Tuesday, 14 August 2012

No.27 Maine Part II

Hi from Clare,                             Sunday 12th August, 2012

So here we are in sunny/foggy Maine. When the sun comes out the weather is reminiscent of a perfect spring day in Australia. When the fog rolls in the visibility can get down to 50 metres.
Smiths Cove calm and relaxing

After leaving Islesboro Island and the fun of the GAM, we sailed 13 miles over to Smith's Cove. The cruising community sometimes uses Smith's Cove as a hurricane hole because it is surrounded by trees and the bay is well protected from most weather. When we were there it was so calm we could see in the reflection of the clouds on the water, you can see in the photos the Skipper found it very relaxing.

The following morning we sailed ten miles over to Belfast which is a small town on the coast. Belfast was holding its Annual Festival and so that night we joined the townsfolk in the main street. The community atmosphere was terrific with entertainment for the kids, a sixteen piece band playing popular tunes and then later a six piece country/rock band playing music from the 60/70s. The members in the rock band we about our age and the townsfolk danced in the street till late in the evening. The thing that struck us was how much everyone enjoyed themselves regardless of whether they could dance or not; they just let their hair down. It seemed that the whole town was out celebrating as the place was packed; it was wonderful to see.

The following day we went back to Smith's Cove and took a mile dinghy ride across the incoming tide to the town of Castine. We arrived with dry clothes, which is something we can do in our new dinghy; gone are the days of having to hide behind a waterproof - it's terrific.
The House of Sin (1858) and The First Parish Church(1790)

Castine was been occupied continuously since the French arrived in the early 1600s and is one of the oldest communities in North America. A bonus for visitors is the town map which marks the historic buildings and houses and gives a little of its history. This made walking around town a lot more interesting. For example, one of the lovely houses built in 1858 was known as the House of Sin. Not because of anything untoward but because the owner who worked long hours in the shipyard spent his Sundays working on his house, giving it its notorious name - a bit harsh?
We stopped at the First Parish Church built 1790. I had a lovely chat with the minister who told me that the church was first owned by the Puritans. He said
"The English sent the Puritans to America and the convicts to Australia, I think you got the better deal", I could only agree with him.
In the evening we had drinks with Prue and Bert on 'Exuberant'. We thought we would stay for about an hour, but we were having such a good time the hour turned into three.
Lobster Pots! and waterfront house.

On Thursday we travelled forty five miles to Mount Dessert Island. So after saying last week that we hadn't found large numbers of Lobster Pots, this trip was a nightmare. Through the binoculars we could see hundreds of colourful Lobster Pots ahead; it looked like a sea of jelly beans. The Lobster Pot buoys are in pairs and attached by a long rope (which we don't want wrapped around our propeller). The trick is to work out which ones are pairs. The new ones are easy as they are generally the same colour and there is one large and one small buoy. But the older ones are faded, dirty and damaged making identification very difficult. Anyhow after hours of "go left" or "go right, go right" we arrived into Somes Harbour without incident, but we still have to get out.

Foggy Bar Harbour, Maine

In Somes Harbour, we caught up with Amanda and Patrick on 'Egret' and had morning tea with them the following morning before they left. We weren't alone for very long as Katie and Kurt on 'Interlude' arrived late afternoon. Yesterday we went with Katie and Kurt to Bar Harbour which is a tourist town in a very pretty setting. We bumped into Prue and Bert on 'Exuberant' in the Tourist Information Office and so the six of us spent the day together. We walked around town visiting the local craft market and shops and had a long lunch at a waterfront restaurant. The weather was a bit changeable with the fog rolling in and out. It was a disappointing really as I think Bar Harbour would be spectacularly beautiful on a sunny day.
So today we planned a mountain hike with Katie and Kurt but the fog has set in and the whole place is dripping. Andrew is busy varnishing the companion way and steps and I will spend this afternoon catching up with my scrap book. It's a bit like a nice quiet day at home by the fire. Perhaps a fire is not such a great idea!

Well if the weather improves we will do our mountain hike tomorrow. Then we will have to pick a nice sunny day to get out of here and thread our way back through the belly bean field.
It's Andrew's 60th Birthday on Wednesday so we will have to find somewhere to celebrate.

Love CANDY xx

At 11:19 AM6/08/2012 (utc) our position was 44°21.72'N 068°46.25'W

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