Altair was delivered to us in Newport in July 2015. In a matter of a couple of weeks we were off on the 159th New York Yacht Club Annual Cruise to Maine August 8-15, 2015 with friends Bob & MB. This was a big leap; coming from a smaller, much simpler vessel (Incentive, Sabre 362) with all manual equipment, to our brand new beautiful yacht. Altair - full of new, complex, and unfamiliar equipment/systems - had a lot to teach us.
The itinerary: From Newport to Cutty Hunk, overnight across the Gulf of Maine to Rockland, where the Cruise officially began. Then off to Southeast Harbor on Deer Isle, Pretty Marsh on Mt. Desert, to Orcutt Harbor, to Belfast, to Gilkey Harbor on Islesboro and back to Rockland. The cruise was great fun with most of the stops being new to us. It was nice to alternate between small quiet harbors and larger ports with dockage and provisions.
Back in Rockland we had a change of crew with the arrival of the Utah boys - Hank, Don and Myron. We headed out again, hitting some of our favorite spots – Somes Sound, Northeast Harbor, Winter Harbor/Seal Cove, Duck Harbor on Isles au Haut and then Down East. Favorite Down East stops – Mistake Island and Roque Island. Roque is a gorgeous place with a mile long white sand beach. It was a very foggy, wet summer. I never thought I’d say this – way too much lobster! Good friends, wonderful boat. We were off to a great start!
We left Utah in March and headed back east to prepare Altair and ourselves for the 50th Newport Bermuda Race. First stop was New York, the SUNY Maritime College, for a Safety at Sea Course, then up to Maine for a three day Offshore Emergency Medicine Class.
We are not racers, but we thought the Newport Bermuda Race would be a good shakedown for Altair and a great experience to share as a family. Laura and Matt were excited to get some more offshore experience. We were happy to have two additional crew members who had also done the 2011 Marion Bermuda Race with us on Incentive, Bob and Arthur. Last but not least was Arthur’s 16 year old daughter Kelly, an already very accomplished sailor and racer. Every crew member managed to squeeze in a Safety at Sea. We truly appreciated the effort these very busy crew members made to prepare.
To make a long story short . . . The weather reports for the race were not pleasant, high winds and big seas, so a lot of boats dropped out the day of the start. We set off in beautiful conditions, actually leading our division for quite a while. Then we met up with the weather. We ended not doing very well, but we finished and everyone was safe.
For the return from Bermuda, we were joined by Hank, Bob and MB. We arrived in Southwest Harbor, Maine to clear customs and do a crew change. Off went Bob & MB and on came Ken’s brother Don and his wife Barb. We had a very pleasant 2 weeks cruising the coast of Maine. Highly unusual for August, we had very little fog and rain!