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20 seasons sailing in the Penobscot Bay Archipelago


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It has occurred to me after all these years, that my sailing grounds are an island archipelago. We've sailed 30 to 40 days and nights in a season, mostly within a triangle that stretches about 70 nm across the mouth of the Penobscot Bay. 

473898870_PenbaytoMDImarkup.thumb.jpeg.4a87e0222a12ac0b7d424de52abccfef.jpeg 

We have two charts in a hallway that cover this archipelago. I pause there often and mentally zoom into areas we've been lately, or 20 years ago. There's still plenty that we haven't sailed to at all.

1112888661_Chartroom_.thumb.jpg.dff62dc5635c786c5efdc9c5b30895f9.jpg 

I live on the edge of the triangle. You get a good sense of the archipelago looking out over it from a hill in town. The high land on the horizon in the right of the frame is Isle Au Haut.

Beyond the close trees in the foreground below, all the lands in the photo are islands. Islands right and left,  as far as you can see.

The horizon looks impenetrable, but you can sail - more or less in a straight line, through islands - to the Atlantic, and beyond. 

876398350_BeechHillgroup.thumb.jpg.0566b34ef5b3919492307f91c0f635df.jpg

Anchored off Isle Au Haut in a remote part of Acadia National Park. 

1992613849_SunriseinEden(1of1).thumb.jpg.4a95a331cabd7f3f7680573bb3643fcb.jpg

Anchored below near the center of the archipelago. 

420896834_AnchoredoffShiver2019.thumb.jpg.c6556de88461c2281b996c1b1988df23.jpg

Most (90%) of our sailing in the last 20 seasons, for a weekend or several weeks, has been within this triangle.

Looking at the charts on the wall I realize, once we cast off, we rarely set foot on the mainland again, until we're back home.

Maybe it is the islands, as much as the water, that I crave. 

1937224480_Peabowreading(1of1).thumb.jpg.0b76519eb572ba97c94239b84a328509.jpg

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for this view. Had fun poking around there on Google Earth after reading your post. Read the subject line again and realized you didn’t say “20 REASONS” . Seems there are only two. Islands and water. 

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I was lucky enough to spend a summer season up in this area as crew on a classic ketch, based out of Boothbay and regularly cruising the archipelago. Absolutely stunning part of the world and sailing it on a classic seemed all the more special. My wife (gf at the time) would come up and spend time with me when we were both on 'down time' and we both talk a lot about wanting to get back there again in the future....

Although diving down to cut lobster pot lines off the prop in early May without a wetsuit is something that doesn't need to be repeated....

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We just purchased a membership to MITA. I got 2020's guidebook in the mail. 2021 will be along in May, I think.

@Kris Cringle I've booked 6 weeks off from work, beginning Monday, July 5th. I hope to see you up there.

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2 hours ago, Kris Cringle said:

It has occurred to me after all these years, that my sailing grounds are an island archipelago. We've sailed 30 to 40 days and nights in a season, mostly within a triangle that stretches about 70 nm across the mouth of the Penobscot Bay. 

473898870_PenbaytoMDImarkup.thumb.jpeg.4a87e0222a12ac0b7d424de52abccfef.jpeg 

We have two charts in a hallway that cover this archipelago. I pause there often and mentally zoom into areas we've been lately, or 20 years ago. There's still plenty that we haven't sailed to at all.

1112888661_Chartroom_.thumb.jpg.dff62dc5635c786c5efdc9c5b30895f9.jpg 

I live on the edge of the triangle. You get a good sense of the archipelago looking out over it from a hill in town. The high land on the horizon in the right of the frame is Isle Au Haut.

Beyond the close trees in the foreground below, all the lands in the photo are islands. Islands right and left,  as far as you can see.

The horizon looks impenetrable, but you can sail - more or less in a straight line, through islands - to the Atlantic, and beyond. 

876398350_BeechHillgroup.thumb.jpg.0566b34ef5b3919492307f91c0f635df.jpg

Anchored off Isle Au Haut in a remote part of Acadia National Park. 

1992613849_SunriseinEden(1of1).thumb.jpg.4a95a331cabd7f3f7680573bb3643fcb.jpg

Anchored below near the center of the archipelago. 

420896834_AnchoredoffShiver2019.thumb.jpg.c6556de88461c2281b996c1b1988df23.jpg

Most (90%) of our sailing in the last 20 seasons, for a weekend or several weeks, has been within this triangle.

Looking at the charts on the wall I realize, once we cast off, we rarely set foot on the mainland again, until we're back home.

Maybe it is the islands, as much as the water, that I crave. 

