by Bob Bob No Comments


I’m embarrassed to say that I have not written a blog post since early September!  How could it be that that much time has passed!  I guess we were just busy having too much fun!

Following our trip to Boston, we made a one night stop in Onset Bay, just south of the Cape Cod Canal.  John decided at Onset that the water was warm enough to do some waterline cleaning!  The next day it was on to Osterville on Cape Code where we made the boat available for an in-depth boat review by the team of professionals at  A friend provided and drove the “chase boat” for the photographer which turned out to be a real hoot for our friend. This review and video will be coming soon to our website.

After 2 days in Osterville, we reversed our course and went slighty west to Falmouth where we docked for 3 days.  That turned out to be a great stop……grocery store, Walmart, and other retail within a 20 minute walk; and we met some very nice people there at the marina.  Then we made our way back to Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard for one night before going on to another few days in Nantucket with our family. Our “few days” turned into more than a week, as winds from a southern tropical storm prohibited us – and many others – from leaving. (Note the high water at the dock!!)

However, what seemed like a negative turned into a positive, as we were able to meet and talk with several people who wanted to know more about the boat. Nothing like an opportunity to brag about and show off your product!

Winds settled and good-byes cast to our friends and family in Nantucket, we headed to Point Judith, Rhode Island for fuel, and then to Block Island for the night.  This particular visit to Block we decided to take the dogs to a little beach on Great Salt Pond.  From there we could cross the street and walk on the Atlantic Ocean beach on the north side of the island.  It was a gorgeous 75 degree day and it was great to get out and stretch our 2 and 4 legged legs!  The water at Block is so clear you can see the bottom which means sand and not muck, and that’s a huge plus when you’re pulling up the anchor!  It came up clean!  YAY!!

Our next stop was Shelter Island where we once again anchored.  We passed this Coast Guard beauty on the way in, the Barque Eagle.  She’s a 295 foot training cutter for future officers.  “She is one of only two active commissioned sailing vessels in the United States military today, along with the USS Constitution in Boston Harbor.” (Thank you, Mr. Wikipedia!)  We’d never been there, and had heard a lot about it.  It was a very nice spot with a good place to take the dogs; but honestly, after all the chatter about Shelter Island, we were a tad disappointed.  It was a nice spot, but nothing special.

The winds were to pick up again over the next few days so we set out for one of our favorite – and very protected – spots…..Mattituck on Long Island where we spent 3 nights.  Then we continued west along Long Island Sound to Port Jefferson for one night.  Mattituck and Port Jeff were also anchoring spots, so it was up and down with the dinghy as well as setting, raising and spraying down the anchor…….all in a day’s cruising!

We always love seeing our good friends each fall who live in Wilton Connecticut, so we met up with them at the Brewer Marina in Stamford.  This is a really nice marina with good accommodations; but not near anything walkable.  That was ok, actually, since our friends came to us……….and brought Chinese food, something we’d had a hankering for!  We had a wonderful time hanging out and catching up with them.

We also always love seeing our daughter!  So our next stop was Port Washington on Long Island where she and her boyfriend came out on the train from Manhattan where they live.  The 4 of us cruised down the East River, through New York Harbor and into Staten Island.  We dropped them off and continued down the Jersey coast.  Yes, we “did the Jersey coast” at night!  We determined that the seas and winds for the trek would be best at that time, so off we went.  The dogs slept most of the night, John and I traded off 3 hour watches.  We dropped the hook off the Coast Guard station there in Cape May, and when Utch’s Marina opened up we were able to get into our slip there. John hosed off the boat while I organized the inside, cleaned up dishes, etc.  Then we took a long nap!  In the afternoon we walked over to the Lobster Pot and got ourselves 4 quarts of delicious clam chowder to freeze and take home.

Rested up and glad to have that part of the trip behind us, we left the next morning for Chesapeake City on the C&D canal.  Unlike our trip on the canal last spring, this time our visibility was 100%!   It was a non-descript kind of night, but one step further in our journey to Maryland.  The next stop on the agenda was Baltimore where we stayed a week at Anchorage Marina.  It was nice to be in one place for awhile; and this is a great spot to do that.  A good grocery store was right across the street, West Marine about two blocks away, a Target and mini-shopping area a mile away, restaurants, hardware, and a great walk-way which lines the harbor for runners, bikers…. and dog walkers like us!  Some good friends from home spend the summer in Baltimore so we had a couple of get togethers with them which was really fun.  A restaurant we visited had this festive fall display outside their front door.  Living in Florida, I miss this kind of thing!

We wanted to see some other of our good friends who live aboard their boat during the summer in Pleasure Cove Marina which is between Baltimore and Annapolis, so upon departing Baltimore off we went.  We anchored just outside of their marina and had a fun dinner with them, again catching up on each other’s lives.

