Maine 2007 (till end July) Home    Sailing home page      Maine in August

We arrived in Maine in mid-June 2007, with plans to spend as much time sailing there as possible, with a few trips home by car, until the fall, then to leave Milvina on shore there till Spring 2008.

Our first stop in Maine was in the Isles of Shoals, a group of small, rocky Islands about 5 miles offshore.  Britain considered them a valuable colony in the 17th century, because of the vast shoals of cod that were easily caught and shipped back.

The map shows most of our anchorages (red dots) 
(The wavy line off the coast marks US territorial limits, it is NOT our course)

For many years the lighthouse keepers and families lived on one of the islands.  Now the light is automated and the houses are summer cottages.
We were there while the black backed gulls were hatching and bringing up their chicks.  They are quite aggressive, and very noisy.  This one sitting his (or her) nest let us know we were not welcome.

There were two birds protecting many of them, which we took to be the father and mother.  This guy made lots of noise, and gave us dirty looks.

We sailed on up to Five Islands, a small fishing port in the mouth of the Sheepscot River, NE of Portland.  Buying lobster directly from the fishermen is about half the price of the stores.

Like many mornings on the Maine coast, it started with low-lying mist.  The inshore lobster fishermen use boats like the one shown here

We made several short hops along coast, stopping in quiet anchorages, and hiking ashore some afternoons. 

Maine is famous for its lobsters.  Unfortunately it takes about 3,000,000 pots to catch them, so the waters are dotted with the floats of the trap lines.  If the boat sails over one, it can catch, and if motoring, getting the line wrapped around the propeller is a major problem.  It will jam the engine, and perhaps do damage.  The rope tangle can be iron hard.  It may come off by gently reversing the engine, or it may need to be cut off with a hacksaw. That would be no fun in the cold water.

The autopilot is of limited use, since it is necessary to weave through the lobster-pot floats, so we hand-steered much more than we normally do.

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Until the time of writing this page (end July 07) we had mostly light wind, little rain and lots of sunshine.  Diane Norwood from Knowlton was with us a few days around Camden, and took this shot of our mainsail.
We had a nice, easy sail to Perry Creek on Vinalhaven, where we were favoured with this sunrise.

Like many anchorages, there was no road access, but quite a few boats.  Most are American, with a few Canadian and European.

We met an English couple, Mike and Angela Jennings there, and several later anchorages, which led to a few great evenings together.

The day was flat calm to we motored the five miles or so to Winter Haven, where the fog made us stay put for two days.  We put this to good use by installing a dozen more steps up the mast.  We installed the first 15 in 2006 in Florida, but the remaining 30 steps have been lying in a locker since then.

Hopefully all the steps will be installed by the end of the year.

We snuck across a few miles to anchor overnight at Hell's Half Acre, a small island near Stonington when the fog lifted for a day, then sailed on to Southwest harbour on Mt Desert Island. 

This was our first visit to civilization in nearly a week and we liked the village very much.

The photographs shows NE harbor on the left, and SW harbor on the right.  Both are very busy and attractive anchorages

After the bright lights, and a visit from friends from Sutton, we sailed up to Soames harbour, which is pretty much in the centre of Mt Desert Island.

We spent a week there, biking and hiking in the Mt Desert island park.  Rockefeller built miles of carriage roads there nearly 100 years ago, which are still in great shape, partly because they are better built than most small roads are today.  They are for horses, hikers and bikes only.  the photo shows Milvina and another boat at anchor in Soames harbour from a carriage road about 3 miles away and 500 hard earned feet higher.

Many July mornings on the Maine coast start with calm weather and fog.

We took this shot in Soames harbour, but it could have been in almost any Maine anchorage.

Fortunately, the fog usually burns off by about 0800, but it can last all day.  Fog banks can roll in unexpectedly, usually on fairly clam days.

We used our radar much more than we had in previous years, but not all boats show well on radar, particularly the wooden lobster boats.  These are about 30 feet long, and low enough to be hidden in the swell.  Most are so noisy that we knew where they are.

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There are some huge boats in Maine.  This guy poking through the fog has a mast that is probably too high to enter New York harbour, or go under the Golden Gate Bridge.  The gaff rigged boat sailing towards the camera has a mast about 50 feet high.
Aunt Betty's Pond is one of several lakes on Mt Desert Island, accessible only by bicycle or walking.


We saw lots of ospreys around the Maine coast, as well as a few eagles. 

When we anchored near them, they would often keep watch, particularly the eagles.

This pair of ospreys in Cradle Cove on Isleboro Island kept us under their eyes while fishing to feed their chicks.

This osprey preferred to nest on Pulpit Rock, of North Haven Island. 

This nest has reputedly been there for 150 years.

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Camden has retained its old world charm, despite being a busy sailing port.  The Harbormaster's office is just like those found in small, undeveloped Caribbean islands.

The town has lots of interesting bars and restaurants, and is one of the few ports from where you can sail on old schooners.

Camden is also well supplied with artists, including some incredible woodcarvings.

This eagle is made entirely of wood, but it is virtually impossible to tell that it is not a stuffed one with real feathers.

It was on sale for $125,000.  Our credit card cannot handle that, so we left it for the next guy.

The graceful schooners sailing from Camden were the last of commercial sail, mostly built between 1900 and 1940.  the survivors now earn their keep by taking guests out.  Some for a few hours sail, some for up to about a week.

Several have no engine, and use "guest power" for raising the heavy anchors and large sails.

We met this one at sea, and again as the skipper sailed in through the tricky entrance to Pulpit Harbour.

Diane Norwood joined us again for a couple of weeks.  She took many of the photographs on tis page.

We took our mountain bikes again, which was good fun ashore, but made for a storage problem on the boat.

We are heading from Camden to Vinalhaven in this picture, with Diane Norwood at the helm.

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