1937224480_Peabowreading(1of1).thumb.jpg.0b76519eb572ba97c94239b84a328509.jpg

 

 

 

 

If you walk to the top of Mt Cadillac on a clear day you can see most of the "playground."  I explained to my family that this is where we've been sailing for the past 10 seasons.  There's a lifetime of sailing in that box.  Like you we only set foot on the mainland after about a week or so just to empty the garbage and pump the pooper if we haven't been far enough offshore. Other than that, there is no need. Cool water keeps veggies fresh and the drinks cold, despite my fetish for ice. 

I would encourage you to extend that box to include Muscongus and maybe even Sheepscott.  Casco starts getting close to the city, but still has some nice spots. 

 

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3 hours ago, Kris Cringle said:

It has occurred to me after all these years, that my sailing grounds are an island archipelago. We've sailed 30 to 40 days and nights in a season, mostly within a triangle that stretches about 70 nm across the mouth of the Penobscot Bay. 

473898870_PenbaytoMDImarkup.thumb.jpeg.4a87e0222a12ac0b7d424de52abccfef.jpeg 

We have two charts in a hallway that cover this archipelago. I pause there often and mentally zoom into areas we've been lately, or 20 years ago. There's still plenty that we haven't sailed to at all.

So this is the "New England Triangle", the answer to the more famous "Bermuda Triangle".

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I'd also extend Downeast. Roque, Mistake, Mudhole, are marvelous places.

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1 hour ago, slap said:

So this is the "New England Triangle", the answer to the more famous "Bermuda Triangle".

Most sudden disappearances in this triangle are due to aggressive shellfish and lobsters gone rogue. The things I've seen drunken mussels do......

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When I was a staff officer in Alexandria, VA, maintaining flying proficiency involved taking a T-28 two seater (think radial engine, 1,425 HP fun machine) from Andrews AFB to all parts of the East Coast. A favorite run was to fly up past Boston, tool around this area taking in the sights and land at NAS Brunswick, nearby. We'd meet a lobsterman just outside NAS Operations and take delivery of a crate of bugs, throw it into the aft hellhole and fly home. One of my classmates from UCLA ROTC got stationed up there flying P3 Orions and the last time I saw him he told me he was never coming back to California except to visit. What a wonderful part of the world.

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There is beautiful water and coast to sail to the east and west, I know (as do you guys that sail here), having been all over this coast. 

Still, within the triangle, I think we have a unique weather system not found along the rest of the coast of Maine.

Because of the prevailing wind directions in combination with the orientation of the bay and the density of the islands, you're more protected from severe weather than on most of the rest of the coast.

You may find yourself stuck along the Maine coast waiting for a severe weather system (done that often),  that were you in the triangle, you could likely keep sailing, east and west. 

Another plus, fog doesn't stop us very often in the triangle. 

The archipelago isn't perfect, it's just my backyard. :)

1637751508_4-52amAugust2020.thumb.jpg.7fa09531fedb6d57229fc9545241efa3.jpg

 

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3 hours ago, Elegua said:

If you walk to the top of Mt Cadillac on a clear day you can see most of the "playground."  I explained to my family that this is where we've been sailing for the past 10 seasons.  There's a lifetime of sailing in that box.  Like you we only set foot on the mainland after about a week or so just to empty the garbage and pump the pooper if we haven't been far enough offshore. Other than that, there is no need. Cool water keeps veggies fresh and the drinks cold, despite my fetish for ice. 

I would encourage you to extend that box to include Muscongus and maybe even Sheepscott.  Casco starts getting close to the city, but still has some nice spots. 

 

I never thought to look back. We do get into Muscongus quite a bit and I always plan to get into that area more,  every season. 

We kept our last boat in the Sheepscot for two seasons and Boothbay for 2 more. We also spent a season in Casco, and that is beautiful. This was all before we moved to Maine from Vermont. Come to think of it, we had no intention of moving to Maine until we entered Penobscot Bay, through the back door (Eggemoggin Reach) and sailed out into the middle from an overnight off Pond Island.

That sight; the water, the islands, the hills rimming the coast, planted the seed that grew and we moved here a few years later. 

If I had come here via the highway, it never would have happened. 

 

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We too are planning to spend some time there in a few years, after i retire.

 Ive been there twice before. Once on a weeks charter on a Bristol 40 and, many  years later on a cruise on the Taber. 

 

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Thank you for posting those pictures -- just the thing for brightening up a February evening.

We've had our current boat five seasons and have gone up to Maine each season so far, with another trip this summer in the works, although we first cruised there on our first boat over 30 years ago. While mid-coast certainly has some highly worthwhile spots we increasingly think of Muscle Ridge Channel as where life starts to be the way it should be. In wintertime, we feel similarly about heading north through Kingfield at the end of the long drive from Massachusetts. Perhaps we should just move to Maine.

