Eugene and Florence Rossiter
July 6, 2006
When I got up (at 7:00 am. I seem to be getting up earlier and earlier. Yesterday I was up by 6:00 am for no reason) this morning, the English boat had already left. And by 8:00 am about 6 others were away, leaving us the last of the visitors to leave, except a large (120' ) motor yacht. After a leisurely breakfast in the cockpit, we started motoring towards Castine in a flat calm. High cloud and about 20C. We picked up a mooring at the Castine Yacht Club, went ashore to register and walk around the beautiful historic town. We made reservations for dinner at the Pentagoet Dinner where we ate on the verandah in a beautiful evening.
July 7, 2006
We went ashore for breakfast at a great little cafe, bought some papers and by 11:30 am we were away, sailing off the mooring in very light airs under a warm sun. We sailed for about an hour until the wind died completely, so began motoring our way to Bucks Harbor. It is a small harbor with excellent protection, and ashore has a small marina, a Yacht Club (where we stay and occasionally play tennis) and a great store with excellent meat, fish, cheese & wine. That's the sum total of Bucks Harbor. It's at the head of Eggemoggin Reach, which is, as the name suggests, a northwest-southeast run that in the prevailing winds usually provides a beautiful reach in protected waters.
As we rounded Head of the Cape, the wind returned enough so that we could sail again. When we entered the reach, we hoisted the spinnaker and ran down the reach as far as the Deer Island Bridge where we dropped the spinnaker and turned back to Bucks Harbor where we picked up the mooring of a friend who was away. We went ashore, bought a few supplies, including some fresh crab meat, and had crab cakes (excellent!!!) for dinner in the cockpit.
The next morning we went ashore. Eugene decided to have a shower at Bucks Marine, which provided us with some entertainment, as they only allow people renting a mooring from them to use the showers (for a $2 fee). After a few minutes of arguing, he appeared on the verge of defeat and retreated out of the office. Then he returned and said he wanted to rent a mooring. "how big is your boat?" she asked. "Never mind the boat." replied Eugene. He paid, and then said "Now I' d like the key to the shower!" which she happily handed over. Then we all had showers and carried on.
It was just about noon by the time we left Bucks Harbor and set sail down Eggemoggin Reach, after which we sailed down Jericho Bay, through Toothacher Bay past Burnt Coat Harbor and into Frenchboro, where we went ashore for a lobster dinner on the wharf.
On the way back to the boat we were invited aboard a New York 32, Falcon, built in 1937, and owned by Bob Scott from Castine. We had a few glasses of wine and learned about the long history of the famous fleet designed as a one-design class for the New York Yacht Club' s Bermuda race. This beautiful wooden (Mahogany on Oak) boat is 32' on the waterline, but with long overhangs, is probably 47' overall. Designed by the famous firm of Sparkman & Stevens, Olin Stevens still races on Falcon at 99 years old! All boats were built on City Island in one winter by the same builder, and all but two that have been lost still sail.
July 9, 2006
Today Eugene & Florence had to leave, so we left Frenchboro about 10:00 am and motor-sailed over to Mount Desert Island and up Somes Sound to Williams Boatyard, where we had left our car. We then drove down to Camden, where we picked them up last week. Their car was safe and sound where we had left it parked on a side street. Our return trip to the boatyard took just over an hour, less than half the time of the drive down, with lighter traffic.
From the boatyard we motored up to Somesville, a snug harbor where we picked up a vacant mooring for the night. Leftover crabcakes, coleslaw and baked beans for supper. Then a quiet night.
July 10, 2006
The weather forecast is for strong south-west winds, meaning that for us to go anywhere, our trip would begin with a two hour beat up Somes Sound. So we stayed put, spending the morning (after banana & raisin pancakes for breakfast) cleaning up and doing some chores. I installed a new motor hoist for the dinghy outboard to mount it on the stern rail when not in use. I also switched the motor over to the starboard fuel tank (requiring emptying the cockpit locker and climbing in, removing some panels, and then reversing it all). Then we went ashore to an excellent bookstore, bought a few books, and returned to the boat for lunch.
After lunch we headed off to catch the free shuttle bus and go for a hike. The service is quite good, and is an attempt to reduce the traffic in the park. Acadia National Park, which covers about half of Mt Desert Island, is second only to Yellowstone National Park in the number of visitors. It was donated to the government by the Rockerfeller family who had much of the existing park system of carriage roads and hiking trails built. We have done many of the hikes over the years, and they range from an easy walk in the woods to strenuous rock climbs over rough terrain.
