I should take a step back here as this was a new adventure that took on a new life during the pandemic. Brandon’s late uncle Burt built an off-the-grid cabin in the woods on Solon, ME in the early nineties. There was no power or running water and an outhouse but it’s a beautiful slice of heaven to get away from it all.
During the pandemic, this established the ultimate social distance but Brandon and I wanted to make life a little easier when you were there. First, with some old boat batteries from the yard and some new solar panels bought out of the back of van from Facebook Marketplace, Brandon wired up solar power. “Let there be light!”
Then with the tractor in tow with an upcycled clean-out drum that once stored bulk anti-freeze from the boat yard, we rigged up a cistern at the top of a hill next to the house. Now instead of hauling 5-gallon buckets of freshwater by hand that runs from a spring coming out of the same hill down the driveway, we now with a pump can you bring the water to us using gravity!
A few more trips later we had an on-demand propane water heater, and a recycled kitchen from our friends who were renovating their own kitchen and we were going to throw out granite countertops and cabinetry. We also gained a new large free couch and only purchased a new mattress for comfort.
All these improvements took about six or seven trips in total between 2020 and 2022. The latest endeavors include in June of this 2022 was the tile around our tub and hot water stone and also creating a mezzanine so we can have more guests and bed space off the floor.
We headed home from Vinalhaven, Maine just as the sun was setting, around 7:30pm. We sorted everything for offshore sailing and were off!
Brandon took the first watch from 2000-0000, I had no trouble going down for a solid 4 hours and with a little bit of coffee was able to give him an equal 4 hours of sleep by standing watch from 0000-0400. I am so glad we left when we did, we got to sail through the night in flat water and a nice 15 knot southwesterly. An upwind starboard tack set us right for the entrance to the Cape Cod Canal.
There were a million stars out and a shooting star every few minutes. Brandon did a jib change around 2130 to put up the bigger jib (a 155) which I groggily helped with but he said, just before he did he swears he heard a whales’s blowhole spout off close by.
The trip to the Canal was mostly motoring. While Brandon slept in the morning, I managed to get the spinnaker pole up on the starboard side so we could at least go dead-downwind with the wind behind us, allowing us to head in the right direction. I should have set up the GoPro for that to comically show off how much back and forth I had to do from the bow to the cockpit as I kept getting my safety tether snagged.
The day passed undramatically until we entered the canal at 1230 early on Saturday. We knew this was our last chance to get through the canal before the tide changed fully against us. Brandon filled the fuel from the jerry can of additional 5 gallons before we entered. However, just as we were passing the Coast Guard station and using the becalmed channel to switch back to the smaller job the jib, he was revving up the engine speed when it started to sputter.
We quickly turned and headed into East Boat Basin and landed on the fuel dock. A nice late night security guard asked us if we needed a slip but we said we just needed a few minutes to see what was going on with the engine. In less than 10 minutes, we had everything out of the locker and Brandon had the was inspecting everything. He says that because the engine was fine at low speeds that it was probably a fuel issue. He pulled off the fuel intake hose and found the fuel tank pickup’s filter (which apparently you don’t even need with diesel) was all clogged up.) He removed that off the end and away we went, thanking the security gaurd.
By this point, even just a few minutes make a difference, we started fighting the tide the whole way through. At one point, making just 2 knots over ground. It took us 2 hours to get through the channel. I went down for sleep after we got off the dock and did a sail change.
I came on at 3:30am and the wind was now up! Those 3 or so hours I was on watch, I had the current and about 20+ knots with me getting the boat up to 8 knots frequently – which is sporty for the C&C! By the time I woke up Brandon for the final sprint at 7am, we were out of Buzzard’s Bay and the sun was out.
A little after 9am we were turning the corner at Castle Hill, the skies were grey and it was very much northeaster conditions in Narragansett Bay. We decided to just grab our laundry and devices once we hit the mooring at 1000 and head home for some sleep and food. Come back and deal with the boat tomorrow.
It’s still hard to process this amazing honeymoon adventure. We did so much yet it was still relaxing to just be together away from the world. If you followed along, thank you. Mostly, this was just my way of documenting it all before I forget and sharing the stories with family and friends.
