July 11, 2022  Southwest Harbor on Mount Desert Island – The Acadia National Park

HI – Here is an expanded version of what’s happening with us.

     All in all the boat is just fine.   We are getting stronger.  At first getting in and our of the aft cabin was a major chore but we’re getting back into it.  Too much land living has made us soft! For the moment, Swimming is completely out of the question.   The water temp is about 60 degrees – forget it!  It is so cold that once we even sailed with gloves.   Ed mentioned bringing the watch caps and gloves on the trip and packed them.   I couldn’t believe that summer in Maine could be that cold.   Well he was right and I asked for my mittens one day and loved wearing them.

     We have had incredible sails.   I think it is because there is no chop to stop the boat.   The boat is not so heavy and that also helps.  On a typical trip we seem to average between 5 and a half to sometimes eight.   That is incredible for us.   We never do eight.   I think the current probably had a lot to do with that.   Our biggest problem is dodging the lobster pots.   They are absolutely everywhere.    Sometimes they are under the water.   I did hit one and what a sound it made.   I really thought it was curtains and we would be stopped dead in our tracks.   We were sailing so there was no chance of our prop cutting the line (we have a cutter installed on our shaft)   Ed said he thought I just hit the float and it bounced along the hull to drop off the back.   Our boat has a lot to catch on – the rudder, prop, servo for the self steerer so I was pretty nervous but we did pop off.    I was really trying to be careful – had good visiblity – and still hit one.

     We were drafted to play percussion in the Castine Town Band July 4th concert. We had met the conductor 20 years ago and had not seen him since but he, evidently remembered us and he was stuck for percussion players. My first time playing percussion, ever!   That was a crazy event.   We got the music the day before so we had a chance to rehearse our parts sitting at anchor.  That was about it before the concert.   I must say – I did a pretty good job.    

I am sooooo glad I did the stocking up before hand as markets on the islands – where we are – are limited and much too far a walk from the anchorages. We are eating absolutely everything I bought – about 50 meals worth.     I don’t need much except for vegetables and fruit.  

We have been lucky to reunite with crusing friends from 15 years ago.  Mary and Christian on IWANDA. Christian is French, very French!  They are a wealth of knowledge as they have cruised Maine for several years.   They gave us much advice on where to go and what to do and even came to the 4th of July concert to hear us play.   I made a great quiche for a reunion lunch and Christian brought Proseco.   Of course “Iwanda” (their boat) has proper wine flutes which Mary brought.  It was a fun lunch.

     Maine has many island events to help raise money for various causes and to bolster tourism.   We have attended several of these.   Last night (and boy was it cold) we heard a pan band on one of the islands.   It sure wasn’t warm like in Trinidad but it was fun.   I was happy to get back on the boat and it took atleast an hour to warm up.   Maine has been as cold and I thought it would be.

     Weather wise we have had our ups and downs.   The forecasting is good but you really have to plan where to be to avoid being in a bumpy anchorage with a wind in the wrong direction.   The wind is changeable from North to South so cruising around is manageable.   It is not a one way trip as I thought it might be.   Right now we are hunkered down as the winds should be picking up tomorrow and it is better to stay put.   Ed might get a hair cut today with all the time I have on my hands.   This morning I reorganized all the cans – went shopping as I say – and sorted out what I actually have on board.

     We are on Mount Desert Island which has a pretty good reputation for being a tourist destination.   It hosts the Acadia National Park.   There is a free bus that travels all over the island mainly to keep cars away from the trailheads.   We didn’t want to hike but it was fun to travel by bus all yesterday and see the land.   Our big destination was Bar Harbor, a lovely town but I feel bad for towns based on tourism – thinking about what they do the rest of the year.   Bar Harbor is a tourist town.  There were soooo many souvenir shops selling T shirts and sweat shirts.   We had a great lunch of Haddock there.   Haven’t had lobster yet.   I am so sick of pots I don’t want to eat any.

     We will end out time in Maine at an OCC,  Ocean Cruising Club, luncheon in Camden Maine.   I have booked some time at a float and and a few days at a mooring.   Moorings in Maine are important as some harbors are a little crowded -in contrast tomost of the cruising we have done.  They seem available and are either cheap or free. Journeys End is looking forward to hauling us out at the end of our trip.   Plan is to get a night at the dock – go get the truck/trailer and start loading up the truck – get hauled the next day – finish up the work – sleep on the boat in the yard and start out the next day.   I have planed seven days until we are home.   The first leg is short just to get back in the groove.   Most days we travel 440 miles.   I just hope we have good weather.

    We are not sure of our plans for next year. Perhaps the Sea of Cortez. We will see.

Love, Ellen

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