We love having the Seldon Top-Down furler for our asymmetrical spinnaker. We have flown the spinnaker several times and definitely wouldn’t have done so if we were still using the sock. Not only does the furler make deploying the spinnaker easy, it is also simpler to hoist and drop the sail and the entire unit coils up much smaller than than the sock, making it much easier to stow. With the spinnaker flying we have had some beautiful hours sailing in soft winds – without it we have would have been using our engine much more often.
August 18 – 19 Buckle Island
Buckle is one of our favorite spots. Tim and I harvested mussels for the first time. We hung them off the stern in a net bag for a couple hours but that wasn’t quite long enough for the mussels to get rid of all the grit. Still they were yummy – grit and all!
While at Buckle we ran into some folks we had previously met in Quahog Bay last year. We originally introduced ourselves to them because they had a Mirror sailing dinghy as their tender. Tim and his father built one of these boats 40 years ago and is what Tim learned to sail on. They are very popular in the UK but very rare in the US. Tim’s father and some friends imported the first kits into the US. It was great to see sailing through the anchorage.
The morning of Aug 20 brought clear skies and a soft southerly wind – a great direction to sail up Eggomoggin Reach so we deployed the spinnaker and set off for another of our favorite locations - Tom Cod Cove / the Holbrook Island Sanctuary. We had to briefly motor around Cape Rosier but other than that the sailing was great and we were able to sail right into Tom Cod Cove.
We had let Rodd and Cara know our destination and were glad to see them there when we arrived. As always we had a great night of fun with Rodd, Cara and Zoe – too much fun! So nice to be reunited with good friends!
August 21 – 22 Belfast
Tim and I have said several times over the past few years that we needed to visit Belfast. We have heard such great things about it and we also wanted to meet up with Al Pickering and his wife Kathy who is the Harbormaster. Tim and Al had corresponded on a couple different sailing forums and Al had offered to buy us a beer if we got to Belfast.
We met Al and Kathy at the Three Tides - a great microbrewery and restaurant. It is a new favorite place for us! It was pleasure to have a couple beers with Al and Kathy and talk about boats and dogs! We want to wish them good luck with their new “boat puppy!”
One of the highlights of our stay in Belfast was meeting a wonderful lady named Margaret who is 92 years old but seems years younger both physically and in spirit. What a spitfire! Tim and I had taken a shuttle bus from the harbor to Hannaford, a great grocery store chain in New England. Margaret had asked Tim for assistance twice in the grocery store and then she ended up waiting for and taking the shuttle bus with us on our return trip to the harbor. She was incredibly funny and very interesting. She is British and had come over here in 1946 after the WWII to marry an American GI she had known for only eight months. She talked a bit about her experience in London during the war. She said the bombing of London by the Nazi’s is not something that anyone who lived through it can ever forget or possibly explain to someone who hadn’t been there. During the war she was employed by the war department and Winston Churchill’s daughter was her commander. Margaret was so fun and fascinating to meet - we could have listened to her all day.
We left Belfast and started working our way back towards Northeast Harbor. We spent the night at the anchorage on the north end of Casco Passage located between Opechee, Black and Eagle Islands. It was our first time to this anchorage. There are some nice beaches making it easy to get ashore and would be a great place for a lobster bake. Shamus almost got in trouble! We took him to for his morning walk on Black Island. He got the scent of a critter as soon as his paws hit shore. I looked up in the woods to see a raccoon that seemed almost as big as Shamus scoot by. Luckily Shamus hadn’t found it yet! Phew!
We returned to NEH on Sunday, August 24th to pick up our mail and various parts we had ordered for repairs that we were having delivered to the NEH marina. We came across our good friends Gail and Randy Rice . They introduced Tim and I to their friends and fellow cruisers Mark and Claire and we all enjoyed a lot of laughs over cocktails and a fabulous dinner that Gail whipped up for us all. Gail and Randy described some nice hiking trails that start in and surround NEH and which are outside of Acadia National Park. We found the trails and enjoyed walking the trails that wind through the beautiful forest surrounding the town. We really liked that the trail heads were a short walk from the marina and better yet since they are outside the park – not crowded.
We rode our mountain bikes a total of 32 miles on the carriage roads in the national park over a two day span. I can’t remember the amount of vertical we climbed. There are no shortages of hills but the fast descents are worth the climbs! The views are amazing and riding the carriage roads offer a great way to explore Acadia National Park. Maybe one day the park will actually design or designate some trails for mountain bikers. That would be fabulous!
