Maine ~ on Isle au Haut

Lighthouse on Isle au Haut Thorofare


There’s a welcome party on the docks at Isle au Haut. Families here to greet relatives, fishermen to collect gear ordered from the mainland, others just to see who or what the tide has brought in. I recognize the Mayor and Mrs. Mayor from the short film I saw a few years ago, the one that made me want to come here.


The dinghy dock at Isle au Haut




Rubber bands for binding lobsters’ claws for market.


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Maine ~ to Isle au Haut

Stonington Harbor, Maine


With the passing of the Small Reach Regatta I realize I never finished the posts from Maine over a year ago. Nice to be able to go back to it now.


A light rain is falling as we pull onto the town dock to board the ferry. Attendants wave cars to park out on the wooden pier over the water. Another cautiously directs us into a small slot, the cars packed in so tight T has to get out before I back in.

There’s a notable mix of vehicles: old rusty pickups, almost as old as I am, with Maine plates. Next to those a brand new Lexus or Mercedes with out of state plates. Repeat. Like much of coastal Maine, people with homes on Isle au Haut are either true year-round locals, people who make a living on or near the water, or wealthy summer people from away, their second or third homes out on the island.



I chat with the fellow who waved us in. He’s friendly but his accent seems off. Says he was born here but grew up away, a teacher. Now he comes back every summer and works odd jobs for the season to be near home, his parents aging. Says he misses it so much that he comes back every year.

We rent bikes there on the dock to take with us on the ferry. A dozen or so are arranged in a large empty warehouse once used for sorting and loading fish; it too is out over the water. We try the bikes for fit and finish, and I ride figure 8’s through the big echoing space that once was bustling with people and cod and lobster. It’s clean, the cement floor smooth for riding, and the walls smell faintly of fish. Light filters in through tall salt-crusted windows. Gliding in big looping circles, murmurs of conversation, rain pattering on the tin roof.

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Maine ~ Stonington

Stonington Harbor, Maine


It got dark fast, and chilly for August, and we have hunger. It’s only a mile to Stonington along the shore, past lobster pounds in the protected cove behind Moose Island, past hundreds of lobster boats anchored in the harbor – some new, most well used, some derelict. Houses climb up the hill above the harbor like skyboxes, new businesses in old rambling clapboard buildings line the waterfront.






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Maine ~ to Deer Isle

 Sunset on Deer Isle









Deer Isle just seemed to float off the map and bob above it. Every time I perused a map of Maine for interesting places to go, this is where I ended up, sometimes spending hours studying the shoreline, place names and surroundings. Weird. So we’re headed for Deer Isle.


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Maine ~ Bucksport & Castine

School on the Commons ~ Castine, Maine


From the airport in Bangor to Stonington, at the southern tip of Deer Isle, should take about an hour and a half. We spend four hours doing the same, winding along the Penobscot River, stopping in towns along the way, generally assuming the least straight path presented.

First stop is Bucksport, where there’s a farmers market still open. Terri, very excited, insists we stop, and goes in for provisions. She gets caught in various eddies, long chats with local farmers, and does not resurface. I wander the main street, still a little too travel-frazzled for conversation. We had reserved a little Toyota Corolla rental car in advance, but by the time we arrived those were all gone. So, for the same rate, they gave us the only thing left – a fancy new Cadillac. This would normally be a good thing.


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Friends in Fine Places

Barred Island, Maine

A great trip to Maine, we were very sorry to leave. Plenty of great stuff to post in the coming weeks.



While in Brooklin we got to meet the nice folks at OffCenterHarbor. They had several new videos in the works, one of which is an introduction to small craft festivals and raids around the world, including St. Michaels. In the video just released, several boats seen here in our Chesapeake fleet, good friends, make some notable appearances. If you look close, you may also notice short clips from videos posted here in the past.

Much of their footage was shot at the Small Reach Regatta (SRR) there in Brooklin. Most of our local fleet gathered there again this year with other boats from all over. Harris and Barbara in Mabu, Eddie and his daughter Leney in Una . . . Great seeing them on the big screen. They make it pretty clear why this sort of small boat sailing is so addictive.

The two boats, Mabu and Una, are sailing side by side at the beginning of a video shot on a beautiful windless day we spent last fall on the Chickahominy:


Sea of Glass series of posts starts here


Eddie has a post up on his blog about their trip to SRR, along with a link to a beautiful set of photos by Leney.

Lingering Lunacy – Una Cameos

Lingering Lunacy – A Week in Maine

I know the OCH crew is out in Port Townsend at the moment for the festival there this weekend, and hope they bring back more good material we’ll see soon. In the meantime, one they made a couple of years ago is available to watch outside the paywall:



Here on the east coast, we have MASCF (Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival) coming up in a few weeks in St. Michaels. When the festival last year had to be cancelled in advance of a hurricane, it sort of left a hole in a season of great sailing for most of us. We’re all really looking forward to it this year.