2017 – Maine with Three Dives, Two Toots and Fog

Back once again to the land, well, bay, of islands and harbors and vistas. We found free moorings in Rockland on busy weekends, ate lots of cookies, had lovely genoa-only sails across capes and around islands, and of course, suffered some mechanical failures.

High & Dix, Rockland, Perry Creek, Seal Bay, Merchant Island, Cradle Cove, The Basin. 

We followed our now standard pattern of staging to Duxbury, then shooting for Isles of Shoals. It’s always a long day, but arriving at Gosport Harbor at sundown (well, after, this year) is always dramatic. Then the intermediate stops at Cliff Island to pick up Sally on Valkyrie and then Dophin Marina and Harbor Island the next day. Then we’re full up with crew, fluids and really in Maine. From there on it’s Penobscot Bay all the way. (And sometimes further.)

Could we cut down the “delivery” days with an overnighter? Or with more time, should we make it part of the cruise? Decisions and compromises.

Felt like we got in more sailing this year. Seemed like most days, at some point we could roll out the genoa and ease along to our next stop. At least we never motored against the wind to make distance, once in Maine.

A lot of fog, though! We have radar, but the chartplotter still tells us where we are and what’s around us, at least land (and rock) features. Nice that there are fewer lobster traps when it’s foggy, but still….

And pots! And other lines in the water. The first day we fouled on the mooring as we drifted about Duxbury Bay. Called TowBoat, but then went in off the swim ladder and unwrapped the line from the prop and cutter (which hadn’t made much of a dent in the chafing gear). Easy!

Heading up Muscongus Bay, near Haddock Island Kelp Ledge, we heard an unseen pot float grumble below. The diesel didn’t stall so just used the Hook Knife to cut us free. Looked like we were floating again so started the engine. Not to be; the engine stalled when put in gear. Now we were bouncing in an open bay with no other boats around. No TowBoat, either!

The water hadn’t really felt that much colder when I was standing on the ladder. So in again (perhaps colder, but then motivated with adrenalin), cleared the prop and gained a souvenir. (Not displayed, though!) I had a line tied around my waist as well as a line over the side to hold onto. Just a small wiggle on the GPS track.

A few days later, in Perry Creek, the messy gear on thge mooring we picked up fouled on the rudder and in I went, yet again. Self-sufficient!

And Two Toots? We called around the usual mooring services in Rockland – none to be had. Granted, it was Lobster Fest weekend and boaters were apparently not deterred by the fog. The fellow at The Landings suggested that I call Two Toots and gave me the number. Two Toots runs a water taxi service and does moorings. When we passed the breakwater, he read off the GPS coordinates for two empty, private, moorings to Nan (wouldn’t trust me repeating them to her). 

New anchorages: Cradle Cove, The Basin
New moorings: Samoset at the Rockland Breakwater
Best new restaurant: Luke’s in Tenant’s Harbor
Best new boat gear: Full cockpit cushions by Creative Canvasworks
Best new camera gear: Canon W-E1 wifi card to send JPGs to the iPhone


Click to see the photo gallery.

Click to see the photo gallery.

The Short Version…

The Long Version…

Monday, July 31, Clark’s Island, Duxbury 28nm

Warm, sunny day
Onset off 2:30
Canal brisk
Wing on wing from Sagamore
Use gybe easy!
Wind down then back up W for a great reach
Cut Plymouth Bay to the wreck symbol near can 7
Then cut Bug Light, seeing 13′ west of Saquish Head
Pick up mooring north end of Clarks Island at 7:00
Val raft up
LTE cell
Cold chicken
Raw beans
Cold beer

Tuesday August 1, Isles of Shoals 64nm

Calm, warm
Tide going out, which is good
Val not start, which is bad
That resolved, unraft 9:15.
Wrap prop on mooring gear.
Dive! off Paul’s dinghy and unwrap phew!
TowBoat cancelled. So off even later!
Cut Bug Light again. Saw 8′ at half tide.
And so motoring into light N on course 20.
Hazy. Pleasant, but not sailing!
5:30 past Rockport, Cape Ann.
6:00 little DDW. Genoa.
8:30 pick up mooring
Still light in sky and half moon.
The bell on the harbor buoy. The moaning whistle of the white island lighthouse.
The moon. The Star island hotel.
Val arrived 45 minutes later. Surprise!
LTE but weak

Wednesday August 2, Cliff island, Casco Bay 50nm

Warm, bright, little wind
Off 10:00
Motor into 5kt NE on course 45. Yup.
Boone at noon. Chilly!
1:00 still no sign of forecast south wind. Glassy seas. Haze building.
Black shapes in the water, inshore; windjammer offshore.
Booooring stretch, but good cell!
Strange atmospheric state: the sea blends with the sky.
Cut Taylor reef off Cape Elizabeth
Hazy across port harbor.
Hazy? Full fog! Slooooow down past Jewell and round into Cliff.
Nice to have chart plotter and waypoints marked, even the mooring field.
Mooring 6:30. Val arrives and rafts.
Passable 4G
Steak and veggies

