Previous Port: Northeast Harbor (Maine Part 3)
Our goal was to stop in every one of the regions along the of the Maine Coast: The Southern Coast, Casco Bay, Midcoast, Penobscot Bay, Mount Desert, and Downeast. On August 21, we left Northeast Harbor and headed for the Downeast Region. This was the last region left on our agenda.
Anchorage: N44034.900 W067030.489
The morning of our departure for Roque Island was patchy with fog. As the sun rose higher in the sky, the fog finally cleared, only to return off and on throughout the day. Our destination was 45 miles away, which is a long day for us. We hadn't actually anticipated it being a 10-hour day but it was due to dodging lobster buoys in the fog and the current working against us. When we finally arrived at the Great Beach anchorage, the fog was super thick. There was no choice but to anchor by radar. We could see three boats on the radar screen but just couldn't make them out with our eyes. We kept tracking one that we knew had to be "right there". Finally, when we were within maybe a 100 yards, we actually saw him.
Anchoring spots have always been a possible point of contention for us. I always want to get as close to shore as possible and Bob wants to allow plenty of room in case we drag. I've finally given up on picking spots even when Bob asks my choice. I know it's useless, we are going to anchor exactly where he has predetermined to. Anyway, this time, the fog worked on my side. As the evening wore on, the fog started lifting. It was like opening a Christmas present very slowly. It was quite exciting seeing first the tree tops, then the whole tree, then the cliff; and to see how realllly close to them we were. No way would we have anchored that close if Bob could have seen them. I thought he'd insist that we re-anchor the next day, but we stayed put.
Great Beach is on the southern side of Roque Island. It has a great cove that is almost horseshoe shaped. Along the shore there is the most beautiful white sand beach, about a mile long, with thick spruce trees as a backdrop. Although Roque Island is private, the owners permit visitors to come ashore on the beach. It's a great place to walk, play in the sand, relax, soak up the sun or whatever you like to do on a beach. The water was far too cold for us to venture into, except for wading, but there were a couple of men there that were brave enough to try it.
The beach was quite impressive but I couldn't get over the sky. Maybe I've spent too much of my life in the city, but I've honestly never seen such a magnificent blue sky. That night the stars were also unbelievable. For the first time in a very long time, we could clearly make out the milky way. It was truly a heavenly place to stop.
We had planned a picnic on the beach for the next day but clouds with rain moved in. We did make it back to the beach that afternoon for a long walk but it just wasn't the same without the sun.
Anchorage: N44039.344 W067012.432
This was a nice quiet little fishing village. It was not particularly pretty but interesting in another sort of way; charming, I guess is the word. We went ashore for a quick walk around the town, hoping to find a grocery store.
Cutler is the closest Escapades has been to Canada. We could see the shores of Grand Manan Island only about 14 miles away.
Anchorage: N44035.321 W067031.448
Shorey Cove is on the back side of Roque Island. It was a very pretty spot with another inviting beach. Once ashore the beach lost it's appeal. It was very gravely and unattractive. We were able to gathered mussels for the first time. We let them purge for 24 hours as recommended and then steamed them. Certainly not a dish we want to try again.
Anchorage: N44029.461 W067049.841
This was a nice, scenic anchorage that we had planned to spend several days in. We had been blessed with the most perfect sunny, cool weather but that was predicted to change. We cut our stay short and headed back to Mackerel Cove where we knew we could find a safer harbor. From August 29 to September 2 we returned to Mackerel Cove in the Mount Desert Region.
Next Port: Somes Sound (Maine Part 5)