We know how lucky we are to have the opportunity to follow through on this long-held dream of ours. We have always held Maine in a special place in our hearts and now we have fallen even more in love with Vacationland. We can’t wait to plan the next adventure.
We went to sleep last night thinking that we would make the 15-mile trek southeast to Tenant’s Harbor to visit a market and get a hop on the journey south but when we woke up to pristine sunny and calm conditions we decided to save ourselves the laborious motorsail and continue to explore Vinalhaven.
So after a relaxing morning of reading, swimming, and watching some seals fish around us, we motored through the glassy Hurricane Sound to Hurricane Island. This island, like many of the others in this area, has an interesting history. It was a booming quarry known for it’s polishing skilled labor in the mid to late 19th century. Less than a mile long, it once housed 1,500 immigrants working in the quarry and overnight the place closed turning it into a ghost town.
Eventually the outdoor skills program, Outward Bound made it’s home here but then as it expanded, it moved to the mainland for logistical reasons. Now the island is home to the Hurricane Island Foundation, which is a science, education, and leadership center. Apparently, it should be bustling with youth and corporate retreat summer groups this time of year but everything has been canceled due to the pandemic. There are still scientists here and the public is welcome to walk around the trails but they just ask we don’t use any of the facilities (and leave a donation).
We grabbed a day-mooring that had an empty peanut butter jar attached to it to leave a donation for using the mooring. (They ask for $15 for day and $25 if you stay the night). We were the second boat to grab a mooring but within about a half-hour, about 3 or 4 others joined us. We went ashore and walked around the island.
One of the trails took us through the old quarry which has now filled with freshwater and the residents use it as a drinking source. Brandon was, of course, very interested in poking into every maintenance shed we found to check out the pumps, sisters, solar panel setup, etc.
Scattered throughout the island are the remnants of past-working island’s machinery. Rusting cranes, boilers, shaped granite, and drilled cliffs ready for excavating are around each corner. We hiked through thick pine woods and open raspberry fields then climbed over boulders along the smooth granite shoreline before finally finding one sliver of a sandy beach we could cool off in. It was a very warm day with no sea breeze.
By 1 o’clock, we were walking back the large grey mess hall where the few summer residents were having lunch. We waved and said hello and they asked us if we saw the great white shark! Apparently it was all over the radio that one had been spotted in nearby! We did see a bloody dead seal but did not investigate to the cause of the death. So glad I found that out AFTER my swim.
We headed back to the boat and planned to skip just over to the next island to anchor in Reindeer Cove, dingy into Carver’s Harbor where the “downtown” of Vinalhaven resides to get a late lunch and visit the market to stock up for the trip home.
But as plans go many times on sailing trips, they had to change. First, Reindeer Cove had three boats already in it which was it’s max. They also all had stern anchors out. We went around the corner to a spot that looked just as fine but then the Vinalhaven Ferry went by and we learned why no one was anchored there when the 4-foot crashing wake tossed us around like a toy boat.
Carver’s Harbor is apparently not very hospitable for yachtsman as it’s a working lobster and fishing village so we knew we couldn’t go in there. However, we saw another boat anchored just a way’s out so decided to go for it as well. When I pulled up the anchor using the windlass, the chain jammed and a part jumped out of its place. Luckily, Brandon fixed it after I fetched some tools and all was well again.
By this time though, it’s getting later in the day and we’ve haven’t eaten so we bring our getting-close-to-hangry selves ashore to find nothing is open due to COVID except the market. So we shop while hungry and end up with a plethora of goodies from muffins to chocolate covered Oreos but also some food for the trip home.
On our way out of Carver’s Harbor, we hopped over to Green’s Island in the dinghy to explore another gunkhole that we noticed had an old beached fishing tug, as we got in there, we found quite a few sunken ships and a few tucked away homes. It was a cove on the chart I didn’t understand why it wasn’t recommended because it looked so protected. Now we understood!
Our plan at this point is to get a good night’s sleep then take off on Friday morning for the 36-hour trip back to Rhode Island. Unfortunately, the breeze looks light until Saturday and while another day in Maine would be nice, getting in late on Sunday night does not. We know we have just enough fuel to motor sail if we have to.
