8 September, 2014

Good Morning

September 3rd, and we’ll spend a few days exploring Acadia National Park.  Our friends, Jeff and Susie (“Idyll Time”) were here on their Krogen a few years ago, and have given us a few suggestions for our visit here.  Acadia was one of the first national parks created from land that was gifted to the Service.  John Rockefeller and a few of his buddies who had vacation “cottages” in the area got together acquired land, and donated  it for this park.  The park covers a great deal of Mt. Desert (pronounced like the post-entre treat, not the Sahara kind), and a variety of ecosystems, ranging from the peak of Mt. Cadillac, to the rocky shoals of Thunder Hole on the ocean.  Besides the roads, which loop around and through the island, hundreds of miles of “carriage trails” were constructed to allow bike riding, and hiking without having to traverse the not-very-friendly, narrow motor vehicle routes.  For the hikers, there are miles of pedestrian only trails.  Something for everyone.  Our goal today is Mt. Cadillac, so we throw our bikes on the front of the(free) bus for the trip to the trail head at Bubble Pond.  It’s only a mile and a half walk, so we’ll have time to ride some carriage trails the 12 or so miles back home.  This was really a different kind of hike for us.  It was really a .9 mile climb and scramble up rock falls, and across ledges a few feet wide, then a ½ mile traverse along wind-swept treeless ledges near the top.  Good thing that there were some faded blue paint spots marking the trail, because it was more of a route than trail, and we found ourselves wandering around looking for the next one several times.  I’m a not-real-fond of heights weenie, so all the way up, I’m obscessing about having to come down, backwards on my hands and knees.  Fortunately, when we arrive at the summit (1500’), the Admiral says there’s no way in Hell we’re going back down that way.   The views were gorgeous, and the climb well worth it.  We walk the North Trail down, where we can catch a bus back to our bikes.  The bikes are locked to the tree, right where we left them, but we figure that it’ll take us until just after dark to ride back home on the trails, so we wait for the next bus, and throw them on.  Truth be told, after being on the boat for 3 months, we are majorly out of shape, and it felt good to sit and ride.  Next day is a bus ride into the big city, Bar Harbor, for lunch and a walkabout.  Very, very touristy.  T shirt shops, and art galleries.  Not exactly my cup of tea, but we have a nice lunch, and admire last nights’ handiwork of the Mt. Desert fire departments.  A restaurant in the middle of a row of old wooden buildings was completely destroyed by fire 2 nights ago, but the adjacent business were still up and running today.  It was an “all stations” call, and we had heard the Northeast engines rumbling past us, sirens screaming in the fog the night we arrived here.  I’ll bet the firefighters are eating free at the restaurant next door this year.  We can’t go to a waterfront town without cruising down to the docks, and Bar Harbor is no different.  We spot Cheryl standing in the public parking lot, and “Just a Splash” is tied to the wharf.  They have not been having a good time.  Their trip to Grand Manan was uneventful in the fog, but it was so thick that they never saw the island.  A local gave them a ride to the grocery store, then a tour of the fog-shrouded island in his car.  As they were now on a schedule, they had to leave before the fog lifted, cruising to the Maine coast to clear customs at Cutler, ME, listed as a port of entry in the cruising guides.  After multiple phone calls, they were told that this was NOT a port of entry, and that they were to proceed directly to Bar Harbor.  This precluded their planned stop in the Roque Island Group, which was the main reason for entering the States here.  After a hihowareya visit from Customs in Bar Harbor, they fueled the boat for their friends, who would be continuing with her as P & C drove home in their car.  While waiting, the Harbormaster walked by and noticed a sheen on the water, possibly indicating a spill of petroleum.  You know what’s next-“wait right here, we need to call the Coast Guard and have them come over and fill out a report”.  This is not good (fine is $25K for overboard discharge of petroleum).  We had to leave them, as our bus was headed out in 5 minutes.  We’ll get the rest of the story later.  A hike around Jordan Pond completed our day.  The walk was very tame compared to yesterday, and was just beautiful on this second, gorgeous sunny day.

