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

Deja Vu

When we left Bar Harbor, Mount Desert Island we didn’t have a solid plan (per usual). Our morning departure was delayed while waiting for an opening at the busy town dock so that we could top off our water tanks. It was cold and dreary; twice fog had rolled into and out of the harbor. We did, however, need to get moving because we had social events to attend. I know, I know…cruisers don’t adhere to a schedule. But put the Communications Officer back on home turf and watch out because mini-vacations spring up everywhere!

We watched Mount Desert Island disappear beneath a veil of fog, swooping down to block our view…

…and then gently lifting to offer us just a peek of the island as we passed along its coastline.


Lobster boats, sailboats, powerboats, and skiffs continued to skirt about the water despite the wavering visibility. Brian kept a keen eye on the radar and the air horn close at hand.


Fog break to admire the Bass Harbor Lighthouse.


There was not much sailing to be had. After 24nm of motoring, we landed at Swan’s Island. We anchored once again, as we did last year, at Mackerel Cove. This year we chose the westernmost corner of the cove and found good, mud holding in 8 feet of water.


While Brian prepared dinner, I hopped into the kayak and paddled around with the local Guillemots.


That evening although we didn’t have quite the showing of squid that we experienced last year…Brian did catch one! This time under the bright deck lights it took only moments before success with the squid jig.