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Thread: Planning a Maritimes visit in 2017

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
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    Gagetown, New Brunswick, Canada
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    Default Planning a Maritimes visit in 2017

    A couple of Wooden-Boaters living in Gagetown, New Brunswick, think it would be entertaining to offer our village's facilities for NE US trailable boats (sail and oar, small power cruisers, anything trailable?) this summer. Our concept is that we as individuals would act as your "home base", show you the local water(which is world class and uncrowded), help with cruising plans and launching, find you somewhere safe to leave your vehicle and trailer etc. Space for tenting ashore is also possible and/or accomodation at the local Bed & Breakfasts.

    We get several larger yachts come up the river Saint John to the village by sea each year from the US and Europe, and every so often an organized cruise of a dozen or so. What we don't often get is individual smaller boat owners with trailers who drive up, instead of braving the (sometimes demanding) Bay of Fundy and Maine coast. Our local marina offers the usual facilities, fuel etc.

    Any interest? PM me and lets chat.

    Tony.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Bass Harbor, ME
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    2,493

    Default Re: Planning a Maritimes visit in 2017

    If you decide to make the trip to New Brunswick you can also think about a stop in Maine at Mount Desert Island (MDI). We have several good launching ramps (Seal Cove, Bass Harbor, Southwest Harbor, Northeast Harbor and Bar Harbor*). I put an asterisk on Bar Harbor because parking is an issue there as in difficult to find and expensive. The other places offer access to different parts of the waters Around Mount Desert Island. The particulars follow.

    Seal Cove - this ramp is on the west side of MDI. The ramp is good with a floating dock along side and there is plenty of free parking, but no other services. This is the ramp to use if you want to cruise the northern part of Blue Hill Bay and the west side of MDI such as Pretty Marsh. This area has very little boat traffic.

    Bass Harbor - Very good ramp with floating dock along side. Parking is up the hill a couple of hundred yards away and is free. The harbormaster's office is next to the ramp. This ramp is the one to use if you want to explore southern Blue Hill Bay, Swans Island and the Gott Islands (the Gotts, Placentia and Black islands). Currents are strong here though so it may not be the best place for human powered boats. There is also a lot of lobster boat traffic as well as passing pleasure boat traffic.

    Southwest Harbor - The ramp is on the south side of the harbor at the Manset town dock. It is a very good ramp with a floating dock along side. It can be busy around high tide, but is usable for small craft to at least half tide. This ramp is a good choice if you want to cruise the great harbor of MDI and visit the Cranberry Islands and Somes Sound. The great harbor is quite protected and has good sea breezes in the afternoon. It can be busy, but there is plenty of room. Southwest Harbor has every service you could want ranging from full service boat yards, a marina, West Marine, Hamilton Marine and pretty much everything for the family. There is parking right next to the ramp and the harbormaster's office is there too.

    Northeast Harbor - Good ramp next to the town dock. Ample parking with good services. The harbormaster is located close to the dock. This is another good place to launch to tour the great harbor of MDI. It is a bit more crowded than Southwest Harbor and also more upscale.

    Bar Harbor - Good ramp right downtown next to the town dock and the harbormaster. The ramp is unprotected from the east, but fine for any other wind direction. This is the place to launch if you want to tour Frenchman Bay. Parking is an issue here though. There is no trailer parking near the ramp and what parking you might find will be expensive. Bar Harbor is also an absolute zoo in the summer since the town is packed with tourists.

    MDI has plenty of camping both in Acadia National Park and at several private camp grounds. There are also lots of hotels, motels and B&Bs. There are many restaurants, particularly in Bar Harbor.

    Acadia National Park is here too. There is a FREE shuttle bus that will take you most places on the island.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Bass Harbor, ME
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    2,493

    Default Re: Planning a Maritimes visit in 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Tonyr View Post
    A couple of Wooden-Boaters living in Gagetown, New Brunswick, think it would be entertaining to offer our village's facilities for NE US trailable boats (sail and oar, small power cruisers, anything trailable?) this summer. Our concept is that we as individuals would act as your "home base", show you the local water(which is world class and uncrowded), help with cruising plans and launching, find you somewhere safe to leave your vehicle and trailer etc. Space for tenting ashore is also possible and/or accomodation at the local Bed & Breakfasts.

    We get several larger yachts come up the river Saint John to the village by sea each year from the US and Europe, and every so often an organized cruise of a dozen or so. What we don't often get is individual smaller boat owners with trailers who drive up, instead of braving the (sometimes demanding) Bay of Fundy and Maine coast. Our local marina offers the usual facilities, fuel etc.

    Any interest? PM me and lets chat.

    Tony.
    I second Tony's comments. Gagetown is a nice village on the scenic Saint John River. The river is pleasant cruising (except in the spring when it can be high and have strong currents. Gagetown is a good jumping off place for visiting Grand Lake.

