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Any experienced NE cruisers to give info on stopping spots between Boston and Maine?  Looks like there's not much there.  Do folks typically bite the bullet and do an overnighter?

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Last overnight we did from Rockport to Onset, we had a nice Southerly breeze, most of the way.  I don't keep a log but the trip was mostly like this (taken at 2:45pm, we left just after sunrise):

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The only place we've stopped between the two is Gloucester.  Was a nice stop en route from Camden to Woods Hole and let us get our timing for the Cape Cod Canal right, get a good night of sleep, and visit a friend who lived there.  Not sure if from Boston it's too close to be worth the stop.

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There is plenty depending on how much time you feel like burning.  The issue is that Maine is essentially due east, any port exploration means that you have to sail inshore pretty far.  Not a big deal of course if you're interested in exploring.  The North Shore is nice.  Manchester harbor is beautiful, as are a bunch of spots in and around Gloucester.  Portsmouth, NH and the Isles of Shoals is cool too.  You can go a little further up the coast into York Harbor, which is also really pretty.  After that it starts getting tougher.  Biddeford Pool is very nice, as is cape Porpoise in the Kennebunk area.  Then you've got Portland and Casco Bay...and well, you're in Maine at that point.  For many though, they even skip that and heat right for Monhegan and Penobscot Bay beyond. 

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I've always gone nonstop, but if you're looking to not do an overnight, Gloucester is a perfect stopover not too far off the rhumb line to downeastland - anywhere else, you end up having to go kinda far west of where you're headed to clear Cape Ann.

Short & Main and Blue Collar Lobster are both worthwhile for a bite. Town moorings are close to the dinghy dock & fairly protected. Too bad Cape Ann Brewing has closed. Isle of Shoals is the next close stop, but I've heard poor holding, and moorings reserved for club members - they show up, you loose your mooring. 
Otherwise - Portland is an easy overnight from Boston. Rude not to stop off there. DeMilio's was booked out when we tried to visit, but seems like the best spot to stay - right in the heart of everything. No moorings, and fairly limited anchoring in Portland.

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38 minutes ago, bgytr said:

Any experienced NE cruisers to give info on stopping spots between Boston and Maine?  Looks like there's not much there.  Do folks typically bite the bullet and do an overnighter?

We've stopped Gloucester (+++++), Rockport Ma. via the canal (+++), Isle of Shoals many times (+++++), Marblehead (++),Biddeford Pool was a great find last trip, handy provisions (+++++). 

Biting the bullet is fun if you get the right weather. If not it's a nice motorboat trip. I've done it solo overnight several times, and with crew. I've also done: Day one - Gloucester to Isle of Shoals under power, Day two - Isle of Shoals to Monhegan. Long days. 

 

Our longest trip (in distance) from Penobscot Bay Maine to the Cape Cod Canal under sail, was also our fastest. Three tacks into a light to moderate Southerly breeze.  

 

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Plus one for Isles of Shoals. They don't look that well protected but actually are pretty good in typical summer conditions. Plus, it's a fairly easy motor in to Portsmouth or York if you need fuel or supplies.

My one night in York wasn't that great as the current races and eddies through the mooring field really fast keeping me awake most of the night.

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Why? When you thinking of coming up?

We always went direct. It's usually an easy overnighter. 

As others have said, anything on the MA coast in generally the wrong direction, though I could see how Isles of Shoals, Biddeford Pool and some other places could be a good stops. 

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55 minutes ago, Elegua said:

Why? When you thinking of coming up?

We always went direct. It's usually an easy overnighter. 

As others have said, anything on the MA coast in generally the wrong direction, though I could see how Isles of Shoals, Biddeford Pool and some other places could be a good stops. 

Will be coming up in a few years when the wife retires, just killing time doing long term planning (pipe dreaming) while getting over a cold.  The wife is still a beginner, so looking for day passages.  Maybe she will be up for overnight after a couple more seasons.

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I know you said Boston, but...If you're coming from the CCC, a stop in Provincetown is right along your route. We've gone back and forth from Penobscot Bay and P-town several times; really nice trip if you get some wind, and keeps you plenty clear of Cape Ann and the fishing boats around it (not to mention fewer lobster pots).

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2 hours ago, Willin' said:

Plus one for Isles of Shoals. They don't look that well protected but actually are pretty good in typical summer conditions. Plus, it's a fairly easy motor in to Portsmouth or York if you need fuel or supplies.

My one night in York wasn't that great as the current races and eddies through the mooring field really fast keeping me awake most of the night.

No it really isn’t protected out there.  I’ve seen boats sink on multiple occasions when the wind shifted 180 as fronts came through and moorings parted.  Not pretty at all.  

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Last overnight we did from Rockport to Onset, we had a nice Southerly breeze, most of the way. 

I don't keep a log but the trip was mostly like this (taken at 2:45pm, we left just after sunrise): Our old boat with just a wheel pilot likes to sail itself to windward. My daughter read this book - most of it out loud -  by John Hodgman. The boat took care of itself. 

846264754_GulfofMaine2-45pm.thumb.jpg.f577a068b0d26ae488f7b1e6140797c7.jpg

I notice at 7:30 pm, we've covered 92 NM and we have a happy 4.5 knots sending us about 40 degrees West of the rumbline. Also, my sister in law and daughter have just started cooking dinner. The cooker is gimballed, MJ has to hold one platter as the main course is cooked. I sort of suggested we get the cooking out of the way but I know my family, they ignored me. Food is not something you hurry,....

129895567_GulfofMaine7-2992NMout.thumb.jpg.3e882d3dc22c75f6dc5fba30bdc74e18.jpg

I just tweaked the sails a bit but I notice we're now on the other tack, I think.

Dinner came out about 8pm, a fashionable time. Those are local Halibut steaks. It was superb. 

1602977668_Dinnerisservedhowarewegoingtodothis.thumb.jpg.f1d2982094d8a8a26464446ed9aa35b5.jpg

I remember I did the dishes below as the boat was still steering well and the motion wasn't too bad for doing dishes. Everything stowed just as it started getting dark.

We were the Night train on the Gulf of Maine. 

860392475_MJGOMnighttrain.thumb.jpg.00c3ab8ed286cbddae6340d77f5e0cf6.jpg

The wind didn't hold and we ended up motor sailing and finally just power into the canal. We were anchored in Onset about 35 or so hours after leaving. 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, ghost37 said:

I know you said Boston, but...If you're coming from the CCC, a stop in Provincetown is right along your route. We've gone back and forth from Penobscot Bay and P-town several times; really nice trip if you get some wind, and keeps you plenty clear of Cape Ann and the fishing boats around it (not to mention fewer lobster pots).

Ya was thinking Boston cuz that's where my daughter is.

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2 hours ago, Kris Cringle said:

Last overnight we did from Rockport to Onset, we had a nice Southerly breeze, most of the way. 

I don't keep a log but the trip was mostly like this (taken at 2:45pm, we left just after sunrise): Our old boat with just a wheel pilot likes to sail itself to windward. My daughter read this book - most of it out loud -  by John Hodgman. The boat took care of itself. 

