also making all on watch in the pitch black night dripping wet. With the wind came a chance for PRIDE to sail at 10 knots after motoring most of the way across the Gulf of Maine through near calm conditions.

Approaching Portland Harbor entrance in the pre-dawn light with the ocean swell and the rain at great speed created a lot of fast action on deck for the crew to prepare for entrance while also executing a jibe. First take in the mainsail, then take the jib, then pre-brace the square topsail yards, then turn the ship and jibe the foresail and staysail, then set things up properly for the new reach while steering into the narrow slot of the harbor entrance. A slot with ample space but looking pretty small with the heaving and the yawing brought about by the increasing swell.

We are invited to lay alongside a floating pier at Portland Yacht Services to clear Customs and remain the weekend if we want. But the dock is exposed to the SE to E winds and I have decided it is not prudent to lay alongside in the current conditions. So we are at anchor. We launched the small rigid bottom inflatable boat to go fetch the Customs Agent aboard for clearance.

Now that all the formalities are completed we can settle down a bit and wait developments with the weather. Till things change for the better no one is going ashore and we remain in watches keeping an eye on PRIDE’s anchorage…to be sure we do not start dragging without knowing…should the wind come up a bit more than predicted. Improvements will come…maybe sooner if Danny drifts offshore a little more than projected as he passes by. We can hope. We all hear that Portland is a great town for an evening.

Jan C. Miles, Captain aboard Pride of Baltimore II