A Short Cruise to Maine
We left Fire Island Inlet on 2 September, 2019, Hurricane Dorian was still trashing the Bahamas but it seemed safe enough to get a start on the cruise on my well-traveled Westsail 42, Fiona. For crew I had Will and Al, neither had much small boat experience. The nice sea breeze died about 10 pm when we were abeam of Moriches Inlet and we powered the rest of the way to Great Salt Pond, Block Island, where we picked up a mooring. After lunch ashore I retired to the boat for a well-earned nap and while I was asleep Al jumped ship and took the Viking Ferry back to Long Island. Will and I pushed on to the Cape Cod Canal after anchoring in Megansett Bay to wait to wait for a favorable current. As Dorian approached, we ultimately spent three nights at Provincetown, two to let Dorian roar by and another to wait for the northwest wind on Doran’s flank to die down so we could get to Bar Harbor. On leaving we managed to sail for a few hours but finally wound up powering the last ninety miles. We sighted several whales.
At Bar Harbor we were joined by a replacement crew, Rick. We started a leisurely cruise heading west, touching Harbor Island for lunch at anchor and Stonington at anchor for dinner. Neither of my crew had visited Maine before and were delighted by the scenery and sailing. Lunch anchored at Butter Island was followed by a late afternoon tie-up at the Town Dock in Belfast, greeted by my old friend Kathy, the dockmaster (or perhaps mistress). I always enjoy Belfast, it is unpretentious, nearby Camden is too cutesy. Then followed two days in Rockland on a mooring to take in the fabulous Farnsworth and Transportation museums. Rick is a professional artist and greatly appreciated the Wyeth works at the Farnsworth. Port Clyde never seems to change, thank goodness. We walked to Marshall Point, beloved by sailors and fans of Forrest Gump. A light northeast wind wafted us to Boothbay and a mooring at the Tugboat Inn. The used bookstore run by Friends of the Library is a Must. The trip through Townsend Gut impressed the crew, a light wind enabled us to round Cape Small and we powered to an anchorage in the Basin for lunch. There was a time when the Basin was devoid of all signs of human activity but now moorings and shoreside docks proliferate. We had dinner at the Sebasco resort hanging on a mooring. From Sebasco it was a short sail to an anchorage at Jewel Island, where an exploration of the WWII ruins was the highlight of the day. From Jewel we sailed to Portland, the old PYS has metamorphosed into Fore Points Marina with extensive slips and shiny toilets and higher prices. Three very large cruise ships graced the harbor. Unfortunately, the wind deserted us for the run to Nantucket via Pollack Rip. It was my first visit there in over thirty years. I was impressed by the way raucous development has been avoided. The Whaling Museum is very attractive, it displays paintings by several deceased local artists that are so good I was reminded of Gray’s Elegy bemoaning the talent lost by being born in a backwater. A good wind took us to Cuttyhunk Island for a night and the north wind continued to blow us down Rhode Island Sound, past Block Island and veering, gave us a run to Fire Island inlet, which we entered an hour before high. We tied up in Patchogue exactly a month after we left; a delightful interlude in Maine.
Marshall Point Lighthouse
The crew at the Grocery Store, Port Clyde
Fiona moored at Port Clyde