Continuing south through the Chesapeake Bay we made a planned stopped for a couple of days at the dock of some fellow boaters that we have cruised with from time to time.  They live on the Magothy River just north of Annapolis.  We’re always so appreciative of their hospitality and friendship in welcoming us.  We all always glean a lot of boating and cruising knowledge from each other.  After a couple of days at their dock, we took a mini-cruise together – they on their trawler, we on ours – to a nice anchorage south of town, uniting aboard Daystar for dinner.  It was a chilly night, tho, the coldest so far.  When we awoke the next morning it was 43 degrees.  And then we had to take the dogs ashore to the little beach at the anchorage.   With the water at balmy 65 degrees, it was warmer to keep my feet in the water than on the sand!!

After one last anchorage near St. Michaels, we headed to Oxford, our final destination where we will leave Daystar, and her companion Twinkle the dinghy, for the winter.

A humble thank you to all of you who have followed our trip to Maine this past summer.  All in all we traveled 2,025 nautical miles, spent 48 nights at anchor, 37 on a mooring, and 61 at a dock.  We ran the Genset 163 hours, bought 1300 gallons of diesel.  I did not count how many lighthouses we saw (my record keeping is not nearly as good as Johns – wink wink!) but it was a lot!

In the end it was a perfect combination of solitude (John’s preference) and low-key socialization (my preference).  We had a number of days where we hardly spoke to another human being for more than 5 minutes (well, other than each other, of course!!) and then days with meals and fun get-togethers with family and good friends.

by Betsie Betsie No Comments


We had a wonderful time with our friends in Portland.  What fun it was to have a good long gab session, catching up; and then a yummy dinner in downtown.  Portland is a very fun city. There’s a lot going on there.  They have restored old brick warehouses that now house shops, restaurants, and galleries.  We stayed at a marina on the south of Portland Harbor.  That was fine for us; but it’s not near the happening section of the city, so an in-town marina would be preferable for any cruiser wanting to be where the action is.


The next day (Sunday) we began the trek to Gloucester, Massachusetts, the stop prior to our week long stay in Boston.  The wind picked up on Saturday night.  Ordinarily we would have waited a day; but due to previously made family plans we found ourselves with the one thing a boater does not want………a schedule! We knew it would be rough; but we proceeded, “upward and onward”. The forecast had the seas dying down in the early afternoon.  So our plan was to depart late morning.  Once underway, the seas did not die down and we had 4-6 footers on the beam for several hours.  While it certainly was not comfortable, when we arrived safe and sound in Gloucester, we gave thanks for the speed flexibility the Krogen Express offers and her seaworthiness, along with the good attitude of captain and crew (including the 4 legged ones!).  If you’ve cruised long enough, as we have, days like this are bound to happen.  You get through it and move on.


Monday the wind had died down and the seas were calm, thank goodness!  What a difference a day makes!  We dropped the mooring line and set off for Boston.  This was the view as we pulled into Boston Harbor, near Logan Airport.  We stayed a week at Constitution Marina just across the Charles River from Boston.  I wasn’t sure what it was going to be like, but it’s a great setup!  It’s in a super safe area, lots of bikers/walkers/joggers/dog walkers. We were able to easily walk into town, walk to the subway (the “T’ as they call it), Whole Foods, and a multitude of shops and restaurants (including “the North End” where we got ourselves subs at Monica’s Mercado which has the highest rated Italian sub in Boston).



Off our port bow they were dismantling an old stone bridge and there were huge barges loaded with stone blocks and debris.  It was actually pretty entertaining watching the excavators; but it was loud.  They started at 6:30 am (yes 6:30!) and quit around 5:30 pm.  On the other side of this work site is TD Garden (aka Boston Garden), home of the Celtics and the Bruins.


In addition to the excavation project, there were the sundry of city noises…..traffic, sirens, horns accompanied by bright city lights.  It was all quite the contrast to our quiet anchorages in Maine.  But it was a fun week and I had a lot of fun hanging out with my sister who’s lived in Boston her whole adult life.

Next stop: a return to Onset Bay (where we stopped one night on our way north) and then to Osterville on Cape Cod.

by Betsie Betsie No Comments

ON THE BACK NINE (although we’re not golfers!)

Every once in awhile we express to one another our gratitude for the beautiful weather and calms sea we have had in Maine!  It’s certainly been beyond our expectations.  With the exception of the first couple of weeks, the days have been sunny and mild, with only a bit of rain (altho things are very dry here).  When John and I were building this boat we added the enclosed fly bridge with the anticipation of cruising in the north.  Despite the primarily fair weather, we don’t regret our decision.  It has proven to be a good addition, especially on windy and cooler days and for allowing optimal visibility (ie. lobster floats).  This morning the temperature was 56 when we awoke.  I put on leggings and a fleece top, later adding a lightweight vest.  Bear in mind that it is August 26th!  But, don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining!  However, with only 6 years of full-time Florida living, we have become wimps.  I said to John, “you might want to record my earlier comment about being chilly, and play it back to me on future August 26ths when I complain of being too hot”!

