We took delivery of our new American Tug 395 Esmeralde on April 1st, 2017, so she will forever be our April Fool’s Girl. (This year, she was also our Easter Girl.) In order to celebrate, Bruce got her winter cover off on Saturday so on Sunday April 1st, her birthday, we could have a little celebration on-board and herald the start of her second season. It turned into a bright sunny day, perfect to enjoy being aboard again. Continue reading Happy 1st Birthday Esmeralde!
We have only cruised through Muscongus Bay once before, almost 20 years ago on our the first Esmeralde, the little Able Whistler 32. I remember it as being a little bit of a hairy experience. It was thick thick thick fog, we were navigating with a new GPS, and the screen was indeed a chart, but it was about 2″ x 3″, black and white, and didn’t have a lot of pixels. We didn’t have radar. How things have changed. Continue reading Maine Cruise – Days 22 – 24 – Muscongus & Boothbay
We set out from Buck’s Harbor with a typical Maine forecast: FOG. Make that RAIN and FOG. It was clear enough getting through the harbor entrance, but then it socked in thick and stayed locked-on. While I’ve done this for days on end in a sailboat, often with nothing but a dodger for some shelter, I can’t help but admit that being in a warm and dry pilot house was rather civilized. Two large nav monitors, radar zoomed in, zoomed out. And a Very Big Horn. It was not a bad ride. As usual, the lobster buoys commanded rather intense focus and tracking the numerous lobster boats cruising around like drunken flies was challenging, but in the end, Maine is Maine and FOG is part of the territory. Continue reading Maine Cruise – Days 20 – 21 – Rockland
After our visit to the wild woodlands of Isle au Haut, it was time to head back to civilization. Off to one of our favorite hang-outs, the home of Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous, Northeast Harbor on Mount Desert Island, and also home of the spectacular Acadia National Park and the tourist mecca, Bar Harbor. Continue reading Maine Cruise – Days 15 – 18 – Northeast Harbor & Mt. Desert
After our excellent evening in Friday Harbor on Tuesday and the freshest salmon we have ever enjoyed, we had to get to Bellingham on Wednesday. Our new dinghy, which would replace our dearly-departed 10-year-old dinghy, would be delivered on Thursday and all the associated bits-and-pieces would be installed. More on that later. For now, we had to get the boat the thirty miles or so in some snotty weather. A good opportunity to see how she handled. Shakedown, Part 3. Continue reading Shakedown – Part 3 – Feisty Weather
Right on schedule: she splashed.
From the very beginning of this project, the folks at American Tug described the completion and launch of the boat as “late March”. And what do you know? On March 30 they dropped her in the water. That pretty much describes our entire experience with American Tug: 100% on everything. More on that later.
Here is a video of the launch, which took place at 8:30 am, and the sea trial, which started at 9:45 and ended successfully at 11:15.
The new ESMERALDE. We met her in person for the first time today at her birthplace in LaConner, WA. A very exciting, long-anticipated day. We probably look totally goofy and giddy in some of these pictures, but the reality is that we felt a little but that way as we explored our new baby.
We also met some of the great folks at American Tug/Tomco Marine who are building her: Kurt Dilworth, who has been our ever-patient and wise counselor throughout the process, Cheryl Stinson, Mike Schoppert, and a bunch of the men and women on the factory’s floor and in the purchasing and supply offices — all great people who have done excellent work as our oat has come together over the last seven months. Continue reading Meet The Tug