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Rockland/Warren Island/Bucks Harbor

Sunday we left Rockport and headed back to Rockland. We decided to go out for dinner at the Samoset Resort to celebrate another great month on the water. The Samoset is absolutely beautiful and the meal at the La Bella Vita restaurant was delicious. I had the lobster ravioli. I am still not sick of eating lobster. I haven't had my steamed lobster dinner yet; I am waiting for the Lobster Fest in Frenchboro. My friend Edie says it's great and the best part is the homemade pie the ladies on the island make for dessert. The fest is the second weekend in August.

It is Wednesday and we are back on the boat after a quick trip home. We hit so much traffic we are so glad to be back on the water instead of the highway. Troy didn't like the ride in the dinghy at all getting back to mooring. He was trying to claw his way out of the cat carrier. He clawed me in the process and even drew blood. Once he was back on the boat he was fine. I think even he was glad to be back, he seemed a little lost in the house. We brought Wildflower into the dock for the night to charge things up and Troy jumped off twice, what a brat. He and George spent the evening out on the deck listening to the live music from the Rockland Lobster Fest.

After provisioning for another month on the water and scrubbing down the boat, we headed out on Thursday on our way to Warren Island to catch up with Seaquill and Django. It was a beautiful sunny day and we had a nice time visiting with our friends. On Friday we all left for Bucks Harbor. Gypsea left Mount Desert Island and met us there also. Once in Bucks, George felt the water was warm enough to go in and scrub the slime off the water line of the boat. He was in there for hours. I can't imagine how bad the bottom of the boat is.

We had cocktails on Gypsea and then all walked up to Bucks Restaurant for dinner. Before dinner Dan and Daria awarded the Swan Trophy to Jack and Denise for the sailboat race from Warren to Bucks Harbor. There were only two sailboats, and even though Django arrived first, you have to deduct time for the use of your engine. The Swan Trophy is always given out at the summer cruise and it is the duty of the recipients to improve on the trophy's appearance. We will have to see what improvements Jack and Denise make. They first have to glue the swan's head back on the top as Daria accidentally broke it off.

Saturday was so beautiful we decided to stay for another day here in Bucks Harbor. Django is heading out today to catch a concert at Blue Hill Harbor. We will meet up with them on Mount Desert Island in a few days. Gypsea is heading south toward Casco Bay tomorrow. We are heading north tomorrow or down east as they call it here in Maine and stopping for a night at the Wooden Boat School located on the Eggemoggin Reach.

2015 Maine Cruise
Stonington/Pulpit Harbor/Rockport

We left Southwest Harbor on a clear, but windy day and made our way to Stonington, which is at the southern tip of Deer Island. The trip was fine despite the wind and we made it in good time. We took a mooring at Billings Diesel and Marine, a working boatyard. Stonington Harbor is reserved for lobster boats and there were thousands of them. They say the loudest and fastest lobster boats can be found here and they were not kidding. The guidebooks said that they can be a bit rude to pleasure boaters, but I have found just the opposite. This is the only place that the men on the lobster boats actually wave to me, that usually does not happen.

We went into town in search of a lobster dinner, but the best restaurant in town was closed today, what a bummer. After walking through the little quaint town, we took the dinghy through the mooring field admiring all the lobster boats. The evening at Billings was pleasant and Troy took advantage and stayed out on the deck for most of the evening. Stonington was named for its many quarries and its proudest moment was when First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy chose Deer Island pink granite for her late husband's headstone.

The lobster boats started leaving around 4:00 am breezing by us at a pretty good clip. We were all up early and decided not to stay a second day and headed to Pulpit Harbor in North Haven. It was a calm day and it only took us under two hours to get there. Pulpit is a nice place to through out an anchor, very secluded and surrounded by elegant homes. We had no issue finding a nice spot, but once we were situated, boats just kept coming in and it got pretty crowded. There was even a large schooner that anchored here for the night. We just sat up on the fly bridge and watched them all come in and drop anchor, some had an easier time than others. It was entertaining. After dinner I found that we actually had TV reception here, the first time in a few weeks. I finally got to watch some news and even the Big Bang Theory. Troy was enjoying the nice evening so much I had to bring him in when it got dark, he would have stayed out all night.

