Thursday, August 18, 2016

Funky forecast and friends

Shaw& Tenney paddles and
boat hooks display
Our dear friends Susan and Howie arrived almost a week ago with two clear requests: lobster and sailing Alizée. They came to Maine almost 10 years ago and remembered their lobster experience. Alrighty. Before we got to lunch, we swung by Shaw & Tenney, the makers of our boat hook (for mooring pickup) and Puff's oars, in Onoro. Just like the Lie-Nielsen tool shop,  Shaw & Tenney was a hoot to visit; we find it fascinating to visit where pieces of Alizée were made, especially hearing their business stories.

Meeting the lobster request was easy: we took them to Margaret's in NorthPort, 15min south of Belfast, for lobster rolls. We recently read a recent TripAdvisor post from a local who had dropped his Wiscasset's Reds Eats recommendation as the "best lobster roll"in Maine for Margaret's. Concerned about lines, given that Red Eats lines are over 90 minutes long, we called and asked whether they had a wait and their answer was "no, we just had a downpour".. uh.. ok.. no line works for us! When we got there, we understood the answer. The only place to sit is outside on picnic tables that just got soaked. No line, and a way more reasonable lobster roll price than Reds Eat. Score!

Young Lobster Pound institution: some
ordered 3 lb lobsters!
Surprisingly Belfast does not really have many seafood restaurants in town, maybe because Young's Lobster Pound across the bay makes such a killer spot for the lobsta experience. We had dinner there and did our best to overdose on lobsters, mussels, clams, oysters, and, uh, wine.

Overdosing on lobsta
We had to enjoy this first day on land as their second request (sailing) was a bit out of our hands, given the no wind and rain forecast for most of their stay. "Sailing" in the rain without wind, with wet clothes not drying and no hot showers makes for a pretty miserable experience. In all fairness, we have yet to experience real rain since we left in June - the summer has just been incredibly dry with heat advisory in many days.

Determined to make the best of the few days they had, we set off on day 2 for Holbrook island. Worse case was motoring the whole way. Across from Holbrook island is the Holbrook Sanctuary Maine state park so we figured if we get rained on, at least we can avoid boat fever by getting on land and walking, albeit in the rain.

Only missing: some warm water-proof socks!
Just as with our previous visitors, the wind unexpectedly met us right outside of Belfast, in a more-or-less favorable direction to take us to our first stop. Temperature was chilly and the close view of the sheet of rain going over land made us prepare for the worse with Captain pulling out his full foul weather gear for the first time.

We got to the harbor and still just sprinkles, so we stuffed the four of us in Puff and the captain rowed us ashore. Puff hauling ten times her weight requires no one to sneeze to stay afloat. We ran into one person hiking and one car driving: crazy quiet. Who says Maine is busy in the summer?

Holbrook: Puff got us from Alizée
(in the background) to shore
The harbor had seals, river otters (we are not sure exactly what they actually are), and a magnificent bald eagle perched in his tree. There was only one other boat in the anchorage and the water flat as a mountain lake. We could hear the seals breathe when they came up for air. So cool! We looked like the crazy people from Colorado who missed the no wind and rain forecast, and what we got was a gorgeous anchorage almost to ourselves. The night was quiet and in the early morning thick fog engulfed us; we could only just see Puff attached 30 feet away from Alizée.

Once the fog lifted enough to move, we opted to go straight to Pulpit Harbor on North Haven. We just love Pulpit for the entertaining scene of so many boats yet quiet, and again, worst case (rain rain), we could go ashore and walk an hour to town. It is also where we found the water warmest for a jump-n-swim.  The osprey on the 150-year old nest at the entrance welcomed us with a swooshed fly-over. Still no rain when we anchored, so jumping in we did! Cloudy skies prevented the sunset we had hoped for but still no rain so we counted ourselves lucky.

Alizée and the corporate group on
their schooner
The next day we went from Pulpit Harbor to Warren Island State Park to hike the little loop on the island. The state park can only be reached by boat which makes for a unique camper population. We arrived in the small anchorage at the same time as a schooner from Rockland, ME, who had what seemed to be a corporate group doing some team building trip. It was funny to see them to challenge each other to jump in, only to see them all in the water after a while.

Sunset from Warren Island moorings
When we left close aboard the schooner, one crew member yelled he was from Denver. That evening, we were rewarded by an incredible sunset to make up for the one we did not see while at Pulpit.

V-Berth privacy curtain for
guests. Ain't no doors!
While on Alizée, Bill and I got to experience the stern slapping when sleeping in the aft berth while Susan and Howie tested our V-berth privacy curtain! We enjoyed watching movies using Spencer's projection system even though some could not stay awake for the duration :)

Thank you Susan and Howie for bringing your great attitude and making the lobsta experience an even better one with you. We are leaving Belfast tomorrow to finally make it to Acadia National Park, but we miss you already.


  1. Miss you guys (and Maine and sailing and lobsta and Belfast). Thank you for sharing Alizee with us. It was truly fabulous. This is Susan - writing from Connecticut.

  2. Dear Cath, Bill & Alizee, The Voyage was absolutely AMAZING! THANK YOU again for creating another (Abacos & BVIs) experience of a lifetime! No matter how I try words can not express the joy of our sailing adventure! In the words and music of Jerry Garcia & Robert Hunter of The Grateful Dead "May the four winds (always) blow you safely home" on Alizee or wherever else home may be! Shalom & Love, Howie

  3. Awww .. You guys are too kind! We so enjoy having friends and family on board, especially those who come with new happy hour recipes :) BTW the melon was totally edible in the end :) we should make it to Acadia tomorrow - it is sunny but temps are definitely starting to drop. Today may have been my last swim (sniff) in 63.9F


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