Today we chose a 3.5 mile hike that wound around the southern end of Eagle Lake, then ascended to a rocky outcrop called Connors Knubble. From the top we could see about ten miles across Frenchmans Bay. Of course we forgot the camera, so no pictures! Our hike took about an hour and a half, so we returned to where the bus dropped us off to wait for its return, the last run of the day. While sitting reading about the park, we watched the bus speed by (they run once every hour). Apparently the return stop is not exactly where the drop is on the way out, and seeing no one at the stop, the driver carried on. After fuming for a few minutes, we got a ride from a couple of hikers from Quebec, so made it back safe and sound, just as a thunderstorm began.
July 1, 2006
Today we're off!! The weather seems to be cooperating, so started off for Buckle Harbor, a small anchorage (not a harbor really) created by a small island tucked up close to a larger (Swan) island. But the forecast for strong winds for tomorrow pushed us further on. We passed Buckle at noon after a leisurely breakfast and yet another shopping expedition for food and wine (tonight's wine was a $3.99 special! Not memorable, but not bad.).
We left Northeast Harbor (with its spotty Wi-Fi) about 10:00 am, motoring out past Great Cranberry Island (not to be confused with Little Cranberry Island with the village of Islesford, not to be confused with the Island in Penobscott Bay called Isleboro).
We set the main and motor-sailed for a couple of hours until past Casco Passage, a narrow and rocky channel between a few islands. Then we pulled out the jib, sailing across Jerrico Bay into Eggemoggin Reach where we had a beautiful sail up the 12 mile long channel created by Deer Island and the Blue Hill peninsula. Then we had to motorsail (because we couldn't be bothered tacking out the narrow exit) a couple of miles out the exit, and sailed into Penobscott Bay. We then turned north at "Head of the Cape" and sailed up the bay into a little unnamed bay that is created by Holbrook Island. We picked up a (Free!!) mooring put out by the Holbrook Island Sanctuary, where we will spend the night It should provide good protection from the predicted gales of tonight and tomorrow. It is just a mile from Castine, a (typically) beautiful Maine coastal town. It was from Castine that the United Empire Loyalists dismantled their homes and moved them by ship to St Andrews, N.B.
We went for a short (~5km) walk through the woods, fed the mosquitoes, and returned to a SGT (sundown Gin & Tonic) and dinner of grilled salmon with maple sugar and dill, fresh beans and a baked tomato/provolone/basil dish and our cheap wine . Dessert was grapes, raspberries and cheese. The new generator is great for providing hot water for showers, but there is some confusion among the instruments about the state of battery charge (a big issue for boaters!). Some further investigation required.
The weather forecast is for high (25-35 kts) winds tonight and tomorrow. Hopefully tonight won't be too wild as our anchorage should be in the lee of the island. A large (48' ) wooden sloop (1938 vintage) is moored beside us. They take out charter customers, but today's customers were newlyweds who decided that they needed more privacy, so elected to spend the night ashore. If tomorrow is as windy as they predict, I'm not sure what they will do with them.
July 2, 2006
Well, the forecast for high winds was a bit off. Flat calm all night. But we stayed put as the forecast continued to call for gale force winds in the afternoon, and sure enough, they did appear. It blew for most of the day, starting mid-morning, but we were secure, and the cove we were in was still calm enough that we could go off in the dinghy and not get (too) wet. The area surrounding Tom Cod Cove is called the Holbrook Island Sanctuary, and as the name suggests, is a land preserve run by the state. There are a number of trails and interesting hikes, many of which we have done, but there are others that we will do when we are back again. With hikes, eating and some small boat jobs, we consumed the day. Dinner was coconut stir-fried chicken with some pasta and fresh peas.
The forecast for tomorrow is for north-west winds, ideal for a sail down Penobscot Bay. But we'll wait and see.
July 3, 2006
True to their word, NOAA (National Oceanographic and Space Administration, aka the weatherman in the US) delivered north-west winds, and we set off (after a breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, toast & coffee) down Penobscot Bay. We had no clear objective in mind, but "down the bay". By the end of the day, after some beautiful sailing (that turned from broad reach to beating to windward in 10-15 knots when the sea breeze filled in) we found ourselves in a small anchorage off Muscle Ridge Channel, in south-western Penobscot Bay. It is a beautiful and sheltered anchorage between three small islands. Two of the islands are sites of former quarries where granite for many of New York's famous buildings (including The Cathedral of Saint John the Devine) was quarried. Looking at it today, and imagining conditions at that time make it unimaginable to consider the plight of the Italian stonecutters who left their homes to come to this!
