Isle of Shoals to Camp Island-Maine 1

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Previous Port: New Bedford, MA to Maine

It seems strange to say that "we are island hopping in Maine; but that is what we're doing. There are more islands along the Maine coast than there are in the Caribbean and they are much closer together. Unfortunately, most of them are private (over 93%). Sometimes, the owners don't mind cruisers coming ashore but more often they do.

Even so, it has been a wonderful place to be (excluding the first few anchorages) during the month of August. The temperatures have been as low as 530 at night and only as high as the upper 70's during the day. Many days, it never gets above 700. I thought for sure that we had finally found a home until someone told us that it gets as low as 60 in the wintertime.

Isles of Shoals in the
Southern Coast Region

August 4, 2005

Mooring: N42058.784  W070036.646

Our first Maine stop was on the New Hampshire/Maine border, just barely on the Maine side. We picked up a free mooring - free that is unless a yacht club member wanted it. Since we didn't really have an alternative anchoring plan, we began to be very uncomfortable as the moorings started filling up. This was on a Thursday but apparently the weekend folks were coming in early. It was quite a relief when dark came and it was unlikely that any more boats would come in.

The scenery was quite pretty and very close to my "vision" of what Maine should be. The anchorage itself was not too great - even on the mooring. It got real rolly in the night and the fog moved in. The noise from the foghorn and bell buoys also made it difficult to sleep. The fog cleared enough that we were able to leave the mooring at 6:30am.

New Meadows River in the
Casco Bay Region

August 5-6, 2005

Anchorage: N43049.730  W069015.348

We knew that conditions were not great for leaving Isles of Shoals, but there didn't seem to be another choice. It turned out to be a miserable 12 hour passage. The seas were only 3-5 feet but they were coming from the side at a frequency that kept us rocking 400 side-to-side, almost constantly. Additionally, we were into lobster floats unlike anything we've ever seen.

In the Gulf Coast there are tons of crab floats but they are almost never in the channel. The lobster folks don't seem to care about channels or markers or boat damage. We literally had to thread our way through these floats, looking for the anchorage. I drove and Bob helped direct me. It was truly unbelievable and at times it seemed there was absolutely no clear path. For those non-boating folks, the lines attached to these floats can get wrapped around the boats propeller - real bad news.

We finally worked our way to the entrance of The Basin only to find it completely blocked with more lobster floats. After circling several times looking for a spot clear of floats, we dropped anchor in the middle of Winnegance Bay. Too tired and discouraged to plan for the next day, we ate cold chicken and potato chips, very glad to have them.

New England homes nestled in the trees along Winnegance Bay, Maine

The next morning things looked much better. We dinghied into The Basin. The tide was up and the floats had cleared the entrance; it would have easy then to bring the big boat in. The Basin is a very pretty anchorage with great protection but we decided that since the hook was set and there was very little rolling, we'd just stay out in middle for the day.

Funny, that we Southerners (not Bob) consider ourselves to be the friendliest folks on earth. We've never met anyone, anywhere, as friendly as the folks in the community surrounding Winnegance Bay. People in three different boats came out to see if we needed anything. We were invited to fill up our water tanks. One lady even ask if we needed to use their shower. Maybe she was trying to tell us something.

On the negative side, other than the lobster floats, was that the mosquitoes were really bad there. We hadn't been bothered by mosquitoes since leaving Florida. We headed out early the second morning for Tenants Harbor.

Tenants Harbor in the
Penobscot Bay Region

August 7-8, 2005

Mooring: N43057.800  W069012.338

This was a very disappointing place. We had planned to anchor in Long Cove but there were too many lobster floats for comfort. When we played out the rode, in the only spot that looked possible, we ended up on top of one of the floats. It was too late in the day by then to move on, so we opted to pick up a mooring in Tenants Harbor.

It was so frustrating dodging the floats and trying to find a mooring ball. We had been told by the dock attendant to look for a chartreuse lobster float. Now, I'm no longer sure what color chartreuse is but, I'm quite certain it is not the lemon yellow that was attached to the mooring we finally picked up.  It was sure a relief to find a place to settle in that was free of floats.

Tenants Harbor is a working harbor. It is really unattractive from the water but it's interesting because it is quite different. According to the cruising guide there is a restaurant on the waterfront with affordable food. It was decided that we needed to try a lobster roll - a Maine specialty. The first place we stopped wanted $14.95 for what is basically lobster salad on a hot dog bun. Neither of us being much of a lobster fan, we opted not to partake. Sometimes you wonder what is wrong that you don't particularly enjoy the things that many people love - like lobster. It made us feel a little better when we read in the Bar Harbor Guide that lobster was once considered "trash food for poor people".

It was with no regret that after two nights, we left Tenants Harbor and headed out for the Mount Desert Region of Maine.

Next Port: Camp Island to NE Harbor (Maine 2)