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4 hours ago, Kris Cringle said:

I never thought to look back. We do get into Muscongus quite a bit and I always plan to get into that area more,  every season. 

We kept our last boat in the Sheepscot for two seasons and Boothbay for 2 more. We also spent a season in Casco, and that is beautiful. This was all before we moved to Maine from Vermont. Come to think of it, we had no intention of moving to Maine until we entered Penobscot Bay, through the back door (Eggemoggin Reach) and sailed out into the middle from an overnight off Pond Island.

That sight; the water, the islands, the hills rimming the coast, planted the seed that grew and we moved here a few years later. 

If I had come here via the highway, it never would have happened. 

 

I first sailed the Maine coast in the 1970's, a couple of trips, then 2 trips in the 80's.

In the 90's we were summer guests at the Edsel Ford estate, then owned by Texas business partners, now by Martha Stewart. That really rekindled my love of the area and lit the fire in my wife and daughter. On one trip, since it was so close,  we ran over to the Hinckley yard and looked at a couple boats. Thus do love affairs with boats and coasts start. 

For us the highlight of the season is Eggemoggin Reach Regatta weekend. That's the only time we actually seek a crowd. What a blast. Should be on every sailors' bucket list.

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Gee I guess I'm old- my first Maine cruise was in 1961 on a King's Cruiser- I was 11. Moved here ten years later. The only state whose name is one syllable and is attached to only one state. So thats 50 years of cruising here at least once a summer except for a few. Probably five years ago I went off for two weeks and spent 10 nights in a harbor I hadn't spent a night in before. Can't wait for summer.

Sunset MDI 2020.jpg

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4 hours ago, kinardly said:

One of my classmates from UCLA ROTC got stationed up there flying P3 Orions and the last time I saw him he told me he was never coming back to California except to visit. What a wonderful part of the world.

When those P3s would fly over the road or highway on finals it could be quite the surprise. 

4 hours ago, Kris Cringle said:

I never thought to look back. We do get into Muscongus quite a bit and I always plan to get into that area more,  every season. 

We kept our last boat in the Sheepscot for two seasons and Boothbay for 2 more. We also spent a season in Casco, and that is beautiful. This was all before we moved to Maine from Vermont. Come to think of it, we had no intention of moving to Maine until we entered Penobscot Bay, through the back door (Eggemoggin Reach) and sailed out into the middle from an overnight off Pond Island.

That sight; the water, the islands, the hills rimming the coast, planted the seed that grew and we moved here a few years later. 

If I had come here via the highway, it never would have happened. 

 

Route 1 is no way to get to know Mid-Coast Maine. There are days I'd like to set off a low-yield nuke on Wiscassett and the people that have blocked a bypass for 30+ years. :D

I can't say I was born with an appreciation. Maine originally for me was a stopping point on the way going north or south that added a lot of distance and time to an upwind leg on the way back.  My parents moved there about the time I went overseas to start my career 30 something years ago, so it slowly became my "home" in the US.  About 10 years ago I bought a kruuzer and parked it in Maine. 

There is a sense of space that is unmatched.  

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9 hours ago, kinardly said:

When I was a staff officer in Alexandria, VA, maintaining flying proficiency involved taking a T-28 two seater (think radial engine, 1,425 HP fun machine) from Andrews AFB to all parts of the East Coast. A favorite run was to fly up past Boston, tool around this area taking in the sights and land at NAS Brunswick, nearby. We'd meet a lobsterman just outside NAS Operations and take delivery of a crate of bugs, throw it into the aft hellhole and fly home. One of my classmates from UCLA ROTC got stationed up there flying P3 Orions and the last time I saw him he told me he was never coming back to California except to visit. What a wonderful part of the world.

When I was a Tomcat guy, I think we must'a met the same guy.  We'd go up to do data link certifications for/with the new Aegis Cruisers and Destroyers.  When you called, he'd ask how the plane was configured, then bring the bugs packed up in such a way as to go into all the "open" spaces in the jet...then he'd brief us not to climb out too fast, as the bugs where in unpressurized compartments...and not to pull to many "G's" as he didn't have enough g-suits for all of them :rolleyes:

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3 hours ago, Elegua said:

When those P3s would fly over the road or highway on finals it could be quite the surprise. 

Route 1 is no way to get to know Mid-Coast Maine. There are days I'd like to set off a low-yield nuke on Wiscassett and the people that have blocked a bypass for 30+ years. :D

I can't say I was born with an appreciation. Maine originally for me was a stopping point on the way going north or south that added a lot of distance and time to an upwind leg on the way back.  My parents moved there about the time I went overseas to start my career 30 something years ago, so it slowly became my "home" in the US.  About 10 years ago I bought a kruuzer and parked it in Maine. 

There is a sense of space that is unmatched.  

