Penobscot Bay

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Sorry we don’t have the bandwidth to post photos; we have a bunch but will post them when we have better Internet.

On July 23 we sailed by Monhegan Island recommended by a lady we met in Harpswell. It is one of those places that only the mail boat makes regular stops there (well it used to be that way). We came into the harbor and the rock bluffs on both sides just went straight to heaven. There were kids playing at a little beach and a ferry boat offloading passengers, we so wanted to stop but… We could not reach anyone onshore on the radio, the guest moorings were occupied by lobster boats. So we finally decided that we could not stop here and went on to Tenant Harbor. Arriving 2 hours later at Tenant Harbor, the weather was overcast and rainy. We tried to get a spot at the town moorings, but it was full. A neat little town, but we didn’t really get a chance to see much as we anchored in Long Cove about 1 mile away. We were fairly well protected here but because of the huge tides we had to put out a lot of anchor line. At low tide it was 15 feet deep but 25 at high so with 5 to 1 scope that meant we needed 125 feet of anchor chain. We had a great meal aboard, once again the thunderstorms danced around us but we were secure for the night.

July 24 we sailed to Rockland, we experience fog and light rain in the morning, then a beautiful day later on. Once behind the long breakwater that protects the harbor the waves and wind subsided and we went into town to explore. The town marina had everything a cruiser might need, but it was ala carte. The shower was 2 bucks, water 3, ice 2, but the dinghy dock was free. I must say the showers were very nice and clean. The next day we wanted to go to Rockport but it was only 2 miles away so we opted for Camden (8 miles away!) and maybe getting back to the much smaller less commercial Rockport at another time.

July 25 the short sail to Camden, Maine was a memorable one. This area starting in Rockland is the west side of Penobscot Bay, a famous and favorite cruising spot for many sailors (and stink potters). On both side of the bay are many ports of call, going north is Bangor and in the middle are many islands that make the cruise worth the effort. Camden is much more commercialized but we loved it, so much so we stayed 2 days. I’m sure if you are driving through this town you want to just get the hell out of there because pedestrians are crossing the street and traffic lights are not timed for the cars so it just creeps along. Everywhere you look it is beautiful; in the background are the mountains, every house has colorful plants and flowers and everywhere the harbor. The closest hill (810 ft) is Mt Battie, I decided that I had to climb it, only problem was we went to town I had on flip-flops and of course the trail up the side of the mountain required something more substantial. So I go almost to the top but the last 50 feet was sheer rock so I took my pictures from there. The view of the harbor from the library was amazing; the harbor has a large fleet sailing schooners that are quite impressive. The amphitheater behind the library was outlined in tall spruce with the center green terraced in stone and grass. We really like Camden, look forward to go back.

July 27 we went to the east side of Penobscot Bay to Castine, once again we had fog but it was fairly light and it burnt off by late morning. Not much here but a small downtown area with huge mostly restored turn of the century and older homes, the Maine Maritime Academy and lots of lobster-men. The marina had no facilities not even a restroom, but the dockmaster took our money with a smile. This town is actually older than Plymouth and was occupied by many different countries mainly French who built a fort later captured by the British.

July 28 this was our second time to experience heavy fog. We left Castine in the fog; initially we saw few lobster traps thinking they were smarter than us and stayed at home. As we went further south toward our destination of Burnt Coat Harbor on Swans Island, the lobster traps increased at times there were areas with so many we had to alter course and go around. We had our radar running and usually I could spot the lobster boats and change course and stay safe, but sometimes I did what I could and took evasive action when the lobster boat’s bow appeared out of the fog. We were blowing our manual fog horn whenever we saw other boats on radar, but the lobster-men are not interested in anything other than getting their pots aboard and head home. We finally made it after 6 hours of dodging pots and boats the harbor was mostly filled with lobster boats in the morning and maybe 3 or 4 cruising boats. No stores or restaurants ashore but some nice trails to hike or just walk the roads as we did.

July 29 we made the short run to Lunt Harbor on Long Island. I made a navigation error and ended up in some pretty heavy swells in the Atlantic, we could have avoided the drama, but what the hay! This is a very picturesque little harbor with a nice town museum and a famous restaurant, Lunt and Lunt. We had lunch there and then walked one of the trails through amazing hemlock and spruce trees to the other side. About 80 percent of this island is a preserve with many hiking trails to explore.

July 30 here we go again with the heavy fog. We waited till 9 thinking the sun would burn off the fog…wrong. This was another trip to stare at the radar screen while dodging lobster pots and looking out for the lobster boats. It was only 2 hours but it seems much further, partly because we picked up grass that wrapped around the propeller and slowed us down to a crawl, I thought we had snagged a lobster pot and keep checking for a telltale float coming out the stern but it was just heavy grass we got it off when we moored. We walked the town of Islesford on Little Cranberry Island bought some things at the shops and came back to prepare for the next few days exploring Arcadia Park/Mt. Desert.

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