Over the last six years, Narnia has undergone a transformation from a dirty partially completed hull in California to a stunning, fully outfitted for blue water sailing sailboat on the coast of Maine. Well almost! As with any maiden voyage, system issues and malfunctions keep ‘popping’ up with each shakedown sail.
Great Island Boat Yard (GIBY) in Harpswell, Maine is the site of her gestation and the project has transitioned from an off season, low cost filler work to prime time up to date outfitting and finishing. There is no mistaking Narnia, with her dark green double ender hull, deep sheer lines and long bowsprit, she is a beauty!
Erik and I moved on board June 2 after finding the boat was not ready for us on June 1. The sea trial on June 1 was compounded by the engine cutting out repeatedly and the raw water alarm sounding. Luckily we had our Project Manager and engine mechanic, Steve D, on board to bleed the system and bypass the alarm. Coaxing the engine back into use allowed us to pass through the narrow channels of rocky ledge and maneuver the lobster pot obstacle course to a point where we could put up the sails. It was a beautiful day with 10 knots of wind and we had a glorious hour sailing on Casco Bay. We were thrilled and excited to move aboard and begin our summer adventure.
Back at the dock, we conferenced with GIBY’s owner, Steve R, and our project manager, Steve D, to list and assign all the punch list items to be completed immediately to enable us to get off sailing. The other items to be completed in a month when we were scheduled to be off the water for work and visiting our daughter.
Anxious to begin experiencing the live aboard lifestyle, we opted to move onto the boat June 2 despite the ongoing work. Before I go too far I must introduce our two dogs, Henri the papillon and Oliver the pug. They are companion dogs and definitely not water loving animals. But they are so devoted to being with us that they would follow us through hell and high water. And they did!
Whiling the hours away while the Narnia was being finished, we explored the nearby towns. Harpswell, Maine is a quiet coastal town that boasts having the most islands in the whole state. They also have a well planned hiking program with several easy to moderate level hikes along the ledges that look out onto the water. Brunswick, home of Bowdoin College and the now defunct Brunswick Naval Air Station, is a larger metropolis boasting the dichotomy often seen in older provincial municipalities, big box stores lining peripheral arteries and quaint mainstreets filled with cafes, galleries, and antique shops.