846264754_GulfofMaine2-45pm.thumb.jpg.f577a068b0d26ae488f7b1e6140797c7.jpg

I notice at 7:30 pm, we've covered 92 NM and we have a happy 4.5 knots sending us about 40 degrees West of the rumbline. Also, my sister in law and daughter have just started cooking dinner. The cooker is gimballed, MJ has to hold one platter as the main course is cooked. I sort of suggested we get the cooking out of the way but I know my family, they ignored me. Food is not something you hurry,....

129895567_GulfofMaine7-2992NMout.thumb.jpg.3e882d3dc22c75f6dc5fba30bdc74e18.jpg

I just tweaked the sails a bit but I notice we're now on the other tack, I think.

Dinner came out about 8pm, a fashionable time. Those are local Halibut steaks. It was superb. 

1602977668_Dinnerisservedhowarewegoingtodothis.thumb.jpg.f1d2982094d8a8a26464446ed9aa35b5.jpg

I remember I did the dishes below as the boat was still steering well and the motion wasn't too bad for doing dishes. Everything stowed just as it started getting dark.

We were the Night train on the Gulf of Maine. 

860392475_MJGOMnighttrain.thumb.jpg.00c3ab8ed286cbddae6340d77f5e0cf6.jpg

The wind didn't hold and we ended up motor sailing and finally just power into the canal. We were anchored in Onset about 35 or so hours after leaving. 

 

 

 

OK,  that's an important data point for me. I'll be making that run. 

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P-Town is a jewel. If you're not going into town, anchor off the National Seashore. If a SW is predicted. Its worth scoring a mooring if strong NE is predicted. In town you can rent bikes and do the trails thru the sand dunes out by race point. 

Isle of Shoals is a nice place to visit,but I would not anchor there unless it's fine settled weather. Keep going to Machester by the Sea, or go up the river a bit to Kittery. There's a good cove there that's out of the current. Name escapes me as I'm trying to drink away a sprained ankle. Plus, I haven't been there in 15 or so years. The direct route gets you to the good stuff faster. 

If you're leaving P-Town for Downeast (we usually go to Frenchboro for a welcoming lobster), don't leave too early. You'll end up slowing down anyways to avoid making landfall at night. Sleep in, have a second cup of coffee. Relax. 

If you're going to gunkhole Maine,  get most of your easting out of the way on your overnight. Then short hop back SW along the coast. The prevailing winds are light enough that it's more fun to sail mostly upwind. 

Leaving P-Town is prime whale watching.

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4 hours ago, Cruisin Loser said:

P-Town is a jewel. If you're not going into town, anchor off the National Seashore. If a SW is predicted. Its worth scoring a mooring if strong NE is predicted. In town you can rent bikes and do the trails thru the sand dunes out by race point. 

Isle of Shoals is a nice place to visit,but I would not anchor there unless it's fine settled weather. Keep going to Machester by the Sea, or go up the river a bit to Kittery. There's a good cove there that's out of the current. Name escapes me as I'm trying to drink away a sprained ankle. Plus, I haven't been there in 15 or so years. The direct route gets you to the good stuff faster. 

If you're leaving P-Town for Downeast (we usually go to Frenchboro for a welcoming lobster), don't leave too early. You'll end up slowing down anyways to avoid making landfall at night. Sleep in, have a second cup of coffee. Relax. 

If you're going to gunkhole Maine,  get most of your easting out of the way on your overnight. Then short hop back SW along the coast. The prevailing winds are light enough that it's more fun to sail mostly upwind. 

Leaving P-Town is prime whale watching.

Second P-Town, and Frenchboro. When we were there the Offshore Store was open, though I think it's since closed and now it's just the one original place (Lundt's?). Our daughter was instafriends with the OS people and we got spent a lot of time with them. That's my parents sitting under the tent looking back at us.

IMG_1354.thumb.JPG.47d22dd76252f1b1d6a3cab349aa7a89.JPG

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My father isn't particularly nimble on boats, and always hated our dinghy and getting on and off it. They've gone to Block Island, Nantucket, Hyannis and Martha's Vineyard with us, and visited us on the boat in St. Martin, Panama, New Zealand and Australia.

So where is the only place my dad fall in the water trying to get on the boat? Of course not the Caribbean or Australia...freaking Maine, in Frenchboro where the water is like 60 degrees. Lots of $3.25/lb lobster made up for it. I think we ate lobster for every meal but breakfast while we were there.

 

Gloucester is also a nice stop over, but it's a very different tone and timbre than P-Town. We like the town there, though anchoring isn't so easy. Lot's of good restaurants, funky shops, and fun bars.

We always ended up with a mooring, though once we went into a slip when we were traveling with friends.

 

We'd be happy stopping in either place again. I've got family in Rockport; if you stop in Tuck's Candy my cousin married into that family.

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10 hours ago, Cruisin Loser said:

P-Town is a jewel. If you're not going into town, anchor off the National Seashore. If a SW is predicted. Its worth scoring a mooring if strong NE is predicted. In town you can rent bikes and do the trails thru the sand dunes out by race point. 

Isle of Shoals is a nice place to visit,but I would not anchor there unless it's fine settled weather. Keep going to Machester by the Sea, or go up the river a bit to Kittery. There's a good cove there that's out of the current. Name escapes me as I'm trying to drink away a sprained ankle. Plus, I haven't been there in 15 or so years. The direct route gets you to the good stuff faster. 

If you're leaving P-Town for Downeast (we usually go to Frenchboro for a welcoming lobster), don't leave too early. You'll end up slowing down anyways to avoid making landfall at night. Sleep in, have a second cup of coffee. Relax. 

If you're going to gunkhole Maine,  get most of your easting out of the way on your overnight. Then short hop back SW along the coast. The prevailing winds are light enough that it's more fun to sail mostly upwind. 

Leaving P-Town is prime whale watching.

You’re speaking of Pepperel Cove.  That’s pretty much the only suitable anchorage for a boat of any size on the Piscataqua east of the Memorial bridge.  You can also anchor a little further up by the old naval prison near the entrance to the back channel where Kittery Point Yacht Yard is, but it’s a lot trickier getting that right.  Another really cool spot in that area that mostly only locals know about is Brave Boat harbor, just south of York Harbor.  It really is a beautiful and peaceful spot, but it’s tidal, so you have to really want to be there through a tide cycle.  

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10 minutes ago, eliboat said:

You’re speaking of Pepperel Cove. 

Thanks, you're right. I probably need to get this thing x-rayed. It's been over a week and the last couple of days has gotten worse, if anything. I trace the decline to Wednesday, after work we had an outdoor gig at a restaurant and, like the damn fool I am, I stood on it for over three hours. 

6 hours ago, B.J. Porter said:

Second P-Town, and Frenchboro. When we were there the Offshore Store was open, though I think it's since closed and now it's just the one original place (Lundt's?). Our daughter was instafriends with the OS people and we got spent a lot of time with them. That's my parents sitting under the tent looking back at us.

