>Snug Harbors in Maine

>One of our favorite things about Maine is the ability to slip into a narrow creek and be alone in the wilderness. Since leaving Rockland we have visited a number of great “gunk holes” including two of our favorites, both on the island of Vinalhaven.

Our friends Keith and Rose aboard Camelot, another SAGA 43, told us about Perry Creek along the Fox Island Thoroughfare, one of the major East/West passages across Penobscot Bay. What a great place, and the land around it has been preserved by some local families as part of the Nature Conservancy. Only a few houses visible from the water. The view is spectacular.

It’s always nice to have fresh flowers aboard. We actually have a “secure” vase down below so that the flowers don’t fly all over the place when we are under way.Here I am up the mast to fix the wind speed and direction indicator that had gotten a bit sticky and wasn’t properly registering low wind speeds. A trip up the mast to get the sender unit, a little WD40 and a toothbrush on the bearings, a trip back up to put it back and it was as good as new. Fortunately, we have an electric winch that can pull me up the 63’ mast without any sweat. I also had to tend to a loose bulb in the anchor light that was refusing to cooperate. The bulb is a new LED that draws about 1/10th of the power of the old one. Most of the lights on Pandora have been replaced by LEDs, and now we can turn on most of the onboard lights in the evening and only pull a few amps, a massive change from the past. It’s a real plus as now the solar panels can keep up with our electric useage even if we don’t run the engine. That’s me way up there. Yes, it’s really high! The photo below is what I saw looking down. Notice the solar panels on the bimini. They are really great and supply most/all of the power that we need. You can see a long way from that high up. I prefer to not look down but somehow it’s less intimidating when viewed through a camera. Not!!! As I write this we are in Winter Harbor, a really narrow cut in the eastern coast of Vinalhaven where we anchored the other night following a visit to Burnt Coat Harbor on Swan’s Island. It’s about the narrowest place we go and not many boats come up this far as the channel winds around past some unmarked rocks that are right in the middle of the channel. This picture doesn’t show how narrow it really is as the tide is high covering all of the mud flats and rocks. I have been here many times and haven’t hit one yet. On this visit only one boat ventured further up the creek. As we came in we saw some seals and osprey. Later we saw an eagle too. Very remote and hardly a house to be seen. Our dog Rip appreciated the gently sloping granite ledges to get ashore without getting his feet dirty or wet to do his business. That’s a view of Pandora from on top of one big granite ledge. Rip surveying the scene. Master of all he can see? Perhaps not.

One of the schooners that takes groups out for week long cruises. Very picturesque.An osprey nesting on top of an old granite quary ruin. It’s fun to think about what life must have been out in these islands back when thousands of men (mostly) worked out in the islands cutting stone. Granite from this area was used to build the New York City Post office and many other buildings prior to the advent of concrete’s wide use as a structural building material. Pandora safely at anchor in Winter Cove.

We are at the half way point for our cruise as of Saturday and plan to visit with some friends back in Rockland tonight and also plan on taking in the a show put on by magazine Maine Boats, Homes and Harbors. If you like Maine, you should subscribe to this magazine, I do. There are endless things to look at as you cruise the coast. Here’s a very nice boathouse we saw yesterday. We also see an endless series of great boats. Here’s a lovely schooner sailed by an “older” couple. I expect that he gets help keeping the varnish and paint up. Actually, an army of help is probably about right as it was in pristine condition. What’s a blog about Maine cruising without a few lighthouse photos. The one above is off of the entrance to Burnt Coat harbor on the southern end of Swan’s island. The one below is in Fox Island Throughfare. Many of these lights are privately maintained by a lighthouse society and a few are in private hands. There is a lot of support to keep them looking great so they will be around for years to come.

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