Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Southern Mount Desert Island

For pictures - imagine fog!

[Kyle]After Somes Harbor we sailed back through the sound and headed east to Seal Harbor. Since we came into the Somes Sound a day early, we had a short sailing day head of us. As we have come to expect, the day started out foggy, but luckily with wind. We pulled up the anchor and went to a nearby marina to purchase fuel. There was no hose down to the floating dock, but we could fill up and carry the fuel down to the boat in fuel jugs/tanks – luckily we only needed on jugs worth. I set the jerry can down outside the office to go and pay, paid, and returned to the boat.. Not realizing until after preparing to throw off our lines that I had left the fuel by the door of the office. My excuse? I guess I’m accustomed to paying for it only AFTER it is in the boat tank. We cleared the mooring field and set sail for the beat down the Sound in thick fog. (very glad we got to actually see the mountains the day before!).

It was pretty eerie; we sailed on one tack until a wall of trees and granite would appear from the fog head of us, tack and repeat. (The channel remains deep right up to the wall). We could hear our fog signal echoing off the cliffs. (Don’t think we were relying just on the visual sighting – we also had our chart plotter giving us a good idea how close to the edge we were!), We left the sound, passed Southwest harbor (which we never saw) and turned East towards Seal Harbor. I’m sure it must be very pretty around there, but again, like Eggemoggin Reach, we were not able to enjoy the views (or even see them). Our guidebook said that Seal Harbor was a nice quiet protected anchorage, but even before we turned the corner, on the radar I could see it was full of boats. We picked our way through and as the night before tried to find a shallow spot beyond the mooring field. (Maryanne suggested we just tie up to the Rockefeller dock – but I dismissed that one). We spent a great deal of time trying to find a spot large enough for the swing we would need. The most promising spot was near a couple of lobster pots away from the moored boats in JUST enough water. In the process of backing away from one of the lobster floats, I backed into another, caught around the prop and killing the engine (our first catch). Luckily the engine was at idle speed so the line only wrapped around a couple of times. Maryanne dropped the anchor to keep us from pulling too far, and we both managed to unwrap the line of the float from the prop using a boat hook – no damage to boat or Lobster pot/line/etc. Whew!

We carefully returned to our selected spot, and dropped the anchor – but it would not set – the reason why was clear as we pulled up the anchor – covered in huge truck tire/tyre size fronds of kelp. No wonder we could not hold!

With the kelp, the lobster pots and the mooring field we gave up with Seal Harbor, and decided to head somewhere else. My first thought was South East Harbor (just back where we had come from) but Maryanne looked it up and even the guidebook said anchoring was not allowed. Eventually we settled on Cranberry Harbor (to the South) between the Cranberry islands. We found a protected cove, with good holding, all to ourselves.

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