IMG_1354.thumb.JPG.47d22dd76252f1b1d6a3cab349aa7a89.JPG

IMG_1358.thumb.JPG.616fdc5efa0af297e8bbd7b25e7780a4.JPG

 

The store (and the house) has been abandoned for years. That was Jay and Tammy, and their son, Brodie. 

The Lunt's who ran the wharf didn't appreciate the competition, some strange things went on, Jay had a heart attack, they moved back to the mainland, Tammy got on with Hinckley where her sister already worked, Jay is a terrific mechanic and electrician, he's workin for one of the  boatbuilders. Brodie used to deliver steamed lobsters with butter and corn to us via rowboat

The Lunt family no longer runs the eatery on the wharf, a family from away summers there and runs it. 

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On the way to Maine, we like to stop at Sandy Bay (Rockport) -- easy in and out and good holding. Leaving there at first light (in July) we can make Port Clyde in daylight.

On the way back if the forecast is SW, we'll work west (up west?) for a day or two aiming for Richmond Island or thereabouts from where if we're lucky Cape Ann is a fetch. If the wind is almost anything else, we'll just head back from wherever we happen to be, but always with a feeling of great sadness at leaving Maine behind us.

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19 hours ago, Kris Cringle said:

L129895567_GulfofMaine7-2992NMout.thumb.jpg.3e882d3dc22c75f6dc5fba30bdc74e18.jpg

Judging by your iPhone chart-plotter, you're just off of Cape Ann...Good eats! 

22 hours ago, bgytr said:

Will be coming up in a few years when the wife retires, just killing time doing long term planning (pipe dreaming) while getting over a cold.  The wife is still a beginner, so looking for day passages.  Maybe she will be up for overnight after a couple more seasons.

Pipe dreaming is super important, in my mind. When the weather is right in the Summer, this trip is one of the most enjoyable overnights you'll ever make. It's a really good intro into offshore/overnight sailing for beginners as if you go straight across, you can get a good ways offshore. There is little commercial traffic, few pots, calm conditions, lots of sea life and "just right" temperatures.   Just pay attention during the shoulder seasons or to lows coming off the coast. 

When I first bought my boat back to Maine she was in rough shape, but I can still recall how good it felt - a close reach the whole way with flat water and the windvane driving. 

ACtC-3eOx3AOgF-ydVIZzSJsyAPsy3rtvZK9edOq

 

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5 hours ago, Cruisin Loser said:

Thanks, you're right. I probably need to get this thing x-rayed. It's been over a week and the last couple of days has gotten worse, if anything. I trace the decline to Wednesday, after work we had an outdoor gig at a restaurant and, like the damn fool I am, I stood on it for over three hours. 

The store (and the house) has been abandoned for years. That was Jay and Tammy, and their son, Brodie. 

The Lunt's who ran the wharf didn't appreciate the competition, some strange things went on, Jay had a heart attack, they moved back to the mainland, Tammy got on with Hinckley where her sister already worked, Jay is a terrific mechanic and electrician, he's workin for one of the  boatbuilders. Brodie used to deliver steamed lobsters with butter and corn to us via rowboat

The Lunt family no longer runs the eatery on the wharf, a family from away summers there and runs it. 

They had a couple of daughters, too - one about my daughter's age (12 at the time in 2012), and one a year or two younger. The three of them were inseparable the whole weekend we were there and I know they stayed in touch for a while after. I got the strong sense that no one was thrilled with the social prospects on the island for the girls, with it's essentially one-room school house and no real high school, and there was a plan to ship them to the mainland for school when they got older no matter what. They were definitely thrilled when a 12 year old girl showed up for a few days!

Really nice folks, we enjoyed meeting them. If memory serves, Jay managed to dig up an old propane solenoid when mine died while we had about eight pounds of lobster to cook up. That was the next day, the night it failed he took the lobsters back and steamed them for me.

I have some great pictures of the three girls, but I won't post them of course because they're someone else's kids

 

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The guy that is running Lunt's (during the short season) is from Ann Arbor Mich. He's a chef and coffee roaster in Ann Arbor. I think he does a great job and the menu has expanded. It's a real laid-back operation. They forget your order (happened twice with us),  so be patient. :)

Last season (Covid),  it had the biggest crowd we've ever seen there. It was a local 'talk' event. The tables were spaced and groups could distance. Visitors have lobster, locals had lasagna. 

894540000_LuntsLobsterdock._.thumb.jpg.eb9698d70809a61dfeae2928b9604aa4.jpg

One of his popular coffee roasts in Ann Arbor is named, "Lobster Butter, Love". Fun to say but it sounds awful (there's no lobster in it, but still,....). 

Lobster Pizza debuted there last season. I don't think that's going to go over but he gets high marks for exuberance. 

873150491_LuntsLobsterArrabiataPizza.thumb.jpg.0ce0c77d68eb9ae74b0e319903ebaeaa.jpg

 

 

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1 hour ago, Elegua said:

Judging by your iPhone chart-plotter, you're just off of Cape Ann...Good eats! 

Pipe dreaming is super important, in my mind. When the weather is right in the Summer, this trip is one of the most enjoyable overnights you'll ever make. It's a really good intro into offshore/overnight sailing for beginners as if you go straight across, you can get a good ways offshore. There is little commercial traffic, few pots, calm conditions, lots of sea life and "just right" temperatures.   Just pay attention during the shoulder seasons or to lows coming off the coast. 

When I first bought my boat back to Maine she was in rough shape, but I can still recall how good it felt - a close reach the whole way with flat water and the windvane driving. 

ACtC-3eOx3AOgF-ydVIZzSJsyAPsy3rtvZK9edOq

 

Ya hopefully the better half will be up for an overnight in a couple years.  I've done a delivery from the Hinckley yard in SW harbor to Newport and had like you said, awesome close reach through the night on a J44. 15 to 20 outta the wnw, blasting along at 9 to 10 kts with the #1 sheeted  on the rail.  With the offshore wind, the seas were smooth, cool moonlit night.  Great trip.

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51 minutes ago, B.J. Porter said:

They had a couple of daughters, too - one about my daughter's age (12 at the time in 2012), and one a year or two younger. The three of them were inseparable the whole weekend we were there and I know they stayed in touch for a while after. I got the strong sense that no one was thrilled with the social prospects on the island for the girls, with it's essentially one-room school house and no real high school, and there was a plan to ship them to the mainland for school when they got older no matter what. They were definitely thrilled when a 12 year old girl showed up for a few days!

Really nice folks, we enjoyed meeting them. If memory serves, Jay managed to dig up an old propane solenoid when mine died while we had about eight pounds of lobster to cook up. That was the next day, the night it failed he took the lobsters back and steamed them for me.

I have some great pictures of the three girls, but I won't post them of course because they're someone else's kids

 

Brodie was our sons age, they'd muck around in the inner harbor at low tide and get filthy.  Nothing makes a boy happier. Tammy would just hose them off. 