Thursday August 3, Harbor island, Muscongus Bay 39nm

Sunny, fog all gone.
Looks like Maine. Hazy islands up Casco bay. Light rush of water over the shoals.
Good fuel stop at Dolphin
Fellow there built first Sabres in the late 70’s.
1:00 under genoa towards Fuller Rock about 5 knots. Val catching up under full sail.
Brief interruption as get toggles. Quick pull with hook knife and free.
2:00 power through Fuller. Wind dropped, as forecast on ch 68 by other boats.
Can hardly see Seguin. Hazy up the rivers
Seguin clear. Wind back.
Holding well against other boats, still with genoa only. Comfortable, too!
Cuckolds 3:30. Less wind.
Slow going, but same for a J-boat.
Decide on harbor as usual and round Pemaquid for Harbor.
A pot! Diesel not stopped. Cut line. Start diesel. Diesel stops. Hmmmmmm. Dive! Dive!
Not that cold! (Adrenalin?) One safety line around waist, another to hold onto.
Unwrap the float line easily.
Raft up with Val on white (old pink) mooring ball at 6:30 or 7:00. ?
Feeble 3G. Better than EDGE!

Friday August 4, High & Dix islands, Muscle Ridge Channel 18nm

But not much (the cell service)
Cool and gray.
Hotspot from Sally’s Verizon iPhone
Carbon black on start
White under power
Off raft 12:30, planning on favorable current in MRC
Through at Barter but waste time heading for wrong mark
Fog dense past Huppert
Then cleared after mosquito
Rolly but not choppy.
By Whitehead, fog back in all the way up muscle ridge channel
4:00 high and dix
Val anchor CQR, HW raft up
Decent LTE.

Saturday August 5, Rockland 9nm

Cool (cold?) and fogged in.
11:15 into the fog
Pretty solid all the way
12:30 owls
Large navy vessel anchored to dodge, Warship 72
No moorings at JEM or Landings or Harbormaster.
Landings suggests calling water taxi operator, Two Toots.
He gives Nan two sets of coordinates for private moorings
1:15 mooring GREEN, by the Diamond Concrete pier
Thanks two toots!
Clear in harbor.
TT do JEM, HM, Hanniford
Helped by Joe’s Taxi (himself)
Return trip with TT ending up at public ramp and walk to Archers on the Pier
Got access to Yachting Solutions float and picked up by RYC launch for return
Still cool, despite a glimpse of blue
Storm still to come?
Quiet in harbor, but for lobster fest music.
10:00 storm begins.
Goes on for some time

Sunday August 6, Perry Creek, Vinalhaven 15nm

Sun! Warmth! Blue skies! West wind!
Antique aircraft above, thin with long noisy motors.
10:00 off for fuel
12:30 off for points east
Genoa only
1:30 into FIS and sail through
2:30 turn into Perry Creek
Mooring tackle looped on rudder
Friendship sloop Sabrina, S Portland, comes to aid
Ned Kelley, related to Capt Al in E Wareham
Dive! Dive! Dive!
4:00 finally straightened out.
5.30 Val arrives to raft up.
Wind calming. Sort of.
Ned brings over mussels
Zippo cell, either red or orange

Monday August 7 Seal Bay, Vinalhaven 9nm

Started cool, esp with current setting us opposite to the wind, sending it into cabin
Warmed nicely by 10:00
Still. Some civilization airplanes, faint motors and things.
Slop of water, flip of flag.
And dinghies.
11:30 off, but this time Val fouled in a mooring.
Real off noon, genoa in Fox Islands Thorofare, east 12:15
12:30 out fridge off genoa only at 6.0
2:00 anchor way in. Busy place!
Pass familiar boat, Kodachrome and Roland
Ended up not where I intended, so reset.
Rocna at 120 feet
Val arrives and rafts.
Good LTE, orange
Hotspot to Verizon phone
Cook mussels. Skip dinner
Some rain in night

Tuesday August 8, Merchant Island, Merchant Row 15nm

Cool and foggy, little wind
2:30 sun!
3:00 heading out
Lots of pots in waves
Sailing really too slow
Thorofare all full up
5:30 give up on Haut
Check out Laundry Cove
Toggles! Invasive species from Jericho bay!
7:00 all set Merchant Island
One boat on the mooring
Another anchors in
Rocna with 120
Weak 4G
Sunset across Pen Bay
Steak and veggies
Mosquitoes-first use of screen

