Thursday, September 06, 2007

Boothbay Harbor to MDI

August 25:
Rachel and I were in the front yard of the town library in Boothbay Harbor, measuring the perimeter and everything in the yard for a science project on mapping. We were bent over the tape measure when a man stopped right in front of us- I was looking at his feet. Bending upright, I stared into the face of an old hanggliding buddy, Paul Voight! Paul and his wife Barbara said they were in town for the weekend, visiting his mother, who lives in Boothbay Harbor. Along came his mom, son Ryan, and Ryan’s friend Desiree. We all talked for a while, and then met up the next day on Stardust for more hanggliding talk. What a coincidence!
Speaking of which, we got an e-mail from our old college friend, Judith Hagen-Meadow who lives in Norway. She looked at our blog after returning home from a visit to the US, and was in the JFK library the day before we were! So close, and yet so far.

August 26:
Motorsailed 27 miles to Tenants Harbor. Squeezed our anchor in between the moorings in this quaint, beautiful small town.

August 27-29:
Motorsail 20 miles to Camden, ME. We loved this place! Nice town, wonderful harbor full of windjammers, plenty of room for the anchor, and the biggest mountains we’ve seen in years. We walked up Mt. Battie (800’) and then Mt. Megunticook (1400’). It was marvelous looking down on the harbor from this height. Kathy fixed a great lunch which we ate on top while enjoying the view. Whitefoot enjoyed the hike too, but she fell asleep in the dinghy on the way home to Stardust, a first.

August 30-31:
Sailed to Camp Island, off of the Deer Island Thorofare. Collected mussels at low tide, and had a bucketful for dinner. Met Dennis and Lorraine on a trawler, who offered us their mooring in Somes Sound.
On Friday, we woke up to dense fog. Later, as I drank coffee in the cockpit I watched as a nearby sailboat pulled anchor and tentatively advanced towards the wall of fog, circled back, advanced again, sounded the foghorn, and then disappeared into the fog. They must have been on a schedule. We were happy to stay put, and later as the fog lifted for a couple of hours, we took the brown stain off of Stardust’s waterline with ON/OFF, which works very well. Then we hiked around one of the small islands off our anchorage, and took the dinghy on a little sightseeing cruise. Then the fog rolled back in, and there was some light rain into the evening.

September 1-3:
Pat Teagarden and Nick Kirschs’ birthdays. Happy birthday guys! This day dawned clear and sharp with a brisk wind from the north so we sailed a short 10 miles to Burnt Coat Harbor on Swan’s Island. The anchor dragged and dragged without biting so we brought it up to find it covered in kelp. We picked another spot, and later when we dragged again and pulled the anchor up, a huge steel cable hung from it. We got it off, and found spot number 3 which worked.
We took a walk to the lighthouse on a grassy knoll which offered a beautiful view of the ocean and surrounding islands. Whitefoot romped and Rachel slipped and fell a few times in the slick grass with her flipflops on. We bought 5 lobsters from Norm the lobsterman at 4 bucks a pound and had a scrumptious dinner. 3 very large sailboats anchored near us, one being a 100’ ketch. Boats of all sizes and types were out for Labor Day.
We had a nice hike to a granite quarry, and Whitefoot got to jump in the fresh water and chase sticks.
Our friends Jay and Barb loaned us their charts of Maine (saved us $250), and typed up a little guidebook for us too. Jay’s sister Betsy lives on Swan’s Island, so we looked her up. Betsy and Leona live in house overlooking Burnt Coat Harbor, where we anchored. Betsy gave us a tour of the island in her truck, and lucky Whitefoot got to ride in the back. Dogs love trucks! Leona grew up in the same house, and we looked at old pictures of the area and listened to her animated stories of her early life, the island, and wildlife of the area.

September 4-6:
We sailed out of Burnt Coat expecting strong winds and we got them. As we progressively reduced sail, the winds increased, gusting to 28kts. It is not too hard to sail in strong winds if the winds are consistent, and a straight course line is held. We couldn’t do either one. The islands upwind of us changed the wind direction and strength, and the thousands of lobster buoys forced a zigzag course. I was already tired after this short 15 mile sail as we entered Southwest Harbor on Mt. Desert Island (the locals call it MDI). We again squeezed next to the moored boats to drop the hook in 50 feet of water, using 80 feet of chain and another 200 feet of nylon rode. The wind continued to blow above 20kts, and the lobster boats roared in and out of the harbor rocking us to no end. The boats quit at dark but the wind didn’t, so it wasn’t a very good night’s sleep. Consequently, we moved onto a mooring (a deal at $20/night) further in the harbor, in a no wake zone where the lobster boats can’t roar by, and there is good protection from all but east winds.
There are wifi connections on shore, so I hope to post this today and get e-mail, while we do laundry and grocery shopping. Our cell phone doesn’t allow internet connections in Maine, and it has been 3 weeks since we were online. We’ll be here until tomorrow, then move north on MDI to Somes Sound, the only fiord in the US. We want to see more of MDI, including Bar Harbor, and Cadillac Mountain, the highest on the Maine coast. There is a free bus service, sponsored by LL Bean, which runs on propane, and covers the entire island. Also, our friend from Taos, Holly Bixby, lives in Blue Hill which is near here, and we are really looking forward to seeing her.


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