Friday, August 15 - Thursday, August 28
Friday, August 15: Buck's Harbor
We arrived at the boat late, after work: 2100.
Earlier in the week, I'd loaded most of the supplies and
gear, so all we had to bring out at the last minute was
perishable food and ice.
Saturday, August 16: Buck's Harbor
We didn't intend to stay at Buck's today, but it was foggy
all morning with light showers. The good thing about
keeping the boat in Buck's is that even on the mooring,
we're already where we want to be; we used to visit Buck's
as a destination stop when we sailed from Rockland and
We enjoyed a low-key day
getting into the cruising swing of things. The fog
cleared by early afternoon, leaving a beautiful, calm day in
Sunday, August 17: Buck's Harbor - Buckle Island
We departed at about 0930 on a beautiful day with an
enthusiastic westerly wind--about 10 steady and gusting to
20-25. Amazingly, and for the first time in recent
memory, we had a great sail eastward through Eggemoggin
Reach. The breeze was healthy (one reef and full jib)
and from the starboard quarter, and we scooted down the
reach with ease and pleasure, maintaining about 4 knots in
the lighter spots and over 6 in the gusts.
As we neared Jericho Bay, the
wind headed us and lightened, but we managed to sail the
entire way to Buckle; by the time we reached the island, the
wind was strengthening again, this time from a more
southwesterly direction. We set the anchor about 1300,
and enjoyed a pleasant--if breezy--afternoon.
Monday, August 18: Buckle Island
We ended up staying at Buckle
for another day, partly to give us time to explore the
island and partly because of laziness--it's easy to become
lazy while cruising. The weather was beautiful once
more, with full sun and pleasant temperatures. During
the afternoon, it again became gusty from the southwest,
which continued into the night.
Tuesday, August 19: Buckle Island - Burnt Coat
inclement weather forecast for later in the day, we departed
at 0855 for the short trip around Swan's Island to Burnt
Coat Harbor, about 7.24 miles. It was flat calm with
overcast skies to the west, but sun breaking through here
and there to the east. We motored the whole way,
encountering a strong (in an interesting, not harmful, sort
of way) tidal rip at the west end of Toothacher Bay, near
We picked up a rental
mooring in the harbor; this is one place where I happily
rent a mooring, even though there's plenty of room to
anchor, since the moorings here are fisherman-owned and
maintained. And they're good sturdy moorings.
Shortly after arrival, it began to rain lightly, and the
showers continued through much of the remainder of the day.
During the late morning and
afternoon, boats started to trickle in. I didn't think
much of it at first, but before long it became painfully
clear that a yacht club cruise was coming in en masse.
It turned out to be the Beverly Yacht Club from Marion, MA.
Lots of boats, both power and sail, and mostly 40' or
larger. I began to fear the worst, having never gotten
over the rudeness and low-class nature of a 2002 experience
with the New York Yacht Club.
Happily, the Beverly folks
were well-behaved and even pleasant. The sheer number
of boats--at least 26, by my count--and the overall
closeness of the moorings in the harbor, made for a rather
crowded feel, but despite this and despite the frequent
dinghy traffic, there were no rudeness problems, no
late-night parties, or any of the other annoyances that
often come hand in hand with large groups.
The weather cleared late in
the day, ushering in the typical northwesterly wind
that gusted fairly strongly throughout the night.
Wednesday, August 20: Burnt Coat Harbor
It was a gorgeous, bright,
shining morning, with a strong northwesterly wind. We
decided to stay put for the day, and spent the morning
watching the Beverly boats dribble out bit by bit.
There were some nice boats; I was particularly taken by an
older, 70s vintage C&C design in the 45-50' range.
There was something about its funky ex-ocean greyhound looks
that appealed to me.
It was downright chilly in
the morning, but the sun soon worked its magic. After
all the boats had left, I went ashore for a while; Heidi had
hurt her knee during the egress to Buckle Island and chose
to stay aboard. I walked down to the lighthouse at
Hockamock Head, marveling once again at the gorgeous view.
I noted that the keeper's house, which looked rather
derelict from the water, was undergoing a
significant renovation, with many upgrades already
complete. I was happy to see this, as it is a nice
feature and shouldn't be allowed to deteriorate. I
neglected to bring my camera ashore.
On the way back, I stopped
into the Swan's Island Boathouse, run by Kevin Staples, and
ordered cooked lobsters for the evening, which he'd deliver
to the boat at 1900. I also picked up some ice cubes,
since I always like to get ice whenever it's available, and
I knew we wouldn't be anywhere else to get ice in the near
The lobsters, delivered
steaming hot in a styrofoam cooler right on time at 7 PM,
were outstanding. Nice treat!
Thursday, August 21: Burnt Coat - Long Island
Another gorgeous day. We departed leisurely for the
short sail to nearby Long Island--but not Frenchboro.
Instead, we were heading for Eastern Cove, where we'd never
We sailed slowly out
through the narrow and fun eastern entrance, using only the
main since the jib was useless with the wind nearly behind
us. In this manner, we sailed as far as we could
towards our goal, but eventually the wind died completely
and, at the mercy of a strong current, we were forced to use
the engine for the second half of the trip.
Eastern Cove was
beautiful--undeveloped, bold-shored, and with outstanding
views north to Mount Desert. Unfortunately, the
Frenchboro Flies were out in force. Every time we go
to Long Island, we're inundated with annoying biting flies
that like to stay in the cockpit well and bite ankles.
The views from shoreside
were unparalleled. The cobble beach was littered with
reminders of how bold the area was, though: countless
smashed lobster pots, bits of uncategorized debris, and even
some large sections of a fiberglass boat that had clearly
met its end here, or nearby.
Friday, August 22:
Eastern Cove - Hell's Half Acre
No wind. We departed
around 0930 and powered 13.7 miles to Hell's Half Acre in
Merchant's Row. We tried sailing for a while outside
of Swan's Island when a light breeze sprung up, but it
didn't last long. We had a fair current as we headed
through Toothacher Bay and across Jericho Bay.
Once again, it was a
beautiful day--a bit warmer and hazier, much more
summerlike. The wind remained light to nonexistent all
day, and after a hot dog lunch upon arrival we spent the
afternoon in the usual way.
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