After a week on Mount Desert Island it was time to say goodbye to Maine and start following the birds south. We had reached our goal destination and quite frankly had had enough of the lobster traps! I don’t know how people sail in Maine regularly because we found it really tiring always being on full alert. Thank goodness we had Brett to help keep watch and spread the fun around! The good thing about paying so much attention though was that we didn’t miss any of the beautiful scenery!
We knew our passage would be about 36 hours so we set out early in the morning and bid farewell to the most northern point on our journey. We knew the first several hours would be spent dodging lobster traps so we all took turns up on the bow.
If only we could teach Stanley to help on watch!
We couldn’t have asked for a calmer sea. It was almost glassy as we headed out into the Gulf of Maine. We could have asked for some wind though! Ah well, you get what you get…
Beautiful, calm day.
Ryan getting a little shut eye.
A beautiful day led into a beautiful sunset, but fog was looming on the horizon….
Maine just could not let us get away without experiencing that famous Mainer Fog. We had good luck up until this point of not getting caught out in the fog. After all we’d heard about it we weren’t sure if we’d even be able to SEE Maine. 🙂 The fog started up right at sunset and was with us until our arrival in Cape Cod the next morning!
The bow of our boat. Can’t see much beyond that….
Other than the fog it was an uneventful voyage and we made it safely down to Provincetown on the tip of Cape Cod. Oh and we saw some dolphins having fun!
Bar Harbor is the “big” city on Mount Desert Island. We were able to ride the free buses there from where our boat was docked in Northeast Harbor. It’s actually a really nice service where LL Bean pays for free transportation all through the island. Since our boat was docked in the well protected but with nothing at all going on Northeast Harbor we were happy to be able to get over to Bar Harbor for a little fun.
Bar Harbor is pretty fun and we met a nice local girl who gave us the low down on where to go. She knew all the good happy hours, best dive bars and yummiest pizza! Besides eating and drinking Bar Harbor is a fun place to shop! Lots of cute places even a fun dog store named Bark Harbor!
View of the harbor.
I couldn’t get Ryan to pose in the lobster. 🙁
When we got to MDI we decided that Northeast Harbor would be a good secure port to stay awhile. It didn’t have the shops and restaurants of Bar Harbor but it sure was pretty.
We went and visited the beautiful gardens and enjoyed the quiet.
Ryan taking in the beauty.
Our boat from above
The rocky landsape
The farthest north, or “Down East” as they say, that we made it was Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island. This was a place we had all been looking forward to. Brett had briefly visited before but the weather was bad so he didn’t get to see much of the island. What he remembered though was that it was beautiful and he couldn’t wait to go back! So, what did we do on our first full day? We got suited up for a hike up Mt Penobscot about 1200 ft above sea level.
Smiling as we start off.
Stanley smiling too!
The day was hot and, after a mile in the shade, most of the rest of the trail was exposed. That meant there were some pretty nice views though!
We even saw some wildlife along the trail!
One of the funny things about Acadia is that they have all these really big lakes that they call “ponds”. Everything there is a pond. By their definition Lake Tahoe would be a pond! We came upon one of these ponds when we were almost to the top of the mountain. We were all really hot and needed to cool off, especially Stanley. Unfortunately Stanley is NOT a water dog. 🙂 Since he wouldn’t go in willingly Ryan decided to dunk him.
Look at that face!!
Shortly after that we made it to the top. What nice views.
Brett taking it all in.
At the top!
Even though the day was hazy and hot it was a fun hike! Time to head down now…
We needed a place to rest between BoothBay Harbor and Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island so we stopped at Merchants Harbor. This is a rural anchorage in between some small islands which is well protected except when the lobster boats come whizzing through at 6am in the morning!
We needed to take Stanley ashore so we took our dingy over to one of the islands. Once there we found out that we had landed on Mosquito Island! They surrounded us in huge black clouds. We had to wait until Stanley did his business and then rushed back to the boat. They tried following us so we ran our dingy around in circles to blow them off. It was really quite funny, but I am not going back on that island!
Ryan securing the dingy.
Brett and Stanley strolling
To make up for the mosquitoes the sunset was amazing that night. I haven’t seen a sunset that beautiful since we were in Maui!
People were not exaggerating about the lobster traps in Maine! We thought they were bad when we went into BoothBay Harbor, but we hadn’t seen nothing yet! When we left Boothbay we wound through the islands to get to our anchorage for the night. It was beautiful but all three of us had to be on high alert at all times; getting one of those traps wrapped around our props would be bad news. Plus just to make it more interesting there were traps where the rope was not long enough so they were under water! You didn’t see those until you were right on top of them. We’re just one little boat and during our time in Maine we went directly over six of those submerged traps. It really makes you wonder how many are out there!
Can you see them?
Brett on lookout.
One of the perks of paying so close attention was that we got to see a whale! Not great pictures but it was very exciting! We’ve seen whales, dolphins, seals and even sea turtles on our voyages!
As we continued “Down East” we stopped at Booth Bay Harbor. Boothbay is a small town that swells to over 50,000 people in the summer. Year round residents we were told are about 5,000. We heard that in the winter it’s only the lobstermen and their families and folks who work for a school or bank. Well, since we were there in the summer it was pretty happening. It was a good spot to do some outdoor activities! We got our kayaks in the water and kayaked around the harbor for a bit. It’s pretty calm waters as long as you stay away from the lobster boats!
Getting the boats in the water
Brett in the inflatable
There goes Ryan
Views from the water
We also got up early to take a hike. We took a dingy ride over to a small island that had some public hiking trails on them. Ryan and Brett kept saying how it reminded them of the Pacific Northwest but not as pretty. On our hike we were able to spy on a lobster boat checking its trap.
I spy a lobster boat!
Got anything good?
The island was pretty and small enough that we were able to go from one end to the other. We came out at the far end and had a great view of the surrounding area.
Ryan and Brett decided it was time for another homemade lobster dinner. So on a recommendation they went off to one of the fishermen and brought back our dinner. They used the same recipe as before and the lobsters turned out great.
Checking the pot.
We also spent some time enjoying the town and went out a few nights. On our last night we found a really good restaurant with sushi! Yum! We’d been getting tired of pub food so sushi was a nice change.
Ryan posing 🙂
Enjoying a night out!
The other Portland http://t.co/A0lvjoo55d
Drinking Taint Town Ale by Shipyard Brewery