Saving Dyer Dhow

Hey folks! We hope this note finds you well. After another long winter on the hard, Fayaway is back floating in the salty green water, and changes are happening more quickly. We’ve moved out of our temporary winter cottage for the second time – primed for another fresh start at visiting the world via the slowest of today’s travel methods: by sailboat. Between work travel (writing now at the Toronto airport), we continue chipping away at punch-list items. A never-ending list of to-do’s is continually reprioritized.

Kelly locks up for the last time in Dover, NH.

Simple tasks such as “attach lazy-jacks” get back-burnered, in lieu of finding a safe place to stow basic worldly possessions. Our faithful five-speed hatchback is yet again stuffed to the gills with books, pans, boots and miscellaneous stuff. We’ll move most of it back onto Fayaway, a little at a time via inflatable dinghy. What’s the rush? We’ve just reached the point when I can see out through the rear view mirror!

Aside from boat work accomplished over the winter (bottom, engine, head, fuel tank), we’re very excited to have just completed a new cockpit enclosure! It’s a bittersweet accomplishment, as we’ve traded increased living space for a clear view of the stars. Yes, we do have windows and can climb out on deck for a better view, but it’s not the same as simply looking up at the sails and sky.

Fayaway’s new cockpit enclosure and solar panel structure.

Colossal solar panels are new too, and seem to weigh more than our loaded Subaru. Designing a sturdy-enough support structure was a year-long collaborative effort by John at Gemini Canvas and myself. Being somewhat of a perfectionist, John’s experience and design comfort level were pushed to the absolute limits! As typical for cramming large equipment on a small boat, this new structure is a balance between elegance, strength and practicality. I’ve relocated the stern anchor and outboard motor mount to make room for optimal support struts, and added (egads) straps to increase bimini rigidity athwartships. We’ll put some miles under the keel before passing further judgment of success.

Catching a strong northerly making for a quick jaunt down from Rockport.

On a completely different note, an exciting event occurred after reaching our latest mooring in Rockland harbor last week. Relaxing below, and just settling down for the evening, I heard what seemed like a familiar sound: ospreys squawking overhead. Hoping they weren’t deciding our boat was a prefered location for excreting their latest dinner remains, Kelly poked her head above to see two of the majestic birds happily resting on a nearby schooner. “Oh good”, I said, satisfied with her resulting view. But then the pitiful yelping started once again, prompting another peek outside. “Hey, it’s a guy yelling for help! ”, an excited Kelly yelled down.

I climbed quickly out onto the deck, lowered the dinghy from it’s nightly trapeze position, hopped in and zoomed over about 200 yards to where the capsized and semi-hypothermic sailor was flailing in the frigid water. He seemed coherent but mainly concerned foremost about saving his belongings before himself. Helping him gather oars, rigging and other soggy bits aboard my inflatable seemed to calm him a bit. As he climbed aboard, shivering, I simultaneously leaned over and lifted the gunwale of his little sailing vessel to dump water and possibly gain some flotation.

Dash (like the kid from The Incredibles) remained coherent with a limited amount of shivering and blueish skin hue. We gingerly towed the little sailboat over to Fayaway where Kelly anxiously waited. I asked Dash what kind of sailboat it was we were dragging along. “It’s a Dyer Dhow“, he proudly said through quivering lips.

I tossed Kelly the painter, and she passed me a bucket and hand pump so we could remove the remaining water. Once fully afloat, we departed Fayaway for the 1/4 mile trip to a nearby dock. “Pay it forward”, was my response to the soggy sailor’s offering of thanks and promise of a future dinner.

So for the better part of summer we’ll cruise the beautiful Maine coast, before heading south again this fall. Life aboard is better than ever.

Please drop us a note if heading to Maine and we’d love to have you aboard!

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