Maine At Last

A bit of time has passed since the last update. We spent a portion of that time in Onset getting the boat cleaned and reorganized after our travel from the Chesapeake. That included a 5 mile round trip walk to a grocery store and several loads of laundry. We also got our first order of fried clams since entering New England – really good!

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                  Relaxing in Onset

We had family visits during our time in this quaint coastal village. First Sandra’s sister Paula arrived with Pam, her sister-in-law.  We had a great, relaxing visit.

Then Sam came with her family and Jenn.  She and Jenn had just completed another trail run together, this one a 25K in Stow, VT. The boys had a great time on the boat as well as kayaking or on dinghy rides.

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                Nathan kayaking

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     Chris and Ryan in the dinghy with Jeremy.

All left at the end of the day except for Jenn and her dog Kaya who would be joining us for the next leg of our cruise.

Having filled our water and fuel tanks, we headed out through the Cape Cod Canal the next morning as soon as the tidal current had began flowing the right direction for us.

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  Jenn and Kaya on the bow as we head up the canal

The sun was shining and the wind made possible for some motor sailing most of the trip to Boston Harbor. Our anchorage provided a sunset view of the Boston skyline, and the nearby beach offered us lots of sea glass as well as ample running space for the dogs.

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  Yet another lighthouse, this one south of Boston Harbor

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           Our sunset view of Boston

Since the forecast called for continued decent weather, we continued north the next morning, making our way between the many islands in Boston Harbor before heading back out to sea.

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One of several older forts on islands in the harbor

After a couple of showers and some rolly conditions, we got north of Cape Ann and set a course for Kittery Point, our first stop in Maine.

Pepperill Cove has moorings near the town docks and a small grocery story (very small). The cove is not well protected from ocean swells, so we spent a night being rocked to sleep…or not.

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  The fog lifted briefly before we headed out.

We woke up the next morning to thick fog. By the time we were ready to leave, the fog had lifted a bit in the cove, but we found thick fog once we were out of the harbor. It remained with us all day, during which our greatest challenge was avoiding lobster pot buoys.

As we approached Casco Bay, a line of thunderstorms came through. The only good aspect was that it cleared out the fog and provided us with bright sun and a rainbow as we arrived at our anchorage at Jewell Island, one of our favorite spots in the Bay.

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      The anchorage at Jewell Island is well protected.

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   This side of Jewell is open to ocean swells.

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    First to welcome us to Casco Bay

Jewell is open to the ocean on one side but provides a protected anchorage on the other. It was a site for submarine watching during WWII. To that end two towers were built to provide a clear view of the water out from there. There was also a gun emplacement, tunnels to store munitions and supplies as well as a  barracks for soldiers. Much is now gone, but the towers can be climbed for a view of the area and the tunnels can still be explored .

Next we were off to a mooring in So. Freeport and a 3 mile walk into Freeport to LLBean and a number of outlet stores. We always find it fun to wander through LLBean’s even if we don’t end up buying much.

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South Freeport is full of boats on moorings.

Having a mooring meant we could do laundry and refill the water and fuel tanks before heading out the next morning. Casco Bay is familiar territory for us, since we sailed here for several summers before moving to Virginia. We headed over to another favorite – the Gosling’s – where we can walk around a couple of small islands and pretty much guarantee that we’ll see seals on neàrby rocks. We weren’t disappointed. We did some kayaking and I set my dinghy for sailing and enjoyed a breeze that afternoon . 

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  Seals gather on these rocks each day at low tide.

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       Jenn and Kaya enjoy kayaking.

The next day we got a bit of nice sailing  in the big boat as we traveled to Long Cove well up into Harpswell Sound.  Getting there required  passing through a maze of lobster buoys far more congested than are the crab and lobster buoys in the Keys. It’s not really a problem for us, though, as long as we pay attention.

This hurricane hole of an anchorage is now providing us with time for more kayaking and to see more seals as well exploring the neighborhood by foot and dinghy.

We do seem to by bouncing around a bit now, but the anchorages are between 5 and 12 miles apart. So we aren’t spending much of each day traveling.

A number of people we’ve talked with concerning cruising in Maine have expressed worry about the fog and the rocks. We’ve experienced both during this trip already. The fog is less of an issue if you have radar, AIS and a good chartplotter. The good thing about rocks, unlike the sand and mud of more southern areas, is that the rocks don’t move, so the charts are accurate. A good example of this can be found in the Active Captain description of how best to enter Long Cove, our current anchorage. Ledges were described on both sides of the entrance making entry sound a bit intimidating. However, following the instructions and acting cautiously, the entry was without issue and turns out to be well worth the effort.

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These rocks may be hidden under the surface at high tide, but the chart tells you where they are.

Too many miss the opportunity to cruise the spectacular coast of Maine for these unwarranted fears.

More to come of our Maine adventure.

Carpe Diem
Captain Bob