Archangel, Again?

12 Aug
Accidents aside, you gotta love how gutsy sailors in Maine are! This is in North Haven’s crowded harbour entrance.
Sometimes it feels like such a small world we sail in, traveling circumscribed routes up and down the coast, running into new and old friends in unlikely places. Of course, it’s not always in the best of circumstances. I was surprised to read Charlie and Ben’s posts on the dismasting of Archangel, and not just because I was in Penobscot Bay at the time, but because I was already familiar with the boat. A few weeks ago Archangel passed us by when I was at the helm exiting the Cape Cod Canal, and at the time it sure looked shiny and new.
This also stuck in my mind because of events a few minutes before. We had excellent wind in the canal and had sailed down it with the tide but when we reached the Cape Cod side the wind got weird. It started gusting, hard, and we nearly broached. We dropped the main, of course. Minutes later as we were exiting the canal, Archangel sped past. They were under power and came quite close on our windward side. My boat was well under control with the jib up but it did occur to me that if the wind had remained regular and only gusted at just the wrong moment, we might have rounded up and rammed this fancy new yacht! Highly unlikely, but conceivable.
Heading into Penobscot Bay
Then there’s another coincidence. I didn’t realize it until days later but I was also sailing in Penobscot Bay on the day that Archangel hit the rocks. I went out for a few days on a friend’s boat, the same I had sailed to the Bahamas in over Christmas. On Tuesday we took Noah’s Ark out to North Haven for a night and on the Wednesday of Archangel’s accident we were anchored off of Isle au Haut, fifteen miles to the southeast. We were far too busy beachcombing and digging clams to hear about the accident, and I’m pleased to report that nothing ill befell us. Meanwhile, it’s good to know that there were no serious injuries nor loss of the vessel.
           It does seem a bit crazy to me that the mast would snap off simply from a collision, one not even hard enough to breach the hull. Just another reminder that carbon fiber is not a material I ever want to deal with. Give me a steel bicycle and a steel, wood, or fiberglass boat. I don’t mind a bit of weight, as long as it’s sturdy!
I bet these masts are harder to break
Oh, and as an aside, we saw this really neat wooden boat on the approach to Isle au Haut. I believe it’s some kind of Outward Bound sail training vessel.

This article was syndicated from Safe At Harbour But Meant For The Sea: DIY Sailing with Paul Calder


  1. Paul

    Oh, neat to hear from you. That’s a beautiful boat you’ve got, and it’s clearly well sailed. It was very refreshing coming into Maine after Florida and the rest of the east coast. Even with favorable winds we saw so many sailors drop all canvas and crank the engine as soon as they turn into the approach to a harbor or anchorage, but not in Maine. It was nice to not be the only ones under sail.

  2. geoff

    The heeled over blue w/ red hull boat at the top is mine, with me at the helm, a bristol 35.5, “Bodhisattva” that we sail out of the Vinalhaven, on the thorofare. Not too gutsy, sometimes gusty, those waters are as familiar to us as any, it’s just down the way from where we moor by our summer place.
    Nice photo! geoff

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