As we sipped our evening cocktails after a dinner of fajitas with homemade guacamole watching the sun fall behind Camden Hills (and wallowing in a few more times in lobster boat and ferry wakes), we decide to just send it now. There’s a nice sea breeze still blowing so that will help us get south before we have to inevitably motor sail tomorrow.
And just like that there was no time for nostalgia that the honeymoon in Maine was over, it was time to pack up and head south for the last part of this adventure.
Everytime we think the next day can’t better, it has. I know, this sounds like a load of &!$!, but it’s honestly been an adventure every day that leaves us speechless.
We did wake up very early in the morning to breeze-on and hearing the auto pilot on (?!) Turns out the towels we drapped to dry over the helm were damp enough to turn it on! So the auto-pilot was attempting to keep us steady around 5 am. It was shockingly also blowing 18 kts at 5am.
Within a few hours, that settled so we slept our tired muscles in late (the hike yesterday took a lot out of us). I made omelets because I could only buy a dozen eggs yesterday at the market instead of half dozen so what does one do with a bunch of eggs…make omelets.
We made plans for the west coast of Vinalhaven because we are now trying to make our way east and south but also trying to continue to avoid populous spots. I read about a few interesting anchorages over there. Since it was already blowing from the southwest and our destination was the same direction, we decided to head back the direction we came and go back through the Fox Island Thorofare.
We also knew there was a boat yard in North Haven in the middle of this channel with diesel and water, both of which we needed to replenish before we head south. So pulled up to JO Browns Boat Yard which actually has a self serve fuel station much like you would have at any gas station for your car: put in your card, the pin, and then flip the handle to fill. There was also a hose on the dock to fill your water tanks.
However, they also advertised lobsters so I donned my face mask for the first time in days and walked up the gang plank to the office. She first explained the self service of the fuel/water which we wanted to confirm and then introduced to me to her 6-year-old grandson who would help us with lobsters. The little boy dressed in a bright tie-dyed t-shirt introduced himself as Sigmund and led me to a row boat on the dock with a salt water pump. This adorable dock hand asked me to help him open the hatch containing the lobsters but then asked me which ones we wanted all the while pointing out the ones he thought we best.
I relied on this little lobsterman’s opinon and watched in awe as he dunked his little hands into the tank to grab one that weighed 3lbs! We knew just how to flip it and get into the bucket. He advised me and caught one more then scurried away to weigh them before presenting them all wrapped up for grandma to ring me out. I left a tip for the kid to get some ice cream!
Once the boat and the galley was topped off we headed out east through the rest of the throrofare and turned south. We passed next to a few islands and through Leadbetter Narrows before turning into Long Cove. This recommended anchorage’s name is exactly what is. The cove extends into the island of Vinalhaven a quarter of mile but is barely 100 yds wide. All the way in, there is one boat on a mooring but we anchor just north of the mooring balls in 20 feet.
It wasn’t long before another 4 boats shuffled in behind us but everyone grabbed a mooring. We heard these private moorings can become $$$ if the owners come to collect so opted for the less of a gamble. It was sunny and warm and no wind in here. I read my book for a bit basking in the sun like a day at the beach.
Around 5pm, which was also high tide, we decided to explore the nearby Basin we read about and saw on the chart. This “tidal lake” has a small entrance of only about 20 feet wide where the current runs strong but then opens to 1.5 mile long by .5 long (at it’s widest) cove that is at points 111 feet deep! Apparently you can sail in here at high tide, we opted for the dingy.
As we approached, you could see the water in the Basin was lower than the sea, so no wonder the current ran strong. We were just 45 minutes shy of high tide and still it was running strong.
We stayed to the shoreline and explored the entire “lake.” There wasn’t a dock, a boat, or a person in site. It felt truly remote. We finally see a family on the shore line, a handful of kayaks, and then some fishing seals but that’s it. As it’s hot even at 5pm, we tied up to a sloping granite shelf to go for a swim that felt like swimming off a sandless beach.
We wound around the shoreline into even more coves but eventually headed back to the entrance where the tide was now slack. We concluded we could have brought the boat in here…next time.
After heading back the mooring, I made up some coleslaw and pasta salad to accompany yet another lobster dinner. If anyone asks us if lobster has gotten old, the answer is no. We are 3 for 10 nights so 30% is deliciously a good percentage of lobster.
