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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Take a Hike

Here on Mt. Desert Island is Acadia National Park. What a beautiful place. We spent weeks, most of it anchored in Somes Harbor, exploring the island and the park. The great thing for cruisers is the free bus system that takes you almost anywhere you want to go . We spent some time in the cities, Bar Harbor, Southwest Harbor, Northeast Harbor and Bass Harbor.

The view of S/V Freedom at anchor from the bus stop




Southwest Harbor




The Bass Harbor lighthouse





This was a great place to run some errands. Here is Ed getting our propane tank refilled.





The true draw of this area are the incredible hiking trails. They can be fairly easy like this one.






Or more difficult like this





The views are well worth the hike








The anchorage had its draw as well.


This rainstorm never reached us. It ended over the mountains but gave us this great rainbow.




This seal did a little balancing act on top of a rock for us.




This is a wonderful place and we look forward to coming back here again some day.



Saturday, August 23, 2014

More Foraging

We spent some time hiking the trails of Frenchboro, Long Island. I am always looking for blueberries here in Maine. I saw blueberry bushes everywhere on these trails but little to no berries on them. Finally, on the way back, along the roadside almost in town Chris spotted them; jackpot! Wild blueberries!


I picked a few...





The next morning...




YUM!!! Wild Blueberry pancakes.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Trapped

We anchored in beautiful Somes Harbor, enjoying the surrounding Acadia National Park.




A storm rolled in with predicted 15-20 knot winds. It turned into 20-30 knot winds with gusts to 40 knots! It seems the storms always come at night. 3 boats dragged anchor. We stayed up all night on anchor watch, worried about the boats nearby dragging into us. As daylight broke we discovered that a lobster pot was blown into our anchor chain and was wrapped around it. We've been doing a great job dodging them and keeping them out of our propeller. This one seemed to take it personally and came to find us. Ed had to go out in the dinghy and unravel the tangle of pot warps from our chain. It was an old, unattended pot encrusted with mussels.




Ed hauled the trap to the surface to make sure it was clear of our chain and anchor.




With help from a neighbor the trap was dragged clear of all the anchored boats.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Maine Fog

The fog comes 
on little cat feet. 

It sits looking 
over harbor and city 
on silent haunches 
and then moves on.

Carl Sandburg


Fog greeted us as the Maine coast came into sight.




We've had patchy fog throughout our trip. Today's fog is one of the thickest yet. You can barely see the dock in the background less than 100 feet away.




In the background of this photo is a 100+ foot ferry boat. His fog horn is blowing, you can hear his engine but for the longest time you could not see him. The fog cleared (a little) for me to snap this pick.




Watching for lobster pots can be a challenge.




Sometimes the fog can be really beautiful.




This bridge over the Eggemoggin Reach was completely obscured by fog. By the time I grabbed the camera it was gone. It had moved on.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Maine Tales

We are really enjoying our time here in Maine! So much to see, such great and friendly people, incredible seafood and we love the wildlife

The view of the harbor in Castine.






The quintessential Maine church




This wooden mast needs replacing




The Maritime Acadamy is working to replace it. Below is the 75 feet of good wood glued together.




The cutting begins



Maybe they will be finished if we pass through again on our way south?




The harbor seals are everywhere....but they don't like their pictures taken.





This is as close as I could get







This is usually how you see them...with the heads bobbing in the water.





Monday, July 28, 2014

Foraging

We left the nice little town of Rockland and enjoyed a beautiful sail east to the Fox Islands Thorofare to make Seal Bay on Vinalhaven Island. In the thorofare, the lobster pots were THICK. Thankfully we dodged em all. This picture doesn't really tell just how bad it was.


Seal Bay was a nice place to ride out a bit of blustery weather passing thru. It was also a great place to collect mussels. I dinghied to a rocky outcrop nearby at low tide. The commercial guys were wearing hip boots but I could stay in the dink in a foot of water and pluck all the mussels I wanted off the bottom. Collected about 40, perfect for a meal.


Took a bit of scraping of barnacles to prepare them for cooking as well as several rinses.


The final act was to turn them over to Chris and let her do her magic. Steamed in diced tomatoes, shallots, garlic and white wine. Mmmmm. Absolutely the best mussel dinner I've ever had!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Finally; north to Maine!

We had a very nice day with light wind to sail NE across Cape Cod Bay to Provincetown on the tip of the Cape. This made a good stopping point for our trek across the Gulf of Maine to Penobscot Bay. While there we watched a conservation group try to untangle a net from a small whale that made its way into the harbor. Never did hear how successful they were.






There's always schooners and tall ships sailing the popular harbors of New England.





Our trip to Penobscot Bay takes us over the Stellwagen Bank, a very popular place for several whale species. So we made sure we allowed plenty of time to whale watch. We did pretty well, found some small whales as soon as we crossed onto the bank in 60' of water. We followed several for a time but they didn't give us the 'tail' or breech so we moved on.






Later in the day, just after leaving the Bank into deeper water we found the Humpbacks! It is quite difficult to get into position to photograph them. They stay down for 5 to 15 minutes. I did manage to get one good tail shot before we decided to keep going.





Later in the day we did see one HUGE splash about a mile directly ahead. I had to be a Humpback breeching. We looked and looked but saw nothing more.

Dawn came with beautiful glassy seas. No good for sailing but certainly a comfortable ride. We'll take it!




We had one more visit from what I'm pretty sure is a whale. It just cruised along without coming up or diving. Could have been a BIG shark!





As soon as we approached the rocky Maine coastline, the welcoming committee dropped in a nice fog bank!





Seems like the fog is attracted to lobster pots. As soon as we got into the fog, we got into the pots...while still out in 185' of water. Prudently, we timed our arrival for well after dawn so we had a fighting chance of avoiding these hazards.





Pictures don't do this justice. They popped up all over. I donned my raincoat, as it was cold and damp, and stood on the bow to give Chris directions. Took us at least 2 hours to slowly approach the coastline where the fog gradually lifted. Thank God, because inside the outer rim of islands, the pots were EVERYWHERE. 2 more hours of dodge-em pots. But we could see our destination...land ho!


We finally made Maine! We've had this at the top of our cruising destination list and kept coming up short. We've had much stress over the lobster pots, time to enjoy the bounty they bring!! We need to stock up on butta.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Magic Port

We have a magic port in the cockpit next to the helm.
Often, while I am at the helm, I am handed plates of food and beverages. They are magically delicious. I lead a charmed life!


Friday, July 18, 2014

Spot Tracker Update

Take a look at the new tracker link on the upper right corner of the blog. We were not happy that the track of our trips would only last so long. We are now using a new application that will keep our tracks for a whole year. Click on the words "Click Here for Spot Tracker". You can adjust the number of days/weeks/months you want to view. The little sailboat icon shows our current position.

Let me know what you think of it. You like? Any problems viewing? Is it working for you?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Eye Candy

Beautiful evening in Onset Bay. Next we go through the Cape Cod Canal into Cape Cod Bay. I can almost smell the lobsta!