Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Basin in Casco Bay

We can finally stuff a modicum of bits into the Internet, so there's some catching up to do! Working off of Alison's recommendation (thanks!), we cruised up the New Meadows river of eastern Casco Bay to a little hurricane hole called simply The Basin. It felt for all the world like a mountain lake, albeit salty. Pine trees. Ospreys. Many birds we've never seen or heard before. We are ornithologically illiterate, which is a shame up here. We need an offline Shazam type app to tell us about the bird we just heard or perhaps of which we just took a picture. Next bookstore I'm looking for a pocket sized "Birds of Maine".

The guide says that The Basin may be the last chance for swimmable water before the cold is too much, so in we go for obligatory laps around the boat. Alison says it doesn't count unless you at least swim around the boat. The Basin is quiet and the slightest sound carries unattenuated over the still water; we feel compelled to speak in whispers, which is kinda weird. Sharing the anchorage with a few others, all but one do the same. By accent and tone, "the one" had a gaggle of drunk New Yorkers. Fortunately they didn't stay the night. Ahhhh, what relief when they lefeave

The next morning we wanted to leave on the low tide to catch a favorable current down the road. The bible says the bend has 7 feet at low on the outside of the shifting bar of the entrance bend. 7 feet? M'kay. Slowly we motor around the bend, but staying outside is easier said than done given all the lobster pots in the channel. The depth sounder is reading 8 feet when, phooey, we coast up onto the sand bar. First order of business is to set out on anchor so we stay put while the rising tide lifts us up and out of our morning pickle. Second order of business is to review the rule of 12 with Cath. For those non-sailors, you divide the tidal range by 12. The first hour you get 1/12, the second and additional 2/12, the third 3/12, and then back down. Given our 9 foot tide, we should get an additional 9/12 of a foot the first hour. In the meantime, it seems a most excellent time to recalibrate the depth sounder (8 feet, really?), which we do. It takes only 30 minutes until we float off on our way to Harbor Island, no worse for the event. Yea!

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