Long Cove is a beautiful spot. The boat next to us arrived with three young boys, one is fishing off the bow, another is hanging from a hammock he strong up himself, and another took their rowing dingy to go fishing. It’s been comical to watch thier interactions which included one hooking the other by the t-shirt while casting. Clearly we have found a pristine spot to just enjoy. As I was writing this, Brandon said to pop my head outside, it is a clear night and you can see every star and the milky way perfectly.
Tomorrow we will be headed to Tenant’s Harbor about 15 miles southwest to head to a grocery store and maybe even a restaurant (our first of the trip!) before we head back to Rhode Island on Friday morning which should take us 36 hours. Trying not to think about that part yet. Just keeping the adventure alive until then…
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.
The Boat Galley Cookbookrecommended 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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…
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…
Breakfast: Lobster Eggs Benedict
Dinner: Appetizers – Stuffed Mushrooms leftover from wedding, baked brie with hot pepper jelly followed by the ol’ Mac N’Cheese with hot dogs.
Well it finally happened, we have been visited by Maine’s infamous fog. I was shocked once again when I peeled back our hatch curtain to see blue skies. However, once I turned my gaze from the sky to the horizon at the mouth of Pulpit Harbor, I no longer could see the towering Camden Hills behind Isleboro as we could last night. By the time the coffee was ready, we were socked in. However, the sun was still high and the fog was low, so somehow Maine has managed to make fog still beautiful.
I figured I’d take this lazy morning to reflect on how we got here. We are only able to sail from scenic spot to scenic spot and even voyage through the “offshore” conditions in the Gulf of Maine because of all the hard work my husband, Brandon, has put into Persistence to get it where it is today.
To take another step back, for those who don’t know Brandon was actually raised on 63-ft Lemsteraak called Brandaris (yes, he is actually named after the boat) which was has a rich history as one of the Little Ships of Dunkrirk before she ended up in Wickford, Rhode Island where Brandon lived and worked aboard from birth to 21.
So he grew up maintaining and fixing boats where he acquired many skills. He is also a master of researching and self-teaching. As many of our friends can attest, he spends his downtime on cruising forums or YouTube learning about the next project. In 2006, at 21 he started as a mechanic at Jamestown Boat Yard – where he still works today and we keep the boat. A year or so later, he acquired a Pearson Triton, a 1968 28-footer that he stripped completely and refit and named her Persistence after all the hard work it took to get her launched.
In 2010, my friend from college, Morgan, moved to the area and became a launch driver at JBY. She met Brandon and went for sails onboard Persistence. At the same time, I was also fixing up a Triton and by summer of 2012 was living aboard with a boyfriend in Newport Harbor (if you want to put a relationship into a pressure cooker, move on a 28 footer!) Morgan had always mentioned that we should all meet up because we had the same weird old boats. Ours was one of the first hulls made by Pearson which was just around the time they were starting to use fiberglass so it was a solid piece of yachting history. The design had both querks and a following of loyal sailors. I can’t tell you how many places we’d go and some older passerby would say – “is this a Triton?! I loved this boat/ had this boat / grew up on this boat…”
It was years before our acquaintance turned into a romance, but it was a joke that I must “have a thing for guys with Pearson Tritons.” About a year or so after we were dating and had been cruising the first Persistence around Rhode Island, we started looking for something bigger. In the Fall of 2014, a 1978 C&C 34 popped up on Craig’s List asking $10K. (Boats on YachtWorld are listed for ($18-25K) so we decided to take look to see what was wrong with it for the price and if it was fixable.
Armed with a moisture meter – a tool to sense if there is water in the core of the boat that can’t been seen – we headed just over the border from New Hampshire into Maine to check out Shiobahn which had been living high and dry in a boatyard away from the waterfront for a few years. Turns out it was the original owner, who just used it around Portsmouth, and his family was not interested in sailing anymore. He tried the yacht broker track and deals had fallen through, so he just wanted to see her go to a good home. We offered him a price and he accepted it, I think he was just thrilled to see it go to a young couple who would use her. (We hope the couple we met back in McGlathery who knew the boat and the previous owner passes on that she is loved and used!)
