Sailing a Mason 44' Cutter - Bristol RI to Portland ME

This was the first time sailing on a Mason 44; a 1985 vintage Taiwanese (Ta Shing Yachts) built cutter rig designed by Alvin Mason. The mission was to fetch and return this newly aqcuired vessel along with the owner, back to Portland. A proper shakedown sail!

We arrived in Bristol RI on a Friday afternoon and loaded this no-named yacht with new gear. Quickly became familiar with the below deck comforts afforded by this ship; excellent overhead, off-centerline companionway, mounted captain's chair at the nav station, lots of stowage space, and excellent light below. The Mason 44 has her engine mounted below the soul boards midship, giving her a low center of gravity and providing good access to this machinery. The 55hp Yanmar performed very nice.

We loaded on the main sail in short order and cast mooring lines to get moving towards the Cape Cod Canal. The trip down Naragansett bay was a run out front of a nice NE breeze. Always fun to see all the activity in and around Newport and Jamestown as we passed. Rounding Brentons Reef we found ourselves close hauled and motorsailed towards Buzzards Bay with the main sail only.

Provisioning was done by the Portland Pottery Cafe, and we were treated extremely well in that regard!  Good food can make any sailing voyage one of great enjoyment and discovery. Many thanks to Amanda!

Our trip timing put us on the very tail end of a favorable tide as we passed up through the canal. We started with a knot favorable, and were spit out on the other side with a knot of current against. By the skin of our teeth! It was 0200 as we came out to Cape Cod Bay into a light NE breeze. We set a course for Cape Elizabeth and hunkered down into a rotating watch for the night.

It was a fairly uneventful trip through the day, we passed a few commercial vessels and lots of sport fishers on Jeffries Ledge and Stellwagen Bank. Later in the day we did pass within a few hundred yards of a 25' finback whale out for a cruise. A few seals and a variety of birds rounded out the wildlife sightings.

Ironic and laughable was the favorable breeze we encountered as we rounded Cape Elizabeth. Too late to gain anything, but it made for a nice final leg into Maine Yacht Center.

We were greeted at the dock in fine fashion with libations and snacks, the shoreside crew delivered! A few champagne bubbles were poured over the bow in ceremony, the remainder enjoyed by the crew. 

All said, a fantastic trip and congratulations to the new owners!

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Reader Comments (2)

β€œAll journeys have secret destinations of which the traveller is unaware.” Martin Buber

August 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSailing Crew Member

Great photos, look like an amazing time, good on you for your achievement!

September 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCheoy Lee

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