Pulpit Harbor to Seal Bay, Vinalhaven

We finally experienced fog in Maine. We honestly came here expecting it as a daily occurrence but it took 7 days for us to witness. However today, we only planned to travel 8-9 miles to Seal Bay from Pulpit Harbor so we were fine with letting it burn off while I caught up on writing and cooked a rich, delicious breakfast of leftover lobster tail eggs benedict.

Foggy morning

The Boat Galley Cookbook recommended a “Whole-Egg Hollandaise” which I attempted and then took my eyes off it for 10-seconds and it turned to scrambled eggs. So after a small frustrated tantrum, I gave it another shot and it came out great! A little butter and lemon added to an egg you keep whisking makes a great sauce to top a poached egg (also learned that if you poach in salt water with a little milk, it holds the egg whites better and I would agree!) with leftover lobster and a toasted (we broil in the oven) english muffin.

Lobster Benedict and Mimosas

It was sometime between 11am and noon that we headed out of Pulpit into the glassy east passage of Penobscot Bay, we motored around North Haven to the entrance of the Fox Island Thorofare. By then the sea breeze filled and we were able to sail through the channel that winds between North Haven and Vinal Haven. The shoreline is filled with long docks reaching out to moored boats, stunning homes, and a thousand color lobster pots with cruisers and working fisherman traveling both directions on their ways to all the ports this area hosts.

Fishing before we left Pulpit Harbor (no catch gained)

After we pass through the 4 mile channel, we turn just south to sail upwind for a bit to Seal Bay when it happens, we caught our first lobster pot. Thankfully not with our keel, rudder or prop but just with the dinghy’s bridle. However, it was enough that the pot flopped over the tight line and we started dragging it. I was driving and was able to flog the sails so Brandon could come up to muscle in the tow line to free the trap.

We raced this schooner through the thorofare and won. I don’t think they knew we were racing, though.
The town of North Haven in the Fox Island Thorofare
Goose Rock Lighthouse at the East end of the thorofare.

A mile later we were entering the Seal Bay, a winding mix of islands in coves in Vinalhaven’s East Coast. We found our own slice of heaven behind the Burnt Island and cannot even see another boat due to the weaving spruce-lined landscape.

The only boat in Seal Bay

As it was hide tide when we anchored about 3pm, we took the opportunity of high water to hop in the dinghy right away to explore the area. We were actually able to circumnavigate the Penobscot Island which lays in the middle of the bay (the western end is dry at low tide). On our trip we saw a Bald Eagle, my first in the wild, a few seals, and numerous coves which all seemed to hold stories.

Dinghy ride around Seal Bay
Seals in seal bay
Seal Bay, Vinalhaven
A bald eagle!

We passed the Starboard rocks, a cliff that reminded me of Fyre’s Leap/ The Images, from my Camp Wawenock days back on Sebago. We saw one solo yacht anchored area called Winter Harbor with the owner sleeping in a tube off tied 50 yds off the stern…ie living their best life. We passed a few rocks with bathing harbor seals and a couple of wrecked rowboats on the shoreline but mostly it was undisturbed nature as I am sure the Maine Coast Heritage Trust, who preserves most of this land has worked hard for it to be!

The cliffs of Starboard Rock in Winter Harbor on Vinalhaven.

After our trek, we returned the boat for swimming and a quiet evening in our personal cove. About 100 yds to stern we watched about 40 seals beach themselves on the rocks and as the sun dropped, it looked like the Pride Rock of seals. As the sun set, we continued to marvel in the awe of the absolute beauty we have surrounded ourselves with, we concluded it wasn’t such a bad Monday…

The seals through the binos

Tomorrow the adventure will take us back east just a few miles from where we made land fall just a week ago in Isle au Haut…

Sunset in our slice of heaven in Vinalhaven.


  • Breakfast: Lobster Eggs Benedict
  • Lunch: Wraps
  • Dinner: Appetizers – Stuffed Mushrooms leftover from wedding, baked brie with hot pepper jelly followed by the ol’ Mac N’Cheese with hot dogs.

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