Monday, May 19, 2008

Nantucket to Maine

[Kyle] Our last night in Nantucket was spent on board Footprint while rain came down in sheets and the wind howled. The chop and noise was so bad we had a hard time sleeping. It felt like we were underway in a storm. By morning the wind was really blowing even harder out of the northeast and the rain was cold. A couple of times I ventured outside to check something and came running back in and shivering as if the weather was actually thirty degrees colder. Needless to say, this did not make us feel motivated to go anywhere, much less Maine.

After lunch though, the wind decreased and became favorable for our journey (just as predicted). We made a diversion to a local marina to top up our fresh water supplies, and set off for Maine.

Almost immediately the wind died completely and started to spin - this was before we had even left the Nantucket coast, leaving us drifting towards a rocky shoal with spectators to boot. This caused me to stomp around on deck doing my best Yosemite Sam impersonation. "Ooooh, I hates motorin'" (Maryanne watched on in good humor). The current drifted us closer and closer to Brant Point, where we discovered that rocky shoal was in fact a colony of seals on the beach (cool). Eventually the crisis was averted, the engine shut down, and the wind returned to its predicted state.

We were able to follow a direct course to Maine, and arrived even earlier than we had hoped - so early in fact we had to wait about 45 minutes for daylight to enter the harbor. (I wanted to be a able to see the lobster pots we knew would be there, and they WERE there).

Apart from being cold, the passage was uneventful. The scenery as we arrived was breathtaking - NO FOG, clear skies! I consider us lucky.

One of the better moments of our arrival into this beautiful place was when we turned into the tiny channel that led to our anchorage, having sailed with the wind behind us on the way in we had not had a chance to smell Maine until that moment - then it hit us, we were in the woods! Pine trees and wet earth, it reminded me of being in the mountains as a kid. The narrow channel opens into a gorgeous big basin that looks just like a mountain lake; pine trees and granite coming right down to the water.

We had made it to Maine, and it was even prettier than I had expected. Once again it turns out we are ahead of the crowds, the anchorage was empty!

On arrival we had a short nap (to recover from night watches), and then setup the dinghy to explore the basin. Maryanne had to act as spray dodger (begrudgingly) while longingly looking back to Footprint between enjoying the views. We ended the sail with a relaxing downwind sail back to the heated Footprint.

[Maryanne]Still no luck fishing, I tried some different lures on this trip - some I had to fight with just to bring back on deck - so I won't be using those again.. Either way, still no fresh fish dinner!

Our anchorage is in the East of Casco Bay, a cove called "The Basin" off the New Meadows river. Casco Bay is full of rocky islands, just hundreds of them, it is a stunning area. The sun is shining brilliantly, the trees are nearly all a lush green, and it just looks spectacular. It even feels great if you are out of the wind. You can check out the area using these coordinates (43 48.3' N 69 51.4' W) in Google or some such mapping program. We really had no idea what to expect of rural Maine, but we picked out a number of places with 5 stars in our sailing guide book - so far, looks like a hit.


Karen said...

Hi! I've been meaning to post a note about your wonderful journal entries ever since I started reading them. Who knew you both had such literary talents!?! You should really consider submitting your diary, in chapters, to the Travel Channel or National Geographic or even Sail magazine; they'd see immediately how appealing your stories and descriptions are. (I've enjoyed them tremendously and feel like right I'm right on board with you. Don't forget my offer of being extra ballast! ;-) )

Now that you're in Maine, if you get a chance to do some more leisure crusing to explore the coast, there's a wonderful little town called Sorrento, almost due north across Frenchman's Bay from "Bah Habah" (aka Bar Harbor!). The locals have a unique hybrid accent that almost sounds like a foreign language, and takes a good deal of concentration to understand at first. (I vacationed there many times and sailed the bay on a beautiful old Dark Harbor sloop.) The bay and Mt. Desert are wonderful for exploring, and I hope you get a chance to go "downeast."

Have fun and know you're in my thoughts!

Angie said...

Jeez!!! I can't believe how much I miss you guys!!! Looks like you're having a great time living the dream, though. I'm off to work again, but stay safe out there and keep in touch! Love ya both!!!

Coy said...

Keep up the good work.