Encounter with the Alamar

The 45-foot schooner Alamar at the dock in Buck’s Harbor, Maine, summer 2016

As we walked down the ramp to the dock at Buck’s Harbor, Linnea and I were delighted to see the Alamar tied up to the dock.  This the boat that John Sims sailed for many summers teaching kids how to sail. Also, Linnea and I chartered the boat for a week with John, our son Devan and a bunch of kids about 15 years ago.

The crew of the Alamar in Maine in 2001
The crew of the Alamar in Maine in 2001
“Captain” John Sims on the Alamar in 2001 on the schooner he sailed for many years with the kids at Alamoosook Island Camp












We have such fond, even reverential memories of that great boat, it was hard to see it being used as a weekend party boat.

On the Alamar with the weekend crew 2016

That evening as we returned from a walk, we noticed the dock was littered with wet clothing and underwear—a harbinger of what was to come later that night!

About 3 AM we were jolted out of sleep by loud, sub-human sounds (sort of a cross between a seal and an elephant). Two of the crew members had gone AWOL and were rowing around the harbor lost in the dark and were screaming some sort of distress call. Suddenly the Harbor Master’s boat with all its search lights shining was headed toward us at about 25 knots. It swerved just in time to miss us and went chasing after the missing “crew members”. Apparently, the Alamar crew had hijacked the harbor master’s boat and spent the rest of the night chasing down the screaming AWOL sailors.

The next morning, I rowed over to the Alamar to give them hell for disturbing the whole harbor when I suddenly remembered that I had pulled a similar stunt over 50 years ago on Cape Cod in the quaint little harbor of Brewster. My activities resulted in many boats being borrowed and returned to the wrong moorings as the entire harbor was awakened while the police trained a spotlight on us, suggesting that we give up. My associates and I were arrested and banished for life from Brewster…..More details see excerpt:

Excerpt from Confessions of a Closet Yogi: Moonlight Boat Ride

My anger dissolved and I hailed the crew and told them how mad I was until I explained to them that it was my karma coming back to haunt me.

They had a good laugh and headed out to the rough seas and foul weather with their boatload of beer.