We picked up the anchor around 10:00 and headed across the bay to Rockport. Rockport is situated between Camden and Rockland. It is here that Andre the seal befriended the harbormaster back in the 1960's and was featured in a book. A granite statue located in the waterfront park now memorializes Andre. We had a delicious lunch at the Salt Water Farm, which boasts farm and sea to table fare. Once back on board Wildflower, the dark clouds began to move in quickly and before we knew it, it became pitch black and we had quite the thunderstorm and torrential downpours. Troy hid behind my legs under his blanket during the storm. The rain cleaned the boat, but filled the dinghy. George thinks we got about 3 inches of rain. It is now very calm and beautiful, with the sun trying to peak out. We are one of the few powerboats in this harbor; most are sailboats and a few lobster boats.

We will stay here two nights and head to Rockland on Sunday. We will head home on Monday for a few days.

2015 Maine Cruise
Northeast Harbor, Mount Desert Island

Well it turned out to be a rainy, windy day after all in Bucks Harbor and we never left the boat. We did some boat chores, but it was a lazy day. You need one of these days once and awhile to slow the pace down. On Sunday morning the sun was out and it was a beautiful day to head to Northeast Harbor at Mount Desert Island. We left Bucks Harbor with Gypsea not far behind us around 10:00.

The Eggemoggin Reach was dead calm and we were the only boat out there. After going under the bridge that goes over to Deer Island things changed. We were heading into a fog bank and at the same time there were so many lobster trap buoys it was like going through a minefield. There were thousands of them that we had to avoid as we made our way through Jericho Bay to the narrow Casco Passage. We were lucky not to have snagged one. Once into Blue Hill Bay the fog began to lift and the lobster traps were fewer in number. We could see the mountains rising up from the fog and it was quite a spectacular sight. The seas were a little rough as we made the turn to head north up to Mount Desert Island. Once in Northeast Harbor, it was quite nice. We picked up a harbor float, while Gypsea picked up a mooring.

Troy was good the whole trip. He only got up once and crawled into my lap for a short time, then went back under his beach towel to sleep. We had to keep a close eye on him as there was a sailboat sharing the harbor float with us and I can tell he wants to go on it like he did with Seaquill, but I don't think that grumpy guy likes cats. When Troy jumped on the dock and I went to fetch him I made a joke about Troy jumping on his boat and he just grunted at me.

Monday morning, Dan, Daria, George and I hoped on the launch and went across the bay to the Asticou Inn, a beautiful place overlooking the harbor with elaborate gardens to walk around in. After our walk we had lunch in the Inn, lobster salad, lobster roll and lobster quiche, plus their famous popovers. They have been serving those for over 100 years. We saw so may lobster traps on our way here it seemed fit to have them for lunch. After lunch we all hopped on the free island bus and headed to Bar Harbor, going through the Acadia National Park. It is just so beautiful here. Bar Harbor was crowded with tourist, so we did not stay long.

When we returned to Wildflower we found a new boat sharing our harbor dock, a nice family with two kids and a dog. That will keep Troy on our boat, as he is afraid of dogs and kids. The little girl was very friendly and we chatted with the family. They are from Maine and they were interested in all the places we had been.

Tuesday we headed over to Southwest Harbor to stay on the docks for a while. We were then thinking of heading to Stonington next and then Rockport for a day or two before going back to Rockland and going home for a few days. Lately I feel like a nomad just wandering aimlessly around Maine. It is a good feeling, like a free spirit with no schedule or plan to adhere to. Boating is a lot of work, but it is definitely worth it.

2015 Maine Cruise
Belfast and Bucks Harbor

We headed to Belfast on Monday as planned and the trip was an easy one. The bay was as smooth as glass. We did notice a lot of debris in the water, branches and logs, but not as many lobster pots in Belfast Bay. Belfast is at the mouth of the Passagassawakeag River and if you continued up that river you would end up in Bangor. It certainly is a change going from a secluded state park to a city. We stayed at the Front Street Shipyard, which works on very large boats. Denise and I watched them haul out an 80-foot boat and they did not even use the largest travel lift they had. We are on a harbor float dock with Seaquill on the other side. Gypsea is a few floats down. I do like floats better than moorings, as we do not swing with the tide when we are on these. Troy also likes these so he can jump off the boat and visit with Seaquill.

Belfast has converted from a gritty backwater in the 1960's to a charming cruising destination that it is today. They have added a great harbor walkway, which goes from the town, right through the shipyard and across a footbridge to the other side of the river. Downtown Belfast has a pleasant mixture of all sorts of shops, upscale artisans and restaurants. The shipyard used to be a sardine cannery and some of the old buildings are still here. We had dinner at a place called "Meanwhile in Belfast" and it had the best Napoleon style pizza I have eaten. How a chef from Italy ended up opening a restaurant in Belfast, Maine I wonder, but glad he did.

