OCC Visits Turner Farm – North Haven, Maine

Brian and I had a fantastic sail on a reach from Camden into the Fox Island Thorofare. We sailed all the way into Kent Cove, North Haven and dropped the hook among the OCC boats that were slowly filling the cove. Once we’d all settled the group reconvened for cocktails aboard the rafted boats s/v Caduceus, s/v Anastasia, and s/v Sweet Dreams.


Brian and I have had lovely views of Turner Farm from Rode Trip on many occasions while passing through the Fox Island Thorofare. On this day we’d have the opportunity to tour the farm with the OCC.


Just how many dinghies can fit on that haul out line?


Turner Farm is MOFGA (Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association) certified for their produce, flowers, poultry, and eggs. Turner Farm also farms pasture raised beef and pork and operates a creamery specializing in pasture raised goat cheeses. Turner Farm contributes to the North Haven Community School Lunch Program (the smallest public school in Maine with 70 K-12 students). The farm also supplies produce, meat, eggs, and flowers to the Nebo Lodge, a Bed & Breakfast on North Haven. Turner Farm has an extensive history on North Haven.


The farm stand is bustling during busy summer months; July/August Tuesdays and Thursdays 10am-1pm. Farm products may also be found on neighboring Vinalhaven at the Farmers Market and at Island Spirits or on the mainland at the Wine Seller in Rockland. Arrive early to get goat cheese, it sells out fast!



Farm managers, James and Brenna, took the OCC’ers on a fabulous tour of the farm. Brian and I were in James’ group; he did an excellent job of showing us the inter-workings of the farm and sharing future projects. James brings lots of energy and creativity to his work.


These greenhouses are movable; they can be relocated over the beds throughout the season as crops are begun and continue to progress. The greenhouses aid in crop rotation and sprouting.



Turner Farm recently installed three permanent greenhouses that will enable them to produce late summer crops earlier in the spring. These greenhouses will be heated by a wood-fired furnace fed with spruce lumber that has been cut on the property.

Tamworth Pigs; they look cute now, but after living a luxurious life roaming their wooded pastures these pigs will be hearty and delicious!


Oberhasli Goats; their milk produces chèvre and other goat cheeses at Turner Farm Creamery.


Jersey Cows; soon to add to the creamery.


Thanks to Turner Farm for a fabulous day!


Skipping Across the Bays

We have not done much sightseeing in Maine and there are two reasons for that. First, we’ve been scooting between Penobscot Bay and Mount Desert Island for mini-vacations with our family and friends. Second, FOG! There isn’t much to see when fog consumes the coastline. It seems each time we are on the move we travel in fog and rain with the wind on our nose. Not ideal conditions, but that social calendar beckons us forth. Each time upon arriving, however, we’ve been blessed with dry, warm days.  We’re thrilled that our family and friends can enjoy their time off with us in good weather.

From Rockland we traveled to Union River where we’d spend our next mini-vacation. It rained all morning the day we started out and we forced ourselves into the cockpit to make some tracks later that afternoon. Our first stop along the way was Carver Cove, Vinalhaven. We’d not anchored here previously and thought it good protection from a southwest wind. We began our sail with a reefed main and stay sail across Penobscot Bay, adding the genoa to the mix just prior to entering the Fox Island Thorofare (a thorofare is a passage between two islands; this marked channel runs between Vinalhavel and North Haven Islands).

We sailed into Carver Cove, which is HUGE, and tacked past several boats anchored there. We tucked all the way into the cove near the nine-foot spot, and could have gone farther! There was a large, lovely home just across from us on the shoreline with a long dock extending into the cove. We received some entertainment from the inhabitants of this house. At sunset, as the flag came down the flagpole the song Retreat was ceremoniously blasted across the cove via loudspeakers. Then at sunrise, a time of day Brian and I haven’t observed for at least two months, as the flag rose the song Reveille ceremoniously blasted us out of bed.

From Carver Cove, Vinalhaven we motored across East Penobscot Bay and into the Deer Isle Thorofare. It was cold and raining. In the thorofare we dodged lobster pots, lobster boats, and islands as we navigated the foggy, narrow passage.

Through the thorofare we entered Jerico Bay and were able to raise the main sail. Once again we found ourselves anchoring at Mackerel Cove, Swan’s Island for the night. We were eager to get the stove lighted in the cabin to dry ourselves and our gear from the dreary day.

Ahhh…the next morning warmth and sunshine greeted us in the cockpit! Maine mus know that our friends have arrived. We set sail out of Mackerel Cove, Swan’s Island and had a beautiful reach up into Blue Hill Bay. Finally, smooth sailing and a clear view! (Mount Desert Island in the distance.)IMG_5807

Brimstone, July 19th

This morning as we were just starting our morning routine of boat chores we heard a friendly voice calling into our boat “hello, neighbors”. The boat anchored next to us was planning on going hiking and wanted to check and make sure that they hadn’t put their anchor down on top of ours. We weren’t really sure, so we pretended like we knew and told them they weren’t in the way. As it turns out they really weren’t and we were able haul anchor easily and head on our way to Brimstone Island.


We read about Brimstone Island in Cruising World magazine back in 2010. It was described as a rare north atlantic basin volcano, long extinct. It described an exotic location with a black rock beach out on the edge of the Isle au Haut bay. We were very excited as we motored out of Duck harbor and proceeded to raise sail. It took us about an hour and half until we were making our approach to Brimstone. Since the wind was out of the North we couldn’t anchor in the recommended location. We sailed all the way around the island into a little “cove” on the south side of the island. We tried to anchor where the “11” is between Brimstone and Little Brimstone on this chart.


The anchoring did not go well. The anchor went down but wouldn’t grab into the bottom so while we were trying to set the anchor we kept backing closer and closer to rocks. Stephanie finally asked the burning question “Is this even worth it?” We had sailed 3/4 of the way around the island and it looked like every other remote Maine island we had passed. We think that this is the “beach” that was described as being made of black rocks.


Leaving Brimstone started the next phase of our journey, we had to find a place to anchor for the night that was sheltered from the Northwest winds that started up today, and boy were they blowing. We found a couple of likely spots on the Fox Island Thoroughfare and headed north through East Penobscot bay. We were sailing fast, but going slow. The tide was on its way out and was flowing around 2 knots exactly opposite the direction of where we wanted to be heading. Eventually we did make it to the Fox Island Thoroughfare and tucked into Kent Cove for the night, a spot that offered shelter from the NW wind, and mud for the anchor to stick in.

We took a kayak trip in to North Haven to check out the town and enjoyed some great fried shrimp at the local dockside restaurant!


We passed by this unique bit of island architecture on our way in to North Haven. We think we may have found the pirate’s lair.


Engine update – Our old reliable diesel engine is giving us a little bit of trouble. The oil level keeps rising. Uh-oh. After draining the oil the other day I found no water in the oil, which makes it look like we are leaking diesel oil into the oil. After doing a little bit of internet research it appears that the most likely and cheapest (fingers crossed) problem is that our fuel lift pump has a bad diaphragm. On a normal diesel engine this would just cause a diesel leak, but since our engine is installed in a boat the leak is diverted into the oil pan, diluting our oil. We are planning on ordering a new fuel lift pump and attempting the replacement ourselves, rumor has it that this is a “simple” engine project.