ACtC-3eMmO7ARAxNmK8worGa6dA57vaMGa2TRQga

 

 

 

I might challenge that last statement.

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Carry on.

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We were in the archipelago for more than 3 weeks last season. I had to hunt around in my photos to see if we left: 

This was one of two points where we went ashore on the mainland. Come to think of it, we found it slightly uncomfortable onshore, here, more than usual in the past.

The weirdness of Covid-19 combined with the raucous sounds of main roads and vehicle traffic, seemed more shocking than normal.

Normal may never return. Stay in your archipelagos. 

1344754100_BlueHillrowing2020.thumb.jpg.c26ccc2bc71bb691011f6ccf9e2e85aa.jpg

We spent two nights at anchor here amongst islands that came and went with the tide. 

 

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3 hours ago, eliboat said:

Yeah PNW is amazing.  I cruise the same grounds as Kris every summer, and it’s just about as perfect a cruising area as one can imagine... until you gunkhole around the San Juans.  

I used to blow past the San Juan's to get to Canada, but last year I had to make peace with them because the border was closed and I found that there are spots I quite like. The places I like are mostly North of Orcas. The problem with summer in the San Juan's is the powerboats and the people that drive them. They seem to hate me as much as I hate them because they keep trying to run me over, but they all go away in the off seasons (and when cocktail hour starts).

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I should know better than to get into a photo war with Ish. I will lose badly. Perhaps that was badly stated....

What's nice about Maine is the moderate tides and winds mean a lot of light air sailing. Whole days can be done without turning on the engine. 

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Chasing down my parent's old A28 

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There's some interesting history. This anchorage was where the Pilgrims who were facing starvation in 1622, went for food and where colonists hid during King Philip's War. 

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I don't have a drone...so an Osprey cam will have to do....

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4 hours ago, Russell Brown said:

I used to blow past the San Juan's to get to Canada, but last year I had to make peace with them because the border was closed and I found that there are spots I quite like. The places I like are mostly North of Orcas. The problem with summer in the San Juan's is the powerboats and the people that drive them. They seem to hate me as much as I hate them because they keep trying to run me over, but they all go away in the off seasons (and when cocktail hour starts).

I forgot to mention Canada too!  I will say that for the most part Maine, east of Casco bay is devoid of the powerboat crowding that you have in the San Juans.  Frequent fog, lack of abundant marinas and the ability to use ones anchor often are great impediments to this crowd.  Pre gps was even better in this respect, but sailing around that much granite is far less stressful since the advent of GPS

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4 hours ago, Russell Brown said:

I used to blow past the San Juan's to get to Canada, but last year I had to make peace with them because the border was closed and I found that there are spots I quite like. The places I like are mostly North of Orcas. The problem with summer in the San Juan's is the powerboats and the people that drive them. They seem to hate me as much as I hate them because they keep trying to run me over, but they all go away in the off seasons (and when cocktail hour starts).

Yes, Sucia is great, we like it a lot. However, the places I like are mostly North of Desolation.

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I want this boat in Maine for the summer.

I can take some granite with a cast iron full length keel if I have to and lots of chain and rode. I’ll let the wooden boat snobs pick it apart...

 

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There are plenty of powerboats in Maine too, many of them carrying a load of lobster pots to drop in your way. 

Three areas I have perhaps enjoyed the most are Georgian Bay, Penobscot Bay, and the PNW from the San Juans to SE Alaska. I might throw Newfoundland in there as well but I think we visited in unusually good weather. 

An advantage Penobscot Bay has is that most afternoons you are likely to able to sail. In the PNW not so much, its advantage is that as you travel north, the people thin to a trickle and then pretty much disappear altogether. The scale of the places are way different: Penobscot 80 miles end to end, PNW 800 miles end to end. Even vertically: Cadillac Mt. is 1500 ft (and the highest point on the east coast), the coastal foothills in the PNW are 6000 ft. 

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5 hours ago, Ajax said:

Which one of you guys is going to be my Pilot Boat when I arrive so that I don't rip my keel off? ;)

You'll be fine- nice sturdy boatB) You need two calendars- time of day and tide, and keep track of the changes and it'll be fun. Just come on up.

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6 hours ago, Ajax said:

Which one of you guys is going to be my Pilot Boat when I arrive so that I don't rip my keel off? ;)

What Tucky said. Most people that find granite are going too fast, taking "short cuts", not paying attention or all of the above. 

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16 minutes ago, Elegua said:
6 hours ago, Ajax said:

Which one of you guys is going to be my Pilot Boat when I arrive so that I don't rip my keel off? ;)

What Tucky said. Most people that find granite are going too fast, taking "short cuts", not paying attention or all of the above. 

Slow is important.  Slow gives more time to avoid the rocks, but also makes hitting them less traumatic: doubling the speed means 4 times as much energy to dissipate. 

