Wednesday (8/25) – Oven Mouth Cove, Maine
Before heading out today, Denise was went for a short walk around the marina property and Riggs Cove, including near the original Riggs home built in 1785. She ventured to the cemetery where Riggs family members were buried, some dating back to the early 1800’s. It was not easy to get to as it is located behind the marine center and where there is equipment blocking the entrance, but it was worth the adventure to see more of the history of this area.
We were not anxious to get under way as it was forecasted to be another hot day and leaving the dock meant no air conditioner unless we ran the generator all day. However, we had stayed at Robinhood long enough, and we figured it would be breezy once we got on the Sheepscot River. Also, since we were going to an area where people frequently swim around the anchorage, and we may be tempted to do so as well. Finally, around 9:30 we left Robinhood marina and made our way around the ledges and into the channel on the Sheepscot River.
We cruised north up the Sheepscot River dodging lobster pots everywhere, including in the middle of the channel. We were surprised by how many there were, even 8 miles upriver from the Gulf of Maine. But the scenery was lovely and the numerous houses on both sides of this wide river was beautiful. This is a much more populated area of Maine, as it is not far from Boothbay Harbor.
We turned up the Cross River, also lined with beautiful homes and wonderful scenery, and eventually turned into the channel to Oven Mouth. Here it became very narrow and we had to stay in the middle of the channel to avoid the shallow (and rocky) shoreline at low tide.
Once through the narrow channel we entered Oven Mouth Cove. We discovered this much-touted place was more like a lake then a cove, and could clearly handle 50 boats at anchor; it was very wide open and there was a lot of room. We sought out the shallowest spot (13’) as identified on our charts, and recommended by the many Active Captain reviews. After driving around for 20 minutes and unable to locate it even at low tide, we settled on a spot in the 19’ range, dodging the numerous lobster traps in the area. Fortunately, we have sufficient anchor chain and rode to handle the depth when it is high tide (10’ more) and still feel comfortable that we will not move even if the wind started to blow hard. Unfortunately, it did not. But the best part was we instantly spotted the cell tower and had terrific cell coverage.
It was a very hot day, and despite it being a large cove, the air was blocked by the hills around it. We were able to stay in the shade and spent the day doing a little work, publishing a blog update, reading, watching the lobster boats check their traps, and observe a few recreational boaters come in for a swim, then leave. In essence we had the entire place to ourselves. At one point Denise stuck her feet in the water, and although tempted to go for a swim, it was still way too cold for her.
In mid-afternoon it got really hot, with no breeze. We considered leaving this beautiful cove to move closer to the ocean where we might get the prevailing southern wind to cool us off. But, we decided to stick it out. Finally, in late afternoon when we were dying of the heat (89°), we put on the generator and cranked up the air conditioners. We ended up running them for 3 hours, allowing us to eat dinner in a bug-free and cooler setting.
Shortly after dinner we received a very unexpected and welcomed visit from Troy (“Band Aids”) who is the AGLCA Harbor Host for mid-coast Maine. We had been in email communication with him and he had been tracking us on NEBO the whole time we have been in Maine. When he saw we had finally made it to Oven Mouth Cove, he came out on a small boat to visit us; his house is located not far from where Cross River splits off of the Sheepscot. It was a delight to have a visitor and we enjoyed talking to him for a while. He informed us that the dock we could see at the south end of the cove was where John Monroe (famed telecom billionaire) has a house, and his large yacht is usually parked there. This explains the cell tower and terrific signal strength in this area.
Troy left as the sun started to dip behind the trees and it wasn’t long thereafter that it got dark. We saw millions of stars in the sky in this area of little light pollution, and it cooled down enough for us to get a good night’s sleep without having to run the generator again.
Thursday (8/26) – Five Islands – Georgetown, Maine
As the sun came up, we were treated to a spectacular sunrise and a few seals swimming in the harbor. A few lobster boats came in early to pick up their traps, but we were the only boat that spent the night in the anchorage. Denise went out in the cockpit to take a few photos and was shocked. During the night we had been inundated with millions of bugs, and they were all over the boat. It was disgusting!