We took the kids to church there one Sunday, and Beth made a New Mexico green chile chicken casserole for the pot luck. That made us very popular. The locals get pretty sick of lobster. 

28 minutes ago, Kris Cringle said:

 

Last season (Covid),  it had the biggest crowd we've ever seen there. It was a local 'talk' event. The tables were spaced and groups could distance. Visitors have lobster, locals had lasagna. 

 

 

We remarked on that. It was pretty busy everywhere with people new to Maine, trying to escape the plague. Much like a past generation fleeing the cities for the countryside to avoid polio. 

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Lots of places between Boston and ME, but as many have said, they're not all on the most direct route.  Salem - with all its history beyond the witch thing is worth a stop.  The Chinese house alone - part of the Peabody-Essex Museum - is a must-see.  Manchester has a really good ice cream shop right downtown, along with a fantastic used book store and an excellent antique store.  Groceries are available right near the harbor too, though the yacht club is not near town.  Gloucester has a great vibe.  If you moor at the Eastern Point YC they offered free ice last time we were there.  Marblehead is another sailing Mecca.  Newburyport is a bit like Salem, historically and architecturally, but not as built up.  A huge warehouse there was all antiques when we visited. Others have mentioned Cape Ann, Rockport...     Has anyone brought up Portsmouth, NH?  The river can make the currents a challenge there, but the variety and quality of the restaurants are worth the effort if you're hungry. After Portsmouth, you're in Maine! 

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2 hours ago, PaulK said:

Lots of places between Boston and ME, but as many have said, they're not all on the most direct route.  Salem - with all its history beyond the witch thing is worth a stop.  The Chinese house alone - part of the Peabody-Essex Museum - is a must-see.  Manchester has a really good ice cream shop right downtown, along with a fantastic used book store and an excellent antique store.  Groceries are available right near the harbor too, though the yacht club is not near town.  Gloucester has a great vibe.  If you moor at the Eastern Point YC they offered free ice last time we were there.  Marblehead is another sailing Mecca.  Newburyport is a bit like Salem, historically and architecturally, but not as built up.  A huge warehouse there was all antiques when we visited. Others have mentioned Cape Ann, Rockport...     Has anyone brought up Portsmouth, NH?  The river can make the currents a challenge there, but the variety and quality of the restaurants are worth the effort if you're hungry. After Portsmouth, you're in Maine! 

As far as Portsmouth goes, I would recommend picking up a mooring at Portsmouth YC, which is in New Castle near the mouth of the river.  You can Uber from there into town.  Portsmouth town docks at Prescott park are accessible enough, however given that there is no speed limit in the river, tying up there is not fun or worth it IMO.   Same goes for the docks just on the other side of the memorial bridge, though those are slightly better from a wake perspective.  

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If you're in Gloucester (and you draw less than 5'), the entrance to the Blynman Canal is right there. It's a quick trip through and puts you on the other side of Cape Ann. It's also a great place to take a last swim in water temps you'll not be findin' to the East. 

We picked up a mooring along one of the beaches for a few hours in 2018 on our return home. Had a nice swim and combed the beach. 

562700753_BlynmanCanaloutlet_.thumb.jpg.ae68a5952edafee7a76ddd3c5006146e.jpg

And then you have Rockport Harbor (the lesser) if you're game. Small doesn't even begin to describe the size of the inner harbor. But if you can get in there, and get into one of their mooring harnesses, it's fun. 

187210671_Rockportgrilling.thumb.jpg.22a30efbee906e3675c7973ebaab6fb5.jpg

 

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When I sailed that way with my uncle in 1968, we stopped at Biddeford Pool. We just ducked in far enough to find a protected spot to anchor for the night in good weather. My uncle and cousin did take the dink in search of something or other. 

Just by the way, there are some interesting magnetic anomalies in the area of Seguin Island. Not so critical in the age of GPS, and not really an issue for us back in days of compass navigation because the weather was excellent; we were bound for the Sheepscot River and could see where we were going. 

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35 minutes ago, SemiSalt said:

When I sailed that way with my uncle in 1968, we stopped at Biddeford Pool. We just ducked in far enough to find a protected spot to anchor for the night in good weather. My uncle and cousin did take the dink in search of something or other. 

Just by the way, there are some interesting magnetic anomalies in the area of Seguin Island. Not so critical in the age of GPS, and not really an issue for us back in days of compass navigation because the weather was excellent; we were bound for the Sheepscot River and could see where we were going. 

We stopped into Biddeford Pool for first time in 2018. We went all the way in (not far) and took a yacht club mooring. That included a launch which is handy as the tide moves through there.

Well protected, beautiful. The best thing was, it was the first convenient (didn't need an Uber) provisions stop since Cuttyhunk Island for us. Great store right there. We rowed into the pool at low tide and explored, waded the shallows. Beautiful. 

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T-minus 4 months until my GTFO date for Maine.

I pretty much squared away the boat in December for this trip but I'm about to reinspect everything and wake her up soon now that temperatures are moderating.

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The only way I'm getting myself through a steel-gray winter in Boston right now is by planning for the same trip.  That the boat is currently undergoing a pretty major refit is making it a lot harder to stand the wait.

I like the Rockport option, which had never occurred to me before.  I have a hell of a time sleeping underway and so overnights feel like punishment, but pushing off from Cape Ann at first light and arriving at Monhegan or Port Clyde in time for sunset just sounds like a great day on the water (weather permitting).

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10 minutes ago, ChrisJD said:

The only way I'm getting myself through a steel-gray winter in Boston right now is by planning for the same trip.  That the boat is currently undergoing a pretty major refit is making it a lot harder to stand the wait.

I like the Rockport option, which had never occurred to me before.  I have a hell of a time sleeping underway and so overnights feel like punishment, but pushing off from Cape Ann at first light and arriving at Monhegan or Port Clyde in time for sunset just sounds like a great day on the water (weather permitting).

Refits are a great way, even if you are doing it by checkbook, is  a great way to pass the Winter season.  Lots of decision and research to be done, and progress to follow. 

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100% checkbook-driven.  I don't have the chops to do glass work or rebed deck fittings, and would sooner solder my eyeballs than spend twenty straight weekends varnishing.  But the pictures are fun.

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Soo... question:

The charts indicate traffic separation schemes at the entrances to north and south LIS.  I imagine that this is like a busy street for commercial ships and that crossing these schemes requires attention and an alert watch, yes?

What is the NJ coastal leg like? How much commercial traffic is in the Gulf of Maine?

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I can't answer for LIS, but there's not much commercial traffic in the Gulf of Maine once you round Cape Ann and are past the shipping lanes out of Boston.  A decent number of commercial fishing vessels doing their thing, but very little in the way of cargo, etc.

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11 minutes ago, ChrisJD said:

I can't answer for LIS, but there's not much commercial traffic in the Gulf of Maine once you round Cape Ann and are past the shipping lanes out of Boston.  A decent number of commercial fishing vessels doing their thing, but very little in the way of cargo, etc.

