If someone were to ask me (heaven forbid) to build a boat in an unusual place, I'd contact Herb and Doris Smith. They've built a pretty good batch of boats and given them serious workouts, even sailing around the world, more than once!
The last time I visited Herb with a boat under construction was on a dairy farm in Albion, Maine. The barn where the boat was being built was very filled up with parts and pieces. Herb seemed very small alongside what was to become the sailing vessel, Eastwind, which we now often see cruising the waters around Boothbay Harbor and the outer islands.
I had no idea how the Smiths would ever get that boat to the ocean. Herb seemed not to be concerned. I think it got trucked to Belfast down Route 137.
When I was working with Charles Kuralt on his last book “America,” he commented about meeting the Smiths and his sail with them. Charles looked forward to his time in Maine and his visits with Ken Brown. The chance for a sail aboard Eastwind was icing on the cake. In his book, Kuralt wrote:
"We glided through a deep, narrow passage between Fisherman's Island and Ram Island. I admired the Ram Island lighthouse. In the distance, I could see Damariscove Island, a place of history and legend. In Maine, surveying the dark forest and rocky headlands from the sea is a glory to last you all your life."
It's a special treat to slip across the bay powered by local winds. Though Herb and Doris are not full time aboard any more, the Eastwind is still a great way to experience a taste of life on the sea and the elegance of a serene autumn sail.