Letters to the Editor — Issue 150
The view from away
As a lifetime Maine vacationer and UMO graduate, I find Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors to be my downeast connection while I live my everyday life out of the state. I lived in Maine for four years in college and now live in New Jersey, returning two or three times a year to vacation and visit family.
While attending the University of Maine at Orono, I often hitchhiked back and forth over the back roads between Camden—where my parents lived—and the university. I recall one adventurous ride that had me fearing for my life. The driver drove aggressively, and I sat anxiously clenching my fists, wondering if I should chicken out of the ride with an, “Okay, this is where I get out.” Instead, I hoped for the best and tried not to act nervous.
We approached a slow-moving vehicle, and I thought for sure he would pull out to pass. Instead he held back for a second, and I realized it was due to a slight hump in the road ahead that could hide an oncoming vehicle. We went over the hump, and sure enough, a vehicle passed us going the other way. My driver then pulled out and gunned it past a silver haired lady with glasses and her nose up by the steering wheel. I relaxed, and even dozed a bit before he dropped me off. I think of that driver often. I could tell he was a Mainer by his accent.
When I reach into my mailbox at the end of a long New Jersey day and find that the latest publication of my favorite magazine has arrived, I know I’m in for a nice evening. I will pour myself a glass of wine, sit back, and read the educating articles and interesting stories. I will admire the accomplishments of families that have designed and built sailing vessels that have stood the test of time over decades, and fantasize about living the harsh island life off the coast of Maine. I will appreciate the work of the artists who recreate coastal scenes, and get a kick out of the occasional moose references that so define the state. I will thank the lobstermen for their trade, and relate to the stories of summers at the camp. I will hear the hollow creaking of the ice as I see pictures of frozen lakes, and remember my favorite dog when I see the latest Boatyard Dog. I will almost taste the blueberry pie from that famous diner, and feel the cold sea spray stinging my face as I open to a page with a picture of a classic Maine lobsterboat carving through the bay.
And when I have had my fill, I will thank the staff at Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors for bringing these stories to my doorstep so I can pretend, for a moment, that I am a Mainer, like the driver from my hitchhiking days, knowing when to pass and when not to. You have to live there to know for sure.
Fodder for winter dreaming
After reading John Hanson’s column in the November/December issue (“In search of the next project”), I thought he might enjoy looking at the lines plan for Mary E., a Maine-built schooner being restored at the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath. There are some great pictures of the restoration effort on the website for your viewing pleasure, too. The craftsmanship is inspiring! Our watercraft director Kurt Spiridakis writes a BLOG about the project. Thank again for all your enthusiasm for this project!
Maine Maritime Museum
The numbers don’t add up
The Toroa specs on page 30 of your November/Decmber issue certainly do describe an amazing new boat, which I would love to see! At less than 9 inches LOA with a beam of about 2.5 inches, it would certainly appear to qualify as a “pocket cruiser,” but considering its draft of almost 180 inches one can only consider it to be a very odd duck indeed.
Yours is the only magazine I have ever read literally cover-to-cover, including the ads. Keep it up! I’ll look forward to reading about other unusual craft in the future.
Southwest Harbor ME
The Editor replies: I’d like to say we did it on purpose to see how carefully people are reading the magazine. But alas, it was an unintentional error. The correct specs are as follows:
LOA 22.3 meters
Beam 6.1 meters
Displ. 28 tons
Draft 4.5 meters