Hm, a commercial fishing vessel will wreck my day as sure as a cargo ship. Thanks for the reminder.

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6 hours ago, Ajax said:

T-minus 4 months until my GTFO date for Maine.

I pretty much squared away the boat in December for this trip but I'm about to reinspect everything and wake her up soon now that temperatures are moderating.

What's your general-hopeful plan on legs to get to Maine? If you're pressed for time, have you thought about moving the boat up a state or two over a couple long weekends. Or do you have enough time? How about your partner, or will you do the move with crew, solo? 

I want this to be fun for you. :) 

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27 minutes ago, Kris Cringle said:

What's your general-hopeful plan on legs to get to Maine? If you're pressed for time, have you thought about moving the boat up a state or two over a couple long weekends. Or do you have enough time? How about your partner, or will you do the move with crew, solo? 

I want this to be fun for you. :) 

I have 6 weeks. I'm soloing. Spousal unit will drive up and meet me.  We will sail into the Gulf to give her her first taste of ocean sailing. 

I know this may not sound pleasant but I'm sick of other humans and I need some time alone. I did 450 miles around Delmarva alone. 

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2 hours ago, Ajax said:

Soo... question:

The charts indicate traffic separation schemes at the entrances to north and south LIS.  I imagine that this is like a busy street for commercial ships and that crossing these schemes requires attention and an alert watch, yes?

What is the NJ coastal leg like? How much commercial traffic is in the Gulf of Maine?

Off NJ is fine as long as you are not "stuck" there. Outside of NYC is very busy, as is the harbor.  LIS had(has?) a decent amount amount of barge traffic. Are you planning to go up LIS? In Summer be prepared to motor. There are some nice stops on the way, but we usually go outside. There is a lot of pleasure traffic, especially on the weekends. If solo, I might go outside, but the South side of LI is like NJ; not many places to go.  If you are crossing the GoM direct you're pretty far from Boston traffic.  In the middle there is the odd fishing boat and traffic will pick up again once you get the Maine side, but I think you'll find it pretty sparse compared to the Chesapeake/Delaware.  There is a little "highway" of boats going up and down the coast on the rhumbline between points and on occasion something bigger headed up the Two Bush Channel. There are ferries that go to places like Monhegan.  Lobsterboats are all over the place; they will get close but stay clear of any WAFIs. 

I'm sure I've forgotten something...

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Il probably stay in Chesapeake City in the canal one night.  I may stay at Cape May one night.  Definitely Onset or somewhere near for one night,  then through the CCC and up to Maine. 

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On 2/28/2021 at 12:09 PM, Kris Cringle said:

We stopped into Biddeford Pool for first time in 2018. We went all the way in (not far) and took a yacht club mooring. That included a launch which is handy as the tide moves through there.

Well protected, beautiful. The best thing was, it was the first convenient (didn't need an Uber) provisions stop since Cuttyhunk Island for us. Great store right there. We rowed into the pool at low tide and explored, waded the shallows. Beautiful. 

That's where I grew up, summers, and that's why I've lived in Maine since 1971. Glad to hear nice things about the place, a wonderful summer, and now winter, community. 

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38 minutes ago, Ajax said:

Il probably stay in Chesapeake City in the canal one night.  I may stay at Cape May one night.  Definitely Onset or somewhere near for one night,  then through the CCC and up to Maine. 

Sippican is a nice place to stop - eye candy, diesel and close to the CCC. 

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15 hours ago, Ajax said:

Il probably stay in Chesapeake City in the canal one night.  I may stay at Cape May one night.  Definitely Onset or somewhere near for one night,  then through the CCC and up to Maine. 

What is your air draft?  Can you comfortably use the Cape May canal at 55’?  If you have to stay outside, it’s a long way around and back into Cape May, particularly if you have to fight the current. 

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2 minutes ago, Innocent Bystander said:

What is your air draft?  Can you comfortably use the Cape May canal at 55’?  If you have to stay outside, it’s a long way around and back into Cape May, particularly if you have to fight the current. 

I'm 51'. 53 feet with my VHF.  Chart says 55 feet. I'm not risking it.   If I have to, I'll go to Lewes and anchor in the Harbor of Refuge and just suck it up and sail a bit of extra distance across the mouth of the Delaware Bay on my way up the coast.

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19 hours ago, Ajax said:

Il probably stay in Chesapeake City in the canal one night.  I may stay at Cape May one night.  Definitely Onset or somewhere near for one night,  then through the CCC and up to Maine. 

We went straight from Block Island (a worthy target and stop) all the way to the other side of the canal, so I can't speak to stops along the way. But if you're leaving Cape May, the trip from there straight to Block takes you out away from some of the harbor traffic. You'll still have radar and AIS contacts up the wazoo, but they'll be farther away if you stay way outside the separation zones. BI is a nice place to recoup and refresh after the trip.

Are you planning to chunk this into smaller trips and layovers, or do it in on mad sprint to Maine in big legs? Cape May - Block is about 200 miles, for example. Onset to Maine is a pretty chunk, too. There are some nice stops along the way if you want to break it up, e.g.:

Cape May
Block Island
Cuttyhunk
Onset
Provincetown or Gloucester
Maine

Though Block to Onset is also a manageable chunk, but Cutty is about ~50 miles once you pick your way around things and it's worth the stop.

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20 hours ago, Ajax said:

Spousal unit will drive up and meet me.  We will sail into the Gulf to give her her first taste of ocean sailing.

How much of the trip do you want her to join you for?  If she's only going to join for the last leg into the Gulf of Maine, then Gloucester is probably your best option in terms of convenience to both car and boat - Provincetown is one of my favorite places but it's a good four hour schlep out by car in the summer - but if she's able to join a bit earlier in the trip, then there are reams of great stops south of the Canal.  Sippican is great from a utilitarian perspective (including a couple great boatyards if you need them), but I can't think of a more idyllic end to a day than picking up a mooring in Red Brook Harbor and having my wife waiting for me with a mudslide on the lawn.  Padanaram is also beautiful, a couple of hours' sail further south of Sippican along the mainland side.  A few hours north of the canal on the mainland side, Scituate is convenient to highways, has a few good restaurants and is no more than two minutes from breakwater to mooring.

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2 hours ago, B.J. Porter said:

Though Block to Onset is also a manageable chunk, but Cutty is about ~50 miles once you pick your way around things and it's worth the stop.

If it so happens that Cuttyhunk and surrounds are full, which has been known to happen in high summer, another very scenic and well protected option just a bit closer on the way north  than Onset is Harmon's Harbor, near Wood's Hole. The moorings there are free and there's even a small island where picnicing is encouraged. Very peaceful!  No services available though, but it's a lovely place to see how the .1% live.

Not as convenient to the CC Canal as Onset, but much prettier and usually full of pretty boats.

enhance

 

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16 minutes ago, Willin' said:

If it so happens that Cuttyhunk and surrounds are full, which has been known to happen in high summer, another very scenic and well protected option just a bit closer on the way north  than Onset is Harmon's Harbor, near Wood's Hole. The moorings there are free and there's even a small island where picnicing is encouraged. Very peaceful!  No services available though, but it's a lovely place to see how the .1% live.