For all of you boaters reading this, you know that weather plays a huge part in itinerary planning. We have several different apps that we use.  John likes “Fish Weather”.  We can select the location closest to where we are, get winds, gusts, temperature, rain, wave height/direction/duration.  It also gives the NOAA forecast, tide charts, and sunrise/sunset.  While we were in Rockland, and even before, he was studying up on the forecast for the days ahead.  Winds were coming, and wanting to be as protected as possible, we chose to return to the marina in Boothbay Harbor.  A mooring there would protect us from the north and west winds.  And indeed it did.  We stayed two nights.  Much to our delight we discovered another lobster dive that we hadn’t known about!

We then continued southwest to a mooring at Great Island Boatyard (near Little Snow island where we’d anchored earlier in the trip).  This too would provide us with good wind protection from the north and west.  While underway the seas were rougher than we’ve been used to on this trip.  (We got spoiled, we’ll admit!)  Certainly not uncomfortable, and no where near what we have experienced on some of our Jersey-coast trips; but we had a 2′ chop with some 3-4′ waves thrown in.  Zoey decided that she’d cozy up under my vest and await arrival at our destination!

Today we returned to Dolphin Marina in Harpswell (remember the blueberry muffins they deliver to each visiting boat every morning?) and a 3rd (but who’s counting?!) visit to Erica’s Seafood!  If you have read a fair amount of these blog postings you can tell that we are not “foodies”!  A good ol’ dive is our favorite kind of place!

After we pulled in to Dolphin and had connected to the mooring, I looked back and saw this catamaran behind us.  With the hope of not offending anyone, I would like to ask that, if you are a boater, please do not this!!  Thank you!

Tomorrow we go into Portland where we’ll meet up with some friends and former Krogen Express owners who summer near Kennebunkport.  Sadly it’s going to be a very rainy day.  Looks like I’ll be pulling out my rain gear for handling lines when we dock.

I began this post with thanks, and I’d like to end on the same note.  As we reflect back on our summer in Maine – and on all our boating over the years, for that matter – we are enormously grateful for our safety and protection, for being guided wisely, and that we have had no injuries to our limbs or digits!  This isn’t to say that there haven’t been a few bruises and mishaps along the way; but all in all, we have been extremely fortunate.  I start each day with this from Isaiah……“When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee….”.  And I end each day with thanks to my captain and my Captain for “getting us here safely”.

by Betsie Betsie No Comments


After just a short ride from Belfast, we dropped the anchor at Holbrook Island Sanctuary.  This is yet another scenic spot with the added bonus of a dock.  The island has several trails that we all enjoyed immensely, some through open fields, some through dense forest.  The afternoon of our arrival (around 1) a school of fish was “boiling” the water not too far from our stern, and then we noticed some seals in the vicinity.  The seals were “herding” the fish!  This went on for a couple of hours.  As the tide went down and area rocks were revealed, we could see the seals sunning, fat and happy, after chowing down fish for most of the day!  I wish I had a picture to share; but our camera’s lens was not powerful enough nor did we want to get to close in the dinghy for fear of scaring them away.  But I counted 12 or 14 seals.

The next day we decided to try the local “lobster dive” in Castine a few miles away, so we ventured out in the dinghy for lunch at “Captains Catch”.  Most people are probably familiar with the Food Network star, Guy Fieri, and his show “Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives”.  At the beginning of the show Guy drives up in his red Corvette.  Here on Daystar, we drive up in our dinghy “Twinkle”!  This is the 5th dive-like lobster/fish place we have tried so far; and on our rating sheet of lobster rolls and fish baskets, these were some of the best we’ve had.  In fact, we went again the next day!  The village of Castine is tiny, but quaint. It is rich in history and is home to the Maine Maritime Academy, a four year institution that graduates officers and engineers for the United States Merchant Marine and marine related industries.  Their training ship, the 499 foot “State of Maine”, is docked right in town.

We enjoyed this area so much that we spent 3 nights and 2-1/2 days there.  The walking trails provided some good exercise and were enjoyed by all; and the availability of the dock made it easy to get ashore.  One of the trails started with field and meadow, went through dense woods, and then ended on a beach on the other side of the island.

I love this picture of the stones on the beach.  I found their shapes so fascinating.  But these flat, smooth stones – some large, some small – are pretty typical of what we have seen along the way.

One afternoon I decided my feet needed some help, so I pulled out a bucket.  Not exactly the kind I’m used to – with the big loungey chair, bubbling warm water, and a foot massage – but it would have to do.  I was desperate!

Following Holbrook, around the corner a few miles was Buck’s Harbor marina where we picked up a mooring for a couple of days. This is a protected little harbor, surrounded by pinetree hills.  It was calm and quiet.  Along their road was a long stretch of wild black raspberry bushes.  The bushes were thorny and the berries were tiny; but they were tasty so we helped ourselves to as much as our patience would allow us to pick……about a cup!

And now having been as far east as Acadia National Park, we begin our return trip and head southwest towards Portland.  We returned to Rockland just for one night so we could get groceries, and so I could go to the Andrew Wyeth exhibit at the Farnsworth Museum right in town.  I was so disappointed to have missed it (they were closed that day we were there) on our previous visit.  It was a great exhibit and I really appreciated the opportunity to better know Wyeth and his works!