We had her trucked back to Jamestown and luckily we were able to sell the Triton not too soon after to a young guy in the Chesapeake with the dream of sailing it with his fiancé to the Bahamas. (Hope that worked out, he sent messages for a year or so showing us some upgrades he did but soon after lost touch).
Then so began the work on new Persistence. That first winter Brandon (and I help where I can) stripped out nearly every wire, hose, floor board, faucet, oven, and more that can probably not be named. Nights and weekends were spent replacing it all and bringing her systems up to the 21st century.
Here are some of the highlighted projects just that first winter:
Stripped the bottom down to the gel coat and barrier coated the bottom
Splurged on the B&G Zeus system; so had close to top of the line electronics. We figured these can go out of date quickly so we started with the best of the time (and it’s true in 2020, there have already been leaps and bounds beyond 2015).
Converted the engine from sea water cooled to fresh water cooled which streches the life of an older engine a little bit more
Upgraded the alternator for more charging capacity
Installed new batteries
Created a new electrical panel – which in my opinion, looks like a work of art as its so well laid out with colorful wires and fuses, labeled, and organized as opposed to the firetrap/rats nest that lived back there before
Made the bilges accessible by unscrewing the floor boards, sanding & varnishing them back to show off the teak and holly woodwork
Turned the ice box into a refrigerator with isotherm air cooled refrigeration
Put in a propane tank in the aft lazertte for the stove with an additional hose to attach to a rail mounted grill
By the time we launched mid-June 2015 on a rainy and foggy day, you might not think we did anything by first glance. The bulk to the changes were hidden from view. The sails were in decent shape and looked like one had never even been used. The cushions were good but were still in the fashion of the late 1970s (who thought Salmon and Trout made for a good pattern?!). The varnish was dull and cracking everywhere. I designed a new logo for the stern that a friend printed for us paging homage to the Atlas statue of holding up the world showcasing the Persistence if took to get this boat launched in just 6 months. That summer we took her to Block Island, Cuttyhunk, and all the way to Gloucester (for Morgan’s wedding) all the while making the project list for Winter ’15-16.
Over the next two winter haul outs we worked on the cosmetics and creating other efficiencies:
Auto pilot for making long cruises less exhausting
Water heater for hot showers
Solar power to keep up with the fridge – so it could stay on and we would always have cold beer when we got onboard. Also so we did not have to run the engine as much to charge batteries while cruising
Windlass for anchoring via push button versus muscle power
Varnished the interior
Re-covered the cockpit cushions and interior cushions & new sail cover (thanks to Brandon’s Mom)
New mattress and sheets cut to shape the v-berth
A new canvas dodger for wind and sun protection in the cockpit followed the next year by a bimini over the helm for sailing sun protection soon followed by canvas to connect the two for ultimate sun protection while on the mooring or anchor (can’t sail with connector due to boom height.) This was all done by Neil Thurston of Thurston Canvas in Bristol who does an AMAZING job. The only thing we have outsourced on the entire boat.
New deck layout/configuration to replace the “winch farm” of many small winches with a bank of clutches and organizers for all the halyards and sail controls along with all new lines.
The project list as gotten smaller these last few years so luckily launching just requires a new coat of bottom paint, buffing/waxing the topsides, and commissioning the engine but as anyone with a boat knows, the work list never ends. To get ready for this trip to Maine, Brandon added:
Heater that pulls from the diesel for drying and warming out the boat on wet cold days
Welded a new aft railing for holding the grill since the new bimini blocks where we used to keep it
Two new solar panels to the top of the bimini thus doubling our precious capacity
A new jib to replace the old 135 (thank Paul Tingle at Quantum!)
New main sheet system so we can control it from behind the dodger
Jack lines for safety offshore (thank Neil Thurston)
Some upgraded galley tools on reccs from the Boat Galley Amazon Store: new knives with sleeves, a silicone strainer, and more efficient galley storage tupperwares
I’ve been writing this as we waited for the fog to lift and it’s been fun to reminisce over all the hard work (and persistence) we’ve (especially Brandon) poured into her these last 6 years. We have been dreaming of this trip and now to enjoy all the fruits of the labor makes the adventure all the much better.
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.”
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…
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).
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.
“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.
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…
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