This post is being written (started) from Gloucester, Massachussets, but Gloucester is a story to be saved for next post! This post will cover our final days in Maine.
After our somewhat back and forth relationship with Maine this month, we ended our trip on a very high note which was greatly influenced by the fact that we didn’t see fog for the last seven days and the weather was quite beautiful, which makes the scenery even more beautiful and everybody happy!
We left Northeast Harbor (Acadia area) and headed to a really interesting island: Frenchboro. It is quite remote and isolated and is pretty much all about the lobstering. There are two primary family names that have kept the island going for many years. There is a school that has an enrollment of around a dozen plus or minus a few in different years. Once again we saw the dramatic difference in tidal swings. We enjoyed some good lobster rolls and a beautiful walk on some of the trails around the island. Noteworthy event there: anchoring wasn’t really recommended and we secured one of the last public mooring balls. For the rest of the afternoon, we watched boats stream in looking for a place to secure themselves for the night . . . some had no luck. Then we saw a boat come in with a hailing port of Annapolis: NEIGHBORS! Sunset wasn’t far away and they needed a place to stay, so we hailed them on the radio and asked if they wanted to “raft up” with us on our mooring ball which means we tie our boats together side by side. They happily took us up on the offer and we had very pleasant neighbors for the evening. We enjoyed sitting in our mutual cockpits the next morning having coffee and visiting with each other. . . a nice way to meet.
Our first stop in Lunt Harbor on Frenchboro Island
Watching the lobster being offloaded in Lunt Harbor – now that’s fresh!
Frenchboro has a funky little vibe . . . this shed is a good illustration!
Frank looking out over the harbor
Next morning we headed to Seal Bay. What an exceptionally gorgeous place! We were so enamored with the place and there were so many exciting looking nooks and crannies to explore with the dinghy, we abandoned our plans to leave the next day and decided to treat ourselves to a lay day to relax and enjoy. That’s what we’re supposed to be doing on this cruising thing, right? There were a few other boats anchored up, but there was so much space for all of us, it still felt like we had a whole lot of the place to ourselves. At low tide we went out and harvested mussels which made for an excellent dinner that night! And, of course, we were in search of Seals. The place is called Seal Bay, right?
Coming in to Seal Bay
Ems proud of her muddy feet at low tide.
Seal Bay is way up the list as one of our favorite stops.
Mussels and Linguine . . . it’s what’s for dinner!
After a great sleeping night, we woke up to a spectacularly sunny and warm day. Enjoyed the morning doing boat chores and making/eating blueberry coffee cake! Then we saw boats start to pour into the area! Came to realize that there was a flotilla coming in from the New York Yacht Club (one of the most exclusive yacht clubs you’re likely to find)! We’re talking maybe 50 boats of all sizes and shapes! We quickly became one of the smallest (and least expensive) boats in the place! The quiet little bay wasn’t deserted any more. I said to Frank, “One thing we don’t have to worry about with this group – no one is going to come in blasting rap music.” He responded, “No – but they might come in blaring Beethoven!” It did make for some fun boat eye candy – Frank’s favorite past time is ogling boats, so he was supplied with great fodder for that. By the way, we saw a grand total of one seal in Seal Bay. Do we smell that bad?
No, I am NOT eating the coffee cake right out of the pan! Okay, maybe a little bit . . .
The yacht club joined us in Seal Bay . . .
Left the next morning for Tenants Harbor. This stop was very good location-wise for our travels . . . but I can’t say there is any other reason we would stop there again, so I’ll move on . . .
Next we headed to Boothbay Harbor. We had visited that area on the way up, but this time anchored in the harbor by town itself instead of in the cove around the corner. We took advantage and walked to a real grocery store and enjoyed town in much better weather than when we saw it the first time. Although Boothbay is a popular summer destination, it doesn’t have that overcrowded tourist town feeling. It is a lovely place with lots to see and do.
Next on our speedy tour back down the state of Maine, Jewel Island. This anchorage was really just a little cove that you can duck in to for some protection overnight. There is nothing there but beauty and woods. Its beauty makes it quite a popular spot, but there is only room for about a dozen boats. There were people camping on the island and two families on their boats traveling with their children having the time of their lives kayaking and swimming (in 58 degree water, no thank you). The place had a very congenial feeling. We enjoyed a quiet evening there before taking off again the next day. No rest for the weary!
Jewel Island lives up to its name.
Jewel at Dusk
The most pleasant surprise of our last days in Maine was our stop in Biddeford Pool. It is about 5 miles south of Kennebunkport which is a town name more people recognize. We thought of it as “the alternative location so we don’t have to go to Portland again.” BEAUTIFUL! We anchored up with the plan to stay for two nights because of a strong wind forecast for the second day, and not in the direction we needed. Our walk around town and to the point was positively civilized. What do I mean by that? It was idyllic in a way. It was the portrait of niceties in a town that appears to have a little money in it. We walked by a group playing croquet . . . we happened onto a nature trail that ran between the cliffs and a nine hole links golf course where they were having a mixed couples, “Wine, Nine and Dine” outing. The ice cream truck was rolling around the neighborhood. The truck that used to come around the neighborhood in Harrisburg used to play something obnoxious that I couldn’t get out of my head for hours . . . something like “Pop Goes the Weasel.” I wanted to take a range rifle to it regularly. This ice cream truck was playing, “Sailing, Sailing, Over the Deep Blue Sea . . . ” You can’t get mad at that! And it was just one nice view after another. We met couples from two other boats in the anchorage and have exchanged messages with both with promises to meet up in the future since we are all heading south! The one-liner of the night came from the one gentleman who said, (in an Australian accent just to give you the full effect), “The coldest winter I ever spent was this summer in Maine.” Just cracked us up! The other couple came over for cocktails bearing a bag of paperbacks that they were finished with and lots of good advice for cruising the Bahamas. We chatted comfortably with them for quite some time.
The view from the nature conservancy at Biddeford Pool
A beautiful view across someone’s back yard
Ems trying not to fall off the rocks while while posing for a picture.
If you can’t find an ice cream stand, just take your own spoon and go to the store! Appropriate that he’s eating Moose Tracks in Maine.
Another example of the dramatic tide swings!
Our new friends leaving at dawn . . . we were about 15 minutes behind them . . .
Sun rising as we left! Forgot to put on the improved sunrise playlist.
It was finally time to say goodbye to Maine. We knew we had about a ten hour trip ahead of us to get to Gloucester so we left at sunrise. Along the way we saw a seal pop his head up and check us out for a while! Finally! We may have seen a grand total of 8 seals the whole time we were in Maine! And – at long last – we spotted two whales that day!! We think they were Minke Whales . . . not too big and could be mistaken for a dolphin swimming at the surface of the water until you realize it is much too large to be a dolphin!! The sightings were brief, but exciting. We took two hour shifts, it was warm, and we were going downwind, so it was a comfortable ride other than the flies that wanted to make the trip with us. Ten hours flew by, and then we were pulling into the harbor in Gloucester, another town with LOTS of Frank’s family to visit . . . but we’ll save that for the next post.
And so we say goodbye to Maine. It’s so hard to believe the first leg of this journey is over already. Leaving, we feel more experienced using our radar in the fog, more adept at dodging lobster pots, and realize that there is no place like Maine. As I’ve said before, the cool factor in Maine is high . . . but you gotta work for it! Will we be back next year? If you’d asked us the first week of August, we might have said no. . . but now, I don’t think we could pass it up. So Maine – we’ll be seeing you!