As always, we are looking ahead at the weather forecast.  There’s going to be a strong north wind in a few days.  We are studying our options.


by Betsie Betsie No Comments


We just loved our week long stay in Camden.  It offered so much and we were able to have a few cosmetic things taken care of on the boat.  I was able to drop off about 10 books at the library and purchase 5 new ones.  We made two trips to the grocery in the marina loaner car.  I supported the Saturday farmer’s market, purchasing corn and blueberries.  Yum.  We dined out at, yup you guessed it, a local dive!  Our favorite offering was the Southwest Fish Taco!  Delicious!

But being the gypsies we have turned into, we were ready to leave after a week and continue with our exploration of coastal Maine!  On we went to Warren State Park, off of the island of Isleboro.  Warren is a 70 acre island developed exclusively for boaters (ie. there are no bridges or cars) and offers numerous camping sites.  We anchored nearby and dinghy’d in to the dock there where we were greeted by a park ranger.  We had read that the trails are lined with wild raspberry bushes so we brought a baggie with us.  There were lots of bushes all right, but most of the berries were gone.  We managed to find about ½ a cup of berries but the picking was laborious and the berries were minute!  Nonetheless, John enjoyed some on his ice cream the next couple of nights!

As we passed by the camping sites on our trail walk, we noticed that most were occupied. The groups of enthusiastic campers had pitched their tens, spread out their wares on picnic tables, and prepared their camp fires for what would probably be evening hot dogs and smores.  As we walked by and waved I gave thanks that our kids were never in to camping!  I just don’t think I could have handled it.  I know it looks like fun, and it probably is; but my idea of camping is the queen sized bed, refrigerator/freezer, heads, shower, and 370 gallon water tank on the Krogen Express!  Although, I might be willing to spend a night outside for smores.  On second thought, nahhhh…….

During our two night stay we saw some gorgeous sunsets over the hills northeast of Camden.  These scenes remind me of “purple mountain majesties” in the song “America the Beautiful”. The bonus is that the red, orange, and pink skies always bring a “delightful” day 12 hours later.

After our two night stay, we pulled up the anchor and made the 11 mile trip to Belfast.  (I am really loving these 10-15 mile days!  They’re so much more enjoyable than the sometimes 90-125 mile days we have on our ICW trips!)

Belfast is a very cute town, complete with Cannabis dispensary.  While that’s not high on my list personally, the town does have some fun casual restaurants and interesting shops.  It’s also the home of a huge shipyard with the largest travel lift we have ever seen. (It had 16 wheels on it, and could lift 440 tons!) As we walked around I was actually quite surprised by this place because, having grown up in New England and traveled to Maine several times by car, I’d never even heard of Belfast, Maine!

Belfast was a busy place in the 1800s.  Sailing vessels carried lumber and granite down the river here.  A major railroad ran along the river serving local businesses, industries and passengers.  The early 1900s brought a prosperous sardine canning business and a fertilizer business.  In the mid 1900s a poultry processing plant was built here.  Shoe factories, too, were major Belfast employers for many years.

Here’s a picture of us in Belfast tied up to a “float”.   Many harbors here in Maine have floats that two boats can tie up to.  The purpose of a float is to allow for a higher density of boats because there is no swing, versus with mooring balls there has to be an allowance for boats to swing.  In a harbor with shallow areas or that is narrow, for instance, moorings would be almost impossible.  We’d never been on a float before and it was interesting.  The dogs could run up and down the dock but they couldn’t wander away, even though we were on a dock we still had to take the dinghy ashore, the boat stayed in one place so our view was always the same, we had no connection to power so we still had to run our generator! It all just felt new and different.

Next stop is the Castine area (see right side of map above).

by Betsie Betsie No Comments


We pulled up the anchor from our Somes Sound “home” and we determined that the almost windless morning, being what it was, would allow us to safely anchor outside of Northeast Harbor.  That turned out to be a seamless endeavor.  We dinghy’d into the town and had a nice walk with the dogs.  The town itself is pretty small, but it has an absolutely fantastic donut shop!  As one review said, “You haven’t had donuts until you’ve been to Colonels!”  We treated ourselves to a couple of take-out donuts and headed back to Daystar.

On our minds was the remains of Hurricane Isaias, now a strong tropical storm, headed in our direction.  Fortunately, over the past few days, the track had moved further inland, meaning we would not be in the direct path; but would still experience significant winds.  After researching the options for a protected anchorage, we selected one called “Inner Harbor” which would provide good shelter (altho it was a terrible spot for taking the dogs ashore).  We set the anchor and, in anticipation of the high winds, let out more rode than usual in order to reduce the anchor line scope (ensuring better anchor holding).  The winds kicked up around 9 pm and peaked about 1 am.  John slept in the salon so he could keep an eye on things.  When the sun came up at 4:30 am things were pretty calm. As we live in Florida and are always boating in the late summer and fall, when these storms occur, Mr. Weatherman provides us with the “opportunity” (haha!) to first monitor the safety of our house in Florida, and then tend the boat in the north!  For us it’s a double whammy!

