Tenants Harbor to Southwest Harbor

  Thursday, July 5, 2012 / Brian / Uncategorized  

Motor, sail, motor, sail, motor.....it was a long day of motoring and sailing through Penobscot Bay. We left Tenants Harbor bright and early; by 7:30 we had finished our morning routine and hauled up the anchor. I feel like a Planet Fitness ad as well after hauling the 45lb anchor up along with 90lbs of chain. The lack of wind had us start through the Muscle Ridge Channel under diesel power.

We navigated channel marker to channel marker through our first of four channels for the day. Serious navigation required!

It kept the sights interesting as there were rocks and islands on all sides as well as minefields of lobster buoys. Lobster boats were working throughout the channel and off to the sides where our charts clearly showed rocks... We had our first sightings for the day of seals and dolphins.

After successfully clearing the Muscle Ridge Channel, we had some open water before the Fox Island Thoroughfare. Stephanie took advantage of the easier sailing to read up on the sea life that we were seeing. We think that the dolphins that we have been seeing are actually harbor porpoises. We also tried to identify some birds, but were having some trouble with this one. Perhaps one of our bird watching readers can help us out.

The Fox Island Thoroughfare runs between North Haven and Vinylhaven Islands. The entrance was marked by this channel marker, with the letters "FT" on it for Fox Thoroughfare.

Stephanie picked out another future summer home. I think that she is trying to appeal to how much I like boats, this house seems to have a boat for every occasion.

Some other significant landmarks inside the thoroughfare included the Fox Ears islands partway through and the Goose Rocks lighthouse at the exit.

Upon exiting the throroughfare we had enough wind to sail...or so I thought. Stephanie thought that we needed more. We put up the sails and slowed...way...down. Most of our speed ended up being due to current, which was going sideways. After about 45 minutes, we couldn't keep the sails full any longer so we restarted the motor and headed through the Deer Isle Thoroughfare.

This passage was a little different, it was clearly a working passage, and the lobster boats were commuting home. There was a lot of traffic! We passed the Crotch Island lighthouse (we can't make this up) just before passing the town of Stonington.

As we exited the Deer Isle Thoroughfare, the wind built in for real this time and we set the sails. We cruised quickly in the direction of the Casco Passage, and caught our first glimpse of Mount Desert Island.

We sailed through the Casco Passage, and on to Southwest Harbor.

We scouted out a potential anchorage near Southwest Harbor, but couldn't identify a good place to go ashore. We headed to the inner harbor and picked up a guest mooring for the night. Ryan and Jocelyn picked us up at the dinghy dock and drove us to Bar Harbor for dinner. Food and drinks at the Finback Alehouse were delicious. The night passed quickly as we caught up with our friends. We played a game of cocktail roulette for our last round while listening to live music. Mmm...gin fizz!


  1. From Steve on Jul 05, 2012
    note the cloud formation in the picture above casco pass. it looks like the Cheshire cat.

  2. From stephanie on Jul 05, 2012
    Thanks! Maybe we'll get a pic of one in flight, we often see them in the water and they don't scatter easily.

  3. From admin on Jul 05, 2012
    I'm guessing the bird is a Black Guillemot, because it looks like it has bright red feet and maybe that's a white patch on its back.