Fans of Jackson Pollock would love a printed version of our GPS course from Brooklin to Castine, both in Maine. Like Pollock’s paintings, which appear to be made of randomly applied lines, drips and blotches that were actually quite intentional, our meandering course across an impossibly large area of Penobscot Bay also had a purpose. The techies from North Sails and Southern Spars were aboard Bequia to fine-tune the rig and evaluate the sails. The remainder of the crew came from the yacht’s builder, Brooklin Boat Yard — a fitting reward for their fine workmanship over the two years needed to construct this 90-foot yawl.
That day, July 29, 2009, was the first chance everyone involved with the project — among them designers Bob Stephens and Paul Waring of Stephens, Waring & White Yacht Design — had to work out the kinks before she raced in the Eggemoggin Reach Regatta. This annual event, run early in August, is open only to wooden boats of 26 feet overall and longer, which the organizers place into eight classes. Bequia fits into Class B of the growing Spirit of Tradition category.
Fog, in randomly sized clumps like earthbound clouds, rode the moderate breeze, covering and uncovering our progress while the electronic foghorn’s fronk ... fronk sounded with annoying frequency. For the most part, we could see well enough to avoid other boats and islands in the area, and the radar added a measure of reassurance. We motored out of the harbor and into the relatively open waters of Penobscot Bay. Bequia made 9 knots as shown on her GPS, the muted purr of her Cummins auxiliary overpowered by the chatter among the crew on deck. I slipped below for a take on the sound level in the main salon and discovered a pleasant diesel hum — a reassuring presence rather than an intrusion. The undeniably lovely surroundings invited me to stay and explore while we motored. And so I did.
Raised-panel joinery and tongue-and-groove overhead, painted a soft white throughout the accommodations, recall the living spaces of a beachside cottage, and sure enough, that’s what the owners wanted. They refer to the decor as “casual cottage.” The cabin soles, stained ebony, contrast dramatically with all that white but, at the same time, seem to disappear from consciousness and make the interior feel more spacious than it is. A custom overstuffed loveseat and sofa, arranged in the shape of an L on the port side, promise supremely comfortable lounging. Who will be able to resist curling up to read a book in front of the gas fireplace built into the forward bulkhead, or to watch the flatscreen TV hung above the fireplace? The television is cleverly disguised as a mirror until someone pushes the “on” button. An oval coffee table unites the sofa and loveseat — creating an island of pleasure bordered by the boxed-in mast adjacent to the loveseat — bookshelves forward of the sofa and, of course, that wonderful fireplace. The yard’s crew made the table’s top and the shelf beneath from a single piece of mahogany.