Wednesday August 9, Cradle Cove, 700 Acre Island, Isleboro 21nm

Cold, foggy to west, sun to east.
SW breeze
Fog opens and closes views of islands
Roar, sometimes wake, from work boats
Plan destinations and accommodate needs
10:45? Off
Slow reach up Vinalhaven and North Haven to Sheep Island
Round the corner and wham!
On the nose, SW gusts to 20 as predicted
Bash across North Haven, ugly
2:00 rounded Lasalle successfully, passing the #3 above Goose Island
Delightful DW genoa sail up west Pen Bay!
3:00 Cradle Cove
Good 3G
DHBY mooring $35.
Cold chicken
Plan for the end
In the night, wind died, also as predicted

Thursday August 10, Tenants Harbor 12nm + 15nm

Warm, sunny, calm
Off 9:45
Motor to Rockland into light S
Pick up Samoset moorings at shore end of breakwater 12:15
Four of them, all empty
Dinghy dock right there
Hamilton, Hanniford, Atlantic Baking via Joe’s
Good LTE
3:45 off for Tenants with dreams of a lobster dinner
5:30 Whitehead
Fun proceeding into sun and pots
6:15 Tenants
THBY moorings $35
Dinner at Luke’s, lobster
No tools? Stones provided!

Friday, August 11, The Basin, Newmeadow River 44nm

First dawn pic!
Sunny, lt breeze, warming
Tighten SF belt, lose 1/2″ gear wrench into bilge
No att
10:15 off
Noon Davis straits
Move e egg rock mark on Garmin!
Zip wind.
Well, not much. Without sun, chilly.
Many birds’s one spot
4:30 cape small
Round bald head and motor into current
Light and hazy thin cloud cover
6:30 The Basin
Neat spot! Bigger than I expected
Weak LTE
Val anchored, HW raft up
Steak, veggies

Saturday August 12, Biddeford Pool 35nm

Rain at dawn, some wind too
Leave at 8:00?
Change plans
Off at 10
Bailey island bridge!
Jaquit cut!
12:30 out of dolphin
Fuel, trash, ice
Place gone over to stinkpots
Where was this SW when headed north?
Dead into it
Motoring only around 5 kts
Biddeford harbor 6:15
Nice fast Rocna anchoring
Val arrived to raft up
Decent LTE
Sunset, seriously noisy birds
Wind calming.
Chops and beans
No-seeums plus mosquitoes
Surprise shower in night
Timing is all in the head.

Sunday August 13, Isles of Shoals 33nm

Warm, sunny
Oil perfect
Off 9:15
It’s warm. It’s not!
W but not quite enough angle
Race boat motoring DW!?
DUW. And despite how it feels, true wind only 7 kts
Bouncy but pleasant
Annisquam, Gloucester or Isles?
12:15 genoa!
Gliding about 4 kts very pleasant
Prob faster with main, but eh.
1:30 Winds up; 6 kts genoa.
4:00 Isles
Lots of moorings open up as boats leave
SeaFrost dies, stalling diesel as approach a mooring.
6:15 raft at an inner mooring.
Not as good cell back in
Steak and beans

Monday August 14, Cohasset 50nm

Dawn photos, birds and surf
Nice blue sky, gentle breeze
Noise of assorted birds
Off 9:15. Hazy
Shrieking noise. Ah, overheating!
Duh, no water in exhaust. Impeller.
Change. Continue on
Glassy seas.
Plan pit stop in Rockport for ice.
Many flying pot floats!
Tie up at Rockport T-wharf float
1:30 in, 2:00 out
Rock and roll across Mass Bay.
Little wind, all on nose
An hour to go. Genoa little help.
Anchored outside Cohasset 7:00
Rocna, 60 ft plus kellet
Excellent LTE
Sunset over Boston

Tuesday August 15, Onset 43nm

Warm, sun but overcast to west
Radar shows some rain
Light NW breeze
Much more rolly than remembered.
10:00 pretty calm. Clearing
10:15 anchor with kelp; better than mud!
Glassy seas, familiar?
One gusty moment at noon. Sign of…?
Up to 11 kts but not see gusts to 20
Seas not bad. The canal? Hog?
Canal 4:30, time of change to west.
Rain gear! Needed. Well, perhaps not.
Canal smooth! Perhaps good to catch at change.
5:45 mooring!



Mt del campo

Sent from my iPhone 6.

What Worked…
Glebe Creek Screenworks companionway insect screen
Rocna 33# continues to impress with holding power and ability to remain set with wind changes
Garmin GPSmap 478 still keeping us off the rocks
Standard Horizon GX2200 VHF radio with RAM mic, feeding AIS to the B&G Zeus T7
iWeather.com NOAA weather radar in iPhone very helpful for storms
Maxwell windlass worked flawlessly this summer – good for my back
SpeedSeal raw water pump cover nice to have (see below)

Not worked
at&t cell and data coverage remain disappointing
The iPhone 7 Personal Hotspot worked easily to share between carriers (Red & Orange)
SeaFrost Engine Drive holding plate refrigeration died after 31 years.
The raw water pump impeller failed shortly after the above. Both waited ’til near the end!