Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Maine Ho

The weather let up after an extra day anchored in Stonington Harbor and we headed north-east to Newport, RI. This is clearly the sailing capital of RI. The long, wide harbor entrance is filled with sailboats tacking back and forth. It seems to be a badge of courage to do all your motion under sail. The anchorage in Newport was jam packed, as it turned out to the be the weekend of the Newport Folk Festival. The same one where Bob Dylan and Joan Baez famously played in 1963. The friendly harbor patrol told us of the alternate anchorage further into the harbor that was empty and secure.

newportIMG_2733 Bob and Joan were not around to play for us this year. We hung at the local outdoor bar and listened to the Honky Tonk Knights – great bass player who doubled as the band’s Johnny Cash.

Next morning we sailed through Buzzard’s Bay (someone should write a song about this place) and spent the night in the pretty bay at Onset, MA. Next morning we waited for the tide to change and headed north through the Cape Code Canal. This is the short cut that cuts straight through the Cape Code peninsula separating it from mainland Mass., saving the long trip around the end of Cape Cod.  The canal was built in 1909 and is about 7 miles long.

capecodIMG_2737 We had a 20 minute delay getting through the canal. This is the canal patrol boat stopping us from going any closer to the railroad bridge which was lowering to let a train pass.

We left the north end of the canal for an overnight sail to Penobscot Bay in Maine. We had on and off winds, getting in about 50% night sailing versus motoring. I like staring at charts as I’m on watch offshore. Its always interesting to see what you are traveling over. The charts in areas that are not too deep often name the underwater mountains and structures: Lyndonia Canyon, Oceanographers Canyon, Little Georges, Cultivator Shoal, Cashes Ledge, Fippennies Ledge.

You can tell you are getting close to Maine when you start seeing the lobster pot floats. There are some 3 million pots in the water along the Maine coast. It makes the crab pots of the Chesapeake look scarce.

penobscotIMG_2747 Tenants Harbor entrance, where we anchored. The lighthouse was made famous by Andrew Wyeth.

And as a painting

penobscotIMG_2753 

And why does one actually travel to Maine? Lobster, of course. $3.00 a pound for the small ones off the buying dock after hours. That’s the soft shell price. Hard shells are more like $6/lb. Her’s a demonstration on how to measure a Maine lobster by the owner of the Cod End Seafood Shack, whose family has been lobstering here for generations.

Paul

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