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23 minutes ago, Sail4beer said:

Midwinter dreaming 

95BAF3B3-92E5-436F-8EF6-C5CD141666D8.jpeg

 

In less than a month the boat cover will be off and will be doing the spring prep to launch her.....

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21 hours ago, Ajax said:

Which one of you guys is going to be my Pilot Boat when I arrive so that I don't rip my keel off? ;)

Sail boldly, but cautiously. 

1387546019_SAPHAEDRA1.thumb.jpg.6ee52b92d02012153a12505cd581f420.jpg

You'll be fine. As mentioned, it's usually inattention, close to home complacency, laziness that gets you. You'll be new and paying attention to your basic piloting. That's all you need. 

 

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It’s me...

A blazer can absorb an extraordinary  amount of summer heat while keeping you cool on an afternoon cruise.

It will also keep you warm in the fall when a windbreaker is necessary.

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18 minutes ago, Sail4beer said:

It’s me...

A blazer can absorb an extraordinary  amount of summer heat while keeping you cool on an afternoon cruise.

It will also keep you warm in the fall when a windbreaker is necessary.

It can't be you, Beer.  I have been reading your posts for years, and have a mental image of you which is nothing like that.

Please readjust your looks to conform better to what I imagined you look like ;) 

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19 hours ago, Sail4beer said:

It’s me...

A blazer can absorb an extraordinary  amount of summer heat while keeping you cool on an afternoon cruise.

It will also keep you warm in the fall when a windbreaker is necessary.

Don't all sailors carry blazers aboard in case of emergency?

enhance

 

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4 hours ago, Kris Cringle said:

When you cruise Maine in your boat, pick up one of these: 

image.png.c4bda8ffab39ad6d9b2e189afa765b58.png 

Our local fashionistas will approve. 

1011873890_Lobstermen(1of1).thumb.jpg.6e241ff33acdb9ca6b14cd060cfb409b.jpg

 

The look on these guys' faces says it all:  "Fucking yachties."

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4 minutes ago, Ajax said:

 

The look on these guys' faces says it all:  "Fucking yachties."

Not all are like that. Generally you are assumed to be an a-hole yachtie until proven otherwise and mostly ignored unles there is a good opportunity to "wake" you at 5am. Even my uncle the lobsterman turn tug boat captain isn't immune to this when he is sailing his glass Alden around.  I into a guy running and old woody lobsterboat and was over the moon when I commented on how good his sheerline looked and he spent then next 10min idling next to me telling me what it was, what work he did on it....

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The only way I know not to be an asshole is to give them space, don't run over the pot lines and anchor out of the way. I expect to get rocked early in the morning. The crabbers do it here, too.  I usually get up to pee, go back to bed and the boat settles down in about 30 minutes.

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14 minutes ago, Ajax said:

The only way I know not to be an asshole is to give them space, don't run over the pot lines and anchor out of the way. I expect to get rocked early in the morning. The crabbers do it here, too.  I usually get up to pee, go back to bed and the boat settles down in about 30 minutes.

Easier said than done in many areas in Maine.  There are some narrow passages through solid granite that are solid lobster buoys with ludicrously long toggles throughout the cut.  I have had to cut many lines with either my spurs or a hook knife in these areas, and ran out of fucks to give a couple decades ago on this particular front.  When gear becomes a real hazard to navigation then it’s pretty hard to be a bigger asshole than the guy deciding to be the hazard to navigation.  

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On 2/18/2021 at 8:56 PM, Crash said:

When I was a Tomcat guy, I think we must'a met the same guy.  We'd go up to do data link certifications for/with the new Aegis Cruisers and Destroyers.  When you called, he'd ask how the plane was configured, then bring the bugs packed up in such a way as to go into all the "open" spaces in the jet...then he'd brief us not to climb out too fast, as the bugs where in unpressurized compartments...and not to pull to many "G's" as he didn't have enough g-suits for all of them :rolleyes:

I can just hear the handoff at ATC: "Hey Joe, I've got Tomcat 205 on a Lobster 1A departure out of NAS Brunswick, initial climb to 5,000 for ten miles, 10,000 after. Clear the Victor airways to Oceana."

Joe: "Aw, crap! Why don't those guys just stick to crab?"

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1 hour ago, eliboat said:

Easier said than done in many areas in Maine.  There are some narrow passages through solid granite that are solid lobster buoys with ludicrously long toggles throughout the cut.  I have had to cut many lines with either my spurs or a hook knife in these areas, and ran out of fucks to give a couple decades ago on this particular front.  When gear becomes a real hazard to navigation then it’s pretty hard to be a bigger asshole than the guy deciding to be the hazard to navigation.  

What he said. 

