Merchant Row to Buck’s Harbor

My family has always had a dry sense of sarcastic humor. Wo with that in mind… my first words this morning (in a complaining tone) were “Well, it’s another fucking gorgeous morning in Maine!”

Persistence on mooring in McGlathery Cove

Seriously though… it was warm, sunny, and no wind, (and no fog) at 830 when we finally left the V Berth. After coffee, we decided to make breakfast so we could “walk it off” before exploring the island we just sought refuge behind. I made baked some bacon (yes baked because it’s less messy and greasy which is key on the boat!) and cooked up some pancakes using Bob’s Red Mill Mix and fresh blueberries. When we downed then with Maple Syrup in the morning sunshine we were just in awe of the luck in weather we have had. (Side note: Squuezeable Maple syrup is also key on the boat!)

The paths on McGlathery are marked with “upcycled” shoreline debris.

We went ashore to explore the paths a fellow sailor recommended. At first it was funny that the trails were marked with shoreline debris. A lobster pot here. A bait bag there. A random rope. A shell. “That’s cute,” I thought. Then it was a savior. I thought I knew where I was going but realized I lost the the upcycled trail blazes and had to double back! Eventually our Hansel and Gretel path led us to the other side of McGlathery Island which was beach mixed with Granite, Sandy swaths, and wildflower lain marches.

Monarch butterfly in the McGlathery Island Meadow

By the time we explored the island, the sun was high and it was time for another refreshing dip off the deep beach we tied our dinghy up to. Our fellow boaters we shared the anchorage with came in as well with their amazing boat dog – which only made us for the 100th time feel guilty for leaving Scruffy behind on this adventure. We learned they had trained their dog to swim and use the bathroom if they ever went somewhere without a beach! These fellow sailors also recommend their homeport of Buck’s Harbor as a great stop. At this point, we were considering that as our next refuge so this put us over the edge.

Just before morning swim post hike. Persistence to the right. Only neighbors boat to the left and they are rowing ashore behind us.

We pulled up anchor at 1100 but didn’t want to make the most direct route, we want to take in the islands and views of the Deer Island Thoroughfare- another passage among the small islands off the coast of this northern Maine area.

As we passed between all the islands, I held the chart on my lap and consulted the Maine Cruising Guide or googled the islands name to read aloud the facts of the area that surrounded us. We are both history buffs so we want to take in both the vistas but the stories behind them.

Sailing through the islands with the chart in hand.

This area is known for it’s Granite. These islands have been scoured for their distinctive mineral rocks and have formed the structures, facias, and verniers of the most important buildings of our country: the US Capitol, the Supreme Court, the Library of Congress, the Statue of Liberty (repairs), and many prominent others. Workers from around the world would come here to mine and procure these hunks of rock through rudimentary methods from hammer and chisel to dynamite. Only one island is still operating (and only because the Philadephia Mint required repairs that matched the original quarry) but the cranes and barges are still observable off Crotch Island.

The Granite Quarry on Crotch Island
cut granite pilled up on island

After we passed these quarry islands and travelled north-ish east through the Deer Island throughfare, we made it to the Eggmoggin Reach. I have heard of this stretch of water for so many years. I have worked for the Classic Yacht Owner’s Association for a couple of years now and have many classic yachting friends and only heard about the regatta the first weekend of August called the Eggmoggin Reach Regatta which is the “most beutiful race” up this peice of the world.

Approaching bridge in Egg reach

After experiencing it, I understand. Any sailor would agree that reaching is the best point of sail. For the non-sailors reading this, it is our easiest way to sail. the sails are relaxed yet the boat goes fast. There is no “tipping” or “bobbing” which can be the more uncomfortable ways of getting from A to B.

Eggmoggin Reach is 10 miles of picturesque and amazing sailing. The narrow straight held a variety of wind strengths but generally held a westerly direction. It kept it on our toes for sail trim which made for a fun sail. The eastern side had many lobster pots which we had to bob and weave but midway through the reach were gone.

Then it was easy sailing that let me grab a book!

We ended up our day at Buck’s Harbor on the Northeast sode of egg reach. We looped through the harbor and realized there wasn’t a great place to anchor and a lot of empty rental moorings. So we called Buck’s Harbor Marina and got a ball. (Our first of the trip.)

Persistence at first mooring in Buck’s Harbor

The Marina had a small shop and lobsters. We also learned there was a Market up the road. So we went ashore to make it all happen. We needed a few provisions (note: always pack more toilet paper than you think you need!) so walked up there then also got some lobsters.

Finally! Lobster Dinner on Board!

We finally got our lobster dinner. This is night #4 in Maines and we haven’t had lobster ye! We knew to bring a pot big enough to cook two lobsters so we boiled the 2.5 lbs on lobster down below and feasted on them with potato salad and fresh corn from the market. We toasted with one our favorite beers, Maine Beer Company’s: Lunch, then pulled out the chart to make plans for tomorrow’s adventure: Isleboro.

Food:

  • Breakfast: Blueberry Pancakes with Bacon
  • Lunch: Chicken Salad in Hotdog buns with hummus and pita chips
  • Dinner: Boiled Lobster with Potato and Egg Salad and Corn

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