09/11/2011, Tom Cod Cove, Penobscot Bay, Maine
Cruising Maine September 2011 VII Sunday, September 11, 2011 - 4 PM Tom Cod Cove (near Castine) Penobscot Bay, Maine Water temperature 60 F
Yesterday was a perfect Fall day for onshore sightseeing in Camden, Maine. We dinghied into the Town float which is located right down town at the water front. The shoreline there is lined with benches and on a day like yesterday, every seat was taken. The tourists have been watching Windjammers going out and coming in, Megayachts going by, glistening sailboats maintained in better than new condition tied to floats; and here we come, two kinda salty looking, not spring chicken looking, people in a scruffy, strange looking Porta-Bote. You can see their faces as we crawl up onto the dock, "Who are these people?" "Where did they come from?" The more astute ones will notice the Illinois registration on the dink and wonder, "Did they come all the way from Illinois in that?" Once we go up the ramp to street level we can blend in with the other tourists and become lookers instead of lookees.
We wondered around town, went to the Farmers Market and bought some stuff, stopped in a Gallery and bought some stuff (ouch!), stopped in a used book store and bought some and then stopped at The Marriner's, a breakfast/lunch type restaurant that advertised in the front window, "Good local food - No ferns and no quiche". After lunch we walked around some more and then returned to the dinghy for our return trip home. Thankfully the outboard started right up. I hate it when it won't start and there is a crowd watching.
This morning we dropped our mooring and headed back out into Penobscot Bay where we turned north. We motor sailed up the bay to the Castine area where we picked up a (free!) Holbrook Island Sanctuary mooring at Tom Cod Cove. We're hanging out on the boat this afternoon enjoying the sunshine.
09/09/2011, Camden, Penobscot Bay, Maine
Cruising Maine September 2011 VI Friday, September 09, 2011 - 9 PM Camden Penobscot Bay, Maine Water temperature 66 F
The sun finally came out yesterday and we had a fine day at Warren Island. We went ashore and walked around the island to stretch our legs. Then, we saw a lobsterman unloading his catch at a float so we dinghied over to see if he would sell us some lobsters. We bought two big lobsters for $15, he was happy with the transaction, we were happy with the transaction; if only life was always that simple. We brought the lobsters back to the boat and hung them over the side in a laundry bag to keep them alive and kicking until dinner time. When it was time to get the lobsters out of the bag, they were downright feisty. We steamed the larger one 20 minutes and the smaller one 15 minutes and they were cooked to perfection. The table was a mess when we were finished but it was worth it.
This morning we dropped our mooring and motored seven miles to Camden where we picked up another mooring. Moorings aren't free in Camden but the $40/night at Wayfarer Marine includes free launch service, use of a loaner car and showers. Wayfarer has a laundry at the dock and we really needed a laundry day. So Patti did laundry and I made a grocery run. Tonight we went back ashore and finally had the dinner in town that we have been trying to have for the last week. Tomorrow is a play day in Camden.
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.