Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dessert Anyone?

The sail from Camden to Somes Sound on Mt. Desert (pronounced dessert) Island, Maine, would have been an easy day's cruise through the archipelago of islands (around a bazillion) to the east but we didn't get underway until 2:00 PM (that's 1400 in sailorspeak), so we stopped in an unremarkable but secure cove called Macrel Bay on Seals Island, then continued on the next day.  

The best thing about leaving Camden so late was the wind really piped up and we had a terrific sail out of Camden.  Steve Dashew, Moonshadow's designer was in Camden aboard his 83 footer Wind Horse and took some great shots of us as we revved up the knot meter right in front of his anchored boat.  The new photo in our blog's masthead is the result.  Thanks Steve!

Funny how when things don't go according to plan, other things you couldn't plan for happen, like sailing past this beautiful gaff schooner.

Five miles up Somes Sound, which is the only fiord in the United States, is Somes Harbor where we anchored and stayed for a week.  

Part of the reason we stayed so long was Somes Harbor is a very safe place to be if a hurricane should pay Maine a visit.  As it happened, we were intently watching Hurricane Leslie as it passed a few hundred miles to the east on it's way to oblivion in the North Atlantic.  That's closer than we've ever been or hope to ever be to an hurricane.

Mt. Desert Island is the home of a few points of interest, like Southwest Harbor, where there'e a Hinkeley yard, and Morris Yachts, both premier boat builders; Northeast Harbor, where some rather well healed people like Martha Stewart choose to hang; and Bar Harbor, which is cool mostly because it's pronounced Baa Haabaa. 

 Bar Harbor has some tall ships you can see... if you can see them.

Can you see the sails above the fog?

There are miles of hiking trails and cycling along "carriage roads" left to the national park system by the Rockefeller's who once owned most of the land here.  We also enjoyed beach combing and admiring good ole Moonshadow in such beautiful surroundings.

The other reason for staying in Somes Harbor so long was just the raw beauty of the place.  

How can you leave a place like this?

(click on any picture to enlarge it)

Something made us wonder how long it would stay nice like this, after all, this is Maine...

When the wind swings around to the north (which happens when a hurricane cruises by) bringing some of Canada's surplus frigid air south,  and  you discover you are sleeping in a long sleeve shirt under two blankets; you can easily rationalize a plan to head for lower latitudes.

Besides, this bald guy kept checking out Moonshadow...

So it was that Moonshadow found herself anchored in Pulpit Harbor on North Haven, the first in a three step 185 mile cruise west and south to Salem, Massachusetts.  

In Pulpit Harbor, we found Adam Cambell, owner of North Haven Oyster Company, about a mile's walk from the dinghy landing.  

It was really nice to hear this self made businessman in remote North Haven Island, Maine, tell his story of taking a small piece of land on a pond, learning about growing oysters, gambling on his own initiative and now producing 100,000 of the best oysters you've ever tasted.

Adam sold us three baker's dozen (39) oysters for $30, taught us how to shuck oysters, gave us a shucking knife, gave us a tour of his oyster farm, and offered a ride back to the dinghy.

He gets the five star platinum award for customer service!

 After gobbling up a third of our oyster haul, we decided to find something in the fridge for dinner and look what we found!  Eating lobsters that were in a cage 50 feet underwater just a few hours ago is just the best thing on earth.

Eating fresh live Maine lobster is far better than picking up a lobster trap on your keel, rudder or prop.  We did.  Twice.

It ain't hard when you have to navigate this easter egg colored mine field.

The really bad ones have a "toggle" with a second float for deep water and swift current locations.

Motor between these and you will know it.

This is the view you have of the lobster-trap-mine-field...and you're motoring at 9 knots!

Next stop on the way to Salem was Jewell Island, which has a long narrow anchorage with room for six cruisers anchored bow to stern as if in a parade.  It turned out this anchorage had a jewel of a sunset in store for us.

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