09/07/2011, Warren Island, Penobscot Bay, Maine
Cruising Maine September 2011 V Wednesday, September 07, 2011 - 3 PM Warren Island Penobscot Bay, Maine Water temperature 64 F
For the first time in ages we wore our foul weather gear yesterday; and then again today. We pulled anchor at Seal Bay yesterday morning and jib sailed through the Fox Island Thoroughfare out into Penobscot Bay. We went half way across the bay and then tacked back towards North Haven. Our destination was Pulpit Harbor, North Haven. We would have had to make several more long tacks to sail to Pulpit and at the blazing speed of 3 knots; we would have arrived at midnight. So we gave up and motored upwind to the entrance to Pulpit Harbor.
We came thru the deep, narrow opening into the harbor and then couldn't find anyplace to anchor at a reasonable depth so we picked up somebody's private mooring. I don't like to do that but when the harbor is jam packed with mooring balls, we don't have many other options.
After chatting with some fellow cruisers (who had also "picked up" a mooring) we dinghied into the town float and went looking for dinner. Our cruising guide indicated that there was store/restaurant a short distance up the road and we were ready for a meal on shore. It was a nice walk up a country road and almost everybody who drove by waved. And in all probability most houses that we passed were not locked and most parked pickup trucks had the keys in the ignition. Rural Maine is that kind of place. After awhile we found what was supposed to be the store/restaurant. It is still a very nice grocery store but the restaurant was closed for lack of business. Oh well, back to the boat for dinner. But the trip was not completely in vain. On our return walk we stopped to pick red raspberries and blackberries along the road and then a bag of apples from a gnarly old tree out in an overgrown field.
On our return dinghy ride back to the boat we circled two Windjammers that had come into the harbor and anchored while we were walk-about. The one boat was having "Pirate Night" and they fired off a cannon as we approached. I don't think it was anything personal, we just happened to be a convenient target; or maybe we were just in the wrong place at the right time. In any case, they were just shooting blanks so no harm was done and we didn't feel the need to arm ourselves with a flare gun and machete and return on a vengeance mission.
This morning (dressed in our foulies) we dropped our borrowed mooring and headed out of Pulpit Harbor in a fine mist headed towards Warren Island. We didn't have far to go and it wasn't that nasty of a day. Half way across Penobscot Bay we needed to pass between several ledges and large rocks. We had a one knot cross current pushing us sideways but the boat was lined up good and everything was going fine. Then there was a loud clunk and the engine instantly stopped. Looking behind the boat I saw a small piece of foam from a lobster float. After a quick check to make sure the wind and current wasn't pushing us into the rocks it was time to think about options. The good news was that we were in no immediate danger and if need be, we could sail to Rockland for repairs. Next, if we wound a rope around the prop in forward gear, putting the transmission in reverse may unwind it. Step one - start the engine. It started right up with no strange sounds - good. Step two - put the transmission in reverse. Another clunk sound, not so loud, engine keeps running, no strange sounds after initial clunk - maybe good. Instantly put transmission back in neutral. Take deep breath. Cautiously put transmission in forward, engine keeps running and no strange sounds - very good. Look behind boat for prop wash. It appears we have a functioning prop. Knot meter shows forward speed so the boat is moving with no strange sounds or vibrations - very, very good. Best guess is the sideways drift caused a lobster float to go under the boat and the float got stuck between the prop and the sides of the aperture the prop is in. This instantly jammed the prop and stopped the engine. When I put the transmission in reverse, the prop spit the float out and we were free. Lucked out again.
We proceeded to Warren Island State Park where we picked up a free mooring (Thank you State of Maine) and are now spending a rainy afternoon aboard.
09/05/2011, Seal Bay, Vinalhaven, Maine
Cruising Maine September 2011 IV Labor Day Monday, September 05, 2011 - 10 AM Seal Bay Vinalhaven, Maine Water temperature 62 F
We went exploring by dinghy yesterday but a low tide greatly restricted where we could go and where we could get ashore. We dinghied by sunbathing seals, but not too close so we didn't alarm them. We landed the dinghy on a gravel beach by Big Hen Island and walked on the shoreline for a ways but couldn't find a trail to go inland. We came back to the big boat and planned to go back out in the dinghy in the late afternoon when the tide would be in.
By noon, the flag was snapping and cracking with the wind gusting 20 knots. We decided it would be a good day to just hang out onboard.
09/03/2011, Seal Bay, Vinalhaven, Maine
Cruising Maine September 2011 III Sunday, September 04, 2011 - 9 AM Seal Bay Vinalhaven, Maine Water temperature 62 F
Yesterday was a blustery day and we canceled our planned dinghy ride from Seal Cove to North Haven. Instead, we pulled anchor and jib sailed from Seal Cove to Seal Bay. Coming into Seal Bay we passed a ledge that is out of the water at half tide or less and usually has seals sunning on it. True to form, there were sunbathing seals stretched on the ledge yesterday as we passed by. They were the first seals we have seen out of the water this year. We always see seals when we are moving the boat and often see them swimming around when we are at anchor but we seldom see them out of the water.
We worked our way back into the far end of Seal Bay where the water was smooth even though the wind was gusting twenty knots. There were four boats anchored there already and by the end of the day four more had come in. There was still room for twenty more so crowding was not an issue. It was a quiet night at Seal Bay.