Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Port Clyde, ME

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

We have been in Port Clyde Harbor on a mooring ball since Sunday, 8/22, (today is Wednesday).  We will be here until at least Friday when we hope this storm will pass.  We had hoped to leave yesterday but the storm has brought lots of rain, high winds and high seas.  We can’t complain because we have had such great weather so far.  So, we are both catching up on miscellaneous ‘stuff’.

Port Clyde’s claim to fame (I think) is that it’s where one gets the ferry boat over to Monhegan Island, Maine’s artist’s island, also called Maine’s Brigadoon.  Rick and I spent a couple of nights on Monhegan 13 years ago.  There is no electricity on the island so each room had a kerosene lamp!!  But it is the home to lots of artists and it has some very cool hikes and fairy houses.



                  On the way to Port Clyde                                 Best shot we’ve gotten of a seal                  

Aside from the Port Clyde General Store and Restaurant, which is owned by one of LL Bean’s granddaughters, Linda Bean, there are just 2 or 3 other gift shops.  Mostly, it is home to many lobstermen and women.  But it is picturesque, just the same.

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                       View of the town and the General Store and Restaurant

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       The restaurant is very good!             The small Monhegan Ferry

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                                 The ice cream float menu                  Love the restaurant entry

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       Cool lobster holding tank!

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  This is a privately owned Vietnam era ‘Sea Truk’.  It is an amphibious vehicle which is used to take heavy equipment or materials to the islands.  We heard that the guy charges $1,000 a trip!  Wonder where he gets replacement parts.

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                          Dingy Dock                                                          LT enjoying the sunshine

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                Inside Port Clyde General Store              Waiting for the launch driver, Ted

We walked around as much as we could and saw that there is a cove that goes behind the little town.  This is, apparently, where many of the lobstermen live and keep their equipment and boats.

While Rick was taking the pictures below he had an opportunity to talk to one of the lobstermen who was also waiting out the weather.  He’s the one who owns the plain yellow floats, and was about to open a can of yellow paint to paint them all.  He was a rather senior fellow, which is reflected in the simplicity of the color on his lobster floats … almost all others have multiple colors.  Anyway Rick had heard recently that the government has mandated ALL lobster traps change their rope (lines) to be of a certain kind, so he asked this lobsterman.  The gentleman said ‘yes’ that was true, but it was all ‘BS’ mandated by the federal government to have all their trap warps (lines) made of material that sinks rather than floats.  The reason was that floating lines present a danger to whales … which of course the lobsterman disputed.  Anyway, he was in the process of doing this, and could sell his old line back to the government for $1.40/pound, and purchase new sinking line for $1.80.  Not sure if anyone cares about such trivia, but Rick finds it interesting.

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We learned that the lobster boats all have cages around their props so that they don’t get the lobster lines tangled in them.  Good idea!

So, we’ll hang here until the weather breaks then make our way to Portland which will probably be our last stop in Maine.  Then on to New Hampshire.  We are also keeping an eye on the Hurricanes.  Even if they don’t come this way they will most likely have an impact on the seas  and since we will be in the Atlantic until we cross the Cape Cod Canal, they could impact when we can get underway. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Carver Cove, Vinalhaven Island, and Camden, ME

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

We had such fun in Mt. Desert Island, NE Harbor, Somes Sound and SW Harbor.   These were our ultimate Maine destinations but it is time to turn west and start our trek back home.  We are ready (we think!)  but, gheeze, we are going to be so sad to leave this beautiful state.

We wanted to stop in a cove which we visited with our buddy boat friends, Vicki and Norm, two years ago, Carver Cove on the north shore of Vinalhaven Island.  It was as we remembered it, a large beautiful anchorage. 

On the way we passed by the town of Stonington.  Stonington was a town that we thought we might anchor in but after reading the info on it we decided to pass.  The lobstermen have a tough time in Maine these days because the town docks are decreasing the dock space for them in order to provide room for the more lucrative pleasure boats.  I guess I don’t blame the lobstermen being angry about this but Stonington is a working harbor and wants to stay that way.  So, according to the books ‘Stonington’s lobsterboats are the loudest on the coast and the men at their helms seem to take perverse pleasure in buzzing nearby yachts at predawn hours or cutting across their bows’.  No thank you, been there done that, not going to do it again!!  It was, however, very picturesque.  The reason it’s called Stonington is that there was/is a very large granite quarry nearby which somehow turns out huge blocks of granite for various purposes, including dock pilings.  We continued west through the Fox Islands Thoroughfare to Vinalhaven Island where Carver Cove is located.

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A beautiful Windjammer

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The last time we were here these rocks scared me (LT) but our navigation software is very good about pointing them out.  Phew 

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Carver Cove is a big, wide harbor with a muddy bottom so it was easy to anchor.  We were sitting on the back deck when a guy in a small sailboat came by towing a small boy on a surf board.  He asked if we had a spare $20 and if we would like to buy his boy who was a pain.  We all laughed and it was obvious he and his son were just having fun.  By the end of the evening there were about 9 other boats in the harbor and it probably could have held 5 times that.

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There were a handful of homes surrounding the cove, small and large

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           Just another beautiful sunset!                                       A dory storing fishnets   

We stayed there for 2 nights and then left for the town of Camden.  Again, along the way we passed by the small town of North Haven on the island of North Haven, where we stopped for dinner two years ago.  It was another beautiful little Maine village.


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                                                                Scenes of North Haven

But, our most favorite town so far is Camden.  Maine has so many wonderful towns but for us, this is the best.  It is full of flowers, lots of small shops and restaurants, rolling hills, mountain backdrops and friendly people.  The town park was amazing with tailored greens and stone art works.   We had such fun wandering around the town and visiting the shops.  Our last stop was at the bakery for a couple of fat pills before getting the launch back to Rickshaw.

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DSC04965a Camden has some amazing homes.  This last one has a brass lobster door knocker.

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DSC04968Views of Camden Harbor and the park

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                                                                    Downtown Camden


                        Pedestrian friendly town!                                    Harbor Dogs

You might be surprised to learn that we have had enough lobster (for now that is).  We ate at a small Thai restaurant and it was fabulous.  The owner/cook, named “Sue” was from Bangkok, and goes home every winter.  She cooks to order for her half-dozen tables and was a delight to visit with. 


The harbor was open and a bit rolly (you can see this is a theme in the Maine harbors) and so we were ready to hit the road on Sunday morning, 8/22, headed for the Port Clyde Harbor.