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Ballard Sailor

New England Part 4

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Showered and tanked up we waved goodbye to New Hampshire and entered the last state of our trip, the final outpost of America on the Eastern Seaboard, Maine and the Down East. Now I canít for the life of me figure out why they call it down east. Itís not down, itís up north from the entire rest of the east coast. Itís not east, itís north of the entire rest of the east coast! Iím told it has this name because for the most part once you enter New England you are heading mostly east and are sailing downwind, you know, in that normal behind the beam reaching condition that we havenít seen yet. Maybe itís down east from some where like, I donít know, Toronto, but really, how can I be sailing mostly upwind in a NorthEasterly direction and tell everyone I am going Down East? Iím sure it will come to me at some point on this trip but so far I got nothinĎ on this one.


Ok, where was I? Oh yeah, leaving Portsmouth, we motored out of the river I canít pronounce into a sheet of glass, guess weíre motoring today, all the way up, I mean down, to Kennebunkport. The place Jennifer had seen her first shooting star so many years ago, and apparently old man Bushís summer residence. We got another one of those $25 harbor master mooring balls in the narrow confines of the harbor and dinghyíd up to the yacht club for a walk around town and to try and figure out where we were going to have dinner. I will confess, Iíve eaten a lot of different seafood, but I have never had a lobster. I have been saying to everyone weíve seen on this trip up (I mean down) the coast that I canít wait till I get to Maine so I can have a lobster! Well Damnit we are in Maine now, there are restaurants on the beach, and I am having a lobster! So we walked around town up by the bridge and didnít find anything that looked good so we headed back to the dink and motored back down towards the mouth to look for a place we read about that supposedly had some great lobster, wasnít a fancy place, and didnít have the high prices we had seen uptown by the bridge. We tied up at the town dock and walked into town, took a right where we should have taken a left and soon found ourselves walking into a residential district just outside the harbor mouth. Oh well, we needed the walk so we kept going until we came across this amazing old rock church. Itís doors were open so we helped ourselves to the sights of the property and old building and noticed there were plaques everywhere proclaiming ďdonated by such and such BushĒ - guess old man Bush does live around here somewhere. On the grounds was a large house, nothing amazing but an amazing location and view - out front was one of those black government looking Suburbans with Texas plates. If this was a decoy we bit, sure looked like a Bush lived here.


But the sun was setting and we were getting hungry so we began wandering back towards the dinghy and wouldnít you know it we saw the lobster shack right in front of us. Any closer to us when we walked up from the dock we would have been run over by the long line out front. Guess it must be a good place with a waiting list that long. We put ourselves on the list and then returned Mac to the boat while Curt and Jennifer waited for our table. No sooner had I got back to the place than we saw an old guy walk in with crab pants on, yes pants with little crabs all over them. This guy has specific cloths he wears to this place! Finally we got a table and ordered up our lobsters and I gotta say they are pretty good. The variation on the textures of the meat throughout the crustacean amazed me after being so used to Dunginess crabs but it was good, well worth the wait to get to Maine Iím sure. As Iím new to the game, we took our time and before we knew it the place was empty and the crew was cleaning up from their busy night of lobster killing. Great place for my first lobster, complete with pictures of Bushís on the wall - theyíre everywhere in Kennebunkport!


Morning dawned warm once again and we soon headed out of the harbor and set sail for Biddeford Pool and we were finally sailing with the wind behind the beam and heading NE! What a cool place Biddeford Pool is, great anchorage in the mooring field and good protection from Woods Island with itís extensive boardwalk and lighthouse complete with tour. We motored over to the island and walked across to the lighthouse on the boardwalk that runs itsí entire length. Along the way we were amazed at the vegetation on the Island. Dense shrubbery, ferns and trees that suggest a very wet environment on a small rocky Island barely above see level. I expected the more sparse marine environment that barely thrives in a brackish landscape, instead, we were met with more of a rain forrest as we strolled through the bush to the lighthouse on the seaward end of the island. We timed our trip to coincide with the changing of tourists on the Thursday night sight-seeing trip and had a few moments to climb the lighthouse and get a look around from outside at the top before the next wave arrived. We were able to explore the keeperís house and grounds. The keeperís house was full of pictures of past keepers and their families and pets. Even read stories of rescues and perused a personal ad a watchkeeper once published in the hopes of finding a mate sturdy enough for the solitude of keeping a lighthouse creates. Very cool.


Back at the boat we retired for a night on anchor and by morning we were ready for more walking and headed into the beach and walked out the oceanside point at Biddeford Pool to explore the tidepools and generally waist some time as our dayís sail was only going to be 8 miles. On the walk back we passed another hotel turned religious compound - whatís with these things up here?


Anyway, soon we set sail and sailed off the anchor towards Cape Elizabeth were we planned to anchor for the night and visit with Jenniferís mother who was meeting us on the beach at Crescent Beach State Park. We rounded the point, dropped our sails and successfully motored through the rocks to a good lunch anchorage off the park beach. Curt quickly changed into his trunks and dove over the side for a swim to shore - guess he was hot. I followed in a bit with the dinghy and brought him and Debbie back out to the boat were we lunched before I returned the in-laws, Jennifer and Mac to the beach for a hike. I didnít feel comfortable leaving the boat in this spot so after a few minutes cleaning up I moved Libra to a more protected anchorage closer to the sand bar and waited for Jennifer to call for a ride back.


I didnít have to wait long and soon I was scooting across the bay to pick up Jennifer and Mac and head back out to the boat. Yet along the way we spied a lobsterman pulling pots and swung by asking him if we could buy a couple of lobster for dinner. He gave no response until Jennifer piped up that ďwe had $20, what can we get for that?Ē Within seconds we had 3 lobsters, 3 crabs and 2 conch. Solid work! He probably got more money than a buyer would have paid him and we definitely got away with more seafood than we could have bought for $20 at the local seafood joint - both of us were happy! Needless to say we returned to Libra and quickly cooked up the lobster and conch after cleaning the crab and throwing them in the cooler - weíll have them for breakfast. What a night, full of fresh lobster and anchored inside of Cape Elizabeth, Life is Good.

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East Coast Cruise for 2012

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