Last Night in Cradle Cove
30 July 2011
We are spending our last night here in Cradle Cove, the same spot where we started out just about 4 weeks ago. Tomorrow we will head back to Rockland and leave Osprey on her mooring for a while. We are headed to Martha's Vineyard for a quick visit with our good friends Curt and Natalie and then I am flying to England for 5 weeks to visit with family there. Tom will stay back here and look after Osprey whilst I am gone. It's been a wonderful cruise and we can't wait to do it again!
28 July 2011
We arrived in Pulpit Harbor today. We have never seen it this empty. We do get the impression that there are not as many boats out cruising this year. Presumably this is due to the economy. We love this little harbor which is truly one of those special places. This time we found an open Thayer’s Boat Yard mooring and took advantage of that. If we can use a mooring for a few bucks a night we do so, even though there is plenty of room to anchor here. Maine’s sticky mud is great for good holding but is a pain to clean up when it’s time to go - it usually takes us at least half an hour to clean off the chain as it comes up. We called the boat yard to see how to go about paying for the mooring and they were amazed we bothered to call, telling us that most people do not and therefore do not pay either. In fact we see this a lot - people coming into harbors and just grabbing any mooring that lies empty. We even heard of one disgruntled boat owner complaining about having to pay for a mooring at Northeast Harbor. He gave the mooring guy such a hard time that the poor guy came over to check on what we had found in other harbors and were we used to paying?!. Our philosophy is that moorings are NOT free, there is a cost associated with owning and maintaining a mooring and we are happy to pay to hang on a secure, well maintained mooring without worrying about anchors dragging in the night or other boats anchoring too close. If too many people poach moorings and use them without paying, this facility will disappear to everyone’s disadvantage - just my viewpoint! Anyway, we are happy to be here and enjoying the sunset over the Camden hills from our vantage point.
27 July 2011
As our cruising time gradually draws to a close we find ourselves wending our way back to Penobscot Bay. We left Webb Cove this morning and had an exciting trip down Deer Island Thorofare fighting a current, dodging lobster pots and avoiding lobster boats and schooners! Once we were away from the confines of the narrow thoroughfare we hoisted sail and had a pleasant sail across east Penobscot Bay. We meandered into Seal Bay on the East side of Vinalhaven and dropped anchor at our favorite spot, snuggled between Hay and Burnt Islands in this special, secluded bay. We were pleased to find no other boats here when we arrived (this having been the site of the yacht club fiasco a year ago!) and only four other boats came in over the course of the afternoon. We spent a pleasant afternoon reading our books and relaxing, cooled by a gentle breeze. By early evening, as usual, the breeze died away leaving still, placid waters around us - perfect!
True to it's name there are always seals in Seal Bay.
26 July 2011
As forecast there were a few rain showers this morning but although the skies remained grey the rain stopped mid-morning. We rowed ashore and rented some bikes from Old Quarry Adventures and cycled into Stonington to check it out. I have always been curious to see this town but our cruising guide states that it is not easy for a cruising sailboat to visit as it is primarily a working fishing (ie. Lobstering) town and that the locals have no time or room for recreational boaters. After a scenic cycle around the southern shore of the island we arrived in Stonington and were pleasantly surprised. It is a quaint old fishing town with a lot of activity, as you might expect, at the waterfront. But there were nice shops, a couple of lovely bookstores and several restaurants, at one of which we had a very tasty lunch. After lunch we visited the Granite Museum which was fascinating. Located on one of the finest veins of granite on the east coast, Stonington became a granite mining boom town in the 1880’s. Quarrying, cutting and finishing granite became a livelihood for thousands of Islanders over many generations. Stonington granite found its way to many landmark buildings, including the JFK Memorial at Arlington and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. After an interesting visit we happily cycled back to Webb Cove, returned the bikes and tucked ourselves back aboard as the fog started to swirl in.