    I would also like to offer another suggestion. Just up the Saint John River from Gagetown is Fredericton which is a pleasant town to visit. 20 miles (32 km) farther up rive is the Mactaquac dam. The dam creates a long lake on the river with 40 miles of navigable waters with minimal current. Just above the dam is the Mactaquac Provincial Park. The park has plenty of camping and two marinas with boat ramps. Both have good parking. The lake is pleasant boating. There is also a golf course in the park and there are swimming beaches. I highly recommend this park.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
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    Gagetown, New Brunswick, Canada
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    Default Re: Planning a Maritimes visit in 2017

    Don't try to come up here today. We have an old fashioned blizzard. The drifts by my back door are 5 ft deep, and the roads are "officially" impassable (ploughs pulled off). What happens if someone's house catches fire is a bit concerning. We have a 100% volunteer fire department, and how the members would get out of their driveways is unclear(!).

    My 12 ft skin-on-frame rowboat (upended next to the house) has developed a two foot deep canting keel, made of drifted snow. I wonder if it would go upwind in a hurricane?.

    With propane backup heat, we are quite cozy.

    Tony.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Planning a Maritimes visit in 2017

    Bump

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Planning a Maritimes visit in 2017

    Well the ice is out, spring is sprung, the birds are back (Geese, ducks, a cormorant, eagles, a first and lonely osprey, lots of robins, but no warblers yet), and today I took the covers off the boat.

    The next excitement is wondering if we are going to get a serious freshet this year. Plenty of snow in the woods up north, but serious flooding needs heavy rain coming at the same time as the peak snow melt. So far, all pretty gentle.

    Tony.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    North Shore, Massachusetts
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    6,931

    Default Re: Planning a Maritimes visit in 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Tonyr View Post
    Well the ice is out, spring is sprung, the birds are back (Geese, ducks, a cormorant, eagles, a first and lonely osprey, lots of robins, but no warblers yet), and today I took the covers off the boat.

    The next excitement is wondering if we are going to get a serious freshet this year. Plenty of snow in the woods up north, but serious flooding needs heavy rain coming at the same time as the peak snow melt. So far, all pretty gentle.

    Tony.
    ever considered heading south o the boarder to attend the Small reach Regatta? being held at Blue Hill Bay this year, just across the water from Acadia, some people attend from as far away as Virginia with their boats!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
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    Gagetown, New Brunswick, Canada
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    Default Re: Planning a Maritimes visit in 2017

    Daniel, no actually, but I'll look into what's involved. I am over 80, so it had better not be too heroic.

    Tony.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Gagetown, New Brunswick, Canada
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    473

    Default Re: Planning a Maritimes visit in 2017

    Went for the first row of the season this evening. Dead calm, just one other boater (Kayak with a friend in it) on the water.

    The docks are in, and the bigger boats (including mine) go in on Friday with the help of a rented crane.

    The biggest event planned this year seems to be a mass canoe trip (50 of them, apparently) of ladies from a local club, who want to camp in the village for a couple of days as part of a down river trip, some time in July. Should be party central for a bit.

    Tony.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Planning a Maritimes visit in 2017

    Just back from our first overnighter, as a shake-down cruise. The first interesting incident was when I noticed that we were passing a floating line of indeterminate length, just nicely placed to snag any passing prop. It turned out to be about 100 yds long, moored to an unknown heavy object, and obviously severally cut and joined in the past. I had retrieved most of it, and was leaving the remainder coiled up and buoyed, when a commercial eel fisherman happened by. I waved him down, and he identified the rig as the remains of a shad net anchor, and identified the owner. The anchor was an entertainment, a monstrous thing made of welded re-bar, in the form of an old fashioned Admiralty pattern hook. Not something I wanted on my boat, and I envied the husky fisherman his strength as he raised it.

    The second entertainment was finding that many of the navigation buoys entering our largest lake (Grand Lake, about 30 miles long) from the Jemseg river (and some in the lake itself) were either badly out of position or missing completely. It was a difficult winter, with lots of moving ice. The Coast Guard's contractor with his buoy barge has obviously not been there yet. My three year old C-Map chart turned out to be accurate enough still to determine the channel, which was nice.

    Catch any fish? Yes, just little ones, but we saw one large (4 foot??) sturgeon doing its spectacular spring leap. There seems to be some controversy why they do this, but the why doesn't matter, they are fun to see. THere is a regulated fishery, partly for the eggs for sale as caviar. Not to my taste, and the meat is not nice eating either, I think.

    Other boaters? None at all - we had the water to ourselves, except for the helpful eel fisherman (they export the catch live to Japan).

    Tony.

    Edit. Actually, that's not quite true - we passed a flock of a dozen Army canoes plus motorized escort, full of very obviously new recruits just as we were returning to the dock. Some of them (the recruits) seemed over large for the little canoes. On a windy day, there might have been "issues".
    Last edited by Tonyr; 06-17-2017 at 05:00 AM.

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