It wasn’t long after Mark got up and finished breakfast, that he suggest we head out to our next adventure: our destination was 8.5 miles back down the Sheepscot River and to Five Islands Harbor near Malden Island. Around 9:00 am we pulled up the anchor and made our way back through the narrow entrance and into the Cross River. We then turned left and headed south down the Sheepscot River, reversing our trek from the day before. We cruised just past the area where we would have turned into Robinhood, but continued a little bit further south, passing MacMahan Island to our right and entering into the channel for Five Islands Harbor.
We made our way around the many moored lobster boats and pleasure crafts in search of one of the free moorings offered by the Five Islands Yacht Club (FIYC). As we were struggling to figure out where these were located, we pulled close to the dock on Malden Island and asked a guy on a sailboat at the dock there for directions. He gave us the information we sought, and we were able to secure a mooring in a great spot. However, we did notice that there were several boats (including a large sailboat) that were much too large for the mooring field and one of these boats was incredibly close to us when the wind shifted us all around. One of the Active Captain reviews had warned of this and we now understood what they meant.
We spent the rest of the morning finishing up on some work items, and then we ate lunch. We also noticed the sailboat from the dock on Malden Island was now on a private mooring ball next to ours. We later met “Doug” (“Kalitan V”), the guy who helped us out, but will discuss him later.
In the afternoon we published the last blog update, and then decided to go ashore and give our legs a little time on land. Mark took the dinghy out for a quick spin around the harbor and to identify the dinghy dock, then came back to get Denise.
From there we went to the mainland, which is part of the village of Georgetown. This area is on the same peninsula as Robinhood and is bordered by the Sheepscot River to the east, and the Kennebec River to the west. The village is a misnomer as there is no real main street, but there are a few spots of interest besides the Five Islands Harbor area. One such spot was the Five Islands Farm, located about a half a mile from the wharf on “5 Islands Rd”. We walked up the hill along the road, which had no shoulder, but because it is all residential there was little traffic and most of the passing cars went slow. We arrived at the Five Islands Farm where we purchased a tomato and some tart apples, but did not buy one of their freshly made blueberry pies (it was tempting).
We headed back down the hill towards the wharf encountering a few interesting sights along the way:
Once back in the harbor area, we went to the Five Islands Harborside General Store, a small souvenir shop that overlooks the water and is also a fuel stop. It has a few convenient food items, but mainly here is where people come to buy their wine and beer and take it back to the Lobster Company (lobster pound) as they do not sell any alcohol there.
We left the General Store, figuring it was getting late and we should get in line at the Lobster Company before the line got too long. When we arrived we discovered there was already a line and we were going to have to wait a bit just to place an order. This is an interesting lobster pound because the rolls and sandwiches are ordered in the first (main) building on the wharf, but the lobster dinners, steamers, muscles, and oysters are ordered in another building behind it. Mark wanted a lobster roll and Denise wanted steamed lobster so we had to split up and each get our own meal. We then grabbed one of the few available spots on the picnic tables overlooking the harbor to enjoy our early dinner. It was a beautiful day, even though it was hot, but the breeze off the ocean made it very comfortable. We were glad we came early as the lines that formed after us had people waiting at least 15 minutes just to order, and another 20 -30 minutes to get their meal. It is definitely touristy and more expensive than several of the other lobster pounds we have been to, but it was just as delicious. We did pass on the ice cream which is located in a 3rd separate building on the wharf.
After dinner, we took our dinghy back to the boat and talked with family on the phone. We also noticed Doug was on his boat, and had a talk with him across the water between our boats. Here we learned he is a 5th generation landowner on Malden Island, the exclusive island located just south of the moorings. He gave us a lot of information about the area, and told us a lot about the 9 homes and their owners on Malden Island. There is a dining hall that is on the premises and has a full time chef and staff (or did until Covid hit) and the islanders can eat all 3 meals there. There is an expected minimum number of meals they must eat (like a country club minimum) and most of the islanders are from the original founding families like himself; although that is changing. It was fascinating to hear his stories, and to learn that he lives all but a few months of the year on the island; he spends the winter months on the mainland because his island home is poorly insulated and has no heat. We ended the evening watching a nice sunset over the harbor, but were so busy talking to Doug that we forgot to capture it in a picture.
Tomorrow we leave for the weekend in Boothbay Harbor, but we are very glad we came here. It is a beautiful spot and comfortable, even with the crowded moorings and we were pleasantly surprised at how much we liked it here. We will come back here again!