You may find it hard to give them space. I don't bother dodging sail - maybe that's why I sail so much :D 

ACtC-3f8lNqLDJofsusm_ZtpxLSwm7Y7HG-VowAY

There will be pots in the channel,. There will be pots in the anchorages. There will be pots in the straights ...we shall never surrender...

 

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Very few pots on the Reach, but the entrance is festooned. 

Blue Hill Bay tends to have fewer, as it's quite deep. 

We have lobstermen on our Christmas card list. I try to keep in perspective that I'm playing, they're making a living in a hard way. I respect them. We've met a lot of them over the years, I tend to think they're great people, but yeah, some places can be tough. 

If you're ever in real trouble, they're real watermen, and will drop everything to help you. 

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1 hour ago, Cruisin Loser said:

 

Very few pots on the Reach, but the entrance is festooned. 

Blue Hill Bay tends to have fewer, as it's quite deep. 

We have lobstermen on our Christmas card list. I try to keep in perspective that I'm playing, they're making a living in a hard way. I respect them. We've met a lot of them over the years, I tend to think they're great people, but yeah, some places can be tough. 

If you're ever in real trouble, they're real watermen, and will drop everything to help you. 

This is true. I have been saved a few times by lobstermen.  A couple of years ago I snagged a pot with my Chris Craft heading south from Portland to Portsmouth.  I was sideways to the waves and getting pretty hammered.  I managed to flag a guy down and we worked together to get enough warp out of the water so that he could get it on his hauler.  I had to limp back to Portland on on engine with a bunch of gear rattling around underneath.  That was a long night with a newborn at home!

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I think it was in 2009, Mrs. Bull and I fulfilled one of our wedding vows (39 years later) and went on a 5-day Windjammer Cruise out of Camden. The boat was only at about 20% capacity, fortunately for us, and we had a wondrous time. 

RLXVzkjPTMSOBjDWw0NLIg_thumb_960.thumb.jpg.65e41ad2039f5d97fbe07622d748a5e3.jpg

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10 minutes ago, Bull City said:

I think it was in 2009, Mrs. Bull and I fulfilled one of our wedding vows (39 years later) and went on a 5-day Windjammer Cruise out of Camden. The boat was only at about 20% capacity, fortunately for us, and we had a wondrous time. 

RLXVzkjPTMSOBjDWw0NLIg_thumb_960.thumb.jpg.65e41ad2039f5d97fbe07622d748a5e3.jpg

Is that your cabin?

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On @Kris Cringle's advice, I FedEx'd a pair of bugs down here from Maine at the beginning of the pandemic last year. My God, they were delicious. A 2lb. bug is really too much. We could barely finish them.

Looking forward to buying them local this summer. I have a big pot on the boat.  Remember: "The only good bug, is a dead bug."

 

troopers.jpg.245f20f75c5ec0fd3c4aed6c0baecb8e.jpg

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17 hours ago, Ajax said:

The only way I know not to be an asshole is to give them space, don't run over the pot lines and anchor out of the way. I expect to get rocked early in the morning. The crabbers do it here, too.  I usually get up to pee, go back to bed and the boat settles down in about 30 minutes.

Every boat has a story to tell out there. Most of the time, I don't think the guy fishing hard nearby has given you a thought, if you were noticed at all.

On the other hand, he could be strung out. I think more people died in Maine from drug overdose in 2020, than died of Covid-19 and the epidemic is strong in the fishing industry.  

 

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The best lobsters are those where someone else has to clean-up. Usually at the end of a season we'll trundle down to one of the Co-Ops for a lobster feed. None of my family have cooked them in the house for the past 20 years, (ok, maybe rarely when someone important from away has come). My daughter won't touch them at all. I like my fried clams. 

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There's some good haddock to be had as well. 

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On a deck over the water, or on the grass. Living here, we end up doing the gratuitous Maine lobster dinner for friends and family. The location requires a dumpster within 50 yards. 

We use the public park down in our harbor a few times a season. Big pot, big burner, that's all the kit. You should take the bands off but I'm not doing that while drinking wine(I owned a fish market). 

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Fishing is the wild west out here. Nobody knows where the industry is going. The lobsters are on the move - North, Pogies are moving in.

I watched these Pogie netters nearly catch an Alden last year. Once the lobsters are gone, we'll have Pogies to eat. Lots of Pogies. 

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1 hour ago, Kris Cringle said:

I think more people died in Maine from drug overdose in 2020, than died of Covid-19 and the epidemic is strong in the fishing industry.  

That's tragic and it makes me sad. I do not understand the drivers in the rural drug epidemic. Poverty? Boredom? A mix of both?

I grew up in a rural area with not a lot of money. Drugs never entered my head. There was too much fishing, boating, swimming, swamp ratting, bicycling with friends to do. I was po' but I didn't lack imagination. We played.