We received our mail and the parts we had ordered – one of which was a new engine driven generator / alternator. For those of you who are non-mechanical like me the generator / alternator converts DC electrical current generated by our batteries to 110 volt AC electrical current. If you have been following our blog you might remember the alternator stopped working enroute to the Bras Dor’s Lakes. We had shipped it back to the manufacturer in Texas with the hopes that whatever the issue was it could be repaired. Unfortunately we weren’t so lucky. The alternator we sent back was about 16 years old and certain parts for it are no longer manufactured and it couldn’t be repaired so we dished out the dough for an updated model. Tim got the new alternator hooked up only to find out that AC converter for the unit also had issues so he removed that and shipped it back to the manufacturer. So no AC electricity yet but we are living just fine without it.
The last parts we ordered came in on Thursday evening so we were able to depart NEH on Friday morning. We love NEH but were glad to be on our way.
August 30 – Galley Cove
The wind conditions were perfect for a downwind sail into Blue Hill Bay which for some reason we have never explored. So glad we did. We found a new favorite anchorage off the northeastern coast of Bartlett Island in Blue Hill Bay called Galley Cove. The island has beautiful trails and lots of old hardwood growth in the forests.
Poor Shamus had some intestinal issues that night. Poor us – rowing him to shore a couple times in the middle of the night and the wee hours of the morning. On the bright side the bioluminescence was spectacular and I witnessed a beautiful sunrise!
Finally had some Gifford’s Ice Cream. The Yacht Club was nice. Not that appealing as it drains during low tide so you can only take the dinghy to town 2 hours either side of high tide. We did get a few provisions. Not a great place to walk pup.
Sept 1 – Campbell Island
Campbell Island is on the southeast side of Deer Isle in Greenlaw Cove. Yet another anchorage we were visiting for the first time. The anchorage is very open but pretty and you can watch boats sailing up and down Eggomoggin Reach. There are a couple nice beaches to land the dinghy and a couple campsites for kayakers. We took Shamus to shore for his evening walk and on our return were hailed over to a lobster boat where we met Buster and a couple other people and about four dogs. We had a ton of laughs with them. What great folks! There is a great trail around the island. We will definitely return here.
The morning brought thick but not unexpected fog. We waited until about 1PM but it didn’t burn off at all. We wanted to spend the night in Perry Creek as we were planned to pick up Tim’s brother Mark and his wife Diana in North Haven the next morning. We motored the entire way. Visibility in the fog ranged from 50 yards to a mile. Dodging lobster pots in the fog!
It is always nice to visit Perry Creek. It is a great anchorage and not crowded at all this time of year.
Sept 3 – My birthday!
Best thing about my birthday is that having another one is MUCH better than the alternative! It was a beautiful sunny day. We picked up Mark and Di in North Haven and sailed over to Merchant Row. We anchored in between Round and McGlathery Islands. Mark and Tim took the dinghy and chased down a lobsterman to buy some lobbies for dinner! We invited Bob, on a neighboring boat who was out cruising by himself, to join us for our little lobster bake that evening on the island. What a blast! First lobsters we have had this summer and they were delicious! We had a stunning moonrise and the stars were spectacular!
Great sail to Isle Au Haut where we picked up a mooring in the Thoroughfare. We always enjoy this spot. We enjoyed some short walks around the island.
Sept 5 – Long Cove – Vinalhaven
My dad called the prior evening to say he was planning on coming up for a visit on Sunday and we decided to meet in Rockland. We had a nice southerly wind and decided to sail over to Long Cove on the western side of Vinalhaven Island. We haven’t spent much time on this side of Vinalhaven but there seems to be a lot of pretty anchorages to explore. We liked Long Cove and when we looked at Google Maps there seems to be a park that borders the inner part of the Cove. We will need to explore this area a bit more. We enjoyed sitting on the deck under a beautiful moon looking down Hurricane Sound. I can’t think of a nicer way to end my day on a boat!
September 6 – Rockland
We sailed over to Rockland and picked up a mooring from the harbormaster. Conditions were foggy but cleared the closer we came to the mainland. We were expecting strong thunderstorms to pass through this afternoon and evening but it seems they passed just north and west of us. So far there have only been a couple rumbles of thunder and some rain and the radar looks pretty good at the moment– we aren’t complaining!
Tomorrow should be sunny and pleasant. We are looking forward to a visit from my dad!
The New England Patriots have their seasoning opening game in Miami tomorrow and we hope to catch the game somewhere here in town. Go Pats!