We finally broke free of Northwest harbor after almost a week of enjoying Mt.DesertIsland.  It’s definitely a keeper!  Our next stop was Frenchboro, a small harbor on one of the many LongIslands.  We picked up a mooring from the local restaurant called Lunt’s and headed that way to partake of their delicious lobster rolls.

Moondance in Maine

The island is partly a preserve with well-maintained hiking trails.  A short walk around the harbor brought us to a trail that circled the end of the island.

Rocky coast
Rocky coast

Rock Sphynx
Rock Sphinx

Cobblestone beach
Cobblestone beach — not Bailey friendly!

On the way back we stopped for home-made ice cream sandwiches.  We need to stick with Miles and Laureen (Ariel) because they know where to find the best food!

The next day we awoke to chilly, foggy rain and decided to just stay where we were.  It was the coldest day so far.  I wore several layers including my heaviest fleece jacket.   To help stay warm, we ate soup for lunch and chili for dinner.  All in all, it was a restful day.  We had a good cell signal and could just nestle in with iPad and books to read.

Not going anywhere today!

On Monday, Onward and Moondance backtracked to visit Blue Hill while Ariel moved to BucksHarbor.  The scenery in BlueHillBay is spectacular and I’m glad we didn’t miss it by going there in the fog.  Blue Hill is noted for its musical heritage and galleries.  The harbor is surrounded by rock ledges that appear at low tide.  After deciding that the anchoring space was too limited, we rented a mooring from the Kollegewidgwok Yacht Club.  Try saying that on the radio!  They respond with KYC which is much easier!

This is not the Bahamas!

Joe tried to land his dinghy at the town dock but it’s high and dry at low tide so we backtracked to the yacht club and walked about 1.3 miles into town.  By that time we were famished and enjoyed a substantial lunch at 66.  Their po’boy sandwiches are huge and delicious.  We visited the artist Jud Hartmann’s gallery and marveled at the bronze sculptures of early Indian culture.  He is also known for the 2 bronze sculptures of native Americans playing lacrosse that were commissioned by the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in Baltimore.  I’ll have to look for those when we’re back home.

Approaching Blue Hill

Blue Hill dock is high and dry at low tide. Joe wanted to leave his dinghy here. Guess we would have had to drink beer until the tide came in!

On the walk back we were happy to accept a ride from a nice man when we were almost 2/3rds of the way there.  It’s not a great place to walk because there isn’t any room on the roadside for walkers.

Our next stop was the WoodenBoatSchool run by the Wooden Boat magazine.  It’s in a cove at the east end of Eggemoggin Reach.  The entrance to the Reach was the most “lobster float challenged.”  They were packed so close together that we had trouble seeing which ones were toggled and which weren’t.   Joe picked up 2 lobster floats along the way and had to do some 360s to shake them off.

The School is located on the former grounds of a large estate.  We observed several groups working on various boats – dinghies, light canoes and kayaks.  Skip picked up a catalog of their classes and found many that he would like to take.  (Sounds like a return trip is in our future…)  They also had a nice store with books, tools and various clothing items with their logo.

Wooden boat school
Lots of pretty boats at the Wooden Boat School

Wooden boat school
Bailey in the glow of sunset

Sunset Wooden boat school
Sunset – Wooden Boat School

Our departure the next day was delayed by another soggy, foggy morning.  By early afternoon the rain and fog started to clear so we departed for Castine.  While traveling with other boats we usually monitor a low wattage channel instead constantly hailing on 16.  We’ve listened to some interesting conversations between working lobstermen.  They sometimes have philosophical discussions about the state of the industry.  They also report to their friends when they accidentally drive over a float and rescue the lobster pot.

Leaving the rain and fog behind as we head up Eggemoggin Reach

Yesterday while we were discussing mooring availability in Castine a man joined in the conversation and said he had plenty of moorings we could use in Portland (a good distance away.)  When Joe asked for the lat/long of the mooring field, he gave him the location – somewhere near the North Pole!  I guess they didn’t appreciate our pedestrian conversations on ‘their’ radio channel!