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There is at least a sliver of silver lining in the ongoing disaster which is climate change. 2020 was the hottest year recorded in Portland Maine, about 3 degrees F warmer than normal(2020 tied with 2016, globally).

Our sailing water is noticeably warmer than when we first started sailing here 20 seasons ago. We don't need to go as far up rivers and creeks, or up the bay to find water temperatures in the 70F range in August, which was rare in our 'old days'. 

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3 minutes ago, Ajax said:

That's tragic and it makes me sad. I do not understand the drivers in the rural drug epidemic. Poverty? Boredom? A mix of both?

I grew up in a rural area with not a lot of money. Drugs never entered my head. There was too much fishing, boating, swimming, swamp ratting, bicycling with friends to do. I was po' but I didn't lack imagination. We played.

Alot of the problem is reported to stem from prescription drug use. Oxy pain meds got many 'normal' people started up here. They tightened Oxy down but heroin is cheap, dirt cheap. 

As to the fishing, poverty, cheap drugs, I guess. It is very sad. 

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11 minutes ago, Kris Cringle said:

Alot of the problem is reported to stem from prescription drug use. Oxy pain meds got many 'normal' people started up here. They tightened Oxy down but heroin is cheap, dirt cheap. 

The problem in a lot of countries, especially the USA, but also e.g. in Ireland, is that the distribution of drugs has been handed over to highly profitable criminal gangs.

Prohibition and criminalisation doesn't work.  Treating drugs as a public health issue puts the gangs out of business, and reduces drug consumption, as well as ending a lot of drug-related crime.

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34 minutes ago, Ajax said:

That's tragic and it makes me sad. I do not understand the drivers in the rural drug epidemic. Poverty? Boredom? A mix of both?

I grew up in a rural area with not a lot of money. Drugs never entered my head. There was too much fishing, boating, swimming, swamp ratting, bicycling with friends to do. I was po' but I didn't lack imagination. We played.

I can't say I fully understand it either.  For kids I think a lot of easy public access to those things we did aren't there anymore or have been commercialized. How many things can you do these days that are legitimately "free" ?  A lot of non-fishing jobs that pumped money into the economy outside of people-from-away retirees have gone elsewhere from call centers to chicken farms to paper mills. 

Fishing has always been a hard, have kids before your potential father drowns. kind of life.  Now a days here's a pill to go with the debt you took on to cover your $300k Lobster boat and $80k truck. 

Pogies: I did notice more this last Summer. While deleterious to the lobster business, is the recovery of the menhaden a return to a more original ecology? Certainly the Osprey are happy.  

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I always like these type of threads. We (or at least I) forget how lucky we are up here in Vacationland. I would just throw out my bias for the 'big bay down south'... yeah, Casco is closer to people, but there are a lot of places to poke about and you wouldn't know it!

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24 minutes ago, TwoLegged said:

The problem in a lot of countries, especially the USA, but also e.g. in Ireland, is that the distribution of drugs has been handed over to highly profitable criminal gangs.

Prohibition and criminalisation doesn't work.  Treating drugs as a public health issue puts the gangs out of business, and reduces drug consumption, as well as ending a lot of drug-related crime.

In the USA the current drug problem was created by highly profitable white collar criminal gangs known as pharmaceutical companies.  The original offender being Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family.  Once larger more legitimate pharma companies saw the blockbuster profits that PP was making they all joined the party in a big way.  The criminal gangs merely saw an opportunity and exploited it when they realized that they could synthesize fentanyl for pennies.  

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29 minutes ago, suider said:

I always like these type of threads. We (or at least I) forget how lucky we are up here in Vacationland. I would just throw out my bias for the 'big bay down south'... yeah, Casco is closer to people, but there are a lot of places to poke about and you wouldn't know it!

Before last Summer I'd never been West of Cape Small.  COVID has meant some of the gems of Casco have been deserted. 

 

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My drug of choice is the Dark and Stormy by the pedestal.

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33 minutes ago, Elegua said:

I can't say I fully understand it either.  For kids I think a lot of easy public access to those things we did aren't there anymore or have been commercialized. How many things can you do these days that are legitimately "free" ?  A lot of non-fishing jobs that pumped money into the economy outside of people-from-away retirees have gone elsewhere from call centers to chicken farms to paper mills. 

Fishing has always been a hard, have kids before your potential father drowns. kind of life.  Now a days here's a pill to go with the debt you took on to cover your $300k Lobster boat and $80k truck. 

Pogies: I did notice more this last Summer. While deleterious to the lobster business, is the recovery of the menhaden a return to a more original ecology? Certainly the Osprey are happy.  