The 5th of September, and we’re off on a short hop to Buck’s Harbor, ME.  It’s still sunny and beautiful, the seas are calm.  Some porpoises and some seals are spotted along the way.  We pass a Nordhavn heading in the other direction,  the first one we’ve seen on this trip.  Nordhavn’s are full-displacement trawlers-similar concept as our little ship.  In fact, Nordhavn was on our short list before deciding on a Kadey Krogen.  Either would do the job, the design of the KK just seemed to fit our lifestyle better.  Buck’s Harbor is a snug little anchorage in a bay behind Harbor Island (how many of these are there?).  Not much there, but a small marina,  a general store, and an uninhabited, locked-up yacht club building with a great porch, complete with cane backed rocking chairs overlooking the harbor.  We have our sip there.  Forecast is calling for rain all day tomorrow, and a fair bit of wind, so we enjoy our beautiful sunset.  In the morning, there’s a bit of rain, then the sun comes out and it’s hot and humid.  Guess the cold front will come through later.  In the meantime, we’re doing the lobster pot boogie and enjoying the scenery.  Looks like it’s raining up ahead, but it turns out to be a fog bank.  We’re back in the soup, half a mile from Isleborough island, and the radar suddenly has the measles.  Suddenly in the middle of a fleet of charging sailboats on a starboard tack, each making 7 or 8 knots, all their crews hanging over the rails.  They pop out of the fog in two’s and three’s with visibility of no more than 100 yards, making for split-second course corrections on our part.  In 10 minutes, they’re just dots on our radar, receeding in our wake.  Rounding the island, the fog is gone, and it’s sunny again.  Belfast in 30 minutes.  We grab a mooring ball in the harbor and set out to explore town.  No chandlery here but Kathy, the Harbormistress tells me that there’s one 8 miles from here where I might be able to get the charts that we’re looking for.  After calling, they agree to send the charts down by car after the work day is done.  In town, there’s a great little cheese shop called “Eat More Cheese”, so we do our part to support the local economy.  Down by the water, near the commercial yard, a mobile crane is pulling a 185’ mast off a sailboat that was struck by lightning a few weeks ago.  This provides an hour of entertainment, then it’s off to the watering hole to await our chart delivery.  Some local knowledge later, we’re off to the lobster pound across the bay for dinner.  Looks like rain, so we bring our foulies along.  The first outdrafts hit us as we’re tying to the dinghy dock, and the lightning starts a few minutes later, followed by the deluge.  Fun place to eat.  There are huge, shallow vats about eight feet on a side, filled with live lobsters.  You place your order, the guys pull out the lobsters and cook them, toss ‘em on a paper plate and call your number.  Squat and gobble at a picnic table (inside or out) with the beverage that you brought with, and it’s a done deal.  When we finish our lobster, shrimp, and crab dinners, it’s still raining, and there’s a little wine left, so we get a dozen oysters to kill some time.  Rain done, back to The Girl…another day.  Ho Hum.  On the 7th, we’re on our way to an anchorage off the north shore of North Haven Island that some fellow cruisers told us about.  On the way, we shoot into Camden Harbor for a look-see.  Camden is a really cute little seaside town with a harbor that is jammed with boats of all shapes and sizes riding at their moorings.  Seems like you could walk across the bay from boat to boat.  On the way in, we spot another Krogen, “Moonstar”, whose owners Craig and Pam, live in Camden, berthing their boat in Rockland.  On the VHF, we get an invite for sips and chats with them tomorrow.  Guess we’ll go to Rockland tomorrow night-so it goes.  Pulpit Harbor is all that was advertised, a very picturesque spot filled with empty mooring balls.  We pick one up, as it looks like most of the seasonal residents are gone.  The sun was out, and 65 degree weather made for a perfect day to get some wax on The Girl, while Suzanne did some long distance wedding planning with excellent cell coverage.  This morning, Brian, Mike, and Phillip members of the “boys trip” on the sailboat near us putt by in their dinghy to tell us that they got “the most fantastic picture” of our boat last night with the moon coming up behind her.  We take a look, and yeah, it’s pretty special.  They’ll email it to us, I’ll put it up, and you can be the judge.  Oh yeah, Brian is likin’ trawlers, wants to get one when His Time comes, so we’re leadin’ the tour.  We never get tired of appreciative comp’ny on The Girl, and makin’ Krogenwannabee’s-might’ve hooked another one.  Finally caught up on the blogstuff-I’ll try to be better in the future.  Hopefully, when we get to Rockland today, I can shoot this and some pics into space.  1000, sunny, 60 degrees, and we gotta go.  -Au Revoir

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