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Ballard Sailor

South Bristol to Rockport

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Once again it’s been a few weeks since I’ve put anything down and there is so much to share and remember - I’m having trouble getting started, but here goes! We left the Kelly’s and headed out the Damariscotta River but instead of heading all the way out the mouth we hooked a left at South Bristol and went through The Gut. It’s a bit shallow at the bridge but we had a few feet under the keel as we motored through and then weaved our way among the moored boats around Wich island, which island is that?, and out into Johns Bay and turned our bow towards Pemaquid Point.



Our plan for the day was to make it out to Monhegan Island, a notoriously bad anchorage, so we hoped to get ahold of the harbor master and secure a mooring for the night. So far we had been unable to reach him and our point of no return was Pemaquid Point, if we can’t get ahold of him by there we’d find an alternative destination. So a bit about Pemaquid, Jennifer’s ancestors came over from Europe in 1635 and “landed” at Pemaquid Point.


Well, landed was a bit of an exaggeration, many that have boated would call it a wreck or grounding, but after a few repairs the vessel was able to continue along the coast. Needless to say, Jennifer wanted to sail close around the point and get some pictures and really feel the place. As we motored up to the point, there was no wind, we tried the harbormaster once more on the phone and as luck would have it we got ahold of him and yes he had a mooring for us! Yippee! So we took our pictures of Pemaquid and then turned the bow offshore and motored out to Monhegan about 12nm out. A settled uneventful motor in a gentle swell followed by a tight rocky harbor and our mooring.


The harbormaster had told us to call him on 19 when we got there so he could tell us which mooring to take - once we got there, we tried him on 19, nothing. I tried a few more times, then tried international 19, nothing, then Canadian 19 - that worked! Guess they feel more Canadian than US out there! Mooring found, we went ashore and took a tour of this San Juan Island type town full of painters and then proceeded to hike across the island, down around the South end and back to town. A great hike along steep rocky shores complete with shipwrecks, birds and even a seal or two. Back in town, the easels were out in force painting absolutely everything you could think of, all over town. We saw flyers for music at the coffee shop later that night so we headed out to Libra for dinner and came back later to find a guy with an electric keyboard set up with a good crowd of spectators sitting quietly at their tables, interesting. So we walked on and came back when he started playing. Cover tunes with his own, interesting, artistic twist with quiet people sipping their coffee and watching intently - we saved our money and returned to Libra....


The fog rolled in overnight as we rolled back and forth on the ocean surge and come morning the weather couldn’t decide if it wanted to be foggy or rainy. So as the drizzle came down I took Mac ashore for his morning walk. Those same easels were set up all around town, but now they had umbrellas attached to them keeping the painting and painter dry. No fair weather painters on Monhegan! As we began to realize that we had only 2 more nights on Libra we motored out of the harbor and headed off to Port Clyde in glassy seas with a nice ocean swell rolling under the boat. Libra has been such a good boat for us, bringing us all this way in comfort and doing it with minimal items to repair. Truly a great score.


We weaved our way through the rocks off Port Clyde and found our way into the mooring field operated by the Port Clyde General Store. Many people along the way had told us not to bother with Port Clyde - it’s just a working town. But as we’ve learned along the way, this is just the comment we need to decided to go somewhere and Port Clyde was no disappointment. It is a working town with a ton of lobster boats and fishing piers but with the general store, moorings, a walk to a light house and an ice cream shop it has everything we need to get a real feel of a Maine working town. We picked up one of the many empty moorings, registered at the store and walked off to the Marshall Point Light House a few miles away. A great setting with a small group of people simply sitting around staring at the view. A perfect place for us to spend some time making decisions about our boat at home and finally, we came to some conclusions on what we were going to do to Vanadis when we get back, first and foremost is ordering some new jibs for the girl, her forward hankies are getting a bit threadbare, not her Sunday best!


We had a great night in the calm harbor, showered in the morning at the general store and then motored out, once again there was no wind, around Mosquito Island and towards Muscle Ridge Channel. Our plan was to spend our last night at anchor off of High and Dix Islands in the Muscle Ridge Channel but as we got close we noticed a very crowded anchorage and we looked at each other and said why not go on to Rockport and find Libra’s new mooring? The current was with us and the day was beautiful, we could have some time to chill out tonight and pack in the morning. On we went through Owls Head Bay and before we knew it we were pulling into the coolest feeling port on the trip.


Rockport is a deep water, steep-sided bay with boats moored throughout that looked normal. No fancy yachts, no huge power boats, just normal looking sailboats, powerboats and lobster boats - Libra will be quite at home here. We toured the very small town and old lime kilns and walked by the Rockport Marine Boat Yard that seems very busy at restoring old wooden sailboats - the place feels like a smaller, more boutique Port Townsend. The guide book described Rockport as more of a lunch stop with the nickname of “Rollport” due to the unprotected entrance. But we had a great night on the mooring, we’ve stayed in much worse places!

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East Coast Cruise for 2012

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