July 4, 2006
Today we traveled from our anchorage at Dix Island to Pulpit Harbor, on North Haven (Island). We motored up Muscle Ridge Channel, then through Owl's Head Bay back into Penobscot Bay where we shut the engine down and had a beautiful sail across the bay, arriving about 2:30 pm. We expected that the little harbor would be full of boats, as it is just 8 miles from Camden, which is a busy sailing enter normally, but add to that the fact that its Independence Day and we expected plenty of traffic. But we were wrong. Except for about 20 permanently moored boats, there were only two visitors (you can tell a visitor, as they are using an anchor, not a permanent mooring). By the end of the day, three more arrived, including a Rival 40 from England with two children aboard. The reason its called Pulpit Harbor is that there is a large rock at the entrance that's supposed to resemble a pulpit from a church. But it just looks like another big rock (with an osprey nest on top) to me. We went for a walk to a store a mile or so up the road, and bought a few things, but we will hold off re-stocking the groceries until tomorrow when we will go to Camden, where we will meet Florence and Eugene Rossiter. Florence and Eugene will be sailing with us for a few days.
Since our arrival here, the day has gotten continuously more hazy, with it being too close to fog for comfort by nightfall. Fog is a common occurrence here along the coast, and although we have radar and an excellent navigation system, it can be a strain to do any amount of sailing in it if it is really thick.
Hopefully I'll get internet access in Camden to post these notes.
July 5, 2006
This morning I could see the top of the mast from the deck, but not much more! A real "pea-souper"!! But by 9:30 am, it was clear enough to see the shore, about 1/2 mile visibility. Not too bad for navigation with the radar.
Before we left, the skipper of the Rival 40 ketch with a Red Ensign (English boat) came over to chat, having seen our Canadian flag. They were planning to leave for Nova Scotia as soon as the weather looked fit, and he had no detailed charts of Yarmouth, so wondered if we had any he could look at and make a sketch of. Because we have never sailed in that area, we have no paper ones, but I have them on the computer, so I was able to print off a few for him on our tiny HP 450 printer.
But by noon in Camden it was sunny and scorching hot! We spent the afternoon doing laundry, updating internet stuff and buying groceries.
Eugene & Florence arrived about 5:30 pm, and we left shortly after for Pulpit Harbor, where we had salmon with new potatoes for dinner.
06/30/2006, Northeast Harbor
Pulpit Rock with the Camden Hills in the background
Today at 5:00 pm , I am officially retired after 33 years at Maritime Electric. Although today is my last official day, my last day in the office was Monday, June 26th.
We are in Northeast Harbor, Maine, having made good 5 miles from John Williams Boatyard where we have kept Estelle for the past 2 winters. We arrived down at the boat on June 27th and spent the afternoon learning about the new systems we had installed during the winter. In summary, we added: Mastervolt 3.5 kW generator, Spectra Catalina 300 watermaker, Espar heater (so far the most valuable addition), a cockpit shower, and an anchor washdown pump. Only the generator took up valuable storage space (in a cockpit locker), as the other equipment was installed in areas not too useful. But maintenance could be a challenge. We spent Wednesday stocking up supplies and buying stuff we forgot at home. Thursday morning we had a couple of final jobs completed, and we motord 5 nm (nautical miles) in dense fog to where we sit.
Last night we were woken at 1:30 am with a huge thunderstorm passing overhead. It seemed like the largest I have ever experienced. Then it was followed by 4 hours of dense downpour that left the dinghy half full. We had a leak in the forward berth that we discovered last year that was well tested, and passed with flying colors. I have a couple of jobs to re-caulk the chainplates as there was some small leakage there, but given the downpour, we are in pretty good shape.
The weather continues poor all down the coast with flooding down as far as New Jersey, and fog in Newport RI, postponing the start of the Women's US Open golf tournament. But it's scheduled to clear tonight, so we will be off, probably working our way west towards Penobscott Bay. Our plan for tomorrow night is either Buckle Harbor or Buck's Harbor, depending on the weather and how well organized we are.
One good thing about the weather is that we eat well. Last night was BBQ steak with new potatos and fresh peas. The first night was broiled swordfish with strawberry-rhubarb pie.
This is a test entry for what willl become the log of our cruise from Maine to the Bahamas. The attached picture is one that we took when we were delivering the boat from Bayshore NY to Maine where we have kept it for the past 2 years. The real entries will begin in July when I retire. We will be sailing in Maine for the summer, and leaving for a coastal cruise to Florida and The Bahamas. We will be leaving Maine about September 1st.
I will also be posting additional photos in the gallery at: http://www.sailblogs.com/gallery/estelle