Here we are, nestled in our hidey-hole, at Morgan Bay with our friends on Magnolia, and all is well and calm. Traveling 37 miles to get here, sometimes in complete fog and dodging buoyed lobster pots, was not calm, in fact, it was so tense so we took turns driving. In addition, there were 5’+ swells which made Zumba in the saloon rather difficult! Sometimes I had to grab onto the ceiling handholds while “dancing.” Nonetheless, we are as prepared as well as possible and are waiting and worrying about Henri, a potential Cat 1 hurricane. We are the only two boats in a well protected anchorage with plenty of room for swinging and for our anchors to drag. It appears that we will be here for several days as the seas will continue to churn for awhile after Henri.
Magnolia and Unforgettable took a 20 mi. round trip dinghy ride to Perry’s Lobster Shack today, knowing that it might be the last time we get off the boat for several days. Perry’s is truly a shack! It was interesting watching the lobstermen unload their catch onto the dock. Then the restaurant employee dropped the catch into the bubbling spa prior to the hot tub…that is a boiling pot of water! Talk about fresh! The lobster business is a $500 million per year industry in Maine. Maine accounts for 80% of the lobster industry in the US. Climate change is producing higher water temperatures which has brought challenges to the business. There are fewer lobsters and they are in deeper water. The lobstermen and women must driver further and pull up deeper pots and still gather fewer lobsters. It is an extremely tough and dangerous life and I have great respect for them. I enjoy eating lobster but navigating through Maine waters literally filled with pots is crazy. Plus, it is illegal to move them and they can put them anywhere, including in the middle of marinas and mooring fields.
http://www.bycatch.org/sites/default/files/Lobster_Gear_Report_0.pdf This is an excellent article with everything you have ever wanted to know about lobster pots.
Let’s backtrack to where we left off in the previous blog…after Georgetown we cruised to Penobscot Bay. One could spend an entire season in Penobscot Bay and enjoy a different location every day. Since this is our first time in Maine via boat we are fairly lost. Lost not in that we can’t find where we are, but lost in that we don’t know where to go next. So many people have shared their favorite spots and our compiled list is so long we couldn’t possibly visit them all, even if we had several seasons. Therefore, we randomly traveled around the bay with no direction other than to eventually cruise to Southwest Harbor where we picked up some packages.
We arrived in Rockland on a Sunday. We have learned not to expect anyplace in Maine to be open on a Sunday, probably not on a Monday, and maybe Tuesday either. I was excited to spend time in the Farnsworth Museum and see the Andrew Wyeth works. Although we did not see “Christina’s World” (I had previously seen it at MoMA) we did some self-educating and look forward to seeing in at NYC sometime. Scott enjoyed the Maine Lighthouse Museum. He has a fascination with fresnel lenses and light houses. You might be wondering which state has the most lighthouses…Maine has 65 but Michigan has 115! Although we have yet to visit a lighthouse, or even get close to one, we have seen a variety of beautiful ones.
Camden came highly recommended by many folks so we tried repeatedly for several days to get a mooring or even an expensive slip there but to no avail. We settled on Belfast which was a charming town with a great mooring field and I took yoga two mornings at 8:00 a.m. at the park. The first class was held in drizzle and fog which didn’t seem to bother the locals one iota. Our friends on Karma and several Kadey Krogen friends were there so we had some much needed socialization time.
Winter Harbor, part of Vinalhaven, was our next anchorage for 3 nights. This was a fairly remote stop away from towns but it was full of seals, lobster pots, and many other boaters. Of course, pictures never do justice to landscape but know it was gorgeous and peaceful. Scott fell in love with this spot and I had to practically drag him away. It was fun buddy boating with Fred and Carolyn on Casablanca with dinghy rides and dinners. Vinalhaven, located on Fox Island, was known as a leading producer of granite which is now in the Brooklyn Bridge.
Did you know…Maine has the only fjard in the lower 48 states? Somes Sound, in the middle of Mt. Desert Island, was formerly called a fjord, deep water created by glacier activity. However, it was downgraded to a fjard due to the lack of extreme topography. Although Somes was beautiful, as is every single spot we have visited in Maine, it was not awe inspiring. We anchored one evening surrounded by Acadia National Park and enjoyed the views which included a deer, dolphins, and seals.
We planned a quick stop in Southwest Harbor to pick up packages including a new air tank for our air horn, a visit to West Marine which is right next door to the marina, and an early dinner. The new and old lobster boats above are in Southwest Harbor. Northeast Harbor was our next planned stop where we had several boat friends but we decided a detour to Bar Harbor was in order to see Anthony and Annette on Magnolia. They were ready to head south and we could squeeze in a quick visit with them for two nights if we postponed NE Harbor. That was a no-brainer…Bar Harbor here we come.
We have read that the main reason people don’t take our their boat is that they are afraid they can’t get it back in their slip. This is not surprising. The day we traveled to Bar Harbor we used our docking skills to get fuel and water, we anchored by our friends but pulled up the hook as there were too many close lobster pots, then I picked up 3 different mooring balls! The first one wasn’t any good, after the second one I thought we were done for the day and I started preparing lunch. The dockmaster made us move to yet another ball that was not in a protected area and we rolled all night. That was a lot of work! I used to get more stressed about pulling up a mooring ball than anything else we did as boaters. Now it’s like “old hat”, although no two mooring experiences are the same.
Bar Harbor is the gateway to Acadia National Park and was filled with tourists. We, along with Magnolia and their friends Bert and Prue, hiked the scenic “Ocean Path”. Acadia is a hiking mecca with over 150 miles of trails. I would have enjoyed a much longer stay but Henri became the main factor in determining our Maine plans which brings us to where I began this blog. After only 2 nights in Bar Harbor it was time to make a plan and that meant moving to a remote anchorage located far inland to avoid big swells. We have tall pines on the shores to protect from wind and shallow enough water allowing us release all 300′ of our chain and have an 8-1 scope. What more could we ask for? We are set and now we wait. It could be a tense few days.