Not as convenient to the CC Canal as Onset, but much prettier and usually full of pretty boats.

enhance

 

If you want a mooring on Cutty guaranteed...stop on a weekday!

We were too big to go into the pond once we moved to Evenstar, so we always anchored outside.

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6 hours ago, Ajax said:

I'm 51'. 53 feet with my VHF.  Chart says 55 feet. I'm not risking it.   If I have to, I'll go to Lewes and anchor in the Harbor of Refuge and just suck it up and sail a bit of extra distance across the mouth of the Delaware Bay on my way up the coast.

Keep in mind that 55 is at high times and the range is about 5’ so passing through around low water is a clearance of about 60’ Just past the bridges are full service marinas walking distance to restaurants and provisions. Just saying. 

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59 minutes ago, Innocent Bystander said:

Keep in mind that 55 is at high times and the range is about 5’ so passing through around low water is a clearance of about 60’ Just past the bridges are full service marinas walking distance to restaurants and provisions. Just saying. 

Most modern bridges sag very little. 

Ajax, we need to hook up some place. I'm a member at Beverly Yacht Club in Marion, just this side of the canal. If we can make it work I'll buy you supper there. 

If it works out you should bring your floating bedroom to the ERR, and jump on Restive for the race. 

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45 minutes ago, Ajax said:

What's the current like through there?

I don’t know. Boat I went to Cape May was too tall for the bridges so went in from the east as the boat stayed in cape May as a stop on the way to NYYC race week in Newport. Current in the lower thoroughfare from where Jarvis Sound exits was big at the dock. Would recommend leaving to head north  just after high water and ride the ebb out to sea. If you are bypassing cape may, I’d just go out the mouth of Delaware Bay. If you just want a good nights sleep, go to Harbor of Refuge as you already suggested. 

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Right, I'm not really looking for facilities, I just want to sleep...if necessary.  If I'm still feeling froggy at the mouth of the Delaware, I'll just keep going.

It's not like I was going to make the whole leg from Cape May to Onset awake anyway.

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21 minutes ago, Cruisin Loser said:

Most modern bridges sag very little. 

Ajax, we need to hook up some place. I'm a member at Beverly Yacht Club in Marion, just this side of the canal. If we can make it work I'll buy you supper there. 

If it works out you should bring your floating bedroom to the ERR, and jump on Restive for the race. 

I can meet you in Marion but I'll likely be on my way back home by the time of the ERR.

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This is a good thread!  I am planning to go up to ME this summer too.  I am Chesapeake based but will leave from the Newport area.  Planning stops at Block, Cutty, P-town, then go straight to Bar Harbor.  Going July to August.  My biggest concerns are the fog, lobster pots and the return.  I am really worried about beating my brains out to get back.  How bad will that be?  Any tips to make it easier.  Also will have kids so suggestions for kid friendly places in ME are welcome!

 

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23 minutes ago, T sailor said:

This is a good thread!  I am planning to go up to ME this summer too.  I am Chesapeake based but will leave from the Newport area.  Planning stops at Block, Cutty, P-town, then go straight to Bar Harbor.  Going July to August.  My biggest concerns are the fog, lobster pots and the return.  I am really worried about beating my brains out to get back.  How bad will that be?  Any tips to make it easier.  Also will have kids so suggestions for kid friendly places in ME are welcome!

 

Yup, there be lobster pots and fog there. Youngsters will enjoy the Canadian riviera area more than Downeast unless they are real granola eaters.

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2 hours ago, T sailor said:

This is a good thread!  I am planning to go up to ME this summer too.  I am Chesapeake based but will leave from the Newport area.  Planning stops at Block, Cutty, P-town, then go straight to Bar Harbor.  Going July to August.  My biggest concerns are the fog, lobster pots and the return.  I am really worried about beating my brains out to get back.  How bad will that be?  Any tips to make it easier.  Also will have kids so suggestions for kid friendly places in ME are welcome!

 

Bar Harbor? Bar Harbor? Do you have relatives there? 

No, you won't get beat up on the way back, unless you bring the worst thing there is on a boat, a schedule. Watch the weather and be ready to go on short notice. If you sail into 30 knot headwinds its your own fault. 

Go to Bucks Harbor. The marina owners have super friendly kids, but there are plenty of boat kids floating around.  When my son was small he never had a problem meeting new friends. 

He got us invited on some cool boats, including daysails on a Hinckley 70 and a Swan 76. There was also one of the nicest families  we've ever met on a Mac 26X.

If you're there in late July/early August, go anchor at Woodenboat for the ERR and just row around. 

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9 hours ago, T sailor said:

This is a good thread!  I am planning to go up to ME this summer too.  I am Chesapeake based but will leave from the Newport area.  Planning stops at Block, Cutty, P-town, then go straight to Bar Harbor.  Going July to August.  My biggest concerns are the fog, lobster pots and the return.  I am really worried about beating my brains out to get back.  How bad will that be?  Any tips to make it easier.  Also will have kids so suggestions for kid friendly places in ME are welcome!

 

In terms of kid friendly, my daughter always insisted we stop at Camden.

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7 hours ago, Cruisin Loser said:

Bar Harbor? Bar Harbor? Do you have relatives there? 

No, you won't get beat up on the way back, unless you bring the worst thing there is on a boat, a schedule. Watch the weather and be ready to go on short notice. If you sail into 30 knot headwinds its your own fault. 

Go to Bucks Harbor. The marina owners have super friendly kids, but there are plenty of boat kids floating around.  When my son was small he never had a problem meeting new friends. 

He got us invited on some cool boats, including daysails on a Hinckley 70 and a Swan 76. There was also one of the nicest families  we've ever met on a Mac 26X.

If you're there in late July/early August, go anchor at Woodenboat for the ERR and just row around. 

I know, Bar Harbor seems like a bad idea but I have never done Acadia and we have some friends that will be there.  I figure a few days there and then mosey on.  That is probably as Far East as we will go.  The idea is to go from there to Brooklin, Castine and Camden and anywhere else around there that looks good.  From there we would make long treks southwest as the winds allow.  Unfortunately there will be a defined end date to the trip so I will have to be on somewhat of a schedule.  I was planning to take around a week to get up there from NPT, then spend around 10-12 days in Midcoast, then start going back.  5 weeks total from When we depart Newport to when I need to be back at work.  If we get stuck, I’ll leave the boat and do weekend trips to get it back but that is suboptimal.  

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8 minutes ago, Elegua said:

In terms of kid friendly, my daughter always insisted we stop at Camden.

Because she knew the local kids are cool. Most of them work(ed) at the Camden Cone so maybe she met some of mine. Camden is a great stop for all the needs of the boat and crew. 