The storm behind us, we headed to a new area, “Merchant Island”…..a really pretty spot that had a dock we used to get ashore!  On this island is a campground for kids with a very nice one-cabin facility for them.  It was a bonus that we could use the dock and the girls enjoyed running in the nearby fields.  On the other side of the harbor was a beachy/rock area and they had a great time walking on the rocks and the nearby trail.

As we go from one spot to another, the lobster floats can be so thick that we sometimes have to find our way through them using binoculars!  It’s especially difficult if there is any sort of water movement or if the morning sun is shining on them. Up here in Penobscot Bay we have found that many of the traps are toggled, meaning that for each trap there are two floats tied to each other.  But the distance between them can be as long as 25 feet, so you have to figure out which floats are connected and which are safe to drive through…….all before you actually snag a line!  It can be really exhausting!  Best we can figure out, the purpose of the toggle is to keep excess rope off a potentially rough sea bottom and to provide some slack rope in areas with a lot of tide making it easier for the lobstermen to haul the trap.

The next day we returned to a favored anchorage……Seal Bay.  The last time we were there, we had 17  neighbors!  This time only 5.  At low tide there is a long stretch of beach between rock outcroppings.  The dogs just loved running along, looking for crab-shell remnants and other odd things to crunch on (of which we sternly said…. “no!”).

When we arrive at an anchorage John sometimes likes to go out in the dinghy and check the depths in the area.  While he was gone, Zoey sat at the side gate and watched for his return.  It reminded me of one of my very favorite paintings by American artist Winslow Homer, “Waiting for Dad to Return.”  I just love this picture of Zoey waiting for her dad “to return!”  I’ll leave it to your imagination to picture how vigorously her tail was wagging as he approached!

Now we are in Camden for a week!  I – in particular – am enjoying being at a dock, the short 10 minute walk into town and the public library, some fun shopping, and the pretty views off our stern of the harbor and of Camden Hills State Park.

by Betsie Betsie No Comments


Cruising around Mt. Desert and Acadia areas has provided us with the most incredible views we have ever seen while boating!  If you are a boater reading this, all we have to say is…….don’t miss it!  As I snapped picture after picture I thought that my next posting might just be composed entirely of photos.  But the history of this place is so interesting, I definitely wanted to include at least some text describing it (if that’s even possible!)

As you can imagine, 2-3 million years ago glaciers carved out the coastlines, lakes, cliffs and hills of Maine.  Climatic changes eventually halted the glaciers’ progress around 18,000 years ago.  As the ice sheet receded, the ocean advanced, flooding the valleys and cutting the island of Mt. Desert off from the mainland.  It is the 6th largest island off the east coast of the United States.  It is 108 square miles. The area has a rich history of Indian tribes, French and Italian explorers Verrazano and Champlain, 19th century artists Thomas Cole and Frederic Church, and America’s most socially prominent families – the Rockefellers, Morgans, Fords (whose house is now owned by Martha Stewart), Vanderbilts, and Pulitzers. This latter group built magnificant summer “cottages”, changing the rustic character of the island; but they also helped preserve the area by donating land to form Acadia National Park.  John Rockefeller’s house was built in 1914 and demolished in 1962.

The individual who led this preservation was a man names George Dorr from Boston, whose family made it’s fortune in textiles.  He would spend 43 years of his life working to protect and preserve Acadia for public use.  John Rockefeller, Jr., the oil baron and philanthropist, donated more than 10,000 acres of parkland.  In 1913, fearing that the park would be overrun by the ever increasing popularity of the automobile, Rockefeller financed the construction – over a period of 25 years – 45 miles of stone “carriage” roads and bridges that today are enjoyed by hikers, walkers, bicyclists, and  cross-country skiers.  The area was designated as a park in 1919, the first national park east of the Mississippi.  It now encompasses about 49,000 acres in three main areas…..Mt. Desert Island, part of the Schoodic Peninsula northeast of the mainland, and some smaller adjacent islands.

Our first stop at Mt. Desert was Southwest Harbor, home of Hinckley Yachts.  We rented a mooring there (one of 5 available) for a couple of nights, providing us with a gorgeous view of Acadia.  Here is a picture looking into the harbor.  But we had absolutely no cell coverage or wifi!  Eeek, that is so frustrating!  On a walk in to the village we discovered that the information/visitors center had great wifi, so we helped ourselves and downloaded like crazy!  The Coast Guard has a station right there at the mooring field, so we had the honor of hearing “Colors” played each day at 8 am and 8 pm.

Some industry friends who summer in Southwest Harbor offered to drive us around to see the park and surrounding areas, and of course we gladly accepted!  The highest mountain is Cadillac Mountain at 1,530 ft.  From there we could look eastward and down on the busy town of Bar Harbor (which we only drove through).  This map shows you the park areas.  Southwest Harbor is in the lower left, Bar Harbor the upper right, and Cadillac Mountain in the middle right of the map.  We were so thankful for our friends’ hospitality.  Otherwise we would have missed all of the land sites!  Here are a couple (I HAD to limit it!) of pictures of what we saw.







