Mosquito Head to Long Cove at Orrs Island, July 30, 2012

We decided that for our long sail to Casco Bay we would get an “early” start. We were up at 7am, and headed to the cockpit to start moving for breakfast enroute. As we have learned earlier in our trip, Maine does not actually wake up early. After opening the hatch to the cockpit we learned that all we could see was the cockpit. We were completely fogged in.

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We decided that this meant no early start and made a sit down breakfast! Sourdough pancakes with Biscoff spread! Yumm.

Just before 8am the fog started to break and we got underway. Still no wind, so we were motoring for the beginning of the trip.

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We motored about half way across Muscongus Bay until we reached Eastern Egg Rock, where we first saw puffins just over a month ago. They are still cute, and we stopped for a while to watch them swimming around.

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After passing the puffins the wind had built in enough that we decided it was time to sail! Up with the main, up with the genoa and then (insert drumroll) up with the newly rigged staysail! Rode Trip really seemed to like the new sail and the extra sail area in front of the mast seems to help balance out her large mainsail.

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Our sail was upwind so we ended up tacking our way west along the Maine coast. We had a man overboard drill near Damariscove Island when one of our fenders wasn’t tied in as tightly as we thought it was! We looped back and Stephanie caught it with the boathook on our first pass. As the day went on the wind kept building and building, until we were moving FAST. Eventually all that wind caught up with us as we entered Casco Bay and the waves started to grow as well.

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Rode Trip handled the waves like a champ, and pushed right through. The wind as approaching 15 knots, but Rode Trip was still handling all 3 sails very well. They helped give her all the power she needed to push through the waves.

We finally made our turn around the end of Bailey Island, and the waves starting dying almost immediately. We had to take the staysail down, because it wasn’t helping on our downwind sail up Harpswell Sound. On our way up the sound we passed the old cribstone bridge.

20120730-225614.jpgAfter about an hour of working our way up Harpswell sound we tucked into Long Cove on Orrs Island. The guide book tells us that this is a local “hurricane hole.” To us that reads as a great place to get a good nights sleep!

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Mistake Island Harbor to Bunker Cove, Roque Island

After a long morning of kayaking and enjoying the Mistake Island Harbor area we pulled up our anchor at 1530 (3:30pm) and headed for Roque Island. The cruising guide described Roque Island as the goal of generations of yachtsmen. We hadn’t really heard about it until recently, but we were on our way. Once again we set off with crystal clear visibility and a stiff southwest breeze. We passed the lighthouse which was blowing its foghorn into the clear afternoon and turned downwind. We were sailing along beautifully and had just turned around the corner of Head Harbor Island when we were surrounded by sea birds including gulls, terns, razorbill auks, and PUFFINS! Stephanie was very excited to have more puffins around and I was trying to get a picture of some when all of a sudden in a very excited voice she said, “Brian, over there” I turned my head just in time to see the back of a whale about 50 feet from the boat as his dorsal fin cleared the water and he disappeared. No pictures of this event, but it was awesome to have a whale so close to the boat!

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We turned the boat around and headed back for a little while in hopes that the whale would resurface and we could get another glimpse, but he had other plans. We did manage to spot over a dozen porpoises while sailing through the area again. Once we decided that the whale wasn’t coming back we continued on for Roque while the winds continue to build until we were screaming along. We continued until we could see our narrow entrance to the Roque Island Thoroughfare, and then turned upwind to take down the sails.

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The wind was blowing pretty hard at this point, but everything was going well until a strange banging indicated that we had caught a lobster pot on our prop. This is not good. At the very best we could be hung up for a while and at the very worst the rope could pull hard enough to do damage to the drivetrain on our engine. First we tried to free the prop using the boathook, but it didn’t work. As we began to drift down on the line and it started to get taut, we put a safety line and ladder over the side. I donned my snorkel mask and took our handy blue rigging knife and went over the side to cut the pot free. Several cold wet minutes later I was back on board to a dry towel and Rode Trip was no longer snagged on a lobster trap!

We came into Bunker Cove and used the depthfinder to look for the good spot under the cliff that the guidebook recommended. The book was right that there was water under the cliff, but shallow out in the middle of the cove. We put the anchor down in the shallow water and ran a stern line to a tree on the cliff to keep Rode Trip in the deep water so we wouldn’t ground out in the mud as the tide receded.

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It is still taking some getting used to when we enter an anchorage and the depth sounder says 16 feet and we know that isn’t enough water for us…low tide 13 feet later we would be very uncomfortable.

We decided that in being in such a snug little cove on an island that is regarded as quintessentially downeast was a good reason to celebrate so we opened a bottle of Champagne that was given to us by Mike back in Portsmouth and enjoyed it with the mussels plucked from the cliff earlier in the day.

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Linekin Bay to Tenants Harbor

Yesterday we got up and prepared the boat to continue our trek downeast. By the time Stephanie was done making the boat shipshape and I was done resealing our port caprail the wind still hadn’t even started to whisper in to Linekin Bay. We started up the trusty diesel and headed out in search of some breeze. When we made it out of the bay however there was still no wind but there was a large swell coming in out of the South. There was also a pod of dolphins leading us farther downeast. We decided to make some headway under motor power and set off for Eastern Egg Rock. Shortly after passing the lighthouse at the northern tip of Fisherman’s island in Boothbay harbor we spotted our first of 6 six seals that we would swing by and check out Rode Trip during the day.

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Here is the first landmark that we passed on our way east, the fort at the end of Pemaquid point.

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We arrived at Eastern Egg at lunchtime, and were treated to the sight of Puffins. The puffins were reintroduced to the island some time ago, and they seem to be thriving.

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We saw several flocks of them swimming around the island. We could get a great view of them with the binoculars. Stephanie thinks that they are “cute…like panda’s…but birds”.

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After watching them for a while we picked up a breeze and set off under sail to head out around Shark Island, and finally enter into Penobscot bay!

It looked like rain was coming and the wind died again, so we fired up the engine and motored into Tenants harbor, where we are now safely at anchor in Long Cove.

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