It didn’t take this trip for me to realize how dependent I have become on my devices. It’s not that I’m in to social media or habitual texting with my friends or anything (heck, I still use my index finger to text!), but I do use my phone a lot. If I want to look up the meaning of a word, I go to “Dictionary”. If I want to know the weather, I go to one of my many weather apps. If I want to research something I go to “Mr. Googlies”. Even writing this blog I am dependent upon the internet! After Harpswell (just west of Boothbay) we began encountering spotty cell service and since our internet is cellular based, it sometimes puts us in a bind! (Between Florida and this area of Maine, there is only one 50 mile stretch in northern North Carolina where we have not found reliable coverage.) So, yesterday we were out of business. Today, we are good! Yay!! I’ll take what I can get!
Our weekend in Boothbay was “highly productive” as John would say! It’s a cute town, although a tad on the touristy side. We spent 3 nights at a dock, tucked in behind a gigantic catamaran and a 100+ ft sail boat. We were especially thankful for our location one night in particular when the wind was hard blowing right up the harbor. But we were protected by the cat and sailboat, so had a restful sleep.
The afternoon of our arrival (Friday) we donned our backpacks and walked a mile plus to the grocery store. We picked up lightweight things that we needed……eggs, bread, bagged lettuces…..and walked the mile back to the boat. Provisioning on the boat is a little bit art and a little bit science! As with our devices, most of us are really dependent on our cars. If we forget an ingredient for a recipe or need to pick up dinner, we think nothing of jumping in our car. Not so on the boat. Meals take thought and planning. I make a monthly chart of what we’re going to eat for lunch and dinner everyday so that I have the right supplies and ingredients ahead of time. Up here, especially, I never know when I will get to another grocery store; and oftentimes they are far upland off of the major roads. It’s tricky too, to manage the consumption of produce……you want to eat it while it’s fresh, but not so quickly that it’s gone before you can replenish! Our previous trip to the store was in Freeport, almost 2 weeks prior to our visit to Boothbay; so it was time for a major haul.
I had been in touch with a dear, long-time friend who lives in the area for a visit. After a fun lunch on Sunday and a good catch-up chat, she graciously offered to drive us to the grocery store. Otherwise we would have had to take a taxi, as there are no Lyfts or Ubers in Boothbay!
During our visit, this is one of the classic places we “dined”…..Dunton’s Doghouse….just a 5 minute walk from the boat. They had some of the best clam chowder we’ve ever had AND an absolutely perfect lobster roll. The owner has this shack (and picnic tables) set up in his front yard (how he ever got zoning for that we’ll never know!). When we read the reviews they were almost all 5-stars, altho I would not classify this as a “5 star” restaurant! John, who loves dives, was in heaven!
Following our visit to Boothbay, we departed for Harbor Island, just south of Friendship, passing the Pemaquid Lighthouse on the way.
You may be wondering how we find these gunk holes. We rely for the most part on two online sources….. Active Captain and MITA (Maine Island Trail Association). Also, one of our former owners also gave us a wonderful book “A Cruising Guide to the Maine Coast” by Hank and Jan Taft. Active Captain is something we have relied on for years. It is an excellent “crowd sourced” cruising guide. It gives all kinds of great information for cruisers……marinas, boat ramps, where to anchor, entry into anchorages/marinas, exposure to the winds, where to take your dog ashore, scenery, holding, shopping, boat repair facilities, etc. MITA has given us great information on anchorages, trails, and getting ashore. This captain does his homework, too. He studies the weather, winds, wind direction, depths, and currents. And then I ask, “is there an easy place to take the dogs ashore?” !!
I think Harbor Island is one of my favorite stops so far. It has a lovely view, walking trails, and a nice beach for landing the dinghy. Here are some pictures from our walk yesterday.