380710212_Kidsonthebow.(1of1).thumb.jpg.bc6f425af04ed11900e23c21cf697b95.jpg

 

9 hours ago, T sailor said:

This is a good thread!  I am planning to go up to ME this summer too.  I am Chesapeake based but will leave from the Newport area.  Planning stops at Block, Cutty, P-town, then go straight to Bar Harbor.  Going July to August.  My biggest concerns are the fog, lobster pots and the return.  I am really worried about beating my brains out to get back.  How bad will that be?  Any tips to make it easier.  Also will have kids so suggestions for kid friendly places in ME are welcome!

 

Take this old adage seriously; One day sailing east, allow two days to return. 

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Mainers-  Tell us about Mt. Desert Island.  Is this not a good place to explore?

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41 minutes ago, Ajax said:

Mainers-  Tell us about Mt. Desert Island.  Is this not a good place to explore?

It's a slightly different world once you pass the Bass Harbor Bar. Longer vistas, big stretches of blue water surrounding granite mountains, deep natural harbors in the clefts carved out by glaciers. 

759568599_HinckleySouwester30_.thumb.jpg.2ace2c8816ea0506b1db9e1774422b54.jpg

Hiking on MDI is top notch. Trail heads everywhere and hopefully, the free shuttle bus will be running again in 2021. 

411534119_AboveValleyCovetoWesternWay.thumb.jpg.f1f4c0878e60a7f7dfcfca01a47f445a.jpg

When we're on MDI on a cruise from home, we always take a 'vacation' within our vacation at Northeast Harbor. Cover the sails, raise the sun awning and the boat becomes a flop house between shoreside visits. All the amenities for an easy life for a few days. 

62706242_NortheastHarbormorninglight.thumb.jpg.517f633f89e7a15ac77fdad1756146d7.jpg

It's our most crowded stop on the Maine coast but still, so worth it. 

 

 

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Looking at the vista photo, if that's you're idea of crowded, I'll love it. There's plenty of space between those boats.

Ok, now for a really dumb question:

The bottom is rocky.  Is it giant boulders of granite or more pebbly and fist sized rocks?  Should I expect an anchor to get stuck and irretrievable?  What about hanging up on logs? For this trip, I'll be bringing my old 25lb. Manson Supreme as a backup. My primary will be a 35lb. Rocna Vulcan.

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Yeah, MDI is OK, but it's busy. The hiking and biking are great. We spend remarkably little time there since we parted with our Hinckley, I guess we feel like we saw most of it over the course of over a decade. When we go, it's to NEH which is busy, or to Pretty Marsh for quiet.

The best access to Acadia is from Northeast Harbor, rent bikes at the store just up from the dinghy dock, it's a short ride to the entrance and the Carriage Roads. Ride till you're beat. Swing by Jordan Pond and pick blueberries from Mr. Rockefeller's patch. Maybe they'll find their way into your pancakes.

Sail up Somes Sound, the only Fjord on the US east coast. Somesville is lovely, quiet. There's a good anchorage on the west side of the sound as you enter, has a stream running in where the British Navy used to collect water. 

I would not recommend Bass Harbor to a cruiser. In a good southerly it can be just a wee bit rolly.

On the west side Pretty Marsh is beautiful and quiet. It used to have fantastic musseling, but they're all gone now. 

There is a very quiet part of Acadia on Isle Au Haut. Our favorite hiking island. 

Brooklin is very small, most available moorings are out towards the Reach. There is a general store, and BBY has the ability to fix pretty much anything, but it's a small quiet place. The people are great, but busy. It's a working boatyard. 

Just up the reach at Bucks is better protection, rental moorings, outdoor showers, free laundry, and a good store.

On the way to Castine is a jewel, Holbrook, with miles of trails on the mainland part, and an island to explore. 

In Castine the YC has a few moorings and showers, or you can tie up at Kenny Eaton's and get shore power. Anchoring is around the corner in Smith's cove.

In Camden you definitely want to be in the inner harbor, unless it's very quiet weather. That big northern cove they use for moorings is pretty open to the prevailing southerlies.

Oh crap! You were asking the Mainers. I'm a Texan. Ignore everything I wrote. 

 

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@Cruisin Loser  You qualify.

I do have a couple of cruising guides. I still feel that it's worth asking real humans who live there (even part time) what to do and what to watch out for.

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What CL said.

Northeast Harbor, Bar Harbor are kind of the epicenter for people from away.  Some/many cruising from away feel uncomfortable at anchor and head for the moorings there. 

Somes Sounds and Somesville or Valley Cove can be an alternative.  I like Ile au Haut very much - and Duck harbor or the Ile au Haut Thorofare, Kimball Island are good places to park-up. 

Merchant's Island can be interesting because you can anchor your boat and then look at it while camping on a MTA park. Perfect except some plonker put a private mooring right in the middle. 

I usually say stuff like - "Go as far East as you want to go as fast as you can and then come back West slowly." -  and then proceed to ignore my own advice and just about wander each way. 

Castine has some interesting history, a great river name - The Bagaduce -  It's also very close to Holbrook and Ram Island. 

 

 

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18 hours ago, Willin' said:

If it so happens that Cuttyhunk and surrounds are full, which has been known to happen in high summer, another very scenic and well protected option just a bit closer on the way north  than Onset is Harmon's Harbor, near Wood's Hole. The moorings there are free and there's even a small island where picnicing is encouraged. Very peaceful!  No services available though, but it's a lovely place to see how the .1% live.

Not as convenient to the CC Canal as Onset, but much prettier and usually full of pretty boats.

enhance

 

I think you meant Hadley Harbor.   Great Harbor nearby is an easy dinghy ride into Woods Hole.   A bit busy but an alternative.

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You're right! Harmon's Harbor is here in Maine. My bad and good catch!

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8 hours ago, T sailor said:

I know, Bar Harbor seems like a bad idea but I have never done Acadia and we have some friends that will be there.  I figure a few days there and then mosey on.  That is probably as Far East as we will go.  The idea is to go from there to Brooklin, Castine and Camden and anywhere else around there that looks good.  From there we would make long treks southwest as the winds allow.  Unfortunately there will be a defined end date to the trip so I will have to be on somewhat of a schedule.  I was planning to take around a week to get up there from NPT, then spend around 10-12 days in Midcoast, then start going back.  5 weeks total from When we depart Newport to when I need to be back at work.  If we get stuck, I’ll leave the boat and do weekend trips to get it back but that is suboptimal.  

I think you'd do better to get a mooring in NE harbor or anchor around that area. There's a free bus on the island that can get you to Bar Harbor easily.

We've not stayed in BH, but it didn't look like a spectacular or easy place to anchor and there were a lot of moorings in the shallower water. I could be wrong, but we had no problems getting to BH from NE or SW Harbors.

