Joanne with a crab roll, Southwest Hbr, Maine
Day's Ferry July 24-26th
Estelle moored at Day's Ferry
In light westerlies, we sailed out Boothbay Harbor, down the coast of Southport Island and rounded Cape Newgan, and crossed the mouth of the Sheepscott River. Across the Sheepscott, we sailed in the mouth of the Kenebec River where we furled our sails and began to motor up the river 14 miles to Days Ferry. The Kenebec is known for two things... strong currents and Bath Iron Works, a naval shipyard. We had been careful to time our arrival to coincide with the incoming currents, and shot up aided by a following current of up to 3 knots. As Bath came into view, we saw the shipyard with four ships in various stages of completion, two of which are, according to our friend Bruce Montgomery, the latest in the US Navy's attempts at stealth technology. But we didn't get too close as thete are two guard boats in constant motion off the yard, warding off the curious like us.
After a couple of calls to the railway bridge, we were through and continued up to Day's Ferry where we were met by the smiling faces of Bruce and Nancy, directing us to their empty mooring. We cruised with Bruce and Nancy for a number of years, covering the Bahamas, and the Western Caribbean, and had lots to talk about, including reminiscing about good times. We also took full advantage of the opportunity to re-stock, as we had pretty much emptied the larder. A late afternoon "cocktail cruise" up the further reaches of the Kenebec was beautiful.
Cocktails at Swan Island, Upper Kenebec River
Next day, after re-stocking, we went "lobstering". Bruce holds a license and fishes a few traps. So we ran down the river, through the Sasanoa River into Hockmock Bay and hauled the traps for an excellent dinner.
Dinner is served!
The Basin July 27th
After three nights of wonderful hospitality, we were off down the river, taking full advantage of the 3 knot falling tide. So after our usual slow start to the day, we were rushing past Popham Beach, crowded with swimmers and being squirted out the mouth of the Kenebec just at noon. In the lighr south-westerlies, we tacked down the coast, rounded Cape Small and headed up the New Meadows River and into the always beautiful anchorage of The Basin. The Basin is a unique spot, even for Maine... it has an entrance that closes to 150 feet, then requires a sharp left turn, opening into a "lake" about one mile in diameter. And not just a hurricane hole, it is a beautifully remote anchorage in mid-Maine where there are no more than a few other boats sharing its quiet beauty with you,
Safely anchored, we took off to find a spot for Jeannie to swim. At Day's Ferry, with the Kenebec's headwaters sweeping down from the shallow ponds, the water was 80F. Here in The Basin, close to the ocean, the temperature was closer to 60F. So, when we found a spot, her dip was quick. I was content to just cool my feet. Back aboard, we settled in to a quiet evening and grilled the best swordfish we have ever tasted.
South Freeport July 28-29
From the Basin, we headed out into yet more light southerlies. Motoring out the river to clear the outlying shoals, we hoisted the sails and drifted slowly into the well protected harbor of South Freeport.
Picking up a mooring, we made contact with Jeanie's cousin Patricia Bullis and arranged to meet the next day.
A walk ashore and it was time for dinner... tenderloin, medium rare, grilled on our excellent Dickenson BBQ. Over the years we have had a few BBQ's on the boat. Our Force 10 worked well until it just burned out. And since the company went out of business, we moved to a Magma. But it was a mess. In light winds it was so hot that everything burned. And if the winds were over 5 knots, it just went out. But the Dickenson is the best yet! If you want hot, turn it up; low, turn it to low! So now we cook just about everything, including corn, on it.
In the morning we went for a walk in South Freeport. It is a quiet community with beautifully maintained houses dating back to its halcyon days as a shipbuilding center. But today it is just a quiet suburb of Portland, just a few miles away.
At noon we met Patricia and her daughter Eliza, who took us to lunch and a tour of the area. And as we were in the area, we took the opportunity to visit the outlet capital of USA, Freeport. But we escaped without too much damage, and Patricia found a few things for Eliza's wedding, just a week away.