Boothbay to Rockland
28 July 2013
Fog, Fog, Fog
Boothbay to Rockland Maine
July 28, 2013
It was hard t to leave Boothbay yesterday but we have to move on. Our destination, some fourty nautical miles away, was Rockland which is roughly half way up the Maine coast. Rockland is on the world famous Penobscot Bay renowned for sailing. As such, it is sort of a mecca to East Coast sailors. From point a to b there are many possibilities as to route. We chose a combination of offshore and inshore to run behind some of the most spectacular islands and rocks anywhere. The Atlantic swell was spectacular outside. Some were in the 10 feet range and yet they were easy on us. At times, we could not see land only a few miles away. It made lobster float spotting a bit of a reflex test since topping off a swell might reveal a float a few feet away. Said float was under water in the swell until we got there. Until we slid behind some islands that stopped the swells, we could not use the autopilot.
The structure of this part of the Maine coast is similar to fingers pointing south. Each bay may be dozens of miles long. At the tip of the fingers are usually many islands. So, it is possible to use a route almost protected from the Atlantic. As we approached Penobscot Bay, we turned more or less north into the Bay and proceeded between many islands in protected waters. Rockland is a huge westward opening body of water off the bay. We approached through a long channel and did not see the harbor until almost upon it. Then, suddenly, we were in the open and the scene was spectacular in the bright afternoon sun. Sailboats everywhere heading everywhere. Eighteen knots of wind had all of them well heeled and knawing at the sea. Some were racing, no; all were racing with each other or some invisible entity.
Rockland is an old city, fist settled in the early 18th century under another name. It rose to prominence as a lime-producing town and ship building area. Now it is a commercial and recreational town. A bit of luck on our part came when the harbormaster called to say his moorings were tangled and for the same fee, we could have a slip. That is usually a good thing and we jumped on the idea since we need water and Scurv needs a land visit or ten. Not one to question such a gift, we did spend the night with a wicked roll at the dock. Seems the mile long breakwater neither calms the bay roll nor the ferryboat wake. Our fenders were tested fully last evening. Then again a sideways roll on the boat is like napping in a hammock.
Scurv and I took a long walk in the heavy morning fog. I am thinking he likes the sound of his bark echoing in the fog.