My town was an undeveloped swamp at the time. There were no free "community" things to do. We pedaled our bicycles up and down empty streets with no houses yet built and played in the swamps and swam in the canals, dodging alligators.

When we had $2.00, we'd beg our parents to drive us down to the public swimming pool and swim in clean, clear alligator-free water. We'd pack a sandwich, an apple and if we were really lucky, we'd split an extra dollar so we could buy a soda. There was also a little beach there that is free, but it's way up a brackish river. The sand was clean the but water was brown and turbid, not so much from pollution but nature.

When I was 14, my parents gave me an old aluminum skiff with an air cooled 7.5 outboard on it. We terrorized the canals, went fishing and swam. By then I was flipping burgers so I had money for gas for the outboard. Same story though- pack sandwiches and a bag of chips and a soda.

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11 minutes ago, Ajax said:

My town was an undeveloped swamp at the time. There were no free "community" things to do. We pedaled our bicycles up and down empty streets with no houses yet built and played in the swamps and swam in the canals, dodging alligators.

That's what I meant. I used to play in a creek that is now developed and there is no longer access. I don't know if we "terrorized" anyone with a montgomery pram with holes patched with duct-tape and seagull outboard. :D

I did landscaping and paid for people to buy us beers. 

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54 minutes ago, eliboat said:

In the USA the current drug problem was created by highly profitable white collar criminal gangs known as pharmaceutical companies.  The original offender being Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family.  Once larger more legitimate pharma companies saw the blockbuster profits that PP was making they all joined the party in a big way.  The criminal gangs merely saw an opportunity and exploited it when they realized that they could synthesize fentanyl for pennies.  

The Sackler family was canny: squirreled their money off to tax havens, so they are still well-loaded even after the company was basically taken from them.  And like most of the banksters who drove global economy off a cliff in 2008, they seem to face no threat of jail.  Prison is for the retailers.

 

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Ah, good point. Yes, my old hometown is fully developed now. There's no more skidding down the banks into a canal from an undeveloped home lot. The alligators have fled the human intrusion...well, mostly. Once in awhile someone's poodle goes missing. :blink:

The pool and the beach still exist and I believe they are still very inexpensive.

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I don't recall ever getting any attitude from lobstermen in all my years sailing in Maine. Perhaps it was because I had a beautiful old woody, but generally when I passed close aboard it was always smiles and friendly waves from the workboats. Furthermore, I've benefitted from fresh boatside delivery on a number of occasions. Wave a $20 at a lobsterman and ask him for whatever he feels it's worth and you'll likely get a very generous deal...

enhance

 

I don't have the same kind relationship with the pogeymen, whom have drifted down on my oyster farm twice that I know of. Their lack of consideration is getting noticed by others however, and I believe the lobstermen might be doing a little aversion therapy on them as they stood well off last summer. Everybody has to find their place in the food chain.

 

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Wow, that one on the left doesn't have a claw, it's a club. He could beat you to death even with the rubber band on.  Note to self: Carry cash onboard.

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34 minutes ago, Willin' said:

Furthermore, I've benefitted from fresh boatside delivery on a number of occasions. Wave a $20 at a lobsterman and ask him for whatever he feels it's worth and you'll likely get a very generous deal...

Are there quotas for lobsters? I presume that such sales are outside the quota, which would make them extra attractive.

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4 minutes ago, TwoLegged said:

Are there quotas for lobsters? I presume that such sales are outside the quota, which would make them extra attractive.

No limits, no seasons. The only restrictions are size, egg bearings females are released. The only real regulations are territories each fisherman has to stay in and maximum number of traps, around 800 last I heard. The real policing on who and where is done by the fishermen and that is pretty dodgy. 

I would guess our lobstermen make about 1/3 per pound than most in the UK region do. Smaller boats, less traps, less work,....more $$. 

At least I got that comparison from this guy in Scotland quite a while back. 

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10 minutes ago, Kris Cringle said:

No limits, no seasons.

Welll, to be accurate, there is at least one area with a restricted lobster season, Monhegan Island Conservation area is closed from June 25-September1. The area is only open to and regulated by lobstermen living on the island and they generally open their season on January1 every year and fish until June.

I've heard it's mostly a pride thing though. My balls are bigger than any fisherman from the mainland's sort of thing.

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1 hour ago, Willin' said:

 

I don't have the same kind relationship with the pogeymen, whom have drifted down on my oyster farm twice that I know of. Their lack of consideration is getting noticed by others however, and I believe the lobstermen might be doing a little aversion therapy on them as they stood well off last summer. Everybody has to find their place in the food chain.

 

Strange... this year they were MORE invasive in our harbor (the pogeymen, as well as the actual pogies)... we watched several seining right in the fairway this past summer which went over famously with both the lobstermen and the recreational boaters....

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