After leaving Southwest Harbor we motored east about 15 miles to Winter Harbor.  There is a modest yacht club there that rents mooring balls.  It was a rather inconsequential stop, but it was nice to see another spot, and it had a dock (always a bonus!) for going ashore.  We had a beautiful sunset and almost full moon.   But our good weather streak broke, however, because the next morning we awoke to super thick fog!  Maine fog does not just “burn off” with the rising/warming sun, as I’m used to.  It takes several hours, at least until 11 or 11:30 am for it to partially dissipate.  This is the view we had of the coastline as we cruised west.  We were about half a mile from the shoreline and if you look really, really hard you can just barely see a green  “can” in the middle left of the picture! The fog came and went and finally totally disappeared a little before noon.  Phew!  It’s tough running through the fog; and it’s always nice to be able to see the lobster traps before you are almost on top of them!

We tried to get in to popular Northeast Harbor which has mooring balls or dockage only; but we were unlucky.  Desirable it is!  The moorings there are first come, first served and are almost twice as expensive as those in Southwest.  There were no moorings available and the dock space was booked through August! So we went to Plan B………anchoring in Somes Sound.  The Somes Sound runs deep into Mount Desert Island.  It is often described as the only fjord on the East Coast.  However, in truth, it does not have the extreme vertical height and sea bed componentry associated with Norwegian fjords.  It is in actuality a “fjard” –  “a glacial depression or valley that has much lower relief than a fjord”.  Still it felt a little bit like we were cruising in Switzerland, not Maine!  The little white dots in the picture are boats and give you some perspective on the height of the hills.

We made our way to the head of the Sound which turned out to be a splendid set up!  1) we were protected from some strong southeast and then southwest winds the next day, 2) there was a public dinghy dock, and 3) there was fantastic cell service.  The bonus was the lovely view.  Because of the winds, we decided to stay two nights.  Tomorrow – when the winds die down – we will see if we can anchor near Northeast Harbor and run into the cute village/town for a couple of hours.


by Betsie Betsie No Comments


Our one night stay in Rockland was exactly as we planned……productive.  But it was hot!  Not typical for Maine summers, the daytime temperature reached 85.  We dropped the anchor in Rockland Harbor around 1, and dinghy’d to a dock that put us just a 15 minute walk from a grocery store.  Once again I had to carefully plan to buy only what we could fit in our backpacks, didn’t weigh a lot and could stand the warm ride back to the boat.  That would not include butter, jarred pickles, or ice cream (altho John insisted that he needed salsa, so he carried that!)!  Refrigerated and heavier items will go on the list for next time.  Groceries dropped off and put away we grabbed the dogs and went in to town.  Rockland has a quaint main street with cute shops.  John and the girls sat on a bench in the shade, while I window shopped.  On the way back to the dinghy dock I spotted a Dairy Queen!  You can probably guess where we went during our evening outing to land!  Yup!!  The next morning John was able to get something he needed at a local marine store there which was very nearby.  Missions accomplished, we pulled up the anchor around 11 and headed out to Isle au Haut.

This island (pronounced I La Ho) is one of a bazillion islands in Maine.  (Well, actually there are about 4600!)  Arrival here placed us in the thick of Penobscot Bay.  It is as beautiful as they said it would be! The bonus is that the weather has been absolutely gorgeous……. sunny, puffy clouds, clear skies…..perfect, I’d say!  We were the only ones at this particular anchorage, just the way John likes it!  (He could live in a cabin for the rest of his life, never see anyone, and be perfectly happy!  I, on the other hand, am more of a social animal.  He has a good buddy at home who’s just like he is, so when we all go to parties, he and Jeff sit in a corner and talk boats and other guy stuff, while Jeff’s wife and I work the crowd!)  We walked a lovely trail there to the other side of the island.   They put paint marks on the trees, so walkers can find their way on the trails.

Similar to our time in the Bahamas, here in Maine we are island hopping, with anywhere from 10-25 miles between stops.  And as in the Bahamas, we enjoy cruising at our displacement speed and sipping the fuel.  Many of the islands of Penobscot, as with most of the Maine islands, are covered in pine trees.  Some just have low lying bushes.  But they are all surrounded by rock ledges and there are a lot of them!  Often, too, there are spits of sandy beaches dotted along them.  We are especially appreciative of those, as they provide a great spot to get ashore with the dogs.

I mentioned MITA (Maine Island Trail Association) in an earlier posting.  This app has been invaluable to us.  It has charts and then descriptions of each spot.  The descriptions include a summary of the island’s topography, and information about camping, pets, fires, anchoring, trails, getting ashore.