Smith Cove near Castine is a lovely place to anchor, and you can get off and walk around the Holbrook sanctuary.IMG_1115.thumb.JPG.a40df0dd940a18e57e48041402bb7e76.JPG

 

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8 hours ago, T sailor said:

I know, Bar Harbor seems like a bad idea but I have never done Acadia and we have some friends that will be there.  I figure a few days there and then mosey on.  That is probably as Far East as we will go.  The idea is to go from there to Brooklin, Castine and Camden and anywhere else around there that looks good.  From there we would make long treks southwest as the winds allow.  Unfortunately there will be a defined end date to the trip so I will have to be on somewhat of a schedule.  I was planning to take around a week to get up there from NPT, then spend around 10-12 days in Midcoast, then start going back.  5 weeks total from When we depart Newport to when I need to be back at work.  If we get stuck, I’ll leave the boat and do weekend trips to get it back but that is suboptimal.  

That's a realistic plan. The strong Southerlies that can slow you down going west (home) don't usually last long and it's likely you won't have conditions slow you down much, in either direction. But when they blow hard out of the Southwest, that's no fun to head straight into. 

We sailed from Penobscot Bay to Mystic Conn. in 2018, and back, in three weeks. I didn't feel pressed. We spent many nights in old and new places and did a lot of sailing in between. BTW, I think sailing is tougher down in your region than ours. Too much wind! :)

Bar Harbor isn't far from Northeast/ Southwest Harbor area, just a few hours. We anchored there years ago and found a nice spot away from the commercial traffic. In just a few miles, it's a different world in say, Sorrento etc. Plus, you can take the Islander bus to BH from anywhere in Acadia. It's about a 20 minute ride as I remember.

You should spend a night on Little Cranberry Island, just a couple miles east of NEH. The town (Islesford) has several free moorings out and there also room to anchor.  A great and beautiful harbor to explore by dinghy. Easy touring for kids and adults, a real island, a good small store, a couple tiny museums, etc. Night and Day compared to Northeast just across the sound. The harbor below is surprisingly snug inside. 

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One trick for moorings in this area is to always arrive early. We've been going to popular NEH for over 20 years and have never been unable to get a mooring. Most places we anchor so it doesn't matter. 

 

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Thanks all for the input.  I had reservations about staying in BH (looks pretty unprotected and I’m sure is super busy).  We’ll plan on doing NEH and bus instead. 
I just need to make sure the kids can be occupied.  Any other suggestions?

unfortunately I fall into the category of preferring moorings over anchoring.  Somewhat related, what is the anchor of choice up there?  I have a fortress and an older fluke style.  Considering a Mantus or Rocna.  

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3 hours ago, T sailor said:

Thanks all for the input.  I had reservations about staying in BH (looks pretty unprotected and I’m sure is super busy).  We’ll plan on doing NEH and bus instead. 
I just need to make sure the kids can be occupied.  Any other suggestions?

unfortunately I fall into the category of preferring moorings over anchoring.  Somewhat related, what is the anchor of choice up there?  I have a fortress and an older fluke style.  Considering a Mantus or Rocna.  

There are great bike trails around there, you can rent and explore. Tons of cool hikes and walks around, too. Go to the Jordan Pond House for popovers, depending on kid's ages go for a stroll around the pond or head up to one of the hikes from up there. We did the walk up Pemetic, picking blueberries along the way for snacks.

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11 hours ago, T sailor said:

Thanks all for the input.  I had reservations about staying in BH (looks pretty unprotected and I’m sure is super busy).  We’ll plan on doing NEH and bus instead. 
I just need to make sure the kids can be occupied.  Any other suggestions?

unfortunately I fall into the category of preferring moorings over anchoring.  Somewhat related, what is the anchor of choice up there?  I have a fortress and an older fluke style.  Considering a Mantus or Rocna.  

Anchors, they all work here. It's nice to have a wash-down hose as the mud is sticky. 

More on NE; our favorite hike, and kids love it, is right off the boat. There is a public dock on the NE side to tie your dinghy up for the day. From there you can go up a beautiful trail to Thuya Gardens (easy hike). The trail builders did masterful work with stone stairs and trail switchbacks that give you a view of your boat, all the way to the top. Pack a picnic. There are a few lookouts along the way the kids will love. 

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Use one of these look out shacks for the picnic. 

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There's an old preserved camp up there and of course, Thuya Gardens. If you're into gardens, a small hike from there will take you to Asticou gardens, a mixture of Japanese rock gardens and indigenous plantings with a zenlike walk around a pond. 

Best kept secret: You can tie up to this same dinghy dock with your sailboat. One side is left open (and marked) for two hours (no charge) to fill water tanks or take a quick hike up. There are other water docks at NEH but they're usually filled. This one spot is always open and after a week or two with a family on board, it's nice to hose the boat off. 

 

 

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All good advice.  Bar harbor is a lousy port. Best to explore NE Harbor, Somes sound/Somesville, the Cranberry islands etc.  Uber or bus to Bar Harbor. Across formBar Harbor is Sorrento, which is a really nice spot to visit. 

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A painting of our son reading by a pond in Asticou. 

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For a decade we anchored everywhere with a CQR, hardly modern or high tech. As Kris  points out, the issue is getting all the mud off. 

My other question is why Brooklin is on your itinerary, unless you are considering a custom boat? It’s small and very isolated, unprotected from the west, has aggressive mosquitoes, and under current restrictions you’re really not encouraged to wander the yard and workshops. 

There is one small store in walking distance, the last time I had dinner at the Brooklin Inn was the last time I’ll ever have dinner there. 

There are some nice boats in the harbor, but there are more in Camden or Rockport.  

If you need service, they certainly have every skill, at reasonable prices.

Does your boat have bug screens?

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The only reason Brooklin was on the list was because I had read a book about the yard and Joel White.  If there isn’t much to see then we’ll skip it and do Bucks per your recommendation.  I like the input as I am sure it will make for a more enjoyable trip.  

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Bug screens are a requirement everywhere as well as mosquito coils, zapper rackets and bug spray. Lots of bug spray. 

People usually rush off to visit Penobscot and MDI and to a certain extent I'm happy they stay there. But, I'd say also give the Hog Island Audubon Camp a visit in Muscongus Bay.  Harbor Island and Allen Island make for great stays in the right conditions. You might even sneak onto the cattle boat moorings squeezed between Ram Island and Fisherman Island (be prepared to leave early in the am). If empty-ish, the basin in Casco is also great. The Oven's Mouth up the Sheepscott and Cross River is pretty special. 

I also think it'd be a mistake not to visit at least one outer island: Damariscove, Metinicus, Monhegan...

 

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33 minutes ago, T sailor said:

The only reason Brooklin was on the list was because I had read a book about the yard and Joel White.  If there isn’t much to see then we’ll skip it and do Bucks per your recommendation.  I like the input as I am sure it will make for a more enjoyable trip.  

Brooklin is a great stop.  The boatyard is special, and it a a nice walk up to the general store.  Wooden boat in the next cove over is a Mecca of sorts too.  A little further down the reach towards Bucks harbor is Benjamin River, which is a gorgeous snug anchorage.    Past Bucks has a Horseshoe Cove, another gorgeous spot with a very cool totally Maine boatyard.  Some cool boats in there, and you can take your dinghy up past the yard to a reversing falls, which is quite a bit of fun.  

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