North to Portland, ME

950 Mile Route from Charleston to Portland

Sparrow and I will be heading north up to Portland for the winter, oddly enough and hopefully have some work done on here to address the mast track, kelp cutter and rudder bearing issues, among many other things. The North loft in Charleston (thanks Ervin!) is almost finished repairs on the delivery main and jib. The plan is to limp up there with the main no higher than the second reef as the track is ripped at the 3rd spreader. Timing is for the second half of October, when hopefully the hurricane risk is dying down and perhaps a weather window will appear.

Gotta say, this trip has me a bit nervous with all the perils within the 1,000 miles: Cape Hatteras, Gulf Stream North Wall, Nantucket Shoals, shipping and fishing boat traffic. The Southern Ocean might be scary, but it’s scary in a predictable way with no traffic. I’m thinking just no sleep between Nantucket and Portland with likely fishing boats with their AIS turned off. In the fog. Then there was the last time I was in the Gulf of Maine in October off Cape Sable aboard Zimaz…a bad day.

I’m flying in to Charleston on the 13th, then it will take a few days to rig up Sparrow and look for a favorable weather window.

Please wish Sparrow and I fair winds and luck with traffic.

13 thoughts on “North to Portland, ME

  1. Whitall! It’s such a lovely surprise to see your new post!!! I’m thrilled to learn you’re reuniting with Sparrow!!! In the months that had passed since you parted company with her upon your return to the States, I often wondered if you had sold her, if you’d embarked upon a new sailing adventure with a new boat — or even a new adventure, minus the sailing aspect. Your trip this fall sounds exciting and I’m hopeful you’ll chronicle your journey on your blog, here! Sending lots of support and well-wishes to you and Sparrow! ~ Chelle & SV Sunflower (‘Sunny’)


  2. That’s such great news that you are ‘flying’ Sparrow once again!. I hope you have a not-disappointingly uneventful passage up there!!!
    ‘Best from the West,
    Cecile Schwedes


  3. Indeed, may you have fair winds, good weather – may this be a year when Grandmother’s “October, all over” is still true – enough daytime snatches of sleep, when they can see you, to keep you going, and may you find Roger and Kathleen in Maine for some good times talking boats.


  4. And if you should need to get ashore anywhere around Westerly, RI, we’re 5 miles up the Pawcatuck River, with guest room – though not dock 😦


  5. Yep past Hatteras “Graveyard of the Atlantic” and then into the waters south of Novia Scotia and Zepher’s demise. I expect you will be ready this time, even in Sparrows diminished state. Have safe passage.


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