Dolphin Alert

In Georgetown the local hailing channel is 68 and occasionally cruisers will make announcements or ask questions of the anchorage on this channel. Recently there have been Dolphin Alert announcements because there is a pod of 3 dolphins that have been spotted regularly in the harbor. The rumor is that the dolphins are friendly and sometimes allow swimmers to approach closely.

When we heard a dolphin alert on the radio in our area we headed up on deck to see how close to us the dolphin actually was.

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The dolphin was slowly swimming circles around the boat anchored next to us. I quickly pulled out the snorkeling gear and Stephanie headed back down below to get the camera. Our friendly neighborhood dolphin seemed as curious about me as I was about him and he continued to swim circles approaching within a few feet of me.

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After viewing each other eye to eye I began swimming back to Rode Trip and my new friend decided to follow me home. As the dolphin swam even closer Stephanie pulled out the underwater camera and handed it to me.

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The dolphin stayed in the area for the next twenty minutes turning over in the water and scratching his back on the sand getting a good view of Rode Trip from every angle. I suspect that the dolphin was sleeping and enjoying the calm harbor water. It was finally time for me to get out of the water and head to town. The dolphin followed our dinghy all the way into town until the water got to shallow. It was exciting to have a “pet” dolphin for an hour.

Squid Fishing

Last night we had just finished up dinner, when we began to hear a splashing noise around the boat. It sounded very similar to what we had heard in Mud Hole. I decided that I wasn’t going to let all the fish get away this time and I turned on our bright decklights and headed topsides to set up the fishing pole. I saw a small school of “fish” go by and I cast my line in their direction. They weren’t interested. Very soon though the boat was being swarmed. It took me a moment to identify what they were because they were not moving like fish… we were surrounded by squid. Stephanie came up to take a look and more and more squid kept appearing until they were on all sides of the boat.

I spent some time trying to get them to grab on to any of the lures in my tackle box so that we could enjoy some calamari, but no luck. I also couldn’t catch one in a bucket although I think I was close. Just one more reason for us to get our hands on a casting net in the near future.

After watching the squid swarm the boat for about 45 minutes we started to head back inside. Just before going into the hatch we heard a loud noise just outside the circle of light cast by our deck lights. First we heard a large spashing noise, followed by what sounded like loud labored breathing. This stopped us in our tracks and we stood in the cockpit listening to what could only be a sea monster just outside the range of our lights. Soon we could hear the labored breathing coming from 3-4 directions all around the boat as well as much more regular splashing. This entire time the squid are still swimming around and around the boat. All of a sudden the squid scattered and we saw a grey shape come cutting through the water, stopping just off the side of our boat heading back out into the darkness. It didn’t take long before we started seeing more and more grey shapes in the water, the seals had found the squid. Our attracting the squid to our lights allowed the seals to have quite the feast!

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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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