We had everyone over for dinner Tuesday evening on Wildflower. Troy has become very sociable with our boating crowd, not quite as shy as he used to be. There is a shop in town called "Eat More Cheese" that I bought the best cheese, meat, bread and Valencia almonds for the party. The shop was featured in a magazine, so I was anxious to try them out and everything I bought there was delicious.

The next day the guys borrowed the courtesy car for a trip over to Hamilton Marine in Searsport, then came back and did some boat maintenance, a never-ending chore.

On Wednesday we headed out of Belfast onto Bucks Harbor, one of the most beautiful and protected spots in Maine. Even though there are a lot of boats here, it is quiet and peaceful. Gypsea is here at Bucks Harbor, but Seaquill has headed back toward Rockland to go home for a stretch. We had dinner on Gypsea and watched a beautiful sunset.

George has been trying to get Troy to go for a dinghy ride with him. Troy will get in the dinghy with no problem, but as soon as the motor starts he wants out. Maybe someday he will do it and make George happy. We had planned on leaving on Saturday and head toward the Mount Desert area, but they are predicting high winds so we decided to stay here another day. They said it was going to rain all morning, but as I sit here writing this, it is quite nice out, a little chilly but no rain in sight. We have found on this trip that the Maine weather forecast changes moment to moment.

We have been trying to watch the British Open, but there is no TV reception here and the Wi-Fi is terrible. I have been forced to watch five seasons of Downton Abbey, again.

2015 Maine Cruise
Camden/Warren Island State Park

We spent four great days in Camden. It is a beautiful town to walk around in with nice shops, restaurants and pretty homes. We loved being on the harbor float with Seaquill; even Troy thought it was great because now he had two boats to walk around on. He could only jump on Seaquill when Jack was not aboard, as Jack is allergic to cats. We had a great spot to watch all the activity in the harbor, boats coming and going, boats being commissioned over at the marina and the schooners taking tourists out for a sail.

Wednesday afternoon Denise and I found the farmers market in town and was pleasantly surprised at the quantity, quality and low price of the produce and stocked up. Camden also has a market in town called the French Brawn that had specialty meats and baked goods. There is also a Stonewall Kitchen store in town, which is one of my favorites. On Thursday morning Denise and I borrowed the marina courtesy car and headed to the supermarket to provision the boats for the next few weeks. When we returned we all had lunch at the Camden Yacht Club, which is very old and beautiful.

Thursday evening Dan and Daria arrived on their new boat, Gypsea, a 51-foot Halverson. Jack and George assisted them in docking at the town docks. We all went over for a visit and to welcome them to Camden. Dan told us that 29 years ago he was in Camden standing in the beautiful park at the library overlooking the harbor wishing he was on one of those boats looking up at the park, and now his wish has come true. He was very happy to be here. Denise made dinner for everyone aboard Seaquill, and all had a good time.

On Friday Jeff and Linda, fellow EYC members, drove up to Camden to spend a long weekend aboard Gypsea. Jeff made his delicious Bolognaise for everyone and we had a great meal and a great time with our friends.

Saturday we all headed out of Camden and north to Warren Island State Park. They have free moorings for boaters and the park has campsites that only cost five dollars a night for those who come to the island. The campsites all have a wooden lean to and a great view of the water. It is a well-maintained park with trails for walking around the island. We covered ourselves in bug spray and went ashore for a walk with Jeff and Linda. Some of the flies are as big as birds here.

I did go out on my paddleboard and this time I did fall in. The water was so cold it took my breath away. But I got back on and paddled all around the harbor. George put his kayak in the water and went exploring. We are staying here two nights; Gypsea is going back to Camden to drop off their guests and will meet us in Belfast on Monday. The weather has been very hot, hitting 90 on Sunday. Troy kept moving around trying to find a cool place to sleep. He loves going out on the bow after sunset and will sit there for hours. Sometimes I have to chase him around the boat to get him to come in at night. I started working on an afghan that I began working on when we had our sailboat, Pilgrim. I hope to finish it this summer.

