We both slept soundly last night and awoke to the sprinkling of rain. This led to a bit of indecision as to what to do today. After consulting the satellite weather on our chart plotter we could see that the band of rain was past and that clearing skies would follow. We therefore had a quick breakfast and headed out. Our destination was chosen to take maximum advantage of the forecast winds and for once we were not disappointed. Sure enough the day turned into a glorious one and a beautiful SW breeze filled in. With the favorable tide we were soon sailing at a good clip up Blue Hill Bay. We were able to sail the whole way to our destination - the best sail of the trip so far. Here we picked up a mooring courtesy of the Kollegewidgok (try saying that three times on the radio!) Yacht Club. Apparently "kollegewidgok" is a Penobscot Indian word meaning "blue hill on shining water" and this is pretty much what we found. Our timing was perfect as we arrived shortly before high tide which meant we could dinghy into town and reach the town wharf which dries out about two hours after high tide. So, after settling up at the yacht club and replenishing our ice box, we took the dink for the 20 minute trip into town. We were able to restock with fresh fruit and veg. and then head back to Osprey to watch an amazing sunset unfold - perfect!
Last night an amazing Summer thunderstorm shook us from our bunks and sent us scrambling to close the hatches. Then we fell back to sleep until the lobster boats left the harbor early in the morning. Fog was forecast and the wind was howling all night so we weren't sure what we would find when we got up. Sure enough there was some swirling fog but it seemed to be burning off so we made ready to depart this lovely place. Once we left the shelter of the harbor we found rough, confused seas, kicked up by the winds of last night. This is what we would expect since this area is wide open to the Atlantic with no land mass to break up the seas. We decided to head for Burnt Coat Harbor which was not too far away but spent an anxious hour navigating around the granite ledges, avoiding lobster pots and steering into the swells. This was definitely one of those times when we did not wish to snag a pot as we would have ended up on the rocks in very short order, especially as there was not enough wind to sail out of trouble. Thankfully we made it into the shelter of Burnt Coat Harbor on the Southern side of Swan's Island without mishap. Once we were into the well protected harbor we found placid waters and a sweltering hot day. We tied up to a vacant mooring, of which there were several and headed ashore. We paid for the mooring at the lobster co-op, $20 a night - bargain! We curiously watched the lobster boats coming in and unloading their haul. One boat off-loaded over 600 lbs of lobster, which apparently is an average catch for a day!
After consulting our cruising guide we decided to take the dinghy across the harbor to the town of Minturn. Here, we went for a run, which was truncated by the heat but rewarded by going for a fresh water swim in the quarry! Turns out neither of us has ever swum in a quarry - so that's one thing to cross off the bucket list! After cooling off at the quarry we headed back to Osprey in time for cocktails and supper. Another perfect day.
We are now moored in Lunt Harbor, Frenchboro, Long Island. This seemingly remote island lies only 8 miles from Mount Desert Island but could be a world away. Apparently there are about 70 islanders who live in this lobstering community year round . We can only guess what it must be like here in the Winter - it certainly seems remote and wild enough in the Summer. There is a lot of activity on the lobster wharf, a cluster of houses around the harbor and not much else. There is a seasonal restaurant providing lobster rolls to visiting boaters but no general store. A ferry to the mainland runs every other week! Otherwise the islanders have to be self sufficient. Most of the island is undeveloped and is now conserved land. A wonderful system of trails has been cut and is maintained by the Maine Coast Heritage Trust. We have spent a happy two days here hiking the trails, buying fresh lobster to steam on Osprey and eating lobster rolls for lunch - we feel we have to do our bit to help the island's economy!
Photo is of the Isleford Historical Museum on Little Cranberry Island
If once you have slept on an island,
You'll never be quite the same;
You may look as you looked the day before
And go by the same old name,
You may bustle about in street and shop;
You may sit at home and sew,
But you'll see blue water and wheeling gulls
Wherever your feet may go.
You may chat with neighbors of this and that
And close your fire keep,
But you'll hear ship whistle and lighthouse bell
And tides beat through your sleep.
Oh, you won't know why,
And you can't say how
Such change upon you came,
But once you have slept on an island
You'll never be quite the same!
Sept 7, 1929
Sutton Island, Maine
Poem written for William Otis Sawtellle,
Founder of the Isleford Historical Museum on Little Cranberry Island