Finally time to catch up on our notes, this time from the good old U.S. of A. Monday morning as we headed west we watched our last sunrise over a Canadian shoreline for a while.
There’s a lot we’ll miss about Canada. Way too many things to list. One thing we won’t miss? Tim Horton’s. They don’t grill the burgers, they don’t have fountain drinks, and they don’t have regular delicious french fries on which to put ketchup. They claim that everything is “Always Fresh,” but based on our experience “Always Fresh” to Tim Horton’s means “so very not fresh that it goes straight in the trash and then you just eat snacks from the gas station because now there isn’t time to go someplace else.” If that isn’t enough, Tim Horton wasn’t even named Tim. His real name was Miles. He recently was put on the list of the 100 Greatest NHL Players in history, however, which is dang impressive. In 1974 he killed himself by driving drunk, which is the opposite of impressive. Just like the food at the restaurant chain he started.
Anyway, the first three hours crossing the Gulf of Maine was more mellow than predicted. We cranked up Sam Outlaw in the pilothouse. Dana did some chores. We had a nice breakfast.
The waves rolled up on us midday, but although unpleasant they were less unpleasant than expected. At exactly the blue dot we popped back into waters of the motherland.
About 15 NM from Maine, we started hitting lobster pots. More precisely, we started SEEING lobster pot floats, but actually only HIT one float line. Quick, go to neutral. Now let’s bob around in beam seas to assess the situation. The water is 54 degrees with rolling swells—and none of those women lifeguards from Baywatch are around—so Doug ain’t jumping in to try to unwind a line. Fortunately it only snagged on a stabilizer fin and we managed to back off it after a surprisingly short period of wailing and swearing while we talked ourselves into concluding that it probably wasn’t also wrapped around the prop shaft. During that period we were too busy wailing and swearing to think of taking a picture of the float actually appended to the fin, of course, but here’s the bastard after we backed out to safety.
A sunfish drifted by during our debate, either obliviously or to laugh at us. These things are weird that way.
As we approached the entrance to Southwest Harbor, the number of floats increased exponentially. And fog set in. To the point that we had to pick our way around them slowly, which exponentially sucked because we’d already been underway for more than eleven hours. But hey, we made it across, so we’re not complaining more than a little.
Now here we are at Dysart’s Great Harbor Marina, which we hope is “always safe and warm. Come in, she said, I’ll give you shelter from the storm.”**
We need it, because Hurricane Dorian is barreling north.
Southwest Harbor is on the Quietside—one word, capitalized, without even a hyphen—of Acadia National Park. We know that, because there’re signs.
That’s okay with us, of course, because we’re Quietpeople. The town is just busy enough to have a couple of good restaurants, but not so busy you can’t get a table.
Here’s the harbor and marina from the hilltop joint where we’ve eaten a couple of times.
The significance isn’t the harbor. Or the marina. It’s Jeff and Ann climbing into the photo just like that time Dana photobombed the special moment Brent and Karen were sharing when they skipped the hike up the enormous sand dune in Michigan. (It’s hard to tell for certain, but it appears that Jeff may’ve said or done something to justify getting an earful.) Regardless, we were quite glad No Drama—now Fredless—made it over safely. Nova Scotia is gonna get way more of Dorian than is this part of Maine.
When we visited Maine a few years back we stayed for a few days in both Bar Harbor and Camden. No need to stop at either place by boat, but we did zip up to Bar Harbor for groceries and lunch. The shops and restaurants were crawling with passengers from that cruise ship in the harbor.
Bar Harbor is not on the Quietside.
We also dropped into Camden, mostly so Dana could revisit the bookstore and the store that sells all the lavender stuff that smells really good but we really don’t need. Camden is a cool town.
The other must-do thing on Mt. Desert Island is hiking in the park. So we did. What Dana identified as a “moderate” hike in actuality required scaling a 25,000 foot peak, but at least it was pretty.
The huge Fleming behind us hauled out in advance of Dorian. We’re staying snuggled up in Southwest Harbor to ride out whatever’s left whenever he or she shows up. After one last night of frivolity, Jeff and Ann decided to head down to Camden and end their cruising season now, putting No Drama in storage for the winter. Sad day for Misty Pearl. We haven’t exactly traveled with them, but we’ve been in constant contact and have docked with them a fair bit since Quebec City. Now they’re like old friends. And no, we don’t mean “old” in the context of Jeff having played football at Northwestern in a leather helmet.
Hopefully we can start down the coast on Sunday. Our goal is to be back at the Statute of Liberty by October 12. Ish.
On a final note, here’s a good place for lobster trap floats.
But wait! There’s more! The moment between that final note and hitting the “publish” button was extended by a sunset, which was perfect but for the Nordhavn 47 that partially blocked our view.
* We agree, John Denver.
** Yes please, Bob Dylan.