Tide Pools at Otter Cliffs July 3, 2012

Our morning in Southwest Harbor got off to a slow start…thank you, gin fizz. (Actually, we were TIRED and having a few beers the night before was the perfect combo for sleeping late.) We had breakfast in the cockpit at our guest mooring. The harbormaster paid us a visit. Our entire plan for the day was to get groceries. After checking the wind, weather, and reviewing Active Captain reviews, we also decided to move Rode Trip back to the anchorage that we scouted last night and do some exploring via dinghy to find a good landing ashore.

We anchored at the Mill Dam anchorage, just north of Southwest Harbor. We found good holding and no crowds. Once Rode Trip was settled, we took the dinghy ashore and beached near the Mill Dam just below the tennis courts of the Causeway Club. This area is affected by tides so we brought the dinghy as far up as we could to avoid it being cast away at high tide. We walked across the dam and took a footbridge across to South Causeway Road which led us into town.

Brian and I had plans to meet Ryan and Jocelyn to explore tide pools this afternoon. Once ashore we had about 45mins to waste, so we took in the sights of Southwest Harbor town. This, as it turns out, took only about 10mins…but we did find ourselves in West Marine and were able to finally get a rod holder so that Brian can do some trolling.

Ryan and Jocelyn took us to a fabulous restaurant, Eat-A-Pita, en-route to Otter Cliffs. So delicious! Brian and I shared a chicken curry pita complete with all the veggies and extra curry dressing. MMMMM!

We arrived at Otter Cliffs and met with Mr. & Mrs. Haley to explore the tide pools during the final hour of low tide. This was a very successful venture! We found hermit crabs, sea urchins, sea stars, and green crabs.

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The boys had big sticks for poking critters…so you can imagine they were very curious! Brian and Ryan fished out a huge starfish and huge green crab from a deep, small tide pool. Brave boys!

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More amazing sights were seen along the drive back to Southwest Harbor, including a man with a very thick, black toupee. Yes, not only was it clearly visible as a toupee from our car but it also clearly matched the thick, black hair of the large dog this man was walking.

We had the privilege of using Ryan’s car for grocery shopping while he and Jocelyn joined the Haleys for dinner. Many thanks! This significantly eased the transport of the restocking that was necessary. We walked and dinghy-ed our groceries to Rode Trip, then brought the car back to Southwest Harbor. We caught a beautiful moon-rise on our way back ashore. I love seeing Rode Trip with her anchor light lit because it looks like she has her own little star above.

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Since it was late in the evening, we decided to have dinner in town. We found Sips and thoroughly enjoyed our experience there. From the beginning our drinks were tasty; a sailor’s martini (rum, orange juice, lime juice, and crystalized ginger) and Scottish stout. Our meals were scrumptious; chilled blueberry soup and an apple chèvre salad and duck sausage risotto with butternut squash and zucchini. Ryan and Jocelyn shared they also had a delicious dinner when the stopped by to retrieve the car keys.

We had an unexpected adventure on our walk back to Rode Trip. The tide was high when we approached the footbridge. So high, in fact, that water was rushing over sections of the footbridge and Mill Dam. Brian attributed some of this rushing water the the full moon, which by the way was beautiful and lit our entire walk until this point. We lit up our headlamps to investigate a bit further. The water was ankle deep and there was a cable/railing across most of the path. We moved out slowly across the bridge and continued over the dam. And then…the cable/railing ended! What kind of planning is that!?! I guess picking up that huge green crab had Brian still feeling brave. He walked across the un-cabled section of the dam and around the beach to the dinghy. Thank goodness the dinghy was still there! Brian rowed over to this damsel in distress and I was able to board the dinghy from the highest part of the dam. We paddled back under the full moon.

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4 thoughts on “Tide Pools at Otter Cliffs July 3, 2012

  1. I’m enjoying the trip with all you write and the great pictures. It will be a small world if your path overlaps my friend Marilyn’s when she and her husband Karl vacation up there where you are. She probably explained that we write back and forth every day and have for a good many years now. We have seen each other only twice in all that time. She does machine embroidery, too. thinking of you two. Love, Grandma

  2. Sounds like fun exploring, Steph and Brian. From your use of the word anchorage, I am thinking that there are only certain places that you can (are allowed to) drop anchor. Are there designated places for this because I kinda thought you could anchor anywhere that was suitable?
    Thank you, Brian, for being so brave. Weren’t you scared out there by yourself, Steph?

  3. Not afraid, was actually making an attempt to cross together but decided that if one of us went in the water the other better be able to get him/her out! We can anchor in lots of places…things to consider are whether the bottom has good holding, winds, tides, ability to get to shore and have a safekeeping place for the dinghy, and how crowded the area is. We cannot anchor in Southwest Harbor because there are too many moorings and just not enough space, and the harbormaster and charts say so.

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