Monday, August 16, 2010

Sean’s Visit, Somes Sound and Southwest Harbor

Click here to see our progress map.  Our current location is at the top of the list.

Sean got to the boat around dinner and we had a nice grilled flank steak dinner on Rickshaw.  On Saturday morning we left Northeast Harbor for a tour around the southeastern shore of Mount Desert Island, visiting some of the highlights we had seen from the bus, such as  Thunder Hole where the incoming water rushes through a cave in the side of the shoreline and gets funneled through a hole producing a great display of  ‘thundering’  water.  We didn’t actually get to see it thunder; guess we didn’t hit the tides at the right time. 

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Sean enjoying the scenery

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                             Thunder Hole is big with the tourists, the whole park was packed

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Some random shots of the coastline and pretty cliff dwelling homes

DSC04749A Maine fly on our navigation display.  He is about 1 1/2 long!  Luckily, we didn’t experience any bites from him or his buddies

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Different levels of hikers and climbers were all over the park


See what we mean about lobster floats all over the place?

We also cruised up the entire length of Somes Sound which is the only true fjord in North America, so the guide books say.  Amazing scenery …! 


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A couple of homes in Somes Sound had their decks cantilevered right over the water.  What a view they have!

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Some of the beautiful scenery in Somes Sound and Sean enjoying the view

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Sean taking over the helm and getting some help through the lobster floats

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               It was a picture perfect day                                        A small waterfall

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We saw a sign on the side of Acadia Mountain, in the sound, and went over to investigate.  It was fastened to a rock wall so as to be visible only from the water

We ended up in the small village of Southwest Harbor, again on a mooring, and enjoyed an early lobster dinner at Beal’s Lobster Pound, which has been a staple here for nearly half a century.  Can one have too much lobster? 

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Entering Southwest Harbor.  The Clairmont Hotel and the ‘little house’ on the Clairmont property where we stayed 13 years ago

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       This was a picture within a picture!                       Going to Beal’s Lobster Pound

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                                                                         Yum…enough said!

We got back to Rickshaw after that fabulous meal and we had to teach Sean the game of Mexican Train dominos.  We learned the game from our buddy boat friends, Norm and Vicki.  We each won a game and then Sean finished it off by winning the fourth game and becoming the Rickshaw champion (for the night)!   

Yesterday morning, Sunday, we took Sean in the dingy back to Northeast Harbor, about 3 miles by water, where his car was.  We were sad to see him go but delighted that he was able to come and cruise with us.  He had a 5 hour trip back to Boston and he is a working stiff after all so he had to leave!

We took the dingy back to Southwest Harbor and went to the town dock and walked around some.  Below are some of the sights.

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                                                          Very interesting house


   Lobstermen aren’t allowed to fish on Sunday so I guess they use the day to do chores

We learned from the park ranger on Little Cranberry that the Maine lobster authorities just mandated that all lobster trap “warps” … the line from the float to the trap … be of a certain material by the end of the year.  Currently the lines are either nylon or hemp, so we have learned.  We’ve seen several lobster boats with lots of new line/rope aboard.  So, maybe the boat above in the picture was also in the process.

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                                                                   More pretty gardens

DSC04849                                                      Instead of yard art, I’d call this dock art

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                                                      Southwest Harbor and Rickshaw

DSC04855As we were sitting on the aft deck this guy rowed by with a line to a model sailing ship.  We guess  he made the model and was testing it out!

We are spending a rainy, foggy Monday on Rickshaw.  Today we will be planning our trip back which we will start tomorrow.  We still plan to be in the Hudson River around the 3rd week in September and then back home to NC by mid-October.  What a great trip we have had so far.

Northeast Harbor, ME

Click here to see our progress map.  Our current location is at the top of the list.

We are so excited to finally be here.  Northeast Harbor is on Mount Desert Island (MDI), which for some reason is pronounced as Dessert not Desert, is the place we most wanted to see by boat.  We vacationed here 13 years ago with our friends Stacey and Geoff and had not been back since.  It was everything we hoped it would be! 

To start our adventure, they didn’t have any mooring balls left for our size boat so they put us on a free-floating dock like the one below.  They are moored to the bottom, but not stationary.  They swing and move around a bit, and rock back and forth with wave or swell action.




The only problem was that there was not another boat on the other side and, obviously, there were no dock hands to help with the lines so we had to figure out how to get the lines on the cleats with no help.  It isn’t that big a deal, but we had never done it before so we just had to take our time.  Lynnie got to practice her lassoing skills and Rick got to practice backing down on a dock that moved!  But we got Rickshaw tied up and got ready to see the sights.  Following are some views of the harbor.

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It is a picturesque harbor surrounded by MDI … you can just see Rickshaw in the picture above on the right

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It is also a fairly busy harbor with ferry boats, cruise boats,  lobstermen, dingies and pleasure boats coming and going … the bottom left picture is of the “Mooring Agent” who assigns moorings and floats, as well as collecting the money


A lobsterman and his “sternman” (helper), in this case, probably his girlfriend or his wife


There was also a yacht club function that brought in a number of boats.  They put up their flags to show they were all members of the same yacht club 

MDI is the home of Acadia National Park, one of the smallest parks in the US but also one of the most visited.  It is just a beautiful park with lots to do and see.  They have a free, easy bus system that gives you access to any part of the park.  We used it on Tuesday to take us to the touristy town of Bar Harbor where we met up with Lynnie’s nephew Sean for lunch.  Sean lives in Boston but was in Maine for a conference.  He is going to come back to Rickshaw on Friday to cruise with us for a couple of days.  Following are some pictures of Bar Harbor.

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     The village green                                                  The pretty harbor

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Main Street restaurants

DSC04686                                                     Hanging out in the park waiting for Sean 

After lunch we took the bus back to Rickshaw and hung out for the afternoon.  Rick is fascinated by the lobster boats.  They are really colorful.

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                                                      Lobster pots and their floats

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Not exactly sure of this boat’s function but he is carrying ‘live wells’ which a lobsterman floats in the water and keeps live lobsters and/or live fish for bait.  It certainly was weighed down

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                  The lobstermen also have floats in the water to store their supplies

We had heard that there was a lobsterman, Mike Kelly, who had a boat in the harbor and would sell us live lobsters.  We called him and asked him if he could bring some over.  He said he would be by at 7 that evening and sell them to us for $4.25!  Sure enough, right at 7, Mike came over to the boat and sold us 4 lobsters.  We had 2 for dinner and 2 are for lobster salad.

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                     Fresh dinner delivered                                   Getting ready for steaming

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On Thursday we did fun stuff like laundry and grocery shopping.  While at the laundry we met another cruising couple, Scot and Kitty, who invited us to their sailboat for appetizers and drinks.  We had such a ball with them.  They have sailed around the world twice…once before kids and once when their kids were around 7 and 9 years old.  What great stories they had to tell.  We hope to bump into them again along the way.

On Friday we took the bus for a tour around the island.  We got off at several places and walked around.  The first was Jordan Pond, a beautiful inland freshwater lake. 

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 Aside from the amazing  location, the restaurant at Jordan Pond is also known for their tea and popovers!

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                  Rick and Lynnie in front of the Bubbles at Jordan Pond

We had a great day seeing the sights then went back to hang out on Rickshaw to await Sean’s arrival.