Waking up is really easy in Maine (sometimes that’s a good thing, sometimes not!)!!  Either the sun or the lobster boats are our alarm clock.  Oftentimes it’s both!  The sunrise today was at 5, so there’s light around 4:30.  The lobster guys are out and about shortly thereafter.  Since traps are always around us, the boats come pretty close.  For the most part their boats are equipped with dry-stack exhaust with no mufflers, so it’s easy to hear them coming and going, even if they’re more than a mile away! Sometimes the crew is particularly chatty amongst themselves, with a bit of “colorful” language thrown in!  On this particular boat the 1st mate was the captain’s adorable son who looked to be 7 or 8 years old.   I watched them for a few minutes, and that kid was really conscientious!  No doubt his dad is grooming him to run the boat himself someday.

A boater’s life is to get up with the sun, go to bed when it’s dark.  That’s (almost!) how it works for us too!   After dinner we take a walk on the beach, watch a little tv, and head off to bed.  Gotta be rested for the next day’s adventure!  Southwest Harbor, Northeast Harbor, Acadia National Park await us!

by Betsie Betsie No Comments


As a lover of boating and an avid recycler I find it frustrating that very few marinas provide any recycling bins.  And I’m talking up and down the east coast of the United States, not just in Maine.  But I find it particularly ironic and disheartening that, as we are surrounded by beauty and nature, our trash bags are filled with plastic, cans, and glass that will end up in a landfill.  At home, we have trash pick up twice each week.  My neighbors place at least one, if not two, bins out each time filled with trash.  They laugh at me because I put out just a half-filled “tall kitchen” sized bag.  But on Mondays when the recycling bins go out, ours is over-flowing!  So it absolutely breaks my heart to fill my trash bag with recyclables and put it in the marina dumpster.  While Nantucket – being a small island – is especially conscious of their waste management, this is how they do it there.   Bins like that are on almost every corner, especially near the marina.  Sigh.  How I wish every town and marina did it like that!  (I know, some of you may be saying, “recycling is just a myth”! But that’s discussion for another day!)


Here are some favored pictures that I’ve been meaning to share with you.






John loves a quiet anchorage, and we found this perfect spot a couple of nights ago. Calderwood Island in North Haven near Vinalhaven.  As we approached it, I spotted a swimming hole that looked very inviting.  Once we were settled and the dinghy was down, we drove back to it to get a closer look.  There was actually blue water and white sand!  ALMOST like the like Bahamas, but with rocks and seaweed!  On the backside of the hill was our anchorage; and in between was a wonderful grassy path.  Now this area reminded me of Scotland with it’s rolling hillsides and highlands.  This was the view from the hill.

Vinalhaven is an active lobster fishing community and has a colony of summer homes. It was incorporated as a town in 1789, named after John Vinal who was the agent who petitioned the Maine General Court to incorporate the new township.  He wasn’t even a town resident, but the name stuck! High quality granite was discovered in 1826 and Vinalhaven became one of Maine’s largest quarrying centers for the next century.  Vinalhaven lobstermen were the first in the nation to unionize. They began to organize in the winter of 2012-2013 after frustration with low lobster prices being paid to them and disagreements with the Maine Lobstermen’s Associations leadership.

We left the solitary spot of Calderwood and moved to what is hailed as a very desirable and popular anchorage, Seal Bay.  It was also recommended by one of our owners who cruises up here often.  Popular it was!  There were several boats when we arrived, so we picked a more secluded spot away from the others.  All was good until a guy pulled in and set his anchor right next to us, closer than is normal.  As you can imagine, John was not a happy yachter!  After a couple of hours the guy dinghy’ed over, apologized for being so close, and told us he’d move a little further away.  It was very kind of him.  By evening, there were 17 boats in the anchorage!  One guy ceremoniously shot off a “gun” when the sun set (although it did make us jump a few feet!).  As for the dogs, at low tide was a great spit of sandy beach connected by boulders where they could run and climb and explore.  They were happy pups indeed.  And many thanks to T-Mobile for arranging to have a cell tower right near the anchorage!  Sweet!

It’s always fun to take a mid-afternoon dinghy ride to see the surrounding islands which is exactly what we did the following day.  This time brought a bonus!  At one point I looked out on the water and there was the face of a seal staring right up at us!  He was probably 20 feet away or so.  But not even 10 seconds later, down he went.  It was a fleeting but thrilling sight!

Following Seal Bay we made our way to Long Cove on the southwestern part of Vinalhaven where a new acquaintance (from Boothbay) had offered his mooring.  We’re always happy to pick up a mooring and not have to deal with the anchor, so we gratefully accepted!  It was a perfect spot (well, except for the almost complete lack of cell service) and we made some more new friends there who gave us tips and suggestions for future stops.  That’s always appreciated.

On our mid-afternoon dinghy excursion there we saw an eagle’s nest!!  Mama was proudly standing guard.  The nest was huge!  We were too far away for a decent phone picture, unfortunately.  But eagle’s nests are typically 3-5 ft deep, 5-9 ft in diameter and mostly composed of large sticks.  Eagles mate for life and they typically return to the same nest year after year to lay their eggs.  The average clutch (group of eggs) is 1-3.

