Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Harbor Island in MidCoast Maine



BoothBay lighthouse
After The Basin, we went east to Harbor Island in MidCoast Maine, another local recommendation, this time from friends of Alison via email.  On the way there, we went by Booth Bay, the Maine mecca of yachting, and its lighthouse connected to a land by a bridge. Plenty of pleasure boats in the bay and a J105 race we navigated right through. Thank goodness it was not a lobster boat race, which we heard take place in Maine.





Lobster boat passing by at full speed

Lobster boats are everywhere - and so are their lobster pots. Their engines sound like thunder, and when they pick up their pots, they go in unpredictable zig zags - well you can learn to predict them if you can tell what pot color they use. So far, we are doing pretty well on our lobster boat and lobster pot dodging - so far none snagged - but it definitely keeps you with 2 pairs of eyes on the horizon, and we anticipate the density will increase as we move north. Indeed. Coming into Harbor Island was crazy thick with them and no obvious passage through. We just had to have faith that we could figure it out on the fly.
Upon arrival, Harbor Island only had 4 boats anchored, one of them owned by a nurse from Baltimore who works 9 months out of the year and sails the 3 others. Paul was fascinated by Alizée. He invited us to go on a walk on the island with him to get all his questions answered!  Many of Maine's islands are privately owned but the owners are generous in letting visitors land on them and even walk around. The Maine Island Trail Association (MITA) publishes a guide that tells you what you can and cannot do on each island. We found our first wild berries on that walk - small, yet tasty, raspberries.

After 3 days of secluded anchorages - which we truly cherished -  we were ready to see some civilization, not to mention dropping our trash (stink!) and picking up some provisioning. We had run out of protein to grill and my creative cooking did not really please the captain, so it was time for some fresh produce or some dinner ashore. Sunday we lucked out on the wind and made it to Tenants Harbor, right at the entrance of Penobscot Bay where Belfast lies some 40 nautical miles north, exactly one month after attending the Wooden Boat Festival (nice post-show blog from Alizée's designer). Off to Bill to share our experience there...

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