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Ballard Sailor

New England Part 6

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In the morning I take Mac ashore for his morning constitutional and there to greet me are two guys with golf clubs walking towards the boat ramp with 9 irons over their shoulders. Now they’re dressed like golfers not angry lobsterman so I’m not too worried, just confused. There is a golf course next to the marina but what would they be doing at the boat ramp with 9 irons? Well some things are better left to speculation and I continued up the hill to walk Mac and spend some time holding and tossing his slobbery tennis ball. Finally worn out, MacIntosh and I walk back towards the dink with a little detour towards the ramp to try and figure this out. Once we got close I saw a small chipping green, the t box, for the hole across the small harbor. The light went on above my head - those guys were t-ing off on the hole just across the cove from the boat ramp. Cool!


With this golfing revelation shared with Jennifer back on the boat, we waited out a morning rain squall and then set sail for South Freeport and a friends mooring ball off the yacht club. When we were showing the boat to Cindy and Scott they asked how the three blade prop was at catching lobster pot lines. I told them we had successfully navigated from the Chesapeake for over 3 months without catching a damned thing on the prop, and oh, thanks for jinxing us. Wouldn’t you know it on the way to South Freeport the boat felt sluggish. She was only doing 4 knots when we normally motor at 5.3 to 5.5 on flat water. I attributed it to current (we only have a Speed Over Ground number) but I couldn’t see any current on the buoys we were passing. Once at the mooring I had to take a look and broke out the dive mask and swim trunks and over the side I went. There is the problem! The prop was completely fouled with seaweed, no wonder we were going slow. In a few minutes I had it all ripped off, but what are the odds that two days ago someone asked me how the prop was at catching things and we hadn’t caught anything so far and today it’s completely fouled with seaweed? Hopefully this is all we catch, but the water isn’t cold up here (I mean down here).


We met South Freeport Mary at a wedding in Mt. Hood, Oregon the previous winter, and when we found out she would be in Maine at her parents’ home this summer we decided to look her up, and good thing we did! Mary soon joined us on Libra for beers and snacks before we ventured off to her parents house to meet them before walking down to the pound (that’s what they call the seafood market here) and buying some steamers for dinner. Back at the house we worked through a rousing game of croquet while sipping Gin and Tonics before mowing through 4 pounds of clams while spouting off politics and arguing the serious lack of a buy local mentality in our country. Yep, we are officially in Maine now. I thought it would be the lobsters, maybe the clams, but I didn’t feel like we were truly in Maine until we argued politics, especially after eating some local seafood (at least I hope it was local...how would it look if the local pound was shipping in cheap warehoused seafood and no one knew it?).



We had a great time with Mary and come morning we motored out into the islands and across Casco Bay in absolutely no wind and 3’ random swell on the beam. It was a rolly, hot motor to what we thought would be our night’s anchorage at Cape Small Harbor, just inside Cape Small. It’s small alright, and so is the depth at the entrance. We slowly motored in while seeing nothing under 7’ at the entrance. Not a problem, but it’s just after high tide and we need to leave on a low tide in the morning. Well maybe the depth sounder was picking up a thermal layer, cause the chart shows deeper water. We continued on through the narrow channel ‘til we found enough room to anchor way in the back past the mooring field. Over the danforth went and we backed down to set her but she kept dragging and wouldn’t hold. Hmm, the boats sold right? Let’s take a hint and motor back out. Good thing we did as near the entrance where it said 7’ on the way in the meter said 5.4’ now, guess things have shoaled up around here. So around the corner we went to the next anchorage up the river, Sebasco Harbor and the Sebasco Harbor Resort. $40 mooring ball and run of the resort which I gotta say is pretty cool. Bar, restaurant, showers, golf course, cottages, hotel rooms, activities, but they do it with an old world Maine waterfront feel. Not a catering to the wealthy resort feel, nice to see.


From Sebasco Harbor we set off early in the morning, well early for us cruisers, 8:30am, to catch the incoming tide at the Kennebec River which we planned to take all the way up to Bath and visit the Maine Maritime Museum. We found a bit more adverse current than planned for as we passed Cape Small but once into the river mouth we were flying along with a 2 knot push and a good breeze on the nose to cool off the hot day. A very fun trip up the river reminding me of a narrower version of the Columbia Gorge - just without the mountains in the background. We tied up to a 2200lb piece of granite off the museum and went ashore to explore the exhibits. Now they don’t allow dogs here like Mystic Seaport does so we left Mac on the boat while we explored. Similar, though, to Mystic Seaport, this area used to be a wooden boat building facility making everything from small dinghies to 6 masted coastal schooners and everything in between. It must have been a busy place back in the day and just up the river is the Bath Iron Works that is still busy today building ships for the Navy - Boat building’s in the water on the Kennebec River. With the light flood current and swift moving ebb current the Kennebec reminded us of the Hudson back in New York but thankfully that is where the similarities end - there are no tsunami producing passenger ferries running up and down the river at top speed all morning and evening. We explored the museum all afternoon, well worth the trip, and then retired to the boat to, well, finish this damn blog!

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East Coast Cruise for 2012

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