Arriving near Castine, Miles (Ariel) directed us to some moorings near the Holbrook Island Sanctuary.  It’s a lovely little cove right next to the public sanctuary which has a nice pier and walking trails.  We took Bailey ashore for a short walk and almost got eaten alive by mosquitoes.

For cocktail hour aboard Onward, Miles and Laureen brought over some mussels that they harvested and steamed.  They were huge and delicious.

Thursday morning was cool and foggy again.  As we motored around to pick up a mooring in Castine harbor we saw a zillion targets on the radar.  It was the start of a wooden boat race!

Start of the race

The fog magically cleared out and left us with a beautiful sunny day for exploring Castine.  We went ashore for lunch at Baah bakery and then walked around to see all the historic buildings.  For dinner we enjoyed a delicious meal at Stella’s while listening to a jazz trio.

A Jud Hartmann sculpture in the garden

Interesting pods

Unitarian church steeple
Steeple on the Unitarian church of a Bullfinch design. Contains a bell made by Paul Revere’s son.

Skip, Laureen and Miles
Skip with our travelling buddies Laureen and Miles on Ariel

On Friday we headed off on our own to anchor in Pulpit harbor.  Just past the huge Osprey nest that’s supposed to be over 150 years old the harbor opens up into a wide anchorage with spectacular views of the Camden hills on the western shore.  Several schooners anchored in the evening and improved the sunset views.

Dueling schooners
Dueling schooners in Pulpit Harbor

Schooner sunset
Schooner sunset

Osprey nest - Pulpit harbor
Huge osprey nest at the mouth of Pulpit Harbor

We came in and out of the fog as we traveled across Penobscot bay to Camden the next morning.  It was a challenging search for our assigned mooring ball.  Again, the numbers are written on top and difficult to read and they’re not in any discernible order.  The launch boat driver couldn’t find it and told us to just take any Wayfarer mooring.

Foggy Camden
Fog sits on Camden harbor

The Wayfarer marina is a very nice facility with launch service, showers and laundry.  Most of the Corinthian fleet stayed at the docks or on mooring floats in the harbor.  We were soon to discover why…

Camden is a bustling little town nestled below green hills.  The fog hangs around at various times and then just disappears.  We joined Onward and Ariel for a memorable meal at Francine bistro.  I had a chicken liver bruscetta appetizer with mushrooms and parmesan cheese that was amazing.  Skip’s steak fritte meal had the best French fries I’ve ever tasted.  Others enjoyed the barbecued duck and ribs.  Don’t miss this place if you visit Camden!

The Corinthian cruise started with a cocktail hour at the marina.  We already knew some people including our Sabre friends John and Noel (Serendipity.)  We also recognized some people that we met on the Chesapeake cruise in May.

A front came through overnight that brought a little rain and rolling—not pleasant!  We rolled from side to side all night.  If that wasn’t bad enough, we had a horrible steady creak somewhere below the galley.  It was so loud and annoying that I wanted to fix it with a sledgehammer!  Neither of us got much sleep.

The fleet left around 9am but we waited around for our turn to go into the fuel dock.  You have to call ahead and get in the queue! We motored to Southern harbor on Northhaven island. It’s a beautiful wide harbor with plenty of anchoring room. We enjoyed a pizza dinner aboard Onward with several other boat crews. The guitars came out after dinner (and drinking!) Skip and Karen (Madrigal) shared the songs they could remember.

The Corinthian fleet leaves Southern Harbor
The Corinthian fleet leaves Southern Harbor


Butter Island
Between Eagle and Butter Islands

Today I finally have wifi access in Bucks Harbor–yay! It’s a spotlessly clear day. Not much wind but a spectacular trip through the islands to Bucks Harbor. Tonight is an appetizer/drink night at the dock. Tomorrow, we’re off to Belfast.