2015 Maine Cruise
07/13/2015 | Mary
So glad you are having a wonderful time . Troy should start his memoirs and you could be his editor. I am sure he would have lots of great moments to share. Smooth boating. Love the blog. Love,Mary
07/16/2015 | Brad & Melissa
We love hearing about your trip. Someday our dream will come true as Dan's did! We'd love to have you and George come to the Barn we'll be staying at on the Kennebec in Phippsburg 8/5 - 8/10. Email sent with details. Maybe see you soon and we love your posts!
07/08/2015, Rockland to Camden

The Sawicki party on Silver Lake in New Hampshire was a lot of fun. It was a very long drive but we are so glad we went. We had a great time with all of our family and got to visit with ones we haven't seen in years. George had fun driving Jim's new party barge around the lake he grew up on. Troy was so happy to see us when we returned in the early evening. He does not usually stay on the boat alone that long, but I am sure he slept most of the time we were gone, or sat up on the NAV station looking out the window at the boats and seagulls.

We were so exhausted by the long day we decided to stay in Rockland for one more day and just relax. We went out for breakfast and then dropped the truck off at long term parking at the Rockland Ferry Docks. I had done a lot of research and found that was the cheapest and safest place to leave the truck. We can come and go now for the rest of the summer, as we need. We are headed back to Rockland at the end of the month for their Lobster Fest.

The next morning we dropped the mooring and headed over to the town docks to water up, pump out and wash the boat. Once done, we headed out of Rockland Harbor to make the 10-mile trek up to Camden. We could see the fog rolling down from the north, but it stayed north of us, so we had an easy trip into Camden Harbor. It was beautiful, looking at the mountains with the fog below them and then the ocean. Little did we know our friends on Seaguill were traveling in that fog on their way to meet up with us in Camden. They were up at Gilkey Harbor on Islesboro Island and their trip was not as pleasant as ours.

Camden Harbor is jam packed with boats of all sizes. We were happy to find that they had us on a harbor float almost all the way in. It is very protected and being tied to a float means that we would not be swinging with the changing of the tide. Seaquill came in a short time after us and tied up on the other side of the float. It's like having our own private dock. Troy is very tempted to hop off Wildflower and head over to Seaguill and explore a new boat. We will have to keep an eye on him.

We all had dinner up on the fly bridge of Wildflower. We were watching all the schooners coming and going from the town docks. The evening started off nice, but the fog did begin to roll into the harbor and it started to rain around 8:30. Tomorrow we will explore Camden with all it shops and restaurants. There is a farmers market in the afternoon over at Knox Mill we plan on going to. Thursday the Bentleys aboard their new boat Gypsea will be joining us in Camden. We are looking forward to seeing them. We are staying in Camden until Saturday, and then we will decide where to go from here.

2015 Maine Cruise

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Who: George, Cathy & Troy
Port: Edgewood YC - Cranston, RI
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TENTATIVE PORTS OF CALL: Isle of Shoals/ Wentworth by the Sea/ Cape Porpoise Hbr - Kennebunkport/ Biddeford Pool/ Great Diamond Island - Diamond Cove/ Jewel Island/ Falmouth Forside - Handy Boat/ Great Chebeague Is Inn/ Sabasco Estates - Sabasco Harbor/ The Basin/ Snow Island/ South Freeport - Harrsseeket River/ Orrs Cove - Great Island Boat Yard/ Opechee Island - Casco Passage/ Sequin Island/ Damariscove - Boothbay/ Harmon Harbor - Sheepscot River/ Five Island / Christmas Cove/ Pemaquid Harbor/ Tenants Harbor/ Duck Harbor - Isle of Haut/ Hurricane Island/ White Island/ Long Cove/ Seal Bay/ Rockland Harbor/ Perry Creek - North Haven/ Stonington/ Pulpit Harbor - Fox Island/ Rockport Harbor/ Camden Harbor/ Ames Cove/ Cradle Cove/ Warren Island / Bucks Harbor/ Tom Cod Cove/ Smith Cove/ Holbrook Island Harbor/ Castine Harbor/ Belfast/ Isle au Haut/ Frenchboro/ Swan Island/ Camp Island/ Mackerel Cove/ Buckle Harbor - Swans Island/ Campbell Island - Greenlaw Cove/ Bass Harbor/ Wooden Boat School/ Cranberry Harbor/ SW Harbor/ Northeast Harbor/ Somes Sd/ Pretty Marsh/ Winter Harbor/ Galley Cove - Bartlett Island/ Sand Cove - Winter Harbor/ Blue Hill Harbor/