Portland to Booth Bay

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The Cuckolds BoothBay Lobstermen Centerboard YC Portland Portland Lobster Morse Crib Grill Orr's I Cribstone Bridge

We spent an extra day in Newport because the weather was rainy and we were just lazy. From Newport, RI on Thursday we went to Cuttyhunk, MA. We wanted to go to the top of Buzzards Bay to a port called Onset Bay but because of a late start it would take 2 days for that. Cuttyhunk is a small island just above Martha’s Vineyard, it has a small well protected harbor and mooring was about the only option unless you anchored outside then used the dingy to get to town. There was a small store, the marina, and 2 restaurants; you could also buy fresh seafood and bakery goods from a boat that went around the mooring field. We walked to the highest hill in town and the view was incredible. Most folks use golf carts to get around, the roads are pretty primitive and narrow. It is an amazing jewel of a place, very friendly people and beautiful views every direction you look.

We decided to make an overnight passage to Maine, so we went to bed early and left Cuttyhunk early. Buzzards Bay is really a great place to sail, lots of wind and it seems we saw far more sailboats than powerboats. We made it to the Cape Cod Canal 2 hours after flood tide started which means that the narrow canal had to handle the huge tide difference between the 2 sides. We were really flying through there; at times it reminded me of rapids with swirling water and standing waves, I was turning the wheel constantly to keep her straight. The ride was pretty short and we were now in the Atlantic Ocean heading north. During the trip we had seen lobster floats in Rhode Island and some in Buzzards Bay, but now they are much more prevalent. We were pretty far offshore, 7 miles or more and we would still have to dodge the lobster floats. If you run over them they can wrap around the propeller shaft and stop the boat, then someone has to dive down in that cold New England water and remove said rope. So all through the night we pushed on, then about 10:15 PM it was pitch black, the moon had not made his appearance yet and bam we ran over a lobster trap. No damage but just scared the heck out of us. Other than that it was pretty uneventful passage. The following morning around 9:30 we pulled into Portland, Maine got a mooring at Centerboard Yacht Club and get some sleep. This is a large city for Maine with many shops, restaurants, lobster houses, cobblestone streets, restored old brick buildings, just a neat place.

After 2 days in Portland we left for Harpswell Sound, we got a mooring at Orrs-Bailey yacht club and scoped out where to go for a Maine lobster dinner. We had to cross the Orrs Island to Baileys Island Bridge to see the 2 major lobster serving places, the bridge is really unique. They made it out of granite, huge cut pieces stacked to support the roadbed. The problem was the current that flows under the bridge is very strong, conventional building material of the time (1920) would wash out, but stone doesn’t rust, the current flows through it. So anyway we crossed the Crib Stone Bridge and decided on Morse’s vs. Cooks Lobster House. The lobster and steamers (steamed clams) were delicious.  From there we sailed to Boothbay Harbor on the trip we sailed past Seguin Island and oh yes we dodged lobster traps the whole way. The anchorage to stop here was full so we continued on. At Booth Bay we walked the town took real showers, bought some souvenirs, and had lunch and ice cream. This town is really a hopping place a lot of Bed and Breakfasts, several small Inns and hotels. Plenty to do here if that’s your thing. Tomorrow we are heading to Tennant Harbor with a possible side trip to Monhegan Island.

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