Well, big news!  I spoke too soon about marinas and recycling!  We just arrived at the Tenants Harbor Boat Yard for a 2 day stay.  And……..they have recycling!  I’m thrilled!  Plus, a lobster wharf is just off our stern.  The boats are coming in, one after another, dropping off their catch to the wholesaler.  I’m headed over there in a minute to buy a couple for our dinner!

This is a good little marina, not fancy, nothing much to do, nowhere to shop or visit although there is one B&B about 5 minutes away that serves breakfast and lunch.  We did not imbibe because we were too busy taking advantage of the fantastic internet!  Some of these marinas say they have wifi but when it comes right down to it, you roam the property to find a good connection; and even then it feels like “dial-up” all over again!   Not here!  In addition to all our internet activities, we cleaned the dinghy, scrubbed the aft deck, washed clothes, and took long walks with the dogs.  It’s always so satisfying when we leave the dock for the next destination knowing that we’ve been productive.

Now on to Rockland for a day or two to get groceries and see some town!

by Betsie Betsie No Comments


We decided that we liked Harbor Island so much we’d stay another day.  (Plus it had good cell coverage which was a huge bonus, especially since we did not have wifi.)  The forecast was for wind, which also made staying put very attractive.  But it had turned chilly – maybe high of 65 – and with no cloud cover, our fleece and sweats beckoned.  One morning I watched the lobstermen right outside our window with great respect.  They do this day after day, after day in sun, rain, fog, rough waters, and high winds.   The day following it was still chilly, but sunny; so I decided to sit on the “trunk cabin,” just forward of the pilothouse, for direct access to warmth!  I once was a lover of “sunning,” but no more.  However, this is a good spot to do that, and this day it felt really good!

The morning we were to leave, the fog was super thick but the sun was shining brightly. I know, it doesn’t make sense to me either; but this is Maine!  When the fog finally burned off around 11, we pulled up the anchor and off we went for Maple Juice Cove, just about 6 miles away.  The water was absolutely littered with lobster floats!  We’re getting pretty good at driving through them.  But as I mentioned in an earlier blog, at least they’re brightly colored and easy to identify.   We easily set our anchor and lowered the dinghy to take a walk.  A local lobster yard allows visiting boats to tie up their dinghies there which was most appreciated by us……no walking through the water to get to land!  About a quarter mile away is the The Olsen House and the setting for Andrew Wyeth’s famous painting “Christina’s World” painted in 1948.  Christina Olsen and her husband lived in this house and were friendly with Mr. Wyeth.   The house is open to the public and is now a National Historic Landmark.  It has been restored to match its appearance in the painting.  The field overlooks Maple Juice Cove.

When we arrived at the dinghy dock we met some nice folks who were anchored on a sailboat.  They asked us if we were on the Krogen Express.  Of course a lengthy conversation ensued, and they asked if we would stop at their boat on the way back to Daystar.  “We’d be happy to!” we said.  While we were at the dock we decided to buy a couple of lobsters “right off the boat”!  They were “soft shell” lobsters.  We steamed them in salt water and covered them with seaweed, cooking them about 15 minutes.  Neither of us had had a soft shell lobster,  We decided they are sweeter and more tender than hard-shell lobsters.  They were delicious, but truthfully it didn’t fill me up.  I woke up hungry the next morning!

We stopped at the sailboat and had a really nice conversation with the folks aboard.  They are interested in moving from sail to power, doing the Great Loop in the next couple of years.  They asked a lot of good questions and we invited them to come over and see us, which they did!  It’s always fun to show off the boat!

The next morning we departed for Camden and the Lyman Morse Marina.  The scenery underway was absolutely beautiful!  “Now THIS is Maine”, I said to John.  We cruised through pinetree covered islands bordered by rock outcroppings. We passed two gorgeous lighthouses…..Owls Head and Marshall Point.  Fun fact:  There are 65 lighthouses in Maine. The topography began to change, too!  We could see hills in the distance of which Camden Hills State Park is a part.  This is the view as we entered Camden Harbor.

We are in awe of coincidences we are encountering during this trip!  We had a boat pass us when we were at a mooring saying that they were also from Vero Beach.  A couple docked next to us in Boothbay told us that they had kept their former boat at a marina near our home.  At a recent stop we were walking the dogs and a passed a house with a Jack Russell in the yard who looked just like M.E.   The owner came out and started to chat with us.  It turns out that had he lived in the same community that we did in Hilton Head!  We of course shared a lot of mutual memories.  At Oven’s Mouth Cove, a Sabre was anchored near us; and then he turned up again at Harbor Island!  We dinghy’ed over to greet him and he told us that the wife of his former business partner (now deceased) and her current husband had owned a Krogen Express!  “Yes, we know them!”, we said, and laughed to ourselves at another coincidence.

As I write this in Camden it is almost 80 degrees with a forecast of 85 tomorrow!  We just never know what the days are going to bring….65 one day, 80 a few days later!