Cradle Cove to Pulpit Harbor, North Haven

Thankfully we have a blackout shade in the V-berth which allows us to sleep in past the sunrise at 5:30 am. So when we finally peel back the velcro that seals out the sun at around 8 am to reveal yet another sunny morning we emerge well-rested appreciating the fact this is such a rarity back in our real-world lives.

After our usual coffee and breakfast, we set off on a dinghy adventure heading north around the private Spruce Island back to the cove we passed on the night before and docked on the state dock of Warren Island. The island is a State Park with campsites scatter throughout. Apparently in the early 20th century a wealthy Philadelphian businessman, William Folwell, commissioned the building a 100×100 foot log cabin on the island. He unfortunately never saw it completed in his lifetime and his family used until 1919 when it burned. Eventually the land passed to the town of Isleboro who donated it to the state “for the benefit and enjoyment of visitors to Coastal Maine.”

Warren Island State Park pier

Enjoy it we did. Thanks Mr. Folwel. We circum-traversed the island quietly hiking passed a few occupied campsites speckled with tents and covered picnic tables. We were greeted to the island by a posted warning that there is an invasive species of caterpillar on the island that is actually harmful to humans. Their “hairs airborne can cause respiratory illness” – so we have avoided coronavirus by staying away from people but now must also keep 6 feet from a small insect. Great…

The invasive species moth/ caterpillar that can make a person very sick if the touch or inhale their hair. I imagine they are saying “coronavirus, hold my beer.”

Once again by 11am, we were back on the boat and pulling up the anchor. Our next destination now just 7 miles away – barely a sail compared the days of our last week. We head south and upwind past Camden and past one the largest superyachts previously owned by my boss Larry Ellison. The 454-ft Rising Sun, now owned by Hollywood mogul David Geffen, dwarfs the nearby islands and looks very out of place here. (Apparently, he got heat early in the pandemic for posting online that he was quarantined onboard).

454-ft superyacht Rising Sun

We continued upwind, then we cut south of Lasel Island and across east passage of Penobscot Bay into Pulpit Harbor. This little slice of Maine paradise is sought by cruisers due to its near 360° of protection on the northwest side of North Haven, another island in the Penobscot Bay Area. 

Brandon had a long time colleague, Vic, who was from North Haven and left the boat yard about 6 years ago to return back to this island. We all lost touch so we had the thought: “maybe we will run into Vic when we are here.” 

Well… as we entered the harbor, the distinctive hulking stance of Vic was on the closest lobster boat to us. We dropped anchor just south of the morning field and hopped into the dinghy yelling “Vic!” so he could hear us over the lobster boat’s roaring diesel engine. 

“Is that fucking Brandon Somers?!” he says. “I knew I’d see you sail in here one day. Follow us to the town dock.”

We caught up with Vic in the shelter of the northern part of Pulpit Harbor and met his now 9-month old son and wife exchanging updates on each other lives. Being a Sunday, he had some family engagements but without hesitation gave us the keys to his car for us to explore North Haven.

Brandon and Vic catching up. Our North Haven host by surprise.

“We got 20 miles of road so you can’t get lost but check it out,” he said. 

We asked him where we could get some lobster and it said it would be tough late on Sunday but he would see what he could do the next day. 

We hopped in the car and checked out North Haven by car. Brandon knew from visiting Vinalhaven just to the south that everyone waved so with every passing car it became evident that a passing wave was expected to all walkers, bikers, and drivers. As we waved and weaved our way around the island’s roads, it was a chance to see Maine from the land looking out to the sea as opposed the opposite point-of-view afforded to us the last few days. 

North Haven’s rolling fields and farms

Log cabins, cottages, and farms peppered the landscape with vista views of the surrounding islands and mountains. Maine’s quaint lifestyle is alive and well here. The downtown featured a ferry landing, a few shops, and plenty of flyers about art gallery openings or the next farmer’s market. In the middle of the island, the grocery store was stocked with anything we might need so given the opportunity to get a few supplies (and a car to haul them) I re-provisoned a few items to set us for another few days comfortably.

We returned the car to the town dock and left the keys in it per Vic’s instructions and headed beaded back to the boat. Soon after we settled into our evening routine (me: journaling, Brandon:  tinkering) Vic appeared in a rib with 5 gallon bucket filled ice a couple of lobsters and a bottle of chilled champagne. 

None of this was planned, this was just friendship, adventure, and the magic of Maine all at it’s core…

Food:

  • Breakfast: Breakfast Sammies of Egg, Ham, and Cheese on English Muffins
  • Lunch: Crabcakes (leftover from wedding) on Cucumber  
  • Dinner: Lobstah! With asparagus and macaroni salad

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