The wooden gaff-rigged sloop was on its way from Lunenburg to Mahone Bay. But the cable used to raise the centerboard had broken. So the sailor ran her up on Bachman’s Beach, on Second Peninsula, hoping to fix her at low tide.
The team of draft horses was in training, as usual, and was pulling a sledge. Their driver brings them down to the beach to cool off. We’d met them before, a couple of years ago, on this beach.
The hull of the sloop was built by David Westergard from a half-model he’d found. (Westergard is currently building a couple of schooners at the Dory Shop in Lunenburg.) Only after he’d built it did he learn that it was a particular Pubnico type of fishing vessel that was often fitted with a make-or-break engine. The sailor (whose name escaped me; add a comment if you read this) had rigged the boat himself and was bringing it to Mahone Bay for the schooner races.
“Are the schooner races part of Chester Race Week?” I asked, naively.
“Not at all.”
“Do the schooners eschew Chester Race Week?”
“Fiberglass Race Week!”
Right. The folks who perpetuate the skills of wooden boat building live in a different universe from the carbon fiber and kevlar world of the most serious racers. But they sail the same waters.
And so do we, on short overnight cruises in our 32-year-old fiberglass sailboat, not belonging to one group or the other, but glad to admire both, from a respectful distance.