As some here know we have a recently bought a Paul Gartside motor boat for use on the Maine coast. We went out to Damariscove Island for Monday night and the next morning http://marinas.com/view/overview/40_..._United_States, then to Little Thrumcap Island Tuesday afternoon http://www.sheepscotwoodenkayaks.com...ktrpstcap.html. There's a mooring there and a beach to land on at high tide. After that we rode the current through the Thread of Life, the South Bristol Gut (under the bridge there with a hand's width to spare!), circled through Christmas Cove and came home all safe and sun-washed and relaxed.
We got to Damariscove in time to get one of the two moorings just being vacated and Margaret went ashore immediately for a brisk walk north on the well-marked Pond Loop trail. She saw the remains of a leatherback turtle on the isthmus shoreline. I didn't know they came this far north.
I stayed aboard to read up on the systems some more and figure out the propane stove. There was another safety switch to turn on that I wasn't aware of, but I didn't learn that until I e-mailed Paul last night. I got more familiar with the 'fish finder'/depth sounder; we disabled the fish finding features and automated the depth range readout and 'strip chart' function more to our liking and reduced the returns and bottom readings so as to be easily grasped at a glance. Much of the time at the helm is spent looking for lobster buoys and weed rafts to avoid. Even at a leisurely seven knots they come up fast, especially in the fog. Learning to properly operate and practice with the radar is the next electronic challenge.
We slept quite well and the mosquito netting over the windows and hatches did a good job. We had to laugh because there was a set of wind chimes on the porch of the 'island museum' that bonged away during the night. There's no escape from those things it seems. Some of our neighbors ashore have them and we thought we'd get away from them for a night.
In the morning we took a long walk to the southern ends of the island around the harbor and brought back some driftwood for a project I have in mind. It was hot so I swam back out to the boat. Earlier, a young couple from Biddeford was having trouble with the outboard auxiliary on their sailboat so we had a chat about ethanol in the fuel and what to do about it. Fortunately they were able to get the engine started and keep it running if they really goosed it. On our walk we could hear them whining away toward Port Clyde in the distance.
We'd set a bow anchor out for the night to keep us in line with the other boats anchored likewise and Margaret did a really good job of weighing, cleaning, shipping and coiling it down as we left. The island caretaker complimented her as we passed by the dock. He keeps an eye on everyone and every thing going on out there for the Land Trust http://www.bbrlt.org/bbrlt_boating.html
An hour's ride got us to Little Thrumcap where we stopped for lunch on the mooring there, read and napped for a while, me in the cool of the cabin, Margaret in the sun on the stern.
Later we went through the Gut and Christmas Cove as mentioned. Both places have a lot of interesting boats to look at. I think we may confuse people as we pass by because we still have the British Columbia registration numbers, no name or hailing port on the transom yet and fly the US and a Whole Earth flag. Got to get that all straightened out, but one thing at a time.
So the day/night/day out were a good first overnight trip for us and everything worked out well. We even got some sleep.
Monhegan or Matinicus Islands may be next. I hear there's a beach on the latter that rivals the sandy crescent on Roque Island. We'll report back.
Damariscove Island's narrow harbor looking south from the north end where we moored in the shallows (three or so feet at dead low water). Landing/drop off (only) float and caretaker's cottage on the right. Courtesy dinghies available for anchored or moored boats.
The eastern shore of Damariscove where granite was quarried and loaded, looking toward Outer Heron Island
The former Life Saving Service/Coast Guard Station, now a private home at the mouth of the harbor.
A Greater Seal Scarer